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Security Sector Management MSc/PgCert/PgDip

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  • Course description
    Security Sector Management MSc/PgCert/PgDip:

    Course Description:

    The objectives of this programme are for participants to be able to develop and implement strategic security sector plans and analyse, communicate and evaluate the broader implications for related areas within state and regional frameworks.

    Start Months:




    Full Time/ Part Time: Part Time


    Defence and Security

    Entry Requirements:

    A first or second class UK Honours degree (or equivalent) ideally in a related subject. Other recognised professional qualifications or several years relevant industrial experience may be accepted as equivalent; subject to approval by the Course Director. For further and specific information please visit the course page. 
    English Language:

    If you are an international student you will need to provide evidence that you have achieved a satisfactory test result in an English qualification. The minimum standard expected from a number of accepted courses are as follows:

        IELTS - 6.5
        TOEFL - 92
        Pearson PTE Academic - 65
        Cambridge English Scale - 180
        Cambridge English: Advanced - C
        Cambridge English: Proficiency - C

    In addition to these minimum scores you are also expected to achieve a balanced score across all elements of the test. We reserve the right to reject any test score if any one element of the test score is too low. We can only accept tests taken within two years of your registration date (with the exception of Cambridge English tests which have no expiry date). Students requiring a Tier 4 (General) visa must ensure they can meet the English language requirements set out by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) and we recommend booking a IELTS for UKVI test.


    Part-time MSc - up to three years, Part-time PgCert - two years, Part-time PgDip - two years

    (For MOD status students the duration may vary, subject to annual review.)


    This course is designed for participants to be able to develop and implement strategic security sector plans and analyse, communicate and evaluate the broader implications for related areas within state and regional frameworks.

    Course format:
    • Taught
    • MSc/PgCert/PgDip

    Who is it for?

    The course is suitable for those who work in any security or development related organisation – as a policy maker or practitioner. The course is also relevant to those who may wish to enhance their knowledge and skills based on a related first degree or those seeking to pursue careers in the field of security sector management.

    Why this course?

    By the end of the MSc, students should be able to:

    • Display knowledge of the players, processes and structures across a state’s wider security sector
    • Understand the skill sets required to implement and manage the effective governance of national security policy and resources
    • Fully comprehend the way in which national security requirements and development priorities are managed in a mutually supportive way
    • Develop transferable skills in areas such as strategic management, project, and leadership challenges
    • Critically analyse and evaluate strategic national security policy, donor policy and the development agenda
    • Produce workable sector strategies, programme plans, change management schemes and performance assessment criteria
    • Implement national security plans within identified constraintsPlan, manage, monitor and evaluate projects and programmes in the security and development sector.

    Your teaching team:

    You will be taught by faculty from Cranfield University, many of whom are world leaders in their field. These experts will share knowledge on a wide range of current global security-related challenges (such as governance, the environment, information security and institution-building), as well as ideas and frameworks to respond to these challenges.

    Modules are taught in the UK at Cranfield Defence and Security, Shrivenham, which is co-located with the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom, as well as at the University’s central campus at Cranfield in Bedfordshire, UK.

    • Professor Ann Fitz-Gerald
    • Professor Ron Matthews
    • Dr Bill Egginton
    • Tom Hamilton-Baillie
    • Paula Macphee
    • Piers Maclean
    • Dr Tom O’Brien
    • Professor Frank Horwitz
    • Dr Philip Nobles
    • Dr Emma Parry

    External Teaching Staff

    • Professor Trevor Taylor
    • Dr David Chuter
    • Dr Greg Wilson
    Course details:

    NOTE: Cranfield University believes that our academic provision should remain current and relevant and to achieve this we periodically review and update our courses. The MSc Security Sector Management course is currently undergoing such a review and this may mean some changes are made before the next academic year. Applicants will be kept informed of these exciting new developments before an offer of admission to the course is made.

    This course is offered as an executive part-time residential course and it is also the intention to launch a blended learning variant of this course in September 2016, combining residential sessions at either end of the taught phase of the Course with distance learning for the remaining 8 modules. The awards of MSc, PgDip and PgCert would all apply to the blended learning option.

    Postgraduate certificate: Requires the completion of Module 1 and 2, plus 4 other modules/Postgraduate diploma: Requires the completion of all modules/Masters of Science: Requires the completion of all modules as well as a 20,000-word research dissertation.

    Individual project:

    A 20,000 word research-based dissertation will take the student approximately 6 months to complete.  The dissertation phase of the MSc programme provides an excellent opportunity to further explore cutting edge issues in the broader security sector debate, and the way in which these issues impact on both theory and practice.


    Examinations, assignments, presentations, and project dissertation

    Core modules:

    • Issues in International Security, Conflict and Development
    • Building State Capacity
    • Change Management and Leadership
    • Governance and Oversight
    • Managing Intelligence Reform
    • Managing Public Security and Rule of Law
    • Managing Risk
    • Managing Security Sector Projects and Programmes
    • Study Skills and Research Methodology
    • Strategic Planning for Security and Development
    • The Economics of Security

    Fees and funding:

    Home EU Student Fees
    Overseas Fees
    • MSc Part-time    £17,250 *
    • PgDip Part-time    £13,900 *
    • PgCert Part-time    £6,950 *
    * Students will be offered the option of paying the full fee up front, or in a maximum of two payments per year; first instalment on receipt of invoice and the second instalment six months later.  

    Fee notes:

    • The fees outlined apply to all students whose initial date of registration falls on or between 1 August 2017 and 31 July 2018.
    • All students pay the tuition fee set by the University for the full duration of their registration period agreed at their initial registration.
    • A deposit may be payable, depending on your course.
    • Additional fees for extensions to the agreed registration period may be charged and can be found below.
    • Fee eligibility at the Home/EU rate is determined with reference to UK Government regulations. As a guiding principle, EU nationals (including UK) who are ordinarily resident in the EU pay Home/EU tuition fees, all other students (including those from the Channel Islands and Isle of Man) pay Overseas fees.

    Security clearance for Shrivenham:

    Some Cranfield University courses are delivered at the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom, Shrivenham which is a Ministry of Defence (MOD) site. All applicants to courses that are wholly or partially delivered at Shrivenham must complete the BPSS (HMG Baseline Personnel Security Standard V4 April 2014) prior to registration on the course or must already hold a security clearance to this level or higher.

    Your application and BPSS clearance application will be shared during the application process with the MOD who have ultimate discretion over whether to admit applicants to the Shrivenham site. This information will be returned by the MOD to Cranfield University after checks are completed and no copies will be retained by the MOD.

    BPSS checks may involve confirmation of the following:

    • Identity (e.g. Photo ID)
    • Nationality and Immigration Status
    • Employment/Academic History (covering the past 3 years)
    • Criminal record (unspent convictions only)
    Additionally, applicants are required to give a reasonable account of any significant periods (6 months or more in the past 3 years) of time spent abroad.

    This may be revised from time to time dependent on national security requirements. For more details, please consult the BPSS Guidance.

    It will take additional time to process your BPSS clearance application once you have completed your course application.

    Inability to access the Shrivenham site as a result of failure to meet security clearance requirements will result in a withdrawal of offer, or, if already registered, a termination of registration.

    Your career:

    This course gives students the skills and knowledge to be able to contribute to security sector management as a practitioner or policy maker in government, the private sector, or the not-for-profit sector. The course is set at the national and regional strategic level.

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