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Postgraduate Taught

MSc Global Security Studies

Please note: The below is for 2025 entries. Click here for 2024 entries.
UCAS code 1234
Duration 1 year full time
2 years part time
Entry year September 2024
Campus Streatham Campus
Discipline Security Studies
Typical offer

View full entry requirements

2:1 Honours degree

Contextual offers


  • In the context of today’s challenges and opportunities there is a high demand for students with a expertise in global security combined with analytical and problem solving abilities
  • This MSc will provides training in the major issues in global security combined with a targeted focus on key vocational skills needed to analyse contemporary challenges and opportunities in the policy world 
  • It will allow students to focus on particular issues and areas and to develop their knowledge and skills for future careers in security and strategy, including within governmental and non-governmental organisations at the domestic and international levels
  • The MSc includes a core, intensive three-day practice-focused module that provides employability specific practice-oriented training for students wishing to pursue a career in security and strategy
  • Students will develop confidence through interaction and exposure to staff in our Strategy and Security Institute, which is recognised the world over as one of Europe’s leading Institutes for new thinking on Strategy and Security

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View 2024 Entry

Fast Track (current Exeter students)

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Programme Director: Dr David Blagden

Web: Enquire online

Phone: +44 (0)1392 72 72 72

Employability focussed

Top 100 for Politics in world subject rankings

QS World University Subject Rankings 2023

We are in the Top 10 in the UK for our world-leading Politics and International Studies research*

* Based on research rated 4* in REF 2021

Top 10 in the UK for Politics

9th in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide, 10th in the The Complete University Guide 2024

Entry requirements

We are looking for graduates with a 2:1 or above in their first degree. While we normally only accept applicants who meet this criteria, if you have a high 2:2 or equivalent, are coming from a different academic background which is equivalent to degree level, or have relevant work experience, we would welcome your application.

Applications from sector professionals, or applicants with relevant experience seeking academic qualification, or the opportunity to enhance skills or knowledge in this field are encouraged.

Entry requirements for international students

English language requirements

International students need to show they have the required level of English language to study this course. The required test scores for this course fall under Profile B2. Please visit our English language requirements page to view the required test scores and equivalencies from your country.

Course content

In the context of today’s numerous challenges and opportunities in global security, there is a high demand for students with a strong expertise in global security combined with analytical and/or problem solving abilities – skills that are a particular focus in the study of global security.

The MSc Global Security Studies draws on the strengths of our Politics department, particularly within security, strategy, global politics and international relations.

It will provide a broad-based training in major theories of global security combined with a strong grounding in acquiring skills to analyse contemporary challenges and opportunities. It will allow students to focus on particular issues and areas and to develop their knowledge and skills for future careers in security and strategy, including within governmental and non-governmental organisations at the domestic and international levels.

Students will be able to select optional modules across the range of modules in security, international relations and global governance, and politics. Students may pick up to 60 credits from any of the optional modules offered in Politics, International Relations and Global Governance, and Security.

The modules we outline here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.


2024/25 entry

UK fees per year:

£12,000 full-time; £6,000 part-time

International fees per year:

£24,300 full-time; £12,150 part-time


We invest heavily in scholarships for talented prospective Masters students. This includes over £5 million in scholarships for international students, such as our Global Excellence Scholarships*.

For more information on scholarships, please visit our scholarships and bursaries page.

*Selected programmes only. Please see the Terms and Conditions for each scheme for further details.

Teaching and research

With the exception of the dissertation and capstone module, each module on this programme is normally taught through academic lectures expanded through seminar discussion, presentations, group work, reading and essay assignments.

You will have an individual supervisor for your dissertation, which is a 15,000 word extended essay on a topic of your choice (following discussion and approval from your supervisor).

Library services

Our main library is open 24/7 throughout the academic year. With a book stock in excess of 1.2 million, we have one of the highest UK academic library ratios of books to students. The main library offers self-service machines, state-of-the-art multimedia facilities, and an extended wifi network. The library provides world-class study facilities to all students. It has extensive holdings of works on political science, international relations and the various sub-disciplines.

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Employer-valued skills

The programme will furnish students with the capacity to assess contemporary global security challenges across a broad range of areas. It will foster critical thinking through a range of writing and group-work presentations; a mix of academic with practice-based learning, including through the capstone module; and develop confidence through interaction and exposure to senior leaders across a range of fields. 

In addition to the academic and knowledge-based skills provided by this programme’s subject material, your studies will also develop personal skills which are highly valued by employers, such as:

  • Advanced independent thinking, with the ability to undertake self-directed learning and time management to achieve consistent, proficient and sustained attainment
  • Experience of working as an individual on challenging material
  • The ability to reflect on your learning, evaluate personal strengths and weakness, and map out a plan of personal development based on those reflections
  • Competence with standard IT applications, and an understanding of efficient and effective ways to obtain information from library, database, and online sources.
  • Experience of working as a participant and/or leader of a group, and of contributing effectively to the planning and achievement of that group’s objectives
  • Experience of giving presentations to others in your field
  • The ability to construct a rigorous argument, and defend that argument citing relevant sources, both in written form and orally.

Career paths

A postgraduate degree in Global Security Studies is a pathway to a range of careers in the field. It is particularly relevant to students hoping to work in the public sector (in the UK and overseas) especially in defence and security, business, and national and international third sector work.

Our high quality academic training is balanced with valuable professional skills development, giving you a fully-rounded degree which truly enhances your CV.

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