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History of War MA



Based in the Department of War Studies, the MA History of War examines the social, cultural and operational aspects of war from broad historiographical and interdisciplinary perspectives. With close links to the Department of History and the Institute of Contemporary British History, students can study most aspects of the history of armed conflict and society from the late medieval period to the present day.

Key benefits

  • The Department of War Studies is internationally recognised as a global centre of excellence and is highly regarded by the British Academy, the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Economic and Social Research council as a high calibre training institution.

  • It is one of the only university departments in the world devoted exclusively to the study of war as a human phenomenon. A remarkable diversity of research interests, disciplinary approaches, opinion and background exists in the department among both staff and students, reflecting the variety and complexity of the issues raised by war and the study of war.

  • Students are taught by the best; experts and pioneers in their fields who are often at the forefront of world events as they happen. Our stellar academic cohort bring not only a wealth of knowledge but also an extensive and continually growing network of links with other departments, think-tanks, organisations, policy-making bodies and institutions.

  • Situated close to the seat of Government, the City, the Imperial War Museum, the National Maritime Museum, the Royal Courts of Justice and the Inns of Court students have unique opportunities to network with key high profile visitors, from academics to government ministers, ambassadors and generals.

  • The MA programmes in the Department of War Studies are designed to enhance your analytical, conceptual, research and critical thinking skills which will increase your employability and aid professional career development.


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 Dr Alan James

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.

Bachelors degree with 2:1 honours (or overseas equivalent e.g. US GPA of 3.3) in history, international relations, political science, economics or other appropriate subject.

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


This programme challenges students to examine war from broad historiographical and interdisciplinary perspectives, taking, as given that the history of warfare cannot be isolated from the study of general history. It encompasses more than what usually falls into the category of military history to include war from the viewpoint of combatants, societies, economies and cultures across the landscape of modern history, and in the spirit of War Studies draws on the literature and methodology of other academic disciplines where appropriate. 

The programme aims to equip graduates with the knowledge, understanding and skills they require to progress to advanced research in the field. To that end, it has been created with a compulsory module focused on research and analytical skills, supported by a range of optional modules addressing individual aspects of the history of warfare over time and across a wide geographical and thematic range. The programme prepares interested students for future doctoral research into the history of warfare and related fields. The programme can also be taken as a free- standing masters degree by those interested in warfare in the past and the intellectual, methodological and practical skills essential to its study.

Course purpose

This programme offers students the opportunity to engage critically with the methods, materials and debates inherent in the study of the history of warfare.

Course format and assessment

Continuous assessment by essay, examinations and a dissertation.



Career prospects

Designed as a research preparation degree for those wishing to continue and to study for a PhD, it is also a valuable stand-alone degree.  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 p.a. (2016/17)*

Full time tuition fees - Overseas

£18,750 p.a. (2016/17)*

Part time tuition fees - Home/EU

£5,250 p.a. (2016/17)*

Part time tuition Fees - Overseas

£9,375 p.a. (2016/17)*

*This tuition fee is subject to annual increases.

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


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