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Full time September, January MA 1 year (full-time)

About the course

Course Outline

This programme aims to deliver a deep understanding of the contemporary security and intelligence environment in western democracies, with a focus on the UK. Security and Intelligence Studies are an important new field in political science but there is also widespread recognition that a good knowledge of how security and intelligence agencies operate; of the environment in which they operate; and of how their products are, and should be, used has become a key component of good and successful governance. Emphasis is placed on relating academic and historical analyses to contemporary problems and policy questions especially in the UK but also to western states in general, using a unique degree of practitioner-led expertise.

With regard to intelligence-led policy and practice,

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Entry Requirements

First or Second class Honours degree or relevant experience


International £15,152, Home £8,020

Course Content

Where is University of Buckingham


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Student Profile(s)

Randy Wilson

Having been asked by Professor Glees to write a short piece on my experiences at Buckingham University Centre for Security and Intelligence Studies (BUCSIS), I found myself looking back to my first contact with the University of Buckingham. At that time I was serving in Afghanistan as the Senior Police Advisor for the US Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (DoS/INL). I exchanged several emails with University staff, including Professor Glees, while on a field tour in Konduz. I distinctly recall the moment when I sat back, having read the email encouraging me to apply, and wondered to myself, is it actually possible to complete a graduate level course of research and study while fully engaged in the war? I had no idea how much deeper this engagement would become nor how it would broaden and inform my research.

I elected to take the risk and after being accepted began my study in pursuit of a Master of Philosophy in Intelligence and Security Studies. I was already working a shifting schedule in the completion of my regular duties. I was based at the US Embassy in Kabul, frequently travelling into the field to directly observe police and other security forces’ actions and evaluate their effectiveness, among other duties. This left little down time but, with the aid of Professor Glees and Dr Richards, I was able to conduct some initial work in the topic and refine my focus. Eventually this led to my decision to research and discuss the uses of police intelligence in a counterinsurgency.

My experience with the University of Buckingham and, in particular, BUCSIS, was atypical but I have mentioned it in order to make clear the following. At every stage of my study, I found the University staff to be responsive, prompt and attentive to my specific needs. They were always available with helpful suggestions, excellent academic guidance and timely critique. My limited time was made maximally effective due to the excellence of Professor Glees’ counsel. Although research is by its nature a lonely endeavour, I never felt isolated or adrift. I would encourage anyone either presently engaged in or contemplating study at the University of Buckingham to dive in without reservation. I am no paragon of academic virtue and if I, whilst engaged in a war, can complete the rigorous requirements for graduation, you too can do so.


I would thoroughly recommend this course to those with an interest in pursuing a career in strategic analysis or areas related to national security. In today’s world, most people starting out in these fields are educated to at least MA standard. Personally, I opted for Buckingham because of the University’s reputation for excellent teaching. Moreover, the knowledge and experience of the teaching staff is invaluable.

Since graduating I have worked as a Regional Analyst (specializing on Africa) and had experience at a national security / foreign policy think tank in London. It goes without saying I would not have had such opportunities without my time at BUCSIS. In addition to this, the analytical tools I developed at BUCSIS have been an integral part of my activities in both of these positions.

Sometimes people ask me what studying at BUCSIS was like. Does it help you understand what’s really happening in the world? The answer to this is yes, but not because the academic staff tell you what to think. What happens is that over time you develop the analytical skills to know how to understand what’s really happening.


Postgraduate first class scholarship

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