Skip to main content

National Security Studies MA

Loading...

Our unique National Security Studies MA enables participants to develop an in-depth understanding of national security both in the UK and from an international perspective. Designed to bring together security policy practitioners in the public and private sectors and postgraduate students with an interest in policy, the course focuses on cross-governmental responses to security challenges and is structured around key themes such as strategy, counter-terrorism, and ethics in national security. Students will gain an in-depth understanding of national security issues and security approaches in the international context. The course will educate students in key national security themes, enabling them to critically analyse current and future developments in the field. Delivered by a team of academic experts with a background in security policy research and practice, it complements teaching with a series of guest lectures from former ministers, MPs and leading national security experts from the UK and overseas, that have in the past included former Security and Intelligence Coordinator Professor Sir David Omand, former National Security Advisers Professor Lord Peter Ricketts and former Ambassador to the UN, Professor Sir Mark Lyall Grant.

Key benefits

  • Transferable skills such as the development of practical, policy-oriented insights into national security coordination and strategy.
  • High level oral presentation and effective writing skills, developed through a programme of formative and summative exercises throughout the course.
  • Development of strategic analysis and policy development. The course culminates in the King's National Security Briefing, where participants present their proposal to an elite panel of national security experts.
  • Development of in-depth and critical analysis of national security, and familiarisation with the latest research in the discipline.
  • A chance to network and connect with visiting academics, government ministers, diplomats and other experts in the field of national security.
  • Students benefit from the unique central London location, enabling them to participate in a wide range of national security-related activities and events within and beyond King's, and to build their professional networks in the field.

The course in National Security Studies is unique in bringing together security policy practitioners and postgraduate students in the Department of War Studies. The core modules in National Security Studies are delivered on a weekly basis over two terms and consist of highly interactive lectures and group sessions with academics and experienced officials that may include Professor Sir David Omand, Professor Lord Peter Ricketts and Sir Mark Lyall Grant, amongst others. The course enables participants to develop an in-depth understanding of national security both in the UK and from an international perspective. The course also focuses on cross-governmental responses to security challenges, and is structured around key themes such as strategy, counter-terrorism and ethics in national security. The course culminates in the King’s National Security Policy Briefing, where participants present their policy ideas to an elite panel of UK security practitioners. This course has been designed to train security practitioners and postgraduate students in the fundamentals of national security, while also exposing them to practical and conceptual issues and challenges such as cyber security, counter-terrorism and the oversight of national security. The course enables students to critically analyse national security and educates them in key national security themes, allowing them to critically analyse developments in the field. This course is also available to external candidates as a 30-credit Master’s level short course. Designed with the objectives of the UK government’s proposed College for National Security in mind, the course will bring together security policy practitioners, representatives from the private sector and policy-interested postgraduate students to consider issues around National Security. For further information please visit the King’s short course pages.

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

Curious to find out more? Access on-demand content including taster lectures and talks, and meet our current staff and students on our subject hub page.

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

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

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. Part time students take the dissertation module in their second year.

National Security Studies (30 credits)
Dissertation (60 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:

Homegrown Radicalisation & Counter- radicalisation in Western Europe & North America (30 credits)
The Science and Security of Nuclear and Biological Weapons (15 credits)
East Asian Security (15 credits)
Armchair Intelligence: Open Sources & Online Investigation (15 credits)
Comparative Civil Wars (30 credits)

You may choose options from the full range of optional modules available within the Department of War Studies. Please Note: the optional modules available change each year and are therefore only made accessible to enrolled students during the module allocation process.

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

War Studies graduates go on to work for NGOs, the FCO, the MOD, the Home Office, NATO, the UN or pursue careers in journalism, finance, academia, the diplomatic services, the armed forces and more. Recent posts held by our alumni include Threat Analyst, Director of Political Violence Forecasting, Research Advisor at NATO Defence College, Foreign Policy Fellow.

Tuition Fees

UK:

Full time: £16,200 per year (2022/23)

Part time: £8,100 per year (2022/23)

International:

Full time: £29,310 per year (2022/23)

Part time: £14,655 per year (2022/23)

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 31 March, payment is due by 25 April 2022.
  • If you receive an offer between 1 April and 30 June, payment is due within one month of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer between 1 July and 31 July, payment is due within two weeks of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer between 1 August and 21 August, payment is due within one week of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer from 22 August onwards, payment is due within three 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.

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/binding costs
  • Society membership fees
  • Stationery
  • Travel costs for travel around London and between campuses
  • Graduation costs

Funding

The course in National Security Studies is unique in bringing together security policy practitioners and postgraduate students in the Department of War Studies. The core modules in National Security Studies are delivered on a weekly basis over two terms and consist of highly interactive lectures and group sessions with academics and experienced officials that may include Professor Sir David Omand, Professor Lord Peter Ricketts and Sir Mark Lyall Grant, amongst others. The course enables participants to develop an in-depth understanding of national security both in the UK and from an international perspective. The course also focuses on cross-governmental responses to security challenges, and is structured around key themes such as strategy, counter-terrorism and ethics in national security. The course culminates in the King’s National Security Policy Briefing, where participants present their policy ideas to an elite panel of UK security practitioners. This course has been designed to train security practitioners and postgraduate students in the fundamentals of national security, while also exposing them to practical and conceptual issues and challenges such as cyber security, counter-terrorism and the oversight of national security. The course enables students to critically analyse national security and educates them in key national security themes, allowing them to critically analyse developments in the field. This course is also available to external candidates as a 30-credit Master’s level short course. Designed with the objectives of the UK government’s proposed College for National Security in mind, the course will bring together security policy practitioners, representatives from the private sector and policy-interested postgraduate students to consider issues around National Security. For further information please visit the King’s short course pages.

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

Curious to find out more? Access on-demand content including taster lectures and talks, and meet our current staff and students on our subject hub page.

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

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

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. Part time students take the dissertation module in their second year.

National Security Studies (30 credits)
Dissertation (60 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:

Homegrown Radicalisation & Counter- radicalisation in Western Europe & North America (30 credits)
The Science and Security of Nuclear and Biological Weapons (15 credits)
East Asian Security (15 credits)
Armchair Intelligence: Open Sources & Online Investigation (15 credits)
Comparative Civil Wars (30 credits)

You may choose options from the full range of optional modules available within the Department of War Studies. Please Note: the optional modules available change each year and are therefore only made accessible to enrolled students during the module allocation process.

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

War Studies graduates go on to work for NGOs, the FCO, the MOD, the Home Office, NATO, the UN or pursue careers in journalism, finance, academia, the diplomatic services, the armed forces and more. Recent posts held by our alumni include Threat Analyst, Director of Political Violence Forecasting, Research Advisor at NATO Defence College, Foreign Policy Fellow.

Tuition Fees

UK:

Full time: £16,200 per year (2022/23)

Part time: £8,100 per year (2022/23)

International:

Full time: £29,310 per year (2022/23)

Part time: £14,655 per year (2022/23)

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 31 March, payment is due by 25 April 2022.
  • If you receive an offer between 1 April and 30 June, payment is due within one month of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer between 1 July and 31 July, payment is due within two weeks of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer between 1 August and 21 August, payment is due within one week of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer from 22 August onwards, payment is due within three 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.

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/binding costs
  • 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.