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 which some of the most eminent names in the field present papers, and course symposia at the Honourable Artillery Company’s Armoury House and 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.
Seminar and Research Days 2021-22
13 October 2021, Brigadier (Retd)Ben Barry: Military Lessons of the Afghan and Iraq Wars
17 November 2021, General theLord Richards: Operational Art in the 21st Century: A Commander’s Reflections
12 January 2022, Major General (Retd)Paul Nanson: Commanding in Complexity: Basra, 2003
22 February 2022, Professor ChristopherCoker: Why War?
16 March 2022, ColonelLucy Giles: Military Leadership: A Perspective
Research Day, Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst
May 2022 Professor Lloyd Clark: Field Marshal Montgomery as Chief of the Imperial General Staff, 1946-48
Dr Andrew Tiche: A Troubled Continent: Wars, Coups and Insurgencies in Modern Africa
Dr Gareth Price: Afghanistan 2020-22 – Unfinished Business?
Dr Linda Risso: Preventive Diplomacy: NATO’s Operation Essential Harvest, Macedonia, 2001
Dr Aaron Edwards: Spies in the IRA: British Intelligence and the Northern Ireland Troubles.
About the speakers
Brigadier (retd)Ben Barry is a senior fellow for Land Warfare at IISS and author of Blood, Metal and Dust: How Victory Turned to Defeat in Afghanistan and Iraq.
General the Lord Richards was Commander-in-Chief British Army Land Forces in 2008 before becoming Chief of the General Staff the following year and Chief of the Defence Staff in 2010.
Major General (retd)Paul Nanson is a former Commandant of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, and General Officer Commanding the Army Recruitment and Initial Training Command.
ProfessorChristopher Coker is director of IDEAS, the LSE’s foreign policy think tank, and was formerly Professor of International Relations. His latest book Why War? was published in 2020.
ColonelLucy Giles is a serving British Army officer who was the first female college commander at Sandhurst and is now President of the Army Officer Selection Board.
DrGareth Price is a Chatham House senior research fellow responsible for its Asia-Pacific Programme.
Dr Aaron Edwards is a senior lecturer at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst whose book is titled UVF: Behind the Mask.
Dr Andrew Tchie is a senior research fellow at the RUSI and an expert in African security studies who has previously worked with various UN Missions.
Dr Lind Risso is a senior research fellow at the Centre for Army Leadership and formerly a historian at the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe.
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.
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 2020, you will pay the same termly fee for the duration of your degree – you will not be affected by a price increase in September 2020). 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.
Help and support
If you need any help making your application or if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch using the form below, or by phone on +44 (0)1280 820227. We are available between 09:00 and 17:00, Monday to Friday.
If you would like to make any changes to your current application, please contact Admissions using the form below.