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Course content

The Geopolitics, Territory & Security MA is a unique multidisciplinary course that focuses on the territorial aspect of inter-state relations. You will explore geopolitical and political geographic analysis – contextualised within the wider social sciences – and the relevant aspects of international law to understand the creation and maintenance of international boundaries, borders at various scales and the factors driving contemporary territorial disputes. 

Key benefits

  • Learn from established academic authorities on borders, boundaries and territorial questions from a variety of multidisciplinary perspectives. Also learn from leading legal practitioners and technicians in international boundary dispute resolution, including from Eversheds (Paris), Latham and Watkins and Volterra Fietta.
  • Makes extensive use of London’s vast collection of resources for researching historical and contemporary aspects of international boundary questions and territorial disputes.
  • Excellent access to the National Archives and British Library.
  • Flexibility for researching an extensive range of regional issues, with students granted considerable autonomy in developing the focus of their coursework.

Description

The Geopolitics, Territory & Security MA is a specialised master’s course, concentrating on the territorial element of inter-state relations. International (legal and technical) experts as well as recognised scholars will provide you with a clear theoretical and historical foundation in the principal study concepts relating to territory and international boundaries. The course will introduce you to legal, technical and practical factors of the creation and maintenance of international boundaries on land and sea, as well as offering valuable insights into the processes involved in resolving border and territorial disputes. The course engages with how academic disciplines have evolved to cover territorial questions, including the latest vogue critical lenses. It also focuses on how processes play out at the regional level, including a concentration on the Middle East and North Africa.

The study course is made up of optional and required modules. You will be required to obtain the minimum of 180 credits for the course. If you are studying full-time, you will complete the course in one year, from September to September.

If you are studying part-time, your course will take two years to complete and you will take a combination of required and optional modules over this period of time, with the dissertation in your second year.

Course purpose

For those seeking: an advanced appreciation of territorial geopolitics (from classical to critical); a theoretical and historical grounding in the principal concepts involved in territorial and international boundary studies; a practical application of these views and approaches to developing real-world situations. The course is particularly suitable for social science students with an international interest, government and foreign service personnel, lawyers, military and strategic researchers.

Course format and assessment

Teaching

We will teach you through a combination of lectures and seminars, and you will typically have 20 hours of this per module. We also expect you to undertake 180 hours of independent study for each module. For your 12,000 word dissertation, we will provide four workshops and five hours of one-to-one supervision to complement your 587 hours of independent study. Typically, one credit equates to 10 hours of work.

Assessment

Performance on taught modules in the Geography Department is normally assessed through essays and other written assignments, oral presentations, lab work and occasionally by examination, depending on the modules selected. All students also undertake a research-based dissertation of 12,000 words.

Career prospects

Graduates from this course have gone on to occupy senior management positions in government agencies and international consultancies. Many have also gained employment with NGOs involved in dispute resolution, international law firms, government ministries, oil companies, departments of the United Nations and the European Union.


Visit the Geopolitics, Territory and Security - MA page on the King’s College London website for more details!

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