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Masters Degrees (Terrorism And Security)

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IN BRIEF. Learn from experts in global security and strategy who have published extensive research in respected political and historical journals. Read more

IN BRIEF:

  • Learn from experts in global security and strategy who have published extensive research in respected political and historical journals
  • Develop a deep insight into global terrorism and security at a time of great change and uncertainty following the Arab Spring
  • Study modules dealing with various aspects of terrorism, counter-terrorism and security strategies
  • Part-time study option
  • Work/industrial placement opportunity
  • International students can apply

COURSE SUMMARY

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.

COURSE STRUCTURE

This course has both full-time and part-time routes. The part-time route can be studied via distance learning.

TEACHING

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.

ASSESSMENT

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.

EMPLOYABILITY

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.

CAREER PROSPECTS

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.

LINKS WITH INDUSTRY

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.

FURTHER STUDY

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.



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This programme provides dynamic and critical study in Violence, Terrorism and International Security. It aims to help students develop a critical and analytical approach to problems in history and the contemporary world of these three areas. Read more

This programme provides dynamic and critical study in Violence, Terrorism and International Security. It aims to help students develop a critical and analytical approach to problems in history and the contemporary world of these three 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.Queen’s University, located in Belfast, Northern Ireland offers a unique opportunity for our students to access and engage with a community context challenged by violence, terrorism and security. Our students have the opportunity to live and study in a post-conflict environment as well as meet people involved in Northern Irish conflict and the peace process, from researchers and policy makers to ex-combatants.

Course Details

Six taught modules, plus a dissertation of no more than 15,000 words.

Students will take: 

3 Core modules/classes in the Autumn term:

  • Violence, Terrorism and Security
  • Approaches to Research Design
  • Contemporary Security

2 core modules/classes in the Spring term:

  • Conflict Terrorism
  • Global Terrorism

Plus one elective module/class from the following:

  • Ethnic Conflict
  • International Political Economy
  • Philosophy of Conflict and War

There are two different degrees available in Violence, Terrorism and Security - MA and PgDip.

The Post-Graduate Diploma (PgDip) consists of all the above six core taught modules/classes, but students do not complete an MA dissertation. The PgDip is a credit-bearing and internationally recognised post-graduate degree, but it is not the equivalent to a Master’s degree. It is both an entry and exit route.

The Master’s degree (MA) in Violence, Terrorism and Security is awarded to students who successfully complete six core taught modules/classes and the MA dissertation.

Moving from a PgDip to an MA: Students who are registered on the PgDip are invited to register and complete the MA upon successful completion of the six core taught modules/classes. 

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.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching hours take place in morning/afternoon/night.

  • Each module usually consists of 2-4 contact teaching hours per week, depending on the module. Most study, however, consists of independent research and reading. Each student is also allocated a personal tutor/academic advisor who, alongside teaching in each module, aids in the learning process.
  • Modules involve a variety of teaching approaches designed to inspire critical and transferable skills.
  • Learn with award winning teachers. Teachers in the MA VTS programme are leading experts in their field. Many have been granted teaching awards for their innovative and engaging pedagogical approaches.
  • There are multiple talks, events, and extra-curricular activities and training courses on campus each year, outside of the formal VTS programme, that are related to Violence, Terrorism and Security.
  • It is anticipated that internship opportunities in Belfast will be made available to students.

Career Prospects

The PgDip 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.



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In recent years, issues of terrorism and organised crime have gained an unprecedented profile, provoked significant social concern, and dominated both law-and-order and many wider social policy agendas. Read more
In recent years, issues of terrorism and organised crime have gained an unprecedented profile, provoked significant social concern, and dominated both law-and-order and many wider social policy agendas. We draw on state-of-the-art research to address key critical issues surrounding organised criminality and terrorism in contemporary society.

We involve multi-level analyses of organised crime as a concept, alongside the impacts of urbanisation, migration and globalisation upon both the practice of crime and the ways in which we understand them. You address cutting-edge critical, conceptual and theoretical analyses of terrorism and counter-terrorism.

The course provides you with a strong grounding in the key theories, understandings and issues relating to organised crime and terrorism. You explore topics including:
-The analysis, politics and prevention of terrorism
-Globalisation and organised crime
-Security and the state
-The hacker ethic
-Human rights

Our Department of Sociology was rated top 10 in the UK for research quality (REF 2014), and we consistently receive strong student satisfaction scores, including 96% overall student satisfaction in 2015.

Our expert staff

We are a large and friendly department, offering a diverse range of research interests and with staff members who are committed to teaching, research and publication that covers a broad geographical spectrum.

Many have worked at the local level with local authorities, justice councils, community partnerships and charities. Others have worked at a national and international level with bodies like the United Nations, the European Commission’s Expert Group on Public Understanding of Science, Amnesty International, The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, the Home Office and national non-governmental organisations.

Specialist facilities

-Dedicated postgraduate support facilities
-Our renowned off-campus Graduate Conference takes place every February
-A unique Student Resource Centre where you can get help with your studies, access examples of previous students’ work, and attend workshops on research skills
-The Sociology common room is open all day Monday-Friday, is stocked with daily newspapers, magazines and journals, and has free drinks available
-Links with the Institute of Social and Economic Research, which conducts large-scale survey projects and has its own library, and the -UK Data Archive, which stores national research data like the British Crime Survey
-Our students’ Sociology Society, a forum for the exchange of ideas, arranging talks by visiting speakers, introducing you to various career pathways, and organising debates

Your future

This course provides excellent preparation for further academic study, and many of our postgraduates go on to successful academic careers, both in the UK and overseas.

Employment opportunities for graduates of this course include careers in security, policing, research, intelligence and justice professions.

Others have established careers in non-governmental organisations, local authorities, specialist think tanks, government departments, charities, media production, and market intelligence.

We work with the university’s Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.

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This course uniquely combines the study of terrorism with counter-terrorism, intelligence and international security. It takes an inter- and cross-disciplinary approach, drawing upon politics, history and sociology. Read more
This course uniquely combines the study of terrorism with counter-terrorism, intelligence and international security. It takes an inter- and cross-disciplinary approach, drawing upon politics, history and sociology.

Our staff have research expertise in terrorism, intelligence and security, and the programme director, Prof Christian Kaunert, holds the Jean Monnet Chair in EU Justice & Home Affairs Policy.

What is so good about this course?

This course is all about choice, and tailoring your study to match your needs. You apply to MLitt International Security, and can choose a specialist pathway to suit your interests; your choice dictates your core module, and you select an additional three optional modules. Choose from:

Terrorism
Human Rights
Drugs and Organised Crime
International Relations
European Union
Russia
South Asia
Middle East

You then graduate in a named degree, for example, MLitt International Security: Terrorism.

Who should study this course?

The programme is suitable for people who want to pursue a careers in the security services or in international relations, who have previously studied International Relations or a related subject.

Language Learning

If you need to acquire or improve your foreign language skills to enhance your postgraduate studies, (e.g. to read texts in a native language), you can enrol on a Languages for All course free of charge.

Degree Combinations

International Security: Drugs and Organised Crime MLitt
International Security: European Union MLitt
International Security: Human Rights MLitt
International Security: International Relations MLitt
International Security: Middle East MLitt
International Security: Russia MLitt
International Security: South Asia MLitt
International Security: Terrorism MLitt

Teaching & Assessment

- How you will be taught

The taught part of the course is delivered September - December and January - March. The dissertation is undertaken between April & August. This is the same for students whether they start in Janary or September.

All the core teaching is conducted 5.30-7.30pm to allow attendance by part-time and full-time students alike. Other classes are scheduled for the mutual convenience of staff and students.

A variety of teaching methods will be used, including: small group teaching, supervised study, seminars and presentations.

- How you will be assessed

By assessed coursework, examination and dissertation.

What you will study

Each pathway has its own core module (see below), which you must study.

You then choose three more modules from amongst the remainder, all modules are worth 30 credits.

You also undertake the Politics dissertation is worth 60 credits.

- MLitt International Security

Core module: International Security

- MLitt International Security: Terrorism

Core module: Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism in Europe

- MLitt International Security: Human Rights

Core module: Human Rights in International Relations

- MLitt International Security: Drugs and Organised Crime

Core module: International Security of Drugs & Organised Crime

- MLitt International Security: International Relations

Core module: Explaining and Understanding International Politics

- MLitt International Security: European Union

Core module: European Union Security

- MLitt International Security: Russia

Core module: Russian Politics & Security

- MLitt International Security: South Asia

Core module: Politics & Security in South Asia

- MLitt International Security: Middle East

Core module: The Middle East & Terrorism

Employability

Graduates from the MLitt International Security have a wide range of career options. The knowledge and research skills gained are an excellent basis for working in the civil service, journalism, the police and armed forces, politics, policy research (think tanks, research institutes), intergovernmental organisations, and non-governmental organisations. Graduates will be equipped to pursue careers in international organisations such as the United Nations, the European Union, or as government advisers. The distinctive interdisciplinary features and distinctive opportunity to combine theory with practice will be of great benefit to graduates.

This Masters degree is an excellent basis for undertaking further postgraduate study in International Security or International Politics, such as a PhD, with a view to a full-time career in academia or research.

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This course, with many pathways, aims to provide students with an in depth understanding of terrorism and political violence, counter-terrorism and intelligence pertaining to modern security issues such as responses to terrorism, responses to the use of force and violence generally. Read more
This course, with many pathways, aims to provide students with an in depth understanding of terrorism and political violence, counter-terrorism and intelligence pertaining to modern security issues such as responses to terrorism, responses to the use of force and violence generally. It will engage with both the war on terror, but also the response to terrorism, militarily, as well as in the intelligence world.

Why study International Security at Dundee?

This course uniquely combines the study of terrorism with counter-terrorism, intelligence and international security. It takes an inter- and cross-disciplinary approach, drawing upon politics, history and sociology. Our staff have research expertise in terrorism, intelligence and security, and the programme director, Prof Christian Kaunert, holds the Jean Monnet Chair in EU Justice & Home Affairs Policy.

[What's so good about International Security at Dundee?]]
This course is all about choice, and tailoring your study to match your needs. You apply to MLitt International Security, and can choose a specialist pathway to suit your interests; your choice dictates your core module, and you select an additional three optional modules.

Choose from:
Terrorism
Human Rights
Drugs and Organised Crime
International Relations
European Union
Russia
South Asia
Middle East

You then graduate in a named degree, for example, MLitt International Security: Terrorism.

Who should study this course?

The programme is suitable for people who want to pursue a careers in the security services or in international relations, who have previously studied International Relations or a related subject.

Teaching & Assessment

The teaching team are based in Politics at Dundee, in the School of Humanities. Politics is big enough to have a real international presence, but is still small and intimate enough to offer a friendly and responsive home for students from all backgrounds. This is more than a mere claim - independent surveys consistently rate Politics at Dundee as among the best-received programmes in the country.

The course starts in September or January, each year and lasts for 12 months on a full time basis or 24 months on a part time basis.

How you will be taught

The taught part of the course is delivered September - December and January - March. The dissertation is undertaken between April & August. This is the same for students whether they start in January or September. All the core teaching is conducted 5.30-7.30pm to allow attendance by part-time and full-time students alike. Other classes are scheduled for the mutual convenience of staff and students.

A variety of teaching methods will be used, including: small group teaching, supervised study, seminars and presentations.

What you will study

Each pathway has its own core module (see below), which you must study.

You then choose three more modules from amongst the remainder, all modules are worth 30 credits.

You also undertake the Politics dissertation is worth 60 credits.

MLitt International Security

Core module: International Security

MLitt International Security: Terrorism

Core module: Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism in Europe

MLitt International Security: Human Rights

Core module: Human Rights in International Relations

MLitt International Security: Drugs and Organised Crime

Core module: International Security of Drugs & Organised Crime

MLitt International Security: International Relations

Core module: Explaining and Understanding International Politics

MLitt International Security: European Union

Core module: European Union Security

MLitt International Security: Russia

Core module: Russian Politics & Security

MLitt International Security: South Asia

Core module: Politics & Security in South Asia

MLitt International Security: Middle East

Core module: The Middle East & Terrorism

How you will be assessed

By assessed coursework, examination and dissertation.

Careers

Graduates from the MLitt International Security have a wide range of career options. The knowledge and research skills gained are an excellent basis for working in the civil service, journalism, the police and armed forces, politics, policy research (think tanks, research institutes), intergovernmental organisations, and non-governmental organisations. Graduates will be equipped to pursue careers in international organisations such as the United Nations, the European Union, or as government advisers. The distinctive interdisciplinary features and distinctive opportunity to combine theory with practice will be of great benefit to graduates.

This Masters degree is an excellent basis for undertaking further postgraduate study in International Security or International Politics, such as a PhD, with a view to a full-time career in academia or research.

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The 36-credit M.S. in National Security Affairs and International Relations in the Department of History and Political Science is designed to provide students with theoretical, research, and applied skills in the emerging academic field of national security affairs. Read more

The 36-credit M.S. in National Security Affairs and International Relations in the Department of History and Political Science is designed to provide students with theoretical, research, and applied skills in the emerging academic field of national security affairs. Students in this program will build a core understanding of critical issues informing the field of national security today, including the assessment and analysis of the threat of terrorism in the US and beyond and the analysis of intelligence collection. The M.S. in National Security Affairs and International Relations is offered online worldwide.

National security affairs is one of the fastest growing professions with positions open in the public sector in the federal, state and local governments and in the private sector. This program is designed for professionals in the field seeking career advancement, those who aspire to enter the field, individuals in related professions, and those retired from the military and government seeking consulting and other positions. Examples of potential students include personnel in the military, federal, state and local governments, law enforcement, corporations, and academia, as well as recent college graduates.

The program consists of a core of 7 courses (21 credits). Pedagogically, the program core focuses on building the critical analytical skills graduates need to succeed professionally and academically in the field of national security affairs. The ability to critically analyze intelligence information and global security issues, interpret historical and contemporary issues informing the field, and perform textual analyses, defines the program core's most important learning outcomes. 

M.S. in National Security Affairs and International Relations in the Department of History and Political Science is designed to provide students with theoretical, research, and applied skills in the emerging academic field of national security affairs. Students in this program will build a core understanding of critical issues informing the field of national security today, including the assessment and analysis of the threat of terrorism in the U.S. and beyond, and the analysis of intelligence collection. Students will also develop a deep understanding of the international context in which U.S. national security issues are shaped.

The program consists of a core of 7 courses (21 credits). Pedagogically, the program core focuses on building the critical analytical skills graduates need to succeed professionally and academically in the field of national security affairs. The ability to critically analyze intelligence information and global security issues, interpret historical and contemporary issues informing the field, and perform textual analyses, defines the program core's most important learning outcomes.

Following completion of the program core, students must complete 15 credits of coursework from the list of available electives. The majority of the elective offerings were developed specifically for the national security and international relations program, with a small number drawn from closely related fields. The elective list contains both courses that emphasize domestic security and courses that have a broader international focus, resulting in sufficient breadth of subject matter to allow students to tailor their choices around particular academic or professional interests.

Students interested in Cyber Security can choose to take a specific concentration in this area. Students who choose this option must complete 9 credits from the Cyber Security concentration and 6 credits from the elective list. Before choosing this option, students must secure permission from the Department of History and Political Science. After a consultation, it will be determined whether the student can enter the Cyber Security concentration, or if additional foundation courses will be required in order to enter and successfully complete the concentration.

Core Courses (21 credits)

  • NSAM 5001 - Current Issues in National Security (3 credits)
  • NSAM 5003 - National Intelligence Collection and Analysis: Theory and Practice (3 credits)
  • NSAM 5004 - Border Protection and Military Issue (3 credits)
  • NSAM 5005 - Research and Evaluation in National Security Affairs (3 credits)
  • NSAM 5010 - US Foreign Policy and National Security (3 credits)
  • NSAM 5014 - Ethical Issues in National Security (3 credits)
  • NSAM 5016 - International Relations: Theory and Practice (3 credits)

Electives (15 credits)

  • NSAM 5002 - Terrorists and Terrorism: Theory and Practice (3 credits)
  • NSAM 5015 - Civil Liberties and National Security (3 credits)
  • NSAM 5020 - International Law and Institutions (3 credits)
  • NSAM 5030 - American Government and Domestic Security (3 credits)
  • NSAM 5040 - Cyber Conflict and Statecraft (3 credits)
  • DEM 5090 - Weapons of Mass Threat and Communicable Diseases (3 credits)
  • MHS 5314 - Bioterrorism and Weapons of Mass Destruction (3 credits)
  • NSAM 5502 - Directed Readings in National Security Affairs (3 credits)
  • NSAM 5650 - Economic Statecraft in National Security Affairs (3 credits)
  • NSAM 6130 - Practicum/Internship (3 credits)
  • NSAM 6690 - Special Topics in National Security Affairs and International Relations (3 credits)
  • NSAM 6700 - Directed Thesis in National Security Affairs and International Relations (6 credits)

Optional Cyber Security Concentration

  • MMIS 0683 - Fundamentals of Security Technologies (3 credits)
  • MMIS 0684 - Information Security Management (3 credits)
  • MMIS 0685 - Information Security Governance (3 credits)
  • MMIS 0686 - Information Systems Auditing (3 credits)
  • MMIS 0687 - Information Security Project (3 credits)

Practicum

In addition to successfully completing all course work, students must pass a tabletop examination to be awarded the M.S. in National Security Affairs and International Relations. When a student has completed all coursework, has maintained a minimum of 3.0 GPA with no "incomplete" grades, and is a "student in good standing" with no disciplinary actions pending or disciplinary tasks to complete, the student will be eligible to take the tabletop examination. The tabletop exam is an assessment of the student's ability to integrate the knowledge and skills gained through course work.The exam tests the student's written ability to critically analyze and apply conflict assessment, theory, and research methodology to hypothetical conflict situations. The exam also tests knowledge of material specific to the academic curriculum.



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This Security and Terrorism Law (Distance Learning) MA degree will introduce you to the various mechanisms used in law to address security and counter-terrorism issues. Read more
This Security and Terrorism Law (Distance Learning) MA degree will introduce you to the various mechanisms used in law to address security and counter-terrorism issues. It is designed to help improve your career if you already work in security, intelligence or policing. Issues you'll explore include security, policing and counter-terrorism in conjunction with international law, human rights law and counter-terrorism law. This course is run in collaboration with IBC Academy and our John Grieve Centre for Policing and Community Safety.

More about this course

Taught in collaboration with IBC Academy, the Security and Terrorism Law (Distance Learning) MA degree is led by experts in the fields of security, policing and counter-terrorism.

The course will provide you with an introduction to international law including current issues, methodologies and institutions such as the United Nations and The International Court of Justice.

Throughout the degree, you’ll explore legal methods, arguments and concepts to develop both written and oral legal skills. This will include an introduction to law textbooks, journal articles, statutes and case law.

We’ll encourage you to develop a thorough and systematic knowledge of the main principles of law in the security and terrorism arena. This will enable you to evaluate and contribute to the process by which this specialist law is upheld.

Throughout the course, you'll discover how national, regional and international law interacts with each other. This will help you develop your knowledge of how to work with different legal principles, including case law, statutes and international conventions. You can find further information about this course on IBC Academy's website.

Successful completion of the Security and Terrorism Law MA will provide you with an excellent foundation for employment or career progression in legal areas concerned with security and counter-terrorism.

You're assessed throughout the course with essays and your final year will culminate in a dissertation. Many of the modules have two essay assessments, with the first providing formative feedback for the second essay. The coursework will be submitted online.

Professional accreditation

The course carries no formal accreditation, but the course team is in touch with The Security Institute (SI), a key regulatory body. The SI accredits industry professionals, so studying a course the Institute supports will reflect well on your CV.

Modular structure

Modules include:
-Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism
-International Law and International Human Rights Law
-Theory and Practice of Modern Diplomacy
-Community Policing Responses to Terrorism and Radicalisation
-Military and Security Responses to Counter-Terrorism
-International Security and Terrorism Law
-Dissertation

After the course

There are career opportunities in security and intelligence, and in diplomatic or policy arenas associated with this, particularly in the legal sector. This includes working with major international companies performing due diligence work.

Additional Costs

Please note, in addition to the tuition fee there may be additional costs for things like equipment, materials, printing, textbooks, trips or professional body fees.

Additionally, there may be other activities that are not formally part of your course and not required to complete your course, but which you may find helpful (for example, optional field trips). The costs of these are additional to your tuition fee and the fees set out above and will be notified when the activity is being arranged.

Moving to one campus

Between 2016 and 2020 we're investing £125 million in the London Metropolitan University campus, moving all of our activity to our current Holloway campus in Islington, north London. This will mean the teaching location of some courses will change over time.

Whether you will be affected will depend on the duration of your course, when you start and your mode of study. The earliest moves affecting new students will be in September 2017. This may mean you begin your course at one location, but over the duration of the course you are relocated to one of our other campuses. Our intention is that no full-time student will change campus more than once during a course of typical duration.

All students will benefit from our move to one campus, which will allow us to develop state-of-the-art facilities, flexible teaching areas and stunning social spaces.

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Since the Al-Qaeda attacks on the United States in September 2001, there has been a dramatic shift in the nature, study and practices of global politics. Read more
Since the Al-Qaeda attacks on the United States in September 2001, there has been a dramatic shift in the nature, study and practices of global politics. Against a background of intensifying economic, political, cultural and military globalisation, there is now a heightened awareness of terrorism and international crime as threats to global security.

The Terrorism, International Crime and Global Security MA degree identifies the features of these respective threats and explores the challenges to national and global governance, human rights and ethics, criminality and regionalism. This course examines the character of these contemporary global threats, considers specific case studies, and contributes to the debate over how to respond intellectually and in practical policy to these major threats to global security in the post-9/11 world.

WHY CHOOSE THIS COURSE?

-Provides learners with an integrated security perspective
-Combines traditional militarised security concerns with contemporary threats of terrorism, international crime, and non-traditional security
-Provides the opportunity to develop the necessary analytical tools to critically explore the global security environment of the new century
-Among the first course of its kind to offer an integrated approach to studying the increasingly prevalent themes of terrorism, international crime and global security
-You will obtain a critical awareness of the complex and inter-connected diplomatic, legal and economic dimensions of these threats, as well as an understanding of counter-terrorist and counter-crime policies, strategies and operational responses at local, national and global levels

WHAT WILL I LEARN?

This dynamic and innovative course is aimed at both UK and international students and offers the opportunity to be studied on a full-time and part-time basis. Field trips are an integral part of the course, which will include visits to EU agencies and international NGOs.

The Terrorism, International Crime and Global Security MA degree course is among the first of its kind to offer an integrated approach to studying terrorism, international crime and global security. UK and International Competitive internships will be offered to the most motivated students.

The course comprises three mandatory topics designed to establish the core agenda of the course in terrorism, international crime and global security, and six core-option subjects from which you must study at least two.

The topics included in the course are delivered as interactive and multimedia workshops. They blend case studies, practical illustrations and theoretical analysis. Each session is designed to encourage interaction and debate. This concept is equally applicable to the numerous extra-curricular activities organised to complement the subjects.

Within all sessions, we draw on our own research experience and this ensures some lively debates and reassurance that there is no ‘right way’ of undertaking research. The course team ensures that you have extensive tutorial access to discuss your relationship with the course’s subject matter and their own intellectual development and to provide structure to their studies.

The key themes of this Masters degree are addressed in courses three core subjects:
-International organized crime
-International terrorism
-Threats to global security

You then have the opportunity to supplement these compulsory subjects with optional units, broadening your understanding of the concept of global security. Typical choices include:
-Counter crime and terrorism (study trip)
-Governance for security in the developing world
-Post-colonial African politics
-Gender and international human rights
-Case study: analysing primary sources
-Trafficking in human beings

In parallel to studying the above subjects, students also design, research and write a 15,000 word Masters dissertation addressing a topic of their own choice.

HOW WILL THIS COURSE ENHANCE MY CAREER PROSPECTS?

The MA in Terrorism, International Crime and Global Security is designed for those seeking to put current security debates into some sort of academic context. In terms of career advancement, the course offers generic skills and professional development that have seen past graduates go on to jobs within:
-International NGOs
-Civil service
-Private sector
-Management
-Journalism

In this sense, the degree is not designed to promote any one specific vocation. However, the issues studied would be of particular interest to those wishing to start, or advance, a career in:
-The armed forces
-The police force
-International agencies such as the United Nations or the European Union
-Other international NGOs

GLOBAL LEADERS PROGRAMME

To prepare students for the challenges of the global employment market and to strengthen and develop their broader personal and professional skills Coventry University has developed a unique Global Leaders Programme.

The objectives of the programme, in which postgraduate and eligible undergraduate students can participate, is to provide practical career workshops and enable participants to experience different business cultures.

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Security and Terrorism is no longer simply a matter for the police and governments, but now sees security services, diplomats and international organisations heavily involved as well as also impacting increasingly on the lives of ordinary citizens. Read more
Security and Terrorism is no longer simply a matter for the police and governments, but now sees security services, diplomats and international organisations heavily involved as well as also impacting increasingly on the lives of ordinary citizens. A lot of this impact comes about through mechanisms to address security and counter-terrorism that have to have a foundation in law. This course explores the concepts of security, policing and counter-terrorism in conjunction with international law, human rights law, security and counter-terrorism law.

More about this course

This distance learning course recruits primarily from those already working in the security or intelligence communities, or from those in the policing arena with an interest in these activities. It is taught by leading experts in each of the relevant fields, and provides an excellent foundation for employment or career progression in these areas. The aims of the law content are as follows:
-Introduction to international law including main issues, methodologies and institutions in international law, including the United Nations and The International Court of Justice
-Introduction to the basic principles of legal methods, legal argument and concepts to develop skills in legal argument both in writing and orally plus understanding legal materials including law textbooks, journal articles, statutes and case law
-Develop a thorough and systematic knowledge and understanding of the main principles of law in the security and terrorism arena
-Evaluate the process by which law is produced and to evaluate that process
-Discuss how national, regional (eg EU) and international law interact
-Develop a knowledge of dealing with legal principles, including, where appropriate, international conventions, statutes and case law

You're assessed with essays and the final year culminates in a dissertation. Many modules have two essay assessments and the first essay provides formative feedback for the second essay. The coursework is submitted online via Turnitin.

Professional accreditation

No formal accreditation is needed. However, the course team are in touch with the Securities Institute which are a key regulatory body. These bodies accredit some industry professionals, so their support is useful for the credibility of the course.

Modular structure

You'll study six modules for the PGDip (120 credits).

Modules studies include:
-Security Studies
-International Law and International Human Rights Law
-Contemporary Issues in Crime Safety and Security: Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism
-Military and Security Counter-Terrorism
-International Security and Terrorism Law

After the course

There are career opportunities in the security and intelligence field, and in diplomatic or policy arenas associated with this. This includes working with major international companies performing due diligence work.

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Our unique National Security Studies MA is designed to bring together UK security policy practitioners, representatives from the private sector and policy-interested postgraduate students. Read more

Our unique National Security Studies MA is designed to bring together UK security policy practitioners, representatives from the private sector and policy-interested postgraduate students.

Students will gain an in-depth understanding of national security issues and the increasing focus on cross-governmental responses to security challenges. The course will also deal with conceptual and theoretical questions relating to national security.

The course will provide a mixture of UK national security analysis, with analysis of national security approaches in the international context.

The course will be delivered by a team of academics from the Centre for Defence Studies (CDS) led by John Gearson, Professor of National Security Studies and Director of CDS and Dr. Nina Musgrave (course tutor and Assistant Director of CDS) with guest lectures from practitioners, that may include Sir David Omand and Lord Peter Ricketts amongst others.

Key benefits

  • Transferable skills such as the development of practical, policy-oriented insights.
  • High level presentation skills/effective writing development.
  • Development of strategic analysis and policy development.
  • Development of in-depth and critical analysis of national security, and familiarisation with the latest research in the discipline.
  • A chance to network and connect with visiting academics, government ministers, diplomats and other experts in the field of national security.

Description

The course in National Security Studies is unique by bringing together security policy practitioners and postgraduate students in the Department of War Studies. The core module in National Security Studies will be delivered on a weekly basis over two terms and will consist of highly interactive lectures and group sessions with academics and experienced officials that may include Professor Sir David Omand and Professor Lord Peter Ricketts amongst others.

The course will enable participants to develop an in-depth understanding of national security both in the UK and from an international perspective. The course will also focus on cross-governmental responses to security challenges. The course will be structured around key themes such as strategy, counter-terrorism and ethics in national security.

The course culminates in the King’s National Security Policy Briefing, where participants present their policy ideas to an elite panel of UK security practitioners.

This course has been designed to train security practitioners and postgraduate students in the fundamentals of national security, while also exposing them to practical and conceptual issues and challenges such as cyber security, counter-terrorism and the oversight of national security. The course will enable students to critically analyse national security and will educate students in key national security themes and allow them to critically analyse developments in the field.

Course format and assessment

Teaching

Per 40-credit module:

For lectures, seminars and feedback, you will typically have 40 hours of teaching. You will also have 360 hours of self-study.

Per 20-credit module:

For lectures, seminars and feedback, you will typically have 20 hours of teaching. You will also have 180 hours of self-study. Typically, one credit equates to 10 hours of work.

For the dissertation module, you will have 12 hours of dissertation supervision and guidance workshops to complement the 588 hours of self-study.

Assessment

  • The required module is assessed by essays, oral presentation and written briefs.
  • Most 40-credit modules are assessed through a combination of essays (2,000-6,000 words), presentation, oral vivas and/or exams.
  • The dissertation module assessment will be 100% dissertation, up to 15,000 words.

The study time and assessment methods detailed above are typical and give you a good indication of what to expect.

Career prospects

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.



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Security and the maintenance and promotion of security are key issues in international law and international relations. Read more

Why study International Law & Security at Dundee?

Security and the maintenance and promotion of security are key issues in international law and international relations. There are many career opportunities in these areas ranging from employment with an intergovernmental organisation such as the United Nations, to employment in an international court or tribunal, to advising government and securing a role in the military. If you intend to pursue such a career, then you will need a good understanding of why and how the international community and individual states are to respond to threats to international security. For this, you will need to understand the context in which decisions are made. international law and international relations provide that context.

Our MLitt in International Law & Security provides an overview of concepts and themes relating to the study of international security in the contemporary world, from a legal as well as an international relations point of view. It introduces both traditional and 'new' approaches to defining and conceptualising security and considers the impact of International Relations theories upon the subject. It also examines key issues such as war, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, the privatisation of warfare, energy security and environmental degradation.

Our course will equip you with the necessary analytical tools to understand and evaluate all aspects of security in the contemporary world. The issues outlined above lie at the heart of our course, which provides an opportunity to gain a deep understanding of the interactions of law and international relations and the way they combine to shape the responses of states to threats to security. The course also provides an opportunity to understand how those responses in turn shape international law and international relations.

What's so good about International Law & Security at Dundee?

The University of Dundee runs two parallel masters degree in International Law & Security: MLitt International Law & Security for graduates in International Relations or similar subjects, and LLM International Law & Security for Law graduates.

Each degree has one core module, and you will also be able to choose specialist option modules from the same list. You will also research and write a dissertation in your chosen area of interest, or work on a research project with integrated internship.

Internship opportunity:
The opportunity to undertake an approved internship as a part the programme of studies is an exciting innovation in this area of study which will enable students to gain a unique insight into the application of the materials addressed in taught modules and to gain valuable experience to add to their CV.

How you will be taught

The course starts in September or January, each year and lasts for 12 months on a full time basis or 24 months on a part time basis. A variety of teaching methods will be used, including: small group teaching, supervised study, independent research, seminars and presentations.

What you will study

The course is made up of two International Relations modules and two Law modules which are delivered during our two teaching semesters (Sep-Dec and Jan-Apr), and detailed below.

During the summer vacation students normally write a dissertation.

All students take the Law week-long induction in January, plus the first half of the module Legal Research Skills(including the first assessment), usually in your first semester, but can be deferred to your second semester if you don't select any first semester Law modules. You also take the non-credit bearing generic skills training seminars offered by the Humanities.

First Semester (Jan-Apr)

International Security (core module), plus one other taught 30-credit modules (from the list below).

Summer period (May-Aug)

Politics Dissertation (60 credits)

Second Semester (Sep-Dec)

Two taught 30-credit modules (from the list below).

Part time study

For part-time students the taught modules will be spread out over two years instead of one in a similar format as above, and the Dissertation or Research Project (with integrated internship) will be undertaken during the summer period of the second year of study.

Typical optional modules available

Individual Criminal Liability in International Criminal Law
Transnational Crime and Counter Terrorism
International Dispute Resolution
UN Human Rights Law
Regional Human Rights Systems
Global Human Rights: Traditions & Inspirations
Critical Studies on Terrorism
The Middle East and Terrorism
State Terror
Strategic Intelligence Studies
International Security of Drugs & Organised Crime
Human Rights in International Relations
Russian Politics & Security
Politics and Security in South Asia
Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism in Europe
Geopolitics of Natural Resources
Governing and Securing Cyber Space
European Union Security
Explaining and Understanding International Politics

How you will be assessed

By assessed coursework, examination and dissertation (or research project report).

Careers

Graduates from this degree are likely to pursue careers with international organisations such as the United Nations, the European Union, or institutions such as the International Court of Justice. You will also be well placed to pursue a career as a government adviser. Graduates from our Politics & International Relations degrees have successfully pursued careers in politics and diplomacy.

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International Security, a specialization of the master International Relations, is aimed at issues of power politics and international order, peace and war, and strategy and diplomacy. Read more
International Security, a specialization of the master International Relations, is aimed at issues of power politics and international order, peace and war, and strategy and diplomacy. Its main focus is the phenomenon of, and theoretical reflection on, 'violence' in its broader context.

Traditionally, attention for warfare and political violence, i.e. military security, has dominated the study of International Security. They still form the central issues. But especially after the Cold War other concerns occupy the agenda, such as environmental security (about climate change or industrial hazards), societal security (about group identities) and economic security (about welfare and development). These different types of concerns have their own meaning when studying the causes of violent conflict, its prevention and management, and conflict resolution and reconciliation.

Methodologically, the study of International Security has profited from the so-called constructivist turn in International Relations. In addition to traditional analyses new approaches have emerged, most notably Critical Security Studies, the Copenhagen School, and the Risk Society approach.

Why in Groningen?

The Master's specialization International Security: (a) pays attention to the theoretical developments as well as the dimensions of the contemporary security agenda; (b) offers a research-led and policy-oriented curriculum taught by a committed staff; (c) includes a career-oriented internship that prepares graduates for the labour market; and (d) provides an excellent preparation for positions at a broad variety of security-oriented and conflict-management related institutions.

Job perspectives

The Master's specialization is broad in scope and gives students a solid foundation in international relations. There is consequently a wide range of employment opportunities for International Relations graduates. The most obvious profession is a policy advisor, but you could also become a researcher, lobbyist, diplomat, or PR officer. You can work in international business, non-profit or government organizations, in the media, and at a university or a private research institute.

Research International Security

The chairgroup International Security Studies (ISS) is part of the Department of IRIO. The six permanent staff members and over 10 PhD students all contribute to the Faculty's research theme Conflict Studies. This is done at various levels of abstraction, focusing on various issue-areas and on various political contexts.

At the theoretical level the chairgroup aims to contribute to a better understanding of conceptualizations of security in time and space. How have academic debates in security studies evolved and how do they relate to security policies? This implies a focus on securitization theory, regional security complex theory, strategic studies, critical security studies and peace research.
In terms of issue-areas the group presently studies developments in military & defence policies, terrorism, peace making, peace building &peace keeping - including security sector reform -, societal security in relation to social identities and state formation, and finally securitization in energy, food, and health policies.
In terms of political contexts, the group focuses on institutional and regional settings in which security policies are shaped and implemented. Developments in Intergovernmental Organizations are studied - notably, in the European Union, NATO and the United Nations Security Council, and also in Non-Governmental Organizations in close cooperation with the research projects related to the Network on Humanitarian Action. The chairgroup has regional expertise about security politics in Europe (including Turkey), the Middle East, parts of Sub-Sahara Africa, and China.

The chairgroup brings much of its research interests together in the specialization International Security of the MA degree program IRIO.

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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 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.

Academic excellence

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.

Course content

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:

  • go beyond political polemics and media platitudes
  • develop a robust and nuanced understanding of terrorism and insurgencies as national, regional and global security threats
  • gain an appreciation of the political, legal and ethical dilemmas, which democracies and authoritarian regimes, in both the developed and developing world, face in dealing with terrorist and insurgent tactics and strategies.

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.

Course structure

Compulsory modules

  • Insurgency 15 credits
  • Terrorism 15 credits
  • POLIS MA Dissertation 60 credits

Optional modules

  • Conflict, Complex Emergencies and Global Governance 30 credits
  • European Defence and Security Analysis 30 credits
  • The Rise of China 30 credits
  • American Foreign Policy 30 credits
  • Contemporary Politics of the Middle East 30 credits
  • The Politics of the Israel-Palestine Conflict 30 credits
  • Policing Post-Conflict Cities 15 credits
  • Counterterrorism 15 credits
  • Theoretical Approaches in International Relations 30 credits
  • Civil War and Intrastate Conflict 30 credits
  • Global Justice 30 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Security, Terrorism and Insurgency MA Full Time in the course catalogue

For more information on typical modules, read Security, Terrorism and Insurgency MA Part Time in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

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.

Assessment

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.

Career opportunities

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.

Careers support

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.



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The LLM in Law and International Security will offer a unique overview of how different types of law, including international law, define and regulate a range of different security issues ranging from terrorism and war crimes through to maritime security. Read more
The LLM in Law and International Security will offer a unique overview of how different types of law, including international law, define and regulate a range of different security issues ranging from terrorism and war crimes through to maritime security. It should be of interest to a wide range of individuals concerned both academically and professionally with contemporary security issues, challenges and problems. The course is taught by academics specialist in their field and who contribute to current legal and policy debates. It has been set up in such a way as to allow a flexible and contextual approach to the topics discussed.

The programme offers excellent career prospects for those wishing to pursue careers with international organisations such as the United Nations, the Council of Europe, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the Organisation of American States, the African Union and the Arab League.

LEARNING ENVIRONMENT AND ASSESSMENT

Teachings and Learning is predominantly through weekly synchronous and asynchronous online workshops. The learning ethos is to draw on the range and experience of our diverse student cohort

Our extensive e-law library facility gives access to many legal and academic sources from within and outside the jurisdiction.

Modules are assessed by coursework which comprises of a 1000 word essay plan which feeds into a 3000 word essay. This method of assessment has proved very popular with students as it provides useful feedback for their final submissions.

The course is supported by the University’s web-based Blackboard facility with ICT an integral part of the programme. The University subscribes to extensive electronic legal data bases and journals while all students are registered users of UCLan’s network with a dedicated network space accessible remotely.

GRADUATE CAREERS

As well as international career prospects, this LLM also offers excellent domestic career prospects such as central and local governments; social work, probation, youth and community work; and the police, prison and immigration services. Security litigation is also a growing area of legal practice.

The programme offers excellent career prospects for those wishing to pursue careers with international organisations such as the United Nations, the Council of Europe, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the Organisation of American States, the African Union and the Arab League.

FURTHER INFORMATION

This LLM will introduce students to the substantive doctrine, values and policies of international criminal law by looking at different academic perspectives on international criminal law (ICL) and national, regional and international security as well as the nature, sources and rationale for ICL. Consideration will be given to the institutions of ICL: UN, ICJ, ICTY, ICTR and ICC as well as the history and development of the ICC (International Criminal Court). The 1998 Rome Statute, ICC Jurisdiction, internal organisation, and the first completed trials will be covered and students will be asked to critique the ICC using constitutional and political arguments for and against its creation and maintenance. Core offences under ICL such as genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, crime of aggression and torture will be examined alongside the defences to ICL charges. There will be a detailed case study of the legal prohibition of incitement to genocide and associated racism demonstrating the challenges to regional and international security.

Transnational police and security cooperation such as Interpol, Europol and Eurojust will be considered as well as the transnational legal dimensions to “national security” including within the context of the European and international human rights law and policy.

Students will develop an understanding of how international law functions in the maintenance of maritime security and peaceful uses of the oceans. The general legal framework, the UN Law of the Sea Convention and IMO Regulations will all be considered. Piracy and maritime terrorism and the freedom of the seas and navigational rights will be examined as well as the proliferation of security initiatives, maritime interdiction and maritime boundary disputes.

Terrorism has been a significant challenge to international peace and security for many years: especially since the advent of Islamist terror groups such as Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan in the late 1990s, culminating in the “9/11” atrocities of 2001. The train bombings in Madrid in 2004 and in London in 2005 and more recently the rise of Islamist terror groups in the Arabian Peninsula and North Africa serve only to remind us of the serious threat terrorism poses to international security.

This LLM examines incidents of international terrorism and the obligations states have to protect themselves from acts and threats of terrorism. Transnational legal responses to terrorism will also be considered together with an assessment of the rights of individuals suspected of terrorism in the pursuit of protecting human security.

The programme will provide students with expertise, analytical and reflective skills. The programme aims to provide a learning experience that will enable students to develop their academic ability, to further develop their careers and to assist them in making a positive contribution to the wider, global and national community.

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This programme provides dynamic and interdisciplinary analysis into fields of conflict studies and theories and concepts on violence, terrorism studies and international security. Read more

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.

Course Details

Six taught modules, plus a dissertation of no more than 15,000 words.

Students will take:

3 core modules/classes in the autumn term:

  • Violence, Terrorism and Security
  • Approaches to Research Design
  • Contemporary Security

2 core modules/classes in the spring term

  • Conflict Intervention
  • Global Terrorism 

Plus one elective module/class from the following:

  • Ethnic Conflict
  • International Political Economy
  • Philosophy of Conflict and War

Over the summer term students complete a 15,000 word MA dissertation

Some recent MA VTS dissertation topics have included:

  • Bioterrorism and arms control
  • Child soldiers and international law
  • Counter-insurgency and targeted assassinations
  • Covert Intelligence and Collusion
  • Cultures of Youth Violence
  • Cyber-terrorism
  • Gender and Counter-terrorism

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.

Career Prospects

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. 

Why Queen's

  • Queen’s University, located in Belfast, Northern Ireland offers a unique opportunity for our students to access and engage with a community context previously challenged by violence, terrorism and security as part of the programme of study. Our students have the opportunity to live and study in a post-conflict environment as well as meet people involved in Northern Irish conflict and the peace process, from researchers and policy makers to ex-combatants
  • World-class research: Students have the opportunity to study under world-class academics in the areas of Violence, Terrorism and Security such as Professor Beverley Milton-Edwards, Professor Richard English, Dr Debbie Lisle, Dr Michael Bourne, Dr Heather Johnson, Dr Julie Norman, Dr Andrew Thomson, among many others. 


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