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MA Modern War Studies and Contemporary Military History by Research

Course Description

With Britain having recently been more heavily involved in overseas wars than at any point in the last half century, the University of Buckingham has launched a Master’s degree in Modern War Studies based at a central London Club. The course commences in late September 2013 with three ‘research skills seminars’ and after a year of supervised independent research, culminates with the student’s submission of a dissertation. During the first six months, candidates are encouraged to attend a series of guest seminars and dinners (set out in detail below) at which some of the most eminent names in the field present papers. This series of talks examines why and how modern wars are fought, and the principal influences that will affect the conduct of war – and Britain’s role – in the future. This seminar programme will also be attended by Associate Students who are not degree candidates but wish to attend the talks and enjoy the ensuing discussion over dinner.

Find out more about our School of Humanities on http://www.buckingham.ac.uk/humanities.

Teaching methods

For Master’s degree candidates the core of the programme is the writing, under supervision, of the dissertation on a subject chosen by the student in the field of Modern War Studies. Subject to approval by the Course Director, the topic to be examined in the dissertation can address any aspect of warfare since 1945, and the precise topic is usually formulated in a process of discussion with the Course Director and/or the student’s supervisor. The length of the dissertation is not more than 40,000 words and usually not less than 20,000. Research does not have to be confined to British-related subjects. Some of the themes which students may wish to examine include: political decision making; alliances; warfare and faith; the impact of critical strategic thinkers; intelligence gathering; the impact of technology on the battlefield; the development of doctrine; military-media relations; leadership; command and control; the application of force at the strategic, operational and tactical levels of war on land, sea and air; and the influence of war on non-combatants, politics, society, economies and cultures.

Where will you study?

This is a London-based course. The seminars will be held at a central London Club. Seminars begin at 19:00 and are followed by a formal post-seminar dinner at which students can engage in a general discussion with the speaker.


There will be a programme of three research skills sessions and ten guest seminars, directed by Professor Lloyd Clark. Running approximately every other week from October ]to March, seminar speakers will include recently serving generals and some of the most distinguished scholars and commentators in the field of modern war studies.

How is the programme assessed?

Examination is by a research dissertation on an approved topic of not less than 20,000 words.

Associate students

For those who wish to attend the seminars and dinners, but do not have time to complete the coursework involved in the MA programme, it is possible to register for the course as an Associate Student. This status enables Associate Students to attend the seminars and to meet the guest lecturers, but not to proceed to the MA degree.

Apply here http://www.buckingham.ac.uk/humanities/ma/warstudies.

Visit the MA Modern War Studies and Contemporary Military History by Research page on the University of Buckingham website for more details!

Student Profiles

Postgraduate first class scholarship - No. of awards TBC

A first class scholarship is available to both home and international students following a taught postgraduate degree at the University. The scholarship will reduce tuition fees by 33%.

Value of Scholarship(s)

% discount


The scholarship will be automatically awarded to applicants who already have a first class honours degree that is recognised to UK standard.

Application Procedure

The scholarship will be automatically awarded to applicants who meet the criteria.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

The minimum entry level required for this course is a first or second-class honours degree from a recognised university or a recognised professional qualification with relevant work experience. Students shall also have satisfied the Programme Director that they have sufficient background knowledge to undertake the degree. It is likely that they will already have a background of study in history or a cognate discipline and that they have identified a research topic which they wish to study and which they are qualified to pursue.

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