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Countering Organised Crime and Terrorism - MSc/PGDip

Course Description

This MSc, designed by a panel of academic departments, industrial partners and law enforcement and security agencies, introduces students to the fundamental knowledge, core expertise and advanced, evidence-driven methodological tools and approaches required to understand, analyse, prevent, disrupt and detect organised crime and terrorism.

Degree information

Students develop an understanding of how science, engineering and a variety of professional disciplines can contribute to tackling organised crime and terrorism. By the end of the programme, they will be able to apply appropriate scientific principles and methods to security problems, think strategically to develop and implement countermeasures, and appreciate the complexity involved in the design and implementation of organised crime and terrorism threat-reduction technologies.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

Students are required to complete five core modules (75 credits), three optional modules (45 credits), and a dissertation (60 credits). A Postgraduate Diploma comprising five core modules (75 credits) and three optional modules (45 credits), and which may lead to the MSc, is offered.

Core modules
-Perspectives on Organised Crime
-Perspectives on Terrorism
-Foundations of Security and Crime Science
-Designing and Doing Research
-Quantitative Methods

Optional modules - students choose three of the following:
-Qualitative Methods
-Crime Mapping and Spatial Analysis
-Investigation and Detection
-Intelligence Gathering and Analysis
-Risk and Contingency Planning
-Introduction to Cybersecurity
-Prevention and Disruption
-Terrorism (External – Political Science)

NB: places for optional modules are awarded on a first-come first-served basis.

All MSc students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000 words.

Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, projects and laboratory classes. Student performance is assessed through laboratory and project reports, unseen written examination, coursework, presentations, and the research project and dissertation.


This unique linking of organised crime and terrorism, and the study of methodologies that can practically tackle both of these areas, means that this MSc holds appeal for employers across a broad range of industries.

Top career destinations for this degree:
-Consultant, BAE Systems
-Criminal Intelligence Analyst, Avon and Somerset Constabulary
-Detective, Metropolitan Police Service
-Field Intelligence Officer, West Mercia Police
-Head of Counter Terrorism (Deputy Inspector General), Government of Pakistan

This programme equips students with the knowledge to develop operational strategies to counter organised crime and terrorism. This unique linking of organised crime and terrorism, and the study of methodologies that can practically tackle both of these areas, means that this MSc holds appeal for employers across a broad range of industries.

Each year we ask our graduates to tell us about their experience of the programme and their career after leaving UCL and we include some real-life graduate profiles on our website: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/scs/degree-programmes/postgraduate/graduate-profiles

Why study this degree at UCL?

The UCL Jill Dando Institute, of which UCL Security & Crime Science is the core component, is the first research institution in the world devoted specifically to reducing crime through teaching, research, public policy analysis and by the dissemination of evidence-based information on crime reduction.

This MSc programme is delivered by experienced practitioners and researchers working in counter-terrorism, intelligence, law enforcement, risk assessment and security technology. It boasts a unique multidisciplinary platform, being the only postgraduate programme of its kind in the world taught in a faculty of engineering sciences, integrating the cutting-edge of the social and engineering sciences in the security domain.

Our graduate students come from varied backgrounds; many are practitioners and are encouraged to contribute their experience in and out of the classroom.

Visit the Countering Organised Crime and Terrorism - MSc/PGDip page on the University College London website for more details!

All Available Videos:

(Student Profile)

Ina Michelsen

"Using a mixture of online quizzes and essays as well as exams offers any student a chance to show their best skills in a variety of ways. UCL also pushes a multi-disciplinary environment giving new perspectives to a field of study for both professors and students. Because the school and location is international, there are countless opportunities to learn new skills, connect with new people, and widen your network for jobs in the future."

(Student Profile)

Knut Gjaerde

"I have always been interested in crime, and how to limit its negative consequences. I picked UCL for graduate study because after comparing several Master's degrees, I found that UCL had professors who were at the forefront of crime science. After I have completed my degree, I intend to use this to advance my career in the police service. This Master's will give me expertise that will be hard to match."



The scholarships will be assessed on the basis of professional and academic merit, and for those that show the course will be of benefit to private or public sector organisations.

Value of Scholarship(s)

The scholarships will cover course fees (at EU/UK rates).


The scholarships are open to all applicants to the MSc. The MSc is open to graduates (or those about to graduate) from all disciplines, and to practitioners from a wide field of law enforcement, defence, military, public policy, and industrial security backgrounds. Applicants should ideally have a 2.1 degree but applicants with no degree will be considered on the basis of professional experience (preferabally five years minimum).

Application Procedure

In order to apply for the scholarship you must also have applied for the MSc and submitted your full application (application form, transcripts, two references and English language scores - if applicable) to UCL Admissions by the SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION DEADLINE 30TH APRIL 2011. Scholarship applications submitted after this date will not be considered, although you will still be considered for the course.NOTE: All applications are made through central UCL admissions; please do NOT send your application form directly to the department. To apply please visit the link below.

Further Information



14 Departmental bursary scholarships - 14 Awards

The UCL Department of Security and Crime Science and the UCL JDI Centre for the Forensic Sciences are offering up to 14 bursary scholarships that will be worth between 25% to 100% of the course fee for students applying for one of our MSc courses: MSc in Crime Science
MSc in Crime & Forensic Science
MSc in Countering Organised Crime & Terrorism

Value of Scholarship(s)



These scholarships are for students who pay UK-level fees for the following courses in the UCL Department of Security and Crime Science and the UCL JDI Centre for the Forensic Sciences : MSc in Crime Science
MSc in Crime & Forensic Science
MSc in Countering Organised Crime & Terrorism

Application Procedure

Please see our departmental website for up to date details of the scholarship and how to apply:http://www.ucl.ac.uk/scs/pg-taught/NOTE: DEADLINE IS APRIL 30TH EACH YEAR

Further Information



Brown Family Bursary - No. of awards TBC

Selection criteria
The bursary will be awarded based on financial need only as determined by the Student Funding Office.Value, Benefits and Duration:
- The value of the bursary is £15,000. The payment is to be applied to tuition fees in the first instance, with any remainder being paid to the successful applicant towards maintenance in termly instalments.
- The bursary is tenable for one year only.
- The bursary may not be held alongside other tuition fee only awards.

Value of Scholarship(s)



- prospective full-time UK Master's students who are undertaking a one-year programme of study in the Faculties of the Built Environment, Engineering Sciences or Mathematical & Physical Sciences (BEAMS) in 2015/16
- currently holding a first-class Bachelor's degree; and
- in financial need.

Application Procedure

See http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/scholarships/graduate/UK-EU-Master/uclalumniandfriends

Further Information


Entry Requirements

Normally, a minimum of a lower second-class Bachelor's degree in a relevant discipline from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Relevant disciplines include science subjects (e.g. engineering or computer science) or social science subjects (e.g. psychology, criminology or geography). Alternatively candidates may qualify for entry if they can offer five or more years of relevant professional experience (for example in the police service, or as a crime prevention worker).

Last Updated

10 October 2016

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