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The MA in Security, Intelligence and Diplomacy combines elements from our existing Security and Intelligence MA and our Diplomacy programmes. Like all of our MA programmes, it aims to help to prepare graduates for careers in foreign and other ministries, international organisations, international journalism and global civil society organisations or for further research. Areas of study include intelligence and international security since 1939; intelligence, tradecraft and machinery; case studies in intelligence success and failure; international law and diplomacy; foreign policy analysis; global diplomacy; security challenges and other global issues. The modules are taught intensively in lectures, seminars and small group tutorials; they assume little prior knowledge but
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First or Second Class degree or relevant work experience
International £15,152 Home £8,020
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Home of the two-year degree, The University of Buckingham is ranked 1 for Teaching Excellence in the UK. Close to London and Oxford, we offer courses in Medicine, Psychology, Law, Business, Computing, Education and Humanities. The University was established via a Royal Charter and places students at the heart of the learning experience. With Oxbridge-style tutorials, we keep class sizes small to ensure every student can thrive here. Buckingham is also ranked 1 in England for Student Satisfaction (The Complete University Guide).Read more
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.
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