The traditional military threats which defined global security matters for the best part of the 20th century have been quickly replaced by new and re-emerging security challenges. This programme offers you the opportunity to examine many of these contemporary threats.
- You will develop your knowledge of the security challenges impacting our rapidly changing social and political environment at a local, national and global level. These range from terrorism and cyber warfare to disease, migration and climate change.
- You can combine a broad spectrum of subject areas into your degree, including politics, sociology, Central & East European studies, war studies, archaeology, computing science, geography, law, business and education.
- You will have the opportunity to take part in policy development exercises: working with government officials and policy-makers to simulate the process of responding to major international security crises.
- The programme will also include a series of master classes from high profile professionals and academics working in the field of security.
You will take four core and selection of optional courses. You will also complete a dissertation as a piece of independent research. In addition to the general degree programme, you have the opportunity to study one of three specialised pathways
- Comparative approaches to warfare and violent conflict
- International security and global politics
- Research design OR Social sciences statistics
- Thematic issues in global security.
You will supplement the core elements of the programme with a range of optional courses chosen from a broad list of optional courses.
Cyber security and intelligence
Provides you with the opportunity to examine how cyber issues and information communications technologies challenge the way states and citizens alike attempt to use and constrain information in a range of societies for security purposes. Specialised courses within this pathway include
- Human-centred security
- Information systems and databases
- Systems and networks.
Social and cultural perspectives (not running in 2017-18)
Provides you with the opportunity to examine global security from a critical perspective, reflecting on social and cultural aspects and constructions of 'security'. Important to this pathway will be an interrogation of the relationship between security, vulnerability and the ethics of care. Specialised courses within this pathway include:
- Critical perspectives on securities and vulnerabilities
- A range of related optional courses.
Strategy and defence
Provides you with the opportunity to examine shifts in Western strategic thought in both a historical and contemporary setting. Particular attention will be given to how strategy and defence is currently developing within a new interdependent global context. Specialised courses within this pathway include
- Comparative approaches to warfare and violent conflict
- The American way of war: from Revolution to the War on Terror
- A range of related optional courses.
Why should you study Global Security?
If you want to develop your knowledge of the broad-based security challenges impacting our rapidly changing social and political environment at a local, national and global level then the MSc in Global Security is for you.
Individuals on the MSc in Global Security will have the opportunity to experience a wide variety of disciplinary approaches to the study of security ranging from politics and international relations, to area studies, law, history, public health, human geography and computing science and information communications technology.
How will you benefit?
Graduates from this programme are likely to move into careers with governmental and non-governmental organisations, the media, business and international/transnational organisations.
All students on the programme will benefit from some research skills training which will go a long way to supporting students wanting to take advantage of the opportunities available for individuals wanting to develop a career in academia. Many students taking this programme go on to pursue PhD research at the University of Glasgow or other leading research universities in the UK and beyond.
Why should you study with us?
Staff teaching on the MSc Global Security are drawn from schools and subject areas across all four Colleges of the University of Glasgow, including Politics, Sociology, Central and East European Studies (College of Social Sciences); History/War Studies, Theology (College of Arts); Public Health (College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences); and Geographical and Earth Sciences, Computing Science (College of Science and Engineering). All of these subject areas are known for their research and teaching quality, often being recognised as being among the top schools in their field within the UK and with highly respected and strong international profiles.
Students on the MSc Global security also have the opportunity to avail of support to apply for employability and internship opportunities within a range of international organisations working on issues and areas reflecting the content of the MSc Global Security.
Want to know more?
If you are thinking about taking this programme then you might consider visiting our Facebook page where you can click 'like this' button and then be updated regularly about upcoming events, application deadlines, video lectures and podcasts and dates of online chats with staff teaching on the programme.
Seamus Russell, USA (2013-14)
'I was immediately interested in the University of Glasgow for both its reputation as a world-class academic institution, the vast offering of postgraduate study options and that it offered postgraduate programmes which could be completed in a year’s time versus the two-year programme typically offered at universities in the United States. I was also enamoured by Glasgow city’s indelible charm and it didn’t hurt that the university campus favoured a fictional school of wizardry either.
I was drawn towards this programme since my primary interest is in information technology security. The course offered an in-depth opportunity to explore the various and complex security issues influencing international relations. Given the nature of current and emerging threats to international security, this programme provided a host of pathways to choose from in the exploration of various security themes. I was permitted to develop my own niche of study in the field of cyber security while obtaining a greater comprehension of the multitude of threats which affect us all around the world. We were also offered a chance to visit Brussels, an interesting opportunity to meet with EU agencies and other international organisations.
I found my experience at the University of Glasgow to be enlightening and inspirational on many levels. The exposure to subjects such as International Relations, Thematic Issues in Global Security and War History provided a well-rounded view of security, threats and conflict. The multidisciplinary approach also afforded me the cherished opportunity to learn from some of the best academic minds in their chosen fields, as well as from my colleagues, who came from a wide range of nations and backgrounds.
If I had the chance, I would do it again with no hesitation. The work was demanding, yet fulfilling. I would undoubtedly recommend attending the University of Glasgow to anyone who is looking for an educational experience of a lifetime and willing dedicate themselves to the study to improve the world in which we live.
Since graduating, I have resumed my career in IT security. My understanding of the field has now gone beyond the technical scope to encompass theoretical considerations I was previously unaware of or would consider in my professional role. I have been able to confidently take on greater and more complex problems and am more confident in challenging common thought on existing processes and procedures. I am able to evaluate the issue while taking a fresh and differing approach towards securing systems and data. Obtaining my Master degree from the University of Glasgow has also allowed me greater visibility in the workplace, as I have attended a University not typically known to Americans, but which has been a sentinel of academia for centuries.'
Global Security Master Class Seminar Series
The programme also includes the Global Security Master Class Serie" where high profile professionals and academics working in the field of security speak directly, yet informally, with students in a small scale setting. Speakers from 2015-16 included Professor Alison Phipps - "Insecurity, Hospitality and the Global Refugee Crisis"; Dr Karoly Gruber (Former Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary representative to the European Council Political Security Committee. Foreign Ministry of Hungary) - "The European Security Strategy"; Tim Marshall - "Prisoners of Geography"; Professor Andrew Geddes (University of Sheffield) - "Prospects for international migration governance"; Professor John Williams (Durham University) - "Counter-productive counter-terrorism? Drone use in Nangarhar, Afghanistan"; Dr Ian Shaw - "The Political Geographies of Drone Warfare"
You can move into careers such as working with governmental and non-governmental organisations, business and international/transnational organisations. Recent graduates have gone on to work for the BBC, the United Nations, the UK armed forces, a US based research agency and UK based private security and risk analysis companies. Others have gone to undertake a PhD.
Entry requirements for postgraduate taught programmes are a 2.1 Honours degree or equivalent qualification (for example, GPA 3.0 or above) in a relevant subject.
International students with academic qualifications below those required should
contact our partner institution, Glasgow International College, who offer a range of pre-Masters courses.
For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.
International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training)
- overall score 6.5
- no sub-test less than 6.0
- or equivalent scores in another recognised qualification:
Common equivalent English language qualifications
All stated English tests are acceptable for admission for both home/EU and international students for this programme:
- ibTOEFL: 90; no sub-test less than:
- Reading: 20
- Listening: 19
- Speaking: 19
- Writing: 23
- CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): 176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
- CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English): 176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
- PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English, Academic test): 60; no sub-test less than 59
- Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English: ISEII at Distinction with Distinction in all sub-tests
For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use these tests to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level programmes. The University is also able to accept an IELTS test (Academic module) from any of the 1000 IELTS test centres from around the world and we do not require a specific UKVI IELTS test for degree level programmes. We therefore still accept any of the English tests listed for admission to this programme.
The University of Glasgow accepts evidence of the required language level from the English for Academic Study Unit Pre-sessional courses. We also consider other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses:
What do I do if...
my language qualifications are below the requirements?
The University's English for Academic Study Unit offers a range of Pre-Sessional Courses to bring you up to entry level. The course is accredited by BALEAP, the UK professional association for academic English teaching; see Links.
my language qualifications are not listed here?
Please contact the Recruitment and International Office: email@example.com
For further information about English language requirements, please contact the Recruitment and International Office: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuition fees for 2017-18
|Home and EU|
|Full time fee||£7250|
|Part time 20 credits||£806|
|Full time fee||£16000|
Fees are subject to change and for guidance only
- Fee for submission by a research student: £460
- Fee for re-assessment of a dissertation (PGT programme): £300
- Submission for a higher degree by published work: £1,000
- Submission of thesis after deadline lapsed: £200
- Submission by staff in receipt of staff scholarship: £680
- Research students registered as non-supervised Thesis Pending students (50% refund will be granted if the student completes thesis within the first six months of the period): £260
- Registration/exam only fee: £110
- General Council fee: £50
A 10% discount is available to University of Glasgow alumni applying to the
MSc. This includes graduates and those who have
completed a Junior Year Abroad, Exchange programme or International Summer School at
the University of Glasgow. The discount is applied at registration for students who
are not in receipt of another discount or scholarship funded by the University. No
additional application is required.
We ask that you apply online for a postgraduate taught degree. Our system allows you to fill out the standard application form online and submit this to the University within 42 days of starting your application.
You need to read the guide to applying online before starting your application. It will ensure you are ready to proceed, as well as answer many common questions about the process.
Do I have to apply online for a postgraduate taught degree?
Yes. To apply for a postgraduate taught degree you must apply online. We are unable to accept your application by any other means than online.
Do I need to complete and submit the application in a single session?
No. You have 42 days to submit your application once you begin the process. You may save and return to your application as many times as you wish to update information, complete sections or upload additional documents such as your final transcript or your language test.
What documents do I need to provide to make an application?
As well as completing your online application fully, it is essential that you submit the following documents:
- A copy (or copies) of your official degree certificate(s) (if you have already completed your degree)
- A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing full details of subjects studied and grades/marks obtained
- Official English translations of the certificate(s) and transcript(s)
- Two supporting reference letters on headed paper
- Evidence of your English Language ability (if your first language is not English)
- Any additional documents required for this programme (see Entry requirements for this programme)
- A copy of the photo page of your passport (Non-EU students only)
If you do not have all of these documents at the time of submitting your application then it is still possible to make an application and provide any further documents at a later date, as long as you include a full current transcript (and an English translation if required) with your application. See the ‘Your References, Transcripts and English Qualification’ sections of our Frequently Asked Questions for more information.
Do my supporting documents need to be submitted online?
Yes, where possible, please upload the supporting documents with your application.
How do I provide my references?
You must either upload the required references to your online application or ask your referees to send the references to the University as we do not contact referees directly. There is two main ways that you can provide references: you can either upload references on headed paper when you are making an application using the Online Application (or through Applicant Self-Service after you have submitted your application) or you can ask your referee to email the reference directly to email@example.com. See the 'Your References, Transcripts and English Qualifications' section of the Frequently Asked Questions for more information.
What if I am unable to submit all of my supporting documents online?
If you cannot upload an electronic copy of a document and need to send it in by post, please attach a cover sheet to it that includes your name, the programme you are applying for, and your application reference number.
You may send them to:
Marketing, Recruitment & International Office
71 Southpark Avenue
Fax: +44 141 330 4045
Can I email my supporting documents?
No. We cannot accept email submissions of your supporting documents.
What entry requirements should I have met before applying? Where can I find them?
You should check that you have met (or are likely to have met prior to the start of the programme) the individual entry requirements for the degree programme you are applying for. This information can be found on the ‘entry requirements’ tab on each individual programme page, such as the one you are viewing now.
What English Language requirements should I have met before applying? Where can I find them?
If you are an international student, you should also check that you have met the English Language requirements specific to the programme you are applying for. These can also be found on the ‘entry requirements’ tab for each specific programme.
Please see the Frequently Asked Questions for more information on applying to a postgraduate taught programme.
Guidance notes for using the online application
These notes are intended to help you complete the online application form accurately, they are also available within the help section of the online application form. If you experience any difficulties accessing the online application then you should visit the Application Troubleshooting/FAQs page.
- Name and Date of birth: must appear exactly as they do on your passport. Please take time to check the spelling and lay-out.
- Contact Details: Correspondence address. All contact relevant to your application will be sent to this address including the offer letter(s). If your address changes, please contact us as soon as possible.
- Choice of course: Please select carefully the course you want to study. As your application will be sent to the admissions committee for each course you select it is important to consider at this stage why you are interested in the course and that it is reflected in your application.
- Proposed date of entry: Please state your preferred start date including the month and the year. Taught masters degrees tend to begin in September. Research degrees may start in any month.
- Education and Qualifications: Please complete this section as fully as possible indicating any relevant Higher Education qualifications starting with the most recent. Complete the name of the Institution (s) as it appears on the degree certificate or transcript.
- English Language Proficiency: Please state the date of any English language test taken (or to be taken) and the award date (or expected award date if known).
- Employment and Experience: Please complete this section as fully as possible with all employments relevant to your course. Additional details may be attached in your personal statement/proposal where appropriate.
- References: Please provide the names and contact details of two academic references. Where applicable one of these references may be from your current employer. References should be completed on letter headed paper and uploaded on to your application.
Standard application deadlines
- International applications (non-EU): 21 July 2017
- UK and EU applications: 25 August 2017
Classes start September 2017 and you may be expected to attend induction sessions the week before.