Study Plan

Course Title 
Course Code
Credit Hours

First Semester​ ​

Research Methods

​3 Credit Hours 

Critical Security Studies

​3 Credit Hours 

Strategic Theories and Warfare

3 Credit Hours 

Semester​ ​

Civil-Military Relations

3 Credit Hours

Environmental and Human Security

3 Credit Hours

Regional and International Security

3 Credit Hours

Armed Non-State Actors

3 Credit Hours

​Third Semester 

Intelligence Studies

3 Credit Hours

Program Elective Course 

(Suggested: MCSS625 Energy Security) 


3 Credit Hours

Program Elective Course

(Suggested: MCSS620 Cyber Security) 

3 Credit Hours

Free Elective Course

(Suggested: MCSS666 Battles Analysis)

3 Credit Hours

Fourth Semester

​Free Elective Course

(Suggested: Criminology and Local Security MCSS630 or Iran and Gulf Security MCSS631)

​3 Credit Hours


​ 6 Credit Hours 
Total Credit Hours 

​ 42 Credit Hours

 Elective Courses

MCSS620 Cyber Security

This course on the introduction of cyber security and the importance impact it has on national security and all economic and social related threats. The students will be introduced to basic concepts of cyber security and methods and techniques cyber-attacks with emphasis on having introduced the understanding concepts of computing and networking relevant to the subject. The importance of cyber-crimes and information security will be presented. There will not be lab exercise, instead students will be given several cyber security cases in class to study, discuss, analyze, and report as part of the curriculum. Students will learn all terminologies, concepts, latest technologies in the science of cyber security and cybercrime. The course will rely on latest resources in terms of articles, books, and recent publications about cyber security, students therefore will be provided with: a. Latest update on current developments in information and data security b. Description of interconnection of digital devices and cybersecurity and privacy c. Case studies presentation on cyber-attacks on governmental, commercial, industrial, and security establishments d. Understanding of the counter measures, resilience and ethical cyber security in protecting such establishments.

MCSS623 Criminologie and Local Security

This course aims to provide students with the theoretical and practical understanding necessary to respond to key security challenges. Students will explore the various relationships between crime, society, and local security drawing upon contemporary, historical and comparative evidence within the fields of criminology, criminal justice, gender and crime, forensic investigation, intelligence-led policing, cybercrime and terrorism. The course will examine the main security challenges facing states and their institutions in multi-cultural societies today. Students will gain knowledge of and assess the principal security actors, the current threats to local security, and the approaches that states have taken to achieve, enhance and maintain security.

MCSS625 Energy Security

This course addresses the topic of energy security and its policies from the perspective of Critical Security Studies. The course investigates the most prominent threats and challenges facing the safety of energy supply chains (especially oil and gas), the stability of markets, and the policies used to deal with them. The course will adopt a broad energy security approach that includes, among many things, policies of diversification of supply sources, reduction of energy vulnerability/poverty, development of renewable energies, and improvement of the ecological footprint. It also analyzes the interaction between energy security and other issues related to energy policy, such as national security, human security, health security and climate change. This course will provide a range of critical readings and case studies that will help students gain basic knowledge about energy security and understanding the related issues.

MCSS631 Iran and Gulf Security

In this course we will have an overview of Iran’s history, society, internal politics, and military strategy in the Middle East with a focus on Iran’s Arab neighbors. Iran today, as it was yesterday, is a regional power with influence in several countries that began with the shah’s era and continued as well as increased after the revolution. However, Iran’s foreign policy is also influenced by the different political currents and the military institutions within the country, affecting its relationship with many Arab countries and in particular the Gulf countries. Moreover, we will answer and discuss, among other questions, the following: what are the main problems the governments of Iran face? What are the contentious points between Iran and its Arab neighbors? And what is Iran’s military strategy?

 Core Courses

MCSS611 Research Methods

This course introduces students to necessary theoretical and practical skills for conducting research in social sciences in general and in the field of security studies in particular. Thus, the course advances a multi-disciplinary vision on understanding and utilizing suitable methodological tools to investigate complex phenomena in security, conflict, and international relations. The ultimate objective of the course is to equip graduate students with theoretical and action-oriented methods, as well as generate a workable research proposal. Students will be able to understand the logic and flow of research from conceptualization to design to implementation, and subsequently to write clear and concise research proposals and reports. Ultimately, students are expected to acquire sound knowledge and skills of how to apply research principles and methods to their own course of study, in order enhance students’ capacities in producing their final thesis projects.

MCSS613 Critical Security Studies

The main aim of the course is to instill a better-structured vision and improved understanding of national, regional, and international security issues, from a critical security perspective within the group of students. The students and educators will embark on a journey in the field of security studies with the key conceptual, empirical and theoretical debates. The course will enable the students to interpret key texts in Critical Security Studies and Security Studies grasp basic security concepts, such as terrorism and counterterrorism, insurgency and counter-insurgency. The course introduces key concepts, approaches, and empirical cases in the graduate study of security. It covers the history, evolution, development and future of security studies and critical security studies. It incorporates many of the theoretical works in the field as well as numerous case studies that concern security issues that impact current local, regional and international security

MCSS614 Strategic Theories and Warfare

The course aims to examine theories, concepts, case-studies and applications that form the bases of Strategic Studies. The course presents the key ideas and themes of Strategic Studies, which deals with the preparation and use of military power to serve political ends as well as the means to avoid the use of force. The course adopts more a strategic problem-solving approach, as opposed to tactical short-term or critical approaches. The course will guide students through a wide-ranging survey of theoretical and practical aspects of Strategic Studies. It will include sections on the uses of strategic theory, instruments of war – land, sea, and air power – and their evolution, limited war, small wars, arms control, war termination, global and regional warfare, and democratic peace. The course tries to strike a balance between theoretical works and case studies. The goal is thus to link the study of strategy with the realities of modern politics and peculiarities of the Gulf and the Middle East region.

MCSS615 Civil-Military Relations

This course introduces students to the theoretical and empirical debates in the study of civil-military relations. We will use a comparative politics lens to understand the role armed forces play in modern states, their relationship to society, their role in democratization (or lack thereof), and the most pressing challenges militaries face today. The ultimate objective of the course is to equip graduate students with a thorough understanding of this topic, develop their academic writing skills, and generate a research paper on an original topic by the end of the semester.

MCSS616 Environmental and Human Security

The purpose of this course is to provide exposure to students to the interplay of human and environmental security in the Qatar, the Gulf and the wider region of the Middle East and Northern Africa. Human security challenges the notion of national security by putting human and their well-being at the center of policy debates. In this sense, states might face several challenges related to economic, environmental and global changes that can test the strength of state institutions and pose important security risks. This is particularly relevant for states such as Qatar that is highly integrated in the global economy, and plays an important role within energy supply markets. At the same time, it seeks to address its reliance on energy exports, and tackle environmental concerns, e.g. Gulf (marine) pollution, climate change, aridity and water supply. Environmental security as a focus of this course implies looking at contemporary issues of energy, water and food security while providing examples from the region on (environmental) conflicts and their implications for human security at large. For example, energy security is one of the most pressing economic issues confronting the Gulf sub-region in the contemporary period. The course will focus on energy (including sub-sectors such as renewables, petroleum, mining) and other natural resources, particularly water and land use conflicts. The course will be taught with an interdisciplinary emphasis by considering conceptual, historical, political, social and cultural aspects.

MCSS617 Regional and International Security

This course provides students with an in-depth understanding of the theoretical, empirical and policy debates that comprise the field of international security, with a focus on the state behaviour, as opposed on non-state, sub-state, and human actors. In that that sense the focus on inter-state regional security and inter-state international security. Each week focuses on a discrete topic which collectively provides students with a sense of past, present, and future security challenges. They will analyse classic cases of why countries go to war as well as more recent research topics like the emergence of humanitarian intervention, and the role of technology – from nuclear weapons to state-led cyber-attacks and unmanned drones – in both supplying and threatening international security. One important goal of the course is for students to continually reflect on the core questions that animate the “state” and “inter-state” levels in field of international security. These include: What is “national security”? Which state(s) gets “secured”? Who should provide for state and regional inter-state security? What is the nature of state warfare? Has it changed? What is a “threat” to the state? The course draws on academic readings as well as works by policy analysts, practitioners, journalists, and a few primary government policy documents. Students should be prepared to consume and reflect on both abstract theory and applied knowledge.

MCSS618 Armed Nonstate Actors

This course is designed to provide a theoretical and substantive understanding of numerous varieties of armed non–state actors, such as militias, guerrilla organisations, terrorist groups and others, and how states respond to them. The political, social and military importance of armed non-state actors has grown rapidly and hence become an established area of research for both the public policy sphere and the realm of scholarship. Students will learn the various definitions of terminology such as terrorism, militancy, insurgency, guerrilla warfare, low-intensity conflict, civil war, to name but a few. Students will also learn about state responses and their depth, scope, goals, means and resourcing; from counterinsurgency, to counterterrorism, to traditional policing and intelligence work. Students will also examine terrorism and political violence more substantively, including looking at individual conflicts, armed organizations and activists, government responses and policies, and past and future trajectories of armed non-state actors and political violence. By combining the conceptual models with the practical case studies - the systematic social scientific approach with the real world of policy - this course is designed to offer insights into who engages in political violence, why they do it, where and when such violence is likely, how it starts, goes stale, and ends, and how governments respond to it. In addition to its topical focus, this course could rightly be called a methods course. Students in the class will learn how to improve their analytical thinking, conduct high quality research, and present an effective argument, both orally and in writing. They will learn the potential and pitfalls of theories of political violence through constant analysis and engagement with the history of terrorism and insurgency. By the conclusion of the course, students will emerge not only with a far richer understanding of these issues, but also as more sophisticated consumers, analysts, and producers of knowledge. This course introduces asymmetric and irregular warfare. From Colombia to Afghanistan, non-state armed organizations are crucially important actors. The course explores how they organize themselves, extract resources, deploy violence, attract recruits, and both fight and negotiate with states. It also examines government counterinsurgency and counterterrorism policies, peace-building after conflict, and international involvement in internal wars. Readings deal with a variety of conflicts and cover several distinct topics. Because of the amount of material that will be covered, both the quantity and sophistication of the readings is high. The readings will be touched on during lectures and more carefully analysed in discussion sessions. Readings are subject to change as necessary; these changes will be conveyed to students through a Moodle website.

MCSS612 Intelligence Studies

The course aims to deliver a critical appreciation of the hidden side of government, namely, the intelligence service. Students will learn to contextualise the ways in which intelligence issues manifest themselves in peace and war; and how does intelligence function as a protective shield with counter-intelligence capabilities as well as an enabler or force multiplier for other tools of statecraft. Students will also develop an awareness of how the multi-faceted intelligence cycle actually works. In addition, students will explore how different collection tools such as imagery intelligence, signals intelligence, human intelligence, and open sources can all be employed to develop an all source intelligence. The course will include the study of ethical dilemmas associated with intelligence activity. The course will equip students with the required knowledge and skills to critically examine the nature, processes, roles and case studies of intelligence and their interaction with regional and international security.