International Security

Study options

Award

MA

Key facts

Location:
Stoke-on-Trent campus
Location:
Stoke-on-Trent campus
Study option:
Full-time, distance learning
Study option:
Part-time, distance learning
Duration:
13 Months
Duration:
2 Years
Start date:
25 September 2023

Distance learning

Flexible study designed to fit around work or other commitments

Outstanding Research Impact

87% of our research impact is recognised as “very considerable” or “outstanding" (Research Excellence Framework 2021)

Specialist pathways

Option to gain specific expertise in Intelligence

From the tensions of the Cold War through to the congested and competitive domain of space, security implications are a recurrent theme.

Now our MA in International Security will help you navigate this sub-discipline of International Relations.

You’ll learn about the structures that underpin our global cooperation and governance on security matters, including major organisations such as NATO and the United Nations.

The course also covers the changing nature of threats. In recent decades, these have grown to include weapons of mass destruction, cyber warfare and even the potential for war in and through space. And we explore the broader issue of human security, which can encompass everything from famine to human rights and mass killings by governments.

You will also have the opportunity to choose a specialist pathway in intelligence.

The course is taught and assessed entirely online, giving you the flexibility to study anytime, anywhere. You will still get lots of tutor engagement and support, with world-class staff who bring a wealth of experience.

You will use digital platforms for a weekly programme of study and will debate key topics with fellow students. It will also involve completing a dissertation on a research area of your choice.

We attract a diverse range of students, who bring their own unique perspective to the MA. They include members of the armed forces and others working in security-related roles. It means you will become part of an international learning community.

Whether you’re looking to study for enjoyment, to develop your professional profile in a related field, or to take your research to the next level, this MA is for you.

Now our MA in International Security will help you navigate this sub-discipline of International Relations.

You’ll learn about the structures that underpin our global cooperation and governance on security matters, including major organisations such as NATO and the United Nations.

The course also covers the changing nature of threats. In recent decades, these have grown to include weapons of mass destruction, cyber warfare and even the potential for war in and through space. And we explore the broader issue of human security, which can encompass everything from famine to human rights and mass killings by governments.

You will also have the opportunity to choose a specialist pathway in intelligence.

The course is taught and assessed entirely online, giving you the flexibility to study anytime, anywhere. You will still get lots of tutor engagement and support, with world-class staff who bring a wealth of experience.

You will use digital platforms for a weekly programme of study and will debate key topics with fellow students. It will also involve completing a dissertation on a research area of your choice.

We attract a diverse range of students, who bring their own unique perspective to the MA. They include members of the armed forces and others working in security-related roles. It means you will become part of an international learning community.

Whether you’re looking to study for enjoyment, to develop your professional profile in a related field, or to take your research to the next level, this MA is for you.

On successful completion of study, we will issue the following award: MA International Security. If you complete the Intelligence pathway route, your award title will reflect this.

On successful completion of study, we will issue the following award: MA International Security

Part-time study

If you wish to study this course part-time, its duration is two years. You will be expected to complete modules totalling 180 credits.

Distance learning

While there is no expectation for you to attend our campuses, you are more than welcome to take advantage of our facilities, including our libraries, sports equipment and Students’ Union.

We have extensive experience in helping distance learning students, so you can access the same level of student support via our online learning platforms.

Part-time study

If you wish to study this course part-time, its duration is two years. You will be expected to complete modules totalling 180 credits.

Distance learning

While there is no expectation for you to attend our campuses, you are more than welcome to take advantage of our facilities, including our libraries, sports equipment and Students’ Union.

We have extensive experience in helping distance learning students, so you can access the same level of student support via our online learning platforms.

Course content

The core modules across all pathways provide an advanced understanding of international security, exploring the meaning of security and the key theoretical approaches and concepts associated with it. Your dissertation will be supervised and guided by staff but it is a student-centred piece of independent work. Topics may be drawn from the areas covered in your module selection, or aligned to your personal experience, and your tutors will support you with the development of your research question.

The MA International Security degree allows you to specialise in your course of study through options or a pathway route.

On the International Security pathway, you will explore modules on Security Governance, Human Security and Researching Global Issues. The Intelligence pathway examines the role of intelligence and international relations with the module on Intelligence Policy and Practice.

The core modules across all pathways provide an advanced understanding of international security, exploring the meaning of security and the key theoretical approaches and concepts associated with it. Your dissertation will be supervised and guided by staff but it is a student-centred piece of independent work. Topics may be drawn from the areas covered in your module selection, or aligned to your personal experience, and your tutors will support you with the development of your research question.

The MA International Security degree allows you to specialise in your course of study through options or a pathway route.

On the International Security pathway, you will explore modules on Security Governance, Human Security and Researching Global Issues. The Intelligence pathway examines the role of intelligence and international relations with the module on Intelligence Policy and Practice.

Modules

The tables provide an indicative list of the modules that make up the course for the current academic year. Each module is worth a specified number of credits. Our teaching is informed by research, and modules change periodically to reflect developments in the discipline. We aim to ensure that all modules run as scheduled. If for any reason a module cannot be run we will advise you as soon as possible and will provide guidance on selecting an appropriate alternative module.

Standard route

Year 1 compulsory modules
Year 1 compulsory modules
Dissertation In International Studies 60 credits
Human Security 40 credits
International Security 40 credits
Researching Global Issues 20 credits
Security Governance 20 credits

Intelligence

Year 1 compulsory modules
Year 1 compulsory modules
Dissertation In International Studies 60 credits
Human Security 40 credits
Intelligence In Policy And Practice 40 credits
International Security 40 credits

Russian Studies

Year 1 compulsory modules
Year 1 compulsory modules
Dissertation In International Studies 60 credits
Human Security 40 credits
International Security 40 credits
Russia And Russian Security 40 credits

Contemporary China

Year 1 compulsory modules
Year 1 compulsory modules
China In Global Context 40 credits
Dissertation In International Studies 60 credits
Human Security 40 credits
International Security 40 credits

Modules

The tables provide an indicative list of the modules that make up the course for the current academic year. Each module is worth a specified number of credits. Our teaching is informed by research, and modules change periodically to reflect developments in the discipline. We aim to ensure that all modules run as scheduled. If for any reason a module cannot be run we will advise you as soon as possible and will provide guidance on selecting an appropriate alternative module.

Standard route

Year 1 compulsory modules
Year 1 compulsory modules
Human Security 40 credits
International Security 40 credits
Year 2 compulsory modules
Year 2 compulsory modules
Dissertation In International Studies 60 credits
Researching Global Issues 20 credits
Security Governance 20 credits

Intelligence

Year 1 compulsory modules
Year 1 compulsory modules
Human Security 40 credits
International Security 40 credits
Year 2 compulsory modules
Year 2 compulsory modules
Dissertation In International Studies 60 credits
Intelligence In Policy And Practice 40 credits

Russian Studies

Year 1 compulsory modules
Year 1 compulsory modules
Human Security 40 credits
International Security 40 credits
Year 2 compulsory modules
Year 2 compulsory modules
Dissertation In International Studies 60 credits
Russia And Russian Security 40 credits

Contemporary China

Year 1 compulsory modules
Year 1 compulsory modules
Human Security 40 credits
International Security 40 credits
Year 2 compulsory modules
Year 2 compulsory modules
China In Global Context 40 credits
Dissertation In International Studies 60 credits

Entry requirements

A 2:2 honours degree or above, or relevant professional experience.

 

A 2:2 honours degree or above, or relevant professional experience.

 

For equivalent entry requirements in your home country, please see the information on our country pages.

Choose your country

Check our entry and English language requirements for your country.

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Facilities

Careers

After completing the MA International Security, you’ll be equipped with the critical and reflective skills, as well as a range of other transferable skills, that are attractive to employers. These can be adapted to a range of professions including, but not limited to:

  • Education
  • National, Foreign or Defence Ministries
  • Armed Forces
  • Security Services
  • International or Regional Organisations

Alternatively, if you wish to develop your dissertation further, you will be ideally placed for further academic study at PhD level.

All students have access to Career Connect, our dedicated careers team.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching

As a distance learning student you will be expected to study independently, but the content of the modules will be provided in a structured manner to support you through the material and to prepare you for your assessments. Support will be available when you need it and you can contact your tutor by phone, email or in person.Our teaching is delivered through our Virtual Learning Environments. This means you can access a range of materials to support your studies wherever you are and whenever works for your. This includes notes, recorded presentations, activities and discussion forums, where you can debate subjects with your tutors and fellow students.

As a distance learning student you will be expected to study independently, but the content of the modules will be provided in a structured manner to support you through the material and to prepare you for your assessments. Support will be available when you need it and you can contact your tutor by phone, email or in person.Our teaching is delivered through our Virtual Learning Environments. This means you can access a range of materials to support your studies wherever you are and whenever works for your. This includes notes, recorded presentations, activities and discussion forums, where you can debate subjects with your tutors and fellow students.

Assessment

During your course you will undertake two different types of assessments, informal assessments (also known as formative) and formal (also known as summative). Your formative assessments are designed to enhance your engagement with the taught content of your modules and to prepare you for your summative assessments. They also provide you with the opportunity to receive feedback on your progress. Your summative assessments contribute towards your final grade and degree classification and will assess you based on the learning outcomes of your modules. Your summative assessments could include a combination of written assignments, contributions to discussion boards, critical reviews, digital poster presentations and dissertations.

During your course you will undertake two different types of assessments, informal assessments (also known as formative) and formal (also known as summative). Your formative assessments are designed to enhance your engagement with the taught content of your modules and to prepare you for your summative assessments. They also provide you with the opportunity to receive feedback on your progress. Your summative assessments contribute towards your final grade and degree classification and will assess you based on the learning outcomes of your modules. Your summative assessments could include a combination of written assignments, contributions to discussion boards, critical reviews, digital poster presentations and dissertations.

Learning support

Your course tutors will provide you with plenty of support during your studies. However, you can also access assistance from our Academic Skills team, who can help you online with:

  • Study skills (including reading, note-taking, presentation skills, etc.)
  • Written English (including structure, punctuation, grammar, etc.)
  • Academic writing (including referencing skills)
  • Research skills
  • Critical thinking
  • Revision and assessment skills (including time management).

Additional support

If you have additional needs like dyslexia or a sensory impairment, then our AccessAbility Services are here to help make sure nothing stands in your way.

Feedback

As a team we are commended for our feedback. In his report for 2018 our external examiner wrote: ‘Quality of feedback is excellent. Feedback on written work and on virtual seminar presentations is detailed and constructive such that the module’s objectives and aims are reflected in the feedback. I was especially impressed with the ways in which tutors take the time to tell students how they can improve their work.’

As a team we are commended for our feedback. In his report for 2018 our external examiner wrote: ‘Quality of feedback is excellent. Feedback on written work and on virtual seminar presentations is detailed and constructive such that the module’s objectives and aims are reflected in the feedback. I was especially impressed with the ways in which tutors take the time to tell students how they can improve their work.’

For each of your taught modules, you will have specific sessions delivered through our online learning platforms. These engaging and interactive sessions will enable you to benefit from the expertise of our teaching staff and will signpost you to supplementary resources to support the content of the module. These sessions will also be recorded, so you can access the learning material at any time, giving you the freedom to study anywhere and anytime.In addition to the module content, you will also be able to arrange online meetings with your tutors and dissertation supervisor, to review your progress on the course, to clarify module content, to provide support for assessments and to receive feedback on your work.

For each of your taught modules, you will have specific sessions delivered through our online learning platforms. These engaging and interactive sessions will enable you to benefit from the expertise of our teaching staff and will signpost you to supplementary resources to support the content of the module. These sessions will also be recorded, so you can access the learning material at any time, giving you the freedom to study anywhere and anytime.In addition to the module content, you will also be able to arrange online meetings with your tutors and dissertation supervisor, to review your progress on the course, to clarify module content, to provide support for assessments and to receive feedback on your work.

Independent learning

In addition to your online sessions, you will be provided with a wealth of additional resources to enable you to experience a rich variety of perspectives and insights to share and discuss with your tutors and fellow students. You will be required to engage with the literature, videos, podcasts, activities and additional resources that will be provided on the virtual learning platform, and use this information to help you complete your formal and informal assessments.

In addition to your online sessions, you will be provided with a wealth of additional resources to enable you to experience a rich variety of perspectives and insights to share and discuss with your tutors and fellow students. You will be required to engage with the literature, videos, podcasts, activities and additional resources that will be provided on the virtual learning platform, and use this information to help you complete your formal and informal assessments.

Staff

Dr Fiona Robertson-Snape

Senior Lecturer

Fiona's expertise is in international relations theory and international ethics. Her research interests cover international society, human rights and international criminal justice.

Fiona's profile

Dr Simon Smith

Associate Professor

Simon is Associate Dean of Research and Innovation and Associate Professor of Security and International Relations in the School of Justice, Security and Sustainability. Simon also sits on the University’s Board of Governors.

Simon's profile

Alun Thomas

Senior Lecturer

Alun's research interests cover the history of Russia and the Soviet Union and Central Asia; imperialism, colonialism, decolonisation, refugeedom, itinerance; nomadism,nationalism, state-building, urbanisation, memory and patrimonialisation.

Alun's profile

Dr Tony Craig

Associate Professor

Tony's expertise is in Northern Ireland, intelligence and security studies, archive research, conflict resolution. His research interests include Irish and British foreign policy, intelligence history, terrorism, security studies and decolonisation.

Tony's profile

Dr Anthony Mckeown

Lecturer

Anthony teaches International Relations in the Modern Era; Global Policy Analysis and Money, Trade and Development.

Anthony's profile

Fees

For the course starting on 25 September 2023 the tuition fees are:

Tuition fees for MA-Full-time, distance learning
Study option UK / Channel Islands International
Full-time £8,490 per course £8,490 per course

For the course starting on 25 September 2023 the tuition fees are:

Tuition fees for MA Part-time, distance learning
Study option UK / Channel Islands International
Part-time £8,460 per course £8,460 per course

If you would like to know more about the fees listed and what this means to you then please get in touch with our Enquiries Team.

Alumni discount

If you've previously completed a Staffordshire University undergraduate degree (excluding HND and foundation degrees) you may be entitled to a discount of up to 25% off your course fees for any subsequent postgraduate taught course (terms apply, see the alumni discount page for details). If you have any questions about how this relates to you, please contact feesandbursaries@staffs.ac.uk.

Included in tuition fees
Included in the fees:
  • As a Staffordshire University student, you’ll be entitled to a range of free software programs.
  • As a Staffordshire University student, you’ll be entitled to a range of free software programs.
Not included in tuition fees
Not included in the fees:
  • Text books are available from the library and online resources, but some students choose to purchase their own copies.
  • Printing
  • Travel costs
  • Any optional field trips
  • Text books are available from the library and online resources, but some students choose to purchase their own copies.
  • Printing
  • Travel costs
  • Any optional field trips
Accommodation and living costs
Accommodation and living costs

Accommodation and living costs are not included in our fees. 

For more information on accommodation and living costs, please see: Accommodation

Sources of financial support

Providing you are studying towards a full Masters qualification you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan of up to £11,570 to help with tuition fees, maintenance and other associated costs. Student loans are available for many of our postgraduate degrees and are provided by the Student Loans Company (SLC). The loan can cover a wide range of postgraduate study options; part-time, full-time and distance learning. 

For more information and how to apply visit masters loan.

Apply

Location Award Study option Start date Apply Link
Stoke-on-Trent campus MA Full-time, distance learning 25 September 2023 Apply now

Rules and regulations

If you are offered a place at Staffordshire University, your offer will be subject to our rules, regulations and enrolment conditions, which may vary from time to time.

Students of Staffordshire University enter into a contract with us and are bound by these rules and regulations, which are subject to change. For more information, please see: University Policies and Regulations

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UK University

StudentCrowd University Awards 2022

for Job Prospects

StudentCrowd University Awards 2022

for Student Satisfaction

Complete University Guide 2022

for Social Inclusion

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023

for Course Content

StudentCrowd University Awards 2022

of Research Impact is ‘Outstanding’ or ‘Very Considerable’

Research Excellence Framework 2021