war and security studies

Undergraduate Available in Clearing

BA War and Security Studies

Discover how war has fuelled the development of civilisations, raised and crushed societies, and driven humanity's technological and social development.

Key information

Study mode

Full-time

Course length

3 years

Entry requirements

N/A

See requirements

UCAS code

L252

Choose an option

Start date

Course overview

Learn why war has been described as "the continuation of politics by other means" and is said by some to be the single most important social activity that humanity has ever undertaken.

Hull has an established reputation in the study of war and security. This programme focuses on the relationship between the theory of warfare and its practical application in the real world.

Our expert staff have considerable experience of working alongside the military and policy-makers, in the UK and overseas, and are widely recognised in their field. Their experience and research informs your studies.

Apply now through clearing

01482 462236 Apply online

6 reasons to study War and Security Studies at Hull

  1. One of the largest Westminster placement schemes
  2. 92% graduate employability rating*
  3. Opt to spend three months studying overseas
  4. Learn from some of the UK's leading experts
  5. Debate the big political issues of the day
  6. Join our active War Studies student society

What you'll study

The course consists of 120 credits per year. Most modules are 20 credits, meaning you’ll study six modules each year. Some longer modules, such as a dissertation, are worth more (e.g. 40 credits). In these cases, you’ll study fewer modules - but the number of credits will always add up to 120.

First year modules

  • Compulsory

    British Political History since 1945

    This module details the political history of the UK after World War Two. From Eden to the EEC and from Wilson to the 'Winter of Discontent', encounter the people, ideas and policies that have shaped modern Britain.

    Introduction to the Politics of the World Economy

    Explore how politics defines the power map of the world's economy and provides the constitution for markets. We'll introduce you to the principal ideas, institutions, policies and institutions that shape the politics of the global economy.

    Introduction to International Relations

    You’ll develop an understanding of the theories that have been developed to advance our knowledge of the way politics operates on a global level, and of the ways in which the field of international relations is expanding today.

    Introduction to War and Politics

    This module covers the causes and conduct of war in the modern period. It charts the development of warfare from the First World War to ongoing conflicts in our own time. Along the way, you'll discover why the Allies won the Second World War, why the United States lost in Vietnam, how nuclear weapons affect international security and how counterinsurgency and counterterrorism work.

    Global Security Challenges

    You’ll consider contemporary security topics such as migration, environment, terrorism and warfare, foreign affairs, European integration/withdrawal and home security.

    International Security and Defence Policy

    What motivates states' defence policies? Why are they different? This module introduces you to defence policy-making in all its complexity by examining the theories and different nations' approaches.

Second year modules

  • Compulsory

    Modern Strategy

    This module explores the use of military power for political effect. Using theory and historical and contemporary case studies, you'll learn about how strategy works, why it often doesn't work, and how to use it better. Ultimately, this module is about how to win wars and achieve objectives in the face of the enemy.

    Seapower

    Learn about why the world is as it is. This module will teach you about the role of seapower, what navies do in warfare and diplomacy and why the world's great naval powers became the world's great global powers.

    Air Power

    Air Power charts the development of air warfare from the days of the Red Baron in the First World War, to the drones of today. In this module you'll explore the many varied uses of air power, including strategic bombing, close air support, airborne troops, aircraft carriers, and unmanned drones in irregular warfare.

    Paths of Research

    Discover the full range of research techniques and skills used in the academic study of politics. This module introduces everything you'll need for conducting research in your own area of interest within the field of politics, from statistical analysis to using texts.

  • Optional

    Terrorism, War and Ethics

    Explore the history and evolution of terrorism and its political and legislative impact, as well as ethical arguments around it. You'll uncover the history of terrorism and learn about violent political groups from the 19th century to the present day.

    International Relations Theory

    Examine the current state of international relations theory, beginning with an analysis of realism.You will analyse the theoretical aspects of complex inter-, intra- and trans-state security issues, before asking whether we are currently witnessing a ‘return to geopolitics’ reminiscent of the Cold War era.

    The Global South and Development

    An overview of the challenges of development for the Global South, including major debates on development issues in academia and policy circles. You'll explore issues such as equality, income distribution, gender, role of states and markets, and democracy in Africa, Latin America and Asia.

    Understanding the European Union

    Learn about the history and politics of the European Union. You'll assess the EU's main actors, such as the European Council, Commission and European Parliament. And you'll also consider its core policies, including the European Single Market, economic and monetary Union, environmental policy and the Common Foreign and Security Policy, as well as the implications of Brexit.

    Understanding America

    This module will provide you with a general introduction to the political culture and institutions of the United States, and the environment in which those institutions operate. You'll learn about the USA’s international role and behaviour and the complex relationship between the domestic and international aspects of American politics.

    Understanding China

    This module examines the economic transformations of contemporary China in a historical, cultural and political context. You'll evaluate the major issues and challenges facing the People’s Republic of China.

    The United Nations and Global Security

    This module will introduce you to the study of state interaction within the context of the world’s major inter-governmental security organisation, the United Nations (UN). It considers the specific challenges that arise in such a context, examining the role of great powers, the difficulties associated with inter-state cooperation and the extent to which states can be bound by normative structures.

Final year modules

  • Choose one

    Dissertation

    You will make an original contribution to research by designing, carrying out and writing up your own project on a topic you choose, supported by your dissertation supervisor.

    One-Trimester Internship

    Take the opportunity of applying your degree learned knowledge in a real working environment as provided by one of our unique internship opportunities and enhance your chance of getting a job at the same time.

    One-Trimester Abroad

    An opportunity to study for a semester abroad at any of our partner institutions. Select a number of modules on offer from the host institution to count towards your Hull degree.

  • Optional

    Politics of the Environment

    Analyse attitudes towards the environment and the politics of the environmental movement, pressure groups, political parties, states, the EU and international organisations.

    BRICS: Emerging Powers in International Affairs

    Develop your theoretical and empirical knowledge to understand and comparatively examine the challenges facing the five emerging powers (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) in the shifting power structures of international affairs.

    War in the 21st Century: Robots, Cyberwar and Nuclear Weapons

    You'll explore the strategic, political and ethical implications of autonomous weapons systems, warfare in cyberspace, and the significance of modern nuclear forces, which is growing once again. Ultimately, you'll discover what these military developments mean for our security and the evolution of future warfare.

    Intelligence and National Security

    The intelligence agencies (MI5, MI6, GCHQ, CIA, NSA) are constantly working in the background to provide security for their respective nation states. But how exactly does intelligence work? In this module you'll learn how intelligence is produced, how it is used, why intelligence failures sometimes occur (such as 9/11) and how democracies monitor and regulate these covert organisations.

    Dangerous Minds

    Study the fascinating relationship between ideas, the people who promote them, and political practice. From Plato, to Machiavelli, Gentile, Heidegger, Schmitt, and Strauss; explore just how influential and dangerous ideas can be.

    Small Wars from Malaya through Ireland to Iraq

    Insurgency and how to beat it is one of the most pressing problems or our time. Study the problem in case studies from the end of empire to the latest insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    UK Politics in an Age of Austerity and Brexit

    Explore the most important contemporary political debates about economic, social and political renewal. You'll cover topics such as: Brexit, austerity, reform of the National Health Service, the future of the welfare state, foreign policy, constitutional reform and the politics of the two major UK political parties.

    Conflicts in British Culture

    Who are the British and what do they believe in? How can they coexist peaceably? This module explores the key conflicts in British culture, including free speech, gay marriage, feminism, transgenderism, Brexit, multi-culturalism, abortion and the role of the university. It is not for the faint-hearted!

    Maritime Security in the 21st Century

    This module explains what contemporary maritime security is and why it matters to you. Learn about the role of modern navies, piracy, terrorism, maritime law, economy, expeditionary warfare and the frightening fragility of the world you take for granted.

    Short Dissertation

    This module enables you to undertake independent research on a question of your choice. Working with an academic across your final semester, you will write a 6,000-word dissertation.

All modules are subject to availability and this list may change at any time.

How you'll study

Throughout your degree, you’re expected to study for 1,200 hours per year. That’s based on 200 hours per 20 credit module. And it includes scheduled hours, time spent on placement and independent study. How this time’s divided among each of these varies each year and depends on the course and modules you study.

Overall workload

204 hours

Scheduled study Scheduled hours typically include lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops, and supervised laboratory and studio sessions.

996 hours

Independent study Independent study is the time outside your scheduled timetable, where you’ll be expected to study independently.

Indicative assessment proportions

53%
47%
  • Examination

    Written assessment typically includes exams and multiple choice tests.

  • Coursework

    Coursework typically includes essays, written assignments, dissertations, research projects or producing a portfolio of your work.

Overall workload

216 hours

Scheduled study Scheduled hours typically include lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops, and supervised laboratory and studio sessions.

984 hours

Independent study Independent study is the time outside your scheduled timetable, where you’ll be expected to study independently.

Indicative assessment proportions

63%
37%
  • Examination

    Written assessment typically includes exams and multiple choice tests.

  • Coursework

    Coursework typically includes essays, written assignments, dissertations, research projects or producing a portfolio of your work.

Overall workload

156 hours

Scheduled study Scheduled hours typically include lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops, and supervised laboratory and studio sessions.

1044 hours

Independent study Independent study is the time outside your scheduled timetable, where you’ll be expected to study independently.

Indicative assessment proportions

42%
58%
  • Examination

    Written assessment typically includes exams and multiple choice tests.

  • Coursework

    Coursework typically includes essays, written assignments, dissertations, research projects or producing a portfolio of your work.

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Entry Requirements

Don't meet our requirements?

We offer a Foundation Year to boost your skills and knowledge – it’s a great way to make your way into higher education.

Switch to the foundation year

During Clearing we look at all of your qualifications and experience, not just your academic grades – you’re more than just letters on a page!

Some courses still do have requirements such as previous study in your subject area, or specific GCSE grades. Others have additional requirements such as an interview or a satisfactory DBS check.

Please call us now on 01482 462236 to find out if we have a course that’s suitable for you.

Don't meet our requirements?

We offer a Foundation Year to boost your skills and knowledge – it’s a great way to make your way into higher education.

Switch to the foundation year

If you require a Tier 4 student visa to study or if your first language is not English you will be required to provide acceptable evidence of your English language proficiency level.

This course requires academic IELTS 6.0 overall, with no less than 5.5 in each skill. See other English language proficiency qualifications accepted by this University.

If your English currently does not reach the University's required standard for this programme, you may be interested in one of our English language courses.

Visit your country page to find out more about our entry requirements.

Our teaching staff

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Take a tour of the facilities

You can start your virtual trip around campus here, in the reading room of the Brynmor Jones Library.

Fees & funding

Home / EU

£9,250 per year*

International

£14,000 per year

*The amount you pay may increase each year, in line with inflation - but capped to the Retail Price Index (RPI).

UK and EU students can take out a tuition fee loan to cover the cost of their course, and UK students can take out a maintenance loan of up to £8,700 to cover living costs.

Substantial discounts are available for International students.  

More information on fees can be found in the Money section of the website.

Your tuition fees will cover most costs associated with your programme (including registration, tuition, supervision, assessment and examination).

There are some extra costs that you might have to pay, or choose to pay, depending on your programme of study and the decisions you make. The list below has some examples, and any extra costs will vary.

  • Books (you’ll have access to books from your module reading lists in the library, but you may want to buy your own copies
  • Optional field trips
  • Study abroad (including travel costs, accommodation, visas, immunisation)
  • Placement costs (including travel costs and accommodation)
  • Student visas (international students)
  • Laptop (you’ll have access to laptops and PC’s on campus, but you may want to buy your own)
  • Printing and photocopying
  • Professional-body membership
  • Graduation (gown hire and photography)

Remember, you’ll still need to take into account your living costs. This could include accommodation, travel and food – to name just a few. 

Attainment
Scholarship

If you achieve

112 UCAS tariff points

from three A levels or equivalent, you could receive a reward of

£1,200

Find out more

An affordable city for students

From bills, to meals, to pints – you’ll find that your money goes a lot further in Hull.

Your future prospects

  • Politics
  • HM Armed Forces
  • The media
  • The Civil Service
  • Business and the commercial sector
  • The charity sector

A Hull politics degree opens doors if you’re considering a career in politics, the Civil Service, the military or the intelligence services.

Our graduates are well known throughout the major UK political parties. In fact, so many of them now work in Westminster that they’ve become affectionately known as ‘the Hull Mafia’.

Open Day at University of Hull

Ready to apply?

You can apply for this course through UCAS. As well as providing your academic qualifications, you’ll be able to showcase your skills, qualities and passion for the subject.

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This. Is. Hull.

A place where we stand up to kings, do deals with the world and take a wrecking ball to the slave trade. A place where culture stands out and the phone boxes are a different colour. A place where we're free-thinking, independent and proud of it.

*Percentage of students in work or further study within six months of graduating: UK domicile full-time first degree leavers; Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education survey for the academic year 2016/17, published by HESA 2018