University of Sussex

University of Sussex

Geopolitics and Grand Strategy

At the outset of the 21st century the world is undergoing a significant process of strategic and geopolitical redefinition; several major powers have been developing comprehensive doctrines aligning a range of national economic, political and social policies with their wider strategic objectives in the 21st century: Grand strategies. This programme investigates the geopolitical relationships and strategies of the major states within the international system. It focuses on: The historical evolution and current revival of the concept of geopolitics, including global economic rivalries, energy security, competition over resources, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the war on terrorism, and democracy promotion; the grand strategies developed by the major powers including the foreign and security policy of the US, the debate over American grand strategy, the re-emergence of Russia and its foreign/security policy, and the rise of China with its grand strategy the key regional dynamics of contemporary geopolitics including the international security of the Middle East, NATO and the future of transatlantic security, European security, international security in south and east Asia, and geopolitical rivalries in Africa. The course includes an optional fieldtrip to Brussels, Belgium.

Entry requirements

A 1st- or upper 2nd-Class undergraduate Honours degree (or equivalent), preferably in a humanities or social sciences subject; other relevant degrees include political science, economics, geography, history, law, philosophy, sociology, and area studies. A degree in the social sciences or humanities does not constitute a strict requirement and applicants with degrees in other disciplines will be given due consideration. Relevant work and voluntary experience will also be considered, particularly in cases where candidates fall short of the academic requirement.

Course modules

Autumn term: Geopolitics and grand strategy; new security challenges. Spring term: You choose 2 from: East Asia in the international system; foreign policy analysis; governing global capitalism; human rights in international relations; irregular warfare; peace processes and post-conflict reconstruction; queer international relations; reading foucault in international relations; religions, cultures and civilisations in international relations; rethinking imperialism; Russian foreign and security policy; science, technology and war; terror, security and the state; the global politics of disease and biosecurity; the Middle East in global order; the political economy of development; the political economy of global finance; the political economy of the environment. You also take a research methods and professional skills module, which provides training to prepare you for further research and a professional career. This module is delivered as a series of workshops, including one that prepares you for your dissertation. Summer term: You carry out work on your MA dissertation under the supervision of a member of faculty. There is also a dissertation with placement option.

Assessment methods

Geopolitics and grand strategy is assessed by a 5,000-word term paper; New security challenges is assessed by an unseen paper; Assessment of the spring-term options is by 5,000-word term papers. You will also write a 10,000-word dissertation.


Qualification Study mode Start month Fee Course duration
MA Full-time October 2016 GBP 6,060 per Year 1 (England) 1 years
MA Full-time October 2016 GBP 14,450 per Year 1 (International) 1 years
MA Full-time October 2016 GBP 6,060 per Year 1 (Northern Ireland) 1 years
MA Full-time October 2016 GBP 6,060 per Year 1 (Scotland) 1 years
MA Full-time October 2016 GBP 6,060 per Year 1 (Wales) 1 years
MA Part-time October 2016 - 2 years

Campus details

Campus name Town Postcode Region Main campus Campus Partner
Sussex House Brighton BN1 9RH South East

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Key information

Telephone number: 
01273 877686