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Aberystwyth University

MA 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.

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 69% of publications submitted rated as world leading..


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One year full-time. The academic year (September to September) is divided into three semesters: September to January; January to June; June to September.

Contact Time:

Approximately 12-14 hours a week in the first two semesters.  During semester three you will arrange your level of contact time with your assigned supervisor.


Assessment will be through a combination of examinations, project work, short reports, essays and dissertation.  It may, depending on the modules chosen, include seminar presentations, review essays and literature searches.

Entry Requirements:

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 Bachelor’s 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.

Course Fees:

Please see the tuition fee pages for current tuition fees. Please note that all fees are subject to an annual increase.


Possible funding opportunities can be found in our funding calculator.


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