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Certificate in Defense and Strategic Studies

Course Code Standard Fee NYSC Fee Degree Type






This course deals with strategy as related to war and peace, with particular reference to the role, development and use of military power as a strategic resource, and its impact on the international system. It covers some basic notions of strategic studies, and then explores the tensions between the imperatives of security, the need for international order and the quest for peace. For as we know, even in the best run organisation, conflict happens. Conflict doesn't have to be costly or have negative consequences, though left unacknowledged it can be distracting at best and at worst, destructive. This course helps you unlock the positive potential of conflict and learn how to approach conflict situations constructively and with increased confidence. The course will focus on understanding and analyzing selected theories and practice methods of peacebuilding and conflict transformation as seen through a social justice lens. Participants will be given a cross-disciplinary perspective on processes that lead toward progressive violent conflict prevention through peacebuilding endeavours, as it relates to the individual, society (local/global) and the environment.

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Entry Requirements

Diploma and First Degree (Waiver: High School (O’Level) with minimum of 2 years work experience in a related field can apply).

Learning Outcomes

By the time you complete this course, you should be able to:

1. Grasp the fundamentals of strategic theory and culture

2. Understand the evolution of modern warfare and the challenges posed by asymmetrical conflicts

3. Perceive the interplay between law and politics in the field of the use of force

4. Comprehend the limits and challenges of the international regime of control and non-proliferation of WMDs

5. Understand the evolution of the debate on humanitarian intervention

6. Be able to analyze, interpret and evaluate strategic threats

7. Improve her/his intellectual, social and transferable skills

8. Analyze critically, theoretical approaches to understanding the relationship between conflict, peace, and social justice

9. Explore diverse models of social change, including the distinctions between conflict?oriented and peaceoriented social change

10. Identify processes and skills of peacebuilding and conflict transformation

11. Develop their own peacebuilding and conflict transformation skills

12. Demonstrate their ability to resolve conflicts peacefully.

Course Outline

Module 1: War

What is War?

What are the causes of war? (Power transition, Perception and Misperception)

The nature of war


Why is land warfare victory in battle so difficult to achieve even with overwhelming military superiority?

Why is naval warfare victory in battle so difficult to achieve even with overwhelming military superiority?

Module 2: Introductions

What Is Strategy? Why Study Strategy?

Why is strategy so difficult?

Policy by Other Means

The Fundamentals of Military Organization

Module 3: Concepts Useful to the Study of Strategy

Strategic Resources


The State as Rational Actor

Module 4: Primitive Warfare: The Clash for Resources

Territoriality and Warfare in the Animal Kingdom

Monkey Wars

Tribal and Ritualized Warfare

Module 5: The Rise of Civilization

Cities, Agriculture, and Early Military Organization

The Greek City States and Rome


Module 6: Early Theories of Strategy and War

The Greek and Roman traditions

Chinese Military Philosophy

Module 7: Religion, the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance

The Crusades and Religious Conflict

Religion in the 30-Years' War

The Beginnings of Modern Warfare

Module 8: The Colonial Period

Colonialism and the Balance of Power

Re-Ritualization? Law and Positional Warfare


Module 9: Nations and Citizens

Napoleon and the Levée en Masse - The Rise of National Armies


The State of Military Philosophy

Module 10: The Modern Era

Economy and the Clash of Ideologies in the Cold War

Nuclear Strategy

Non-State Actors

Module 11: Schools of Strategic Thought

Clausewitz vs. Jomini (and their respective ilks)

Sun Tzu

John Boyd

Class Discussion: Do nuclear weapons make the world safer or more dangerous?


Due to emerging global trends, changes in the world and globalization across borders, our course outline, regularly change from time to time to meet up with this development and gives you leverage in a competitive world.

Teaching Methodology

The concepts in this course will be taught using a combination of lecture, discussion, and dialogue around cases, with emphasis on active learning. A case is a comprehensive exposition of a real managerial situation describing a set of problems and requiring a plan of action. The case method provides a pragmatic framework for the learning process. Its success depends heavily on student preparation and active participation in class discussions.

Course Assessment

To complete this course successfully, students must achieve a passing grade of 50% or higher on the overall course. This will include assignments and option test exam.

Study Modes

Classroom Online

4 Weeks

2 Weeks

Study Tips

  • 1. Come to class regularly and on time
  • 2. Be fully prepared and ready to participate in every class.
  • 3. Find learning and positive experiences with your classmates and the instructor.
  • 4. Read, prepare and turn in your assignments on time.
  • 5. If asked by the instructor to give your opinion on a topic, give your best answer.
  • 6. Willingly and unselfishly share your ideas, experiences, and opinions to the class.
  • 7. Appreciate the opinions and values of your classmates and be respectful
  • 8. Don’t be noisy; don’t interrupt anyone and do well to keep your argument professional.
  • 9. Keep what happens in class professional and confidential.
  • 10. If you cannot make it to class, please let the instructor know in advance.

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