Undergraduate BA (Hons)

Intelligence Analysis

Salford School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology




Three year

Next enrolment

September 2024


In a nutshell

Are you interested in the role intelligence plays in international affairs? Or perhaps you want to explore how technology is changing intelligence and security? Wherever your interests lie, our BA (Hons) Intelligence Analysis degree will provide you with the tools and training you need to establish a professional career.

You will learn about recent international history and current affairs to explore and understand the wider context within which intelligence activity sits. You’ll also receive an introduction to the use of software relevant for intelligence analysis in the digital age.

As part of your intelligence analysis course, you’ll be able to choose from a range of study modules from the University-Wide Language Programme (UWLP), equipping you with a range of transferable skills such as focused listening teamwork and cultural appreciation – all of which are highly sought after in the professional workplace. What’s more, you’ll also have further opportunities to develop employability skills, including the Wordscope programme and the Salford Advantage scheme.

Find out more about what the course covers by watching this overview from Dr. Christopher Murphy.

If you want to read more about our programmes and explore the careers made possible by a Politics and History degree, you can access our subject guide online.

You will:

  • Study current, real-world events of international significance and importance
  • Gain the transferable knowledge and skills desired by employers in the intelligence analysis sector
  • Learn from a team of leading academics who are recognised, published experts in their fields and whose teaching is informed by their own research expertise

students accepted

This is for you if...


You’re looking to gain practical experience and explore intelligence analysis specialisms.


You want to pursue your interests in intelligence analysis and intend to change your career or switch sectors.


You want to develop a range of transferable skills that are vital to a range of career prospects.

Course details

All about the course

So, what is intelligence analysis? And what do intelligence analysis programmes involve?

Your first year is designed to introduce you to key concepts in intelligence studies and to provide you with knowledge of global affairs and international relations since 1945. As your intelligence analysis course progresses, you’ll choose from a range of optional modules that will enable you to develop your own interests and explore new topics.

What’s more, your final year dissertation or work-related project will give you the opportunity to focus on the area of intelligence analysis that interests you most, while also developing skills that will help you to stand out in a competitive job market.

We have a partnership with Grey Dynamics, which is a private intelligence firm that offers apolitical analysis on topics such as security, geopolitics, defence and espionage. Grey Dynamics will be delivering guest lectures on our 'Open Source Intelligence' module. 

Logo of Grey Dynamics

Interested in finding out more about the course? Gain a deeper understanding of what you’ll explore within each module below.

Year one

Introduction to Intelligence: Methods and Targets

This module will give you an understanding of how intelligence - a vital component of international relations and national security - is gathered, analysed and protected by contemporary nation-states through relevant agencies.

International Politics 1

This module introduces students to key political concepts and ideologies and uses them in the study of international politics and the history of international relations. Concepts such as state, power, politics, nation, sovereignty and rights; and ideologies such as conservatism and liberalism; are used in everyday speech but they are complex ideas with contested meanings, yet central to analysis in security, politics and international relations. The module examines these ideas and applies them to significant developments in international politics such as the attempts to construct lasting arrangements for peace in the wake of major conflicts.

Global Intelligence

In this module you will examine intelligence at a global level, assessing the tools, tactics, and targets of foreign intelligence agencies.

International History: 1945-present

You will continue your studies in international history by exploring the Cold War in Europe and Asia, decolonisation, European integration, the superpower relationship and the rise of China and Japan. You will also study the impact of US foreign policy and the global 'war on terror'.

Digital Skills for Politics and Contemporary History

In this module you will develop technical-practical skills to prepare you for a wide range of politics and history related careers. You will develop skills in writing, research, and presentations, and earn a wide range of industry-recognised certificates to bolster your CV.

Digital Skills 2 - for Intelligence Analysis

In this module, developed through feedback from intelligence professionals, you will learn technical-practical skills tailored specifically for Intelligence Analysis. This includes gaining experience with Access, Excel, and other tools and technologies that will give you a necessary edge in pursuing an intelligence career. 

Year two

Intelligence, Law and Oversight

You will investigate the impact of the law upon the activities of intelligence and security agencies, particularly as it applies in the UK.

Open Source Intelligence: Collection and Analysis

This module aims to develop an informed and critical assessment of the nature of open-source intelligence, and an understanding of its history.

We have a partnership with Grey Dynamics, a Private Intelligence firm based out of London with analysts, researchers, and investigators worldwide. They will be providing four guest lectures for this module.

Intelligence Analysis Simulation

This module will give you a theoretical understanding of the nature of intelligence analysis.

Threats to Democracy

This module focuses a key question for contemporary politics: does the current rise of authoritarianism across the world mean that democracy as we know it is under threat? We try to answer this question by looking at the core concepts of democratic backsliding / autocratisation and democratic resilience, and by discussing a wide range of case studies, which include: the relationship between populism and democracy; the rise of the far right; transnational repression (how autocrats seek to repress dissidents abroad); autocratic diffusion (do authoritarian leaders learn from each other?); the rise of ‘anti-gender’ movements’; the role of disinformation and misinformation in autocratisation; and case studies of democratic resilience (the extent to which state and non-state actors are able to counteract the current wave of autocratisation). 

Optional modules may include:

Contemporary Security

This module provides students with the analytical tools to understand contemporary security issues within the context of international relations. At this module we will examine the main security challenges facing states, their institutions and societies today and discuss the nature and extent of threats posed to states and non-state actors. We will also try assess the responses states and institutions have adopted in the face of threats to security and will be encourage to think about developing our own approaches to dealing with security issues.

Intelligence, Security and Politics in Britain 1909-94

This module examines the British intelligence community from the birth of the Security Service (MI5) and the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS or MI6) in 1909 through to the 1994 Intelligence Services Act, exploring its activities primarily within the context of British domestic policy, while considering the links between the worlds of intelligence and politics. The module considers the reaction of the intelligence community to the Russian revolution, and its subsequent battle against the Soviet Union and Communism from the inter-war years through to the end of the Cold War.

US Foreign Policy since 1945

This module will begin by exploring thematic issues such as how foreign policy is made in the United States, the American ‘style’ of diplomacy, and the influence of ideology. It will then provide students with the chance to examine historical topics such as the rise of the national security state after 1945, crises such as those over Berlin and Cuba, the involvement of the CIA in US foreign policy including covert involvement abroad, US military intervention in Korea and Vietnam, ‘Nixinger’ and the rise and fall of détente, the ‘Second Cold War’, post-Cold War challenges to American global interests, and the ‘war on terror’.

Chinese Foreign Policy Since 1949

The module provides a comprehensive introduction to Chinese foreign policy since 1949 in terms of its history, traditions and characteristics; examines the key economic, diplomatic, security and geopolitical issues so as to identify and explain Chinese foreign policy goals and their implementation; explores the sources of conflict, competition and cooperation in Chinese foreign policy behaviours, assessing competing theoretical explanations in International Relations for key events and policies. Moreover, the module investigates the implications of China’s rise for the distribution of power at the international and regional levels as well as for global governance.

Covert Action: Past and Present

This module allows you to develop an informed and critical understanding of the practices, effects and limitations of contemporary covert action.  

You’ll look at the history of covert action, and examine its influence on international relations throughout the Cold War and the 'War on Terror'.

University Wide Language Programme

This module provides the opportunity to learn or develop a language with the University-wide language programme.

Year three


A 12,000 word dissertation on a research topic of your own choosing under the guidance of a dedicated supervisor.

Intelligence Ethics

This module will introduce students to the ethical dimension of intelligence activities, with particular reference to UK and US experiences.

Counterintelligence and Security in the 21st Century

The aim of this module is to evaluate the means, motives, and limits of Counterintelligence in democratic states

Optional modules may include:

Intelligence and Cyber Warfare

This will give you the chance to consider cyber warfare’s role as both an intelligence challenge and an opportunity.

Arab-Israeli Conflict

This module offers an introduction into the Arab Israeli conflict since the beginning of the 20th century by examining the main events and actors that have helped shape its course. You will also undertake a computer-based simulation where you can decide on issues of war and peace from the perspectives of the Israeli Prime Minister and Palestinian President.

Private Intelligence and Corporate Espionage

In this module, you will explore the significance of corporate espionage in Western democratic states, and assess the effectiveness of defensive policy on defending private enterprise.

Politics and the Internet

This module assesses the growing influence of internet on democracy and politics. The study of the internet is placed in context of the evolution of media technologies over past thirty years. In doing so, you examine whether the internet: is stimulating more global protest movements and also new form of terrorism; is a liberation technology potential undermining the power of authoritarian regimes; or alternatively is a tool for increased surveillance and control; is changing the nature of lections and election campaigning. These issues are explored through case studies such as: the rise of Corbyn in the Labour Party and the role played social media or, how the rise of so-called fake news is impacting on political debate.

Britain and the Cold War

University Wide Language Programme

This module provides the opportunity to learn or develop a language with the University-wide language programme.

Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.

What will I being doing?




Presentations/data analysis




As part of this Intelligence Analysis degree, your timetable will include a breakdown of your scheduled lessons with timeslots for you to explore your independent research interests. Your classes will be based at our Peel Park campus.

You will benefit from a diverse range of teaching methods.

Lectures will be where you gain an overview of the key concepts, ideas and events that relate to politics and contemporary history.

You’ll then be able to discuss these topics in more depth with your fellow students in seminars.

Workshops will give you the opportunity to learn and develop core skills that will be vital to your success on this course, and your wider career. Alongside your studies, you’ll also partake in debates, constructing and putting forward compelling arguments on a variety of issues.

A large portion of your studies will be managed by you, meaning that you will be in control of the direction and pace of your work. Finally, you will also be assigned a personal tutor who will be on hand to help you with all aspects of your studies.


Assessments will be an important part of your academic journey. They will help you to refine crucial skills that you can transfer into your career, as well as give you an indication of which areas you need to improve on. You will be assessed through a variety of methods, such as essays, presentations, podcasts and portfolios. Your module assessments will allow you to take on board any feedback prior to taking your final exam


All our history and politics courses are delivered by the Salford School of Arts, Media, and Creative Technology. Our focus is to ensure that you have the skills you need to pursue your dreams, and we encourage our students, past and present, to collaborate with each other and achieve great things.

Each year - through the Create Student Awards – our School rewards the incredible achievements and successes of our final year and postgraduate students.

Whatever you choose to study with us, you’ll be mentored and supported by experts. And once you graduate, it won’t end there. You’ll join a thriving alumni network across Greater Manchester and beyond, meaning you’ll be supported professionally and personally whenever you need it.

Employment and stats

What about after uni?


In addition to your education, you’ll acquire the real-world experience that’s integral to successfully landing an intelligence position. Whether it’s through the military, civilian employment or an internship, having direct experience will help you to stand out from the crowd. Many of our graduates have gone on to a variety of successful careers within this field – from criminal investigators to border patrol agents and cybersecurity intelligence analysts.


Graduates showing strong academic and research skills can pursue a further postgraduate path through our Postgraduate programmes on a full-time or part-time basis subject to a satisfactory proposal.

A taste of what you could become

An intelligence officer

An analyst

A Researcher

And more...

Career Links

The Politics and Contemporary History subject group has longstanding links with the intelligence and security sector owing to its MA/PgDip programmes in Intelligence and Security Studies and Terrorism and Security. Our graduates go on to work for such organisations as the National Crime Agency and are regularly invited back as guest speakers to engage with current students who wish to pursue a career in this field.


What you need to know


To gain a place on this intelligence analysis degree, we’re looking for a highly motivated student with a keen interest in international affairs, as well as strong writing and analytical skills. You’ll be of particular interest to us if you can provide evidence of extensive reading and knowledge in this subject area.

You’ll also have to submit a personal statement and meet our entry requirements. A personal statement is a personal summary (360 to 500 words) of your academic, professional/life experience and future goals. We’ll want to understand:

  • what motivates you and what you’ve learnt on your current academic journey;
  • your future career aspirations;
  • why the University of Salford and this course is right your future goals.
Standard entry requirements


English Language at grade C/level 4 or above (or equivalent) is required. Maths at grade C/4 or above (or equivalent) is preferred but not essential.

You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below.

UCAS tariff points

104-112 points.

A level

104-112 points.

T level


BTEC National Diploma


Access to HE

96-112 points

Scottish Highers

96 - 112 points

Irish Leaving Certificate

96 - 112 points

International Baccalaureate

29 points

International students

We accept qualifications from all around the world. Find your country to see a full list of entry requirements.

International applicants will be required to show a proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.0, no element below 5.5, is proof of this.

We also accept a range of other English language qualifications. If you do not have the English language requirements, you could take our Pre-Sessional English course.


Alternative entry requirements

Salford Alternative Entry Scheme (SAES)

We welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to pursue the course successfully. Once we have received your application we will assess it and recommend it for SAES if you are an eligible candidate.

There are two different routes through the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme and applicants will be directed to the one appropriate for their course. Assessment will either be through a review of prior learning or through a formal test.

How Much?

Type of study Year Fees
Full-time home 2024/25 £9,250.00per year
Full-time international 2024/25 £15,720.00per year

Additional costs

You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.

Scholarships for International Students

If you are a high-achieving international student, you may be eligible for one of our scholarships. Explore our international scholarships.

Apply now

All Set? Let's Apply?

Enrolment dates

September 2024

UCAS information

Course ID L240

Institution S03