Applications are open for entry in October 2016. If you have any questions, please contact:
Humanities Research Institute
Tel: +44 (0)1280 820204
MA Modern War Studies and Contemporary Military History
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 and Contemporary Military History based at a central London Club. The course commences in October 2015 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 under Teaching & Assessment) 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.
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.
Programme Director and Admissions Tutor
Approved by MOD for Enhanced Learning Credits. Provider ID 1460
The minimum entry level required for this course is as follows:
- 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. The emphasis of the Buckingham MA in War Studies and Contemporary Military History is on independent research.
Age is no barrier to learning and we welcome all applications from suitably qualified students.
We are happy to consider all international applications and if you are an international student, you may find it useful to visit our international pages for details of entry requirements from your home country.
The University is a UKVI Tier 4 Sponsor.
If English is not your first language, please check our postgraduate English language requirements. If your English levels don’t meet our minimum requirements, you may be interested in applying for our Pre-sessional English Language Foundation Programmes.
Candidates apply online, sending in their supporting documents, and will be assessed on this basis by the Programme Director.
The Admissions Team would be happy to answer any questions you may have:
We offer high quality, traditional Oxbridge-style teaching, which leads to our degrees being recognised around the world. The standards of degrees and awards are safeguarded by distinguished external examiners – senior academic staff from other universities in the UK – who approve and moderate assessed work.
High calibre staff
Most of our academic staff teach for three terms out of four, with the remaining term used for research. Because of this, we have no difficulty in attracting high calibre, highly respected lecturers, many of whom also have a background in business or industry and can offer networking opportunities for students.
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.
This is a London-based course. The seminars will be held at the Royal Air Force Club, 128 Piccadilly, W1. 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 2015 to March 2016, seminar speakers will include recently serving generals and some of the most distinguished scholars and commentators in the field of modern war studies. The 2015-16 seminar programme is:
Research Skills Study Day
Saturday 3 October 2015
- 7 October 2015: General Sir Rupert Smith (Former Deputy Supreme Commander Europe and author), “New Paradigms of War”
- 21 October 2015: Maj.-Gen. (rtd) Christopher Elliot (Author and military commentator), “High Command”
- 4 November 2015: General the Lord Dannatt (Former Chief of the General Staff), “The Strategic Horizon”
- 18 November 2015: Professor Lloyd Clark (University of Buckingham and RMAS), “Generalship”
- 2 December 2015: Lord Ashdown (Author, politician and diplomat), “Military Options, Politics and the Challenge of ISIS”
- 13 January 2016: Professor Jeremy Black (University of Exeter), “Airpower since 1945”
- 27 January 2016: Admiral The Lord West (Former First Sea Lord), “The Royal Navy in the Falklands War”
- 10 February 2016: General The Lord Richards (Former Chief of the Defence Staff) , “Military Learning Lessons from History”
- 24 February 2016: Professor Sir Hew Strachan (University of St Andrews), “War since Vietnam and Popular Opinion”
- 9 March 2016: Professor Sönke Neitzel (University of Potsdam), “NATO and the Application of Force”
All students are invited to attend the guest seminars and dinners that follow. Attendance at these dinners is entirely at the choice of the student, and their cost is not covered by the tuition fee.
Research Skills Study Day
Saturday 1 October 2016
Seminars and Dinners
- Wednesday 12 October 2016
- Wednesday 26 October 2016
- Wednesday 9 November 2016
- Wednesday 23 November 2016
- Wednesday 7 December 2016
- Wednesday 11 January 2017
- Wednesday 25 January 2017
- Wednesday 8 February 2017
- Wednesday 22 February 2017
- Wednesday 8 March 2017
Examination is by a research dissertation on an approved topic of not less than 20,000 words.
We have a high graduate employment rate, The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) ranked Buckingham top for graduate employability with 98.1% in July 2015.
Our graduates have gone on to further study at most of the world’s leading universities, including Harvard, London, Oxford and Cambridge and secured jobs in senior positions around the world. Among our alumni we have a graduate who became the head of his country’s civil service and one who became a leading Formula One motor-racing driver. Another secured a position as the Minister of Sabah and one female law graduate became the first British lawyer to become a French Advocate.
The tuition fees quoted below are for the degree (e.g. if you start an MBA at Buckingham in January 2016, you will pay the same termly fee for the duration of your degree – you will not be affected by the price increase in September 2016). Fees are normally paid in termly instalments.
Unless specifically stated otherwise, postgraduate degrees are normally studied over four terms (one year).
Tuition fees September 2015 – August 2016
#Students will pay the same termly fee for the duration of their studies. The tuition fee quoted is therefore the total cost of the degree.
*All fees are subject to annual increase (in September). Total tuition fees will vary if the degree spans more than one calendar year.
♣Associate fees exclude dinners.
♦The fee for undertaking a research degree in the Clore Laboratory will include a bench fee. This will be dependent on the nature of the research project and will be notified to you in your offer letter.
‡20% discount available for accredited embassy staff (International Affairs and Diplomacy by research) / serving Officers in the British Armed Forces (War Studies).
+ Dinners following the seminars are available at a small additional cost.
Students who graduate from the University and plan to continue their studies with a postgraduate degree at Buckingham can benefit from a very generous automatic discount on their fees:
- 33%, those with a first class honours degree from Buckingham
- 25%, those with a Second Class Honours, Upper Division (2:1) degree from Buckingham
Details of scholarships can be found on our main Bursaries and Scholarships page. You should make an application to study at the University and receive an offer letter confirming our acceptance of your application before applying for a scholarship.
You may also find it useful to visit our External Funding page.
Due to the mode of study on this course you will not normally need a room in University accommodation during your degree.
However, if you require short-term accommodation in Buckingham we would be happy to provide a list of local bed and breakfast or hotel accommodation. Alternatively, please contact our Accommodation Office for advice.