Terrorism and security issues are at the top of the political agenda in many countries. This exciting and unique course gives you the opportunity to study these issues in depth, in a dynamic and stimulating academic environment.
During your time with us, you will examine a wide range of topics in depth, including terrorist groups and their strategies and counter-terrorism policies in the US, UK, Europe and the Middle East. You will also have the opportunity to examine the place of terrorism in relation to other threats to security, and the place of counter-terrorism strategies in relation to other state-led efforts to achieve and maintain security.
This course has both full-time and part-time routes. The part-time route can be studied via distance learning.
If studying by attendance you will be taught through one three-hour session per week for each module. These sessions consist of introductory lectures and seminar discussions.
Distance learning modules are run via BlackBoard, the virtual learning environment. Each week a podcast lecture will be provided, as will key readings, a further reading list and online discussion questions. You will listen to the podcast, engage with the key readings, and actively contribute to online discussions in response to questions set by your lecturers.
You will be assessed through two essays per module each weighted at 50% of the overall mark for the module. After the successful completion of 120 credits (four modules) you will proceed to the 14,000 word dissertation (60 credits) or, for students given permission to do so by the Programme Leader, the Terrorism and Security Practicum.
Graduates from this course follow a range of careers in the civil service, the armed forces, intelligence agencies, consultancies, international or non-governmental organisations, think tanks and research institutions and the media.
You will develop a wide range of skills on the course (writing skills, communication skills, presentation skills, and analytical skills) that are transferable to a variety of careers. This means that you can follow a range of careers in the civil service, the armed forces, international or non-governmental organisations, think tanks and research institutions, and the media.
Graduates from this course have progressed in careers within Greater Manchester Police, the Home Office, the Lancashire Police Counterterrorism Branch, the security services of other countries, IT companies in the United States as well as international organisations such as the Strategic Police Matters Unit at the Organisation for Security and Co-Operation in Europe (OSCE).You may also pursue further study at doctoral level.
You have the opportunity to attend stimulating guest lectures, seminars and conferences, which bring researchers and practitioners together. These will make you better informed as to how the industry works and your current or future place within it.
The course’s broad introduction to cutting-edge research and current academic controversies offers an excellent foundation for further in-depth research into terrorism and security issues.
The University’s Politics and Contemporary History Research Centre builds on the active research programme provided by the Politics and Contemporary History seminar series.
Drawing on the School’s research strengths in international security and sub-state conflicts, this programme addresses the phenomena of terrorism and insurgency in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
It will introduce you to the history of terrorism, from state sponsored terrorism in the Cold War period and urban terrorists in Western Europe to the emergence of radical Islamism in the form of Al-Qaeda and ISIS. You will explore the dilemmas of preserving democratic liberties whilst developing counter-terrorism strategies and assessing the necessity and effectiveness of anti-terrorism legislation in the UK, the US and beyond.
You will consider the wider political context and causes of radicalisation and terrorist violence, including the analysis of situations in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria and Iraq as well as an in-depth study of the geo-politics of the Middle East.
Our department is one of the largest and most diverse in the UK and our academics are widely recognised as leading experts in their field. Our research-led teaching is directly informed by the cutting-edge research that occurs around research clusters on ‘The Responsibility to Protect and Prosecute’ and ‘Contemporary Democracy and Authoritarianism’ as well as the Middle East Research Group.
The key strength of our research culture is an approach to academic enquiry which openly embraces normative and empirical approaches in the study of terrorism, insurgency, UK and US foreign policies, security governance in fragile states, post-Cold War conceptions of international society at a global level, as well as within the context of regional politics in Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and East and Southeast Asia.
This unique programme offers you not only the chance to delve deep into the academic analysis of (counter-) terrorism and (counter-) insurgency, but also provides you with the freedom to develop your expertise on a range of security challenges on a global (climate change, conflict resolution, globalisation and conflict, human rights, poverty, post-conflict reconstruction, religious radicalism) and regional level.
The compulsory modules studied will give you the opportunity to:
You will also be able to hone your research and writing skills in your compulsory dissertation – an independent piece of research on your chosen topic.
The wide-ranging list of optional modules means that you can explore a diverse range of related subjects of interest to you.
If you are a part-time student, you will take 30 credits worth of compulsory modules and choose 30 credits worth of optional modules in your first year. You will then take the compulsory dissertation module and 60 credits worth of optional modules in your second year to complete your programme.
Teaching is through a combination of lectures, lively seminar discussions and guided weekly readings. We expect you to participate fully in taught sessions and to study independently, developing your skills and preparing for lectures and seminars.
You will also be able to benefit from an impressive range of research talks and seminars led by outside speakers or colleagues from within the department and University.
Within modules, assessment currently consists exclusively of assessed essays. At the end of your studies, a 12,000 word dissertation will allow you to pursue your own research interest under close supervision by one of our expert colleagues.
This programme provides you with an ideal preparation for a career in the international political arena.
Our graduates have pursued a range of exciting and high-profile careers within academia, think tanks and other organisations. These include: teaching and research positions at universities in the UK, US, Europe and Africa; the public sector in the UK (such as UK Border Agency), Europe (including the External Action Service) and Africa (such as police forces); globally operating consultancy and publishing firms; transnational civil society organisations; and the United Nations.
Many graduates continue to pursue their research interests as PhD students.
We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.
The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.
This programme provides dynamic and interdisciplinary analysis into fields of conflict studies and theories and concepts on violence, terrorism studies and international security. The MA in VTS helps students develop a critical and analytical approach to problems in history and the contemporary world in these three core areas. It challenges accepted wisdom and opens up the debate about the role of violence in relation to political power in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Successfully completing the MA can enhance students' opportunities for career advancement by developing their knowledge and skills, including the independent research skills required for the dissertation.
Six taught modules, plus a dissertation of no more than 15,000 words.
Students will take:
3 core modules/classes in the autumn term:
2 core modules/classes in the spring term
Plus one elective module/class from the following:
Over the summer term students complete a 15,000 word MA dissertation
Some recent MA VTS dissertation topics have included:
Assessment and Feedback
Assessment and Feedback are continuous throughout the course of study.
Students are provided a range of assessment approaches, both formal and informal as well as formative and summative, in order to enhance the student learning experience and improve student attainment. Each module typically consists of two or three main pieces of assessment and can include essays, policy reports, simulations, presentations, among other forms of assessment.
Feedback is provided throughout the VTS programme for continuous student reflection and growth. Teachers provide thorough and systematic feedback on assessed work. Feedback is also available from your personal tutor as well as via various support mechanisms and training courses in the university, such as via the Student Guidance Centre.
The MA in VTS provides you with the essential transferable skills and in-depth knowledge of theories and issues in the areas of violence, security and terrorism for career development at any stage, from students straight from an undergraduate degree with limited to no prior professional experience to those seeking continued professional development. The programme enables you to broaden your horizons providing you with a competitive edge in a global graduate market in a wide variety of areas such as the security sector, including intelligence agencies, government agencies and public office, the military, NGOs, academia, businesses and corporations, and the media among many other possibilities.
We are proud that many of our graduates have gone to serve in the most senior ranks of a number of National Police Services, and Law Enforcement Agencies, Border and Immigration Control, National Armed Forces including the US Army, US Air Force, US Secret Service, British Army and Irish Defence Forces. Our graduates also work as senior government policy advisers in a variety of different countries, including the State Department in the USA, in international NGOs in diverse parts of the globe including major conflict zones, other graduates have gone into international security consultancy, and many have worked in the media, and others have gone on to successful careers working for international business in a variety of capacities. The MA also provides the research skills and knowledge to carry out a PhD to pursue, as a number of our graduates have done, an academic career.
This MSc, designed by a panel of academic departments, industrial partners and law enforcement and security agencies, introduces students to the fundamental knowledge, core expertise and advanced, evidence-driven methodological tools and approaches required to understand, analyse, prevent, disrupt and detect organised crime and terrorism.
Students develop an understanding of how science, engineering and a variety of professional disciplines can contribute to tackling organised crime and terrorism. By the end of the programme, they will be able to apply appropriate scientific principles and methods to security problems, think strategically to develop and implement countermeasures, and appreciate the complexity involved in the design and implementation of organised crime and terrorism threat-reduction technologies.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
Students are required to complete five core modules (75 credits), three optional modules (45 credits), and a dissertation (60 credits).
A Postgraduate Diploma comprising five core modules (75 credits) and three optional modules (45 credits), and which may lead to the MSc, is offered.
Students choose three of the following:
NB: places for optional modules are awarded on a first-come first-served basis.
All MSc students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000 words.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, projects and laboratory classes. Student performance is assessed through laboratory and project reports, unseen written examination, coursework, presentations, and the research project and dissertation.
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Countering Organised Crime and Terrorism MSc
This unique linking of organised crime and terrorism, and the study of methodologies that can practically tackle both of these areas, means that this MSc holds appeal for employers across a broad range of industries.
Recent career destinations for this degree
This programme equips students with the knowledge to develop operational strategies to counter organised crime and terrorism. This unique linking of organised crime and terrorism, and the study of methodologies that can practically tackle both of these areas, means that this MSc holds appeal for employers across a broad range of industries.
Each year we ask our graduates to tell us about their experience of the programme and their career after leaving UCL and we include some real-life graduate profiles on our website.
Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
The UCL Jill Dando Institute, of which UCL Security & Crime Science is the core component, is the first research institution in the world devoted specifically to reducing crime through teaching, research, public policy analysis and by the dissemination of evidence-based information on crime reduction.
This MSc programme is delivered by experienced practitioners and researchers working in counter-terrorism, intelligence, law enforcement, risk assessment and security technology. It boasts a unique multidisciplinary platform, being the only postgraduate programme of its kind in the world taught in a faculty of engineering sciences, integrating the cutting-edge of the social and engineering sciences in the security domain.
Our graduate students come from varied backgrounds; many are practitioners and are encouraged to contribute their experience in and out of the classroom.
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.
With conflicts becoming either increasingly drawn-out, asymmetric wars of attrition or normalise into states of no peace – no war, our understanding of conflict and conflict intervention is shifting. Conflicts are rarely determined by military victory, diplomacy or long-term development, but require to securing populations through a comprehensive approach that sees to their political, and economic, as well as their security-related needs. Their outcome will be determined by how well the different arms of government and civil society, both locally and internationally, can work together and how well they understand each others' perspectives.
This inter-disciplinary and custom designed MSc offers the unique opportunity to look at conflict, conflict intervention and post-conflict reconstruction through the lenses of defence, development and diplomacy.
The MSc is designed for graduates with a career in government, the armed forces, inter-governmental organisations, NGOs or academia in mind, and for practitioners looking to enhance their practical skills while placing these within a broader theoretical perspective.
Five core modules worth 75 credits plus a Dissertation worth 60 credits plus three optional modules to the value of 45 credits.
Optional module in previous years have included:
At the beginning of the academic year, students go through two-day induction events in which they are informed about the University, the School, the MSc programmes and the facilities available for their learning.
The 180 credits one-year MSc degree programme is divided into five core and three optional modules of 15 credits each. Furthermore, students have to submit a dissertation of 60 credits of not more than15,000 words. Most of the modules are delivered during the first two terms and students spend the remaining time to write the dissertation.
Although all modules have 18/19 contact hours, the core modules are spread over 9/10 weeks and 132 hours of self-directed learning. The modules are mainly delivered through weekly 2-hour sessions which take the form of a one hour lecture and a one hour tutorial. The form in which seminars are conducted can differ from one module to another. Typically modules would have elements of lectures, discussions, and presentations from students—the extent of each of these components would differ from one module to another. The optional modules of the programme are delivered over two full days, through a mixture of lectures, Q&A sessions, seminar discussions, and role plays.
Formative assessment is given on seminar contributions, role plays, and formative essays. Students have the opportunity to meet their lecturers to discuss their marks and other issues arising from their course performance. Students also have the opportunity to attend ‘essay surgeries’ in which they can discuss the structure and content of their essays early in the course.
Students can also meet their module coordinators or programme coordinator during their weekly contact hours or by making an appointment. When students are working on their dissertations during the latter half of the year, they are required to attend two 4-hour workshops. In addition, they have the opportunity to meet their assigned supervisors for an average of 6 meetings. Students also have access to the MSc Programme Director and the School’s Director of Taught Post Graduate Studies whenever there is a need.
SGIA conducts weekly seminars and organises lectures and conferences which all postgraduate students can attend. Students are also fully integrated into the Durham Global Security Institute, which delivers this MSc programme and hosts guest lectures and seminars throughout the year. These events provide students with the opportunity to engage with, and debate, the most important issues in current political and international studies, and in conflict, peace and security studies.
Throughout the programme students can contact the Careers Office of the University to get advice on available job prospects and get assistance on applying for these.
Our students go on to a wide range of successful careers including civil service and other government agencies, UN/INGOs/CSOs, journalism, media, teaching, law, banking and finance, diplomatic services and risk analysis.
Can you eliminate the impossible to find the truth, however improbable? Whether you’re pursuing a career as a consulting detective or a more conventional route into the world of criminology, Applied Criminology at Winchester equips you with the skills and knowledge to enter your chosen profession.
Explore the fascinating and complex world of crime, deviance, security and insecurity as they relate to careers in crime prevention, detection and security. Develop your understanding of criminological concepts and methods and how they’re used in professional contexts, with opportunities to gain direct experience through a work placement or internship. Complete advanced training in criminological research methods relevant to applied settings, in keeping with our ethos of active and engaged learning.
In core modules including Applied Criminology and Applied Criminological Research you consider and discuss the impact of criminology on a range of professions – which can be as wide-ranging as counter-terrorism, criminal and social justice issues, and global security. Optional modules such as Foundations of Forensic Psychology Practice, Cybercrime and Cybersecurity, and The Criminal Justice System and the Legal Framework provide you with opportunities to develop your particular specialist interests. You complete a professionally focused extended research project on a relevant topic, which can be informed by your work placement. Part-time students who are employed in a relevant profession can complete a work-based learning module.
The course leader, Johannes P Oosthuizen, is a former UK police officer with 14 years’ experience, having conducted attachments with the FBI (2008 and 2013) and Dutch Police (2007 to 2011). He has experience and research interests in counter-terrorism, neighbourhood policing and private sector partnership strategies.
The Applied Criminology MSc equips your to pursue a career in policing, forensic psychology, or security.
The programme is designed to prepare students for a range of criminological careers, specifically focused around three professional pathways: forensic psychology, policing and security.
If you study a Bachelor Honours degrees with us, you will be pre-approved to start a Masters degree at Winchester. To be eligible, you will need to apply by the end of March in the final year of your degree and meet the entry requirements of your chosen Masters degree.
UK, EU, World
The programme offers a work-based learning module for those students employed in a relevant professional sector for which they receive credit, and an internship opportunity for full-time students. All students complete a professionally focused extended research project.
Start date: September
Teaching takes place: Daytime
The programme is taught through a variety of methods including lectures, seminars, workshops, external visits, work-based learning and independent research. Contact with industry experts is a key feature of the course and students meet with regular guest speakers from a number of external organisations concerned with crime, deviance and security. Students have the opportunity to explore these organisations through field visits and work placements.
King Alfred or West Downs, University of Winchester
Our validated courses may adopt a range of means of assessing your learning. An indicative, and not necessarily comprehensive, list of assessment types you might encounter includes essays, portfolios, supervised independent work, presentations, written exams, or practical performances.
We ensure all students have an equal opportunity to achieve module learning outcomes. As such, where appropriate and necessary, students with recognised disabilities may have alternative assignments set that continue to test how successfully they have met the module's learning outcomes. Further details on assessment types used on the course you are interested in can be found on the course page, by attending an Open Day or Open Evening, or contacting our teaching staff.
We are committed to providing timely and appropriate feedback to you on your academic progress and achievement in order to enable you to reflect on your progress and plan your academic and skills development effectively. You are also encouraged to seek additional feedback from your course tutors.
For more information about our regulations for this course, please see our Academic Regulations, Policies and Procedures.