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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 states’ 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 at the University of Warwick 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

The MA core module ‘Concepts and Theories of International Security’ provides a comprehensive grounding in the main theoretical approaches within the field of international security, using these to explore the most pressing issues on the international security agenda . 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 in turn able to choose from a broad range of cutting edge modules with a diverse thematic and geographic focus. PAIS has further supported students on the MA 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 our 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:
Oz Hassan

Core module
Optional modules
Entry requirements



The student experience

"The reason I chose to study towards my MA at PAIS was its outstanding reputation in security studies. During my first year of study here, I benefited more than anything from a vast, very patient support network of both academic and administrative staff. I also made amazing friends and have some fantastic memories of that time. So much so that it was natural for me to return to Warwick for my PhD last October. My thesis takes a broader approach to the topic I researched in my MA dissertation, which explored Secrecy, Power and the Impact of Social Media. I’m certain that I would have never attempted this next step without the encouragement of my supervisors Professor Richard Aldrich and Dr Chris Moran. What’s more, it is because of the opportunities, support and inspiration I have found at Warwick that I am keen to pursue a career in academia."

- Melina Dobson, MA International Security 2011-12; current PhD candidate

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