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Science & Security MA



Our MA in Science & Security is designed to provide you with an integrated understanding of science and international politics. Developments in technology are central to all aspects of international conflict and a multidisciplinary understanding of these developments is necessary to fully comprehend their policy implications. Topics include nuclear weapons, arms control verification, cyber security, and terrorism.

Key benefits

  • A unique programme designed to develop your abilities to understand and analyse the security implications of scientific and technological developments, while utilising knowledge and tools of analysis from the hard sciences, political science, history, philosophy and sociology.

  • Our Centre for Science and Security Studies, based in the Department of War Studies, provides a vibrant home for our MA programme. It has a growing cadre of PhD students and researchers, and sponsors its own speaker series. You are encouraged to apply for internships (on our research projects and/or with such other relevant institutions in London as the Verification Research, Training and Information Centre (VERTIC) and IISS).

  • With a typical 50-50 mix of students with a hard science versus social science/humanities background, our programme provides an excellent opportunity for you to learn from each other as well as from staff and visiting lecturers. In recent years students have institutionalised this by forming their own reading group.

  • You have access to visiting academics, serving officers, government ministers and other experts who give regular public lectures and seminars.

  • The Department of War Studies is unique in the UK and one of the very few university departments in the world devoted exclusively to the study of war as a human phenomenon.

  • Our department has an excellent reputation as a graduate-training institution and is recognised by the British Academy, the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Economic and Social Research council as a training institution for war studies.

  • We place great emphasis on recruiting leading experts who bring with them not only a wealth of knowledge and ideas but an extensive and continually growing network of links with other departments, think-tanks, organisations, policymaking bodies and institutions.

  • Our unrivalled location in the heart of London beside the River Thames brings outstanding advantages. You can enjoy excellent academic, social and cultural opportunities.

  • We are close to the seat of government, the City, Imperial War Museum, National Maritime Museum, Royal Courts of Justice and the Inns of Court.

Read what Jessica, a War Studies Graduate says about this programme here

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 6-10 FT and PT

Course leaders Dr Susan Martin

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.

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

Successful applicants will generally be achieving grades at mid 2:1 level (or equivalent overseas level) or higher.

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. This process takes on average eight weeks.

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


There is an increased need in today's world 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 fields of space, nuclear and biological weapons, and long-range missiles as well as work in such emerging fields as biotechnology and information technology suggest that the impact of science on security is becoming more diverse as well as more central to policy planners. At the same time, individuals and sub-national groups have more access to new technologies than ever before.

Our programme is designed to provide you with an integrated understanding of science and politics. This involves developing 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. The goal is to equip you to be able to analyse the impact of current and future scientific developments on security.

You will have the opportunity to build on the compulsory modules to focus on aspects of the historical and contemporary international security environment through optional modules and a dissertation on an approved topic.

Our programme is designed for those who wish to work at the interface of science and security policy. It will be of specific interest to students with a 'hard science' background who also have an interest in security issues; students of politics, history, international relations and strategic studies; those with practical experience in the scientific field who may wish to reflect on the wider issues and implications of their experience or who may wish to make a career change from research to a policy-oriented field; and professionals in such areas as defence, diplomacy and foreign affairs who work on issues where science and technology set limits and offer opportunities to the policymaker.

Course purpose

Our programme is designed to provide you with an integrated understanding of science and international politics to cope with the demands of the emerging security agenda.

Further literature

Course format and assessment

Most of the 20-credit modules are assessed by a 4,000-word essay or two 2000-word essays. However, some 20-credit modules are 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, 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

Whilst this is not a vocational programme, 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.



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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.


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