What does the programme deliver?
The programme comprises of three terms of seminars of nine weeks each, covering: Covert Action, Human Intelligence (HUMINT), and the psychology of intelligence elicitation. These run respectively from January to September – September to June. The programme is delivered using an online Virtual Learning Environment, through which multimedia resources are accessed.
The MA does not offer systematic instruction in the facts of covert action, HUMINT and the Psychology of Intelligence elicitation; instead, the emphasis is on independent research.
At the heart of the Buckingham MA is the close working relationship between student and supervisor. While the final thesis must be an independent work, it is the supervisor who offers advice on refining the topic (if necessary), on primary sources, on secondary reading, on research techniques and on writing the final text (which should be not less than 25,000 words). Supervisors and students will meet frequently throughout the year, and not less than twice a term; and the supervisor shall always be the student’s primary contact for academic advice and support.
Tutor support is provided throughout, and there are opportunities to attend workshops and symposia in person at the university for those who are able to do so.
Each student will be assigned a personal tutor with whom online contact, advice and assistance with course work can be accessed throughout the programme. In addition to online contact, students can also take advantage of optional physical workshops at the university for those who are able to attend.
Term 1: Covert Action
- Understanding and defining covert action
- Disinformation, propaganda and fake news
- Political Action – covert regime change and election interference
- Covert paramilitary action
- Assassinations and targeted killings
- Covert Action case studies – UK, USA and Russia, China
Term 2: Human Intelligence (HUMINT)
- HUMINT and the law
- Informants – identification, recruitment and deployment
- Undercover policing
- Online HUMINT
- Cooperating or assisting offenders
- Community intelligence
- Operational ethics and HUMINT use
Term 3: The Psychology of Intelligence Elicitation
- Detecting lies and deceit
- Interview models
- Characteristics of good intelligence
- Ethics of interrogation
- Use of non-coercive elicitation techniques
- Motivations for source cooperation