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History of War MA

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Our 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. Taught in collaboration with the Department of History and the Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives, it is designed as a research-preparation degree to allow you to go on to further study or as a ‘stand alone’ degree.


Key benefits

  • A unique opportunity to study war within the multi-disciplinary environment of the Department of War Studies
  • 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.
  • A chance to work with one of the largest groups of professional historians of war anywhere in 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
  • The opportunity to develop a range of transferable skills that will enhance your employability, aid your professional-career development and help prepare you for postgraduate research
  • An opportunity to study at a global centre of excellence that enjoys close relationships with other academic institutions, with think-tanks, non-governmental organisations and policy- making bodies around the world
  • Opportunities to benefit from high-profile visitors, such as government ministers, ambassadors and generals, who frequently give talks in the Department

Key information

Application status Open

Duration One year FT / Two years PT, September to September

Study mode Full-time

Credit value UK 180 / ECTS 90

Course intake 30-45 FT and PT

Course leaders Dr Alan James

Further details

Course contact for further information

Postgraduate Admissions Team, Admissions Office
tel: +44 (0)20 7848 7000
fax: +44 (0)20 7848 7200

https://www.kcl.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/apply/enquiry-form.aspx

Course contact form Postgraduate admissions

Awarding institution King's College London

Faculty Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy

Department Department of War Studies

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Course detail

Description

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 professional historians within the multi-disciplinary environment of the Department of War Studies. 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 and to write a substantial dissertation on any subject of your own choosing. This will provide you with a number of skills that are transferable to the workplace or which will permit you to go to doctoral study.

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.

Further literature

 

Course format and assessment

Teaching

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

 ModuleLectures, 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 online 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

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).

Location: 

This course is primarily taught at the King’s College London Strand and Waterloo Campuses with options of learning online and flexibly.

Please note that locations are determined by where each module is taught and may vary. We will use a delivery method that will ensure students have a rich, exciting experience from the start. Face to face teaching will be complemented and supported with innovative technology so that students also experience elements of digital learning and assessment.

Regulating Body

King's College London is regulated by the Office for Students. 

 

Structure

Year 1

Courses are divided into modules, and students on this course take modules totalling 180 credits. 

Required Modules

You are required to take the following modules:

  • The History of War (30 credits)
  • Dissertation (60 credits)

As a part-time student, in your first year, you will take The History of War, and 30 credits (or up to 60 credits) of optional modules in your first year.

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 And 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.

All students also have the flexibility to take online modules. Online optional modules may typically include:

  • African Security (15 credits)
  • Air Power Studies 1: The Quest to Remove Battle from War (15 credits)
  • Air Power Studies 2: Case Studies of Integrated Air Power (15 credits)
  • Conflict in Russia & the Post-Soviet Space (15 credits)
  • Conflict, Rights and Justice (15 credits)
  • History of Contemporary Warfare 1: The Early Cold War, 1945–1975 (15 credits)
  • History of Contemporary Warfare 2: from Cold War to War on Terror, 1975–2011 (15 credits)
  • Insurgency & Counter-insurgency (15 credits)
  • Intelligence in War & Peace (15 credits)
  • International Law & the Use of Force (15 credits)
  • International Relations & Contemporary War 1: Theories & Concepts (15 credits)
  • International Relations & Contemporary War 2: Problems & Issues (15 credits)
  • Middle Eastern Security (15 credits)
  • Sea Power (15 credits) 
  • South Asian Security (15 credits)
  • Strategic Dimensions of Contemporary Warfare (15 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.

Year 2

Required Modules
Part time only: you will write your dissertation in the second year (60 credits).
Optional Modules
You will make up remaining credits from optional modules.

Entry requirements & how to apply

History of War Entry requirements
Minimum requirements

High 2:1

(65%)

Undergraduate degree with high 2:1 honours (i.e. overall average of at least 65% across all years of study) in history, international relations, political science, economics or other appropriate subject.

In order to meet the academic entry requirements for this programme you should have a minimum high 2:1 undergraduate degree with a final mark of at least 65% or above in the UK marking scheme. If you are still studying you should be achieving an average of at least 65% or above in the UK marking scheme. 

International requirements   Visit our admissions webpages to view our International entry requirements.
English Language requirements Band B Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language entry requirements. 

 

Application procedure

Applications must be made online using King’s online application portal apply.kcl.ac.uk and a non-refundable application fee of £70 applies. 

All applications are assessed by a committee of academic tutors. We aim to process all complete applications within four weeks; during February and March and over holiday periods, applications may take longer to process.

Personal statement and supporting information

Please provide a personal statement explaining why you are interested in this particular programme, and outlining any relevant experience you have. If there are any anomalies in your academic record, please use the personal statement to explain related extenuating circumstances.

You will be asked to submit the following documents in order for your application to be considered:

Personal Statement  Yes

A personal statement is required. This can be entered directly into the online application form (maximum 4,000 characters) or uploaded as an attachment to the online application form (maximum 2 pages).

Previous Academic Study Yes A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing the subjects studied and marks obtained. If you have already completed your degree, copies of your official degree certificate will also be required. Applicants with academic documents issued in a language other than English, will need to submit both the original and official translation of their documents.
References Yes One academic reference is required. A professional reference will be accepted if you have completed your qualifications over five years ago. In some cases, we may request an additional reference from you.
Other Optional Applicants may wish to include a CV (Resume) or evidence of professional registration as part of their application

 

Application closing date

We recommend that you submit your application as soon as possible. Our first application deadline is the 26th March 2021. After this date, the programme will remain open only if places are still available and will be closed as soon as it is full.

For programmes that remain open beyond this date, the final application deadlines for the following fee statuses are listed below:

  • EU or overseas (international) fee status: 30th July 2021
  • Home fee status: 27th August 2021

Please note, you will not be eligible for an application fee refund if you apply after the first application deadline in March, and we are unable to process more offers as places are filled before the final application deadlines above.

Help and support

If you don't have a suitable qualification for direct entry to a UK university, or if English isn't your first language, our academic preparation courses can help you get ready for study in the UK.

Preparation courses

Fees and funding

  • Full time Home fees: £15,420 per year (2021/22)
  • Full time overseas fees: £27,900 per year (2021/22)
  • Part time Home fees: £7,710 per year (2021/22)
  • Part time overseas fees: £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.

Additional costs/expenses

In addition to the costs above, 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 

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

Financial help and support

Visit the fees and funding webpages to find out more about bursaries, scholarships, grants, tuition fees, living expenses, student loans and other financial help available at King's.

Career prospects

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. 

Testimonials

Blue box with King's College London rankings. Starting with, 7th in the UK for research quality. Followed by, 6th in the UK for research power. Concluding with, 4th among multi-faculty universities for research Impact. The source is research excellence framework 2014

Next steps

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