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MA in Terrorism and Security Studies


Terrorism is a multi-faceted issue that requires multi-disciplinary solutions.  The MA in Terrorism, Security and Society exposes students to the constantly evolving theories and paradigms needed in order to understand past, current and future trends in terrorism and counter terrorism.  This programme adds a unique element to the way in which issues of terrorism and security are understood through engagement with staff within the Department of War Studies and via our strong working relationships with external partners (e.g. policy-makers, government and industrial security practitioners, military organisations, communities, and more) from around the world.  In-class debates and assignments will be directly informed by research and practice.  For example, the optional module, Responding to Terrorism, brings practitioners from the worlds of national and local government, policing, intelligence and industry into the classroom to discuss the remit and challenges of their professional worlds. Students are then required to develop an official response programme to an interactive DVD scenario involving a CBRN terrorist attack.  Overall, the interactive and engaging nature of the programme will enable students to combine and apply the well-honed multi-disciplinary approaches that characterises the work of the Department of War Studies.

Entry requirements
Applying, fees, funding
Module overview & course structure

Vibrant and varied student community

Our students come to us from a variety of national and international academic and professional backgrounds.  Our unrivalled mix of ‘professional’ (e.g. Police, FCO, RAF, local government, security, law, media, and more) and ‘traditional’ students creates an interactive, engaging and dynamic classroom experience. For example, successful applicants will find themselves working alongside peers from more traditional War Studies backgrounds such as History, War Studies, Political Science, International Relations.  Less traditional pathways have drawn students from Psychology, Engineering, Computing, Biology, Journalism, Design and Classics to our door.  This broad mix of academic skills is complimented by ‘professional’ students who work at the coalface of counter terror policy and practice.  This diverse mix of backgrounds leads to intense and engaging class discussions.  Some of our students have chosen to take the debates beyond the classroom through the development of a student-led international politics commentary website, The Risky Shift (  The MA in Terrorism, Security and Society will prepare students for a range of roles beyond on the MA.  For example, graduates have moved on to careers within governance (e.g. the United Nations, the Metropolitan Police Service, Homeland Security, Defence and Foreign Offices in their respective countries, intelligence services, Public Health services, and others). Private sector careers include Deloitte, Barclays, Goldman Sachs, G4S Risk Management, HIS Jane’s, Pelham International, Protection Group International, Price Waterhouse Coopers.  Some graduates have opened their own consultancy companies, others have gone to work for think tanks (e.g. IISS, the Hudson Institute, RUSI, the Institute for Strategic Dialogue), and others have gone on to undertake PhD research at King's and beyond.  

Programme Structure

The core module, Terrorism and Counterterrorism, will provide knowledge and understanding of the various approaches to studying terrorism and counterterrorism.  Lectures and seminars will cover the history, evolution of relevant concepts, case studies and current issues in order to provide students with the means of assessing the concepts critically.  Students can then choose from a wide variety of options such as the previously mentioned Responding to Terrorism, Home-grown Radicalisation and Counter-Radicalisation in Western Europe and North America, Complex Political Emergencies, Health & Security, Contemporary British Defence Policy, International Politics of the Middle East, Natural Resources and Conflict, and many, many more. Our students choose diverse, individual combinations of modules in order to address their interests and career goals.  Finally, dissertation topics are as varied as the combination of optional modules.  Recent topics include, but are not limited to: Terrorism, Insurgents, Transnational Organised Crime and Trafficking; Public Communication in Acute CBRN Incidents in Norway; Assessing Jihadist Presence in the Tor Darknet; ‘Game-changer?’ What do Drones Really Mean in the War against Terrorism?; and Radicalisation and Extremist Media Dissemination.  A number of students have taken up internships with Public Health England (formerly the Health Protection Agency), Mid-Kent Police, 6Alpha, and more in order to in order to obtain access to unique data and to produce information that can be used in practice during their dissertation study.  

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