Taught course

International Security Studies

University of Reading · School of Politics, Economics and International Relations

Entry requirements

Normally a good undergraduate honours degree (high 2.2 level or above), or equivalent from a university outside the UK. All of our programmes are appropriate for students from any disciplinary background, although an arts, business, humanities or social science subject is preferred. Relevant work experience may also be taken into account.

Months of entry


Course content

Examine current and important issues in international security politics with our flexible MA International Security Studies programme.

The course centres on two core modules, International Relations and International Security Studies, and a methodology module that provides you with the necessary skills to conduct your research. In addition, you’ll have a choice of optional modules – spanning contemporary diplomacy, strategic studies or international law – allowing you to customise your learning experience to your personal interests.

Critically evaluate key international security issues

You will be provided with a solid academic foundation in issues of international security. Furthermore, this course provides you with the ability to conduct critical, independent research into current and historical issues of international security, drawing on a variety of sources and methods.

Practical teaching and learning

Teaching and assessment methods vary across modules.

Our International Security Studies module is conducted as a series of seminars. Working in groups, students give presentations on assigned topics which act as an introduction to each seminar’s discussion. The module also includes a film presentation on a relevant topic.

You’ll be assessed on two pieces of coursework on a specific security political topic, assigned by the module convenor.

Develop in-depth research expertise

As part of your degree, you'll complete a research dissertation. It's an opportunity to carry out independent research –in a specific topic or issue of personal interest, and supervised by an expert – and contribute new insights to the current scholarly debate.

Learn more about our experts.

Department of Politics and International Relations at University of Reading

  • Recognised for research quality: 97% of our research outputs are rated ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’, meaning that the University of Reading is 6th highest in the UK for research outputs (Times Higher Education analysis of the latest REF 2021 – Politics and International Studies, when scoring by GPA Output).
  • Wide-ranging expertise: Our areas of strength include Applied Political Theory, Comparative Politics, Public Policy Analysis, Conflict, Security, Strategy and International Relations.
  • Research-led, relevant teaching: Our academics regularly feature in academic literature and the media, offering their expertise on current issues. Learn more about how we engage in real-world politics.
  • Exciting optional modules: Across all of our master's degrees, you’ll have the flexibility to study the subjects you're most passionate about.
  • Wide variety of teaching and assessment methods: Teaching primarily occurs through small discussion-based seminars, supplemented by lectures and other activities. Assessments range from traditional essays and oral presentations to various ‘real-world’ assignments such as policy papers.
For more information, please visit the Department of Politics and International Relations website.

Information for international students

IELTS: 6.5 overall with no element less than 5.5 (or equivalent).

Fees and funding

UK students
International students

New international students: £21,350

Tuition fee information

The fees listed are for full-time study, unless otherwise stated. Fee information will be confirmed in offer letters sent out to successful applicants. You can find further information, including information for part-time study, through our dedicated fees and funding page.

EU student fees

With effect from 1 August 2021, new EU students will pay international tuition fees. For exceptions, please read the UK government’s guidance for EU students.

Additional costs

Some courses will require additional payments for field trips and extra resources. You will also need to budget for your accommodation and living costs. See our information on living costs for more details.

Financial support for your studies

You may be eligible for a scholarship or bursary to help pay for your study. Students from the UK may also be eligible for a student loan to help cover these costs. See our fees and funding information for more information on what's available.

International students applying to study this degree may also be eligible to apply for a Chevening Scholarship.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MA
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    part time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Global Recruitment Team