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21 October - 17 November
FoSS and ESRC logos

OSINT: Online investigations in the Social Sciences

Learn open-source intelligence techniques as used in studying international security

What’s on offer?

Sixth form students across London will attend a half-day workshop on open-source intelligence (OSINT) investigation methods. The students will learn practical OSINT skills while also learning about the social science applications of effective open-source investigations in areas such as national security, human rights, law enforcement, and investigative journalism. Following a 15-minute introduction, students will undertake a 60-minute practical activity in geolocation. They will then explore how the skills they have just practiced are vital in today’s intelligence landscape, and hear from current practitioners about careers as OSINT analysts in international security.

What’s it about?

OSINT is currently very popular among university-aged students due to the popularity of intelligence-focused television series, films, books and other media, as well as recent, high-profile applications of OSINT in international conflicts, such as the war with the Islamic State and the Russian invasion of Ukraine. While students with an interest in OSINT might instinctively be drawn to an education in software and IT, this workshop will show OSINT-interested students how OSINT is both based in the social sciences and a critical tool in social science. Students will explore aspects of OSINT investigations, for example designing an investigation, leveraging theories of crime and conflict etc. to guide their investigations, and understanding the international criminal and regulatory frameworks related to OSINT investigations. Participants will also learn about issues and ethical dilemmas in OSINT; its potential applications and challenges; and how OSINT can be both a tool in social science research, or a discipline in and of itself.

Who’s leading the event?

Dr Christopher J. Watterson and Dr Ross Peel, Department of War Studies, King's College London

Open to

Closed event. Schools are being contacted directly. If your school is interested in attending, please contact

Of particular interest to

Sixth form students in London with an interest in investigatory careers, such as law enforcement, national and international security, journalism, human rights monitoring, and more.