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MA in Intelligence & International Security

Overview 

Why do nations spy on each other? Did superior intelligence win great conflicts such as the two world wars, the Cold War and recent wars in the Middle East? Would better intelligence services have forewarned of surprise attacks such as 911? Has the Internet ushered in a new era of mass surveillance and ‘cyberwar’? Is spying ethical?  These are some of the questions that students study and debate on the MA in Intelligence and International Security. 

Entry requirements
Applying, fees & funding
Module description and course structure

Taught by leading experts

As a world-class centre of excellence in the heart of London, the Department of War Studies has a deep-rooted commitment to research and teaching in broad international policy areas with a notion that government can be improved by studying its problems and training its policy makers. Reflecting this ethos, our faculty includes internationally recognised scholars in intelligence studies as well as former UK and US intelligence officials, including Sir David Omand, a former Director of GCHQ. Studying intelligence at King’s offers students not only the opportunity to learn from our faculty, but also the opportunity to participate in a wide range of seminars and special lectures by top policy makers from all over the world.  

International Student Community

Our students are an equally international, fascinating and diverse group, which includes recent graduates from top-ranking institutions in the social sciences and humanities, as well as mid-career civilian and military professionals on sabbatical leave or studying part time. Graduates from our programme not only go on to work in the intelligence and security sectors for their own governments, but they also find jobs with commercial providers of open-source risk-analysis, the media, international organisations, NGOs, financial institutions and other private sector employers. A number of our most distinguished graduates have published their own research in leading academic journals such as Intelligence and National Security and advanced into PhD programmes at King’s and other leading universities.  

Unique programme structure

Our MA programme provides an introduction to the academic study of intelligence and international security intended for graduates who have little or no background in the field, and for mid-career practitioners who wish to enhance their professional skills through scholarship.  The core module, ‘Intelligence in Peace and War,’ provides knowledge and understanding of the historical and social science approaches to studying intelligence. Lectures and seminars explore the history, evolution of relevant concepts, case studies and current issues to provide students with the means of assessing the concepts critically. The seminars provide an opportunity for students to work together in role-playing simulations and to analyse intelligence documents.

Students also choose from a wide variety of optional modules, which are taught in small groups, and include specialist modules on ‘The Joint Intelligence Committee and British Intelligence’, ‘Intelligence in the Media’, ‘CBRN Terrorism’, ‘Securing the State’,  ‘The War on Terror’, ‘Cyber Security’, ‘The Proliferation and International Security’. Our students choose diverse, individual combinations of modules to satisfy their interests and further their career goals.  Finally, the 15,000 word dissertation gives students the opportunity to define and undertake a substantial research project, guided by an expert supervisor. Recent dissertation topics include: ‘Cyber Intelligence and Security’, ‘Intelligence Operations during the World Wars and the Cold War’, ‘Covert Action, Intelligence and Counter-Insurgency in Iraq and Afghanistan’, ‘Intelligence and Counter-Terrorism, the Relationship between Intelligence, Oversight and Democracy’, and ‘The Ethics of Spying.’
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