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King's College London - Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy MA in Intelligence and International Security
King's College London - Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy

MA in Intelligence and International Security

London, United Kingdom

1 Years


Full time, Part time

Sep 2024

GBP 33,258 / per year *


* UK students: £18,258 per year | International students: £33,258 per year


Our Intelligence & International Security MA examines the trends that continue to shape intelligence and international security developments in the 21st century. Intelligence, today, is central to our security. It is crucial for managing the key national and international security threats that societies and individuals face, ranging from the threat of domestic and transnational terrorism to digital espionage and attacks to pandemics, to renewed inter-state, and great power rivalries.

Understanding intelligence is also crucial if we are to understand the balance of power between the citizen and the state, particularly given the potential of digital surveillance.

This course grapples with these issues and many others. It offers students the opportunity to immerse themselves in the nature and mechanics of intelligence, from a global perspective. It delves into the practical matters that concern intelligence officers and organisations as they go about their business and the challenges national governments face in utilising intelligence and managing their intelligence machinery. Students will also consider the ethical issues that concern all aspects of intelligence operations.

Key benefits

  • The opportunity to explore a wide variety of perspectives and experiences through a diverse range of teaching approaches, including lectures, workshops, games and exercises
  • Development of core transferable skills, including the study of effective intelligence analysis, as well as communication, evaluation and analytical skills, interpersonal cooperation and writing opportunities, bias identification, and critical reading and thinking
  • You will gain an in-depth understanding of the nature of intelligence, intelligence processes, case studies of systems, success, and failure, and examine how intelligence has and continues to impact national and international security
  • The Department hosts one of the largest groups of academics focused on intelligence and security anywhere in the world. You will be taught by world-leading experts in their fields who not only engage in academic work and research but also undertake a wide variety of advisory roles to national governments and non-governmental organisations
  • Supplementing the academic programme are lectures and masterclasses given by our Visiting Professors, senior practitioners and leaders in the field, who share with students their unique experiences and perspectives on intelligence and its role in statecraft
  • This MA is excellent preparation for employment in government service or commercial risk management and open-source intelligence providers
  • Students from this course have gone on to work in a very wide variety of roles, with an international scope. Many of our alumni have entered government, NATO or the EU, others have entered the armed forces, and gone on to work as investigative journalists, think tank researchers, UN officials, and security consultants for international NGOs. Many of them return to join us on the course to offer current students an insight into their career paths
  • You have the advantage of attending masterclasses, workshops and roundtables run by the King's Centre for the Study of Intelligence (KCSI) which alongside a vibrant events programme, provides a platform and hub for bringing intelligence scholars together to share ideas

Course essentials

Our course offers students an in-depth, unique perspective on intelligence and its role in statecraft. Students will examine the nature of intelligence, the practice and process of intelligence agencies, and the interaction between intelligence agencies, the wider machinery of government, and society. Building upon a foundation of historical research and practical experience, the course examines from a multidisciplinary perspective the issues and trends that continue to shape intelligence and international security in the 21st century.

Students on our MA experience an exceptionally stimulating environment. The core module, Intelligence in Peace and War, offers a broad, authoritative perspective on the evolution and practice of intelligence, and it is complemented by a number of more specialised optional modules. This offers students the opportunity to study both the general contours of intelligence and its role in domestic and international security, and more specific elements of intelligence and security operations. The academic contents of both the core and optional modules is supplemented by the perspective of practitioners.

We aim to provide a framework in which to understand the nature and role of intelligence in its relationship to wider issues in war and international security. This includes developing an understanding of the processes, practices and institutions that have characterised intelligence in the modern era; knowledge of the problems connected with intelligence collection, assessment and the ability to predict events in world affairs; and an appreciation of the particular ethical and political concerns generated by intelligence.

This MA is based in the Department of War Studies, one of the only academic departments in the world to focus solely on the complexities of conflict and security. War Studies is a multidisciplinary department and all War Studies students benefit from research-led teaching in such subjects as the history and evolution of war and grand strategy, arms control and non-proliferation, migration, strategic thought, cyber, conflict and the environment, the influence of science and technology on international security, along with regional specialisms covering Africa, Asia (East and South), Russia and elsewhere.

Duration: One year full-time, September to September, two years part-time



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