MSc Development and Security

Find a programme
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law
Awards available MSc
Programme length One year full-time;
two years part-time
Location of programme Clifton campus
Part-time study available Yes
Open to international students Yes
Number of places 32
Start date September 2017

Programme overview

This innovative programme explores the link and tensions between development and security concerns in theory and practice. Specifically, it builds on the unique combination of expertise and experience in the School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies to:

  • examine the nature of violent conflict in the world today and the international community's response to it;
  • locate this analysis in a comprehensive theoretical understanding of wider development and security studies debates and controversies, particularly in relation to evolving patterns of global governance;
  • explore these issues and dilemmas through contemporary, empirical case studies.

Fees for 2017/18

Full-time fees


Part-time fees


Fees quoted are per annum and subject to annual increase.

Funding for 2017/18

Further information on funding for prospective UK, EU and international postgraduate students.

Programme structure

The MSc programme comprises six 12-week taught units and six assessed essays followed by a dissertation.

Core units

  • Conflict, Security and Development
  • Theories of Development
  • Theoretical Approaches to Security Studies

Optional units

Three optional units from those offered in the School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies. Options vary each year but may include:

  • Small Business Development
  • Gender and Development
  • Managing and Evaluating Development
  • Development Skills in Practice
  • Environmental Politics
  • Faith and Development
  • International Development Organisations
  • Foreign Policy Analysis
  • Military and Militarisation
  • US Security Policy
  • International Human Rights
  • Sino-US relations in global politics
  • Politics of Genocide
  • Japan and East Asia
  • East Asia, Europe and Global Integration
  • Care, Labour and Gender
  • China's International Relations
  • Religion and Politics in the West 
  • Understanding Risk
  • The Politics of Insecurity
  • Theories of Violence 

A full list of possible units is available on the SPAIS website.

Third term

Independent study for dissertation.

Entry requirements

An upper second-class honours degree (or equivalent). Degrees from all disciplines are considered.

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

Application method Online application form
English language requirements Profile E
Further information about English language requirements
Admissions statement Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.


Bristol graduates are in high demand and have an excellent record of employment following graduation. Students of our MSc programmes go on to pursue varied and interesting careers.

Many sectors - such as the civil service, NGOs and charity work - require an MSc and some volunteer/internship experience. Graduates from our programmes have gone on to work for Refugee UK, Shelter, Barnardos, Oxfam, Amnesty International, government departments and the European Parliament, among others.

Further details can be found on our careers and alumni website.

How to apply
Application deadline:

Overall deadline is 31 July 2017. However, if you are interested in the Commonwealth Shared Scholarship for 2017 you must have completed and submitted your application by 14 January 2017.

International students

Find out more about becoming a student at Bristol, and the support we offer to international students.

I chose Bristol because of its outstanding academic reputation. It's reassuring to be taught by people who truly love their subject - their passion becomes contagious.


REF 2014 results

  • 16% of research is world-leading (4 star)
  • 44% of research is internationally excellent (3 star)
  • 33% of research is recognised internationally (2 star)
  • 7% of research is recognised nationally (1 star)

Results are from the most recent UK-wide assessment of research quality, conducted by HEFCE. More about REF 2014 results.

Get in touch

Postgraduate Senior Admissions Administrator Phone: +44 (0) 117 331 7577 Email:

School for Sociology, Politics and International Studies
University of Bristol
11 Priory Road
Bristol BS8 1TU


Important disclaimer information about our programmes.

Edit this page