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MA in International Security

International Security (IS) is a field of study concerned with questions about war and peace, life and death, safety and survival. Traditionally its terrain has focused on concerns about the stability of the state system, the use of force, nuclear proliferation, military strategy, intelligence and the distribution of resources. Today, however, concerns about climate change, migration, poverty, health, privatisation, organised crime and international terrorism are also on the agenda. The MA in International Security is one of the most comprehensive international security graduate programmes in the country, taught by staff at the cutting edge of international security research.

Programme content

What is security? Whose security counts? And how is security enacted? This module will introduce you to key theories of security in international relations, and you’ll explore wide-ranging approaches to the analysis of security. Through this module, you’ll be provided with an advanced introduction to various theories of ‘security’ in international relations.

Through emphasising the engagement between ‘traditional’ and ‘critical’ approaches to security the module is designed to foster critical and reflective thinking by encouraging students to ask more fundamental questions about international security such as:

  • What does security mean?
  • Whose security are we talking about?
  • Which issues should be considered security issues?
  • What role does security play in contemporary political life?
  • Can security be achieved, and how, in both practical and philosophical terms?

Students on the MA in International Security are able to choose from a broad range of cutting edge modules with a diverse thematic and geographic focus. We will support students on this programme to organise a series of graduate conferences on international security, while the department also regularly hosts high profile speakers and organises public debates through its International Security research group.

All of our MA programmes are worth 180 CATS (credits) in total. As part of this course, you will be required to take one core module (40 CATS). You then select 40 CATS (normally 2 modules) from a list of specialist modules for this course, and a further 40 CATS from our extensive range of optional modules. If you pass the taught modules, you will move on to the second phase of the MA programme and complete a dissertation of 10,000 words (60 CATS).

Further information

About the course

Programme Director:
Vicki Squire

Core module
Optional modules
Entry requirements


The student experience

josh darby maclellan

My decision to choose Warwick for my Masters course was influenced by the University’s reputation, the range and quality of optional modules, and the scholarships on offer, (one of which I was fortunate enough to secure). The PAIS department spurred on my academic interests, challenged my intelligence, and put my work ethic to the test. It was a rewarding process and the majority of the staff that I interacted with were outstanding.

- Josh Darby MacLellan, Double MA with the University of Waterloo, 2015-2017

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