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War in the Modern World MA

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Our War in the Modern World MA offers a comprehensive examination of military conflict, international security issues and global geo-political change from 1945 to the present day. By learning remotely, you can access our high standard of teaching and expert staff with minimal disruption to your personal or professional life.

  • An entirely web-delivered programme that is available anytime, anywhere.

  • Innovative and academically rigorous.

  • You will engage regularly and directly with your lecturers, who provide support and guidance throughout the programme.

  • All materials are authored content, video, audio, images, maps and intensively used discussion forums, and you will have full access to the resources of King's College London library's extensive electronic holdings.

  • Maximum flexibility for you to access content and respond to discussion postings in your own time for each study unit.

Key information

Application status Open

Duration Minimum 2 years, maximum 6 years with any breaks taken.

Study mode Distance Learning by eLearning, Part-time

Credit value UK 180 / ECTS 90

Course intake Approximately 45

Course leaders

Dr David Easter, Academic and Programme Director and Admissions Tutor:

Dr Rachel Kerr, Senior Tutor and Admissions Tutor: (on sabbatical January 2017 to June 2017)

Anne-Lucie Norton, Executive Director:

Further details

Course contact for further information

Postgraduate Admissions Team, Admissions Office
tel: +44 (0)20 7848 7000


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


Our War in the Modern World MA will give you an advanced and comprehensive understanding of the historical evolution of warfare and international security since the end of the Second World War. You will examine contemporary warfare and security issues in the light of the wide-ranging political, technological, economic and social changes since 1945. It will equip you to engage critically with scholarly debate about the conduct and nature of contemporary warfare, and to understand the contexts in which modern conflicts take place.

This is a flexible, modular master's programme, rich in media and reading resources. Despite being taught online, you will be able to interact frequently with an engaging and lively community of fellow graduates, from a wide variety of backgrounds, through our online system. The programme is structured so that you will first develop an understanding of warfare, security issues and geo-political changes. You can then choose optional modules and write your dissertation, giving you the opportunity to concentrate on those aspects of contemporary war and international relations that interest you most.

Our programme is ideal if you are interested in pursuing postgraduate studies in the fields of war studies, international relations and international security. You will find it particularly interesting if you are a graduate of history, political science, international relations, economics, or if you have experience working with NGOs, civil services, NATO, the UN, media and publishing, finance and investment and the military.



Course purpose

Our programme is designed to offer you an engaging, well designed and flexible online master's degree in war studies.

Further literature

Enquiry form for application queries:

Further programme information is available on the War Studies Online website:

Course format and assessment

The programme is delivered online, via the King's College London Virtual Learning Environment (KEATS). You will study through lively online seminars, where everyone will participate in their own time, guided by one of our expert staff. 

Per 20 credit module you will typically have 4 hours per week of 'seminars', for 10 weeks.

For the Dissertation you will typically have 2 hours per week online discussion time for four weeks.

All 20-credit modules will be assessed by one 1,500-word short essay (25%), one 3,000-word long essay (70%) and student participation in the seminar discussions (5%). The dissertation module assessment will be on the 15,000-word dissertation. 


Year 1

Required Modules
Optional Modules

In addition, you take 80 credits from a range of optional modules that may typically include:

  • Air Power Studies 1: The Quest to remove Battle from War (20 credits)
  • Air Power Studies 2: Case Studies of Integrated Air Power (20 credits)
  • African Security (20 credits)
  • Conflict in Russia and the Post-Soviet Space (20 credits)
  • Japan, China, and Great Power Competition in East Asia (20 credits)
  • Insurgency and Counter Insurgency (20 credits)
  • Intelligence in War and Peace (20 credits)
  • International Law and the Use of Force (20 credits)
  • International Relations and Contemporary War 1: Theories and Concepts (20 credits)
  • International Relations and Contemporary War 2: Problems and Issues (20 credits)
  • Middle Eastern Security (20 credits)


Entry requirements & how to apply

Visit our admissions web pages to view our English language entry requirements.

Minimum  academic requirements: 2:1 Undergraduate honours degree (or international equivalent eg USA CGPA above 3.3) in history, international relations, political science, economics or other appropriate subject). 
Degrees in other subjects, or candidates with lower awards than those above, may be considered: strong references and personal statements are an important part of the application, as is relevant working experience. An alternative professional or other qualification obtained by a formal examination may be approved. Prior experiential learning can also be taken into consideration by the admissions panel. Where alternative professional or other qualifications are not available, evidence will be required that you can undertake academic study to the level required. If necessary, you will be asked to submit a sample of written work.

Other requirements: You will also require regular access to a high-specification computer with unbroken broadband internet connection, good time management skills and confidence in using computers.

A note on online access: The online learning environment through which all war studies online programmes are delivered is open 24 hours and 365 days a year, excluding notified maintenance downtime.

The structure of our programme of study requires that you have reliable and excellent connectivity and bandwidth to enable you to log in frequently. This is to enable you to participate in the required online seminar discussions, but also to access the learning materials and resources that are provided to you.

If you would like further information regarding the online learning environment, please contact us on

Application procedure

Applications must be made online using King’s online application portal

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.

Personal statement and supporting information

See our Applying web pages and the checklist for supporting documents to ensure you have everything for your online application. Please note you must provide a personal statement and should give evidence of your relevant skills, knowledge and experience and you should also give your motivations for choosing this programme.

If there are any anomalies in your academic record, please use the personal statement to explain related extenuating circumstances.

Reduced fees are available for Defence Academy students who have passed ICSC(L), ICSC(M) and ICSC(A) only. You are required to provide evidence. To find out if you are eligible see our web page about accreditation and fees.

Application closing date

For September 2017 entry, the deadline for complete applications is open until 30th July 2017. We do advise you to submit a full application with supporting documents as early as possible to avoid disappointment as May to July we get many late applications and is then subject to availability. Programmes will be closed as soon as places are filled and those programmes with remaining places will only accept applications up to 3rd September 2017 at the very latest.

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

Students pay fees for each of two years. Fees for entrants of 2017/18 enrolment are:

Year 1, 2017/18: £9500

Year 2, 2018/19: £9800

This programme is only available two years’ part-time. There is no full-time option. Fees are the same for home/EU and overseas students.

Students are generally self-funded. We regret that there are currently no forms of student subsidy or scholarship available for this programme. 

Additional costs/expenses

In addition to your tuition fees, you can also expect to pay for: 

  • Books if you choose to buy your own copies 
  • Library fees and fines 
  • Personal photocopies 
  • Printing course materials 
  • Stationery 
  • Graduation costs

Please visit our web pages on fees and funding for more information.

We regret that there are currently no forms of student subsidy or scholarship available for this programme.

Special fee

If you are serving in the UK military or civil service and meet the eligibility requirements, a special fee for may be applicable for year one only. For further information, please contact

If you are applying for a reduced fee due to accreditation in ICSC(A), ICSC(L) or ICSC(M) as a self-funded applicant, please contact 

If taking a break in studies

For the avoidance of doubt, please note that tuition fees are calculated pro-rata for the time period you are taught from the start of term up to the beginning of your break. The timing of your break is confirmed when you submit the online form with the date of the start of the break which we will check with your tutor and online log. You will receive a refund of fees that you have paid for the year on this basis where applicable. Upon return to your studies the fee you pay is the calculated based on the advertised fee for that year, not the year in which you took your break.  

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.

Career prospects

Further information coming soon.


Career destinations

Past students from this programme have gone on to build careers in NGOs, civil services, NATO, the UN, media and publishing, finance and investment and teaching, as well as in the armed forces. A number of our students have had articles published in peer-reviewed journals, and undertaken further academic research. Several students have gone on to complete a PhD while one teaches part time at King’s. 


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 19 May 2017.