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PL50750: International terrorism and counter-terrorism

[Page last updated: 05 August 2021]

Academic Year: 2021/2
Owning Department/School: Department of Politics, Languages and International Studies
Credits: 6 [equivalent to 12 CATS credits]
Notional Study Hours: 120
Level: Masters UG & PG (FHEQ level 7)
Semester 1
Assessment Summary: CW 100%
Assessment Detail:
  • Coursework (CW 100%)
Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Aims: The unit aims to:
* Identify and analyse the main trends in academic and policy debates on international terrorism;
* Study and assess the explanatory power of classical and critical approaches to international terrorism;
* Provide an effective insight into the study of international terrorism through a detailed study of both changes in international terrorism as well as counter-terrorism policies;
* Equip students with a solid basic knowledge of a major sub-field of international relations.

Learning Outcomes: Students who have successfully completed this unit will:
* Have acquired a good understanding of the basic concepts - such as violence, conflict and terrorism - underlying the unit;
* Have an in depth knowledge of a variety of manifestations of political violence and terrorism;
* Be able to critically discuss different responses to terrorism, situated on a spectrum from legal to political to military measures.

Skills: Skills in critical analysis, conceptual thinking, precision in the use of written and spoken language, exercise of independent judgement, reasoned argument, and the planning/conduct/reporting of non-quantitative research are taught and assessed in this unit. Skills in effective learning are developed in this unit.


(provisionally allocated staff)
Part I: Overview of terrorism studies
* Concepts and theoretical approaches to international terrorism; (Brett Edwards)
Part II: Typologies of terrorism
* Manifestations of terrorism in different regions; (Wali Aslam)
* Organised crime and international terrorism; (Anna Bull)
* Religiously motivated terrorism; (Scott Thomas)
* Terrorism with weapons of mass destruction; (Brett Edwards)
Part III: Responses to terrorism
* Cultures of vigilance: Societal relationships and response (Bill Durodie)
* Evolution of domestic counter terrorism: UK case study (Sophie Whiting)
* Global responses (Brett Edwards)

Programme availability:

PL50750 is Optional on the following programmes:

Department of Politics, Languages and International Studies

PL50750 is available for Auditing on the following programmes:

Department of Social & Policy Sciences


  • This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2021/22 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2022/23 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2021/22.
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