The MA in Science and Security is designed to provide an integrated understanding of science and international politics. Developments in technology are central to all aspects of international conflict, and a multidisciplinary understanding of these developments is necessary to fully comprehend their policy implications. Topics include nuclear weapons, arms control verification, cyber security, and terrorism.
• A unique programme designed to develop students' abilities to understand and analyse the security implications of scientific and technological developments, utilising knowledge and tools of analysis from the hard sciences, political science, history, philosophy and the sociology.
• The Centre for Science and Security Studies, based in the Department of War Studies, provides a vibrant home for the MA. The Centre has a growing cadre of PhD students and researchers, and sponsors its own speaker series. Students on the MA are encouraged to apply for internships (on Centre research projects and/or with other relevant institutions in London, such as the Verification Research, Training and Information Centre (VERTIC) and IISS).
• With a typical 50-50 mix of students with a hard science versus social science/humanities background, the programme provides an excellent opportunity for students to learn from each other as well as from staff and visiting lecturers; in recent years students have institutionalised this by forming their own reading group.
• Students have access to visiting academics, serving officers, government ministers and other experts who give regular public lectures and seminars.
• The Department of War Studies is unique in the UK and one of very few university departments in the world devoted exclusively to the study of war as a human phenomenon.
• The Department has an excellent reputation as a graduate training institution and is recognised by the British Academy, the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Economic and Social Research council as a training institution for War Studies.
• The Department places great emphasis on recruiting leading experts who bring with them not only a wealth of knowledge and ideas but an extensive and continually growing network of links with other departments, think-tanks, organisations, policy-making bodies and institutions.
• The unrivalled location in the heart of London beside the River Thames brings outstanding advantages. Students enjoy excellent academic, social and cultural opportunities.
• The department is close to the seat of Government, the City, the Imperial War Museum, the National Maritime Museum, the Royal Courts of Justice and the Inns of Court.
There is an increased need in today's world to understand the security implications of scientific and technological developments. While science and technology have always affected national and international security, current developments in the fields of space, nuclear and biological weapons, and long-range missiles as well as work in such emerging fields as biotechnology and information technology suggest that the impact of science on security is becoming more diverse as well as more central to policy planners. At the same time, individuals and sub-national groups have more access to new technologies than ever before.
Our programme is designed to provide you with an integrated understanding of science and politics. This involves developing an understanding of the science underlying key weapons systems and technologies, the main concepts and tools of international politics and security studies, and the process by which scientists and policymakers can interact productively in the policy process. The goal is to equip you to be able to analyse the impact of current and future scientific developments on security.
- Course purpose -
Our programme is designed to provide you with an integrated understanding of science and international politics to cope with the demands of the emerging security agenda.
- Course format and assessment -
Most of the 20-credit modules are assessed by a 4,000-word essay or two 2000-word essays. However, some 20-credit modules are assessed on class participation and attendance, oral vivas or exams, or a combination of these.
Most 40-credit modules are assessed through a combination of essays (3,000-6,000 words), class participation and attendance, oral vivas, exams.
The dissertation module assessment will be on the research proposal (10%) and the dissertation (up to 15,000 words) (90%) for some programmes or solely on the dissertation for others.
Whilst this is not a vocational programme, students on our MA programmes have gone on to build careers in further academic research, NGOs, civil service, NATO, UN, media and publishing, finance and investment, teaching, and the armed forces.
To study for a postgraduate degree at King’s College London is to study at the city’s most central university and at one of the top 20 universities worldwide (2015/16 QS World Rankings). Graduates will benefit from close connections with the UK’s professional, political, legal, commercial, scientific and cultural life, while the excellent reputation of our MA and MRes programmes ensures our postgraduate alumni are highly sought after by some of the world’s most prestigious employers. We provide graduates with skills that are highly valued in business, government, academia and the professions.