Master of War Studies

Exploring the Causes & Consequences of Warfare

An understanding of war, the good and the bad, is crucial in examining how states and societies have evolved. By exploring the phenomenon of war and conflict from historical, political, philosophical and sociological viewpoints we can better understand the causes, conduct, and consequences of warfare from a variety of perspectives.  

The Master of War Studies at UNSW Canberra is an interdisciplinary degree designed to broaden and deepen your understanding of the nature of war, and its place in history. You will be introduced to different conceptual and methodological approaches and will learn how to apply political, social and cultural perspectives to the study of war. This degree is well suited for history teachers and postgraduate scholars from a range of disciplines who have an interest in military history or armed conflict.  

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You can find more information on this degree on the UNSW Handbook.

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Students undertaking the Master of War Studies are required to complete eight courses (48 UOC), with at least four courses (24 UOC) taken from those in the Core Course list. The core courses will normally be offered annually or at least every two years; the further options will be offered on an opportunity basis. 

Students who obtain at least a Distinction average in the four core courses may take a 12 UOC research thesis, ZHSS8401 Research Thesis A 6 UOC and ZHSS8402 Research Thesis B 6 UOC. You must enrol in both units to fulfil the requirements. You may enrol in the two units concurrently to do the thesis in a single semester, or consecutively to complete it over two semesters. Enrolment is subject to approval by the Postgraduate Coordinator.

Students must select at least four core courses:

Core Courses Semester 1 - 2022 Semester 2 - 2022
Modern Naval History and Strategy Not Offered Not Offered
Fighting the Second World War Distance Mode Not Offered
The First World War 1914-1919 Not Offered Not Offered
Australian Military History: An Introduction Not Offered Distance Mode
The History of Special Operations Distance Mode Not Offered


 Students must select at least four elective or additional core courses:

Elective Courses Semester 1 - 2022 Semester 2 - 2022
American Empire Not Offered Not Offered
War and Memory Not Offered Not Offered
Strategic Communication Not Offered Not Offered
Genocide: Perception and Intervention Distance Mode Not Offered
The Development of the Art of War: A Survey Not Offered Not Offered
Small Wars of Empire: Colonial Warfare from 1700 Not Offered Not Offered
The Vietnam Wars: A Thirty Year Conflict Not Offered Not Offered
Civil Wars: Societies in Conflict Not Offered Not Offered
Russian Military History Not Offered Not Offered
History of Post-colonial Warfare in Africa Not Offered Not Offered
Ten American Conflicts: The Origins of US Military History Not Offered Not Offered
A British Warfare?: Strategy and Defence Policy 1856 -1945 Not Offered Not Offered
The Cold War Not Offered Not Offered
Air Power in the 21st Century: Strategic Issues Not Offered Not Offered
Contemporary Strategy Not Offered Not Offered
The Justice of War: States, Self-Defence and Force Not Offered Not Offered
Weapons of Mass Destruction and Global Security Not Offered Not Offered
Australia and Cyber War Not Offered Distance Mode
Special Operations: Theory and Strategic Utility Distance Mode Not Offered
GRIM Threats Not Offered Distance Mode
Military Game Changers in 21st Century Warfare Not Offered Not Offered



Please refer to the UNSW Handbook for the Entry Requirements.