Graduate Certificate in Strategic Studies | The Takshashila Institution

Graduate Certificate in Strategic Studies

The Graduate Certificate in Strategic Studies is a 12-week programme on the fundamentals of Strategic Studies and policy analysis with emphasis on India. The programme includes a course on Arthashastra and its relevance for modern statecraft. Engagement with, and analysis of international affairs makes this programme highly suitable for professionals looking to advance their careers in the fields of foreign affairs, policy making, research, and journalism, among others.

The GCSS is an online programme, allowing participants to learn from anywhere in the world, and while working.

Apply by 10th January 2019 for the January—April 2019 cohort of the GCSS.

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The programme is designed with three courses –

  • Course 1 Basics of Strategic Studies – Concepts and Methods
  • Course 2 Arthashastra: Indian Strategic Thought
  • Course 3 Introduction to Policy Analysis

Each course will include readings and videos, along with live webinars and written assignments. In addition, students get to attend two physical workshops (in New Delhi and Bangalore) which include guest lectures and participation in a crisis simulation exercise.

The GCSS is designed and guided by:

Lt. Gen (Dr) Prakash Menon, (PVSM, AVSM, VSM), former Commandant of the National Defence College, New Delhi. He has served as the Military Adviser and Officer on Special Duty as Secretary to Government of India in the National Security Council Secretariat at New Delhi from 2011 to 2017. He is the current Director of the Strategic Studies Programme at the Takshashila Institution.

Nitin Pai, Director and Co-Founder of the Takshashila Institution.

The core faculty will comprise experts on Indian strategic thought, western strategic thought, economic reasoning, and policymaking.

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Who Should Take This Programme?

Persons interested in acquiring skill sets through understanding the nuances of statecraft with emphasis on the role of force, geopolitics, economics, foreign policy, diplomacy, technology and strategic communications.

These skill sets will be useful for professionals dealing with security, defence and strategic affairs, students of political science and international affairs, journalists and those interested in discerning the forces at play on the national and international stage.

To know more about Strategic Studies and how you can benefit from the GCSS programme you can listen to the recording of a Q&A on Studying Geostrategy with Lt Gen (Dr) Prakash Menon.

Outcomes that Matter

GCSS provides foundational knowledge of strategic culture. Students will study the role of power in an anarchic world and factors that influence a state’s foreign policy and military strategy.

The interdisciplinary nature of this programme allows students to engage with and analyse broad themes in international affairs. Students will polish their analytical thinking and writing skills, making them relevant to research institutes, ministries, universities, media outfits, and non-governmental organisations. An insight into decision-making will also help students become informed and active citizens.

Schedule and Structure

The programme comprises 12 weeks of blended learning and is designed to be conducted remotely using an online Learning Management System (LMS), so participation only requires reasonable internet connectivity.

To successfully complete the programme and receive the certificate, a student must:

  • Complete three courses
  • Participate in two weekend contact workshops (usually held in New Delhi and Bangalore)
  • Pass a composite final examination

Students who complete all other requirements but are unable to attend both workshops will receive a Citation of Completion of Studies instead of the certificate. Students can attend workshops with future cohorts in case they miss one, and receive their certificate with future cohorts.

Spring cohort: January – April 2019

Early applicant advantage: 10 December 2018
Application Deadline: 10 January 2019
Programme Commences:19 January 2019

Summer cohort: May – July 2019

Early applicant advantage: 22 March 2019
Application Deadline: 22 April 2019
Programme Commences: 4 May 2019

Winter cohort: September – December 2019

Early applicant advantage: 9 July 2019
Application deadline: 28 August 2019
Programme Commences: 7 September 2019

Fees Structure

Programme Fee:  33,000/- plus 18% GST
Programme fee for full-time university students:  22,000/- plus 18% GST
Application fees:  500/-

Get an Early Bird Advantage!
Apply before the early applicant deadline for your cohort and get a 10% fee waiver. 

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We have limited scholarships to enable deserving candidates to take the course. For more details, refer to our FAQs.

Learning from the Best

The faculty and guest speakers are drawn from Takshashila’s global network of academic experts, practitioners and experienced professionals. This provides students with the opportunity to explore the theoretical, practical and ethical dimensions of issues and challenges that have shaped and continue to shape the geopolitical world.


The GCSS Programme is not approved by UGC, AICTE or any other government authority. At this time, the GCSS is not officially recognised as a qualification for government employment. Please read the terms and conditions before applying.

For any information please write to:


Frequently Asked Questions     |      Terms and Conditions