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An understanding of war, for good or ill, is of vital importance. This programme offers the opportunity to study the theory and practice of war in a wide range of aspects, from the Middle Ages to the present day, and from causes to consequences.

Why this programme

  • This MLitt aims to challenge, educate and engage by exposing you to a wide range of different ideas about war. It is specifically designed to broaden and deepen your understanding of the nature of war in theory and practice, and its place in history.
  • The University of Glasgow is home to the Scottish Centre for War Studies. You will be able to participate in regular research seminars on critical themes related to conflict as well as to related conferences.
  • All courses are designed to expose you to detailed research topics, source criticism and current debate, and are led by internationally acknowledged experts.

Programme structure

You will spend the first semester studying on the degree’s core course which covers both the major thinkers on warfare and the practice and conduct of war.

Core topics may include

  • Jomini, aggressive warfare and the Confederate States of America at war
  • The evolution of Military Thought between the two World Wars
  • Europe’s ‘small wars’, 1800–present
  • Vegetius and ‘Vegetian strategy’ in medieval warfare.

In the second semester, you will take three optional courses which delve in greater detail into a particular aspect of military or strategic history.

Optional courses may include

  • Chivalry and warfare in later medieval Europe, 1300–1450
  • The American way of warfare; from the Revolution to the War on Terror
  • Insurgency and counter-insurgency, 1800-present
  • Western intelligence in an age of terror.

You will complete the programme by writing a dissertation based on your own research. This requires you to engage in original research guided by an expert in the field.

Find out more about core and optional courses.

Programme alteration or discontinuation

The University of Glasgow endeavours to run all programmes as advertised. In exceptional circumstances, however, the University may withdraw or alter a programme. For more information, please see: Student contract.

Career prospects

Positions held by recent graduates include Development Director, Correspondent, and Freelance Journalist.

The programme provides an excellent platform for you to move onto PhD studies and an academic career.


Visit the War Studies (MLitt) page on the University of Glasgow website for more details!

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