International Affairs is a ground-breaking 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, modern implementation of deterrence strategy, 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.
King’s Defence Studies Department is dedicated to nurturing the security and defence leaders of the future and our curriculum content is structured with this goal in mind. Our course modules have been described as “transformative” and “sector-leading”; fundamentally changing the way that you will 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 as 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 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 & Surveillance 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.
The Strategic Studies pathway builds on the Introduction to Strategy core module of the course. This pathway encourages students to look at the modern-day implementation of deterrence before studying in-depth the topics of sanctions, strategy and statecraft. Students get to grips with the complexity of strategy in the modern world, which has implications not only for international affairs but also for business and organisational development.
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.
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