This programme analyses the phenomena of terrorism and political violence as perpetrated by both state and non-state actors, drawing on various disciplines within the Social Sciences. Students will explore the theoretical, methodological, and ethical debates relating to the study of state and non-state violence, and will consider their implications for various international actors and policy-makers. Students will have input from research-active staff with considerable expertise in the fields of International Relations, Sociology and Criminology. Students will assess the measures taken by states and international organisations to deter terrorism, and the relationships between terrorism and counter-terror measures. Students will be asked to critique the various theoretical and methodological approaches deployed by social scientists to study these phenomena. The following questions will be explored: How are we to understand terrorism in contemporary society? How does terrorism differ from other forms of political violence? What is the impact of terrorism on civil liberties? Are there differences between the Global North and the Global South in relation to the use of political violence? How do the social sciences differ in their approaches to terrorism and political violence? The course will also consider the actual risk posed by international terrorism and whether or not the threat is enhanced by the fears and anxieties generated by a risk-averse culture.
Scholars and policymakers have all recognised the need to address security and terrorism issues from as broad a range of perspectives as possible, as this will lead to much deeper and better informed understandings of the problems. Therefore, the programme responds to this need, enabling students to explore the security and terrorism challenges we face in the contemporary world from a variety of perspectives drawing from disciplines across the Social Sciences, including International Relations, Sociology and Criminology, as well as drawing on expertise from law and human rights.
Full-time students complete the MA in Security and Terrorism over twelve months. Study is divided between taught modules, which last for one term each, and dissertation work. For full-time students, a total of six modules must be taken over the first two terms. Supervised dissertation work, on a relevant agreed subject, is then undertaken during the remainder of the academic year.
The MA can be taken on a part-time basis, typically over two years but flexible arrangements are also possible. When taking it over two years, part-time students choose three modules in each academic year, and write a supervised dissertation thereafter.
The programme is also offered in a 120 ECTS format – comprising nine taught modules plus a dissertation over 18 months – and as a Postgraduate Diploma – comprising six taught modules only – worth 120 Kent credits [60 ECTS]. Both the 120 ECTS version and the Diploma can also be taken on a part-time basis.
This school offers programs in: