kcl war studies admissions rate

Last Updated on December 31, 2021

Our War Studies MA explores the phenomenon of war and conflict as a key aspect of the human experience, along with its causes, conduct and consequences. Central to the degree is the study of war from a cutting-edge, interdisciplinary perspective – which includes historical, political, sociological, philosophical, artistic, legal, ethical and military viewpoints.

War is a deeply complex and contentious phenomenon, and its interdisciplinary study offers an unusually powerful opportunity to sharpen your critical analytical and reflective abilities and develop independent thinking. This prepares you for a wide range of careers and positions of responsibility in which such advanced intellectual skills are highly valued by employers.

Key benefits

  • Designed to provide a postgraduate-level introduction to War Studies for students who have little or no specialist background in the field.
  • An introduction to novel and contentious topics, issues, viewpoints and approaches through vigorous, reasoned debate and analysis.
  • An opportunity to structure your studies around your interests, through a wide range of optional modules and choice of your dissertation topic.
  • A chance to develop a range of transferable skills at advanced level – such as critical analysis and reflection, intellectual independence, time management, written and verbal communication – that will enhance your employability, aid your professional career development and help prepare you for postgraduate research.
  • You will be taught by some of the very best academics in the field hailing from all around the world. Departmental staff are internationally acknowledged experts in their areas of specialisation. They are active researchers and routinely use their latest findings in their teaching.
  • Be part of a vibrant, highly international and multicultural community of students.
  • Opportunities to network with high-profile visitors, such as government ministers, ambassadors, generals and academics, who frequently give talks in the Department.
  • As the oldest programme in the Department, you will be welcomed into a long-standing global network of alumni.
  • An opportunity to study at a global centre of excellence, located in the heart of London, that enjoys close relationships with other academic institutions, think-tanks, non-governmental organisations and policy-making bodies in London and around the world.
  • A proven record of employability in a wide range of careers, including in academia, international organisations, non-governmental organisations, national civil and military public service, politics, journalism, public advocacy, risk analysis and many others.

Course detail


The MA in War Studies is the oldest degree programme in the Department of War Studies, stretching back some 60 years. A central objective of the MA from its beginnings has been to offer a thorough, state-of-the-art introduction to the major issues and debates concerning war and its impact on the world.

The intractability of war suggests that no one disciplinary lens by itself may suffice to fully grasp the problem and identify solutions. By examining war and conflict in the round and looking at theories and practices, past, present and future, this multi-faceted and wide-ranging programme enables you to study alongside historians, social scientists, philosophers, jurists and artists, benefitting from their perspectives and those of the students around you.

We will provide you with an intellectual ‘toolbox’ composed of skills and techniques drawn from a range of disciplines associated with the humanities and social sciences, giving you an overview of the fundamental elements of various disciplines that are relevant to the study of war. The challenge we pursue together lies in combining and, if possible, integrating them in order to achieve a sophisticated and rounded understanding of the subject area.

The course will appeal if you are a student of politics, history or strategic studies or any other field which has kindled an interest in war, or if you are a professional in defence, diplomacy or foreign affairs who wants to reflect on the broader implications of your experiences.

This MA is based in the Department of War Studies, one of the only academic departments in the world to focus solely on the complexities of conflict and security. War Studies is an multidisciplinary department and all War Studies students benefit from research-led teaching in such subjects as the history and evolution of war and grand strategy, arms control and non-proliferation, migration, strategic thought, cyber, conflict and the environment, the influence of science and technology on international security, along with regional specialisms covering Africa, Asia (East and South), Russia and elsewhere.

Further literature

Course format and assessment


The following table will give you an idea of what a typical academic workload might look like as you progress through your studies:

 ModuleLectures, seminars and feedback Self-study 
 Per 30-credit module40 hours of teaching. Typically, 2 hours per week over two 10 week terms. This can be split into lectures and seminars. A 15 credit module will be half of this. 260 hours.
 Dissertation module (60 credits) Up to 12 hours of online guidance, training workshops and personal supervision. 588 hours for dissertation.

Typically, one credit equates to 10 hours work.


The primary methods of assessment for this course are assessed essays, individual and group presentations, seminar participation, exercises, and/or exams.

The dissertation module assessment will be based on a 100% dissertation assignment (up to 12,000 words).


This course is primarily taught at the King’s College London Strand and Waterloo Campuses.

Please note that locations are determined by where each module is taught and may vary. We will use a delivery method that will ensure students have a rich, exciting experience from the start. Face to face teaching will be complemented and supported with innovative technology so that students also experience elements of digital learning and assessment.

Regulating Body

King’s College London is regulated by the Office for Students. 

Entry requirements & how to apply

Minimum UK requirements High 2:1(65%)Undergraduate degree with high 2:1 honours (i.e. overall average of at least 65% across all years of study) in history, international relations, political science, economics or other appropriate subject.In order to meet the academic entry requirements for this programme you should have a minimum high 2:1 undergraduate degree with a final mark of at least 65% or above in the UK marking scheme. If you are still studying you should be achieving an average of at least 65% or above in the UK marking scheme. 
International requirements 
English Language requirementsBand B

Application procedure

Applications must be made online using King’s online application portal apply.kcl.ac.uk and a non-refundable application fee of £70 applies.

All applications are assessed by a committee of academic tutors. We aim to process all complete applications within four weeks; during February and March and over holiday periods, applications may take longer to process.

Personal statement and supporting information

Please provide a personal statement explaining why you are interested in this particular programme, and outlining any relevant experience you have. If there are any anomalies in your academic record, please use the personal statement to explain related extenuating circumstances.

You will be asked to submit the following documents in order for your application to be considered:

Personal Statement YesA personal statement is required. This can be entered directly into the online application form (maximum 4,000 characters) or uploaded as an attachment to the online application form (maximum 2 pages).
Previous Academic StudyYesA copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing the subjects studied and marks obtained. If you have already completed your degree, copies of your official degree certificate will also be required. Applicants with academic documents issued in a language other than English, will need to submit both the original and official translation of their documents.
ReferencesYesOne academic reference is required. A professional reference will be accepted if you have completed your qualifications over five years ago. In some cases, we may request an additional reference from you.
 OtherOptionalApplicants may wish to include a CV (Resume) or evidence of professional registration as part of their application

Application closing date

We recommend that you submit your application as soon as possible. Our first application deadline is the 26th March 2021. After this date, the programme will remain open only if places are still available and will be closed as soon as it is full.

For programmes that remain open beyond this date, the final application deadlines for the following fee statuses are listed below:

  • EU or overseas (international) fee status: 30th July 2021
  • Home fee status: 27th August 2021

Please note, you will not be eligible for an application fee refund if you apply after the first application deadline in March, and we are unable to process more offers as places are filled before the final application deadlines above.

Fees and funding

  • Full time Home fees: £15,420 per year (2021/22)
  • Full time overseas fees: £27,900 per year (2021/22)
  • Part time Home fees: £7,710 per year (2021/22)
  • Part time overseas fees: £13,950 per year (2021/22)

These tuition fees may be subject to additional increases in subsequent years of study, in line with King’s terms and conditions.


When you receive an offer for this course you will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit to secure your place. The deposit will be credited towards your total fee payment.

The UK deposit is £500.

The INTERNATIONAL deposit is £2,000. 

  • If you receive an offer on or before 31st March, payment is due by 30th April 2021.
  • If you receive an offer between 1st April and 30th June, payment is due within one month of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer between 1st July and 31st July, payment is due within two weeks of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer on or after 1st August, payment is due within one week of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer from late August onwards, payment is due within 2 days of receiving the offer.

If you are a current King’s student in receipt of the King’s Living Bursary you are not required to pay a deposit to secure your place on the programme. Please note, this will not change the total fees payable for your chosen programme.

Additional costs/expenses

In addition to the costs above, you can also expect to pay for:

  • Books if you choose to buy your own copies
  • Library fees and fines
  • Personal photocopies
  • Printing course handouts
  • Society membership fees
  • Stationery
  • Travel costs for travel around London and between campuses
  • Graduation costs

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