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Conflict, Security & Development MA



Conflict, Security and 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 policy-makers address them separately. The MA in Conflict, Security, and Development is a unique globally-recognized 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 students to a variety of complex transnational issues, taking a multidisciplinary approach to some of the key questions facing policy-makers and scholars today. It is designed to enhance students’ analytical, research, and critical thinking skills, to provide them with detailed practical knowledge of conflict, security, and development around the world, and to prepare them to become leaders in the public and private sectors, government, and academia.

Key information

Application status Open

Duration One year FT, two 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 Professor Mats Berdal

Course contact for further information

Postgraduate Admissions Team, Admissions Office
tel: +44 (0)20 7848 7429
fax: +44 (0)20 7848 7200

Course contact email

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

An application fee of £40 applies (non-refundable). 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 is 01 April 2016 for 2016 entry. Prior to this date all applications will be given equal consideration and considered on their individual merits. After this date applications will be considered subject to the availability of places, thus we encourage you to submit your application as soon as possible. Please note that funding deadlines may be earlier.


Course detail


ecurity and development studies remained largely unaffected by each other's perspectives and priorities. The sense that each area of study proceeded from a different set of assumptions and embraced a distinctive agenda was mirrored in the world of policy-making. This began to change in the 1990s and the importance of considering questions of security and development in their mutual interaction have become increasingly recognised by practitioners and scholars alike. The 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 the boundaries of 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 the programme will explore in greater detail.

The programme is designed to have broad ranging appeal to those interested in pursuing graduate studies in the areas of security, conflict studies and development. Those who may find this programme to be of particular interest include: graduates in politics, history, international relations, economics and strategic studies; those with practical experience in the development field who may wish to reflect on the wider issues and implications of their experience; those who have worked with international organisations, including the United Nations and its specialised agencies or with NGOs in zones of conflict who may wish to reflect on their experience; professionals in the areas of development, defence, diplomacy and foreign affairs.


Course purpose

This 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 students 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. The programme’s core course introduces students 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

Continuous assessment by essay, examinations and a dissertation.



Career prospects

Students on MA programmes in the department 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:



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Fees and funding

Full time tuition fees - Home/EU

£10,500 (2016)

Full time tuition fees - Overseas

£18,750 (2016)

Part time tuition fees - Home/EU

£5,250 (2016)

Part time tuition Fees - Overseas

£9,375 (2016)

Students are generally self-funded.

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


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