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War in the Modern World MA

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Our War in the Modern World MA offers a comprehensive examination of military conflict, international security issues and global geo-political change from 1945 to the present day. 

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

Key benefits

  • An entirely web-delivered degree course that is available anytime, anywhere.
  • Be part of a world-leading department, a vibrant research community and an international student body, drawn from a wide variety of academic and professional backgrounds.
  • An academically rigorous course on which lecturers provide support and guidance.
  • You will develop the skills of in-depth and critical analysis, and become familiar with the latest research in the discipline.
  • Course materials include specially-written content, video, audio, images, maps, intensively used discussion forums and full access to the resources of our library’s extensive electronic holdings.
  • Maximum flexibility for you: access content and respond to discussion postings in your own time for each study unit.

Key information

Application status Open

Duration Minimum 2 years, maximum 6 years (if any breaks taken)

Study mode Distance Learning by eLearning, Part-time

Credit value UK 180 / ECTS 90

Course intake Approximately 45

Course leaders

Dr David Easter, Academic and Programme Director:

Dr Rachel Kerr, Senior Tutor and Admissions Tutor: 

Anne-Lucie Norton, Executive Director:

Further details

Course contact for further information

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


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


Our War in the Modern World MA will give you an advanced and comprehensive understanding of the historical evolution of warfare and international security since the end of the Second World War. You will examine contemporary warfare and security issues in the light of the wide-ranging political, technological, economic and social changes since 1945. It will equip you to engage critically with scholarly debate about the conduct and nature of contemporary warfare, and to understand the contexts in which modern conflicts take place.

The course is structured so that you will first develop an understanding of warfare, security issues and geo-political changes. You can then choose optional modules and write your dissertation, giving you the opportunity to concentrate on those aspects of contemporary war and international relations that interest you most.

Course purpose

Our course is designed to offer you an engaging, well designed and flexible online master's degree in war studies.

Further literature

Course format and assessment


The course is delivered online, via the King’s College London Virtual Learning Environment (KEATS). You will study through lively online seminars, where everyone will participate in their own time, guided by one of our expert staff.

For each 20-credit module, you will typically spend up to 5 hours a week online reading and participating in online seminars (via asynchronous discussion forums) and up to 160 hours self-study (reading online course materials, finding and reading articles, books and other resources, preparing and writing assignments) over the course of the module.

For the dissertation module, you will typically have two hours per week online discussion time for four weeks to complement the 592 hours of self-study. Typically, one credit equates to 10 hours of work.


  • All 20-credit modules will be assessed by one 1,500 word short essay (25%), one 3,000 word long essay (70%) and student participation in the seminar discussions (5%).
  • The dissertation module assessment will be on the 15,000-word dissertation (100%).


Year 1

Each course is a minimum of two years duration, and a maximum of six year duration (if breaks are taken).

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

All year one students are required to participate in the online Induction course. 

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.

Required Modules
Optional Modules

Entry requirements & how to apply

Visit our admissions web pages to view our English language entry requirements.

Minimum  academic requirements: 2:1 Undergraduate honours degree (or international equivalent eg USA CGPA above 3.3) in history, international relations, political science, economics or other appropriate subject). 
Degrees in other subjects, or candidates with lower awards than those above, may be considered: strong references and personal statements are an important part of the application, as is relevant working experience. An alternative professional or other qualification obtained by a formal examination may be approved. Prior experiential learning can also be taken into consideration by the admissions panel. Where alternative professional or other qualifications are not available, evidence will be required that you can undertake academic study to the level required. If necessary, you will be asked to submit a sample of written work.

Other requirements: You will also require regular access to a high-specification computer with unbroken broadband internet connection, good time management skills and confidence in using computers.

A note on online access: The online learning environment through which all war studies online programmes are delivered is open 24 hours and 365 days a year, excluding notified maintenance downtime.

The structure of our programme of study requires that you have reliable and excellent connectivity and bandwidth to enable you to log in frequently. This is to enable you to participate in the required online seminar discussions, but also to access the learning materials and resources that are provided to you.

Application procedure

Applications must be made online using King’s online application portal

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 ensure you have all supporting documentation for your online application. 

Please provide a personal statement explaining your motivation behind choosing this particular programme; giving evidence of your relevant experience, knowledge and experience. If there are any anomalies in your academic record, please use the personal statement to explain related extenuating circumstances.

Application closing date

For September 2018 entry, the deadline for complete applications is open until 27th July 2018. We do advise you to submit a full application with supporting documents as early as possible to avoid disappointment as May to July we get many late applications and is then subject to availability. Programmes will be closed as soon as places are filled and those programmes with remaining places will only accept applications up to 31st August 2018 at the very latest.

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 UK fees: n/a
  • Full time overseas fees: n/a
  • Part time UK fees: £9,800 per year (2018/19)
  • Part time overseas fees: £9,800 per year (2018/19)

This programme is only available two years’ part-time. There is no full-time option. Fees are the same for home/EU and overseas students.

Students are generally self-funded. We regret that there are currently no forms of student subsidy or scholarship available for this programme.

Please note: Current regulations allow some students to pay UK tuition fees on the basis of their EU citizenship or residency. Until these eligibility criteria are changed, the EU tuition fee will remain the same as the UK tuition fee.

These tuition fees will increase in subsequent years of study, in line with King’s terms and conditions.

Students pay fees for each of the two years. Fees for next year's enrolment are:

War Studies Online (WSO) fees for 2018/19 intake

Year 1: 2018/19 fee


Year 2: 2019/20 fee


Fees payable each year:
50% on 31 October 2018 and 50% on 31 January 2019

Fee payment terms and conditions


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 deposit is £1000.

Deposit payment due dates by offer received date

Date offer received

Deposit due by

Offer on or before 31st March 2018

27th April 2018

Offer between 1st April 2018 and 30th June 2018

within one month of receiving the offer

Offer between 1st July 2018 and 31st July 2018

within two weeks of receiving the offer

Offer on or after 1st August 2018

within one week of receiving the offer

Special fee

For Air Power in the Modern World applicants only: if you are serving in the UK military or civil service and meet the eligibility requirements, a special fee may be applicable for year one only.

 All WSO Programmes: A special fee for year 1 only may be applicable if eligible for 20 credits for passing one of the Intermediate Command and Staff courses. For further information on accreditation please read the accreditation section of the WSO website.

 If you are eligible for any of the special fees above then please look at the reduced fee table for the current academic year. For further information, please contact

 Enhanced Learning Credits

UK armed forces personnel may be eligible for the Ministry of Defence’s Enhanced Learning Credits scheme. For further information on the ELC scheme and how to apply, see the MoD’s Enhanced Learning Credits Administration Services website.

Administration of these credits is entirely a matter for the Ministry of Defence, but several War Studies Online students have benefited in the past. The King's College provider number is 1120: you will need for this your application.

 Additional costs/expenses

In addition to your tuition fees, you can also expect to pay for:

  • Books if you choose to buy your own copies
  • Library fees and fines
  • Personal photocopies
  • Printing course materials
  • 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

Past students from this course have gone on to build careers in NGOs, civil services, NATO, the UN, media and publishing, finance and investment and teaching, as well as in the armed forces. A number of our students have had articles published in peer-reviewed journals and undertaken further academic research. Several students have gone on to complete a PhD while one teaches part time at King’s.



Next steps

View our postgraduate guide

Learn more about postgraduate degree programmes at King's. Download or view our guide in PDF format.

Download guide

View online

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Page last modified on 19 January 2018.