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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
Application status Closed
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 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) 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.
Applications must be made online using King's online application portal and a non-refundable application fee of £40 applies. All applications are assessed by a committee of academic tutors. This process takes on average eight weeks.
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.
Applications for 2016 entry are now closed.
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.
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.
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.
Two compulsory modules (40 credits in total).
A dissertation of 15,000 words (60 credits). The dissertation counts for 60 credits and the compulsory and optional modules for 120 credits.
The Science and Security of Biological and Nuclear Weapons is to be taken in the first term and is followed by Current Issues in Science and Security in the second term.
The dissertation is a year-long project; typically most of the writing is done over the summer. You may choose your own topic but it must address some aspect of the science and security interface and must be approved by a member of staff.
Part-time students are advised to take the compulsory modules in their first year of study and write their dissertation in their second year.
Optional modules chosen from a range of possibilities (80 credits in total).
Please note that we cannot guarantee to offer all optional modules in any given year and that you are not guaranteed a place on any particular module.
To maintain a beneficial student/staff ratio in the classroom and promote effective learning, there are a limited number of places available on each module. This means that even if an option is offered the year that you are here, you are not guaranteed a place on it.
Some of the optional modules are prioritised for students on particular master's programmes.
For a list of possible optional modules please refer to our MA in War Studies programme page here
You are advised not to base your decision to join the degree programme solely on the list given.
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.
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.
"The War Studies department, specifically the Centre for Science and Security Studies, has made my MA year so enriching. I have engaged with bright students from all over the world, and have felt welcomed and cared for by my lecturers and professors."
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£10,500 p.a. (2016/17)*
£18,750 p.a. (2016/17)*
£5,250 p.a. (2016/17)*
£9,375 p.a. (2016/17)*
*Tuition fee is subject to annual increases.
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 deposit is £1,000 – Home/EU and £2,000 – Overseas (2016/17)
If you receive an offer on or before 31 March, payment is due by 30 April 2016.
If you receive an offer between 1 April and 30 June 2016, payment is due within one month of receipt of the offer.
If you receive an offer between 1 and 31 July 2016, payment is due within two weeks of receipt of the offer.
If you receive an offer on or after 1 August 2016, payment is due within one week of receipt of the offer.
Please visit our web pages on fees and funding for more information.
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