MA in Intelligence and International Security
King's College London - Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy
London, United Kingdom
1 - 2 year
Full time, Part time
GBP 33,258 / per year *
10 Mar 2024
Earliest start date
* UK students: £18,258 per year | International students: £33,258 per year
Our Intelligence & International Security MA examines the trends that continue to shape intelligence and international security developments in the 21st century. Intelligence, today, is central to our security. It is crucial for managing the key national and international security threats that societies and individuals face, ranging from the threat of domestic and transnational terrorism to digital espionage and attacks to pandemics, to renewed inter-state, and great power rivalries.
Understanding intelligence is also crucial if we are to understand the balance of power between the citizen and the state, particularly given the potential of digital surveillance.
This course grapples with these issues and many others. It offers students the opportunity to immerse themselves in the nature and mechanics of intelligence, from a global perspective. It delves into the practical matters that concern intelligence officers and organisations as they go about their business and the challenges national governments face in utilising intelligence and managing their intelligence machinery. Students will also consider the ethical issues that concern all aspects of intelligence operations.
- The opportunity to explore a wide variety of perspectives and experiences through a diverse range of teaching approaches, including lectures, workshops, games and exercises
- Development of core transferable skills, including the study of effective intelligence analysis, as well as communication, evaluation and analytical skills, interpersonal cooperation and writing opportunities, bias identification, and critical reading and thinking
- You will gain an in-depth understanding of the nature of intelligence, intelligence processes, case studies of systems, success, and failure, and examine how intelligence has and continues to impact national and international security
- The Department hosts one of the largest groups of academics focused on intelligence and security anywhere in the world. You will be taught by world-leading experts in their fields who not only engage in academic work and research but also undertake a wide variety of advisory roles to national governments and non-governmental organisations
- Supplementing the academic programme are lectures and masterclasses given by our Visiting Professors, senior practitioners and leaders in the field, who share with students their unique experiences and perspectives on intelligence and its role in statecraft
- This MA is excellent preparation for employment in government service or commercial risk management and open-source intelligence providers
- Students from this course have gone on to work in a very wide variety of roles, with an international scope. Many of our alumni have entered government, NATO or the EU, others have entered the armed forces, and gone on to work as investigative journalists, think tank researchers, UN officials, and security consultants for international NGOs. Many of them return to join us on the course to offer current students an insight into their career paths
- You have the advantage of attending masterclasses, workshops and roundtables run by the King's Centre for the Study of Intelligence (KCSI) which alongside a vibrant events programme, provides a platform and hub for bringing intelligence scholars together to share ideas
Our course offers students an in-depth, unique perspective on intelligence and its role in statecraft. Students will examine the nature of intelligence, the practice and process of intelligence agencies, and the interaction between intelligence agencies, the wider machinery of government, and society. Building upon a foundation of historical research and practical experience, the course examines from a multidisciplinary perspective the issues and trends that continue to shape intelligence and international security in the 21st century.
Students on our MA experience an exceptionally stimulating environment. The core module, Intelligence in Peace and War, offers a broad, authoritative perspective on the evolution and practice of intelligence, and it is complemented by a number of more specialised optional modules. This offers students the opportunity to study both the general contours of intelligence and its role in domestic and international security, and more specific elements of intelligence and security operations. The academic contents of both the core and optional modules is supplemented by the perspective of practitioners.
We aim to provide a framework in which to understand the nature and role of intelligence in its relationship to wider issues in war and international security. This includes developing an understanding of the processes, practices and institutions that have characterised intelligence in the modern era; knowledge of the problems connected with intelligence collection, assessment and the ability to predict events in world affairs; and an appreciation of the particular ethical and political concerns generated by intelligence.
This MA is based in the Department of War Studies, one of the only academic departments in the world to focus solely on the complexities of conflict and security. War Studies is a multidisciplinary department and all War Studies students benefit from research-led teaching in such subjects as the history and evolution of war and grand strategy, arms control and non-proliferation, migration, strategic thought, cyber, conflict and the environment, the influence of science and technology on international security, along with regional specialisms covering Africa, Asia (East and South), Russia and elsewhere.
Duration: One year full-time, September to September, two years part-time
Courses are divided into modules, and students on this course take modules totalling 180 credits.
Courses are divided into modules. You will take modules totalling 180 credits.
- Dissertation (60 credits)
- Intelligence in Peace & War (30 credits)
In addition, you are required to take 90 credits from a range of optional modules that may typically include:
- Past and Present of British Intelligence (15 credits)
- Influence: Covert Action, Active Measures, and Deception (15 credits)
- Diplomacy & Foreign Policy (30 Credits)
- National Security Studies (30 credits)
- Technology, Security and Global Politics (15 Credits)
- Armchair Intelligence- Open Sources & Online Investigation (15 credits)
- Homegrown Radicalisation (30 credits)
- Political Violence, Counterterrorism and Human Rights (30 credits)
- Or choose from a range of optional modules available within the Department of War Studies.
Please Note: the optional modules available change each year and are therefore only made accessible to enrolled students during the module allocation process.
At the start of the programme, you will be asked to select several optional modules in preference order. The department will then allocate you the required number of optional credits. Please note, that whilst we endeavour to give all students their top choice preferences, this will not always be possible due to limited spaces on each module.
As a part-time student, in your first year, you will take Intelligence in Peace & War and up to 60 credits worth of optional modules. In your second year, you will write your dissertation (60 credits) and make up the remaining credits from optional modules.
King’s College London reviews the modules offered regularly to provide up-to-date, innovative and relevant programmes of study. Therefore, the modules offered may change. We suggest you keep an eye on the course finder on our website for updates.
Please note that modules with a practical component will be capped due to educational requirements, which may mean that we cannot guarantee a place for all students who elect to study this module.
Program Tuition Fee
War Studies Graduates go on to work for NGOs, and many British governmental departments, including the FCO, the MOD, and the Home Office. Many Graduates also go on to work for the equivalent institutions in their home governments.
More generally, many Graduates go on to work for NATO, and 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, and Foreign Policy Fellow.