Master of Special Operations (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 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 a valuable foundation.
Dr Deane-Peter Baker
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 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 listed below.
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):
- ZHSS8231 History of Special Operations (6 UOC)
- ZHSS8459 Special Operations Theory (6 UOC)
- ZHSS8461 Special Operations (6 UOC)
- ZHSS8462 Ethics in Special Operations (6 UOC)
- ZBUS8201 Leadership (6 UOC)
- ZHSS8001 Professional Practice (6 UOC)
- ZHSS8210 Genocide (6 UOC)
- ZHSS8217 Amphibious Warfare (6 UOC)
- ZHSS8221 Development of the Art of War (6 UOC)
- ZHSS8224 Small Wars of Empire (6 UOC)
- ZHSS8225 Australian Military History (6 UOC)
- ZHSS8226 The Vietnam Wars (6 UOC)
- ZHSS8227 Civil Wars (6 UOC)
- ZHSS8403 Global Security (6 UOC)
- ZHSS8409 Asia-Pacific Security (6 UOC)
- ZHSS8410 Australian Defence Policy (6 UOC)
- ZHSS8417 Air Power in the 21st Century (6 UOC)
- ZHSS8430 China's Security Policy (6 UOC)
- ZHSS8435 Contemporary Strategy (6 UOC)
- ZHSS8438 The Justice of War (6 UOC)
- ZHSS8439 Reforming Repressive Regimes (6 UOC)
- ZHSS8441 Cyber-Security (6 UOC)
- ZHSS8442 Conflict Transformation (6 UOC)
- ZHSS8452 Weapons of Mass Destruction (6 UOC)
- ZHSS8453 Culture and Conflict (6 UOC)
- ZHSS8456 Australian Cyber Forces (6 UOC)
Students must complete the following 4 core courses (24 UOC):
|Core Courses||Semester 1 - 2018||Semester 2 - 2018|
|History of Special Operations||Not Offered||Distance Mode|
|Special Operations Theory||Distance Mode||Not Offered|
|Special Operations||Not Offered||Not Offered|
|Ethics in Special Operations||Not Offered||Not Offered|
Students must complete a minimum of 4 elective courses (24 UOC) from the following list:
|Elective Courses||Semester 1 - 2018||Semester 2 - 2018|
|Leadership||Not Offered||Distance Mode|
|Professional Practice||Not Offered||Not Offered|
|Genocide||Not Offered||Not Offered|
|ZHSS8217||Amphibious Warfare||Not Offered||Not Offered|
|ZHSS8221||Development of the Art of War||Not Offered||Distance Mode|
|ZHSS8224||Small Wars of Empire||Not Offered||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||Not Offered||Not Offered|
|ZHSS8409||Asia-Pacific Security||Not Offered||Distance Mode|
|ZHSS8410||Australian Defence Policy||Not Offered||Not Offered|
|ZHSS8417||Air Power in the 21st Century||Not Offered||Distance Mode|
|ZHSS8430||China's Security Policy||Not Offered||Not Offered|
|ZHSS8435||Contemporary Strategy||Not Offered||Not Offered|
|ZHSS8438||The Justice of War||Not Offered||Not Offered|
|ZHSS8439||Reforming Repressive Regimes||Not Offered||Not Offered|
|ZHSS8441||Cyber-Security||Not Offered||Distance Mode|
|ZHSS8442||Conflict Transformation||Not Offered||Not Offered|
|ZHSS8452||Weapons of Mass Destruction||Not Offered||Distance Mode|
|ZHSS8453||Culture and Conflict||Distance Mode||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)