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Course content

Our War in the Modern World MA offers a comprehensive examination of military conflict, international security issues and global geo-political change from 1945 to the present day. You will study this course online, meaning that you can access our high standard of teaching and expert staff from anywhere in the world without disrupting your personal and professional life.

Key benefits

  • An entirely web-delivered degree course that is available anytime, anywhere.
  • Be part of a world-leading department, a vibrant research community and an international student body, drawn from a wide variety of academic and professional backgrounds.
  • Academically rigorous course on which lecturers provide support and guidance.
  • You will develop the skills of in-depth and critical analysis and become familiar with the latest research in the discipline.
  • Course materials include specially-written content, images, maps, intensively used discussion forums and full access to the resources of our library’s extensive electronic holdings.
  • Maximum flexibility for you: access content and respond to discussion postings in your own time for each study unit.


Our War in the Modern World MA will give you an advanced and comprehensive understanding of the historical evolution of warfare and international security since the end of the Second World War. You will examine contemporary warfare and security issues in the light of the wide-ranging political, technological, economic and social changes since 1945. It will equip you to engage critically with scholarly debate about the conduct and nature of contemporary warfare, and to understand the contexts in which modern conflicts take place.

The course is structured so that you will first develop an understanding of warfare, security issues and geo-political changes. You can then choose optional modules and write your dissertation, giving you the opportunity to concentrate on those aspects of contemporary war and international relations that interest you most.

Course purpose

Our course is designed to offer you an engaging, well designed and flexible online master's degree in war studies.

Course format and assessment


The course is delivered online, via the King’s College London Virtual Learning Environment (KEATS). You will study through lively online seminars, where everyone will participate in their own time, guided by one of our expert staff.

You will typically have five hours per week of ‘seminars’ (asynchronous online discussions) per week for 10 weeks per 20-credit module, as well as 160 hours of self-study. 

For the dissertation module, you will typically have two hours per week online discussion time for four weeks to complement the 592 hours of self-study. Typically, one credit equates to 10 hours of work.


All 20-credit modules will be assessed by one 1,500 word short essay (25%), one 3,000 word long essay (70%) and student participation in the seminar discussions (5%).

The dissertation module assessment will be on the 15,000-word dissertation.

Career prospects

Past students from this course have gone on to build careers in NGOs, civil services, NATO, the UN, media and publishing, finance and investment and teaching, as well as in the armed forces. A number of our students have had articles published in peer-reviewed journals and undertaken further academic research. Several students have gone on to complete a PhD while one teaches part time at King’s.

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Visit the War in the Modern World - MA page on the King’s College London website for more details!