MA International Security

Qualifications and durations
  • Full-time MA (90 credits - 1 year)
  • Part-time MA (90 credits - 2 years, allowing three months for the final dissertation*)

*At the discretion of the Director of Studies, part time students may be able to have an extension of three months (giving a total of six months for the dissertation and an overall total registration period of 27 months). Students extending into their 3rd academic year may be liable for a pro-rated continuation fee.


The MA in International Security (MAIS) will provide you with:

  • A unique postgraduate experience designed to train graduates pursuing international careers in administration, diplomacy, policy formation and research
  • The opportunity to study in an internationally diverse postgraduate community
  • An enthusiastic and approachable teaching team who are internationally renowned experts in their research fields
  • A broad and in depth understanding of the new international security environment of the post-Cold War era.

The course offers a distinctive focus on security issues, with academic expertise in both international security and European homeland security. You will gain an insight into the interplay of international power, order and institutions.

Course structure

The MAIS course may be taken full-time (one year) or part-time and includes PG Certificate and PG Diploma qualifications.

The first semester comprises an advanced introduction to the core elements of the field of International Security.

The second semester encourages you to focus on our department’s key strengths in conflict and security, European studies, politics and society.

You will prepare a dissertation during the final three months of the course, drawing on core ideas by undertaking a more sustained piece of research on a question that you will identify.

Examples of themes for dissertations include peace resolution in the Balkans, the EU’s external action agency, EU-China relations, international intervention and the ‘responsibility-to-protect’, eco-politics and sustainability, ethnic belonging and desecuritization, bio-terrorism, and counter-terrorist policies.

Core units

  • International Security, theories & concepts
  • International Security: the contemporary agenda
  • Scopes & methods of politics & international relations
  • International relations Masters dissertation

Optional units

  • International organisations in world politics
  • Foreign policy making & analysis
  • Governance, security and development in East and South East Asia
  • International relations theories
  • International relations of South and Central Asia
  • Organised crime in Europe: threats and challenges
  • Memory culture – memory politics
  • Economic foreign policy and the international trade regime
  • Theories of conflict and conflict resolution
  • Britain and Europe

View Programme & Unit Catalogue for further information about units.

Learning and teaching

Our courses are modular, consisting of self-contained units, taught and assessed on a semester basis. As you progress through each semester and successfully pass the examinations, you will receive credit for the units, thus providing you with a clear indication of your academic progress.

Teaching takes the form of lectures, classes and seminars. Lectures are quite formal, whereas classes and seminars involve interaction between the lecturer and a small number of students for study skills and discussion.

Methods of assessment

Assessment consists of a combination of coursework essays, class exercises, projects, oral presentations and examinations.

We also place strong emphasis on developing presentation and discussion/communication skills which, in many units, is part of the assessed work.


Graduates from our MA International Security acquire broad knowledge about politics and policy-making in the contemporary international arena and about the role of Europe and the European Union within it, as well as essential skills to apply this knowledge in a wide variety of professional contexts. They are well-equipped to pursue successful careers in international organisations, multinational corporations, public bodies and think tanks.

Particularly outstanding candidates with an interest in academia can also proceed to doctoral research.

Entry requirements

Academic requirements

Typically a 1st or 2:1 Honours degree (or its international equivalent) in an appropriate subject such as European studies, international relations, modern languages, politics, history, economics or sociology.

A strong personal statement (typically 500-1,000 words) that provides evidence of:

  • how your academic, professional and personal experiences equip you to meet the demands of the course
  • your reasons for wanting to study on the course at University of Bath
  • how your studies may fit with their subsequent professional/academic intentions

English language requirements

  • IELTS 6.5 with no less than 6.0 in each of the four components.
  • PTE Academic of 62 with no less than 59 in each component.

Certificates must be dated to within two years of the start of the course of study.

There is further information about meeting the English requirements.

If you wish to improve your English proficiency before commencing your studies, pre-sessional language training can be arranged through the Academic Skills Centre.

You may be eligible for a combined offer to include both pre-sessional English 5 (PS5) and the master’s degree. 

How to apply

You must apply to study through the Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences Graduate School.

Financial information


Potential sources of funding


Two references are required. At least one of these must be an academic reference.


We suggest you apply before the following dates:

  • 30 June 2017 for International Students (who need to apply for a UK Visa)
  • 31 August 2017 for Home/EU students
  • funding deadlines for studentships and scholarships


Tel: +44 (0)1225 38 3037

Related links

Experts from our department are publishing regularly in the most highly ranked international journals.

Our academic expertise and research activities are organised into three broad Research Clusters:

  • Conflict, Security & International Order
  • Governance, Citizenship & Policy
  • Memory, History & Identity

International collaboration

Many staff are internationally leading scholars in their field. We are involved in a wide range of research activities, including collaborative projects at both national and international levels.

Projects are funded by a variety of bodies such as:

  • Economics & Social Research Council (ESRC)
  • European Commission Framework Programme
  • Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC)

Stimulating cutting edge research

Our diversity and the disciplinary mix of political science, political theory, policy analysis, social anthropology, political sociology and others make for a very stimulating environment for students to develop their own research projects.

The integration of our research community is further enhanced through the International Relations & European Politics (IREP) postgraduate group.


The Department of Politics, Languages & International Studies (PoLIS) is one of the largest departments in the University.

Many staff are leading scholars in their field and are involved in a wide range of research activities, including collaborative projects at both national and international levels.

International and industrial links

  • Our department has links with 22 Erasmus partner institutions, as well as universities in Russia and Mexico.
  • Research students regularly engage in fieldwork abroad, especially in the countries of the European Union, but also in Russia, Latin America and the United States.
  • Students on the Euromasters programme study at two or three different sites in either Europe or the USA.
  • In the case of the MA Interpreting & Translating and the MA Translation & Professional Language Skills, a number of work placements in Western Europe are made available to students in the language services of international organisations, government departments and commercial enterprises.


Our graduate prospects have been consistently ranked among the best in the UK.

Our wide-range of programmes enables graduates to find employment in many different fields. Some examples include:

  • Diplomatic service
  • Media
  • Academia
  • International organisations
  • Multinational corporations
  • Policy-forming institutes
  • The language services of the United Nations and European Union

Many of our undergraduate programmes include a year abroad or placement year. These are highly valued by employers and will give you an edge in the competitive job market when you graduate.


  • Specialist interpreting laboratories
  • Language laboratories
  • Online international TV streaming service
  • Self Access Language Centre (SALC)
  • European Community and European Union publications
  • Extensive local archive collections relating to research programmes in French and German politics
  • Departmental film library


Our Foreign Languages Centre offers a wide range of language courses at different level that students can also choose to follow.

The Academic Skills Centre (ASC) provides Academic English classes and support for international students.