Postgraduate Courses - Intelligence and Strategic Studies (Specialist)
MA Intelligence and Strategic Studies (Specialist)
The Masters in Intelligence and Strategic Studies is one of the most popular taught postgraduate schemes in the Graduate School. It blends the strengths of the Department of International Politics in the area of intelligence studies with that of strategic studies.
With regard to the former field, the Department of International Politics at Aberystwyth University is one of the leading centres in Western Europe for the teaching and research in intelligence studies. In terms of the sub-field of international relations, the Department was one of the pioneering centres for the study and teaching of strategic studies in the United Kingdom and appointed the first lecturer in strategic studies at a British university in the early 1960s.
One year full-time. The academic year (September to September) is
divided into three semesters: September to January; January to June;
June to September.
During the first two semesters you will normally take one two-hour seminar per module per week. You will also have contact with academic staff through participation in research groups, attendance in departmental research seminars and masters workshops and through staff office hours (two one hour sessions per week). There will also be additional sessions working towards developing your master’s dissertation. During semester three you will arrange your level of contact time with your assigned supervisor.
Assessment will be through a combination of essays, reports, project
work, and dissertation. It may, depending on the
modules chosen, include seminar presentations, review essays and
Good Undergraduate degree 2.2 (UK) (or above) equating to a mark
of 56.5 or above. European and International applicants can find their
grade equivalence on our comparability page.
Those who are not graduates must satisfy the University that they are
of the required academic standard to pursue postgraduate study.
English Language Requirements:
If you have a Bachelors' degree from a UK University, you do not need to take an English proficiency test.
Non-native English speakers who do not meet this requirement must
take a University-recognised test of academic English language
proficiency. For further information please see our English Language requirements page.
Please see the tuition fee pages for current tuition fees. Please note that all fees are subject to an annual increase.
This innovative Masters scheme is designed to facilitate the development of a critical awareness of the state of theory and practice in the field of intelligence studies in combination with an in-depth understanding of the contemporary use of force in international relations. The issues and debates explored include contending approaches and conceptual debates concerning the nature and definition of both intelligence and strategic studies, and their mutual relationship.
The Department is renowned for its pioneering research and is recognised as number one in the UK for the study of international politics. In the most recent Research Excellence Framework (2014), the Department of International Politics was placed best in Wales with 76% of publications submitted rated as world leading and internationally excellent.
The core modules are currently as follows:
Intelligence, Security and International Politics 1900-1945
Intelligence, Security and International Politics since 1945
Plus at least one of the following:
Thoughts of War
Strategic Theory and Thinking
Contemporary Strategic Problems
Many core modules can be taken as options by Specialist pathway students on other Master’s degree schemes in the Department (with the exception of core modules that are already oversubscribed). The department teaches a number of dedicated Master’s options each year.
Lecturers in the Department of International Politics are all research active and qualified to PhD level, and most also have a PGCHE.
Welsh medium modules available
Please note: The modules listed below are those currently intended for delivery during the next academic year and may be subject to change. They are included here to give an indication of how the course is structured.
Year 1 Options Specialist students must take both Degree Scheme Core Modules. Research Training students must take the Degree Scheme Module IPM0420
Thoughts Of War: Strategic Theory & Thinkers (s) IPM0920
Intelligence, Security And International Politics Since 1945 IPM0420
Year 1 Options In addition to the Degree Scheme core module and 40 credits from the 'basket' list, students on the Specialist pathway must take an additional 40 credits (2 modules) of modules which may include 1 x 20 credit modules outside the department if desired
Polisi A Chyunllunio Iaith Yng Nghymru Heddiw GWM9520
International Politics 1: Theories And Concepts (s) IPM0520
Year 1 Core (60 Credits) Students must submit a dissertation on a topic relevant to their degree scheme. Students may submit their dissertation in either Welsh or English. Students wishing to submit their Dissertation in Welsh should register for GWM0060.
If you want to study both Intelligence and Strategic Studies at Masters level
If you wish to develop a critical appreciation of the synchronous themes between Intelligence and Strategic Studies
If you wish to nurture a career in politics
If you desire formal recognition of skills highly sought-after by any postgraduate employer
Every course at Aberystwyth University is designed to enhance your vocational and general employability. Your Masters will place you in the jobs market as a highly-trained political specialist with a strength in depth of knowledge on vital subjects such as the organisation of intelligence, covert action, espionage, counter-intelligence, accountability, the impact of 9/11 and the role of intelligence in the invasion of Iraq in 2003 to name some of the more prominent ones. The programme is designed to enable students to evaluate critically the competing interpretations of key international themes, episodes and events, and to acquire the practical skills necessary to work with the original source materials upon which these interpretations are based. You will also graduate with a wealth of postgraduate-level skills which are transferable into any workplace. In addition, the prestige of masters from our department of International Politics wills open doors for you into workplaces in every industry.
Key Skills and Competencies
Alongside the wealth of world-class critical expertise, you will master highly desirable skills in academic research, analysis, argument-formation, presentation and debate. You will also prove your abilities in reflection and self-improvement; you will be able to identify your academic weaknesses and remove them whilst building on your strengths.
Self-Motivation and Discipline
Studying at Masters level requires discipline and self-motivation from every candidate. You will have access to the expertise and helpful guidance of departmental staff, but you are ultimately responsible for devising and completing a sustained programme of scholarly research in pursuit of your Master’s degree. This process of independent study at an extremely high level will strengthen your skills as an independent and self-sufficient worker, a trait prized by most employers.
The International relations Masters programme is designed to give you a range of transferable skills that you can apply in a variety of employment contexts. Upon graduation, you will have proven your abilities in structuring and communicating ideas efficiently, writing for and speaking to a range of audiences, evaluating and organizing information, working effectively with others and working within time frames and to specific deadlines.
How to Apply
Postgraduate applicants can submit their application either on-line or off-line. Please see our How to Apply page for further information.