Security Studies MSc
Contemporary security research and policy-making focus heavily on the causes and consequences of violent and non-violent political conflict. This MSc trains students to apply empirical methods to explore the causes of terrorism, civil, and international conflict, the application of military force, humanitarian intervention, and the provision of global public goods.
Mode of study
- Full-time 1 year
- Part-time 2 years
- UK/EU Full-time: £9,550
- UK/EU Part-time: £4,750
- Overseas Full-time: £16,750
- Overseas Part-time: £8,500
- All applicants: 1 August 2014
More details in Application section.
What will I learn?
Students develop an understanding of theoretical approaches and debates in security studies, and the ability to analyse how forms of violent and non-violent political conflict emerge, diffuse, are managed, and are resolved. They gain the qualitative and quantitative research skills required to collect and analyse empirical evidence in a selective and systematic way.
Why should I study this degree at UCL?
UCL Political Science is recognised as a centre of excellence in the field. Britain's only department focused exclusively on graduate teaching and research, it offers a uniquely stimulating environment for the study of all fields of politics.
Students benefit from weekly seminars featuring distinguished external speakers, and regular high-profile events for policy-makers and others.
The research preparation and tailor-made interdisciplinary and multi-disciplinary training students receive is one of the highest available in the world, in one of the world's top universities, as reflected in performance in a range of rankings and tables.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. The programme consists of three core modules (60 credits), optional modules (60 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).
All MSc students undertake an individual research project which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000 words.
Teaching and Learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures and seminars, and is taught by scholars who have subject-specific knowledge and have carried out theoretical and empirical research in the field. Students will be assessed by a variety of methods: unseen examinations, long essays and the dissertation.
Further details available on subject website:
Further information about funding and scholarships can be found on the Scholarships and funding website.
A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree in a relevant discipline from a UK university, a 3.3 GPA or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.
Select your country for equivalent alternative requirements
English language proficiency level: Advanced
How to apply
Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.
The deadline for applications is 1 August 2014.
Who can apply?
The programme is suitable for students who wish to specialise in Security Studies for a career and/or further research in the fields of international relations, public policy and political analysis. Applicants should ideally have a background in economics, European issues, international relations, law, philosophy, politics, political science or sociology.
What are we looking for?
When we assess your application we would like to learn:
- why you want to study Security Studies at graduate level
- why you want to study Security Studies at UCL
- what particularly attracts you to this programme
- how your personal, academic and professional background meets the demands of a challenging and truly international academic environment
- where you would like to go professionally with your degree
Graduates of the programme are ideally placed to develop careers in the field of international relations, public policy and political analysis. Many graduates go on to further research study at UCL or other universities in the UK or overseas.
Top career destinations for this programme
- Union Bank of Switzerland, Analyst, 2011
- East Capital Asset Management, Accounts Manager, 2011
- Unspecified Business Intelligenece Company, Analyst, 2011
- Control Risk, Political Analyst, 2011
- The Clingendael Institute, Research Intern, 2011
The MSc Security Studies is designed with an eye toward endowing students with an advanced set of methodological skills that enable them to collect and analyse real-world data to test theoretically-informed hypotheses about the sources, impacts, and resolution of various forms of nonviolent and violent political conflict. These analytical skills have enabled prior students to gain employment across the sectors, including positions on the civil service fast stream, at private sector political risk firms and banks, and in niche-area NGOs and charitable organisations helping to tackle poverty and unrest at home and abroad.
T: +44 (0)20 7679 4982/4950
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"I chose to apply for graduate study at UCL because the programme was extremely attractive, the supervisors that I was going to work with were great, and because the environment at my department fosters healthy competition and self-development."
"I was able to develop my research interests into a more focussed package, which then helped me enormously when drafting my PhD research proposals."
PhD Candidate, UCL School of Public Policy, 2011