Key Facts

Course Title: Global Security
Course type: MA, MRes
Mode of Study:Full Time or Part Time
Contact Details:Kathryn Ainsworth
Website: Go to School homepage
Faculty: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
Subject Area: Politics and International Relations


global security Security matters. Because it matters, its study demands the development of complex analytical skills supported by cutting edge research as well as innovative and creative teaching techniques.

This novel exciting course reflects the latest trends in security studies and is designed to provide students with the elements to become world-class global security analysts. The course is intended for UK, EU, and overseas students and offers direct applications for policy-makers, risk professionals, and students seeking to pursue an academic path.

The course is taught over a 12 month period (September-September; January-January). It is available as a full-time and/or part-time mode of study. Students completing the course have gone on to a variety of careers in the public, private and voluntary sectors.

Aims of the Course

This course aims to provide you with an up-to-date, advanced and critical introduction to the theory and politics of global security. In doing so it also seeks to promote and nurture the development of the complex analytical and conceptual skills that the study of this discipline requires. These skills are fundamental to postgraduate study and invaluable for vocational and personal development and for future professional life.

Entry Requirements

Prospective students should have a first or good second-class honours degree, or its equivalent. This first degree should be in Politics or International Relations, or any other social science subject (e.g. Law or Sociology), or a humanities subject (e.g. History, Philosophy, English, or Modern languages).

Where English is not a first language, proof of English language competence will be required (IELTS 6.0 or equivalent, with a minimum of 5.5 in each sub-test).

Course Content

Semester 1

Semester 2


Advanced Approaches to Politics and International Relations

Perspectives in Politics and International Relations


Research in Action

Three optional modules

Two optional modules


Optional modules include:

  • Crisis, Continuity and Change: Trends and Issues in Contemporary Global History
  • Diplomatic Law
  • Human Rights and Global Politics
  • Maritime Security
  • Rethinking Fault-Lines: Beyond the East/West Divide in Global Politics
  • The Changing International Agenda
  • The EU and the Global Commons
  • The Theory of Global Security
  • War, Memory and Popular Culture
  • Approaches to Dialogue
  • Climate Change: Governance, Power and Society
  • Comparative European Politics
  • Dimensions of Environmental Politics
  • Diplomatic Practice
  • Environmental Decision Making: The Case of Complex Technologies
  • Environmental Diplomacy
  • Equality, Discrimination and Minorities
  • Foundations of Human Rights
  • Green Political Theory
  • International Environmental Law
  • Learning and Research Skills
  • Parties and Democracy
  • Party Politics and the European Union
  • Race and Justice: Civil Rights in the US
  • The Politics of Sin: Culture Wars in the US
  • The US Presidency and Public Policy

Teaching and Assessment

Postgraduate teaching and learning generally takes place in a combination of large seminars and smaller discussion groups.  Our academics typically lead the sessions, encouraging discussion between all students. Sometimes students will give presentations, either individually or in groups.

There is a strong emphasis on independent learning and students are expected to work on their own to produce their essays and dissertation. Most modules are assessed by a diverse range of coursework (e.g., essays, critiques, reports, presentations), though some modules may also be assessed by seminar contributions and/or written exams. Students take three modules in each semester. The taught modules are completed by May, leaving the summer months for students to write their dissertation.

Additional Costs

Apart from purchasing textbooks and other sundry materials, no significant additional costs are compulsory for this course. 

world map SPIRE is a thoroughly international school, and is particularly welcoming to international students, as well as providing plenty of opportunities for home students to broaden their horizons.

We have staff with educational backgrounds in a wide variety of countries, such as Sweden, Canada, Bulgaria, Italy, Austria, Romania, and Turkey, who present their research all around the world. Students have the opportunity to hear visiting lecturers from various different countries, arranged through our ERASMUS partnerships.

International students will join established international communities at Keele, and will find plenty of support mechanisms in place to help them make the transition to study in the UK (see the ‘International Applicants’ button above).

We have one scholarship available for 2014 for a student  from a developing Commonwealth country accepted on to one of the following programmes: Human Rights, Globalisation & Justice / Gender, Sexuality & Human Rights / Environmental Sustainability & Green Technology / Environmental Politics / Diplomatic Studies / Global Security.

The Shared Scholarship is jointly funded by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (CSC) and Keele University.  The Commission will pay your tuition fees and airfares to and from the UK, which Keele University will arrange for you once you have been granted the scholarship.

Keele University will provide you with a maintenance award (accommodation fees for a single room on campus will be deducted from this).

Candidates are expected to hold a first degree at either first class or upper second class level, and must have met the English Language requirements of the course in question.

Candidates are required to return home immediately on conclusion of their course and they must sign an undertaking that they are nationals of a developing Commonwealth country;  are permanently domiciled in a developing Commonwealth country; and are not at present living or studying in a developed country, and must not have undertaken studies lasting one year or more in a developed country.

Applications for the scholarship must be received by 16 April 2014 using the Electronic Application System (EAS)