Covert Action, HUMINT and the Psychology of Intelligence Elicitation at University of Buckingham - UCAS

University of Buckingham

Degree level: Postgraduate

Covert Action, HUMINT and the Psychology of Intelligence Elicitation (Research)

There are other course options available which may have a different vacancy status or entry requirements – view the full list of options

Course summary

Home of the two-year degree, the University of Buckingham, based in the South East of England, is ranked 6th for Student Satisfaction in the UK (National Student Survey, 2020). We are proudly independent and not-for-profit, and offer courses in Allied Health, Business, Computing, Education, Humanities, Law, Medicine, Psychology and Security and Intelligence. We are one of the few universities in the UK that offer September and January start dates for almost all of our courses. Based in Buckingham on a riverside campus, we are only 20 minutes from Milton Keynes central station and a short drive from Bicester, Aylesbury, Banbury and Northampton. There is free parking on-site and we are within easy reach of London and Oxford. Our award-winning small class tutorials ensure every student is known by name and supported throughout their studies, including by dedicated personal tutors. This programme aims to offer insight into hitherto closed and sensitive areas of security and intelligence practice within both western democracies and authoritarian regimes. Emphasis is placed on relating academic and historical analyses to contemporary problems and policy questions, especially in the UK, but also to western states in general, using a unique degree of practitioner-led expertise. This programme in Covert Action, HUMINT and Psychology of Intelligence Elicitation enables students to choose (with guidance) their own topic of research and to pursue this under expert one-to-one supervision. The MA by Research combines engaging course pre-recorded seminars with a focus on one’s own research project. This programme is aimed at everyone who is interested in intelligence and security issues, whatever their career plans, but also at those who may be aspiring to work in the field of security and intelligence. It can also assist the career development of those already employed within that field. An important element of this programme is the academic advisors and course staff, who are constantly available to provide their guidance and input. It would appeal to anyone who wants to improve their academic skills, advance their career, or simply explore key topics in this broad field.


Term 1: Covert Action Understanding and defining covert action Disinformation, propaganda and fake news Political Action – covert regime change and election interference Covert paramilitary action Assassinations and targeted killings Covert Action case studies – UK, USA and Russia, China Term 2: Human Intelligence (HUMINT) HUMINT and the law Informants – identification, recruitment and deployment Undercover policing Online HUMINT Cooperating or assisting offenders Community intelligence Operational ethics and HUMINT use Term 3: The Psychology of Intelligence Elicitation Detecting lies and deceit Interview models Characteristics of good intelligence Ethics of interrogation Use of non-coercive elicitation techniques Motivations for source cooperation

Assessment method

The programme comprises of three terms of seminars of nine weeks each, covering: Covert Action, Human Intelligence (HUMINT), and the psychology of intelligence elicitation. These run respectively from January to September – September to June. The programme is delivered using an online Virtual Learning Environment, through which multimedia resources are accessed. The MA does not offer systematic instruction in the facts of covert action, HUMINT and the Psychology of Intelligence elicitation; instead, the emphasis is on independent research. At the heart of the Buckingham MA is the close working relationship between student and supervisor. While the final thesis must be an independent work, it is the supervisor who offers advice on refining the topic (if necessary), on primary sources, on secondary reading, on research techniques and on writing the final text (which should be not less than 25,000 words). Supervisors and students will meet frequently throughout the year, and not less than twice a term; and the supervisor shall always be the student’s primary contact for academic advice and support. Tutor support is provided throughout, and there are opportunities to attend workshops and symposia in person at the university for those who are able to do so. Each student will be assigned a personal tutor with whom online contact, advice and assistance with course work can be accessed throughout the programme. In addition to online contact, students can also take advantage of optional physical workshops at the university for those who are able to attend.

Entry requirements

The minimum entry level required for this course is as follows: a first or second-class honours degree from a recognised university or, a recognised professional qualification with relevant work experience

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

EU £7950 Whole course
International £7950 Whole course
England £7950 Whole course
Northern Ireland £7950 Whole course
Scotland £7950 Whole course
Wales £7950 Whole course
Channel Islands £7950 Whole course
Republic of Ireland £7950 Whole course

Additional fee information

No additional fees or cost information has been supplied for this course, please contact the provider directly.
Covert Action, HUMINT and the Psychology of Intelligence Elicitation at University of Buckingham - UCAS