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 a well-established Master’s degree in Modern War Studies and Military History based in London. The course commences in October with a ‘Research Skills Study Day’ 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 both a series of guest seminars at which some of the most eminent names in the field present papers and then a course symposium at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. 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.
Guest speaker seminars 2019-20
All seminars will take place at the University’s London premises at 51 Gower Street, Bloomsbury, London, WC1E 6HJ as follows.
16 October 2019 Dr Emily Ferris (Royal United Services Institute) ‘It’s Putinomics, stupid!’ How Russia’s Financial Concerns Drive Military Action’
13 November 2019 Dr Andre Brazzodura (Oxford University) ‘The Tangled Skein – US involvement in Palestine and Israel since the 1940s’
11 December 2019 Tim Marshall (Bestselling author and former foreign affairs editor) ‘From Walls and Frontier Barriers: Population Movement and Security’
15 January 2020 John Sipher (Former head of CIA Station Russia) ‘A New Russian Threat? Russian Active Measures in Recent Years’
12 February 2020 Lt Gen Steven Shepro (Deputy Chairman of NATO Military Committee) ‘The Future of NATO in Uncertain Time’
11 March 2020 Professor Mike Neiberg (US War College) ‘From the Ground Up: Forging a new American Military’
25 April 2020 (Royal Military Academy Sandhurst Symposium) Mark Seddon (Media Advisor to the President of the UN and director UN Studies Centre) ‘The UN and Multinationalism in the Age of Trump’
25 April 2020 (Royal Military Academy Sandhurst Symposium) Maj Gen Susan Ridge (Director General Army Legal Services) ‘Senior Army Leadership, Ethics and the Law’
25 April 2020 (Royal Military Academy Sandhurst Symposium) WO1 Glenn Haughton (Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chiefs of Staff Committee) British Army Solider) ‘An Insider’s View from Whitehall: The Armed Forces, Change and Advising the Chiefs of Staff’
25 April 2020 (Royal Military Academy Sandhurst Symposium) Dr Matt Offord, Univ of Glasgow ‘Can Military Leadership be Taught? Lessons from History’
Symposium Day at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst
This event will include four guest speakers, a light lunch and an exclusive tour of the Academy’s famous buildings.
Full details, including the title of papers, are to be confirmed. All of the programme’s London seminars will take place at the University’s London premises at 51 Gower Street, Bloomsbury, London, WC1E 6HJ as follows.
Each of the guest speaker seminars is followed by a dinner at a nearby restaurant. As the dinners are optional, their cost is not included in the tuition fees.
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
Professor Lloyd Clark, Director of Research, Centre for Army Leadership (Royal Military Academy Sandhurst) and Professorial Research Fellow in War Studies, Humanities Research Institute, University of Buckingham
What our students say
Patrick Walker: ‘The Master’s course exceeded all expectations. The quality of the lecture programme and access to the extraordinary list of speakers, all leaders in their fields, was quite excellent, as was the painstaking guidance given to us on scoping and writing our dissertations. Professor Clark [the Course Director] was tireless in his encouragement, wide-ranging in his suggestions, and an inspiration to my crafting and completing the course essay. It is a testament to his engagement that I am now taking forward my studies towards a PhD in the subject.’
Dr Andy Winrow: ‘The MA has been a really rewarding project and a great antidote to my professional work. The seminars have been great fun and there has been a real sense of camaraderie among the students.’
Approved by MOD for Enhanced Learning Credits. Provider ID 1460
The minimum entry level required for this course is as follows:
a first or upper second-class honours degree from a recognised university or,
a recognised professional qualification with relevant work experience.
In cases where candidates are applying on the basis of work experience, they may be asked to complete a short written assignment and/or attend an interview as part of the applications process.
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. Due to their flexibility, our London-based MAs by research attract a wide variety of applicants from a range of backgrounds, including people in full-time employment and retirees. Our current students range in age from 21 to 75.
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.
When you are offered a place at the University you will be notified of the terms and conditions 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 terms and conditions outlined in your offer letter. Your offer letter and the terms and conditions contain important information which you should read carefully before accepting any offer. Read the admissions terms and conditions > >
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 25,000 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 25,000 words.
The University’s Course Directors, students’ supervisors, and the Research Officer and Tutor for Graduate Students are available to discuss students’ post-graduation plans and how they may utilise most effectively the skills acquired during their studies.
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 2018, you will pay the same termly fee for the duration of your degree – you will not be affected by the price increase in September 2018). 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.
A 20% discount is available on the tuition fees for this programme to all serving members of in the British Armed Forces (regardless of rank).
A new system of postgraduate loans for Masters degrees in the UK was introduced in August 2016 with support from the UK Government. The loan will provide up to £10,609 for taught and research Masters courses in all subject areas. The loans can be used for tuition fees, living expenses or both. Find out more >>
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.