General rules for the M.Sc. program in Defence & Strategic Studies are the same as for all the M.Sc. programs offered by QAU. The degree program of M.Sc. DSS is completed on earning of 60 required credits. Each M.Sc. course in the Department is worth 03 credit hours, however students in the 4th semester have an option to opt for a seminar course which is equivalent to two (2) MSc taught course i.e. 06 credit hours, or in lieu those student who have a 75% pass percentage in the three previous semesters have the option to take a 09 credit hours’ worth Masters’ thesis on a relevant topic. The students must show exceptional research and writing skills to opt for the thesis, however the option to register for the thesis is subject to the approval of the department.
The requirements for the M.Sc. degree shall normally be completed within four consecutive semesters. Besides the requisite 60 credits, students must also pass a non-credit but mandatory English Language course, to stand eligible for their degrees. A total of 30-36 credit hours are to be earned by passing 08 compulsory courses, along with the seminar (06 credits) or thesis (09 credits), while the remaining credit hours are to be earned by passing a selection of optional courses. Students opting for the Seminar or Thesis will be required to take a viva voce, after the completion of their Seminar / Thesis within the stipulated time frame. In case of the thesis, the chairperson of the department will appoint a panel of examiners consisting of the supervisor of the student concerned, along with an external examiner.
Students at Masters’ level will register only in 5 courses (15 credits) in each semester. Any student who registers courses worth more than 15 credits in any semester will have to give a written undertaking that he/she shall be responsible for the consequences of taking extra courses. However, the upper limit of the registration is not more than 6 courses (18 credits). After completing courses of the first two semesters, a student can register up to two courses worth 3 credits each (a total of 6 credits) in any department of the Faculty Social Sciences’ (FSS), other than their own, though it is preferred that the extra departmental course is relevant to their parent discipline. Registration of extra-departmental courses is conditional upon approval by the chairpersons of both the departments. In any particular semester not more than one course can be registered outside the Department.
Students are expected to finish their Masters’ degree in four consecutive semesters, i.e. within two years. However in case they do not fulfill the degree requirements in the stipulated time, they have up to a year to finish their Masters, after which they cease to be university students. The department and university also reserves the right to cancel the registration of any student found guilty of some grave moral or ethical misconduct or breach of departmental as well as university rules.