Master of Special Operations and Irregular Warfare (8632)
Contemporary armed conflicts have seen the employment of special operations forces on an unprecedented scale, yet special operations remains an understudied and often misunderstood instrument of military policy. The Master of Special Operations and Irregular Warfare uniquely addresses this gap by offering students a combination of special operations focused core courses alongside a selection of electives addressing broader issues in strategy and security, providing the student both a focused view of the phenomenon of special operations and a broad understanding of their context. The Master of Special Operations is ideal for special operations and other military personnel seeking to broaden their understanding of special operations beyond the tactical and operational skills and capabilities involved. The program also provides an excellent framework of reference for other government employees and contractors who require a good understanding of Special Operations. Postgraduate scholars seeking to develop a research competence in this field will also find in the Master of Special Operations and Irregular Warfare a valuable foundation.
Dr Belinda Edwards
Ph: (02) 6268 8867
Program Objectives and Graduate Attributes
- Advanced disciplinary knowledge: Graduates will have acquired an advanced knowledge of special operations and both the strategic and regional context of the employment of this instrument of military force in the international arena.
- Research-based learning: Graduates will have developed an understanding of how new knowledge is produced and deeper knowledge acquired in the study of special operations.
- Cognitive skills and critical thinking: Graduates will have developed advanced critical thinking and problem solving skills applicable to a range of strategy practices and security environments.
- Communication and adaptive skills: Graduates will be able to communicate complex ideas to a range of audiences, undertake both independent and collaborative enquiry, apply technical skills and be adaptive learners and practitioners.
- Global outlook: Graduates will gain an awareness of local and global dimensions of the management of armed conflict.
Students undertaking the Master of Special Operations and Irregular Warfare are required to take 8 courses (48 UOC) comprising 24 UOC of core courses, with the remaining courses selected in any combination from the elective courses.
The core courses will normally be offered annually or at least every two years; the elective courses will be offered on an opportunity basis.
Students must complete the following 4 core courses (24 UOC):
|Core Courses||Semester 1 - 2019||Semester 2 - 2019|
|History of Special Operations||Not Offered||Not Offered|
|Special Operations: Theory and Strategic Utility||Not Offered||Not Offered|
|GRIM Threats||Distance Mode||Distance Mode|
|Ethics in Special Operations and Irregular Warfare||Distance Mode||Not Offered|
Students must complete a minimum of 4 elective courses (24 UOC) from the following list:
|Elective Courses||Semester 1 - 2019||Semester 2 - 2019|
|Leadership||Distance Mode||Not Offered|
|Professional Practice||Distance Mode||Distance Mode|
|Genocide: Perception and Intervention||Distance Mode||Not Offered|
|ZHSS8217||Amphibious Warfare||Not Offered||Not Offered|
|ZHSS8221||Development of the Art of War||Not Offered||Not Offered|
|ZHSS8224||Small Wars of Empire||Distance Mode||Not Offered|
|ZHSS8225||Australian Military History||Not Offered||Not Offered|
|ZHSS8226||The Vietnam Wars||Not Offered||Not Offered|
|ZHSS8227||Civil Wars||Not Offered||Not Offered|
|ZHSS8403||Global Security||Distance Mode||Not Offered|
|ZHSS8409||Asia-Pacific Security||Not Offered||Not Offered|
|ZHSS8410||Australian Defence Policy: Concepts and Challenges||Not Offered||Distance Mode|
|ZHSS8417||Air Power in the 21st Century||Not Offered||Not Offered|
|ZHSS8430||China's Security Policy and Military Modernisation||Not Offered||Not Offered|
|ZHSS8435||Contemporary Strategy||Not Offered||Distance Mode|
|ZHSS8438||The Justice of War: States, Self-Defence and Force||Not Offered||Not Offered|
|ZHSS8439||Reforming Repressive Regimes||Not Offered||Not Offered|
|ZHSS8441||Cyber-Security and World Politics||Not Offered||Distance Mode|
|ZHSS8442||Conflict Transformation||Not Offered||Not Offered|
|ZHSS8452||Weapons of Mass Destruction and Global Security||Not Offered||Not Offered|
|ZHSS8453||Culture and Conflict||Not Offered||Not Offered|
|ZHSS8456||Australian Cyber Forces||Not Offered||Distance Mode|
The option of undertaking a research project is available to Masters students who attain a high credit average or better in courses worth 24 UOC and is subject to the approval of the Head of School. The research project is recommended for those with a strong interest in pursuing original research in a particular area or intending to undertake a higher level research qualification. This project may be undertaken in a single session or as a full year course.
ZHSS8400 - Research Project - International and Political Study (Single Session) (12 UOC)
ZHSS8401 - Research Project - International and Political Study (Full Year) (6 UOC x 2 semesters)
1.1 Completion of a Bachelor's degree with Honours with a major in a cognate discipline; or
1.2 Completion of a Graduate Diploma in a cognate discipline; or
1.3 Completion of a 3 or 4-year Bachelor degree in a cognate discipline, which includes a major in the cognate discipline; and have completed at least 3-years full-time professional experience in a cognate discipline; or
1.4 Completion of a Bachelor degree in a NON-cognate discipline and have completed at least 4-years full-time professional experience in a cognate discipline; or
1.5 Evidence of other academic qualifications and/or professional experience submitted to the Program Authority may be considered based on assessment of evidence of
achievement of equivalent learning and in accordance with UNSW Recognition of Prior Learning Procedure.
International and Political Studies, Strategic Studies, Security Studies, History, Anthropology and related disciplines
See UNSW Canberra pathway options for admission to the MSpecOps program. (Link to UNSW Canberra website)