Security Studies MSc

London, Bloomsbury

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.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2023/24)
£18,000
£9,000
Overseas tuition fees (2023/24)
£29,000
£14,500
Duration
1 calendar year
2 calendar years
Programme starts
September 2023
Applications accepted
All applicants: 17 Oct 2022 – 30 Jun 2023

Applications open

Entry requirements

As a minimum, an upper second-class Bachelor's degree from a UK university; a CGPA of 3.3; or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Relevant practical or work experience in a related field may also be taken into account.

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Level 5

UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level. International Preparation Courses

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

Equivalent qualifications

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

About this degree


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.

Who this course is for

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 this course will give you

UCL Political Science is recognised as a centre of excellence in the field and 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 policymakers and others.

The research preparation and tailor-made interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary training students receive is one of the highest available in the world, in one of the world's top universities, as reflected in its performance in a range of rankings and tables.

The foundation of your career

The Security Studies MSc is designed with the intention of 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 non-violent 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 in the UK and overseas.

Employability

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.

Teaching and learning

Students will be assessed by a variety of methods: unseen examinations, long essays and the dissertation.

150 hours is allocated to each 15 credit module. This includes 20 contact hours and 130 study hours.

Modules

You will undertake modules to the value of 180 credits, comprised of compulsory modules covering key substantive and methodological concepts and skills as well as a dissertation. You will further attend optional module(s) so that you can personalise your degree to your own academic or professional interests.

In term one, you will take a compulsory module on “International Peace and Security”, which introduces you to major themes and debates in the contemporary study of international security, peace and conflict. You will also attend compulsory modules on quantitative methods (introductory or casual inference , depending on prior training) as well as a compulsory module on “Violent and Non-violent conflict”.

In term two, you will take a compulsory module on qualitative methods (module will be depending on prior training).

In terms one and two, you will also choose at least one of six compulsory modules, plus two optional modules from our wide-ranging offer in the fields of comparative politics, international relations, public policy and political theory. Please consult the department’s website for an overview of modules.

In term three, you will sit exams and work on your MSc dissertation project, in one-to-one meetings with your dissertation supervisor and by conducting independent research.

The programme structure for part-time students follows the same structure as our full-time students. We do encourage our part-time students to distribute their study evenly between the two years of study. The majority of part-time students opt for one of the following patterns:

  • 75 credits in year one and 105 credits in year two;

Or

  • 90 credits in year one and 90 credits in year two.

Upon completion you will have undertaken modules to the value of 180 credits, comprising comprised of compulsory modules covering key substantive and methodological concepts and a dissertation. You will have further attended elective module(s) so you can personalise your programme of study to your own academic or professional interests.

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change. Modules that are in use for the current academic year are linked for further information. Where no link is present, further information is not yet available.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded an MSc in Security Studies.

Accessibility

Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble accessable.co.uk. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.

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Online - Open day

About us – Department of Political Science UCL

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Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2023/24) £18,000 £9,000
Tuition fees (2023/24) £29,000 £14,500

The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Where the programme is offered on a flexible/modular basis, fees are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.

Additional costs

All full-time students are required to pay a fee deposit of £1,000 for this programme. All part-time students are required to pay a fee deposit of £500.

There are no additional costs for this programme.

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Funding your studies

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Next steps

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.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £90 for online applications and £115 for paper applications. Further information can be found at Application fees.

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

Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.

When it is necessary to calculate a final average mark, the department will calculate all years of undergraduate study.

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes (or one application for the Law LLM) in any application cycle.

Choose your programme

Please read the Application Guidance before proceeding with your application.

Year of entry: 2023-2024

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.