Contemporary security research and policy-making focus heavily on the causes and consequences of violent and non-violent political conflict. This MSc trains students to apply empirical methods to explore the causes of terrorism, civil, and international conflict, the application of military force, humanitarian intervention, and the provision of global public goods.
Students develop an understanding of theoretical approaches and debates in security studies, and the ability to analyse how forms of violent and non-violent political conflict emerge, diffuse, are managed, and are resolved. They gain the qualitative and quantitative research skills required to collect and analyse empirical evidence in a selective and systematic way.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of three core modules (60 credits), optional modules (60 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).
All MSc students undertake an individual research project which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000 words.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures and seminars, and is taught by scholars who have subject-specific knowledge and have carried out theoretical and empirical research in the field. Students will be assessed by a variety of methods: unseen examinations, long essays and the dissertation.
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Security Studies MSc
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
Graduates of the programme are ideally placed to develop careers in the field of international relations, public policy and political analysis. Many graduates go on to further research study at UCL or other universities in the UK or overseas.
Recent career destinations for this degree
The Security Studies MSc is designed with the intention of endowing students with an advanced set of methodological skills that enable them to collect and analyse real-world data to test theoretically-informed hypotheses about the sources, impacts, and resolution of various forms of non-violent and violent political conflict. These analytical skills have enabled prior students to gain employment across the sectors, including positions on the civil service fast stream, at private sector political risk firms and banks, and in niche area NGOs and charitable organisations helping to tackle poverty and unrest at home and abroad.
Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
UCL Political Science is recognised as a centre of excellence in the field and offers a uniquely stimulating environment for the study of all fields of politics.
Students benefit from weekly seminars featuring distinguished external speakers, and regular high-profile events for policymakers and others.
The research preparation and tailor-made interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary training students receive is one of the highest available in the world, in one of the world's top universities, as reflected in its performance in a range of rankings and tables.
Deepen your knowledge of international relations and gain the skills to unpack and detect the causes and consequences of the world’s biggest challenges.
Current world developments - such as security threats, changes of leadership, the emergence of new powers and the evolving nature of the EU - present fresh challenges to governments, regions and the international system as a whole.
This course explores these issues in depth, taking a close look at politics and policy-making in contemporary Europe, the role of Europe as a global player and the interplay of international power, order and institutions.
You'll gain the analytical skills to be able to unpack and detect the causes and consequences of specific political problems and the different political processes that have generated them.
This master's attracts students from all over the world at different stages of their professional and academic lives, adding to the richness of debate and offering deep and diverse perspectives on this multi-faceted subject.
Studying at Bath provides a unique opportunity to work with globally renowned experts in international security, terrorism, foreign policy and the international political economy. With expertise in many relevant topics including secret intelligence, the global resurgence of religion, emerging powers and peace and conflict studies, they offer fresh and leading perspectives on this highly complex and evolving area.
You'll leave with:
This course is suited to individuals with an interest in contemporary world affairs and a degree in a relevant subject such as European studies, international relations, modern languages, politics, history, economics or sociology. It is also a highly relevant master's for those already working in fields such as commerce, trade, industry, teaching or government.
Studying this course provides an excellent grounding for working in international organisations, multinational corporations, public bodies and think tanks.
Graduates have gone on to successful careers in a wide range of organisations, including:
Particularly outstanding candidates may also go on to doctoral research.
This course lasts 1 year. Occasionally we make changes to our programmes in response to, for example, feedback from students, developments in research and the field of studies, and the requirements of accrediting bodies. You will be advised of any significant changes to the advertised programme, in accordance with our Terms and Conditions.
These compulsory units are currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new units.
These optional units are currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new units.
This programme provides an excellent opportunity to study new global developments in the field of crime, criminal law, justice and security. The MSc is suitable both for students familiar with law, politics or criminology from undergraduate study and for those who are new to these subjects.
As a student on this programme, you will have access to the expertise and insight of our active community of researchers, international scholars and local practitioners. The programme is truly interdisciplinary with teaching provided by academics from both Edinburgh Law School and the School of Social & Political Science.
The two compulsory courses on the programme introduce you to different forms and contexts of global crime and how we respond to these, whilst the wide range of courses allows you to tailor the programme to your area of interest.
You will benefit from top-quality training in research methods and skills essential both for doctoral study, or employment in the field of criminal justice and security.
You must complete 180 credits of study – 60 credits are taken in the compulsory dissertation and the remaining 120 credits are taken in taught courses.
You will experience a range of teaching styles on these courses, led by members of the Law School academic community and experienced legal and industry practitioners.
You are expected to prepare in advance by reading the required materials and by reflecting on the issues to be discussed, and your participation in classes will be assessed.
For the dissertation you will have a supervisor from whom you can expect guidance and support, but the purpose of the dissertation is to allow you to independently design and conduct a piece of research and analysis.
Please note that due to unforeseen circumstances or lack of demand for particular courses, we may not be able to run all courses as advertised come the start of the academic year.
Students who complete the MSc will acquire an advanced understanding of the major contemporary debates and theoretical perspectives on crime, justice and security in a global context, and will enhance their research and analytic skills.
Our graduates have found employment in a range of settings including commercial security consultancy and management, banking and anti-money laundering work, research, and civil service and third sector roles. Some have gone on to further professional or academic study in crime-related fields, and those with existing professional experience have been promoted in their workplace.