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Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear (Module)

Module description

*Please note that although all module information is correct for the 2017/18 academic year, it is subject to change for future academic years.


The aims of the module are to encourage students to:

  • Debate the use of analytical frameworks (constructed from key factors such as operations, motivation, organisational structure, and technical capability) in assessing the phenomena of terrorist acquisition and use of CBRN weapons.
  • Obtain a specialised knowledge of the scientific and technical processes underlying the production, delivery and effects of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) weapons.
  • Acquire a critical understanding of what has been referred to as the ‘changing face’ of terrorism.
  • Explore diverging state level threat perceptions in the area of CBRN terrorism by analysing official statements and actions in this area.
  • Assess the response of the international community to CBRN terrorism through evaluating the strengths and weakness of historical and contemporary policies.

Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this module will have:

  • A comprehensive knowledge of the scientific and technical processes underlying the production, delivery and effects of CBRN weapons.
  • Critically engaged with multidisciplinary CBRN terrorism literature, identifying gaps, research opportunities, and the intrinsic challenges of conducting research in this field.
  • Applied (and extended) key concepts, analytical frameworks, and methods for assessing threats posed by CBRN terrorism and response at different levels.
  • The ability to undertake critical analysis and the delivery of oral and written presentation to a level commensurate with taught post-graduate study.

Staff information

Dr Rob Downes*

Dr Susan Martin*

Teaching pattern

Typically, 1 credit equates to 10 hours of work. For a Full Year 40-credit module, this will equate to 40 hours of teaching time (2 hours per week) with 360 hours of self study.

Module assessment - more information

Coursework & Exam*

Key information

Module code 7SSWM062

Credit level 7

Assessment coursework written examination/s

Credit value 40

Semester Full-year

Study abroad module No