Explore our International Security taught Master's degree.
Warwick’s International Security MA, explores theories of security and the completing ways ‘security' can be understood while critically analysing the significance of ‘traditional’ security threats such as conflict and war and ‘new’ threats such as climate change and pandemics.
International Security is a field of study concerned with war and peace, life and death, safety and survival in an increasingly complex world. Traditionally its terrain has focused on concerns about the stability of the states-based 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.
Our MA is one of the most comprehensive international security graduate programmes in the country taught by staff at the innovative forefront of international security research. You will choose from a broad range of modules which will allow you to explore different conceptual frameworks for understanding security in and through a diverse thematic and geographic focus.
Our Double Degree programmes enable you to combine the study of this MA programme in PAIS with a Master’s programme at any one of our partner universities:
- American University, Washington DC, USA
- University of Waterloo, Canada
- Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Brussels, Belgium
- Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain
- University of Konstanz, Konstanz, Germany
- Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
- Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
General entry requirements
2:1 undergraduate degree (or equivalent) in a related subject.
Visit our PAIS web pages for department-specific advice on applying to ensure your application has the best chance for success.
English language requirements
You can find out more about our English language requirementsLink opens in a new window. This course requires the following:
- Band B
- IELTS overall score of 7.0, minimum component scores of two at 6.0/6.5 and the rest at 7.0 or above.
We welcome applications from students with other internationally recognised qualifications.
For more information, please visit the international entry requirements pageLink opens in a new window.
There are no additional entry requirements for this course.
Concepts and Theories of International Security
This module provides students with an introduction to theories of security, the discipline of security studies, and the completing ways ‘security' can be understood. While most work on security in international relations begins from the traditional assumption that security means the preservation of state sovereignty and territorial integrity, this module introduces students to a range of different ways of conceptualising security in international relations and points to the importance of recognising that security is highly contested and contestable.
The first half of the module begins by outlining some of the key debates about security in international relations before exploring traditional theoretical approaches and conceptual frameworks. The second half of the module outlines critical theoretical approaches and conceptual frameworks of security and outlines several core ‘images’ of security in international relations.
The Dissertation is an opportunity to study a topic of your choosing, in autonomy and in-depth, under the guidance of an advisor selected among the many experts in the Department. The Dissertation topic should be related to your course. It is an original empirical and/or theoretical investigation, led over terms 2 and 3, that takes further the work done in regular seminars in terms 1 and 2. The Dissertation is the closest you will get to real research during your degree. It is a key experience if you have a PhD in view, or extra-academic research, or any future employment that will require the ability to lead investigations and write reports in autonomy.
Optional modules can vary from year to year. Example optional modules may include:
- The CIA and Covert Action
- The Global Food System
- The Global Politics of Nuclear Weapons
The optional module listsLink opens in a new window are updated regularly.
You may select up to 40 CATS (normally two modules) from a list of specialist modules for this course, and a further 40-80 CATS from our extensive range of optional modules for a total of 120 CATS of taught modules.
Modules are taught via one 2-hour seminar per week. Every seminar will be based on extensive guided reading you will do each week, but there is no strict pattern to how sessions are run. This may include mini-lectures followed by discussion, Q&A sessions, organised debates, peer presentations, policy briefs, small group work, and other projects.
You can also choose to study part-time with us. Find out more about part-time study on our PAIS web pages.
Normally a maximum of 18 per seminar group in PAIS delivered modules.
Typical contact hours
6 hours of Seminars per week for 9 weeks in Terms One and Two plus advice and feedback hours when requested and Dissertation supervision in Terms Two and Three.
Assessment methods include research essays and other (written) assignments throughout the year, culminating in a 10,000 word dissertation at the end.
Your personalised timetable will be complete when you are registered for all modules, compulsory and optional, and you have been allocated to your lectures, seminars and other small group classes. Your compulsory modules will be registered for you and you will be able to choose your optional modules in a module pre-registration process about which you will receive information at the beginning of September.
Careers and employability
Graduates from these courses have gone on to work for employers including: Action Aid; World Bank; UN agencies; UK and other universities; Deloitte; Japan Ministry of Defence; Nationwide Building Society; and the UK Cabinet Office. They have pursued roles such as: communications officers for major INGOs, business and financial project management professionals; economists; finance officers; policy analysts and public services associate professionals.
Our Department has a dedicated professionally qualified Senior Careers Consultant offering impartial advice and guidance together with workshops and events throughout the year. Previous examples of workshops and events include:
- Your future awaits - the many things you can do after your degree in the PAIS Department
- Careers in Government and Politics
- Warwick careers fairs throughout the year
- After your PAIS Master’s – What Next?
- Assessment Centres and Interviews: an overview of what to expect for PAIS students
Politics and International Studies at Warwick
Join an innovative, creative and passionate department with a lively and interactive culture. Stretch and challenge yourself with the support of friendly staff and your peers.
Our Postgraduate courses
- International Development (MA)
- International Political Economy (MA)
- International Politics and East Asia (MA)
- International Politics and Europe (MA)
- International Relations (MA)
- International Security (MA)
- Politics and International Studies (PhD)
- Political and Legal Theory (MA)
- Politics, Big Data and Quantitative Methods (MA)
- Politics of Climate Change (MA)
- Public Policy (MA)
- United States Foreign Policy (MA)
Tuition fees are payable for each year of your course at the start of the academic year, or at the start of your course, if later. Academic fees cover the cost of tuition, examinations and registration and some student amenities.
Fee Status Guidance
The University carries out an initial fee status assessment based on information provided in the application and according to the guidance published by UKCISA. Students are classified as either Home or Overseas Fee status and this can determine the tuition fee and eligibility of certain scholarships and financial support.
If you receive an offer, your fee status will be stated with the tuition fee information. If you believe your fee status has been incorrectly classified you can complete a fee status assessment questionnaire (follow the instructions in your offer) and provide the required documentation for this to be reassessed.
The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) provides guidance to UK universities on fees status criteria, you can find the latest guidance on the impact of Brexit on fees and student support on the UKCISA website.
Additional course costs
Please contact your academic department for information about department specific costs, which should be considered in conjunction with the more general costs below, such as:
- Core text books
- Printer credits
- Dissertation binding
- Robe hire for your degree ceremony
Scholarships and bursaries
Find out about the different funding routes available, including; postgraduate loans, scholarships, fee awards and academic department bursaries.
Find out more about the various funding opportunities that are available in our department.
Find out more about the cost of living as a postgraduate student at the University of Warwick.
Find out how to apply to us, ask your questions, and find out more.
How to apply
The application process for courses that start in September and October 2024 will open on 2 October 2023.
Applications will close on 2 August 2024 for students who require a visa to study in the UK, to allow time to receive a CAS and complete the visa application process.
Throughout the year we attend exhibitions and fairs online and in-person around the UK. These events give you the chance to explore our range of postgraduate courses, and find out what it’s like studying at Warwick. You’ll also be able to speak directly with our student recruitment team, who will be able to help answer your questions.
Join a live chat with our staff and students, who are here to answer your questions and help you learn more about postgraduate life at Warwick. You can join our general drop-in sessions or talk to your prospective department and student services.
A Warwick talk and tour lasts around two hours and consists of an overview presentation from one of our Recruitment Officers covering the key features, facilities and activities that make Warwick a leading institution. The talk is followed by a campus tour which is the perfect way to view campus, with a current student guiding you around the key areas on campus.