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Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism Studies

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Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism Studies

MSc
  • Option 1 year full time or 2 years part time
  • Year of entry 2021
  • Campus Central London

The course

This programme is aimed at students who wish to get an interdisciplinary understanding of individual and organisational involvement in terrorism, coupled with an understanding of national and international approaches to counter-terrorism and countering violent extremism (CVE).

This programme is ideal for students wishing to develop a research career in terrorism and counter-terrorism studies, or who are working in, or wish to work in, the security or policy sectors.

Alongside the formal lectures and seminars, you will hear from guest speakers from the research community, as well as the private and public sector.

The interdisciplinary nature of this programme draws on the interlinks between criminology, law, psychology, international relations, and sociology.

The modules that constitute this degree are predominantly taught on our central London campus with a few optional modules being taught on our Egham campus.

  • Focus on the theory and practice of terrorism and counter-terrorism and hear from practitioners working in the field.
  • Develop a critical understanding of counter-terrorism in England and Wales.
  • Examine counter-terrorism work in context of the wider criminal justice system and consider the role of human rights.

Core Modules

The core modules listed below are all taught on our central London campus.

  • Debates in Terrorism Studies
  • Debates in Counter-Terrorism Studies
  • You will carry out an independent empirical research project on a topic of relevance to forensic psychological theory and practice. You will have an academic supervisor from either the School of Law or the Department of Psychology who will aid you in the formulation of your research, oversee the process of applying for relevant ethical permissions, and offer guidance in the management of the research. You will identify a target journal for your research and write up your dissertation according to that journal's author submission guidelines.

Optional Modules

There are a number of optional course modules available during your degree studies. The following is a selection of optional course modules that are likely to be available. Please note that although the College will keep changes to a minimum, new modules may be offered or existing modules may be withdrawn, for example, in response to a change in staff. Applicants will be informed if any significant changes need to be made.

The following optional modules are taught on our Egham campus: Transnational Organised Crime, Transnational Security Studies, Media, War and Conflict, Understanding of Defence, Terrorism, the Media and Communication, and The Israel Palestinian Conflict.

  • History of Terrorism
  • Transnational Organised Crime
  • This module introduces you to how the area of security studies has evolved to include ever more transnational dynamics. You will see how scholars have traditionally understood security and how the study of security has developed. You will develop a theoretical and conceptual awareness of the practical issues and problems in Transnational Security Studies, exploring why security has become transnational. You will also look at security communities, alliances and collective security; global security governance; and cyber warfare.

  • In this module you will examine the theories, concepts and issues surrounding the role of media in war and conflict in the early twenty-first century. The post-9/11 global security situation and the 2003 Iraq war have prompted a marked increase in interest in questions concerning media, war and conflict, and you look at the relationships between media, governments, military, and audiences/publics, in light of old, new, and potential future security events. You will develop an understanding of the theories of media effects in conflict situations, covering a number of important themes, including embedding, sanitisation, legitimacy, and terrorism and publicity. You will explore the role of ethics, technology, and professional norms that inform war reporting, analysing a range of media with consideration for conceptual, theoretical and methodological issues in light of ongoing conflicts around the world.

  • In this module you will analyse the content and sources of change in defence policy during the post-Cold War era. You will look at changes to the objectives of defence policy, military capabilities, force structures and doctrines of the world’s major military powers (the US, Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia). In so doing, you will asses the extent to which these reforms have helped the state concerned to meet its central security challenges. In addition, you will develop an understanding of the embedding of defence policies within regional and international institutions and the sources of defence cooperation. You will also see the implications of non-state actors in defence, notably private military companies and non-governmental organisations.

  • The Psychology of Terrorism
  • Contemporary Forms of Terrorism
  • Terrorism, the Media and Communication
  • The Israel Palestinian Conflict: A Global Perspective

You will take six taught units worth 20 credits each and complete a dissertation worth 60 credits.

You will be assessed through a mixture of reports, presentations, portfolios, peer assessment and a thesis.

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