It is increasingly important to understand the security implications of scientific and technological developments. While science and technology have always affected national and international security, current developments in the space, nuclear and biological weapons, and long-range missiles, as well as work in biotechnology and information technology suggest that science will exert a greater and more complex influence on security and policy planning. At the same time, individuals and sub-national groups have greater access to new technologies than ever before.
Our programme will provide you with an integrated understanding of science and politics. You will develop an understanding of the science underlying key weapons systems and technologies, the main concepts and tools of international politics and security studies, and the process by which scientists and policymakers can interact productively in the policy process. Our goal is to equip you to analyse the impact of current and future scientific developments on security.
You will have the opportunity to build on the required modules to focus on aspects of the historical and contemporary international security environment through optional modules and a dissertation on a topic of your choosing.
Our programme is ideal if you want to work at the interface of science and security policy. It will be of particular interest if you have a 'hard science' background and an interest in security issues; if you are a student of politics, history, international relations or strategic studies; if you have practical experience in the scientific field and wish to reflect on the wider issues and implications of your experience or make a career change from research to a policy-oriented field; and if you are a professional in areas such as defence, diplomacy and foreign affairs working on issues where science and technology set limits and offer opportunities to the policymaker.
We will provide you with teaching and close contact with our academics, who are experts and international leaders in their fields. We will expect you to complement this with your own study and research.
Most modules will be assessed through essays (between 3,000 and 6,000 words). However, some modules will be assessed through class participation and attendance, oral vivas or exams, or a combination of these.
The dissertation module will be assessed entirely through your dissertation (up to 15,000 words), or through your research proposal (10%) and dissertation (90%) together.