The MLitt in Terrorism and Political Violence seeks to develop in students a critical understanding of the concept of terrorism and political violence within the context of a multidisciplinary approach to security studies.
Terrorism and Political Violence is also offered as a part-time distance learning programme.
The MLitt in Terrorism and Political Violence is a taught postgraduate programme run by the School of International Relations.
- Study in Terrorism and Political Violence examines selected approaches to knowledge generation around terrorism and counterterrorism and considers the development of new responses to terrorism and political violence.
- Students have the opportunity to apply for a semester abroad at Georgetown University in Washington DC during their second semester.
The course is delivered via mixed mode teaching involving traditional teaching methods in the form of lectures and tutorials alongside access to e-teaching facilities including online journals and podcast presentations and interviews by experts in the field.
Over the course of a year, students will take four taught modules followed by a three-month research period culminating in the submission of a 15,000-word dissertation. Assessment comprises coursework including essays and projects.
Every MLitt student is assigned a dissertation supervisor who will advise on the choice of subject and provide guidance throughout the research process.
Each module typically comprises:
- one-hour lecture per week
- one-hour tutorial or seminar per week
- office hours
- 100% coursework assessment
Students must take the following compulsory module:
- Research Methods: presents appropriate research methods to enable students to critically understand the professional literature, and to lay the foundations to enable students to engage in further research.
and choose one compulsory module from the following:
- Fundamental Issues and Structures of Terrorism: introduces the core conceptual issues of Terrorism and Political Violence.
- Terrorism after 1945: provides an overview of the evolution, characteristics, and decline of terrorist movements and campaigns since 1945.
Students choose two of the following optional modules:
- Fundamentals of Terrorist Violence: examines how combatants in terrorist groups are able to overcome inhibitions to killing.
- Gender and Terrorism: familiarises students with how gender is a construction that privileges certain actors over and against others.
- Nationalism and Ethnic Conflict: familiarises students with different approaches that seek to explain how ethnicity and nationhood are created and maintained, how different forms of ethnic conflict and ethnic violence come about, and what possible mechanisms to contain nationalism and ethnic conflict are.
- Terrorism and Liberal Democracy: addresses conceptual and definitional issues concerning terrorism; the relationship of terrorism to other forms of political violence; the origins, dynamics and development of contemporary terrorism; the efficacy of terrorism as a political weapon; the dilemmas and challenges of liberal democratic state responses to terrorism; and case studies in terrorism and counter-terrorism.
- Terrorism and Theories of Collective Action: addresses issues such as what it means to take a 'political collective action' approach to terrorism; social movement theory and terrorism; understanding recruitment and mobilisation in terrorism and high-risk activism; terrorism and the collective action repertoire; terrorism in the context of transnational activism.
Optional modules are subject to change each year, and some may only allow limited numbers of students.
The final element of the MLitt is a 15,000-word dissertation. The dissertation should focus on an area of terrorism and political violence in which you are interested in.
Each student is supported by a relevant supervisor from the School who will advise on the choice of subject and provide guidance throughout the research process.
The completed dissertation must be submitted by a date specified in August.
If students choose not to complete the dissertation requirement for the MLitt, there are exit awards available that allow suitably qualified candidates to receive a Postgraduate Diploma. By choosing an exit award, you will finish your degree at the end of the second semester of study and receive a PGDip instead of an MLitt.
The modules listed here are indicative, and there is no guarantee they will run for 2019 entry.
Students who graduate from the MLitt in Terrorism and Political Violence go on to work in various professional fields including law, policy research and consultancy, non-governmental organisations, charities, international organisations, civil service and publishing.
The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students on a taught postgraduate course and offers a programme of events to assist students in building their employability skills.
- A good 2.1 Honours degree in political science, international relations, social sciences or other relevant disciplines. If you studied your first degree outside the UK, postgraduate candidates will normally be expected to hold a BA or BS with a grade point average range of 3.3 to 3.6/4.0 or equivalent GPA.
- English language proficiency.
The qualifications listed are indicative of minimum requirements for entry. Some academic Schools will ask applicants to achieve significantly higher marks than the minimum. Obtaining the listed entry requirements will not guarantee you a place, as the University considers all aspects of every application including, where applicable, the writing sample, personal statement, and supporting documents.
- CV or résumé. This should include your personal details with a history of your education and employment to date.
- personal statement indicating your knowledge of the programme and how it will benefit you (1,000 words).
- a sample of academic written work (2,000 words).
- a note confirming you have read the system requirements.
- two original signed academic or professional references.
- academic transcripts and degree certificates.
- evidence of English language proficiency (required if English is not your first language).
Recent Graduate Discount
The University of St Andrews offers a 10% discount in postgraduate tuition fees to students who are eligible to graduate or who have graduated from St Andrews within the last three academic years and are starting a postgraduate programme with the University of St Andrews.
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