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Course content

Our International Relations & Contemporary War MA offers you an opportunity to study international relations in a multi-disciplinary department devoted to the study of all aspects of contemporary war. You will study this course online, meaning that you can access our high standard of teaching and expert staff from anywhere in the world without disrupting your personal and professional life.

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.


Our International Relations & Contemporary War MA will give you an advanced and comprehensive understanding of the historical evolution of the international system and of contemporary war, including changes that are currently taking place. Processes of globalisation, including the movement of monies and peoples, the impact of new technologies, the rise of identity politics, the rise of transnational or nonstate actors and transformations in the character of contemporary war all pose direct challenges to the state, the international system and global politics. These themes are considered in depth.

Course purpose

To equip you with the capacity to engage critically with literature in the discipline of international relations and the capacity to think theoretically about problems and issues in contemporary war.

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.

Typically per 20 credit module, you will have five hours per week of 'seminars' (asynchronous online discussions) per week for 10 weeks as wel as 180 hours of self-study. Typically, one credit equates to 10 hours of work.

The Dissertation typically consists of 2 hours per week online discussion time, for four weeks, to complement 592 hours of self-study.


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 discussions (5%). The dissertation module assessment will be on the 15,000-word dissertation (100%).

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, one teaches part-time at King’s.

Visit the International Relations and Contemporary War - MA page on the King’s College London website for more details!






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Recipient: King’s College London

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