Intelligence And International Relations (Top-Up) BA (Hons)

GCHQ Building
Location Stoke-on-Trent Campus
Duration 18 Months
Course start January, September
LocationModeStart dateApply
Stoke-on-Trent CampusPart-time2019/20 Academic YearApply Direct
Stoke-on-Trent CampusPart-time2020/21 Academic YearApply Direct


The total course fee is: £4,500

and the course is listed in two parts on the ELCAS website:

BA Intelligence and International Relations - £2250 (First 60 credits of study)

BA (Hons) Intelligence and International Relations - £2250 (Second 60 credits of study)

Part-time fees

Fees for part-time study are pro-rata to that paid for full-time study. This means that regardless of whether you choose part-time or full-time study, you pay the same amount for the course you choose to undertake.  The duration of the course and the fees you are charged each year or semester are determined by the speed at which you wish to progress through the course. This is called the 'intensity of study'. So if you choose to study at half the rate of a full-time  student, you’d pay half the full-time course fees each year, and take twice as long to complete your course compared to full-time. If you choose to study at a different intensity this will alter the duration and fee payment rate. If you would like to discuss what this means to you then please get in touch with our the HM Forces Team:

Course outline

Our BA (Hons) Intelligence and IR degree is designed specifically for MOD Intelligence personnel.

The course focuses on International Relations which will help contextualise your Intelligence Branch training and complement your professional development.

You will develop key skills in research, making and presenting written arguments, and critical analysis; all designed to enhance post-service employability.

Course content

You will be required to successfully complete eight 15 credit modules to complete the course.

International Relations

Explore the position of the state in contemporary international relations. Consider key concepts such as the state, nation, anarchy, sovereignty and power. The module also looks at foreign policy processes and the central question of order, considering whether order is maintained through the mechanism of the balance of power, or great power management of the system, etc. 

You will also look at the way that states interact and how they form their foreign policy objectives, examining key processes such as war, identity formation and globalisation.

Analysing Modern Societies

Study the formation of the social, political and economic institutions of modern societies. The module also explains the development of the modern state in the 21st century, especially its defining characteristics and its most pressing social, political and economic problems. 

Global Governance

Develop an understanding of the meaning of global governance and its significance in the contemporary international system. You will examine the nature of international law and organisation before examining the structure, role and significance of major international organisations such as the UN, EU, Bretton Woods Institutions and the International Criminal Court.

Intelligence in Peace and War

This module highlights what is widely regarded as being a 'missing dimension' of history in the 20th century, the role of intelligence agencies and particularly their impact upon the decisions of international actors. 

You will learn about the origins of British Intelligence, aspects of intelligence in the first and second world wars, the Cold War and in the 'War on Terror'. The module also explores the use of intelligence by the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, and Israel, as well as the use of intelligence and counter intelligence by sub-state and terrorist groups such as the Provisional IRA.

Evidence and Reasoning

Develop the essential ability to form and evaluate arguments and learn the principles of sound reasoning. This includes

  • an understanding of informal logic
  • recognising common fallacies. 
  • making explicit assumptions and understanding the limits of conclusions
  • accumulating and evaluating evidence (including statistical evidence). 

Issues in International Security

Examine a range of topical international and global security issues beginning with security theory including levels of analysis and actors in the system. The module explores specific issues of current concern such as: WMD proliferation, the South China Sea, resource (water) scarcity, migration, UAVs and terrorism.

Issues in European Defence and Security

This module focuses on the history and trajectory of defence and security issues in the context of Europe (understood geographically, politically and institutionally) from the end of the Second World War right up to and including contemporary challenges. 

You will learn about the role of states and the overlapping institutions (NATO, EU and the OSCE) that underwrite defence and security in Europe. The module will also explore the evolution of the key threats and broader security challenges to Europe and assess the performance of those actors responsible for mitigating them. 

Conflict Analysis

Examine the nature and causes of conflict, classify different types of conflict (eg. intra state, interstate) and analyse their characteristics. 

The module also examines the various stages in conflict, conflict management, settlement and resolution and bringing about a stable peace. 

Entry requirements

Applications welcome from OP MI 2 or above and RAF Intelligence Branch. Others who work in this area and have undertaken some Intelligence-based training will be considered on an individual basis.

You will be required to attend a 1 day compulsory Induction which will be held at our Stoke Campus. Please contact the HM Forces team directly for information on our next induction date.

For further information on this programme or to discuss the entry criteria please contact:

Lesley Allen
University Armed Forces Partnership Manager
Tel: 01785 353572 or 07917 270083

Paul Stonier
University Armed Forces Development Officer
Tel: 01785 353772 or 07825 845474


Teaching and learning

Each module is taught via weekly tasks focused on common reading, reflection and research using the web and online academic books and journals. You will also participate in discussions with staff and other students using discussion forums housed on our Virtual Learning Environment - Blackboard.

Meet the experts

The course is taught by experienced and committed experts in both the discipline and in distance learning; and who have understanding and experience of teaching Armed Forces personnel.

  • Dr Sita Bali - Politics of South Asia, politics of international migration and refugee movements, security studies

  • Dr Tony Craig (Associate Professor) - Irish history, British Empire, governments and intelligence communities

  • Dr Pauline Elkes - German and European history, propaganda, intelligence organisations

  • Dr Peter Lamb - Political theory, history of international relations thought, socialist thought

  • Dr Fiona Robertson-Snape - World politics and international relations, international ethics and human rights

  • Dr Alan Russell - Politics of the world economy, international organisation, politics and journalism

  • Dr Simon J Smith - EU and NATO security cooperation, Institutionalism, transatlantic security and reforming European defence

  • Prof. David Webb - Recent and contemporary European philosophy, French epistemology and philosophy of science and Foucault.

Student experience

"The course delivers highly relevant content challenging our personnel’s critical thinking skills and deepening their knowledge, which can then be applied in their daily work supporting military operations worldwide. In addition, the course provides valuable civilian qualifications that will assist personnel when the time comes to leave the Service and seek civilian employment. The popularity of the courses is a reflection of the quality of the University staff across the Faculties involved." 

RAF Intelligence Branch and Trade Sponsor

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