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War Studies MA

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Our War Studies MA explores the phenomenon of war and conflict as a key aspect of the human experience, along with its causes, conduct and consequences. Central to the degree is the study of war from a cutting-edge, interdisciplinary perspective - which includes historical, political, sociological, philosophical, artistic, legal, ethical and military viewpoints. War is a deeply complex and contentious phenomenon, and its interdisciplinary study offers an unusually powerful opportunity to sharpen your critical analytical and reflective abilities and develop independent thinking. This prepares you for a wide range of careers and positions of responsibility in which such advanced intellectual skills are highly valued by employers.

Key benefits

  • Designed to provide a postgraduate-level introduction to War Studies for students who have little or no specialist background in the field.
  • An introduction to novel and contentious topics, issues, viewpoints and approaches through vigorous, reasoned debate and analysis.
  • An opportunity to structure your studies around your interests, through a wide range of optional modules and choice of your dissertation topic.
  • A chance to develop a range of transferable skills at advanced level - such as critical analysis and reflection, intellectual independence, time management, written and verbal communication - that will enhance your employability, aid your professional career development and help prepare you for postgraduate research.
  • You will be taught by some of the very best academics in the field hailing from all around the world. Departmental staff are internationally acknowledged experts in their areas of specialisation. They are active researchers and routinely use their latest findings in their teaching.
  • Be part of a vibrant, highly international and multicultural community of students.
  • Opportunities to network with high-profile visitors, such as government ministers, ambassadors, generals and academics, who frequently give talks in the Department.
  • As the oldest programme in the Department, you will be welcomed into a long-standing global network of alumni.
  • An opportunity to study at a global centre of excellence, located in the heart of London, that enjoys close relationships with other academic institutions, think-tanks, non-governmental organisations and policy-making bodies in London and around the world.
  • A proven record of employability in a wide range of careers, including in academia, international organisations, non-governmental organisations, national civil and military public service, politics, journalism, public advocacy, risk analysis and many others.

The MA in War Studies is the oldest degree programme in the Department of War Studies, stretching back some 60 years. A central objective of the MA from its beginnings has been to offer a thorough, state-of-the-art introduction to the major issues and debates concerning war and its impact on the world. The intractability of war suggests that no one disciplinary lens by itself may suffice to fully grasp the problem and identify solutions. By examining war and conflict in the round and looking at theories and practices, past, present and future, this multi-faceted and wide-ranging programme enables you to study alongside historians, social scientists, philosophers, jurists and artists, benefitting from their perspectives and those of the students around you. We will provide you with an intellectual ‘toolbox’ composed of skills and techniques drawn from a range of disciplines associated with the humanities and social sciences, giving you an overview of the fundamental elements of various disciplines that are relevant to the study of war. The challenge we pursue together lies in combining and, if possible, integrating them in order to achieve a sophisticated and rounded understanding of the subject area. The course will appeal if you are a student of politics, history or strategic studies or any other field which has kindled an interest in war, or if you are a professional in defence, diplomacy or foreign affairs who wants to reflect on the broader implications of your experiences. 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 an 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

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 and flexible delivery teaching options available. 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
  • 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:

Theory & Practice 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:

Contemporary Conflicts (30 credits)
Diplomacy & Foreign Policy (30 credits)
Comparative Civil Wars (30 credits)
Strategic Thought (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)

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

The MA in War Studies is the oldest degree programme in the Department of War Studies, stretching back some 60 years. A central objective of the MA from its beginnings has been to offer a thorough, state-of-the-art introduction to the major issues and debates concerning war and its impact on the world. The intractability of war suggests that no one disciplinary lens by itself may suffice to fully grasp the problem and identify solutions. By examining war and conflict in the round and looking at theories and practices, past, present and future, this multi-faceted and wide-ranging programme enables you to study alongside historians, social scientists, philosophers, jurists and artists, benefitting from their perspectives and those of the students around you. We will provide you with an intellectual ‘toolbox’ composed of skills and techniques drawn from a range of disciplines associated with the humanities and social sciences, giving you an overview of the fundamental elements of various disciplines that are relevant to the study of war. The challenge we pursue together lies in combining and, if possible, integrating them in order to achieve a sophisticated and rounded understanding of the subject area. The course will appeal if you are a student of politics, history or strategic studies or any other field which has kindled an interest in war, or if you are a professional in defence, diplomacy or foreign affairs who wants to reflect on the broader implications of your experiences. 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 an 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

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 and flexible delivery teaching options available. 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
  • 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:

Theory & Practice 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:

Contemporary Conflicts (30 credits)
Diplomacy & Foreign Policy (30 credits)
Comparative Civil Wars (30 credits)
Strategic Thought (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)

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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