BA

Strategy, Intelligence and Security

BA Strategy, Intelligence and Security Code L252

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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

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
Exploring the International 1: Central Concepts and Core Skills * IP12420 20
War, Strategy and Intelligence IP10320 20

Options

Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Behind the Headlines IP12620 20
Globalization and Global Development IP12520 20
Politics in the 21st Century * IP12920 20
The Making of the Modern World: War Peace and Revolution since 1789 IP12820 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 applications from students studying the Access to Higher Education Diploma. 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 are studying a qualification not listed on this page, please get in touch with the Undergraduate Admissions Office for further advice. For further information, contact ug-admissions@aber.ac.uk

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