About this taught graduate course
International Security 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.
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 with a diverse thematic and geographic focus.
General entry requirements
2:i 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 requirements. 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 page.
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 in international relations. 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.
Optional modules can vary from year to year. Example optional modules may include:
- The CIA and Covert Action
- The Global Food System
- The Nuclear Question
The optional module lists 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.
Most departments have reading lists available through Warwick Library. If you would like to view reading lists for the current cohort of students you can visit our Warwick Library web page.
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.
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)
- Public Policy (MA)
- United States Foreign Policy (MA)
Our Double Degree programmes allow you to study a Warwick MA programme for one year as well as a Masters programme at a partner university.
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, however we are awaiting guidance from the UK government regarding fee status for EU, other EEA and Swiss nationals and their family members living in the UK for academic year 2021/22 onwards. We are not able to confirm the fee status for these students until the relevant eligibility criteria have been confirmed. Once we have received further information from the UK government, we will provide you with an update on your fee status and let you know if any additional information is required. 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.
Here is our checklist on how to apply for taught postgraduate courses at Warwick.
Here is our checklist on how to apply for research postgraduate degrees at the University of Warwick.