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MA Intelligence & Security Studies

Course Description

Intelligence and security policy issues are now one of the fastest growing areas of academic and public concern, especially since '9/11' and the war in Iraq. Today more than ever before national governments, international agencies and most major international corporations have an increasing need for staff with a strong grasp of intelligence and security issues who can also demonstrate first-rate skills of research and assessment.

Taught by the internationally respected scholars of the Brunel Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, backed up where required by practitioner expertise, the MA in Intelligence and Security Studies offers a unique opportunity for practical, policy-oriented graduate study of intelligence issues. It will be of value to individuals seeking to go into security-oriented careers in both the private sectors, as well as to individuals engaged in the security professions who seek further qualifications and professional enhancement.

A distinctive feature of the course lies in its combining the rigorous study of intelligence and security policy studies with practical opportunities to develop intelligence skills through case studies and simulation exercises dealing with intelligence analysis.

Modules are subject to variation but at the time of printing core modules were drawn from the following areas:
Intelligence Concepts: Theory and Policy
The Rise of the National Security State
Intelligence and Non-conventional Threats
Agency and Community Management
Case Studies in Intelligence Failure and Success
Analytical Simulation Exercise - ASE is the jewel in the MA/ISS crown. It provides students with an opportunity to undertake a simulated intelligence analysis on a real-world subject. ASE is designed to emulate the interdepartmental assessment methods of the British Cabinet Office Joint Intelligence Committee, and gives students a chance to apply hands-on analytical principles and methods they have learned abstractly in the MA/ISS taught courses.

Dissertation: The final leg of the programme will be a supervised research dissertation of 15,000 - 20,000 words.

Brunel Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies:

Brunel Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies is Britain's first academic centre dedicated to intelligence scholarship and policy-analysis. It includes one of Britain's most innovative scholars in the field, Dr Philip H J Davies, as well as former CIA officer and noted scholar Dr. Stephen Marrin. Dr. Kristian Gustafson, an expert on Covert Action and military intelligence doctrine, is the current director of the programme. The former senior military imagery analyst, Geoff Oxlee, OBE, joined BCISS as an Honorary Fellow and completes the core team. Together, these scholars not only produce important original research, published world-wide, but actively contribute to the success of government and business in the UK.

The centre, though, is a an inter-disciplinary endeavour, and includes participation from some of the leading Brunel University academics in the fields of cryptography, computer networking, imagery, economics and even law. Many of these experts already assist our teaching. As well, the centre benefits from the assistance, from time to time, of various officials of Her Majesty’s Government. MA/ISS, therefore, benefits from practitioner input and insight as well as instruction by leading international academics.

Visit the MA Intelligence & Security Studies page on the Brunel University London website for more details!

Student Profiles

Postgraduate Academic Excellence Scholarships - No. of awards TBC

The scholarship is available for PGT courses at Brunel starting from September 2013 and focuses on two key audiences, namely high calibre prospective PG students and our alumni who wish to undertake further postgraduate study at Brunel. It is available to both Home/ EU and International students.In order to attract high calibre students and encourage them to undertake postgraduate study we intend to offer a discount of 15% off the fees for anyone who has obtained a first class undergraduate degree from a UK University, either in the UK or abroad.Whilst Brunel has always offered a reduction in PG fees for Brunel alumni we intend to further incentivise Brunel students to take up postgraduate education by increasing the discount to 15%.

Value of Scholarship(s)

15% of tuition fee


A first class undergraduate degree from a UK University, either in the UK or abroad.

Application Procedure


Further Information



The Brunel International Scholarship - 20+ Awards

The Brunel International Scholarship is an annual award scheme designed to promote talent and encourage excellence in scholars coming to Brunel from around the globe. Partial scholarships are available to both undergraduate and postgraduate students who have been offered a place on a full-time course at Brunel. Please refer to the International Scholarship web pages for more details.

Value of Scholarship(s)

15% of tuition fees


Academic excellence.

Application Procedure


Further Information


Entry Requirements

Normally have a good honours degree (2.1 or above) or an equivalent professional qualification. Applicants with substantial work experience in a relevant area will also be considered, purely on a case by case basis. All applicants to the course will be interviewed (by phone for overseas applicants if required).

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