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Global Security Challenges MA

The Centre for Global Security Challenges is delighted to announce the launch of a new MA programme, Global Security Challenges.

This programme has two overarching objectives. It explores the complex and diverse challenges which define the evolving global security agenda. On this basis, it assesses and critiques the policy responses to these challenges by various actors, and considers alternative forward-looking perspectives. The programme includes a number of distinctive features:

  • Challenge-oriented. The programme focusses upon pressing real-world issues such as climate change, the changing international order, the Women Peace and Security agenda, military security challenges and armed conflict, socio-economic conditions, public health, and terrorism, amongst others. It assumes that global security challenges are not discrete subjects which can be understood and addressed in isolation: they are often interlinked and mutually compounding, and the transcend the boundary between the ‘national’ and ‘international’ spheres.
  • Theoretically-informed and conceptually critical. The programme explores, engages with but also challenges existing security studies approaches and the conventional state-centric ‘international’ security agenda. It is informed, within the social sciences, by interdisciplinarity, because security challenges defy academic boundaries and must be analysed within their social, cultural, historical, legal and political contexts. It considers how the ‘global turn’ in International Relations is relevant to how we understand and analyse security challenges, by going beyond Western-centric assumptions and interests. In turn, the programme explores how different security agendas – for example national security, human security, societal security, food security, climate security, energy security – can be in tension with each other, raising political and ethical concerns. As a part of the widening security agenda, it examines the consequences, politics and ethics of securitizing an ever-larger range of challenges.
  • Policy relevant. The programme is designed to develop the intellectual tools necessary to understand current security challenges and the policy processes and frameworks which are designed – with varying levels of success – to manage them. To support this, the programme draws upon the theoretical and policy-focussed expertise from across the School of Politics and International Studies (POLIS), as well as occasional guest policy speakers who will provide students with an opportunity to explore how their learning relates to current policy challenges.
  • Innovative in teaching. The programme benefits from the internationally-leading security studies expertise within POLIS – and in particular the Centre for Global Security Challenges – and it is aligned with the POLIS strategic vision on ‘the politics of global challenges’. It is designed for students who seek an advanced and cutting-edge understanding of contemporary security issues and their complex political and policy contexts. It will bring value to students who are interested in academic analysis, contribute to the professional development of students who have already begun their careers in a policy setting, and benefit those who aspire to relevant career goals. The programme serves as a flagship for MA teaching in the Centre for Global Security Challenges, and is designed to be pedagogically rigorous, intellectually coherent, and to promote cohort identity.


Course Overview & Entry Requirements

In this video, CGSC Director Prof Jack Holland introduces CGSC's flagship Global Security Challenge MA.

Further information

The programme will be directed by Professor Edward Newman and include contributions from a range of experts within the Centre for Global Security Challenges. Details of modules and programme content can be found on the programme page. Questions about the programme can be sent to