Skip to main content

Conflict, Security & Development MA



Our MA Conflict, Security & Development explores the conceptual, historical and policy issues surrounding security and development and how these manifest themselves in the wider context of contemporary warfare and international security.

Key benefits

Development and security are inextricably linked, yet all too often both academics and policymakers address them separately. Our MA in Conflict, Security & Development is a unique globally recognised programme that brings together these interrelated areas of study, acknowledging that conflict, insecurity and underdevelopment interact in dynamic ways and that a full understanding of them requires a holistic approach. The programme exposes you to a variety of complex transnational issues, taking a multidisciplinary approach to some of the key questions facing policymakers and scholars today. It is designed to enhance your analytical, research and critical thinking skills, to provide you with detailed practical knowledge of conflict, security and development around the world, and to prepare you to become a leader in the public and private sectors, government or academia.

Key information

Application status Open

Duration 1 year FT / 2 years PT, September to September

Study mode Full-time, Part-time

Credit value UK 180 / ECTS 90

Course intake 30-45 FT and PT

Course leaders Dr Christine Cheng

Course contact for further information

Postgraduate Admissions Team, Admissions Office
tel: +44 (0)20 7848 7000
fax: +44 (0)20 7848 7200

Course contact form Postgraduate admissions enquiry form

Awarding institution King's College London

Faculty Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy

Department Department of War Studies


Entry requirements & how to apply

Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language entry requirements.

General entry advice

Bachelor's degree with 2:1 honours (or overseas equivalent) in history, international relations, political science, economics or other appropriate subject.

As a guideline for those with USA undergraduate qualifications, we are usually looking for a CGPA of above 3.3. Applicants with qualifications from other countries are welcomed, with further guidance available at

Application procedure

Applications must be made online using King's online application portal and a non-refundable application fee of £50 applies. All applications are assessed by a committee of academic tutors. We aim to process all complete applications within four weeks; during February and March and over holiday periods, applications may take longer to process.

Personal statement and supporting information

Please provide a personal statement explaining why you are interested in this particular programme, and outlining any relevant experience you have. If there are any anomalies in your academic record, please use the personal statement to explain related extenuating circumstances.

Application closing date

The deadline for applications for September 2017 entry is 31st March 2017. After this date, programmes will remain open if places are available, and programmes will be closed as soon as they are full, so we encourage you to submit your application as soon as possible. For programmes with spaces remaining, no further applications will be accepted from non-EU (Overseas) nationals after 30th July 2017 or from UK/ EU nationals after 3rd September 2017.


Course detail


Security and development studies have remained largely unaffected by other's perspectives and priorities, and the sense that each area of study stems from a different set of assumptions and embraced a distinctive agenda has also been mirrored in the world of policymaking. This began to change in the 1990s when the importance of considering questions of security and development in their mutual interaction became increasingly recognised by practitioners and scholars alike. Our programme reflects this important trend and provides a unique course of study drawing upon the insights offered by a range of different disciplines, including international relations, history, development studies and anthropology. 

The growing interest in the relationship between conflict, security and development stems, in part, from the fact that the international community has become steadily more involved in efforts to mitigate, contain and resolve violent conflicts, especially those occurring within states and within the context of so-called 'failed' or 'collapsing' states. Although such involvement has been selective, the general trend is clear. The number of peace support operations, transitional administrations and 'peacebuilding' initiatives have increased dramatically over the past 15 years. This heightened degree of involvement has brought into sharp relief the interdependence of security and development concerns and has also raised a series of conceptual and policy challenges which our programme will explore in greater detail.

Our programme is designed to have broad-ranging appeal to those interested in pursuing graduate studies in security, conflict studies and development. You may find this programme to be of particular interest if you are a graduate in politics, history, international relations, economics and strategic studies; if you have practical experience in development and wish to reflect on the wider issues and implications of your experience; if you have worked with international organisations, including the UN and its specialised agencies or with NGOs in zones of conflict, and wish to reflect on your experience; or if you are a professional in development, defence, diplomacy and foreign affairs.


Course purpose

Our programme is designed to provide students with an advanced and comprehensive understanding of the complex linkages between issues of security and development in contemporary international relations. The programme encourages you to explore the conceptual, historical and policy issues surrounding security and development and how these manifest themselves in the wider context of contemporary warfare and international security. Our programme’s core course introduces you to the major debates in the fields of security and international relations, regarding the interaction between processes of political and economic development, conflict, and violent social change.

Course format and assessment

Most 20-credit modules will be assessed by one 4,000-word essay or two 2,000-word essays. However, some 20-credit modules will be assessed on class participation and attendance, oral vivas or exams, or a combination of these.

Most 40-credit modules are assessed through a combination of essays (3,000-6,000 words), class participation and attendance, oral vivas and exams.

The dissertation module assessment will be on the research proposal (10%) and the dissertation (up to 15,000 words) (90%) for some programmes or solely on the dissertation for others. 



Career prospects

Students on our MA programmes have gone on to build careers in further academic research, NGOs, civil service, NATO, UN, media and publishing, finance and investment, teaching, and the armed forces. For more information about career prospects and graduate destinations see:



Welcome to King's

In the heart of London

Discover the advantages of studying at one of the top 25 universities in the world and take a look at our central London campuses.

Watch more videos

Fees and funding

Full time tuition fees - Home/EU

£10,950 p.a. (2017/18)*

Full time tuition fees - Overseas

£19,650 p.a. (2017/18)*

Part time tuition fees - Home/EU

£5,475 p.a. (2017/18)*

Part time tuition Fees - Overseas

£9,825 p.a. (2017/18)*

*These tuition fees may be subject to additional increases in subsequent years of study, in line with King’s terms and conditions.

Please note: Current regulations allow some students to pay UK tuition fees on the basis of their EU citizenship or residency. Until these eligibility criteria are changed, the EU tuition fee will remain the same as the UK tuition fee. 


When you receive an offer for this course you will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit to secure your place. The deposit will be credited towards your total fee payment.

The UK/EU deposit is £500.

The INTERNATIONAL deposit is £2,000. 

  • If you receive an offer on or before 31st March 2017, payment is due by 30th April 2017.
  • If you receive an offer between 1st April 2017 and 30th June 2017, payment is due within one month of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer between 1st July 2017 and 31st July 2017, payment is due within two weeks of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer on or after 1st August 2017, payment is due within one week of receiving the offer.

 Please visit our web pages on fees and funding for more information.


Next steps

Upcoming events

Nov 08
Digital Culture: Taster Session

From social media to smartphones and videogames, d…

Nov 09
Nursing Taster Days 2016

King's Nursing Taster Days provide you with a chan…

Nov 09
Theology & Religious Studies Taster Day

This taster course will provide an experience of t…

Full list of student events

View our postgraduate guide

Learn more about postgraduate degree programmes at King's. Download or view our guide in PDF format.

Download guide View online

Apply now

Start your academic journey at King's College London.

Postgraduate Taught Postgraduate Research

Explore King’s

AccommodationTake a look at our comfortable, safe residences to suit your budget, located close to King's teaching campuses. 
Student lifeArt, food, music, shopping – you'll never find yourself with nothing to do in the world's most vibrant city.
Extra-curricularDiscover the huge variety of extra-curricular opportunities at King’s, from MOOCs to language courses.
London livingWith four campuses by the River Thames and one in south London, King's is right in the heart of the capital.