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International Affairs MA/PG Dip/PG Cert

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The international political system is now experiencing its most momentous period of upheaval since the end of the Cold War. Our International Affairs MA/PG Dip/PG Cert, with specialisms in Cyber Security and Espionage & Surveillance Studies, engages with the world’s international security issues with the goal of educating the next generation of leaders in the industry. If security is of concern to you, whether as a journalist, policy advisor, civil servant, defence professional or aspiring student, this course equips you with the knowledge and skills you need to succeed.

Drawing its content from our School of Security Studies - the largest academic community of its kind in the world - the course makes use of our teaching team’s deep connections to security organisations worldwide to provide the highest tier of research and experience-led learning outcomes. This complete masters course is taught one-hundred per cent online, meaning you can progress your education alongside your career without needing a break. The flexible two-to-four-year curriculum fits around your existing work and life commitments.

The course information sheet is a printable version of the information on this web page, which you can download here

Key Benefits
  • Attain ground-breaking learning outcomes in the field of international affairs.
  • Learn the history, international relations, strategic and political theory that surrounds the world’s most intricate security challenges.
  • Draw upon knowledge and research from the Defence Studies Department, the School of Security Studies and the Faculty of Social Science and Public Policy.
  • Learn from high-profile academics in the field of security and defence.
  • All you need is a computer and an internet connection.
  • Achieve a PG Cert in less than a year, Postgraduate Diploma in 16 months and an MA in two years.
  • With small class sizes, you benefit from close instructor interaction and collaboration with other students from everywhere in the world.

The advantages of distance learning:

  • Access study materials and lectures at any time, from wherever you are in the world.
  • Start and finish at your convenience with six entry points per year.
  • Our unique carousel learning system allows you to study at your own pace.
  • Make use of all the University’s services without having to visit campus, including careers, wellness and disability services.

Key information

Duration MA -minimum 2 years, maximum 6 years; PG Dip - minimum 16 months, maximum 4 years; PG Cert- minimum 8 months, maximum 3 years

Study mode Online/Distance learning

Course code 123

Awarding institution King's College London

Contacts For further information regarding the admissions process please contact our Enrolment Advisors on +44 (0)20 7848 7860 or email onlineenrolmentservice@kcl.ac.uk.

Course contact form Postgraduate admissions

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Course detail


The International Affairs MA/PG Dip/PG Cert is a ground-breaking new course that combines international relations, military history, strategic studies and regional security studies to educate students in the fundamental issues surrounding international security and conflict politics. With modules covering international relations, strategy and conflict history, cyber security, intelligence and future conflict, the course’s multidisciplinary approach enables you to gain a holistic understanding of the global security industry and the challenges it faces.

As well as its core subject areas, the course seeks to transform your research capabilities, with skills modules focussed on critical thinking and evidence evaluation. You will need to complete a self-directed research dissertation that will inaugurate you into the academic conversation surrounding international affairs.

  • Access study materials and lectures at any time, from wherever you are in the world.
  • Start and finish at your convenience with six entry points per year.
  • Our unique carousel learning system allows you to study at your own pace.
  • Make use of all the University’s services without having to visit campus, including careers, wellness and disability services.

With the MA’s specialist pathways, you’ll advance course outcomes that facilitate your journey towards specific career paths. Our course modules have been described as “transformative” and “sector-leading”; fundamentally changing the way that students understand the global security and defence landscape. Armed with these top-tier study and research outcomes we anticipate that our graduates will undertake critical leadership positions in security-related fields.

The MA in International Affairs provides a comprehensive study pathway with options to explore your own subjects of interest.  However, students with specific career goals in mind may wish to specialise within a subset of the field.

Cyber Security is a complex and increasingly pressing issue in today’s digitised world. The definition of the term itself is broad, covering both an understanding of what constitutes a cyber ‘attack’ as well defence apparatus, surveillance architectures, data management and information campaigns. The advent of artificial intelligence adds even greater levels of risk to an already intricate digital landscape. The International Affairs MA with Cyber Security specialism helps students to grasp the theory behind this complex world, investigating different aspects of the industry with the goal of offering a practical understanding of security strategies and approaches.

The Espionage and Surveillance (ES) pathway explores the history of intelligence organisation over the past 60 years as a foundation for understanding the theory and strategies involved in intelligence gathering and analysis. This fascinating field takes on a new aspect in the 21st century, when digital technologies and artificial intelligence are redefining our understanding of the nature of information. ES is at once practical, historical and theoretical, laying the groundwork for flourishing intelligence-related careers.

Course format and assessment


This programme has been designed specifically for an online audience. It uses a range of interactive activities to support learning including discussion forums, online readings, interactive lectures, videos and online tutorials. Students are expected to undertake approximately 22 hours of study per week. In addition to the online learning resources designed specifically for this programme, students will have access to King’s College Library’s electronic resources and supportive online tutors.


Students on this programme are assessed through a combination of written coursework and online presentations. The assessment methods may vary between modules but each module will include one or more of these methods. The study time and assessment methods detailed above are typical and give you a good indication of what to expect. However, they may change if the programme modules change.

Entry requirements

Minimum requirements  2:1

2:1 honours undergraduate degree in any subject.

Candidates who achieve 2:2 honours but have relevant professional or voluntary experience may be considered. A CV and reference will be required at the point of application.

Candidates without a degree but presenting with demonstrable significant work experience in a related area may also be considered. A CV, reference and 500 word written statement addressing the question “What are the key global security issues facing the world today? How might they be studied in a rigorous fashion?” will be required at the point of application.

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

For King's Online Programme, here are the steps of the application procedure:

  1. Your consultation call
    The first step is to find out which of our online courses is most suitable for you. Our Enrolment Advisors will schedule an in-depth chat to learn all about you, what your goals are and whether or not a particular course will be of benefit to you at this stage in your education or career.
  2. Your King’s Apply application
    Upon passing your initial consultation call, your Enrolment Advisor will invite you to apply to one of our courses through King’s Apply - our official enrolment platform. Here, you’ll need to enter your personal details, your education to date and upload the required documentation, including degree certificates and language awards.
  3. Pay your application fee
    Every application made through King’s Apply requires a non-refundable processing fee of £60. Once you’ve paid your application fee, you are able to submit your application to us.
  4. Accept your offer
    If everything goes well with your application, King’s College London will submit an official enrolment offer through the King’s Apply platform. You will be notified of any offers by email and your enrolment advisor will likely give you a call to confirm that you’ve received it. Once you have accepted your offer you will be invited to enrol on to the next intake of your chosen course.
  5. Pay your deposit
    Paying your deposit is your first official commitment to your course. Once it has been paid, we’ll send you all the details you need to access the course learning environment and get ready for your first day of study. We’ll introduce you to your Student Success Advisor and send you your Welcome Pack. Please note that your course deposit also serves as payment for your first module.

Application closing date

There are multiple entry points each year for the course, specific dates for points of entry are listed below.

January 2020 

Application deadline: 11th December 2019
Course starts: 7th January 

March 2020
Application deadline: 18th February
Course starts: 3rd March

May 2020
Application deadline: 21st April
Course starts: 5th May

June 2020
Application deadline: 16th June
Course starts: 30th June

September 2020
Application deadline: 18th August
Course starts: 1st September

October 2020
Application deadline: 13th October
Course starts: 27th October

For specific entry dates please contact an Enrolment Advisor using the form below.

We recommend that you submit your application as soon as possible.  Applications will remain open if places are available and programmes will be closed as soon as they are full.

On-Campus Programmes

The Defence Studies Department also offers a number of quality on-campus programmes. If you're interested in studying with us here in London on courses like our International Security & Strategy MA, please click here.

Fees and funding

Fees and funding

Fees will be charged on a modular basis at £1400 per module. The total costs for each course will therefore be:

PG Cert: £5,600

PG Dip: £11,200

MA: £16,800

Tuition fees may be subject to an annual increase each academic year in line with King's College London's terms and conditions. 


Additional requirements and costs

Students will need access to a computer or tablet in order to complete the course. Although optimised for mobile, we cannot guarantee the ability to complete the course using only a mobile device. Minimum and recommended browser versions are as follows:

Google Chrome: minimum - version 30.0; recommended – latest

Mozilla Firefox: minimum - version 25.0; recommended – latest

Apple Safari: minimum - version 6; recommended – latest

Microsoft Internet Explorer: minimum - version 9; recommended - latest

You may need to upgrade your browser in the future. Access to a high-speed network connection is also recommended (2.5Mbps minimum). Dial-up, cable and DSL are not recommended.

In addition to your tuition fees you can also expect to incur cost if you:

  • Choose to purchase books, ebooks or articles
  • Incur library fees and fines
  • Print documents or make photocopies
  • Join societies with membership fees
  • Attend graduation
  • Require stationery
  • Choose to travel to the King’s campus

Additional fees information

Your course deposit will be applied as credit against the cost of your first module. On orientation day, the University will send you an invoice for the cost of the second module, with the due date being five days later.

A standard 14 day cooling-off period will apply from the date of your deposit payment. If you have registered for a PG Dip or PG Cert qualification but decide you wish to upgrade to a higher award you will enter a new cooling-off period at the point of upgrade. To upgrade your course, please speak to your enrolment adviser after your start date.

Career prospects

The course is ideal for anyone seeking to pursue a career in any industries addressing concerns over international affairs. This may include roles in Civil Service, NGOs, local or national government, armed forces, the Home Office, policy think tanks, or private intelligence and security companies. It may also be suitable for journalists or parliamentary advisers reporting on international issues.

The course presents students with advanced knowledge in international diplomatic and security strategies with the goal of advancing them to leadership-level positions in these fields. This makes it ideal for professionals hoping to advance their existing careers or change careers into a profession within international or conflict politics.


More information

Sound like the course for you?

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