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Science & Security MA

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Overview

We have designed our Science & Security MA to provide you with a detailed understanding of science and its relationship to international politics. Developments in technology are central to all aspects of international conflict and you will need a multidisciplinary understanding of these developments to fully comprehend their policy implications. Through this programme you will gain a deep understanding of topics such as nuclear weapons, arms control verification, cyber security, and terrorism.


Key benefits

  • We have designed this unique programme to develop your ability 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 team 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 other relevant institutions in London such as the Verification Research, Training and Information Centre (VERTIC) and IISS).

  • You will 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 as such by the British Academy, the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Economic and Social Research council.

  • Taught by leading experts who bring an extensive and continually growing network of links with other departments, think-tanks, organisations, policymaking bodies and institutions.

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

Further details

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

Awarding institution King's College London

Faculty Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy

DepartmentDepartment of War Studies

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Course detail

Description

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.

Further literature:

https://www.kcl.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/apply/enquiry-form.aspx.

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

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. 

Structure

Year 1

Required Modules

Students on this course take modules totalling 180 credits.

Required modules

  • The Science and Security of Nuclear and Biological Weapons (20 credits)

  • Current Issues in Science and Security (20 credits)

  • Dissertation (60 credits)

If you are a part-time student, you will take The Science and Security of Nuclear and Biological Weapons and Current Issues in Science and Security in your first year, along with 40 credits of optional modules. In your second year you will undertake your dissertation and 40 further credits of optional modules.

Optional Modules

Optional modules

Choose two to four modules (totalling 80 credits) from a wide range which typically includes:

  • Armchair Intelligence – Open Sources and Online Investigation (20 credits)

  • Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Terrorism (40 credits)

  • Cyber Security  (40 credits)

  • Proliferation and International Security (40 credits)

  • Risk and Uncertainty in Global Politics (20 credits)

  • Contemporary British Defence Policy (20 credits)

  • Diplomacy, Intelligence and Armaments Competition: The Origins of the Second World War 1931-1941 (40 credits)

  • Or any of the other available options offered by the Department of War Studies

We regularly review our modules to make sure our programmes are as up-to-date, innovative and relevant as possible. The modules we offer may therefore change. We suggest that you check the course finder for updates: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/index.aspx.

Entry requirements & how to apply

Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language entry requirements.

General entry advice

1st class or good 2:1 undergraduate degree (65% or above in the UK marking system) in history, international relations, political science, economics or other appropriate subject.

As a guideline for those with USA undergraduate qualifications, we are usually looking for a CGPA of above 3.5. Applicants with qualifications from other countries are welcomed, with further guidance available at www.kcl.ac.uk/study/international/yourcountry/index.aspx.

 

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.

Help and support

If you don't have a suitable qualification for direct entry to a UK university, or if English isn't your first language, our academic preparation courses can help you get ready for study in the UK.

Preparation courses

Fees and funding

  • Full time UK fees: £10,950 p.a. (2017/18)*
  • Full time overseas fees: £19,650 p.a. (2017/18)*
  • Part time UK fees: £5,475 p.a. (2017/18)*
  • Part time overseas fees: £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. 

Deposit                                                   

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.

Financial help and support

Visit the fees and funding webpages to find out more about bursaries, scholarships, grants, tuition fees, living expenses, student loans and other financial help available at King's.


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Next steps

View our postgraduate guide

Learn more about postgraduate degree programmes at King's. Download or view our guide in PDF format.

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Page last modified on 21 December 2016.