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Course content

Our War Studies MA explores the phenomenon of war and conflict, along with its causes, conduct and consequences, from historical, political, philosophical, military and sociological viewpoints. We have designed this course expressly to enhance your employability and support your professional career development

Key benefits

  • A unique opportunity to study war from a multi-disciplinary perspective.
  • Designed to provide a postgraduate-level introduction to War Studies for students who have little or no specialist background in the field.
  • A chance to develop a range of transferable skills that will enhance your employability, aid your professional-career development and help prepare you for postgraduate research.
  • You will be taught by some of the very best academics in the field. Departmental staff are internationally acknowledged experts in their areas of specialization; they are active researchers and routinely use their latest findings in their teaching.
  • An opportunity to study at a global centre of excellence that enjoys close relationships with other academic institutions, with think-tanks, non-governmental organizations and policy-making bodies around the world.
  • Opportunities to network with high-profile visitors, such as government ministers, ambassadors and generals, who frequently give talks in the Department.

Description

War is a key aspect of human experience, and people have long sought to understand it from a diverse range of perspectives. You will study alongside historians, social scientists, philosophers, jurists and artists, benefitting from their perspectives and those of the students around you.

We will provide you with an intellectual ‘toolbox’ composed of skills and techniques drawn from a range of disciplines associated with the humanities and social sciences. We will not train you as a specialist historian, philosopher, strategist, etc., but you will be introduced to elements of various disciplines that are relevant to the study of war. The challenge lies in combining them in order to achieve a sophisticated and rounded understanding of the subject.

The course will appeal if you are a student of politics, history or strategic studies or if you are a professional in defence, diplomacy or foreign affairs who wants to reflect on the broader implications of your experiences.

Course purpose

To introduce the field of war studies to graduate students and professionals who have an interest in deepening their understanding of war. You will gain an understanding of the phenomenon of war and conflict, along with its causes, conduct and consequences, from historical, political, philosophical, military and sociological viewpoints. The programme will appeal to students from a wide range of backgrounds including politics, history and strategic studies; and professionals in defence, diplomacy and foreign affairs wanting to reflect on the broader implications of their experiences.

Course format and assessment

Teaching

For lectures, seminars and feedback you will typically have 2 hours per week for two terms per 40-credit module. This can be split into 1 lecture + 1 seminar or other combinations thereof. You will also have 360 hours of self-study. Typically, 1 credit equates to 10 hours of work.

For the dissertation module, you will have our central departmental workshops (2 hours each) and three to

four sessions with the supervisor during which you will develop your dissertation topic, identify a research question, an approach to answering it, including selection of appropriate methods for gathering and using evidence. The timing of these three to four sessions is up to the student and advisor to arrange. These will complement the 588 hours of self-study.

Assessment

  • Most 20 and 40 credit modules are assessed through a combination of essay, presentations, oral vivas and/or exams.
  • The dissertation module assessment will be 100% dissertation up to 15000 words.

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

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 War Studies - MA page on the King’s College London website for more details!

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