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 or 2 years part-time.

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.

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

Course Structure
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:

Approaches to Research Design
Borders Internship (double-weighted – 40 CATS)
Contemporary Security
Global Security and Borders

Course Details
The programme has three different components: Core modules, an Elective module, 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
Offer the chance to specialise in a particular area of interest, build on foundational knowledge, and develop focused expertise.

One module is to be chosen from:
Carbon Literacy for a Low Carbon Society and Economy
Conflict Intervention
Ethnic Conflict and Consensus: The Power of Institutions
Gender, Politics and Democracy
Global Terrorism
Institutions and Politics of the EU
International Political Economy
Philosophy of Conflict and War
The Politics of the Republic of Ireland

* This list of elective modules may vary from year to year.


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.

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.

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.

Assessment method

Seminar presentations
Learning journals
Literature reviews
Written essays
60-credit, 15,000 word dissertation

Application date

Postgraduate Taught
Closing dates do apply for some of our courses, and details of these are available on our Course Finder. We advise you to apply as early as possible, particularly for those courses where there is a high demand for places. Early application is also important for international applicants to allow sufficient time to obtain a student entry visa.

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

Enrolment and start dates

Entry year: 2018

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