Study at St Andrews

International Security Studies (MLitt) 2017 entry

The MLitt in International Security Studies provides students with a solid foundation in theoretical perspectives on and policy approaches to international security.

2016 entry

Course type

Postgraduate; leading to a Master of Letters (MLitt)

Course duration

One year full time

Entry requirements

A strong 2.1 Honours degree. A background in political science and international relations is strongly encouraged.

If you studied your first degree outside the UK, see the international entry requirements.

English language proficiency. See English language tests and qualifications.

Tuition fees

UK and EU: £9,870
Overseas: £20,370

Application deadline

April 2017. Applicants should apply as early as possible to be eligible for certain scholarships and for international visa purposes.

Application requirements

  • CV
  • letter of intent indicating your knowledge of the programme and how it will benefit you
  • sample of academic written work (2,000 words)
  • two original signed academic references
  • academic transcripts and degree certificates
  • English language requirements certificate.

For more guidance, see supporting documents and references for postgraduate taught programmes.

Apply for this course

Course information

The MLitt in International Security Studies is a one year taught postgraduate programme run by the School of International Relations. The course commences in September and ends the following August.

Highlights

  • The course provides detailed study of international security topics ranging from particular geographical regions to vital contemporary issues such as terrorism, great power relations, identity and conflict, gender and political economy.
  • The programme is designed to provide students with key conceptual tools needed to be competitive in the job market.
  • Prepares students for a wide range of professional careers including government, NGOs, IOs and regional organisations such as the EU.

Teaching format

The programme consists of four taught modules taken over two semesters and a 15,000-word dissertation in an area of your choice. The two compulsory modules, International Security Studies and Critical Security Studies, will ground you in both long-standing and contemporary approaches to security issues.

Modules are taught through a mixture of lectures, seminars and tutorials with average lecture sizes ranging from 20 to 30 students and tutorial sizes ranging from 1 to 15 students. Assessment methods include a combination of examination and coursework.

Every MLitt student is assigned a dissertation supervisor who will advise on the choice of subject and provide guidance throughout the research process. 

Further particulars regarding curriculum development.

Modules

All International Security Studies MLitt students take two compulsory and two optional modules over the course of the programme.

The modules in this programme have varying methods of delivery and assessment. For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue which is for the 2016–2017 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2017 entry.

Compulsory modules

  • International Security: focuses on important issues and significant debates in security studies.
  • Critical Security Studies: examines the challenge to traditional conceptions of security presented by the emergence of critical security studies since the end of the Cold War.

Optional modules

Optional modules are subject to change each year, and some may only allow limited numbers of students (see the University’s position on curriculum development). You may, with permission, take modules from other MLitt programmes in the School.

  • Terrorism and Liberal Democracy: explores the development of contemporary terrorism; and the conceptional and definitional issues concerning terrorism.
  • Conflict and Peace in Post-Communist Eurasia: examines where and why conflicts have arisen throughout the post-communist space, Eurasia, particularly in the Balkans, Caucasus and Central Asia.
  • Religion and International Politics: investigates the so-called 'global resurgence' of politicised religion.
  • Identity and Collective Violence: studies the concept of violence as a group or collective phenomenon.
  • Political Economy of Conflict: provides a political economy perspective on conflict in a developing economy.
  • Gender and Terrorism: explores how terrorism as an activity and those involved in terrorism are gendered.
  • The Evolution of United Nations Peacekeeping: looks at the development of United Nations peacekeeping from the 1940s to the present.
  • Political Order and Violence in the Middle East: examines the causes and consequences of political order and violence in the Middle East.
  • Political Philosophy and World Order: explores philosophical reflections on the idea of world order through a study of key political philosophy texts.
  • 'Reason of State': Origin, Nature and Career of a Concept: studies the meaning, origins, development and significance of the notion of 'reason of state' in western political thought.
  • Topics in International Political Thought: introduces key themes in the international realm through close engagement with the ideas of a single theorist.
  • Ideologies and Social Movements in the Middle East: focuses on prominent ideologies in the modern history of the Middle East, and the role ideas play in the political mobilisation of society.
  • Conflicts, Security and Democracy in the Greater Caucasus: examines the history, languages and culture of the Caucasus.
  • Social Movements, Revolutions and Authoritarianism in North Africa: investigates the dynamics and outcomes of social protests in the authoritarian regimes of North African region in the post-colonial period.
  • Foreign Policy Analysis: covers the literature, research topics and current issues in the area of foreign policy analysis.
  • Global Constitutionalism: explores developments in international politics and law that reveal an increasingly constitutional order.
  • Politics After the ‘Death of God’: Evil and Tragedy in Modern Politics: explores the concept of political theology as a way to understand international affairs.
  • Security and Justice Institutions in World Politics: examines the role of different international institutions in governing world politics.

The modules listed ran in the academic year 2016–2017 and are indicative of this course. There is no guarantee that these modules will run for 2017 entry. Take a look at the most up-to-date modules in the module catalogue.

Dissertation

The final element of the MLitt is a 15,000 word dissertation. The dissertation should focus on an area of international security studies in which you are interested. Each student is supported by a relevant supervisor from the School who will advise on the choice of subject and provide guidance throughout the research process.

If students choose not to complete the dissertation requirement for the MLitt, there are exit awards available that allow suitably qualified candidates to receive a Postgraduate Diploma. By choosing an exit award, you will finish your degree at the end of the second semester of study and receive a PGDip instead of an MLitt.

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Research centres

The School of International Relations has three broad research themes: conflict, peace and security; the evolving character of global and supra-national institutions; and civil societies and international relations.

These themes are covered by the School's research centres:

Funding

St Andrews graduates who have graduated during the last three years are eligible for a Recent Graduate Discount, which offers a 10% discount on tuition fees.

Find out more about postgraduate scholarships.

After the MLitt

Research degrees

In addition to the MLitt, the School offers a two-year Master of Philosophy (MPhil) degree option in International Security Studies.

Many of our graduates continue their education by enrolling in a PhD programme at St Andrews. 

The Economic and Social Research Council provides PhD studentship funding for UK students which covers university and college fees and contributes towards living costs.

PhD in International Relations

Careers

Students who graduate from the MLitt in International Security Studies frequently find employment in the foreign service, non-governmental agencies and security consulting, or advance to a PhD to pursue an academic career.

The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students on a taught postgraduate course and offers a programme of events to assist students to build their employability skills. 

Contact

School of International Relations
University of St Andrews
Arts Building
The Scores
St Andrews
KY16 9AX

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 1944
Email: irpgt@st-andrews.ac.uk

International Relations website


Admission to the University of St Andrews is governed by our Admissions policy.

Curriculum development

As a research intensive institution, the University ensures that its teaching references the research interests of its staff, which may change from time to time. As a result, programmes are regularly reviewed with the aim of enhancing students' learning experience. Our approach to course revision is described online. (PDF, 72 KB).

Tuition fees

The University will clarify compulsory fees and charges it requires any student to pay at the time of offer. The offer will also clarify conditions for any variation of fees. The University’s approach to fee setting is described online. (PDF, 84 KB)