war and security studies

Undergraduate

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

120 points

A Level grades: BBB

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.

Six 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

    The UK's political history 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. 

    Introduction to International Relations

    Explore the theories that have been developed to advance our knowledge of how global politics works, and the ways in which the field of international relations is expanding today.

    Introduction to War and Politics

    Study the causes and conduct of war in modern times. Learn why the Allies won World War Two, why the US lost in Vietnam and how nuclear weapons affect international security.

    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

    Learn how states and societies form defence and security policy. You'll cover international terrorism, responsibility to protect (R2P), border security, human and environmental security. 

Second year modules

  • Compulsory

    Modern Strategy

    Ultimately, this module is about how to win wars and achieve objectives in the face of the enemy. You'll learn how strategy works, why it often doesn't work, and how to use it better. 

    Sea Power

    This module will teach you about the role of sea power, what navies do in warfare and diplomacy and why the world's great naval powers became the world's great global powers.

    Air Power

    Chart the history of air warfare from the Red Baron to the drones of today. You'll explore uses of air power including strategic bombing, airborne troops and aircraft carriers. 

    Paths of Research

    Discover the research techniques and skills used in the study of politics. This module unpacks everything you'll need for conducting research in your own area of interest.

  • Optional

    Terrorism, War and Ethics

    Explore the history and evolution of terrorism, its impacts and the ethical arguments around it. You'll study violent political groups from the 19th century to the present day.

    International Relations Theory

    Examine the state of international relations theory, beginning with an analysis of realism. You'll consider whether we are returning to geopolitics reminiscent of the Cold War era.

    The Global South

    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 consider its core policies, including the European Single Market, environmental policy and the implications of Brexit.

    Understanding America

    An introduction to the political culture and institutions of the USA. You'll consider America's international role and the relationship between its domestic and international policies.

    Understanding China

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

    The United Nations and Global Security

    This module introduces you to the study of state interaction within the context of the world’s major inter-governmental security organisation: the United Nations.

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

    Apply knowledge learned on your degree in a real working environment on one of our unique internship opportunities - 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 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

    Discover 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

    Explore the strategic, political and ethical implications of autonomous weapons systems, warfare in cyberspace, and the significance of modern nuclear forces.

    Intelligence and National Security

    The intelligence agencies work in the background to provide security for their respective nations states. But how exactly does intelligence work? In this module you'll find out. 

    Dangerous Minds

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

    Small Wars from Malaya through Ireland to Iraq

    Insurgency and how to beat it is is among the biggest problems of our time. Examine the issue in case studies from the end of empire to the latest Iraqi and Afghan insurgencies. 

    UK Politics in an Age of Austerity and Brexit

    Examine contemporary debates on economic, social and political renewal. You'll cover topics such as: Brexit, austerity, foreign policy and the future of the welfare state.

    Conflicts in British Culture

    Who are the British? What do they believe in? Explore key cultural conficts, such as free speech, gay marriage, feminism, transgenderism, Brexit, multi-culturalism and abortion.

    Maritime Security in the 21st Century

    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'll 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.

1,044 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

Points can be from any qualification 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

Alternative qualifications 

  • IB Diploma: 30 points
  • Access to HE Diploma: Pass with 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.

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 and funding

Home / EU

£9,250 per year (subject to approval)*

International

£14,500 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