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Terrorism, Security & Society MA

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Our MA in Terrorism, Security & Society encourages students to examine some of the most challenging issues of our time. It is deliberately designed to encourage a multidisciplinary approach which draws on history, political science, international relations, and sociology. Non-state political violence and terrorism is evolving and growing at a historically unprecedented rate. From the riot at the US Capitol and a resurgence of nationalist violence in America and Europe, to right-wing and jihadist terrorist attacks around the world, the problem is an urgent one. The MA course will not only equip you with a strong theoretical grounding for analysing these issues but also adopts a thematic approach wherein you consider the interaction of social issues within their political and security contexts. You will explore questions such as, why do we manage terrorist offenders in prison? What should be done about extremist content online? How can we mitigate the risk of terrorists using cryptocurrencies? How do we strike an appropriate balance between human rights, privacy, and freedom of expression and conscience?

Key benefits

  • Provides an advanced foundation and comprehensive understanding of relevant issues in the field of security studies, as well as an overview of the theories and paradigms related to the concepts of terrorism and counter terrorism, enabling students to undertake further research or enter into careers targeted at understanding these issues.
  • Develops and nurtures the intellectual and analytical skills of each student enabling you to conceptualise theories, approaches and problems, gather information, critically analysing the data and information, critically evaluate risk management options, and develop reflexive counter terrorism strategies.
  • Our unique course is valued by governments and employers across the world because it prompts you to think about these issues in a creative and interconnected way.
  • An opportunity to be taught by members of the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation (ICSR), in the Department of War Studies, which is a global centre of excellence that enjoys close relationships with other academic institutions, think-tanks, non-governmental organisations and policy- making bodies around the world. There are also occasional opportunities for internships and research assistant roles for students.
  • The course enhances your knowledge about relevant careers and opportunities in the field, exposing you to a range of practitioners who help bridge the gap between academia and industry. Many graduates enjoy careers that take them overseas.
  • Students pursue a variety of careers, including in government agencies to combat the terrorist threat, in the tech industry combatting extremist content online and looking at how terrorists use technology. Students have gone on to work for companies such as Google, Facebook, Palantir, Dataminr, and Graphika.
  • Students have pursued research careers at universities and within think tanks including institutions like RUSI, the International Institute for Security Studies and Chatham House.
  • Within the corporate sector, students have joined political risk firms, providing insights to commercial clients about rapidly evolving terrorist situations and political instability.
  • In addition to the academic grounding this MA will provide, we also have a strong practitioner focus with guest lectures and talks from leading figures in social media companies, politics, law enforcement, intelligence, and civil society, as well as government ministers, ambassadors and generals.
  • Our unrivalled location in the heart of London beside the River Thames brings outstanding advantages and excellent academic, social and cultural opportunities. We are close to the seat of government, the City of London, Imperial War Museum, National Maritime Museum, Royal Courts of Justice and the Inns of Court.
Alexandra

My degree from King’s equipped me with the skillset I needed for all of the positions I’ve held since graduating. The insights I gained though analysing extremist propaganda in courses such as Homegrown Radicalisation proved fundamental in my various positions in cyber intelligence and as a Research Associate.

Alexandra, Alumni

Terrorism and extremism are controversial and politically charged topics on which many people hold a diverse range of views. Politicians, the media, and other influential figures use these terms in ways which often make it difficult to gain an in-depth and objective understanding of what are some of the most pressing issues of our time. Using a range of methods and sources, this course seeks to cut through the agendas and politics to provide students with the knowledge and skills to understand, analyse and confront terrorism and extremism. In order to give as complete a picture as possible, the course covers a wide range of topics related to terrorism including radicalisation, cybersecurity, and intelligence. Alongside understanding how terrorist movements emerge and evolve, the second key focus of the course is the range of methods states have used to respond to terrorism, from hard power tactics such as drone strikes, to soft power counter-radicalisation programmes. Students will be introduced to the history of counter-terrorism before looking into and critically assessing more recent examples of how states deal with terrorism both at home and abroad. Whether you are seeking a security-related career in academia, policy or non-governmental organisation, developing an objective understanding of how these threats emerge, evolve and are countered, is a crucial asset. Not only does the course cover established forms of terrorism such as the extreme right and jihadist movements, but through engagement with leading experts and practitioners in the field, students also gain insight into how these and other movements continue to evolve and adapt, acquiring an understanding of the trends and developments that could continue to dominate the terrorism threat landscape for years to come. This MA is based in the Department of War Studies, one of the only academic departments in the world to focus solely on the complexities of conflict and security. War Studies is an multidisciplinary department and all War Studies students benefit from research-led teaching in such subjects as the history and evolution of war and grand strategy, arms control and non-proliferation, migration, strategic thought, cyber, conflict and the environment, the influence of science and technology on international security, along with regional specialisms covering Africa, Asia (East and South), Russia and elsewhere.

Base campuses

strand-quad
Strand Campus

Located on the north bank of the River Thames, the Strand Campus houses King's College London's arts and sciences faculties.

waterloo-banner
Waterloo Campus

Waterloo campus is home of the Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing & Midwifery and facilities for other faculties

Special features

Optional study abroad

Regulating bodies

King's is regulated by the Office for Students

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Teaching methods - what to expect

We will use a delivery method that will ensure students have a rich, exciting experience from the start. Face to face teaching will be complemented and supported with innovative technology so that students also experience elements of digital learning and assessment.

The following table will give you an idea of what a typical academic workload might look like as you progress through your studies:

Module Lectures, seminars and feedback Self-study
Per 30-credit module

40 hours of teaching. Typically, 2 hours per week over two 10 week terms. This can be split into lectures and seminars. A 15 credit module will be half of this.

260 hours.
Dissertation module (60 credits) Up to 12 hours of online guidance, training workshops and personal supervision. 588 hours for dissertation.

Typically, one credit equates to 10 hours work.

Assessment

  • Essays
  • Dissertation

The primary methods of assessment for this course is two assessed essays, worth 50% each.

The dissertation module assessment will be based on a 100% dissertation assignment (up to 12,000 words).

Structure

Required modules

You are required to take the following modules:

Terrorism & Counter Terrorism (30 credits)
Dissertation (60 Credits)

Optional modules

In addition, you are required to take 90 credits from a range of optional modules if a full-time student. If you are a part-time student you will typically take 30 credits (or up to 60 credits) from a range of optional modules in your first year that may include the below:

Armchair Intelligence: Open Sources & Online Investigation (15 credits)
Homegrown Radicalisation & Counter- radicalisation in Western Europe & North America (30 credits)
Technology, Security and Global Politics (15 credits)
The Science and Security of Nuclear and Biological Weapons (15 credits)

Or choose from a range of optional modules available within the Department of War Studies. Please Note: the optional modules available change each year and are therefore only made accessible to enrolled students during the module allocation process.

King’s College London reviews the modules offered on a regular basis to provide up-to-date, innovative and relevant programmes of study. Therefore, modules offered may change. We suggest you keep an eye on the course finder on our website for updates.

Please note that modules with a practical component will be capped due to educational requirements, which may mean that we cannot guarantee a place to all students who elect to study this module.

Employability

War Studies graduates go on to work for NGOs, the FCO, the MOD, the Home Office, NATO, the UN or pursue careers in journalism, finance, academia, the diplomatic services, the armed forces and more. Recent posts held by our alumni include Threat Analyst, Director of Political Violence Forecasting, Research Advisor at NATO Defence College, Foreign Policy Fellow.

Tuition Fees

UK:

Full time: £16,200 per year (2022/23)

Part time: £8,100 per year (2022/23)

International:

Full time: £29,310 per year (2022/23)

Part time: £14,655 per year (2022/23)

These tuition fees may be subject to additional increases in subsequent years of study, in line with King’s terms and conditions.

Deposit

 

When you receive an offer for this course you will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit to secure your place. The deposit will be credited towards your total fee payment.

The UK deposit is £500.

The INTERNATIONAL deposit is £2,000.

  • If you receive an offer on or before 31 March, payment is due by 25 April 2022.
  • If you receive an offer between 1 April and 30 June, payment is due within one month of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer between 1 July and 31 July, payment is due within two weeks of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer between 1 August and 21 August, payment is due within one week of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer from 22 August onwards, payment is due within three days of receiving the offer.

 If you are a current King’s student in receipt of the King's Living Bursary you are not required to pay a deposit to secure your place on the programme. Please note, this will not change the total fees payable for your chosen programme.

Please visit our web pages on fees and funding for more information.

Additional Costs

In addition to your tuition costs, you can also expect to pay for:

  • Books if you choose to buy your own copies
  • Library fees and fines
  • Personal photocopies
  • Printing course handouts
  • Society membership fees
  • Stationery
  • Travel costs for travel around London and between campuses
  • Graduation costs

Funding

Terrorism and extremism are controversial and politically charged topics on which many people hold a diverse range of views. Politicians, the media, and other influential figures use these terms in ways which often make it difficult to gain an in-depth and objective understanding of what are some of the most pressing issues of our time. Using a range of methods and sources, this course seeks to cut through the agendas and politics to provide students with the knowledge and skills to understand, analyse and confront terrorism and extremism. In order to give as complete a picture as possible, the course covers a wide range of topics related to terrorism including radicalisation, cybersecurity, and intelligence. Alongside understanding how terrorist movements emerge and evolve, the second key focus of the course is the range of methods states have used to respond to terrorism, from hard power tactics such as drone strikes, to soft power counter-radicalisation programmes. Students will be introduced to the history of counter-terrorism before looking into and critically assessing more recent examples of how states deal with terrorism both at home and abroad. Whether you are seeking a security-related career in academia, policy or non-governmental organisation, developing an objective understanding of how these threats emerge, evolve and are countered, is a crucial asset. Not only does the course cover established forms of terrorism such as the extreme right and jihadist movements, but through engagement with leading experts and practitioners in the field, students also gain insight into how these and other movements continue to evolve and adapt, acquiring an understanding of the trends and developments that could continue to dominate the terrorism threat landscape for years to come. This MA is based in the Department of War Studies, one of the only academic departments in the world to focus solely on the complexities of conflict and security. War Studies is an multidisciplinary department and all War Studies students benefit from research-led teaching in such subjects as the history and evolution of war and grand strategy, arms control and non-proliferation, migration, strategic thought, cyber, conflict and the environment, the influence of science and technology on international security, along with regional specialisms covering Africa, Asia (East and South), Russia and elsewhere.

Base campuses

strand-quad
Strand Campus

Located on the north bank of the River Thames, the Strand Campus houses King's College London's arts and sciences faculties.

waterloo-banner
Waterloo Campus

Waterloo campus is home of the Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing & Midwifery and facilities for other faculties

Special features

Optional study abroad

Regulating bodies

King's is regulated by the Office for Students

Loading...

Teaching methods - what to expect

We will use a delivery method that will ensure students have a rich, exciting experience from the start. Face to face teaching will be complemented and supported with innovative technology so that students also experience elements of digital learning and assessment.

The following table will give you an idea of what a typical academic workload might look like as you progress through your studies:

Module Lectures, seminars and feedback Self-study
Per 30-credit module

40 hours of teaching. Typically, 2 hours per week over two 10 week terms. This can be split into lectures and seminars. A 15 credit module will be half of this.

260 hours.
Dissertation module (60 credits) Up to 12 hours of online guidance, training workshops and personal supervision. 588 hours for dissertation.

Typically, one credit equates to 10 hours work.

Assessment

  • Essays
  • Dissertation

The primary methods of assessment for this course is two assessed essays, worth 50% each.

The dissertation module assessment will be based on a 100% dissertation assignment (up to 12,000 words).

Structure

Required modules

You are required to take the following modules:

Terrorism & Counter Terrorism (30 credits)
Dissertation (60 Credits)

Optional modules

In addition, you are required to take 90 credits from a range of optional modules if a full-time student. If you are a part-time student you will typically take 30 credits (or up to 60 credits) from a range of optional modules in your first year that may include the below:

Armchair Intelligence: Open Sources & Online Investigation (15 credits)
Homegrown Radicalisation & Counter- radicalisation in Western Europe & North America (30 credits)
Technology, Security and Global Politics (15 credits)
The Science and Security of Nuclear and Biological Weapons (15 credits)

Or choose from a range of optional modules available within the Department of War Studies. Please Note: the optional modules available change each year and are therefore only made accessible to enrolled students during the module allocation process.

King’s College London reviews the modules offered on a regular basis to provide up-to-date, innovative and relevant programmes of study. Therefore, modules offered may change. We suggest you keep an eye on the course finder on our website for updates.

Please note that modules with a practical component will be capped due to educational requirements, which may mean that we cannot guarantee a place to all students who elect to study this module.

Employability

War Studies graduates go on to work for NGOs, the FCO, the MOD, the Home Office, NATO, the UN or pursue careers in journalism, finance, academia, the diplomatic services, the armed forces and more. Recent posts held by our alumni include Threat Analyst, Director of Political Violence Forecasting, Research Advisor at NATO Defence College, Foreign Policy Fellow.

Tuition Fees

UK:

Full time: £16,200 per year (2022/23)

Part time: £8,100 per year (2022/23)

International:

Full time: £29,310 per year (2022/23)

Part time: £14,655 per year (2022/23)

These tuition fees may be subject to additional increases in subsequent years of study, in line with King’s terms and conditions.

Deposit

 

When you receive an offer for this course you will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit to secure your place. The deposit will be credited towards your total fee payment.

The UK deposit is £500.

The INTERNATIONAL deposit is £2,000.

  • If you receive an offer on or before 31 March, payment is due by 25 April 2022.
  • If you receive an offer between 1 April and 30 June, payment is due within one month of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer between 1 July and 31 July, payment is due within two weeks of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer between 1 August and 21 August, payment is due within one week of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer from 22 August onwards, payment is due within three days of receiving the offer.

 If you are a current King’s student in receipt of the King's Living Bursary you are not required to pay a deposit to secure your place on the programme. Please note, this will not change the total fees payable for your chosen programme.

Please visit our web pages on fees and funding for more information.

Additional Costs

In addition to your tuition costs, you can also expect to pay for:

  • Books if you choose to buy your own copies
  • Library fees and fines
  • Personal photocopies
  • Printing course handouts
  • Society membership fees
  • Stationery
  • Travel costs for travel around London and between campuses
  • Graduation costs

Funding

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