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Science & International Security MA

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Developments in science and technology are increasingly playing a central role in defining some of the most pressing national and international security issues. This MA programme will give you detailed understanding of how science, technology and international relations impact each other and influence questions of security and global order. Particular attention will be paid to the crucial role nuclear, chemical and biological weapons have played in shaping international politics. The salience of these weapons, and their technologies, have increased with the rise of great power rivalry and arms racing, regional tensions and the threat of terrorism. We will also look at emerging issues such as artificial intelligence, cyber capabilities and space weapons; all of which have emerged as areas that advance the critical intersection between technological advances and international security. This programme combines insights from International Relations, Strategic Studies and Science and Technology Studies to examine how the technological landscape is shaping global politics. It also examines how international efforts to control and regulate these weapons are at the centre of practices of global governance. This Masters is a unique opportunity to think and study in depth some of the most important, dynamic and challenging issues facing the international community today. We pride ourselves on taking a multi-dimensional perspective which equips graduates of the programme to become leaders in their fields, such as non-proliferation, arms control, and international security.

Key benefits

  • We have designed this unique programme to develop your ability to understand and analyse the security implications of scientific and technological developments, utilising knowledge and tools of analysis from political science, history, international relations, security studies and sociology as well as the natural sciences.
  • Our Centre for Science and Security Studies (CSSS), 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) Royal United Services Institutes (RUSI) and the International Institute for Strategic Studies (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.
Abigail

My degree was academically challenging and covered key fundamentals, whilst also providing me with practical resources to apply this knowledge. I was also able to gain transferable analytical skills that helped me get my current job role in cyber security.

Abigail, Alumni

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, chemical 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 now have greater access to new technologies more than ever before. Our course will provide you with an integrated understanding of science and politics. You will develop knowledge 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. This MA is based in the Department of War Studies, one of the only academic departments in the world to focus solely on the complexities of conflict and security. War Studies is a multidisciplinary department and all War Studies students benefit from research-led teaching in such subjects as the history and evolution of war and grand strategy, arms control and non-proliferation, migration, strategic thought, cyber, 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.

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

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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
  • Dissertation
  • Exams
  • Exercises
  • Seminar participation

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. If you are a part-time student, in your first year, you will take The Science and Security of Nuclear, Chemical and Biological Weapons (15 credits) and Current Issues in Science and Security (15 credits) and up to 60 credits worth of optional modules.

The Science and Security of Nuclear and Biological Weapons (15 credits)
Current Issues in Science & Security (15 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 studying part-time, in your first year you will take 30 credits of required taught modules and 60 credits of optional modules. In your second year you will take your dissertation (60 credits) and a further 30 credits of optional modules.

Armchair Intelligence: Open Sources & Online Investigation (15 credits)
Hacking Defence Problems (30 credits)
Contemporary Conflicts (30 credits)
Cybersecurity: Comparative Policy and Strategy (15 credits)
Technology, Security and Global Politics (15 credits)
The Politics of Nuclear Weapons in the Middle East (15 credits)

Or choose from a 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
  • Society membership fees
  • Stationery
  • Travel costs for travel around London and between campuses
  • Graduation costs

Funding

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, chemical 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 now have greater access to new technologies more than ever before. Our course will provide you with an integrated understanding of science and politics. You will develop knowledge 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. This MA is based in the Department of War Studies, one of the only academic departments in the world to focus solely on the complexities of conflict and security. War Studies is a multidisciplinary department and all War Studies students benefit from research-led teaching in such subjects as the history and evolution of war and grand strategy, arms control and non-proliferation, migration, strategic thought, cyber, 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.

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
  • Dissertation
  • Exams
  • Exercises
  • Seminar participation

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. If you are a part-time student, in your first year, you will take The Science and Security of Nuclear, Chemical and Biological Weapons (15 credits) and Current Issues in Science and Security (15 credits) and up to 60 credits worth of optional modules.

The Science and Security of Nuclear and Biological Weapons (15 credits)
Current Issues in Science & Security (15 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 studying part-time, in your first year you will take 30 credits of required taught modules and 60 credits of optional modules. In your second year you will take your dissertation (60 credits) and a further 30 credits of optional modules.

Armchair Intelligence: Open Sources & Online Investigation (15 credits)
Hacking Defence Problems (30 credits)
Contemporary Conflicts (30 credits)
Cybersecurity: Comparative Policy and Strategy (15 credits)
Technology, Security and Global Politics (15 credits)
The Politics of Nuclear Weapons in the Middle East (15 credits)

Or choose from a 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
  • Society membership fees
  • Stationery
  • Travel costs for travel around London and between campuses
  • Graduation costs

Funding

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