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Faculty of Business, Law and Politics

War and Security Studies

UndergraduateBA (Hons)

Year of entry:
UCAS code: L252

What you'll study

War. It's fuelled the development of civilisations, raised and crushed entire societies, and driven humanity's technological and social development. Here's where you learn how and why.

First year

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

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.

Core modules

Core and compulsory modules are fundamental to achieving the learning outcomes for your course and must be studied.

  • 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

Second year

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

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.

Core modules

Core and compulsory modules are fundamental to achieving the learning outcomes for your course and must be studied.

  • 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 modules

Optional modules let you tailor the course to your interests. Please note, the availability of optional modules can vary each trimester. And some modules may require prior study (taking an earlier module, for example).

  • 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

    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

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

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.

Core modules

Core and compulsory modules are fundamental to achieving the learning outcomes for your course and must be studied.

  • Long Dissertation

    Develop a specialist subject. Research and write a 12,000 word dissertation with academic supervision. A module of independent study.

Optional modules

Optional modules let you tailor the course to your interests. Please note, the availability of optional modules can vary each trimester. And some modules may require prior study (taking an earlier module, for example).

  • 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

    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.

  • Being Great

    Gain an understanding of the role that great powers play in international politics and of how their existence and role serves to challenge some of the central tenets of traditional international relations thinking. At a time of major shifts in global power, it will enable you to make sense of some of the key issues of contemporary international politics.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • The Politics of Contemporary Nuclear Proliferation and Non-Proliferation

  • 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.

If you opt for the One-Semester Internship, you'll have access to our exclusive seminar series presented by senior parliamentary officials including Black Rod, the Speaker, the Serjeant-at-Arms, and the Clerk of the House of Commons.

“What made my mind up was the staff and how knowledgeable and engaging they were.”

Edward Chapman Watch video

More about this course

Hull has an established reputation in the study of war and security. Our expert staff have considerable experience of working alongside the military and policy-makers. The fact that we work with the armed services of the UK and foreign states will enhance your insight even further.

  • We operate an extensive Westminster placement learning opportunity that is fully integrated within your degree programme. 
  • Spend time in your third year of your degree studying at one of our partner institutions across the globe, from USA to Hong Kong.
  • You'll have the opportunity to work with a parliamentarian who shares your interest in security and defence issues – perhaps an actual member of the Defence Committee.
  • 92% of our students are in work or further study six months after 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)
  • There are so many of our graduates at Westminster and Whitehall that they've earned the affectionate nickname of 'the Hull mafia'.

BA War and Security Studies focuses on the relationship between the theory of warfare and its practical application in the real world. Our staff are widely recognised in their field, and their research underpins the modules you'll study.

Teaching and learning

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.

Scheduled hours typically include lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops, and supervised laboratory and studio sessions. The types of scheduled lessons you’ll have depend on the course you study.

Placement hours typically include time spent on a work placement, studying abroad, or field trips.

Independent study is the time outside your scheduled timetable, where you’ll be expected to study independently. This typically involves coursework, assignments, reading, preparing presentations and exam revision.

Assessment
Written
Practical
Coursework

First year

53%

47%

Second year

63%

37%

Final year

42%

58%


Written assessment typically includes exams and multiple choice tests.

Practical is an assessment of your skills and competencies. This could include presentations, school experience, work experience or laboratory work.

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

Our teaching staff

Where you'll study

The location below may not be the exact location of all modules on your timetable. The buildings you'll be taught in can vary each year and depend on the modules you study.

Click to view on Google Maps
Hull Campus

Click map to view directions on Google Maps

We operate an extensive Westminster placement learning opportunity that is fully integrated within your degree programme. 

Our graduates are so numerous at Westminster and Whitehall, they’ve become known as the 'Hull Mafia'.

You could visit Brussels as part of your degree and see the inner workings of the European Union.

Our expert staff are recognised globally as contributing to the cutting-edge of political research.

Entry requirements

2019 Tariff points: 112 points. Points can be from any qualifications on the UCAS tariff, but must include at least 80 points from

  • A levels
  • BTEC Subsidiary Diploma, Diploma or Extended Diploma
  • OCR Cambridge Technical Introductory Diploma, Diploma or Extended Diploma
  • CACHE Diploma or Extended Diploma
  • Irish Leaving Certificate
  • Scottish Highers
  • Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma
  • or a combination of appropriate Level 3 qualifications 

UCAS has changed the way that qualifications earn points under the Tariff system. Please click here to work out your estimated points and to find out more about how the University of Hull considers qualifications.

Alternative qualifications 

  • IB Diploma: 28 points.
  • Access to HE Diploma: pass with minimum of 45 credits at merit.

We welcome applicants with a range of qualifications from the UK and worldwide which may not exactly match the combinations shown above. Please contact the University’s Admissions Service for individual guidance.

International students

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. For other English language proficiency qualifications acceptable by this University, please click here.

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.

Fees and 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.

Additional costs

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. 

Future prospects

This course leads to a variety of careers in the armed forces, the intelligence service, the Foreign and Commonwealth offices, the media, and the Civil Service, as well as in political parties, parliamentary positions, political consultancies, charities and international organisations.

Our graduates have gained positions including: Senior Communications Advisor to the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva; Head of the Asia Programme at the Royal United Services Institute for Defence Studies; Campaign Executive at BAE Systems and Statistical Analyst at the Defence Analytical Services Agency.

We like to keep in touch with our graduates and do so by facilitating the Graduate Association. Members are notified of interesting news and events occurring in the world of politics as well as receiving an annual copy of the Graduate Directory, which is an excellent tool for networking, particularly in the early stages of your career.