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International Security Studies (MLitt) 2022 entry

The MLitt in International Security Studies introduces international security through traditional and critical approaches. Students will learn to cultivate their own voice by engaging with different theoretical approaches and empirical case studies. 

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Key information

Course type

Postgraduate, leading to a Master of Letters (MLitt)

Course dates

  • Start date: 5 September 2022
  • End date: 30 September 2023

Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in the archive.

Course duration

One year full time

Entry requirements

The qualifications listed are indicative minimum requirements for entry. Some academic Schools will ask applicants to achieve significantly higher marks than the minimum. Obtaining the listed entry requirements will not guarantee you a place, as the University considers all aspects of every application including, where applicable, the writing sample, personal statement, and supporting documents.

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Tuition fees

Home: £12,590
Overseas: £25,450

 

Application deadline

Friday 29 April 2022, 5pm (BST). Applicants should apply as early as possible to be eligible for certain scholarships and for international visa purposes.

Application requirements

  • CV or résumé
  • personal statement indicating your knowledge of the programme and how it will benefit you (500 words)
  • sample of your own, single-authored academic written work (2,000 words)
  • two original signed academic references
  • academic transcripts and degree certificates
  • evidence of English language proficiency (required if English is not your first language).

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

Course information

The MLitt in International Security Studies is a one-year taught postgraduate programme run by the School of International Relations.

Highlights

  • Allows students to study critical and traditional security approaches.
  • Ensures that students grasp the cutting-edge debates taking place in security studies. 
  • Invites students to think originally and ask alternative questions. 
  • Provides opportunities for students to apply a wide array of theoretical lenses. 
  • Encourages students to focus on empirical case studies and global security issues.

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 will ground you in both long-standing and contemporary approaches to security issues.

Modules are taught through a mixture of lectures, seminars and tutorials. Average lecture sizes range from 20 to 30 students, and tutorial sizes range 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 2021–2022 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2022 entry.

  • 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.
  • International Security: focuses on important issues and significant debates in security studies.

Here is a sample of optional modules that may be offered.

  • Agency and Strategy in Non-Western Political Thought: explores different elements of non-Western thought to understand assumptions about the body, political community and the world.
  • The Changing Face(s) of Diplomacy: Emotions, Power and Persuasion in International Relations: highlights the role of emotions, persuasion and communication technology into the diplomatic arena. 
  • Emergent Great Powers: provides a comparative analysis of the emergence of India and China as great powers within the international system.
  • The Global Politics of Everyday Life: explores how everyday life and global politics are co-constitutive by drawing on a range of interdisciplinary theoretical perspectives.
  • The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: explores the complexities of the conflict from its origins to its recent evolution, drawing upon history, critical security, postcolonialism, and the politics of emotion. 
  • The Military in Politics: introduces students to civil-military relations and then analyses how armed forces impact states domestic politics.
  • Political Economy of Conflict: provides a political economy perspective on conflict in a developing economy.
  • Security and Development in East Asia: investigates whether there is a uniquely Asian approach to both security and development that produces a distinctive regional pattern of challenges and responses. 
  • Security and Insecurity in Contemporary Russian Politics: examines how the concepts of security and insecurity have come to underpin the Kremlin's approach to domestic politics and foreign policy in the post-communist era?  
  • Security and Justice Institutions in World Politics: examines the development and efficacy of institutions in the fields of peace, security and justice.
  • Spaces of Securitization: explores how securitization unfolds in theory and in practice by investigating the ‘spatial turn’ in international relations.

You may, with permission, take modules from other MLitt programmes in the School. 

Optional modules are subject to change each year and require a minimum number of participants to be offered; some may only allow limited numbers of students (see the University’s position on curriculum development). 

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 is an exit award 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.


The modules listed here are indicative, and there is no guarantee they will run for 2022 entry. Take a look at the most up-to-date modules in the module catalogue.

Meet us online

If you're interested in studying at St Andrews, join us on a virtual visiting day or daily information session to find out about our courses, how to apply, and to meet current students. 

The next virtual visiting day will be in November 2021.

Virtual events

Join our Admissions team for one of our upcoming virtual events. During these events, you can find out more about studying at St Andrews and what it will do for your future.

Online information events

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
  • civil societies and international relations.

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

Funding

Recent Graduate Discount
The University of St Andrews offers a 10% discount in postgraduate tuition fees to students who are eligible to graduate or who have graduated from St Andrews within the last three academic years and are starting a postgraduate programme with the University of St Andrews. 

Find out more about postgraduate scholarships

Marc L Carter International Security Studies Essay Prize
The Marc L Carter International Security Studies Essay Prize is awarded annually for the best ISS essay or equivalent assessed work. The prize is named after Marc Carter, a passionate educator who believed in multi-disciplinary teaching, student-centred learning, and the transformative power of education. Nominations will be made by staff members only, and recipients will be determined by a review panel in the ISS programme. The prize carries with it a £200 monetary award.

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

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 in building their employability skills.

"St Andrews’ reputation precedes itself and it was the breadth of knowledge and expertise across the International Relations department that pushed me to apply. I was aware when I applied that the course would be challenging, but the support I’ve received from friends and tutors has ensured I have thrived this year - the sea air, and close knit community have only served to better my experience. In short then, I highly recommend this course, and this University!"

Roxy
- London, England

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

School of International Relations

Policies

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

Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in the archive.

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.

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.

Study at St Andrews

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