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Based in the Department of War Studies, but taught along with the Department of History as part of the 'Sir Michael Howard Centre for the History of War', our MA History of War examines the social, cultural and operational aspects of war from broad historiographical and interdisciplinary perspectives. With close links to the other groups in the college, you can study most aspects of the history of armed conflict and society from the late medieval period to the present day.

Key benefits

  • The Department of War Studies is internationally recognised as a global centre of excellence and is highly regarded by the British Academy, the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Economic and Social Research council as a high-calibre training institution.
  • It is one of the only university departments in the world devoted exclusively to the study of war as a human phenomenon. A remarkable diversity of research interests, disciplinary approaches, opinion and background exists in the department among both staff and students, reflecting the variety and complexity of the issues raised by war and the study of war.
  • You are taught by experts and pioneers in their fields who are often at the forefront of world events as they happen. Our stellar academic cohort bring not only a wealth of knowledge but also an extensive and continually growing network of links with other departments, think-tanks, organisations, policymaking bodies and institutions.
  • Situated close to the seat of government, the City, Imperial War Museum, National Maritime Museum, Royal Courts of Justice and Inns of Court, you have unique opportunities to network with key high-profile visitors, from academics to government ministers, ambassadors and generals.
  • Our MA courses are designed to enhance your analytical, conceptual, research and critical thinking skills which will increase your employability and aid professional career development.

Description

Our course challenges you to examine war from broad historiographical and interdisciplinary perspectives, taking as a given that the history of warfare cannot be isolated from the study of general history. It encompasses more than what usually falls into the category of military history to include war from the viewpoint of combatants, societies, economies and cultures across the landscape of modern history, and in the spirit of war studies draws on the literature and methodology of other academic disciplines where appropriate.

Our MA History of War aims to equip you with the knowledge, understanding and skills you require to progress to advanced research in the field. To that end, it has been created with a compulsory module focused on research and analytical skills, supported by a range of optional modules addressing individual aspects of the history of warfare over time and across a wide geographical and thematic range. Our course prepares you for future doctoral research into the history of warfare and related fields. It can also be taken as a free-standing master’s degree if you are interested in warfare in the past and the intellectual, methodological and practical skills essential to its study.

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.

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.

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Visit the History of War MA page on the King’s College London website for more details!

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