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Masters in Terrorism and Political Violence

The Handa Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence (CSTPV) at the University of St Andrews is pleased to offer an MLitt in Terrorism and Political Violence. Our ground-breaking programme seeks to develop in its students an understanding on the latest thinking on terrorism. The MLitt offers students the opportunity to take research-led taught Modules and also to develop a piece of systematic research in a Dissertation focusing on a selected area of Terrorism and Political Violence.

The MLitt in Terrorism and Political Violence offers students the opportunity to learn from acknowledged experts in the field. This postgraduate programme is available for both full and part-time study. E-learning technologies mean that students can take the part-time Course on a distance-learning basis. The distance-learning programme is also offered with a residential option in Singapore, where students will meet up for a four-day programme of tutorials.

Applications for part-time study starting September 2022 are now open. For further information regarding modules, assessments, fees and to apply now please view the information on the University’s Digital Prospectus: Full-time (Residential) Part-time (Distance Leaning and Singapore)

Full time students must complete four taught modules of the programme in 9 months with the MLitt dissertation taking a further 3 months.  The programme starts in September and is delivered via mixed mode teaching. This innovative method of teaching allows flexibility for students and access to a wider range of teaching facilities.

Part-time students will complete the programme between three and five years of study. Students must complete four modules and an MLitt dissertation to receive the MLitt in Terrorism and Political Violence. Each module is equivalent to one quarter of the workload of a full time 1 year course. Modules are delivered via eLearning, allowing students to balance their studies with other aspects of their lives. The MLitt in Terrorism and Political Violence is delivered through the Moodle eLearning platform, where materials for study are made available, along with pre-recorded lectures. A key part of your studies are regular online tutorials provided through the Zoom video-conferencing system, with a module tutor and other distance learning students, where you will discuss the material, debate important topics and have a chance to ask questions. 

Additional support includes regular web conferencing, direct email contact with tutors, podcasts of interviews with area experts and access to most course materials, including electronic journals, through the University’s e-learning platform. Most online tutorials for part-timers are conducted out of office hours. CSTPV uses the Zoom conferencing system for conducting tutorials. This allows the tutorial to be conducted with audio and/or video communication.

The course content of modules for distance-learning students will be available in PDF & electronic form. This will be provided as an alternative to the material found on the Moodle platform.

This programme is also offered with a residential option in Singapore (see below), where students will meet up for a four-day programme of tutorials.

This programme will offer an intensive four-day programme of tutorials in Singapore, which will take the place of the online tutorials for those opting to take part. These in-person tutorials will take place in mid-October and mid-March. During the four-day programme, students will discuss the content of online lectures taken throughout the year. No assessments will take place in Singapore or be based on the content conveyed in Singapore.

These tutorials also provide students with an opportunity to meet lecturers and fellow students face to face and to have real classroom interaction and discussions. Staff will also be on site to discuss or deal with administrative matters. Holding tutorials in Singapore allows students in the regions of Asia and Australasia to attend tutorial-style classes in person, rather than attend online tutorials which are held in Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

For the 2020-2021 academic year, the venue of the classes will be the Fullerton Bay Hotel. All workshops will be closed to the general public and only accessible to instructors and students registered in the programme.

You can now apply for the CSSS for our MLitt in Terrorism and Political Violence.

The Commonwealth Shared Scholarships are a joint initiative between the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (with funding from FCDO) and UK universities, to support scholarships for students from least developed and lower middle income Commonwealth countries who would not otherwise be able to study in the UK.

The Commonwealth Shared Scholarships are offered on an annual basis for postgraduate Masters study only. 

The scheme includes tuition fees, inward and homeward airfares, monthly stipend, arrival allowance, thesis grant and a study travel grant.

Find out more here.

The programme will seek to develop in its students:

a critical understanding of the concept of terrorism and political violence within the context of a multidisciplinary approach to security studies

knowledge and understanding of the principal social and psychological factors that influence the emergence, development, and abandonment of terrorism as a method of waging conflict

an understanding and critical evaluation of the political context to contemporary terrorism

a capacity to critically assess terrorist incidents around the world, examine selected approaches to counter-terrorism, and the development of new responses

skills of literature search, the use of open source material, and an introduction to basic and principal elements of intelligence analysis

skills in research design and analysis using qualitative and quantitative techniques

The MLitt in Terrorism and Political Violence is postgraduate in character. That means that as well as dealing with complex conceptual issues, students are expected to engage in individual reading and research outside and beyond the course material, using the library and other resources available. The dissertation element of the programme undertaken for the MLitt is “a substantial paper that is typically based on original research and that gives evidence of the candidate’s mastery both of her own subject and of scholarly method.” The dissertation will show that the writer knows the subject, the key facts and different points of view in it and also advances a point of view resulting from original research.

In contrast the Certificate in Terrorism Studies is a highly structured and largely self contained introductory course, which whilst it does address complex conceptual issues, does not require the level of analysis and understanding, nor the degree of independent work, expected in a post graduate programme. More details of this programme are available here

Although CSTPV does not offer a PhD it may be possible for you to apply to undertake a research degree with a supervisor from CSTPV. 

Full information on a PhD in International Relations can be found here.

Further information of the Professional Doctorate programme can be found here.