Innovation in Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance

Key Information


2 years

Typical Offer

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Brayford Pool

Academic Year

Course Overview

The Innovation in Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance MSc (ISR) is designed to bring together practitioners from a wide area of ISR systems in a comprehensive academic programme. The programme has been developed in order to provide a route by which military personnel of appropriate experience and expertise can obtain an in-service academic qualification.

The course is designed to integrate military training and education within an academic framework. Students combine the study of specialist subject matter within an academic framework, which provides opportunity for critical and analytical engagement. Through this programme students can validate their expertise and experience and obtain recognised qualifications which also have credibility outside the military sphere.

Academic Contact

Please contact Programme Leader, Dr Steven Paget for more information about this course.


How You Study

This course aims to develop the knowledge, skills and a critical understanding of ISR within the wider Intelligence Systems environment. It also provides the opportunity to develop a thorough technological understanding of hardware and software systems, in a range of environments and across a wide range of platforms used in this field. This can be achieved by studying and researching a range of key disciplines, reflecting, researching and critically evaluating doctrine and procedures within the ISR sphere of operations.

Students experience a combination of different techniques including a "hands-on" practical approach to scenarios and workshops, debates, lectures and personal research. Students will be expected to examine and professionally evaluate operational and technical aspects of ISR management by reflection and the preparation of essays, presentations and research projects.

Analytical skills are developed by critically evaluating thinking, action and structural factors operating in the area of ISR, including underlying assumptions, and identifying implications for wider systems that extend the area of practice. The development of practical skills is progressive and is supported with mentor guidance and supporting material. Individual lecturers will have different areas of expertise and will employ a wide variety of teaching strategies enhancing the experience and providing a range of teaching approaches to the programme.


† Some courses may offer optional modules. The availability of optional modules may vary from year to year and will be subject to minimum student numbers being achieved. This means that the availability of specific optional modules cannot be guaranteed. Optional module selection may also be affected by staff availability.

Advanced ISR Management 2023-24CMP9129MLevel 72023-24This module provides the opportunity for students to explore advanced concepts surrounding the tactical application of ISR. Students are expected to appraise the processes and methods associated with planning operations while evaluating the associated planning model. In addition, this module provides students with the chance to consolidate the knowledge and skills developed in earlier modules. Students can also engage in planning the tactical application of ISR, generating associated documents, plans and briefs through delivery of a dynamic exercise.CoreIntelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance Foundation 2023-24CMP9125MLevel 72023-24This module provides students with the opportunity to develop a foundation knowledge of the processes and principles of Intelligence Surveillance & Reconnaissance (ISR). The module will guide students through the principles of weapons employment, the intelligence cycle, and provide an understanding of the structure of multi-national intelligence organisations and the fundamentals of ISR management.CoreISR Management 2023-24CMP9126MLevel 72023-24This module explores the concepts and capabilities of the various types of intelligence, the concepts, operation and performance of intelligence gathering technologies, and the functions and considerations of ISR/ISTAR within LAND formations.CoreMulti-platform ISR Technologies 2023-24CMP9130MLevel 72023-24This module aims to develop core skills and knowledge and an understanding of an operational ISR environment, evaluating the application of tactics across multi-platform ISR technologies. Students will be expected to develop a full appreciation of contemporary and emerging ISR technologies and estimate the impact these will have upon the joint environment.CoreProject 2023-24CMP9131MLevel 72023-24This module presents students with the opportunity to evaluate theory and the application of in a practical context, focusing on an area of particular personal and professional interest, through the development of a dissertation and normally a substantive systems implementation. The research project is an individual piece of work, which provides the chance for students to apply and integrate elements of study from a range of modules, centred on a specific research question or questions formulated by the student with support from a supervisor. Students are normally required to undertake the creation of a project that is both non-trivial in scale and goals and supported by the appropriate adaptation and use of theoretical frameworks. The work should also normally draw upon and enrich students' own experiences.CoreResearch Methods 2023-24CMP9128MLevel 72023-24This module is designed to cover the fundamental skills and background knowledge that students need to undertake research related to the title of the award being studied, including: surveying literature; selecting and justifying a research topic; planning of research; selection of appropriate research methods; evaluation of research; presentation and reporting of research; and legal, social, ethical and professional considerations.CoreTactical Applications of ISR 2023-24CMP9127MLevel 72023-24This module will explore the varying applications of ISR, focusing on different agencies and organisation in a comparative study. Students can explore the management and application of ISR within the US Military complex alongside the functional ISR capabilities of the Met Police. Students will also have the chance to evaluate generic ISR effects, contextualising these effects through exploration of the explicit ISR requirements of the naval fleet.Core

What You Need to Know

We want you to have all the information you need to make an informed decision on where and what you want to study. In addition to the information provided on this course page, our What You Need to Know page offers explanations on key topics including programme validation/revalidation, additional costs, contact hours, and our return to face-to-face teaching.

How you are assessed

Assessments take place towards the end of the study module encouraging consolidation of knowledge and skills developed during the module intensive delivery period. All study modules include coursework elements for both summative and formative assessment.

Reports and assignments are used to assess knowledge and understanding, critical analysis, development of reasoned argument and synthesis of conclusions. Oral presentation skills are assessed in the context of consideration of professional issues when students present to peers the results of some group work. Practical implementation assignments assess both programming and design skills.

Feedback on coursework may be provided via written comments on work submitted, by provision of 'model' answers or through discussion in tutorials.

Entry Requirements 2023-24

Entry Requirements

The programme is only available to those applicants who are currently serving military personnel with ISR experience or those who have recently left the armed forces but are employed in an associated relevant profession. Normally applicants will have a first degree (usually at 2:1 or greater) and/or appropriate experience in the related military field.

Professional Development

This course has been developed in order to provide a route by which military personnel of appropriate experience and expertise can obtain a credible in-service academic qualification. Students combine the study of specialist subject matter within an academic framework, which provides opportunity for critical and analytical engagement. Through this programme students can validate their expertise and experience and obtain recognised qualifications which also have credibility outside the military sphere.

Funding Schemes

A number of funding schemes are available to assist military students in financing their studies.

These include:

  • Standard Learning Credit (SLC)
  • Enhanced Learning Credit (ELC)
  • Publicly funded Further and Higher Education for Service leavers (PF FE/HE).

All of these schemes are administered by the Enhanced Learning Credits Administration Service (ELCAS). Further information on eligibility and entitlements are available from your education staffs and the MOD’s ELCAS information website.

The University of Lincoln is a registered ELCAS provider: 1283

Course Fees

You will need to have funding in place for your studies before you arrive at the University. Our fees vary depending on the course, mode of study, and whether you are a UK or international student. You can view the breakdown of fees for this programme below.

Course Fees

The University offers a range of merit-based, subject-specific, and country-focused scholarships for UK and international students. To help support students from outside of the UK, we offer a number of international scholarships which range from £1,000 up to the value of 50 per cent of tuition fees. For full details and information about eligibility, visit our scholarships and bursaries pages.

The University intends to provide its courses as outlined in these pages, although the University may make changes in accordance with the Student Admissions Terms and Conditions.