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MSc in Security Studies

Academic research and policy-making on the causes and consequences of political violence

MSc Security Studies

This programme at a glance

Programme title
MSc in Security Studies
Combines empirical and normative approaches to the causes of political violence, the application of military force, humanitarian intervention, and the provision of global public goods.
12 months (full-time) or 24 months (part-time)

Please see fees tab.

Application deadline

2 September 2016

Programme Director
Dr Julian Wucherpfennig

Programme Introduction

Contemporary academic research and policy-making both focus heavily questions of the causes and consequences of political violence (i.e., domestic and transnational terrorism, civil and international war). Moreover, there is an increasing recognition that a range of problems and dilemmas with a global scope (including global warming, the spread of infectious disease, and widening gaps between the world's rich and poor populations) fundamentally affect human security. The MSc in Security Studies combines empirical and normative approaches to the causes of political violence, the application of military force, humanitarian intervention, and the provision of global public goods. Attention will be placed upon introducing students to skills essential to the analytical study of politics at the transnational level.


By the end of the programme students will:

  • Be familiar with the theoretical approaches and debates in security studies—especially the relationship between International Relations theory, theories of political violence, and public policy making.
  • Be able to offer answers to questions of how domestic, transnational, and international forms of political violence (riots, terrorism, civil war, insurgency, and war) emerge, interact, are managed, and (ultimately) are resolved; these answers will rest upon identifying a role for international institutions, decision-making frameworks, pluralistic political systems, and social movements in the international system.
  • Possess the skills required to collect and use empirical evidence in a selective and systematic way, and to question the explanatory power and reassess the validity of the most authoritative works in political science, particularly in international relations, comparative politics, and public policy.

 The programme is made up of the following elements, to total 180 credits:

1.   You are required to do the following four compulsory modules:

2.   Choose two of the following 15 credit modules (the others remain options to choose in step 3):

3. Choose any two further modules worth 30 credits in total (the following is a list of all courses available within the department):

at the School of Public Policy

Students may take graduate modules from cognate subjects available elsewhere in UCL but must seek approval from the Programme Director in the first instance.

UK/EU students (Full-time) Overseas students (Full-time) UK/EU students (Part-time) Overseas students (Part-time)
MSc in Public Policy £11,190 £18,670 £5,195 £9,285
MSc in European Public Policy £11,190 £18,670 £5,195 £9,285
MSc in International Public Policy £11,190 £18,670 £5,195 £9,285
MSc in Democracy and Comparative Politics
£11,190 £18,670 £5,195 £9,285
MA in Human Rights £11,190 £18,670 £5,195 £9,285
MA in Legal and Political Theory £11,190 £18,670 £5,195 £9,285
MSc Global Ethics and Governance £11,190 £18,670 £5,195 £9,285
MSc in Security Studies £11,190 £18,670 £5,195 £9,285
MPA in Public Administration and Management
£15,590 £22,180 £7,695 £11,090

Please note: Part-time fees are per year.

For the Executive MPA in Global Public Policy and Management fees, please visit the EMPA page.

MSc International Public Policy

Entry to all of our programmes is competitive so please apply early to increase your chances of success. This is particularly the case on our larger Masters programmes in Public Policy, International Public Policy, Security Studies and Human Rights. Candidates applying for these programmes are strongly advised to submit applications as early as possible to avoid disappointment.

Please note that all closing dates are final. We are unable to accept any further applications after these dates.

Applications for Masters 2017/18

Applications will open on Monday the 3rd of October 2016.

Closing date: TBC (end of July 2017)

For further details and to apply online:

Applications for the Executive MPA

Applications for the Executive MPA in Global Public Policy and Management are managed by NYU Wagner. The deadline is TBC. For more information on the programme and entry requirements, please click here.

Applications for the Doctoral programme

Closing Date: June 2017

Related links

Frequently asked questions

Contact us

School of Public Policy,
The Rubin Building,
29/31 Tavistock Square,
London, WC1H 9QU.
Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 4999,
Fax: +44 (0)20 7679 4978,

Postgraduate enquiries

Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 4982/4950

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Page last modified on 22 sep 15 08:35

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