MA Security and Intelligence Studies

Entry requirements: First or Second class Honours degree or relevant experience 
Full or Part-time: Full-time
School: School of Humanities

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Course outline

This programme aims to deliver a deep understanding of the contemporary security and intelligence environment in western democracies, with a focus on the UK. Security and Intelligence Studies are an important new field in political science but there is also widespread recognition that a good knowledge of how security and intelligence agencies operate; of the environment in which they operate; and of how their products are, and should be, used has become a key component of good and successful governance. Emphasis is placed on relating academic and historical analyses to contemporary problems and policy questions especially in the UK but also to western states in general, using a unique degree of practitioner-led expertise.

With regard to intelligence-led policy and practice, emphasis is placed on the very skills that the intelligence community itself has been urged to develop in the wake of the Butler Review on Intelligence on WMD. This specifically recommended the development of a greater degree of ‘professionalisation’ in intelligence analysis skills, including critical thinking and analysis (developed in part through an element of exercising and collaborative working on challenge problems), and a greater ability to evaluate and assess disparate sources of sometimes conflicting information. This programme is aimed at everyone who is interested in intelligence and security issues, whatever their career plans, but also at those who may be aspiring to work in the field of security and intelligence. It can also assist the career development of those already employed within that field.

Modules available on this course

  • Case Studies in Intelligence Success and Failure
  • Current Threats: External and Internal
  • Dissertation
  • Intelligence and International Security since 1939
  • Intelligence Tradecraft and Machinery
  • Analytical Simulation Exercise
  • Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism: Practice and Policy

Full course information in the University Handbook

About BUCSIS

BUCSIS was established in 2008 as a world-class centre for research into the key Security and Intelligence issues facing the UK and the world in the 21st century. The Centre is headed by a leading academic in the field, Professor Anthony Glees, and is supported by a research and teaching team led by Dr Julian Richards, a Security Studies specialist with a long experience of working in the UK government on defence and security policy issues.  More information about BUCSIS.

See also:

Entry requirements

The minimum entry level required for this course is as follows:

  • a first or second-class honours degree from a recognised university or,
  • a recognised professional qualification with relevant work experience

Mature students

Age is no barrier to learning and we welcome all applications from suitably qualified students.

International students

We are happy to consider all international applications and if you are an international student, you may find it useful to visit our international pages for details of entry requirements from your home country.

The University is a UKVI Tier 4 Sponsor.

English levels

If English is not your first language, please check our undergraduate English language requirements. If your English levels don’t meet our minimum requirements, you may be interested in applying for our Pre-sessional English Language Foundation Programmes.

Selection process

Wherever possible, you will be invited to the University to meet the Admissions Tutor for an informal interview and to have a tour of our campus. If you are an international applicant, it may not be possible for you to visit in person, so if the Admissions Tutor has any queries about your application you may be conducted by skype, email or phone.

The Admissions Team would be happy to answer any questions you may have:

Terms and conditions for prospective students

When you are offered a place at the University you will be notified of the terms and conditions between the University and students on our courses of study. When you accept an offer of a place on the course at the University a legal contract is formed between you and the University on the basis of the terms and conditions outlined in your offer letter. Your offer letter and the terms and conditions contain important information which you should read carefully before accepting any offer. Read the admissions terms and conditions > >

Quality teaching

We offer high quality, traditional Oxbridge-style teaching, which leads to our degrees being recognised around the world. The standards of degrees and awards are safeguarded by distinguished external examiners – senior academic staff from other universities in the UK – who approve and moderate assessed work.

High calibre staff

Most of our academic staff teach for three terms out of four, with the remaining term used for research. Because of this, we have no difficulty in attracting high calibre, highly respected lecturers, many of whom also have a background in business or industry and can offer networking opportunities for students.

Teaching methods

Teaching is carried out through a combination of lectures supported by seminars and tutorials. A key feature of the Buckingham teaching method is the use of small tutorial groups which provide the most effective means of ensuring that the students benefit from the academic expertise at their disposal. It is also the philosophy of Buckingham’s faculty to be available to students outside the scheduled tutorial times and to encourage good working relationships between staff and students.

Assessment methods

Assessment will take the form of written assignments and examinations and an individually supervised 10,000-word dissertation. Candidates whose total average mark is above 70 are awarded the MA with Distinction; those whose total average mark is between 60 and 69 are awarded the MA with Merit; those whose total average mark is between 50 and 59 are awarded the MA and those whose total average mark is between 40 and 49 are awarded the Diploma.

Graduate employment

We have a high graduate employment rate, The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) ranked Buckingham top for graduate employability with 98.1% in July 2015.

Our graduate prospects are excellentOur graduates have gone on to further study at most of the world’s leading universities, including Harvard, London, Oxford and Cambridge and secured jobs in senior positions around the world. Among our alumni we have a graduate who became the head of his country’s civil service and one who became a leading Formula One motor-racing driver. Another secured a position as the Minister of Sabah and one female law graduate became the first British lawyer to become a French Advocate.

The tuition fees quoted below are for the degree (e.g. if you start a degree at Buckingham in January 2017, you will pay the same termly fee for the duration of your degree – you will not be affected by the price increase in September 2017). Fees are normally paid in termly instalments.

Postgraduate loan scheme

A new system of postgraduate loans for Masters degrees in the UK will be introduced from 1 August 2016 with support from the UK Government. The loan will provide up to £10,000 for taught and research Masters courses in all subject areas. The loans can be used for tuition fees, living expenses or both.  Find out more >>

Postgraduate first class scholarship

From July 2015 a first class scholarship will be available to both home and international students following a taught postgraduate degree at the University. The scholarship will reduce tuition fees by 33%. The scholarship will be automatically awarded to applicants who already have a first class honours degree that is recognised to UK standard.

Details of other scholarships can be found on our main Bursaries and Scholarships page. You should make an application to study at the University and receive an offer letter confirming our acceptance of your application before applying for a scholarship.

You may also find it useful to visit our External Funding page.

*The University reserves the right to increase course fees annually in line with inflation linked to the Retail Price Index (RPI) to take account of the University’s increased costs of delivering educational services. If the University intends to increase your course fees it will notify you via email of this as soon as reasonably practicable.

On-campus accommodation

A typical room in University of Buckingham accommodationWe guarantee on-campus accommodation to all new students for their first four terms of study, as long as it is booked and paid for in good time, so you’re assured of a safe and secure home from home when you arrive at the University. Most new students choose this option.

Living on campus enables you to become involved in University activities, make friends, and integrate with the University community. For some of you this will be your first time in the UK; for others it will be the first time living away from home – and independence brings its challenges as well as its excitements. Whatever your circumstances, we know how important it is for you to feel comfortable in your accommodation.

What’s included?

All our study bedrooms are fully furnished, centrally heated, and connected to the internet. With few exceptions they have a wash basin and small refrigerator. We have a large number of ensuite rooms, and are upgrading more rooms each year. There are shared kitchens for when you wish to cook for yourself.

Find out more

If you’d like to find out more, visit our Accommodation pages or get in touch with our Accommodation Team.

We recommend that all prospective students visit our campus if they are able to, and campus tours include a typical student room. Arrange a tour via your Admissions Officer.

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