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Postgraduate taught

MA Applied Security Strategy (MStrat) - 2023 entry

Please note: The below is for 2023 entries. Click here for 2022 entries.
UCAS code 1234
Duration 1 year full time
2 years part time
Entry year 2022
Campus Streatham Campus
Discipline Politics and International Relations

Programme Director: Dr Martin Robson
Web: Enquire online 
0300 555 6060 (UK)  
+44 (0)1392 723192 (non-UK)


  • The MA Applied Security Strategy (MStrat) is designed to develop future leaders and decision-makers, producing confident strategic thinkers able to execute policy and strategy calmly under pressure at the very highest levels.
  • Following an Ends, Ways, Means, Implementation structure the programme is designed to meet the needs of current and future strategic practitioners and anyone who wishes to understand strategy-in-action.
  • Based in Knightley on the Streatham campus you will benefit from a dedicated teaching and study environment.
  • You will work with world class academics drawn from across the University of Exeter and high profile practitioners drawn from the SSI Honorary Network will provide real world insight.
  • MStrat alumni currently work across the UK and International Public and Private sectors and you will receive insight from this unrivalled Alumni Network about your own career choices.
  • In a world where resources are scarce, information is ambiguous, where threats and security are hard to measure; the MStrat shapes leaders who can give us a wiser future.

Apply online

View 2022 Entry

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Programme Director: Dr Martin Robson

Web: Enquire online

Phone: +44 (0)1392 72 72 72

Top 100 worldwide for the subject in the QS World University Rankings 2022

Top 15 in the UK for Politics

13th in The Complete University Guide 2022

Employability focussed

Entry requirements

To be considered for the MA Applied Security Strategy, you should have a 2:1 or equivalent in your initial degree. If you don’t have a first degree, or you have attained a 2:2 or equivalent, and you can demonstrate significant relevant experience and career progression, you may still be eligible for the programme and we would welcome your application.

You should include a personal statement clearly indicating your motivation for studying this programme, and long-term career goals within the security strategy sector.

Applications from sector professionals, or applicants with relevant experience seeking academic qualification, or the opportunity to enhance skills or knowledge in this field are encouraged.

Please note we consider your personal statement as an integral part of your application, and this should cover:

  • How your current/previous studies are particularly good preparation for the MA Applied Security Strategy
  • How your sector/subject knowledge and experience are particularly good preparation for the MA Applied Security Strategy
  • Evidence of your relevant extra-curricular activities and interests
  • Evidence of your leadership and team working skills
  • Evidence of your problem-solving/decision making skills
  • How the MA Applied Security Strategy will help you achieve your desired career aspirations or academic progression

How to apply

Places on the MA Applied Security Strategy are limited, so we recommend you apply as early as possible. In order for us to process your application as quickly as possible, please try and submit the following documents with your application form:

  • Transcripts
  • Reference

If you are a funded student, you will need to upload your sponsor documentation as part of the application process.

Once we have reached capacity for the programme, offer holders will be placed on a waiting list and will be contacted if a place becomes available.

Deferred entry

We do not normally consider requests for deferred entry either at application stage or after an offer has been made. Any applicant who can no longer take up a place offered to them is asked to reapply in the following year.  However, due to the current Covid-19 situation, applicants for the 2021/22 cycle who are unable to take up their place can contact the Admissions team to discuss whether deferral may be an option for them.

Please note this programme is not open to fast track applications due to the emphasis placed on the content of the personal statement.

Entry requirements for international students

Please visit our entry requirements section for equivalencies from your country and further information on English language requirements.

Read more

Entry requirements for international students

English language requirements


Please visit our entry requirements section for equivalencies from your country and further information on English language requirements.

Honestly loving it all and the MStrat has really given me an advantage in the Whitehall bubble. The applied element and flexible, holistic approach to thinking facilitated by the MStrat has given me a head start in my career.


MStrat student

Course content

The MStrat is a challenging, real-world, employability focussed programme designed with input from world class academics and external stakeholders. It is block-taught, cohort based and benefits from a strong compulsory central pathway focussed around Ends, Ways, Means, Implementation. You will be exposed to key concepts in ‘Applied Strategy’ from the world class academics from the SSI and wider University of Exeter community as well as unrivalled insight from high-profile practitioners drawn from the SSI’s Honorary Network.

You will learn about applied strategy from an interdisciplinary perspective, with a keen focus on enhancing your skillset through ‘tools of the trade’ sessions on your strategic mindset through crisis management simulations, field trips and policy focused work.

You will complete a MA level academic dissertation with specific research skills and methods training.

The modules we outline here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.


2022/23 entry

UK fees per year:

£15,500 full-time; £7,750 part-time

International fees per year:

£26,000 full-time


We invest heavily in scholarships for talented prospective Masters students and have over £2.5 million in scholarships available, including our Global Excellence Scholarships* and Green Futures Scholarships* for international fee paying students.

For information on how you can fund your postgraduate degree at the University of Exeter, please visit our dedicated funding page.

*Selected programmes only. Please see the Terms and Conditions for each scheme for further details.

As a Commonwealth Shared Scholar, I had an interesting and useful experience at the Strategy and Security Institute (SSI) due mainly to the warm reception of the SSI staff and the uniqueness of the MStrat programme.

The course is exceptional not just because of its rich academic package, but also the noteworthy field trips and experience sharing by practitioners, offered by external speakers. Students are availed the opportunity to apply their knowledge in real life situations and get their career ready.

Read more from Issa


Commonwealth Scholar

Teaching and research

Learning and teaching

Each of the core modules of Ends, Ways, Means, Implementation is mainly block-taught, residential through a combination of lectures, seminar discussions, presentations, group work with assigned reading and academic and applied assignments.

Teaching is delivered by core SSI staff and from colleagues drawn from across the University with speakers also drawn from the SSI Honorary Network.

You will have an individual supervisor for your dissertation, which is a 10,000 word extended essay on a topic of your choice (following discussion and approval from your supervisor).

You will work in a group for the duration of the course assessing the policy options around a contemporary security issue. You will be assigned a supervisor to guide you through this process.


  • Employers value MStrat graduates because they are: critical analytical thinkers, proactive problem solvers, effective communicators, policy focussed and technically and digital literate.
  • You will receive sector focussed career support through engagement with the SSI Honorary Network and dedicated employability sessions.
  • Field trips immerse you in the policy world.
  • MStrat graduates work across the public sector, private sector and a range of consultancies as well as pursuing further study including PhD level.

Careers support

The Exeter University careers advisory service offer expert guidance to all students and will help you plan your future through activities such as psychometric testing, employer presentations, skills events, practice job interviews and CV preparation. Visit the employment and professional development pages for more information, including podcasts and profiles, about the range of support available.

The MStrat is built around a unique combination of the theoretical and the practical to create the world's future strategists and security experts.

To develop your critical thinking and to understand the changing environment in which strategies are made, you will be taught by devoted top notch professors but will also be exposed to the real challenges faced by the upper echelons of both the security and the business worlds.

Read more from Meriam


Chevening Scholar