BA

Strategy, Intelligence and Security

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You are viewing this course for September start 2022

In an increasingly interconnected, contested and complex world, international actors face a range of security challenges. These include inter-and intra-state conflict, international terrorism, cyber threats, nuclear proliferation, global health pandemics, transnational crime, population displacement, natural disasters, and climate change.

The BSc in Strategy, Intelligence and Security Studies in the Department of International Politics at Aberystwyth University will draw on ideas from strategic, intelligence and security studies to understand and analyse these challenges from different perspectives and explore innovative and holistic responses to them. 

Course Overview

Studying Strategy, Intelligence and Security studies at Aberystwyth University will provide the following opportunities: 

  • analysing a multitude of threats, risks and challenges affecting the global, regional, national, societal and individual levels; exploring the multi-faceted nature of global challenges by adopting strategic, intelligence and security perspectives; applying historical and theoretical insights to real-life case studies to understand the nature of contemporary strategic, intelligence and security challenges in international politics 
  • becoming a student in a department that is first of its kind in the world, and was established shortly after the first world war to strive for a safer and more just world order
  • participating in our renowned ‘Crisis Games’; a three-day role-playing exercise in political, economic and diplomatic manoeuvre, developing negotiation and communication, critical thinking, team work, and problem-solving skills
  • taking part in our prestigious Parliamentary Placement Scheme, enabling you to gain valuable experience working alongside an MP (House of Commons, Westminster) or an AM (Welsh Assembly, Cardiff) for a period of 4-6 weeks during the summer - writing reports and speeches, undertaking research projects, and responding to constituency issues, as well as getting involved in elections and various international issues
  • taking part in our International Student Exchange Programme based on close links with carefully selected universities in Europe, Asia, North America and Australia - offering you an excellent opportunity to expand your academic and social horizons by spending a part of your university experience abroad
  • getting involved with Interstate, the oldest student-run international politics journal in the United Kingdom, providing a unique opportunity for you to publish your work (particularly advantageous if you wish to progress to postgraduate study) or gain valuable experience working as part of the editorial team
  • joining stimulating student societies that foster a strong sense of community within the department, offering a programme of political debates, visiting speakers, conferences and workshops, alongside numerous social activities such as an annual ball
  • studying the degree schemes and modules taught entirely or partially through the medium of Welsh if that is what you choose - see the 'Studying through the medium of Welsh' page for further information.
Our Staff

Lecturers in the Department of International Politics are all research active and qualified to PhD level, and most also have a PGCHE.

Modules September start - 2022

Please note: The modules listed below are those currently intended for delivery during the next academic year and may be subject to change. They are included here to give an indication of how the course is structured.

Core

Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Strategy, Intelligence and Security in International Politics IQ25120 20

Options

Module Name Module Code Credit Value
A Century of Conflict: Global warfare 1918–2018 IQ25920 20
A War on the Mind: Propaganda and Secret Intelligence from the Great War to the 21st Century IP28320 20
America at War: A Military History of the United States IP26920 20
Britain and Ireland in War and Peace since 1800 IP28820 20
Capitalism and International Politics IQ22820 20
Climate Change Politics IP21420 20
Climate Change and International Politics in the Anthropocene IP20720 20
Contemporary Latin America IP28720 20
Contemporary Sub-Saharan Africa: Key Issues Today IP20520 20
Economic Diplomacy and Leadership IQ24320 20
European Security in 21st Century IP23620 20
Fear, Cooperation and Trust in World Politics IQ22920 20
Global Inequality and World Politics IQ24120 20
Global Politics and the Refugee Regime IQ25520 20
International Politics and Global Development IP29220 20
International Politics and the Nuclear Age IP20420 20
International Relations: Perspectives and Debates IP20120 20
Intervention and Humanitarianism IQ20220 20
Justice, Order, Human Rights IQ21720 20
Multiculturalism in Policy and Practice IQ23720 20
NATO: From Cold War to Hybrid War IP23320 20
Nationalism in Theory and Practice IP29920 20
People and Power: Understanding Comparative Politics Today IQ23920 20
Political Theory IP22220 20
Refugee Simulation IQ25620 20
Russian intelligence from Lenin to Putin IQ24920 20
Science, Technology, and International Relations IP23020 20
Terrorism & Counter Terrorism in the Modern World: Policing, Intelligence & War IP24520 20
The Arab-Israeli Wars IP21320 20
The British Army’s Image in Battle, from the Crimea to the Present IQ20920 20
The Century of the Superpowers and the Global Cold War IQ25220 20
The EU: Politics, Policies, Problems IP23820 20
The Governance of Climate Change: Simulation Module IP22320 20
The Making of National Security Policy IP23720 20
The Past and Present US Intelligence IP26020 20
The Second World War in Europe IP26420 20
Trade Wars and the Liberal Order IQ21620 20
UK Politics Today: A Union Under Strain? IQ23820 20
Warfare after Waterloo: Military History 1815-1918 IP25320 20
Women and Global Development IP29620 20
Women and Military Service IP21620 20

Core

Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Dissertation IP30040 40

Options

Module Name Module Code Credit Value
A Century of Conflict: Global warfare 1918-2018 IQ35920 20
A War on the Mind: Propaganda and Secret Intelligence from the Great War to the 21st Century IP38320 20
America At War: a Military History of the United States IP36920 20
Britain and Ireland in War and Peace since 1800 IP38820 20
Capitalism and International Politics IQ32820 20
Climate Change Politics IP31420 20
Climate Change and International Politics in the Anthropocene IP30720 20
Contemporary Latin America IP38720 20
Contemporary Sub-Saharan Africa IP30520 20
Devolution and Wales IP35020 20
Economic Diplomacy and Leadership IQ34320 20
European Security in the 21st Century IP33620 20
Fear, Cooperation and Trust in World Politics IQ32920 20
Global Inequality and World Politics IQ34120 20
Global Politics and the Refugee Regime IQ35520 20
International Politics and the Nuclear Age IP30420 20
Intervention and Humanitarianism IQ30220 20
Justice, Order, Human Rights IQ31720 20
Multiculturalism in Policy and Practice IQ33720 20
NATO: From Cold War to Hybrid War IP33320 20
Nationalism in Theory and Practice IP39920 20
Political Theory IP32220 20
Refugee Simulation IQ35620 20
Russian intelligence from Lenin to Putin IQ34920 20
Science, Technology, and International Relations IP33020 20
Terrorism & Counter Terrorism in the Modern World: Policing, Intelligence & War IP34520 20
The Arab Israeli Wars IP31320 20
The British Army’s Image in Battle, from the Crimean to the Present IQ30920 20
The Century of the Superpowers and the Global Cold War IQ35220 20
The European Union: Politics, Policies, Problems IP33820 20
The Making of National Security Policy IP33720 20
The Past and Present of US Intelligence IP36020 20
The Second World War in Europe IP36420 20
Trade Wars and the Liberal Order IQ31620 20
UK Politics Today: A Union Under Strain? IQ33820 20
Women and Global Development IP39620 20
Women and Military Service IP31620 20

* Also available partially or entirely through the medium of Welsh

Careers

Employability is embedded within all courses provided by us. Our degrees provide a solid foundation for a vast array of careers across a range of sectors. In a rapidly shifting global economy, our graduates are adaptable and able to draw on a range of transferable skills, ensuring that they are always in demand.

The skill sets include:

  • effective problem solving and creative thinking skills
  • information technology skills
  • the ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • time-management, organisational skills
  • communication skills both written and oral
  • self-motivation and self-reliance.

What opportunities are there for me after I complete my degree?

Our graduates are working in the following sectors:

  • the development sector
  • local and national politics
  • the Civil Service
  • Government research
  • Social research
  • the third sector, such as with NGOs
  • international organisations
  • journalism.

What opportunities are there for me whilst studying at University? 

Employability is embedded across our teaching. We teach our students to aim for the career they want, not the job that they can get.

  • We operate a prestigious Parliamentary Placement scheme, enabling you to gain valuable experience working alongside an MP (House of Commons, Westminster) or an AM (Welsh Assembly, Cardiff) for a period of 4-6 weeks during the summer. During this time, you will write reports and speeches, undertake research projects, and respond to constituency issues. There may be further opportunities for you to get involved in elections and various international issues.
  • We are also home to Interstate, the oldest student-run international politics journal in the United Kingdom, providing a unique opportunity for you to publish your work (particularly advantageous if you wish to progress to postgraduate study) or gain valuable experience working as part of the editorial team. Stimulating student societies foster a strong sense of community within the department, offering a programme of political debates, visiting speakers, conferences and workshops, alongside numerous social activities such as an annual ball.

What work experience opportunities exist whilst studying? 

Find out about the various opportunities that our Aberystwyth University Careers team offer.

Enhance your employability prospects with GO Wales and YES (Year in Employment Scheme) managed by our Careers department. 

Course Content

What will I learn?

In your first year you will be introduced to central concepts and themes in the study of international politics and strategy, intelligence and security.

In your second year, you will explore strategy, intelligence and security in international politics in more detail:

  • Strategic Studies - Modules on strategic studies will enable you to situate intelligence dilemmas within the framework of the key strategic concepts that shape our understanding of war and peace. Through an examination of the nature and character of war, you will learn how various actors, technology, geography, and ideology bring about change or create continuity within the international system. 
  • Intelligence Studies - Modules on intelligence studies explore the complexities of how intelligence is gathered and assessed before it is disseminated to decision-makers, and you will examine how this process and its products influence responses to security threats. You will also get an opportunity to evaluate the importance of information, secrecy, and surveillance while considering the ethical, moral and legal implications that arise from engaging in intelligence activities through historical case studies.
  • Security Studies - Modules on security studies will enable you to identify and understand the range of threats, risks and challenges to international, national and individual security. A key feature of this scheme is the emphasis on innovative teaching approaches such as strategic gaming and role-plays. These innovative activities explore the process of decision-making and develop your analytical and problem-solving abilities.

In your final year, you will be introduced to the general principles of research methods, methodologies and theoretical frameworks to enable you to undertake an independent research inquiry and write your dissertation.

You will also choose from a broad range of optional modules covering topics such as Nato, spies at war, propaganda and secret intelligence, terrorism and counter terrorism. See the 'Modules' tab for more details.

Extra-curricular activities

We encourage you to take part in the Crisis Games, which is a yearly residential event away from Aberystwyth. Crisis games have been based on humanitarian crises, the Northern Ireland peace process, Iran’s nuclear ambitions, the US presidential election, environmental disaster in the Arctic, and war between Russia and Georgia.

The Crisis Games will allow you to learn about aspects of international politics which cannot be taught in lectures and seminars, especially the constraints which political leaders face in responding to various crises. This is one of the highlights of the year.

How will I be taught?

We deliver this degree through the medium of lectures and seminars.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed through essays, reports, examinations, book reviews, learning logs and presentations.

Personal Tutor

We will assign you a personal tutor who will be with you throughout your degree. Your tutor will help you with any problems, whether these are academic-related or personal issues.

Typical Entry Requirements

UCAS Tariff 128 - 104

A Levels ABB-BCC

GCSE requirements (minimum grade C/4):
English or Welsh

BTEC National Diploma:
DDM-MMM

International Baccalaureate:
30-28

European Baccalaureate:
75%-65% overall

English Language Requirements:
See our Undergraduate English Language Requirements for this course. Pre-sessional English Programmes are also available for students who do not meet our English Language Requirements.

Country Specific Entry Requirements:
International students whose qualification is not listed on this page, can check our Country Specific Entry Requirements for further information.

The University welcomes undergraduate applications from students studying the Access to Higher Education Diploma or T-level qualifications, provided that relevant subject content and learning outcomes are met. We are not able to accept Access to Higher Education Diplomas or T-levels as a general qualification for every undergraduate degree course.
Our inclusive admissions policy values breadth as well as depth of study. Applicants are selected on their own individual merits and offers can vary. If you would like to check the eligibility of your qualifications before submitting an application, please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for advice and guidance.

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