Intelligence and Security

MA, 2 years, by distance learning

This is for you if... you are interested in the study of intelligence and security and want to gain the knowledge and skills to further enhance your professional or academic prospects.

Course Description

Intelligence and security issues are an increasing concern for politicians and analysts around the world. The demand for experts in the field is growing as a consequence. This course, accredited by the International Association for Intelligence Education (IAFIE), will equip you with an understanding of key concepts and debates in intelligence and security and the current state of knowledge in the field. It will enable you to apply this new knowledge to your own field, whether as a practitioner or academic.

You will look in depth at four major themes:

  • key concepts and debates in intelligence
  • intelligence collection and analysis
  • intelligence failure
  • intelligence ethics

As well as a greater theoretical understanding of intelligence and security, this course looks at the subject from the perspective of civilian, military and police intelligence agencies as well as providing an insight into commercial intelligence activity, such as the provision of intelligence by private security companies and political risk analysis.

Combining world leading research by members of Politics and International Relations at Leicester, and their practical experience in the field of intelligence, this degree will give you an opportunity to conduct advanced study on intelligence theory and practice.

The MA in Intelligence and Security will be especially beneficial to you if you are seeking professional development and/or enhanced employability working with intelligence in central government, the military, the police, private security sector, non-governmental organisations, the UN or other international organisations.

By choosing to study by distance learning, you will have the flexibility to fit your study around existing commitments and enhance your career prospects without having to leave employment.

If you have any questions about this course, join us for a live online chat with academic tutors and admissions staff.

Key Facts
Start date
March and September each year
Politics and International Relations

Social Science Distance Learning Hub
+44 (0)116 252 3755

Join us for a live online chat

Politics and International Relations website

Why Leicester?

Our staff play leading roles in cutting-edge global research networks, actively advising and engaging with global policy communities, civil society, the media and public.

You’ll have the opportunity to share ideas and debate with a diverse and interesting group of students, many of whom work in sectors related to security and conflict.

Distance learning lets you apply new knowledge and insights to your working life while you are still studying. Many students choose to tackle work-related topics in their dissertations.

Course Structure



Plus your dissertation.

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Additional Information

IAFIE logoAccreditation

The distance learning MA in Intelligence and Security is the first course in Britain and only the second worldwide to be certified by the International Association for Intelligence Education (IAFIE), an international organisation dedicated to expanding research, knowledge and professional development in intelligence education.

Key dates

Start date: 6 March 2017
Application deadline for March 2017: 27 February 2017

Start date: 4 September 2017
Application deadline for September 2017: 28 August 2017

Teaching and Assessment

Distance Learning

This course is taught entirely online via our virtual learning environment, Blackboard, therefore it is essential that you have reliable, regular access to the internet (preferably with a broadband connection) in order to participate.

As a distance learning student, you will have access to the University Library's electronic service, the Leicester Digital Library, which includes a large number of e-journals and e-books. You can also make use of the University’s Career Development Service as well as a broad range of other support services.

If you live close to Leicester you can, of course, visit the Library in person. For UK-based students who wish to use other libraries, we can issue you with a card which allows you to do so. This is a national scheme which allows distance learning students to borrow material from up to three other participating libraries.

You will be guided through your modules by a well-trained and experienced tutor who will be available online throughout your studies. You will have access to the library’s special service for distance learning students, access to the internet and database services, as well as the virtual learning support environment, Blackboard.

Teaching and Assessment

You will get a weekly reading list accompanied by questions or exercises to get you thinking and help you engage critically with that week’s literature. Each week you are invited to join our online forums to discuss your reading, ask questions, share ideas and debate arguments.

Alongside your weekly reading and discussions you are expected to complete six E-tivities (or online activities). E-tivities are designed to build a supportive online community of students as well as develop your key scholarly skills. E-tivities take the form of a combination of non-credit bearing and credit-bearing assessments designed to complement and support the learning objectives for your particular module. Credit-bearing assessments for each module include an article analysis and 5,000-word end of module essay.

Your modules are structured enough to keep your studies on track whilst remaining flexible to the unique needs of distance learners, many of whom we know combine studies with demanding jobs.

You will be supported by a dedicated team of tutors and support staff available through Blackboard and email. Administrative support is available by telephone, and you can contact your personal tutor via telephone or Skype. You will be encouraged to contact other students to share views, ideas and issues and to create a virtual student community.

For the MA you must complete a 12,000-15,000 word dissertation.

Entry Requirements

2:1 degree or its equivalent in Politics, History, International Relations or other related subjects.

Equivalent relevant professional experience will be considered.

English Language Requirements

IELTS 6.5 or equivalent. If your first language is not English, you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability.

International Qualifications

Find your country in this list to check equivalent qualifications, scholarships and additional requirements.

Countries list

Fees and Funding

  • This is the total course fee. You will pay this fee, wherever in the world you live.

    Starting in March 2017

    • £7,805

    Starting in September 2017 or March 2018

    • £9,155

    Find out more about how to pay and scholarships and funding.

    Did you know you can apply for a Postgraduate Loan of up to £10,000, subject to eligibility?


  • This is the total course fee. You will pay this fee, wherever in the world you live.

    Starting in March 2017

    • £7,805

    Starting in September 2017 or March 2018

    • £9,155
    Find out more about how to pay and scholarships and funding.

Career Opportunities

Our postgraduate degrees are an excellent way to enhance your expertise and career prospects. A postgraduate course in politics and/or international relations provides a foundation for a wide range of career options. You may seek to use your knowledge to work in government service, international organisations or areas of political research and journalism. Or you may opt to look for employment in an unrelated field such as banking, business or teaching where your MA will be respected as a postgraduate qualification.

Our politics and international relations courses are offered via distance learning, enabling you to tailor your study around your other commitments. The wide range of option modules provide you with the flexibility to tailor your course around your interests and also provide you with the skills and knowledge to move into a variety of careers or postgraduate research.

The MA in Intelligence and Security will be of use to you if you are seeking professional development or enhanced employability working with intelligence in central government, the military, the police and cognate services (such as the National Crime Agency, Border Force and HM Prison Service), the private security sector (including political risk), NGOs, the UN or other international organisations.

The course will also appeal to those interested in pursuing advanced postgraduate studies in the field of intelligence with an academic background in (but not limited to) International Relations, Politics, Criminology, War Studies, Terrorism Studies, History, Human Rights, Philosophy or Law.


Our Career Development Service is here to support you – by email, phone or skype – with advice on interviews, CVs, work experience and more. From registration to Graduation and beyond, they are here to help you reach your professional goals.

Course Qualification Duration Start Dates Availability
Intelligence and Security MA 2 years by distance learning March and September each year Apply Now
Intelligence and Security
2 years by distance learning
Start Dates
March and September each year

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