War is a key aspect of human experience, and people have long sought to understand it from a diverse range of perspectives. Students of war are drawn from the ranks of historians, social scientists, philosophers, jurists and artists. Practitioners of war find instrumental value in its study. These and others have brought their particular insights and concerns to bear on the subject. However, the study of war from any single standpoint risks producing an overly narrow perspective that cannot accommodate war’s complexity. Individual issues are elucidated but we remain a long way from understanding war “in the round”. Such a goal demands a different, more holisitic, approach.
The MA in War Studies is designed to meet this demand by introducing students to a multidisciplinary approach to the study of war. As such, it provides an intellectual “toolbox” whose contents are drawn from a range of disciplines associated with the humanities and the social sciences. Students will not be trained as specialist historians, philosophers, strategists, etc., but they will be introduced to elements of various disciplines that are germane to the study of war. The challenge lies in combining them in order to achieve a sophisticated and rounded understanding of the subject.