To recognise the achievement of graduation from the Advanced Command and Staff Course (ACSC) or its international equivalent, The University of Buckingham offers a special six-months discounted MA by Research in the field of Modern War Studies and Contemporary Military History. This offer is open to all officers (regular and reserve) who have graduated from the ACSC or an equivalent course in their international home institutions.
The course commences in October with a ‘Research Skills Study Day’ and, after 6 months of supervised independent research, culminates with the student’s submission of a dissertation of approximately 12,500 – 25,000 words.During their time of study, candidates are encouraged to attend both a series of guest seminars at the Army and Navy Club, Pall Mall, and a course research day at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.
The course is based in London, but there are no residential requirements for the course. Past students have come from Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas. Face-to-face tutorials remain the preferred way of teaching, but other (online) methods can also be used.
In order to make full use of the course and its guest seminars, it is advised to start with the course at the beginning of the academic year (October). We recognise that this might not be possible for everybody and, therefore, offer a second start-date in January.
Induction and Research Skills Day
Location: Humanities Research Institute, 51 Gower Street, London WC1E
Time: 10:00am – 4:00pm
Date: Saturday 30 September 2023
Seminar and Research Day 2023-24
Seminar Location: Army and Navy Club, 36-39 Pall Mall, St. James’s. London SW1Y 5JN
Time: Seminars take place from 6.00pm and are followed by dinner.
22 November 2023: Aiden Aslin ‘Putin’s Prisoner-My time as a prisoner of war in Ukraine’ [in Conversation Professor Lloyd Clark] (British citizen who fought as a Ukrainian Marine in Mariupol)
6 December 2023:Dr John Greenacre ‘Scorched Earth: Conflict, Landscape and the Environment (Lecturer in History, University of Suffolk)
17 January 2024: Lt Col (Rtd) Crispin Black ‘8 June 1982-The Falklands War and the most costly day of combat since the Second World War.’ (Author and commentator)
21 February 2024: Professor Joanna Bourke ‘From shell shock to traumatic brain injury. A history of military psychiatry’ (Birkbeck College, University of London)
20 March 2024:Dr Matthew Powell ‘Round pegs in square holes-The perils of Close Air Support in the modern era’ (Teaching Fellow in Strategic and Air Power Studies, University of Portsmouth)
17 April 2024: Professor Lloyd Clark ‘The Last Hurrah! Military raids in 1945 and their operational effectiveness’ (Professorial Research Fellow, University of Buckingham)
Study Day at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst 2024
Study Day Location: The Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, Camberley, Surrey GU15 4PQ
Date: Saturday 18 May 2024
Dr Gary Buck: ‘Operation Market Garden: Cognitive biases and Field Marshal Montgomery’s decision making’
Professor David Martin Jones: ‘The Ukraine War and the changing geopolitics of central Europe’ (Honorary Visiting Professor, University of Buckingham)
Mr Andrew Fox: ‘Groupthink and Sunk Cost Fallacy: Task Force Helmand, 2004-10’ (Senior Lecturer, Royal Military Academy Sandhurst)
WO1 Mark Willis: ‘A Perspective on RAF Leadership – 40 Years in the making’ (Warrant Officer, Tedder Academy, RAF Cranwell)
Approved by MOD for Enhanced Learning Credits. Provider ID 1460
Every officer graduated from the ICSC (regular and reserve), or an equivalent course in their international home institutions, can apply for the course.
A NATO SLP 3333 is acceptable as proof of the required English proficiency for those whose first language is not English.
If you are unsure whether you qualify for the course based on your home staff college achievements, please contact the course director. We recognise that your military education might have differed from the British model. We have vast experience with international staff colleges and some of our academics have been educated at both British and international staff colleges, so are well equipped to advise you.
There are no residential requirements and your continuous presence in London is not required. However, we do encourage attendance at guest seminars and face-to-face tutorials in addition to other (online) ways of keeping contact with your supervisor.
Candidates apply online, sending in their supporting documents, and will be assessed on this basis by the Programme Director. The Programme Director or Admissions Assistant will be happy to answer any enquiries.
Student Contract for prospective students
When you are offered a place at the University you will be notified of the student contract between the University and students on our courses of study. When you accept an offer of a place on the course at the University a legal contract is formed between you and the University on the basis of the student contract in your offer letter. Your offer letter and the student contract contain important information which you should read carefully before accepting an offer. Read the Student Contract.
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.
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 normally 12,500 words. 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.
Examination is by a research dissertation on an approved topic of not less than 12,500 words.
The fees for this course are:
Full-time (6 Months)
TBC = To be confirmed
The University reserves the right to increase course fees annually in line with inflation linked to the Retail Price Index (RPI). If the University intends to increase your course fees it will notify you via email of this as soon as reasonably practicable.
Course fees do not include additional costs such as books, equipment, writing up fees and other ancillary charges. Where applicable, these additional costs will be made clear.
British military candidates can use their Enhanced Learning Credits (regular officers) or Standard Learning Credits (reserve officers) towards the course fee.
Please note that The University of Buckingham has four terms per year. The tuition fees quoted are for the degree (e.g. if you start a degree at Buckingham in January, you will pay the same termly fee for the duration of your degree – you will not be affected by a price increase the following September). Students will pay the same termly fee for the duration of their studies, unless studies are interrupted and resumed later. The tuition fee quoted is therefore the total cost of the degree.
You can apply directly using our online application form – all you need to do is click the ‘apply’ button at the bottom of this page.