Global Security & Borders

Borders have become a key site and central concern of global security practices and theory, from the Mexican-United States border to the Mediterranean ports of the EU. The many facets of borders are introduced and analysed in this programme: they are understood as containers of identity, sites of power, and points of weakness where the mobility of people (eg terrorists, migrants) and things (eg drugs, weapons) can disrupt prevailing forms of security. This programme aims to help students navigate this complex terrain by providing a firm grounding in critical border studies, offering the chance to apply their academic insights within a work-based environment with borders/security professionals through the Borders Internship module.


1 year full-time

Please Note: due to external international funding deadlines and the limited availability of internships, the closing date for International student applications to this programme is 31st January 2019 at 4pm GMT; for EU and UK students the closing date for applications is 31st March 2019 at 4pm GMT. Applications received after these closing dates will be regarded as LATE and will be considered only if vacancies exist when all applications received by these closing dates have been processed.

Careers or further progression

Career Prospects
All of the MA programmes offered in the School provide our graduates with the skills to pursue a wide range of careers in the private, public and voluntary sectors. In addition they provide an appropriate basis for those who wish to proceed to Doctoral-level study.

Further enquiries

Professor Debbie Lisle
School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics - Professor Politics and International Studies
The Senator George J Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice
Phone: +44 (0)28 9097 3853

Subjects taught

Core Modules
Offer foundational knowledge and understanding in Global Security and Borders, practical experience and active learning within a work-based situation on the Borders Internship module, as well as teaching the key skills regarding how to design a research project.

These compulsory modules include:

HAP7001 - Approaches to Research Design (Semester 1)
PAI7097 - Borders Internship (double-weighted – 40 CATS) (Semester 2)
PAI7037 - Global Borders and Security (Semester 1)
PAI9099 - Dissertation (triple-weighted - 60 CATS)

Course Details
The programme has three different components: Core modules, Elective modules, and an MA dissertation.

To enable students to develop their particular area of specialism, facilitate independent learning and instil a variety of skills such as project management, detailed analysis and self-motivation, students on the MA pathway must also write a dissertation of no more than 15,000 words.

Elective Modules
Elective modules offer the chance to specialise in a particular area of interest, build on foundational knowledge, and develop focused expertise.

One elective module is to be chosen from the below in Semester 1:
PAI7021 – The Politics of Northern Ireland
PAI7051 – Contemporary Security
PAI7036 - The Politics and Political Economy of Energy and Low Carbon Energy Transitions
PHL7056 - Global Ethics

One elective module is to be chosen from the below in Semester 2:
PAI7007 – Global Terrorism
PAI7022 – The Politics of the Republic of Ireland
PAI7027 – Conflict Intervention
PAI7030 – International Political Economy
PAI7032 – Gender, Politics and Democracy
PAI7050 – Ethnic conflict and consensus
PAI7052 – Inst. And Politics of the EU
PHL7038 – Philosophy of Conflict and War

Note that this is not an exclusive list and these options are subject to staff availability.


Global Security and Borders highlights

Industry Links
•The opportunity to feed in to contemporary policy debates both directly with professionals through the Internship as well as debating with staff who advise governments and security sector actors.
•This programme has the particular benefit of an Internship module where students will learn to manage their time and acquire transferrable skills in a work-based environment.

Career Development
•The chance to apply theoretical insights in the real world through the Borders Internship module where you will also learn key transferrable employability skills. Potential careers emerging from this degree include: local, regional and national Government, policy analysis, border agencies, customs and excise, and research for interest and advocacy NGOs.

Internationally Renowned Experts
•Research-led teaching by world leading experts who have been awarded grants by UK and EU funding bodies to undertake research on the interaction of borders and security.

Student Experience
•A unique opportunity, not offered anywhere else in the UK or Ireland, to study the crucial interaction of global security practices and borders as sites of power, identity and politics. The School's active research environment, including internationally renowned guest speakers, staff seminars and reading groups.

Learning and Teaching
Average of six hours contact teaching hours per week for the first semester. In the second semester, as well as two hours contact on an Elective module, the Borders Internship module will involve three days of a work-based placement per week for 10 weeks, as well as dedicated supervision with a member of academic staff.

Students should expect to spend 10-12 hours of independent study for every two hours in seminars and lectures, spread across the course of the semester. However, the second semester Borders Internship involves a more complex mix of work-based learning and supervision.

Assessment method

Seminar presentations

Learning journals

Literature reviews


Written essays

Dissertation 15,000 words (60-credits)

Application date

How to Apply
Apply using our online Postgraduate Applications Portal and follow the step-by-step instructions on how to apply.

Enrolment and start dates

Entry year 2020

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