MA International Security
- Full Time
- Degree of Master of Arts
- Course Length
- 1 year
- Course Start Date
- September 2024
Few issues can claim to be such a leading and ongoing preoccupation in global politics as international security. Our International Security Master’s is designed to provide you with a thorough and in-depth understanding of the key theoretical and empirical debates within the field. It is a particularly exciting moment to be studying this fast-changing subject. Our degree lets you get to grips with the classic topics in International Security, such as inter-state problems relating to the military, strategy, nuclear proliferation, foreign policy, and intelligence. However, our degree also encompasses much broader contemporary issues, questions, and approaches. For instance, you’ll study maybe the most pressing security issue for everyone, wherever they are on the planet: the climate crisis. Migration, terrorism and counterterrorism likewise raise ethical questions about life and death, and who has a right to safety, protection, and survival. These urgent issues are at the heart of our teaching as we prepare you for a future in international security.
This course provides a comprehensive grounding in international security studies, focusing on developments since the end of the Cold War. International security issues arise within complex political, geopolitical, environmental, and social contexts, involving a broad range of state and non-state actors.
The study of security in contemporary global politics presents a series of challenging real-world emergencies, intellectual questions, and policy dilemmas. We’ll show you how to consider the complex causes of these contemporary security problems. Providing you with the analytical tools to assess these processes, this MA combines the study of the main international relations and international security theories with empirical analysis of contemporary security issues. And, importantly, you’ll find solutions to the type of challenges you might face in the real world through simulated exercises.
Importantly, you’ll be able to tailor your learning by selecting optional modules, completing your degree with a dissertation which you’ll research and write independently on a subject of your choosing, with expert academic supervision.
We are proud to be committed to decolonising the curriculum. Mainstream approaches to security studies can start with the assumption that it is the borders of the state that define the line between “us” and “them.” But these binaries are now called into question as products of global racial hierarchies, imperial and colonial legacies, and North-South inequities. This decolonised approach, we believe, is vital in a world undergoing important shifts.
Study and Modules
You’ll find this one-year International Security Master’s programme a rich, exciting experience from the start. Face to face teaching will take place through lectures, seminars, and workshops over the course of the year.
In the first semester you’ll gain an essential grounding in the theory of International Relations and an up-to-date interdisciplinary understanding of international politics. Your studies require no previous knowledge of these subject areas.
Also, in the first semester you’ll tackle a simulation-based introduction to some of the major issues and ideas concerning diplomacy and military strategy in international relations. The simulations will help you learn about the theoretical and practical challenges posed by the strategic relations between states, so you develop a more nuanced understanding of war and peace in international politics.
In Semester 2, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the discipline of security studies itself. You’ll trace security studies, from its roots in Cold War strategic studies to the development of the broader field of security studies today. You’ll critically analyse contemporary security issues and gain a sound theoretical base for considering practical issues of security, including new wars, humanitarian interventions, poverty, famine, disease pandemics, transnational crime and terrorism.
Over the summer, you’ll work on your dissertation which you’ll submit at the beginning of September. Your dissertation is an integral element of your MA and an excellent opportunity to conduct independent research into a subject area that you find stimulating. You’ll select your own topic and will be allocated an individual supervisor to advise you on all aspects of writing and research. We also organise a dedicated Postgraduate Day in the spring, when you’ll have the opportunity to discuss your dissertation as a work in progress with staff and fellow students.
Optional A Modules(Credits: 20)
Optional B Modules(Credits: 20)
Whilst the University will make every effort to offer the modules listed, changes may sometimes be made arising from the annual monitoring, review and update of modules. Where this activity leads to significant (but not minor) changes to programmes and their constituent modules, the University will endeavour to consult with students and others. It is also possible that the University may not be able to offer a module for reasons outside of its control, such as the illness of a member of staff. In some cases optional modules can have limited places available and so you may be asked to make additional module choices in the event you do not gain a place on your first choice. Where this is the case, the University will inform students.
Teaching and Learning
Our teaching is designed to encourage you to critically analyse all sources and develop your ability to engage in informed debates – we place significant emphasis on enabling you to advance your opinions in an academically grounded manner.
The department comprises more than 30 members of staff, all of whom actively engage with research in the field. This means that you will be taught by experts in international relations theory and international security studies. Our teaching is research-led, in that we ask the same questions of our students as we do in our research. Which means you can be sure your learning is at the cutting-edge of the discipline.
We take an interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary approach to our work, linking theory to practice, to create a distinctive programme of research. This has given us a strong international reputation for research in a wide variety of areas, including international relations, international security, terrorism, human rights, religion, Britain, the EU, Japan, Africa, public administration and public policy, political theory, and political rhetoric.
Learning how to study and research independently, and how to present your subsequent work, are important skills that you will gain during this postgraduate degree. You’ll develop and hone these abilities from your first week with us, and you will build on them as you progress through the degree to your final dissertation.
How you'll spend your time during semester 1 and 2:
Independent Learning: 75%
Whilst writing your dissertation, you’ll have a dedicated Postgraduate day where you will present your dissertation proposal and receive feedback from your peers and staff. You’ll then meet regularly with your dissertation supervisor.
You’ll be assessed through a range of methods on this degree, including essays, project work, presentations and the dissertation.
Most of our modules include opportunities for formative assessments, which will provide you with the expert feedback you need before you submit your final work.
- Degree Classification
- Bachelors (Hons) degree - 2.1 or equivalent
- Degree Subject
- Humanities or Social Sciences such as Law, Politics, International Relations or Development Studies.
- English Foreign Language
Applications from students whose first language is not English are welcome. We require evidence of proficiency in English (including writing, speaking, listening and reading):
IELTS: 6.0 overall (minimum 6.0 in Writing & Speaking and 5.5 in Listening & Reading)
Test dates should be within 2 years of the course start date.
We also accept a number of other English language tests. Review our English Language Equivalencies for a list of qualifications that we may accept to meet this requirement.
If you do not yet meet the English language requirements for this course, INTO UEA offer a variety of English language programmes which are designed to help you develop the English skills necessary for successful undergraduate study:
This course is open to UK and International applicants. The annual intake for this course is in September each year
Additional Information or Requirements
If you have alternative qualifications that have not been mentioned above then please contact university directly for further information.
Relevant work experience can be taken into account for those with a non-relevant humanities or social science degree, such as experience in diplomacy, international organisations, the military and careers in development.
INTO University of East Anglia
If you do not meet the academic requirements for this course, you may be able to study the International Pre-Masters programme offered by our partner INTO UEA. This programme guarantees progression to selected Master's degrees if students achieve the appropriate grade. For more details, please click here:
Our Admissions Policy applies to the admissions of all postgraduate applicants.
Fees and Funding
Tuition fees for the Academic Year 2024/25 are:
UK Students: £9,975 (full time)
International Students: £21,200 (full time)
If you choose to study part-time, the fee per annum will be half the annual fee for that year, or a pro-rata fee for the module credit you are taking (only available for Home students).
We estimate living expenses at £1,023 per month.
Further Information on tuition fees can be found here.
Scholarships and Bursaries
The University of East Anglia offers a range of Scholarships; please click the link for eligibility, details of how to apply and closing dates.
Course Related Costs
Please see Additional Course Fees for details of other course-related costs.
How to Apply
f course doesn’t have a deadline:
Applications for Postgraduate Taught programmes at the University of East Anglia should be made directly to the University.
To apply please use our online application form.
If you would like to discuss your individual circumstances prior to applying, please do contact us:
Postgraduate Admissions Office
Tel: +44 (0)1603 591515
International candidates are also encouraged to access the International Students section of our website.
After the Course
An MA is an excellent way to set yourself apart from other graduates when it comes to securing a good job and can also lead to doctoral research. An understanding of international affairs is increasingly important in all kinds of careers, while our International Security programme will provide you with vital employability skills and many networking opportunities.
Recent graduates from our School have taken jobs in business, teaching, research, journalism, and many international organisations, including the UN, EU and NATO.
UEA Careers Services can provide employment advice, as well as helping you arrange internships and work placements.
A degree at UEA will prepare you for a wide variety of careers. We've been ranked 1st for Job Prospects by StudentCrowd in 2022.
Example of careers that you could enter include:
management positions in international organisations, NGOs, government, media, and academia
Discover more on our Careers webpages.