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.
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.
Our Terrorism, Security & Society MA is an interdisciplinary course that draws on history, political science, international relations, sociology, social psychology and risk studies to understand international security threats. Because of the complex nature of terrorism, we believe it is valuable to study it from a variety of perspectives. On this course, you will focus on security and counterterrorism issues and on a critical social science approach, and analyse society’s response and adaptation to the phenomenon.
The complex nature of terrorism and counter terrorism demands a multi-dimensional and multi-disciplinary analysis. Our course provides an overview of the related theories and paradigms and will prepare you to undertake further research or to enter careers that require an understanding of these issues.
We will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of one of the most contested concepts in contemporary discourse – terrorism – and its relationship with relevant and related issues in the field of security studies.
For lectures, seminars and feedback, you will typically have two hours per week over two 10-week terms per 40-credit module. This can be split into one lecture + one seminar or other combinations thereof. You will also have 360 hours of self-study. Typically, one credit equates to 10 hours of work.
For the dissertation module, you will have 12 hours of training workshops and supervision to complement the 588 hours of self-study.
War Studies graduates go on to work for NGOs, the FCO, the MOD, the Home Office, NATO, the UN or pursue careers in journalism, finance, academia, the diplomatic services, the armed forces and more. Recent posts held by our alumni include Threat Analyst, Director of Political Violence Forecasting, Research Advisor at NATO Defence College, Foreign Policy Fellow.