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MSc Organised Crime, Terrorism and Security


University of Essex Department of Sociology

Full time & Part time October MSc Full-time: 1 year

About the course

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

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Entry Requirements

A degree with an overall 2:1, or international equivalent, in a Social Science, Humanities, Statistics or Maths. Your degree must also include at least two quantitative or research methods modules (this can also include the research project/dissertation).

Applications from students with a 2:2 or equivalent or a non-social sciences degree will be considered dependent on any relevant professional or voluntary experience, previous modules studied and/or personal statement.

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Course Content



Where is University of Essex


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Student Profile(s)

Christian Kemp

“Essex has a very strong reputation for the high caliber and standard of both its social and criminological research. I felt that the Department of Sociology at Essex would be an ideal environment where I could not only develop a deeper appreciation of the theoretical aspects of my subject, but also how to practically apply and implement these ideas in the field.

I settled into the academic side of life at Essex quite easily as my course is flexible, and I could choose optional modules that appealed to me the most. The added luxury of being able to choose optional modules is that you can pick those which best suit your future career plans.

I enjoy the theoretical modules that are also rooted in current contemporary social events the most. We learn about quite abstract ideas such as theories of globalisation, whilst discussing how these concepts and ideas can be used to understand contemporary social changes, like the expansion of the global forms of crime and crime control.

There is good support available and lots of social events to help you make new friends. I live at the Quays which have spacious bedrooms and lovely views over the river Colne. It’s great for me because it’s more peaceful allowing me study easily. Being here has also really helped me to understand the options and opportunities available. I have a strong belief that studying here at Essex will greatly help my chances of getting into a successful career.”


Emma Weddell

"I initially wanted to study at Essex because my potential supervisor was teaching there. However I soon realised what an exceptional reputation the Department of Sociology has, which made me even more determined to come here.

I completed my undergraduate degree in sociology and wanted to pursue an academic career, so I took the next step which was research methods training (through Essex’s MA Sociological Research Methods), followed by my PhD. The teaching in the Department was excellent; lectures were always really interesting and well-delivered. It was also great be surrounded by so many like-minded people; everyone on the course worked hard but had a sense of humour. I have made lifelong friends at Essex and for that I will always be thankful.

Since completing my PhD, I have been working in the UK Data Archive, based at the University, and am in the process of applying for post-doctoral funding. I’m also working on my journal articles and conference papers in order to disseminate my research findings. Studying at Essex has provided me with a thorough grounding in sociological research methodology and definitely prepared me for an academic career. "


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