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Intelligence and Security Studies (Distance Learning) MA

Course code


Start date


Subject area

Politics and International Relations

Mode of study

2 years part-time (distance learning)



UK / EU £7,775 (part-time)

International £13,255 (part-time)

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Transform Your Career with Brunel’s Distance Learning MA in Intelligence and Security Studies

Dive into the only MA in Intelligence that's designed not just to teach you about intelligence, but to prepare you for an impactful career in the field. At Brunel, our Distance Learning MA in Intelligence and Security Studies (MAISS-DL) stands apart by offering a practical course grounded in both social science and historical methods.

Why Choose MAISS?

  • Interdisciplinary Learning: Our programme uniquely blends social science, policy, and history to provide a rounded perspective on intelligence.
  • Practical, Hands-On Training: During our once-per-year “residential week”, you will engage in immersive simulations, receive certification in industry tools, and participate in the Brunel Analytic Simulated Exercise (BASE) which provides real-world briefing experience before a panel of experts. 
  • Flexible online learning: Engage with our curriculum asynchronously, allowing you to balance your studies with professional and personal commitments. Enjoy the value of this world-class programme from the comfort of your home. 
  • Exclusive, Cohesive Curriculum: Experience a "garden-wall" designed programme where every module is crafted to build on each other. Offering a unique, cohesive learning journey, with specialist electives, focused on in-depth study.

What Sets Us Apart?

Our course is not just a history or politics degree. It's a policy-oriented programme that arms you with the practical skills sought after by employers. Your learning and assessment are designed to provide you the tools and experiences you need to excel in the intelligence community.

You will also be trained in Open-Source Intelligence (OSINT) collection methods, for which you will receive a separate certificate. This is currently provided by Prevail Partners.

Connect and Network

Benefit from our extensive speaker series, bringing experts from government and the private sector right to your classroom. MAISS also boasts a vibrant community of peers and an expansive alumni network to build lasting professional connections.

Our alumni are employed in the public sector, and private firms such as Securitas, Merck, Formula One, Pinkertons, Raytheon, and Lockheed Martin. Our graduates have also founded and joined smaller start-up intelligence companies such as Grey Dynamics and b4 Secure.

Explore and Discover

Curious to learn more? Contact our team at

You can explore our campus and facilities for yourself by taking our virtual tour.

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Course content

Intelligence and Securities Studies MA is structured around a core of compulsory modules and one optional choice, plus a dissertation in a subject of your choice.

This course can be studied 2 years part-time distance learning, starting in September.

Year 1

Year 2

Please note that all modules are subject to change.

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Careers and your future

Eighty percent of our graduates secure highly-skilled jobs in the private and public sector within 18 months of graduation. Most of our students pursue careers in the private intelligence and security sector or careers in analytical functions for banking, resources and risk industries.  Those already in government employment find the course supports their promotion, commissions or provides new employment opportunities post-retirement. Many of our graduates find employment in successful firms founded by our alumni through our networking opportunities. We also work with industry organisations to provide a range of internship opportunities that students can apply for throughout the course.  

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UK entry requirements

  • A 2:1 (or above) UK Honours degree or equivalent internationally recognised qualification with an understanding of the realities of academic intelligence and security study and the frameworks within which intelligence and security operations work.

Applicants with other qualifications, or with relevant work-related experience, will be considered on an individual basis.

Applicants will be interviewed.

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EU and International entry requirements

English language requirements

  • IELTS: 6.5 (min 6 in all areas)
  • Pearson: 59 (59 in all subscores)
  • BrunELT: 63% (min 58% in all areas)
  • TOEFL: 90 (min 20 in all) 

You can find out more about the qualifications we accept on our English Language Requirements page.

Should you wish to take a pre-sessional English course to improve your English prior to starting your degree course, you must sit the test at an approved SELT provider for the same reason. We offer our own BrunELT English test and have pre-sessional English language courses for students who do not meet requirements or who wish to improve their English. You can find out more information on English courses and test options through our Brunel Language Centre.

Please check our Admissions pages for more information on other factors we use to assess applicants. This information is for guidance only and each application is assessed on a case-by-case basis. Entry requirements are subject to review, and may change.

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Fees and funding

2024/25 entry


£7,775 part-time


£13,255 part-time

More information on any additional course-related costs.

Fees quoted are per year and are subject to an annual increase. 

See our fees and funding page for full details of postgraduate scholarships available to Brunel applicants.

Scholarships and bursaries

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Teaching and Learning

How the course will be delivered

How you'll learn on your course

Who are the staff?

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Assessment and feedback

Modules assessments are tailored to hone not only to academic skills, but also skills needed for gainful employment in the industry. Assessments include: research essays, oral presentations, written and verbal briefings, and a wargame modelled on a historic crisis scenario.

The capstone assessment of the programme is BASE, Brunel’s annual exercise modelled on the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC). After studying structured analytic techniques, you will be broken into small teams and presented with a question about an emerging real-world problem. Past questions have covered Russia and Ukraine, China and Taiwan, Election Interference, illicit trade, etc. As a team, you will research and analyse the problem for several weeks and present your findings to a guest panel of current and former intelligence professionals, playing the role of the Joint Intelligence Committee. You are assessed on your contribution to the process, the quality of your briefing paper, and your after-action report.

Read our guide on how to avoid plagiarism in your assessments at Brunel.

Read our guide on how to avoid plagiarism in your assessments at Brunel.