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Based in the Department of War Studies, our 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, you can study most aspects of the history of armed conflict and society from the late medieval period to the present day.
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.
You are taught by 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, policymaking bodies and institutions.
Situated close to the seat of government, the City, Imperial War Museum, National Maritime Museum, Royal Courts of Justice and Inns of Court, you have unique opportunities to network with key high-profile visitors, from academics to government ministers, ambassadors and generals.
Our MA programmes are designed to enhance your analytical, conceptual, research and critical thinking skills which will increase your employability and aid professional career development.
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 Alan James
Course contact for further information Postgraduate Admissions Team, Admissions Officetel: +44 (0)20 7848 7000fax: +44 (0)20 7848 7200
Postgraduate Admissions Team, Admissions Officetel: +44 (0)20 7848 7000fax: +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
Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language entry requirements.
Bachelor's degree with 2:1 honours (or overseas equivalent eg US GPA of 3.3) in history, international relations, political science, economics or other appropriate subject.
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.
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.
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.
Our programme challenges you to examine war from broad historiographical and interdisciplinary perspectives, taking as a 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.
Our MA History of War aims to equip you with the knowledge, understanding and skills you 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. Our programme prepares you for future doctoral research into the history of warfare and related fields. It can also be taken as a free-standing master's degree if you are interested in warfare in the past and the intellectual, methodological and practical skills essential to its study.
Our programme offers you the opportunity to engage critically with the methods, materials and debates inherent in the study of the history of warfare.
Most of the 20-credit modules will be assessed by one 4,000-word essay or two 2000-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.
Our MA course is designed as a one-year full-time, or two-year part-time taught programme. It offers a broad-based multidisciplinary curriculum and you have the opportunity to study a wide range of topics.
The MA programme contains the following elements:
A compulsory module, History of War.
Optional modules chosen from a range of possibilities (80 credits in total). Please note that NOT ALL MODULES ARE AVAILABLE in any given year.
A dissertation of 15,000 words.
The dissertation counts for 60 credits and the compulsory and optional modules count for 120 credits in total. You may choose your own topic but it must be approved by the department. If you are unsuccessful in any element of the MA programme there is a opportunity to retake in the following year. Part-time students are advised to take the compulsory module in the first year of study.
To maintain a beneficial student/staff ratio in the classroom and promote effective learning, there are a limited number of student places available on each module
Some of the optional modules are prioritised for students on particular masters programmes. This means that even if a option is offered the year that you are here, you are not guaranteed a place on it.
You are advised not to base your decision to join the degree programme soley on this list
NB Optional modules are allocated using purpose-designed software which the department has created to maximise your choice while keeping each option class to a reasonable size. The system weighs your preferences, and gives priority where necessary to options of particular relevance to each specific MA programme.
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: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/sspp/departments/warstudies/employability.aspx
"We are leading a rapidly growing academic and popular interest in the subject, which is typical of the dynamism of the department as a whole."
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£10,950 p.a. (2017/18)*
£19,650 p.a. (2017/18)*
£5,475 p.a. (2017/18)*
£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.
Please visit our web pages on fees and funding for more information.
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