The professionally-oriented course is offered on either a full-time basis, taught over two terms and a dissertation during the summer, or part-time basis taught over four terms with the dissertation completed during the summer of the second academic year.
The MA consists of both compulsory and optional modules, a typical selection can be found below. Modules can vary from year to year, but these offer a good idea of what we teach.
Intelligence Concepts: Issues and Institutions
This module covers the core theoretical concepts in intelligence and principal intelligence production methods and processes in the first term. In the second term it examines how those processes are put into practice through the organisational structure of national intelligence agencies and communities.
Intelligence History: Failure and Success
This modules takes students through the history of the practice of intelligence from “Plato to NATO”, or ancient times to the modern days. It links political, social and technological factors into a greater understanding of the profession. The second term is largely student-led, individual students presenting case studies, improving their own historical understanding while developing their skills at formal presentations in front of critical audiences.
Contemporary Threats and Analytical Methodology
Students will survey the contemporary threats faced by the UK and other states. With the socio-political changes of “globalisation” as a point of departure, it seeks to analyse modern organised crime, drug trafficking, terrorism, and insurgency as complex and integrated threats to our security. In the second term of this course students undertake the Brunel Analytical Simulation Exercise (BASE), the jewel in the MA/ISS crown. It provides students with an opportunity to undertake a simulated intelligence analysis on a real-world subject. BASE is designed to emulate the interdepartmental assessment methods of the British Joint Intelligence Committee. It gives students a chance to apply hands-on analytical principles and methods they have learned abstractly in the other MA/ISS taught courses.
Intelligence and Security Studies Project
Intelligence Analysis Foundations, Methods and Applications
Counterintelligence and Security