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Our unique National Security Studies MA is designed to bring together UK security policy practitioners, representatives from the private sector and policy-interested postgraduate students.

Students will gain an in-depth understanding of national security issues and the increasing focus on cross-governmental responses to security challenges. The course will also deal with conceptual and theoretical questions relating to national security.

The course will provide a mixture of UK national security analysis, with analysis of national security approaches in the international context.

The course will be delivered by a team of academics from the Centre for Defence Studies (CDS) led by John Gearson, Professor of National Security Studies and Director of CDS and Dr. Nina Musgrave (course tutor and Assistant Director of CDS) with guest lectures from practitioners, that may include Sir David Omand and Lord Peter Ricketts amongst others.

Key benefits

  • Transferable skills such as the development of practical, policy-oriented insights.
  • High level presentation skills/effective writing development.
  • Development of strategic analysis and policy development.
  • Development of in-depth and critical analysis of national security, and familiarisation with the latest research in the discipline.
  • A chance to network and connect with visiting academics, government ministers, diplomats and other experts in the field of national security.

Description

The course in National Security Studies is unique by bringing together security policy practitioners and postgraduate students in the Department of War Studies. The core module in National Security Studies will be delivered on a weekly basis over two terms and will consist of highly interactive lectures and group sessions with academics and experienced officials that may include Professor Sir David Omand and Professor Lord Peter Ricketts amongst others.

The course will enable participants to develop an in-depth understanding of national security both in the UK and from an international perspective. The course will also focus on cross-governmental responses to security challenges. The course will be structured around key themes such as strategy, counter-terrorism and ethics in national security.

The course culminates in the King’s National Security Policy Briefing, where participants present their policy ideas to an elite panel of UK security practitioners.

This course has been designed to train security practitioners and postgraduate students in the fundamentals of national security, while also exposing them to practical and conceptual issues and challenges such as cyber security, counter-terrorism and the oversight of national security. The course will enable students to critically analyse national security and will educate students in key national security themes and allow them to critically analyse developments in the field.

This module is also available to external candidates as a 40-credit Masters short course. Designed with the objectives of the new National Security Academy in mind, the course will bring together UK security policy practitioners, representatives from the private sector and policy-interested postgraduate students to consider issues around National Security. For further information please click here: please visit here

Course format and assessment

Teaching

Per 40-credit module:

For lectures, seminars and feedback, you will typically have 40 hours of teaching. You will also have 360 hours of self-study.

Per 20-credit module:

For lectures, seminars and feedback, you will typically have 20 hours of teaching. You will also have 180 hours of self-study. Typically, one credit equates to 10 hours of work.

For the dissertation module, you will have 12 hours of dissertation supervision and guidance workshops to complement the 588 hours of self-study.

Assessment

  • The required module is assessed by essays, oral presentation and written briefs.
  • Most 40-credit modules are assessed through a combination of essays (2,000-6,000 words), presentation, oral vivas and/or exams.
  • The dissertation module assessment will be 100% dissertation, up to 15,000 words.

The study time and assessment methods detailed above are typical and give you a good indication of what to expect.

Required Modules

You are required to take the following modules:

Optional Modules

In addition, you are required to take 80 credits from a range of optional modules, which may typically include:

If you are studying the part-time course you will typically take the required 40-credit taught module and 40 credits of optional module in Year 1. You will then take a 60 credit dissertation module and 40 credit optional modules in Year 2.

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 National Security Studies MA page on the King’s College London website for more details!

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