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MA Security, Intelligence and Diplomacy

University of Buckingham    Centre for Security and Intelligence (BUCSIS)

Full time September, January MA 1 year (full-time) 05 January 2022

About the course

Course outline

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 rapidly bring students to an advanced level of understanding. Buckingham is a small academic community and students have personal and frequent access to their instructors. The programme is also suitable for those without a specific career aim in mind but who wish to acquire an advanced understanding of these subjects.

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Entry Requirements

First or Second Class degree or relevant work experience


Please refer to our website for latest course fees.

 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.


The first class scholarship is available to both home and international students following a taught postgraduate degree at the University. The scholarship will reduce tuition fees by 33%.

Value of Scholarship(s)

% discount


The scholarship will be automatically awarded to applicants who already have a first class honours degree that is recognised to UK standard.

Application Procedure

The scholarship will be automatically awarded to applicants who meet the criteria.

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History of the Scholarship
In 2003 Sir Christopher Ondaatje kindly gave a very generous donation to the University to fund one-year scholarships for Buckingham graduates or for overseas graduates undertaking postgraduate studies at Buckingham, and for Buckingham students attending Massey College, University of Toronto, to undertake postgraduate studies there. Students who obtain a Master’s degree are then eligible to apply to have their PhD studies funded by the University of Toronto.

Scholarship details
We offer up to four scholarships for postgraduate study at Buckingham to students commencing their studies in September or January. Each scholarship is awarded on merit and is open to competition.

The scholarships are worth up to £4,000 each towards the tuition fees for one year’s postgraduate study.

Value of Scholarship(s)



Anyone interested in applying for the Ondaatje Scholarship should already have the offer of a place at Buckingham for postgraduate study.

Application Procedure

Application procedure
Anyone interested in applying for the Ondaatje Scholarship should already have the offer of a place at Buckingham for postgraduate study, but cannot apply once they have commenced their Master’s degree. Completed applications should be emailed to: admissions@buckingham.ac.uk

Applications should include:
- Ondaatje Scholarship Application form 2020 (download from: https://www.buckingham.ac.uk/admissions/scholarships/open/ondaatje)
- An up-to-date Curriculum Vitae (CV)
- An academic reference
- A letter stating your proposed programme of study, why you wish to undertake it and why you believe that you should be awarded the scholarship

Applications for postgraduate courses commencing September 2020 will close 16th July 2021.

Applications for postgraduate courses commencing January 2021 will close 5th November 2021.

The final decision regarding the awards will be made by the Scholarship Committee Members. Candidates will be notified of the outcome within two weeks of the closing date.

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