For further details about teaching from September 2020 please visit your course or department page in the Offer Holder hub.

KBS_Icon_questionmark link-ico

National Security Studies MA

Apply now

Our unique National Security Studies MA is designed to bring together  security policy practitioners, representatives from the private sector and policy-interested postgraduate students.

Students will gain an in-depth understanding of national security issues and the increasing focus on cross-governmental responses to security challenges. The course will also deal with conceptual and theoretical questions relating to national security.

The course will provide a mixture of UK national security analysis, with analysis of national security approaches in the international context.

The course will be delivered by a team of academics including co-convenors Professor John Gearson and Dr Joe Devanny, and course tutor Dr Nina Musgrave, with a series of guest lectures from current and former practitioners that may include Professor Sir David Omand and Professor Lord Peter Ricketts.


Key benefits
  • Transferable skills such as the development of practical, policy-oriented insights.
  • High level presentation skills/effective writing development.
  • Development of strategic analysis and policy development.
  • Development of in-depth and critical analysis of national security, and familiarisation with the latest research in the discipline.
  • A chance to network and connect with visiting academics, government ministers, diplomats and other experts in the field of national security.

Key information

Application status Open

Duration One year Full time, Two Years Part Time

Study mode Full-time, Part-time

Course leaders

Professor John Gearson and Dr Joe Devanny (course convensors).

https://www.kcl.ac.uk/sspp/about/people

Further details

Course contact for further information

Postgraduate admissions, King’s College, London. Tel: +44 (0) 20 7848 7000
http://www.kcl.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/contact-us.aspx

Course contact form Postgraduate admissions

Awarding institution King's College London

Faculty Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy

Department Department of War Studies

Locations

 

Explore campuses


Welcome to King's

In the heart of London

Discover the advantages of studying at one of the top 25 universities in the world and take a look at our central London campuses.

Watch more videos


Course detail

Description

The course in National Security Studies is unique by bringing together security policy practitioners and postgraduate students in the Department of War Studies. The core module in National Security Studies will be delivered on a weekly basis over two terms and will consist of highly interactive lectures and group sessions with academics and experienced officials that may include Professor Sir David Omand and Professor Lord Peter Ricketts amongst others.

The course will enable participants to develop an in-depth understanding of national security both in the UK and from an international perspective. The course will also focus on cross-governmental responses to security challenges. The course will be structured around key themes such as strategy, counter-terrorism and ethics in national security.

The course culminates in the King’s National Security Policy Briefing, where participants present their policy ideas to an elite panel of UK security practitioners.

This course has been designed to train security practitioners and postgraduate students in the fundamentals of national security, while also exposing them to practical and conceptual issues and challenges such as cyber security, counter-terrorism and the oversight of national security. The course will enable students to critically analyse national security and will educate students in key national security themes and allow them to critically analyse developments in the field.

This module is also available to external candidates as a 40-credit Masters short course. Designed with the objectives of the new National Security Academy in mind, the course will bring together UK security policy practitioners, representatives from the private sector and policy-interested postgraduate students to consider issues around National Security. For further information please click here: please visit here

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 interdisciplinary 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.

Course format and assessment

Teaching

We use lectures, seminars and group tutorials to deliver most of the modules on the course. You will also be expected to undertake a significant amount of independent study.

Module Lectures, seminars and feedbackSelf-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 seminar-style activities. A 15-credit module will be half this.  260 hours
 Dissertation module (60 credits)  12 hours of dissertation supervision and guidance workshops  588 hours 

Typically, one credit equates to 10 hours of work. 

Assessment

The primary methods of assessment for this course are assessed essays, individual and group presentations, 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. Please note that locations are determined by where each module is taught and may vary depending on the optional modules you select.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. You will normally take modules totalling 180 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. Optional modules are therefore only made accessible to enrolled students during the module allocation process.

Required Modules

Courses are divided into modules. You will take modules totalling 180 credits.

You are required to take the following modules:
  • National Security Studies (30 credits)
  • Dissertation (60 credits)

As a part-time student, Over the two years you will take modules totaling 180 credits. In your first year, you will take National Security Studies (30 credits) and students typically take 30 credits (or up to 60 credits) from a range of optional modules.

Optional Modules

In addition, you are required to take 90 credits from a range of optional modules, which may typically

include:

  • Homegrown Radicalisation & Counter- radicalisation in Western Europe & North America (30 credits)
  • The Science and Security of Nuclear and Biological Weapons (15 credits)
  • The Past & Present of British Intelligence (30 credits)
  • Proliferation and International Security (30 Credits)
  • Armchair Intelligence - Open Sources And Online Investigation (15 Credits)
  • Comparative Civil Wars (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.

Year 2 - Optional modules and dissertation 

As a part time student, in your second year you will write your dissertation (60 credits), and make up remaining credits from optional modules.

Entry requirements & how to apply

National Security Studies 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. Candidates who do not achieve a 2:1 or hold a first degree but have relevant professional or voluntary experience will also be considered.

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 £75 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

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). Please explain why you are interested in this particular programme and outline any relevant experience you have. If there are any anomalies in your academic record, please use the personal statement to explain related extenuating circumstances.
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 31 March 2020. After this date, applications will remain open if places are available, but programmes will be closed as soon as they are full. For programmes with spaces remaining, no further applications will be accepted from non-EU (Overseas) nationals after 31July 2020 or from UK/EU nationals after 28 August 2020.

 

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

 

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: £14,700 per year (2020/21)
  • Full time overseas fees: £26,550 per year (2020/21)
  • Part time Home fees: £7,350 per year (2020/21)
  • Part time overseas fees: £13,275 per year (2020/21)

Students starting their programme in 2020/21 who are eligible to pay EU fees will pay the same rate of tuition fees as UK students. This will apply for the duration of their programme, but may be subject to change by the UK Government for subsequent cohorts from 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/EU deposit is £500.

The INTERNATIONAL deposit is £2,000. 

  • If you receive an offer before 1 June 2020, payment is due by 30 June 2020.
  • If you receive an offer between 1 June 2020 and 30 June 2020, payment is due within one month of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer between 1 July 2020 and 31 July 2020, payment is due within two weeks of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer on or after 1 August 2020, payment is due within one week of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer in late August, 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/binding costs
  • Society membership fees
  • Stationery
  • Graduation costs
  • Travel costs for travel around London and between campuses

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

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.

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

View our postgraduate guide

Learn more about postgraduate degree programmes at King's.

View guide

Sound like the course for you?

Apply now

Explore King’s

Accommodation Take a look at our comfortable, safe residences to suit your budget, located close to King's teaching campuses. 
Student life Art, food, music, shopping – you'll never find yourself with nothing to do in the world's most vibrant city.
Extra-curricular Discover the huge variety of extra-curricular opportunities at King’s, from MOOCs to language courses.
London living With four campuses by the River Thames and one in south London, King's is right in the heart of the capital.