Skip to main content

History of War MA

Loading...

The History of War MA provides a platform to explore all aspects of the emergence of modern war from its late medieval origins to the present day, equipping you with the critical skills needed for further study or for a variety of careers in a complex and changing world. Our MA embodies the unique educational and military traditions of King’s College London going back to its foundation by the Duke of Wellington in 1829. The MA today is part of the Sir Michael Howard Centre for the History of War, the largest body of professional historians of war anywhere in the world. It is taught in collaboration with the Department of History and the Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives at King’s.

Key benefits

  • An opportunity to study within the unique, multi-disciplinary Department of War Studies, by far the largest and most well-established of its kind, with 60 years of dedicated study to all aspects of human conflict.
  • It offers a chance to work with the largest group of professional historians of war in the world. Departmental staff are internationally recognised experts in their areas of specialisation; they are active researchers and routinely use their latest findings in their teaching.
  • The programme is suitable for those already developing a specialist knowledge, just beginning their historical studies on the subject of war, or for those returning to history after an unrelated career.
  • Your work with detailed, original archives, along with the critical examination of methodological and theoretical issues related to war will equip you with a uniquely wide range of transferable skills, useful in any number of careers. Our graduates demonstrate independent, critical thinking and industry.
  • You will have the opportunity to complete a major piece of independent work with the freedom to choose whichever topic interests you most, along with developing your communication skills, both written and oral through presenting it
  • There are opportunities to get involved in the activities of the Department and the Sir Michael Howard Centre and associated research groups, such as the Laughton Naval Unit, these include workshops, guest seminars, research conferences and other events.
  • You will benefit from the central London location and the ready access to libraries, archives, museums, think tanks, and policy-making bodies.
  • You can take advantage of the many eminent historians who frequently come to speak in the department along with other high-profile visitors such as government ministers, ambassadors and generals.
  • Graduates have gone on to enjoy careers in education, government, media, publishing, and more, others have pursued academic research, working in universities, museums, and other types of organisation

The modern world has largely been shaped by centuries of warfare and by the prospect of future wars. Understanding the history of war is, therefore, essential to understanding the world we live in today. You will be studying the many cultural, social, economic, and strategic changes in warfare over time, working with a huge range of some of the world’s leading professional historians within the multi-disciplinary environment of the Department of War Studies and elsewhere in the college. They will explore with you the many conceptual, practical, and methodological challenges of studying the past which will allow you to develop your own expertise, interests, and understanding. In addition to a range of optional modules which approach the study of war from many different angles, you will have the opportunity to write a substantial dissertation on a subject of your own choosing related to the history of war. Graduates like you have gone on to enjoy productive academic careers as historians in universities, museums, and other types of organisation. The course is designed to equip you to progress to doctoral study, though the range of skills that you will gain, preparing you for a career in any number of areas, including education, government, media, publishing, and more. The Department of War Studies was the first academic department in the world to focus solely on the complexities of conflict and security, and has an unmatchable international reputation. As a multidisciplinary department, in addition to historical subjects, it provides unique opportunities to broaden your study across a range of disciplines, as well as access to research-led teaching in the evolution of war, past present, and future. Other subjects are also available to you, such as arms control and non-proliferation, grand strategy, migration, strategic and military thought, cyber warfare, conflict and the environment, the influence of science and technology on international security, along with regional specialisms covering Africa, Asia (East and South), Russia and elsewhere. No other department anywhere can provide this range of expertise and broader context for your study of the history of war.

Base campuses

strand-quad
Strand Campus

Located on the north bank of the River Thames, the Strand Campus houses King's College London's arts and sciences faculties.

waterloo-banner
Waterloo Campus

Waterloo campus is home of the Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing & Midwifery and facilities for other faculties

Regulating bodies

King's is regulated by the Office for Students

Loading...

Teaching methods - what to expect

The following table will give you an idea of what a typical academic workload might look like as you progress through your studies:

Module Lectures, seminars and feedback Self-study
Per 30-credit module

40 hours of teaching. Typically, 2 hours per week over two 10 week terms. This can be split into lectures and seminars. A 15 credit module will be half of this.

260 hours.
Dissertation module (60 credits) Up to 12 hours of online guidance, training workshops and personal supervision. 588 hours for dissertation.

Typically, one credit equates to 10 hours work.

 

Assessment

  • Dissertation
  • Essays
  • Individual & Group Presentations
  • Seminar participation
  • Exercises
  • Exams

The primary methods of assessment for this course are assessed essays, individual and group presentations, seminar participation, exercises, and/or exams.

The dissertation module assessment will be based on a 100% dissertation assignment (up to 12,000 words).

Structure

Required modules

You are required to take the following modules:

The History of War (30 credits)

Optional modules

In addition, you are required to take 90 credits from a range of optional modules if a full-time student. If you are a part-time student you will typically take 30 credits (or up to 60 credits) from a range of optional modules in your first year that may include the below:

Diplomacy & Foreign Policy (30 credits)
Comparative Civil Wars (30 credits)
Strategic Thought (30 credits)
Past and Present of British Intelligence (30 Credits)
Cybersecurity: Comparative Policy and Strategy (15 credits)
Armchair Intelligence: Open Sources & Online Investigation (15 credits)
Dirty Wars: Covert Wars, Political Warfare, and National Security (30 credits)

King’s College London reviews the modules offered on a regular basis to provide up-to-date, innovative and relevant programmes of study. Therefore, modules offered may change. We suggest you keep an eye on the course finder on our website for updates.

Please note that modules with a practical component will be capped due to educational requirements, which may mean that we cannot guarantee a place to all students who elect to study this module.

Employability

History of War Graduates go on to work for NGOs, the FCO, the MOD, the Home Office, NATO, the UN or pursue careers in academia, journalism, finance, the diplomatic services, the armed forces, education and more. 

Tuition Fees

UK:

Full time: £15,420 per year (2021/22)

Part time: £7,710 per year (2021/22)

International:

Full time: £27,900 per year (2021/22)

Part time: £13,950 per year (2021/22)

These tuition fees may be subject to additional increases in subsequent years of study, in line with King’s terms and conditions.

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 deposit is £500.

The INTERNATIONAL deposit is £2,000. 

  • If you receive an offer on or before 31st March, payment is due by 30th April 2021.
  • If you receive an offer between 1st April and 30th June, payment is due within one month of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer between 1st July and 31st July, payment is due within two weeks of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer on or after 1st August, payment is due within one week of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer from late August onwards, payment is due within 2 days of receiving the offer.

If you are a current King’s student in receipt of the King's Living Bursary you are not required to pay a deposit to secure your place on the programme. Please note, this will not change the total fees payable for your chosen programme.

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

Scholarships

Find out about The Worshipful Company of Bowyers Scholarship for the History of War MA.

Additional Costs

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

  • Books if you choose to buy your own copies
  • Library fees and fines 
  • Personal photocopies
  • Printing course handouts
  • Society membership fees
  • Stationery
  • Travel costs for travel around London and between campuses
  • Graduation costs 

Funding

The modern world has largely been shaped by centuries of warfare and by the prospect of future wars. Understanding the history of war is, therefore, essential to understanding the world we live in today. You will be studying the many cultural, social, economic, and strategic changes in warfare over time, working with a huge range of some of the world’s leading professional historians within the multi-disciplinary environment of the Department of War Studies and elsewhere in the college. They will explore with you the many conceptual, practical, and methodological challenges of studying the past which will allow you to develop your own expertise, interests, and understanding. In addition to a range of optional modules which approach the study of war from many different angles, you will have the opportunity to write a substantial dissertation on a subject of your own choosing related to the history of war. Graduates like you have gone on to enjoy productive academic careers as historians in universities, museums, and other types of organisation. The course is designed to equip you to progress to doctoral study, though the range of skills that you will gain, preparing you for a career in any number of areas, including education, government, media, publishing, and more. The Department of War Studies was the first academic department in the world to focus solely on the complexities of conflict and security, and has an unmatchable international reputation. As a multidisciplinary department, in addition to historical subjects, it provides unique opportunities to broaden your study across a range of disciplines, as well as access to research-led teaching in the evolution of war, past present, and future. Other subjects are also available to you, such as arms control and non-proliferation, grand strategy, migration, strategic and military thought, cyber warfare, conflict and the environment, the influence of science and technology on international security, along with regional specialisms covering Africa, Asia (East and South), Russia and elsewhere. No other department anywhere can provide this range of expertise and broader context for your study of the history of war.

Base campuses

strand-quad
Strand Campus

Located on the north bank of the River Thames, the Strand Campus houses King's College London's arts and sciences faculties.

waterloo-banner
Waterloo Campus

Waterloo campus is home of the Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing & Midwifery and facilities for other faculties

Regulating bodies

King's is regulated by the Office for Students

Loading...

Teaching methods - what to expect

The following table will give you an idea of what a typical academic workload might look like as you progress through your studies:

Module Lectures, seminars and feedback Self-study
Per 30-credit module

40 hours of teaching. Typically, 2 hours per week over two 10 week terms. This can be split into lectures and seminars. A 15 credit module will be half of this.

260 hours.
Dissertation module (60 credits) Up to 12 hours of online guidance, training workshops and personal supervision. 588 hours for dissertation.

Typically, one credit equates to 10 hours work.

 

Assessment

  • Dissertation
  • Essays
  • Individual & Group Presentations
  • Seminar participation
  • Exercises
  • Exams

The primary methods of assessment for this course are assessed essays, individual and group presentations, seminar participation, exercises, and/or exams.

The dissertation module assessment will be based on a 100% dissertation assignment (up to 12,000 words).

Structure

Required modules

You are required to take the following modules:

The History of War (30 credits)

Optional modules

In addition, you are required to take 90 credits from a range of optional modules if a full-time student. If you are a part-time student you will typically take 30 credits (or up to 60 credits) from a range of optional modules in your first year that may include the below:

Diplomacy & Foreign Policy (30 credits)
Comparative Civil Wars (30 credits)
Strategic Thought (30 credits)
Past and Present of British Intelligence (30 Credits)
Cybersecurity: Comparative Policy and Strategy (15 credits)
Armchair Intelligence: Open Sources & Online Investigation (15 credits)
Dirty Wars: Covert Wars, Political Warfare, and National Security (30 credits)

King’s College London reviews the modules offered on a regular basis to provide up-to-date, innovative and relevant programmes of study. Therefore, modules offered may change. We suggest you keep an eye on the course finder on our website for updates.

Please note that modules with a practical component will be capped due to educational requirements, which may mean that we cannot guarantee a place to all students who elect to study this module.

Employability

History of War Graduates go on to work for NGOs, the FCO, the MOD, the Home Office, NATO, the UN or pursue careers in academia, journalism, finance, the diplomatic services, the armed forces, education and more. 

Tuition Fees

UK:

Full time: £15,420 per year (2021/22)

Part time: £7,710 per year (2021/22)

International:

Full time: £27,900 per year (2021/22)

Part time: £13,950 per year (2021/22)

These tuition fees may be subject to additional increases in subsequent years of study, in line with King’s terms and conditions.

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 deposit is £500.

The INTERNATIONAL deposit is £2,000. 

  • If you receive an offer on or before 31st March, payment is due by 30th April 2021.
  • If you receive an offer between 1st April and 30th June, payment is due within one month of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer between 1st July and 31st July, payment is due within two weeks of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer on or after 1st August, payment is due within one week of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer from late August onwards, payment is due within 2 days of receiving the offer.

If you are a current King’s student in receipt of the King's Living Bursary you are not required to pay a deposit to secure your place on the programme. Please note, this will not change the total fees payable for your chosen programme.

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

Scholarships

Find out about The Worshipful Company of Bowyers Scholarship for the History of War MA.

Additional Costs

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

  • Books if you choose to buy your own copies
  • Library fees and fines 
  • Personal photocopies
  • Printing course handouts
  • Society membership fees
  • Stationery
  • Travel costs for travel around London and between campuses
  • Graduation costs 

Funding

Application closing date guidance

Loading...

Open days and events

Chat with current students and King's staff to find out about the courses we offer, life at King's and ask any questions you may have.

Explore more

SSA bedroom refurbished 1

Accommodation

Discover your accommodation options and explore our residences.