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Masters Degrees (Terrorism And Insurgency)

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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. Read more
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’ll explore the dilemmas of preserving democratic liberties whilst developing counterterrorism strategies and assessing the necessity and effectiveness of anti-terrorism legislation in the UK, the US and beyond.

You’ll 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.

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This MA programme examines key questions of war and peace, life and death, safety and survival. A core module on Concepts and Theories of International Security provides a lens on the most pressing contemporary challenges to international security. Read more
This MA programme examines key questions of war and peace, life and death, safety and survival. A core module on Concepts and Theories of International Security provides a lens on the most pressing contemporary challenges to international security. It encourages you to develop critical and reflective perspectives on the engagement between ‘traditional’ and ‘critical’ approaches to the issues under consideration.

With around 20 members of staff working in this area within PAIS, we can offer you an expansive and distinctive range of optional modules. Topics available for advanced study include: regional security environments; the politics and practices of intelligence and covert action; migration, human security and development; insurgency and (counter) terrorism.

Many of our postgraduates have advanced into roles in international organisations (e.g. UN, World Bank), foreign ministries and intelligence services (e.g. Egypt, Malta and UK), NGOs (e.g. Campaign Against Arms Trade), security and development consulting, think tanks, charities and journalism.

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Gain a rigorous understanding of contemporary and emerging security challenges. The conduct of international security is changing, faced with new technologies, tactics and challenges. Read more
Gain a rigorous understanding of contemporary and emerging security challenges.

The conduct of international security is changing, faced with new technologies, tactics and challenges. ‘Security’ itself remains a deeply contested term, with stark disagreements on its use.

You explore the many different understandings of ‘security’, their histories and futures. You look at how they matter to war, insurgency and foreign policy today.

You learn how to produce informed analysis of a range of issues including:
-Imperial and civil wars
-Military intervention
-Violence against civilians
-Terrorism and new technologies of war
-Intelligence and resilience
-Rising powers
-Weapons of mass destruction
-Biosecurity

How will I study?

You’ll learn through taught modules and options. There is also a research module – taught as a series of workshops – that gives you professional skills training and prepares you for dissertation research. You may also do a research placement.

You will be assessed by term papers. You also write a supervised 10,000-word dissertation.

Field trip

This course offers an optional field trip to Brussels, Belgium or Geneva, Switzerland.

Scholarships

Our aim is to ensure that every student who wants to study with us is able to despite financial barriers, so that we continue to attract talented and unique individuals.

Chancellor's International Scholarship (2017)
-25 scholarships of a 50% tuition fee waiver
-Application deadline: 1 May 2017

ESRC 1+3 and +3 Scholarships (2017)
-A number of ESRC-funded standalone PhD and PhD with Masters scholarships across the social sciences
-Application deadline: 30 January 2017

HESPAL Scholarship (Higher Education Scholarships Scheme for the Palestinian Territories) (2017)
-Two full fee waivers in conjuction with maintenance support from the British Council
-Application deadline: 1 January 2017

USA Friends Scholarships (2017)
-A scholarship of an amount equivalent to $10,000 for nationals or residents of the USA on a one year taught Masters degree course
-Application deadline: 3 April 2017

Careers

Our course is ideal for you if you’re hoping to pursue a professional career in international security, or in the analysis of current international security affairs as a policy adviser, journalist or researcher. It’s also a good basis for postgraduate research in international security.

Our graduates have gone on to careers in:
-Government foreign, defence and interior ministries
-International organisations such as NATO
-International media or journalism
-Academia
-Security agencies and companies

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We live in an increasingly turbulent world, wracked by conflict, instability and insecurity. The roots of these problems are highly complex; the challenges involved in delivering greater peace and prosperity cannot be under-estimated. Read more

Why take this course?

We live in an increasingly turbulent world, wracked by conflict, instability and insecurity. The roots of these problems are highly complex; the challenges involved in delivering greater peace and prosperity cannot be under-estimated. This course is designed for those who recognise the importance of acquiring advanced intellectual skills to be able to understand and analyse current trends in global politics. It studies a broad sweep of issues in international relations, including the rise of fundamentalist terrorism, the resurgence of Russia, the spread of globalisation and the emergence of new regional powers on the world stage.

We are the only university in the UK that offers an internship with the BBC Afrique World Service in Senegal. This opportunity is available to students with French language skills on MA International Relations or MA European Politics.

What will I experience?

On this course, you will:

Deepen your knowledge of some of the most urgent political and security issues facing the world today, informed by cutting-edge research.
Make yourself stand out in an increasingly competitive job market by acquiring subject expertise and advanced research skills.
Have the opportunity to develop expertise in issues relating to Europe, ideal for students who intend to pursue careers in European institutions or with political lobbyists and thinktanks.
Benefit from expert advice from our Employability team on placements, internships, and careers. You can also choose to gain academic credit for experience in the workplace with the Work-Based Learning unit, which can be a useful way to combine postgraduate study with practical experience to create an impressive CV.

What opportunities might it lead to?

This course is particularly suited for students who intend to work for:

National, European or international governance institutions
Civil service
Political parties
Non-governmental organisations (NGOs)
Security and risk analyst
Foreign affairs analyst
Political lobbyists
Thinktanks and research bodies

It also provides excellent preparation for PhD study.

Module Details

All students take the following core units:

Contemporary Security in International Relations: Providers and Challenges: The analysis of security is a fascinating field of study that tackles issues of enormous significance. This unit evaluates a number of the most pressing security issues in International Relations, focusing on challenges such as cyber war, the security implications of the ‘Arab Spring’, jihadism, insurgency, information war, humanitarian intervention, piracy and the Ukraine Crisis.

Global Governance: Today’s policy-makers struggle to grapple with challenges of unprecedented scale and complexity. The ramifications of such issues as climate change and the global financial crisis underline the need for collective action across state borders. However, policy responses at the international level are often criticised for being ineffectual and undemocratic.

Research Management: A postgraduate degree signals to an employer that you are equipped with superior analytical and communication skills and are trained in a variety of research methods.

Dissertation in International Relations: This is an extended research project on a topic of your own choice, which you produce under the guidance of a specialist supervisor.

Students also take TWO of the following options:

Protest, Dissent and Solidarity across State Borders

Nation and Identity

Europe and the World

Challenges to EU Politics and Governance

Negotiation and Lobbying in the EU

Europe: Integration and Democratisation

Independent Project

Work-Based Learning

Units (30 credits per unit, 60 credits for the dissertation) are offered individually as credit-bearing short courses, or as part of the Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits), Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits), or MSc International Development Studies (180 credits).

Programme Assessment

The course is delivered through a combination of lectures and seminars in the afternoons and evenings. Part-time students who may be in employment are usually able to structure their course over two years such that tuition is concentrated on no more than two afternoons and evenings per week.

Assessment for most units on the course is in the form of an extended essay or project plus a 15,000-word dissertation at the end.

Student Destinations

Changes such as the enlargement of the EU to the East, the further integration of the EU and the emergence of the EU as an international actor have meant that more than ever there is a demand for people with an advanced knowledge of European affairs and the workings of the EU. This course therefore provides an excellent basis for those seeking careers in such areas where interdisciplinary knowledge is required.

In addition, the course provides advanced training in a range of transferable skills which can be applied in different areas of employment. Students could go on to work in various areas including local government, the UK civil service, foreign government and European and international institutions, NGOs, teaching and further research as well as applying their expertise in the commercial sector.

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The MSc is designed for practitioners looking to enhance their skills in the context of broader theoretical models, as well as graduates with a career in government, the armed forces, inter-governmental organisations, NGOs or academia in mind. Read more
The MSc is designed for practitioners looking to enhance their skills in the context of broader theoretical models, as well as graduates with a career in government, the armed forces, inter-governmental organisations, NGOs or academia in mind.

The intensive professional workshops are open to practitioners who are not on the MSc programmes as Continuing Professional Development courses, enhancing students' opportunities for networking and learning from other practitioners' perspectives.

Courses are taught by a mixture of academics and practitioners, and cover both critical and problem-solving approaches. Conflict dynamics are analysed drawing on multiple disciplines, including security studies, peace studies, anthropology, law, archaeology, history and political theory. Modules include both traditional term-long modules and short, usually more skills-oriented, continuing professional development courses as well as fieldtrips (e.g. past fieldtrips were organised to Labanon, Napal, Kenya, Sri Lanka and Kosovo).

Student Profiles

“Doing MSc Defence, Development and Diplomacy was an enriching experience for me mainly because of a huge diversity of students participating from all corners of the world having their own unique views on contemporary issues, academically engaged professors with profound knowledge and experience and equally stimulating academic environment of Durham. I was particularly amazed at how professors always motivated us to think critically on contemporary issues and existing knowledge system dealing with them, develop extended understanding of pressing issues that we are facing today, and offer innovative solutions to those problems.” Salina Chaulagain, 2015/16

“Complementing my background in Middle Eastern Studies and Political Science, the MSc DDD has equipped me with tools used by practitioners and taught me to problematise, analyse and empathise with people in a conflict-ridden world.” Clemens Chay, 2014/15

“This programme uniquely addresses the issue of siloed thinking present in the interwoven sectors of defence, development, and diplomacy. The course is grounded on a “critical thinking” versus “problem solving” approach, and unswervingly focuses on the theory-practice connection. Most importantly, though, I cannot say enough about the caliber of my DGSi peer group. I am thankful not only for their friendship, but for the professional insights they will be able to offer in years to come. As a military officer, I am grateful for the ability to pick up the phone and gain a better understanding of the dynamics of a conflict or an operation from one of my former Durham peers.” Eric Davids, 2014/15

Course Structure

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.

Core Modules
-Defence, Development and Diplomacy in Conflict: Evolving Actors, Factors and Paradigms
-Conflict Prevention and Sustainable Peace
-Conflict Intervention: International Law, Counter-Insurgency and Conflict Diplomacy
-Post-Conflict Reconstruction: Stabilisation, Development and State-Building
-Capstone Exercise: Humanitarian Intervention Simulation (in MSc-specific roles)
-Dissertation

Optional Modules - Optional module in previous years have included:
-Religion, Culture and Conflict
-Conflict Mediation
-Fieldtrip
-Conflict Sensitive Programme Management
-Re-thinking Counter Terrorism
-Conflict Analysis
-Urban Violence - Urban Peacebuilding
-International Negotiation as Instrument in Conflict Management
-Policing Post-Conflict Cities

Learning and Teaching

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.

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