M.A. History of Warfare

Kings College London

Application deadline: 31 July 2014 or until places are filled.
Tuition fee:
  • € 12,430 / Year (EEA)
  • € 19,840 / Year (Non-EEA)
Start date: September  2015
Credits (ECTS): 90 ECTS
Credits: 180
Duration full-time: 12 months
  • English
Delivery mode: On Campus
Educational variant: Part-time, Full-time

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Based in the Department of War Studies, the MA History of Warfare examines the social, cultural and operational aspects of war from broad historiographical and interdisciplinary perspectives. With close links to the Department of History and the Institute of Contemporary British History, students can study most aspects of the history of armed conflict and society from the late medieval period to the present day.

* The Department of War Studies is internationally recognised as a global centre of excellence and is highly regarded by the British Academy, the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Economic and Social Research council as a high calibre training institution.
* It is one of the only university departments in the world devoted exclusively to the study of war as a human phenomenon. A remarkable diversity of research interests, disciplinary approaches, opinion and background exists in the department among both staff and students, reflecting the variety and complexity of the issues raised by war and the study of war.
* Students are taught by the best; experts and pioneers in their fields who are often at the forefront of world events as they happen. Our stellar academic cohort bring not only a wealth of knowledge but also an extensive and continually growing network of links with other departments, think-tanks, organisations, policy-making bodies and institutions.
* Situated close to the seat of Government, the City, the Imperial War Museum, the National Maritime Museum, the Royal Courts of Justice and the Inns of Court students have unique opportunities to network with key high profile visitors, from academics to government ministers, ambassadors and generals.
* The MA programmes in the Department of War Studies are designed to enhance your analytical, conceptual, research and critical thinking skills which will increase your employability and aid professional career development.

This programme offers students the opportunity to engage critically with the methods, materials and debates inherent in the study of the history of warfare.

This programme challenges students to examine war from broad historiographical and interdisciplinary perspectives, taking, as given that the history of warfare cannot be isolated from the study of general history. It encompasses more than what usually falls into the category of military history to include war from the viewpoint of combatants, societies, economies and cultures across the landscape of modern history, and in the spirit of War Studies draws on the literature and methodology of other academic disciplines where appropriate.

The programme aims to equip graduates with the knowledge, understanding and skills they require to progress to advanced research in the field. To that end, it has been created with a compulsory module focused on research and analytical skills, supported by a range of optional modules addressing individual aspects of the history of warfare over time and across a wide geographical and thematic range.

The programme prepares interested students for future doctoral research into the history of warfare and related fields. The programme can also be taken as a free- standing masters degree by those interested in warfare in the past and the intellectual, methodological and practical skills essential to its study


Core programme content

The MA programme is designed as a one year full-time, or two year part-time taught programme. The programme offers a broad based multi-disciplinary curriculum and students have the opportunity to study a wide range of topics.

The MA programme contains the following elements:

* A compulsory module, History of Warfare (worth 40 credits). Please see a detailed compulsory module description and reading list by clicking on the History of Warfare link below.
* Optional modules chosen from a range of possibilities (worth 80 credits in total). Please see a list of typical options below.
* A dissertation of 15,000 words worth 60 credits.

The dissertation counts for 60 credits (3/9) and the compulsory and optional modules count for 120 credits (6/9) in total. Students may choose their own topic but it must be approved by the Department. If students are unsuccessful in any element of the MA programme there is a opportunity to retake in the following year. Part-time students are advised to take the compulsory module in the first year of study.

Indicative non-core content

Option modules

* All optional modules are 40 credits unless otherwise specified.
* Option modules begin in week 3 of term 1.
* In order to promote effective learning there are a limited number of student places available on each optional module.
* Some of the optional modules are prioritised for students on particular masters programmes.
* Each year the optional modules will vary, and we can not guarantee to offer all those listed in any given year.
* You are advised not to base your decision to join the degree programme soley on the list below.
* For a full list of option modules please refer to the MA in War Studies programme page here:
N.B Option modules are allocated using purpose-designed software which the department has created to maximise student choice while keeping each option class to a reasonable size. The system weighs student preferences, and gives priority where necessary to options of particular relevance to each specific MA programme.

Continuous assessment by essay, examinations and a dissertation.

More information on typical programme modules.
NB it cannot be guaranteed that all modules are offered in any particular academic year.

* History of Warfare - Required
* Art anda War - Optional
* Comparative Civil Wars (40 Credits) - Optional
* Complex Political Emergencies, Health & Security - Optional
* Conflict Prevention & Peace Building - Optional
* Conflict Simulation - Optional
* Conflict, Culture and the Postcolonial in International Relations - Optional
* Conflict, Development And Islam In Russia, The Caucasus And Central Asia - Optional
* Contemporary British Defence Policy - Optional
* Current Issues In Science & Security - Optional
* Diplomacy - Optional
* Diplomacy, Intelligence and Armaments Competition: The origins of the Second World War, 1931-1941 - Optional
* East Asian Security - Optional
* Ethics In International Relations (20 Credits) - Optional
* European (In)Security (20 credits) - Optional
* Human Rights and Migration (20 credits) - Optional
* Inerdisciplinary Approaches to (In)security - Optional
* International Politics Of The Middle East - Optional
* Investigating Conflict in Global Politics - Optional
* Media and Intelligence - Optional
* Media And War - Optional
* Mind, Body And Spirit In The First World War - Optional
* Missile Proliferation - Optional
* Natural Resources & Conflict - Optional
* Navies And Seapower, 1793-2001 - Optional
* Open Source Intelligence - Optional
* Proliferation & International Security - Optional
* Propaganda - Optional
* Reporting Wars - Optional
* Social Dimensions of Terrorism - Optional
* The Evolution Of Insurgency - Optional
* The JIC And British Intelligence - Optional
* The Meaning And Experience Of Imperialism - Optional
* The Occupied Territories Since 1967 - Optional
* The Result In War Is Never Final - Optional
* UK Foreign Policy - Optional
* War and Insurgency in the Middle East since 1945 - Optional
* Wars Within Wars - Optional


Minimum 2:1 first degree in history, international relations, political science, economics or other appropriate subject or an equivalent qualification from a British or overseas university; GPA must be above 3.3 (USA). Applicants must have English language competence. However we offer a two year programme built around the department's existing MA programmes and incorporating dedicated English language tuition.

English Language Requirements

CAE score: (read more)

Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) is part of the Cambridge English suite and is targeted at a high level (IELTS 6.5-8.0). It is an international English language exam set at the right level for academic and professional success. Developed by Cambridge English Language Assessment - part of the University of Cambridge - it helps you stand out from the crowd as a high achiever.

80 (Grade A)


Students are generally self-funded.

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