Research Center for History, Politics and International Affairs


Strategic Studies

Strategic Studies and International Relations

UKM pioneered the Strategic Studies program in Malaysia when the then Strategic and Security Studies Unit (UPSK) offered its first diploma program in Strategic and Security Studies in 1981. UPSK embarked on another milestone in 1994 when two taught Masters programs namely Policy and Security Studies and Defense Studies were introduced. These two inaugural postgraduate programs had paved the way for a strategic collaboration between UKM and the Institute of Diplomacy and Foreign Relations (IDFR) in 1999. A new Masters program was born out of this strategic partnership known as Masters in Strategy and Diplomacy; a program that also recruits foreign participants other than the local participants who represent mainly key government agencies and corporate institutions. At the inception of the program, it welcomed 18 postgraduate students with 40% of the foreign participants coming from China, Egypt, Brunei and Kuwait.

UPSK became part of the new Center for Politics, History and Strategy under the restructuring exercise of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities (FSSK) in 2001. The restructuring also saw the new Strategy Program offering its debut undergraduate program in International Relations. The first intake came in 2003 and the last batch of the undergraduate program graduated in 2013. The program was discontinued in 2013 to allow for the development of a more refined undergraduate curricular in international relations. Beginning the new academic year of 2016/2017, the Strategy Program is proud to welcome its first batch of a re-branded Undergraduate Program in International Relations. It is going to be the first undergraduate program in International Relations in Malaysian varsity to be fully conducted in English. Also, recently in 2013, a new taught Masters program in East Asian Studies was launched and recruited its first batch. Apart from the existing taught Masters and forthcoming undergraduate programs, the Strategy Program also offers Masters by research and Ph.D. programs in International Relations-related subjects.

Our program actively sought international collaboration in research and intellectual exchange, as evidenced in our EAIR Forum and SSIR Roundtable discussions. Renowned scholars from all over the world are invited to give talk in our EAIR Forum, and to share their research findings and expertise in SSIR Roundtable sessions.

Generally, the Strategic Studies and International Relations program aims at nurturing graduates who are not only competent in the theoretical knowledge of the IR and Strategic fields but equally skillful at translating this knowledge into practice. As the country’s pioneer in the fields of Strategic and IR studies, the Strategy Program has produced graduates with a handful of them currently holding key positions in both the public and private sector as well as in international governmental and non-governmental organizations. Key among these agencies are those agencies with whom the Program maintains strong cooperation and partnership namely Wisma Putra, IDFR and Ministry of Defense.

The Program also trains aspiring and young academics to ensure the continuity in its intellectual traditions. Among those prominent faculty who have been part of the Program’s excellent intellectual traditions are Professor Dato’ Dr Zakaria Ahmad, Professor Baladas Ghoshal, Professor Dr. Dagmar Hellmann-Rajanayagam, Professor Ruhanas Harun, Professor Dr. Mohd. Kamarulnizam Abdullah, Dr. Hari Singh, and Dr. Tang Siew Mun. Currently, the Programme includes the following academics:

Professor Dr. Zarina Othman

Professor Dr. D. Ravichandran K. Dhakshinamoorthy

Dr. Chin Kok Fay

Dr. Mohd Ikbal Mohd Huda

Dr. Marina Abdul Majid



For enquiries, kindly contact:
Coordinator of Strategic and Security Analysis Programme
Dr. Marina Abdul Majid

Tel: 03-89215824



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