This course is subject to University approval.

Never before in history have the issues of what causes terrorism, how to combat it, and how to assess and manage the risks associated with it, attracted such wide international attention and controversy. The need for accessible, comprehensive and reliable research and education on terrorism and counterterrorism remains profound. This new MSc addresses those needs drawing on Cranfield’s expert staff and unique facilities to offer students an exceptional and cutting edge programme in this critical area. 


  • Start dateOctober 2020
  • Duration Full-time: MSc 11 months, PgDip and PgCert one year; Part-time: MSc three years, PgDip and PgCert two years
  • DeliveryBy written and practical examinations, continuous assessment, project presentation and oral exam
  • QualificationMSc, PgDip, PgCert
  • Study typeFull-time / Part-time
  • CampusCranfield campus

Course details

Course delivery

By written and practical examinations, continuous assessment, project presentation and oral exam

Individual project

The individual project takes four months from April to July. The student selects from a range of titles, or may propose their own topic. Most are practically or experimentally based using Cranfield’s unique facilities.


Keeping our courses up-to-date and current requires constant innovation and change. The modules we offer reflect the needs of business and industry and the research interests of our staff and, as a result, may change or be withdrawn due to research developments, legislation changes or for a variety of other reasons. Changes may also be designed to improve the student learning experience or to respond to feedback from students, external examiners, accreditation bodies and industrial advisory panels.

To give you a taster, we have listed the compulsory and elective (where applicable) modules which are currently affiliated with this course. All modules are indicative only, and may be subject to change for your year of entry.

Course modules

Compulsory modules
All the modules in the following list need to be taken as part of this course

Applied Counterterrorism

Module Leader
  • Professor Andrew Silke

    The aim of this module is to provide students with an evidence-based understanding of the history and modern nature of counterterrorism. The module will focus on different forms and arenas of counterterrorism and will provide a critical assessment of the effectiveness and flaws of different CT strategies and tactics. The module will also focus attention on several detailed case studies to illustrate the role and impact of counterterrorism policies and practices, and the lessons that can be learnt from them.

  • Counterterrorism theories and models
  • Ethics and Human Rights 
  • Critical debates in counterterrorism
  • Deradicalisation and disengagement
  • Evaluating impact and effectiveness
  • Prevention and deterrence
  • Risk assessment and management
  • Risk mitigation
  • Resilience

Intended learning outcomes
  • Be able to engage with and critique the evidence base underlying counterterrorism theory and models 
  • Be able to critically assess the strengths and weaknesses of different counterterrorism strategies and tactics, and their suitability in different circumstances
  • Be able to critically appreciate the role of experts, practitioners, politicians and the general public in the development and application of counterterrorism policy and practice
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the design and evaluation of counterterrorism policies and initiatives
  • Display a detailed knowledge of several case studies of major counterterrorism campaigns. 

Research Project - Counter-Terrorism

Module Leader
  • Professor Andrew Silke

    This module provides students with the opportunity to engage in a significant independent research project. Students select the topic of the research but the focus must be on an area directly relevant to the terrorism and counterterrorism focus of the programme. The project must be an original piece of research which can be either empirical or literature based in nature.

    • Project planning
    • Research Ethics
    • Statistics
    • Experimental design
    • Literature review
    • Library search techniques
    • Web search techniques

Intended learning outcomes
  • Complete a significant piece of independent research on a chosen topic within the area of terrorism and counterterrorism
  • Be able to critically evaluate different research methodologies and select appropriate research strategies and materials for their chosen topic
  • Demonstrate the ability to work independently and to organise and carry through their own research methodology and plans
  • Demonstrate a thorough and in-depth knowledge and critical understanding of their chosen topic
  • Demonstrate an ability to present research findings in clear, succinct and well-structured formats both orally and in writing.
  • Demonstrate an ability to identify recommendations for policy, practice and/or future research based on research findings.


Strategies, Ideologies and Tactics of Terrorism


    The aim of this module is to explore the drivers and decision-making behind terrorist tactics, strategies and target selection. The module will make use of Cranfield’s explosives and firearms facilities to examine different types of terrorist tactics, looking into the role of ideology and other factors, as well as the impact of countermeasures on the evolution of terrorist strategies. The module will also consider possible future trends in terrorist tactics and strategy.

    • Exploring the history of terrorist strategy and tactics
    • Terrorist tactics and strategies in contemporary context
    • Understanding terrorist target selection
    • Terrorist psychology and decision-making
    • Innovation and learning in terrorism
    • Case studies of terrorist campaigns

Intended learning outcomes
  • Critically understand terrorist strategy, ideologies and tactics in the UK and abroad
  • Critically analyse what academic research tells us about terrorist tactics and strategy
  • Critically assess the impact of ideology in motivating terrorists, and examine the interpretations of events from multiple perspectives
  • Explore the link between a terrorist organisation’s ideological structure and framework, the target selection, the tactics adopted, recruitment and training
  • Examine the impact of state responses on terrorist tactics, and possible future tactics Demonstrate an understanding of the drivers of the evolution and innovation in terrorist tactics and strategy

Understanding Terrorism & Counter-terrorism

Module Leader
  • Professor Andrew Silke

    The aim of this module is to introduce students to the fundamental debates relating to terrorism and counterterrorism. It will address a range of key issues, including definitions, root causes, history & evolution, and major theories. This module will also introduce students to the research methods and data analysis used to understand and assess terrorism and counterterrorism.

    • Defining ‘terrorism’
    • Exploring the history and evolution of terrorism and counterterrorism
    • Major theories and debates on terrorism and counterterrorism
    • Research approaches and methodologies
    • Psychology of terrorism & counterterrorism
    • Root causes of terrorism
    • Case studies of terrorist groups and conflicts
    • Fundamentals of counterterrorism
    • The terrorism/counterterrorism dynamic
    • Case studies of counterterrorism policies

Intended learning outcomes
  • To develop knowledge and understanding of the major theoretical, academic and substantive debates relating to terrorism and counterterrorism. 
  • Display a sound appreciation of the definition debate within terrorism studies and the difficulties and implications of this debate.
  • To develop a strong awareness of the long history of terrorism and counterterrorism, and the current nature of modern terrorist conflicts
  • To develop the analytical skills to critically research, evaluate and assess models and explanations of terrorism, and the range of counterterrorism options to these. 
  • Display an awareness of the role cultural, religious, ethnic, economic, media and other value systems can play in understanding terrorism and counterterrorism.
  • Display a detailed knowledge of several case studies of terrorism and counterterrorism campaigns.
  • Be able to engage with and critique the evidence base for understanding terrorism and which underlies counterterrorism initiatives and polices.


Elective modules
A selection of modules from the following list need to be taken as part of this course

Analytical Techniques

Module Leader
  • Professor David Lane
  • Dr Fiona Brock

    To provide an understanding of the principles and practical applications of the major analytical techniques used in materials based investigations.

    Laboratory accreditation and standard operating procedures
    Specimen collection and sample preparation
    Mass/volume of interaction
    Materials identification by X-ray diffraction
    Special techniques used in X-ray diffraction
    X-ray fluorescence
    Electron microscopy and micro-analysis
    Optical microscopy
    Spectroscopic methods: Infrared and Raman spectroscopy
    Mass spectrometry
    Chromatographic and other separation methods: GC, HPLC, CE
    Hyphenated techniques
    Isotope ratios and carbon dating
    DNA profiling.
    Hardness measurements (micro- and nano-hardness)
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

describe the fundamental principles of a wide range of analytical techniques,
explain the advantages and disadvantages of different analytical techniques and apply them to the identification and characterisation of materials,
practically apply analytical techniques and interpret their results with appropriate regard to experimental uncertainty,
critically assess experimental data and evaluate through comparison to other samples and reference materials,
present analytical results in a clear and concise written report.

Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Terrorism

Module Leader
  • Professor Andrew Silke

     This module looks at the development of CBRN weapons and assesses the appeal of such weapons to terrorist and related actors. Case study analysis of prior attacks and plots will be used to assess terrorist decision-making and capability in this area and to examine how they acquire and fabricate materials. Also assessed will be the effectiveness of government countermeasures in countering and mitigating the CBRN threat.

  • Terrorist attack planning and decision-making
  • Barriers and facilitators to terrorist use of CBRN weapons
  • Psychological elements to CBRN attacks
  • Case study analysis
  • Detection of CBRN operations
  • Preventing CBRN attacks
  • Mitigation of CBRN threats
  • Future risk of CBRN terrorism

Intended learning outcomes
  • To develop knowledge and understanding of the nature and scientific basis of CBRN terrorism threats, including with regard to the production, delivery and impact of such weapons
  • To develop the analytical skills to critically research, evaluate and assess risk factors associated with CBRN terrorism including those related to decision-making processes, capability, resources, sponsorship, intent and ideology
  • Display a detailed knowledge of several case studies of CBRN terrorism attacks and plots
  • Be able to engage with and critique the evidence base used to understand CBRN terrorism as well as the countermeasures for preventing and mitigating such attacks
  • Assess and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of government agency and international responses and countermeasures to CBRN terrorism

Counterterrorism and Intelligence

Module Leader
  • Dr Anastasia Filippidou

    To enable participants to analyse and explain current conceptual thinking regarding the nature of terrorism, its origins, motivations and manifestations, together with an in-depth knowledge and critical awareness of the counter-terrorism approaches and intelligence approaches and strategies adopted by states. Within the context of counterterrorism, the module also examines the role of intelligence in combatting terrorism, the relationship between intelligence and secrecy and its impact, as well as the ethical issues in the use of intelligence. 


    Indicative module content:

    • definitional issues,
    • conceptual approaches to terrorism,
    • the origins and use of terrorism throughout history,
    • the nature and causes of terrorism,
    • understanding terrorists: the origins, motivations and manifestations of terrorist groups.terrorist organisations and networks,
    • the process of radicalisation,
    • assessing the success and failure of terrorist groups,
    • counter-terrorism approaches and strategies: assumptions, aims, frameworks and principles,
    • evaluate the purpose and structures of intelligence function,
    • identify and assess categories of intelligence. (sources, disciplines, organisations),
    • assess the influence of culture, history, power, and human factors upon the effectiveness of intelligence. assumptions, aims, frameworks and principles,
    • CT strategies, globally, regionally and nationally,
    • the CT ‘toolkit’.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

 • demonstrate a systematic understanding of knowledge and a critical awareness of current conceptual thinking regarding the phenomenon of terrorism and the threat that it poses, graphically, orally and in writing,
• evaluate terrorist groups in terms of their type, techniques, manifestations and success or otherwise, both today and in the past,
• critique extant counter-terrorism approaches and strategies and evaluate their relative merits in the context of democratic values and human rights,
• analyse the use of intelligence as an integrated tool of policy-making and evaluate the existent frameworks that prevent intelligence from becoming a political tool,
• evaluate how terrorist organisations attempt to develop their intelligence capabilities and how counter-intelligence can effectively mitigate against this threat,
• demonstrate creativity and originality in the development of policy relevant recommendations in the fields of terrorism and counter-terrorism.

Counter Improvised Explosive Devices Capability

Module Leader
  • Stephen Johnson

    The aim of the C-IED Capability course is to educate industry, military and civilian MoD C-IED staff in the Counter IED/Threat systems with emphasis on supporting capabilities and technology.

    Subjects covered will include:

    describe and explain the C-IED approach in accordance with JDP 3-65(AJP-3.15(A)),
    understand the development of IED threats based on historical perspective and how these have been countered (adversary tactics techniques and procedures and the philosophies and principles underpinning IEDD),
    technologies involved in C-IED across detect, neutralise, mitigate and exploit. Includes roles of ISTAR and ECM,
    how to advise senior and specialist staff on C-IED,
    the importance of ‘Understand’ and information management to maintain effectiveness,
    application of influence activities to C-IED,
    analysing adversary IED systems and identifying points of influence and effect. 

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

discuss the C-IED approach in accordance with Joint Doctrine Publication 3-65 (AJP-3.15(A)), 
evaluate the benefit of C-IED activities (Predict, Pursue, Prevent, Detect, Neutralise and Mitigate and Exploit) with respect to Prepare the Force, Attack the Network and Defeat the Device,
explain the technologies involved in C-IED,
formulate a situation report to inform the ‘Understand’ function,
explain the meaning of Influence Activity,
plan the use of Airborne assets for ISTAR and ECM in support of C-IED,
analyse the development of IED threats,
recommend a strategy to counter an adversary’s IED/Threat systems.

Courtroom Skills

Module Leader
  • Professor Peter Zioupos

    The module will provide an understanding of the role and responsibilities of expert witnesses in domestic and international criminal and civil cases and how they can present their evidence to the court effectively. You will also apply knowledge gained in previous modules to strengthen arguments presented in expert witness reports.

    Role and legal responsibilities of the forensic expert
    Civil and criminal procedure rules
    Excellence in report and statement writing
    Presentation of evidence in court
    Preparation for examination-in-chief and cross-examination.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

define the role and responsibilities of the expert witness,
construct an effective expert witness report,
develop the skills to present oral evidence in court effectively and respond successfully to cross-examination.




Module Leader
  • Professor Andrew Silke

    This module will outline the concept of cyberterrorism and provide an introduction to the threat landscape of cyberspace and potential ways to mitigate these threats. The module will outline the ways in which terrorists and related actors use cyberspace. It will provide an overview of the technology of the Internet and through the use of case studies will explore some of the major types of cyber-attack.

  • Defining and classifying cybercrime, cyberwarfare and cyberterrorism
  • The nature and scale of terrorist use of cyberspace
  • The role of state actors in cyber threats
  • Characteristics of cyberterrorism
  • Relationship between cybersecurity and cyberterrorism
  • Core debates in cybersecurity
  • NGOs and public private partnerships
  • Risk mitigation

Intended learning outcomes
  • Develop a critical understanding of cybersecurity and online threats related to terrorism

  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the characteristics of cybercrime, cyberwarfare and cyberterrorism

  • Appreciate the challenges posed by cyberterrorism with regard to legal frameworks and policy responses

  • Critically evaluate the response of government, enforcement agencies and NGOs to the threat and risks posed by cyberterrorism

  • Demonstrate a critical awareness of principles of resilience and risk management in developing responses to cyberterrorism

Digital Crime and Investigation

Module Leader
  • Dr Sarah Morris

    The aim of this module is to develop knowledge and understanding of the processes involved in the investigation of digital crime. These include the investigation of crime, the seizure of digital evidence, the examination of seized devices, the construction of reports and knowledge of relevant law.

    Indicative module content:

    • background and introduction to digital forensic science,
    • investigation of digital crime,
    • planning and executing a search and seizure operation in the context of a digital crime based investigation,
    • introduction to the tools and techniques used to examine digital evidence,
    • reports and statements,
    • relevant UK and European law.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student will be able to:

 evaluate the impact of key concepts in digital forensic science and related legislation on the forensic workflow,
 create an effective search and seizure plan for a digital investigation,
 conduct a simple digital forensic examination,
 construct an appropriate report in respect of a digital crime investigation and examination,
 apply knowledge to act as a source of assistance and information in relation to digital evidence and crime.



Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution


    To develop a systematic understanding of institutions and processes of diplomacy, regional integration and global governance thus enabling participants to evaluate the dynamics of conflicts and to determine feasible methods of resolution.

    Historical and comparative approaches to diplomacy,
    diplomatic theory and practice,
    conflict dynamics and conflict typology,
    case study analysis of different regional conflicts and peace processes,
    theories and practices of peacekeeping,
    developing a conflict prevention plan and the preventive measures matrix.  

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

identify the historical and contemporary conditions in which particular diplomatic processes and strategies can be assessed
assess major humanitarian and political issues through the application of knowledge of diplomacy
model the evolution of conflicts using relevant data, concepts and models
recognise existing mechanisms for conflict prevention and resolution and evaluate and appraise their limitations
critically evaluate different peace processes
draw conclusions and communicate policy-relevant recommendations for conflict transformation and resolution, individually and by working with others
validate extant theories and practices of conflict prevention
identify and select preventive measures  and means for the non-violent resolution of conflicts
develop and explain conflict prevention plans

Firearms Investigations


    The module will provide an understanding of the principles of firearms design, forensic investigations involving firearms and the classification of firearms against the 1968 Firearms Act (as amended).

    Weapon design and performance
    Serial number restoration 
    Improvised and converted weapons
    Preservation and recording of evidence
    1968 Firearms Act (as amended)
    Gun-shot residue Investigations
    Application of bullet and case matching in forensic investigations
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module the student should be able to:

 evaluate the component parts of small arms,
 critically assess the techniques employed during gunshot residue and firearms identification casework,
 appraise how the deactivation, reactivation and conversion of firearms is carried out,
 appraise the use the different sections of the 1968 Firearms Act (as amended) as applied to Forensic casework,
 critically assess how firearms investigations are carried out whilst ensuring all evidence is preserved.



Fires, Explosions and their Investigation

Module Leader
  • Stephen Johnson

    The course covers fire dynamics and the characteristics of explosives, their effects on buildings and people and the physical effects that would be looked for in their investigation.

    Indicative module content:  

     fire initiation,
     fire spread,
     gas, vapour and dust explosions,
     fire spread in solids,
     effects of fire on the human,
     condensed phase explosives and pyrotechnics,
     explosive effects,
     forensic examination of fires and explosions using visiting speakers from the fire service and commercial investigators,
     vehicle fires,
     explosives range demonstration and fire demonstration (weather permitting),
     laboratory practical,
     laboratory practical.

Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

understand the fundamental principles of fire science theory and fire modelling and demonstrate a critical awareness of the limitations of current theories and modelling processes,
identify the various physical and mechanical processes and mechanisms leading to the initiation of fires and explosives,
analyse the mechanisms involved in the spread of fire and the development of gas, vapour, and dust explosions,
demonstrate an understanding of the forensic techniques used in the examination of fire and explosions.

Forensic Ballistic Investigations


    To provide an understanding of the principles of internal, intermediate, external, terminal and wound ballistics and how they are used in forensic investigations.

    • Internal ballistics
    • Intermediate ballistics
    • External ballistics
    • Terminal ballistics
    • Wound ballistics
    • Fragmenting munitions
    • Shotgun ballistics
    • Hit probability and statistics
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

• Investigate and assess the internal, intermediate and external ballistics of projectiles
• Review the factors that affect the relationship between projectiles and targets
• Evaluate the factors affecting wound ballistics.
• Critically assess those factors affecting the performance and ballistics of fragmenting munitions and shotguns

Forensic Exploitation and Intelligence

Module Leader
  • Stephen Johnson

    To provide an understanding of the principles and practical applications of the major forensic analytical techniques used in forensic intelligence and exploitation.

    Indicative module content: 

    • role of communication and information sharing, 
    • the use of FORINT cells in long term policing strategy,
    • exploitation and military intelligence,
    • pattern analysis, geographic information systems (GIS) and mathematics in forensic intelligence,
    • technical exploitation,
    • forensic exploitation,
    • planning and direction of forensic intelligence,
    • collection, processing, production, management and dissemination of FORINT,
    • forms of output and report from FORINT.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

• distinguish evidential types for use in court and for intelligence purposes,
• evaluate the levels and range of forensic exploitation techniques,
• manage and prioritise the exploitation of forensic intelligence derived from people, places and vehicles,
• critically assess how forensic intelligence interfaces with other intelligence sources,
• establish and maintain a FORINT exploitation policy within the frameworks of forensic best practice and the recognized intelligence cycle.

Forensic Investigation of Explosives and Explosive Devices

Module Leader
  • Dr Nathalie Mai

    The aim of the FIEED course is to educate forensic scientists, police, military and relevant supporting disciplines in the process of investigating an explosive device, scene of explosion or suspected production facility or hide. Students work up from scene processing and evidence recovery, through to selection of analytic techniques, production of witness statements and court hearings.


    Indicative module content:

    • explosive crime scenes,
    • field detection of explosives,
    • X-Ray and XRD methods of bulk detection,
    • infrared and Raman spectroscopy of explosives,
    • the Forensic Explosive Laboratory,
    • NMR spectroscopy of explosives,
    • mass spectrometry of explosives,
    • chromatography of explosives,
    • sampling techniques,
    • evidence for explosive cases – a CPS perspective,
    • Improvised Explosive Devices (IED),
    • IEDs and Bomb scene management,
    • investigation of pre-blast scenes and labs.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

• evaluate the methods available for the detection and analysis of explosives,
• distinguish between the types of improvised explosive device and assess the methods used to identify and investigate them,
• interpret the infrared, proton nuclear magnetic resonance and electron ionisation mass spectra of important explosive compounds ,
• evaluate the techniques available for the analysis of trace explosives,
• compare the relative importance of gas chromatography and reverse phase high performance liquid chromatography, and their associated detection systems, in explosives analysis,
• decide on a procedure for identifying an explosive compound and prepare a witness statement on its identification,
• analyse an explosive crime scene.

Global Security: Emerging Challenges

Module Leader
  • Dr Anastasia Filippidou

    To provide theoretical perspectives and methods of analysis for understanding the nature of contemporary security threats, the tools needed for in-depth examination of emerging challenges, and the measures needed to deal with adverse global outcomes.


    Indicative module content:

    introduces the traditional threats as well as new and (re)-emerging security challenges,
    transnational security issues that have global implications,
    strategic actions and policy developments designed to deal with challenges,
    noteworthy opportunities for co-operation and collaboration among and within various stakeholders. 


Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of the module the student will be able to:

acquire an understanding of how security threats are defined and addressed,
understand the dynamics by which decision makers prioritise security threats,
appreciate the ethical, political, and social dilemmas of security policies,
think critically about the nature of developing global security needs,
evaluate the utility of current leadership theories and models to equip leaders to lead during emergent challenges,
articulate informed opinion about pros and cons of policy making dealing with emerging challenges,
assess the impact to the UK of emergent global security threats,
debate the utility of leadership theory to the challenges leaders face as a result of emerging threats to global security.

Introduction to Firearms Investigations and Forensic Ballistics


    The module shall provide an introduction to the principles of forensic investigations involving firearms and forensic investigations of projectile ballistics.


    Indicative module content:

    • introduction into weapon functioning and performance,
    • introduction into ammunition construction and materials,
    • introduction into bullet and case matching,
    • provide an overview of the 1968 Firearms Act (as amended),
    • introduction to internal and external ballistics,
    • introduction to gunshot residue analysis.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

• assess and evaluate how small arms work and operate,
• appraise the science behind bullet/case matching,
• demonstrate a critical awareness of the construction of small arms ammunition,
• assess the use of the different sections of the 1968 Firearms Act (as amended),
• compare and contrast the science underpinning internal and external ballistics,
• evaluate the science behind gunshot residue analysis.


Investigation and Evidence Collection

Module Leader
  • Dr Hannah Moore
    The module provides an understanding of the core responsibilities of evidence recording and collection at the crime scene, both in general and specifically related to operational constraints of a UK investigative context. You will also understand the operation of forensic and police investigators within the context of a major investigation.
    Construction of the forensic strategy
    Evidence selection and collection
    Scene photography
    Digital photography
    Sample integrity and contamination issues
    Assessment of evidence
    Packaging and transportation
    Scene reporting
    Handling intelligence – assessment and communication

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

 analyse and evaluate various different strategies of major scene investigation to consider the various effects of different approaches,
 appraise the range of evidence collection and investigation techniques available to the crime scene investigator,
 describe and evaluate the relative merits of the range of systematic crime scene procedures vital to successful investigations,
 evaluate which of these procedures are appropriate to a particular crime scene and apply these procedures appropriately during a crime scene exercise,
 generate a crime scene report which objectively critiques the methodologies used and draws justified conclusions appropriate for the evidence,
 transfer theoretical and practical knowledge of evidence identification, recording and retrieval into the various roles of forensic specialists.



Reasoning for Forensic Science

Module Leader
  • Professor Peter Zioupos

    To provide an understanding and experience of the disciplines underpinning critical evaluation of quantitative information applied within the Forensic Sciences.

    • Experimental design
    • Interpretation and assessment
    • Effective framing & rebutting of arguments
    • Problem solving
    • Evidential types
    • Use of relevant statistics for design & interpretation
    • Courtroom statistics

    The syllabus will follow the general course of a generic investigative process from the appropriate framing of a question to the critical interpretation of data and information. The appropriate use of data in well-constructed arguments will be considered in order to distinguish between fact, opinion and speculation.  Intellectual rigour will be challenged, and the ability to identify weakness in argument will be developed. Data will be examined for reliability and reproducibility with a focus on the distinct features of forensically related data.  Appropriate use of descriptive and hypothesis testing statistics will be practiced and the ‘prosecutor’s fallacy’ explored. Bayes’ Theorem will be considered and rehearsed through case studies.  

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

 Recognise the fundamental features of effective experimental design
 Explain how confidence may be secured through effective reliability and reproducibility assessments
 Frame and defend an effective argument concerning quantitative information
 Apply appropriate statistics to forensic evidence for analysis and interpretation
 Explain the statistical processes to the layman
 Apply Bayes’ Theorem to forensic evidence



Risk, Crisis and Resilience

Module Leader
  • Edith Wilkinson

    The aim of this module is to examine the concepts of risk, crisis and resilience.  This module will make students assess the meaning of resilience through examining the concepts of risk and crisis. Risk and crisis management practices will be explored and debated in the context of their application as contemporary decision-making framework specifically in the field of security.


    Indicative module content:

    risk as concept and risk theory,
    risk management tools  and risk management methodology,
    • RM cycle and assessment,
    risk as contemporary decision-making paradigm and challenges to the risk management paradigm,
    complex adaptive systems and resilience thinking,
    components of the implementation approaches to resilience strategies,
    crisis management evolution of the discipline and debates,
    business continuity planning,
    case-studies and activities.




Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

introduce systems theory and its relevance to risk, crises and resilience,
review the multifaceted  meaning of the resilience concept and describe its key components and discuss its origins and evolution,
discuss  key elements of risk theories,
appraise the significance of crises in the context of how they affect people and communities,
identify the organisational structures and individual skills and knowledge necessary to manage crises effectively,
describe, distinguish risk and crisis management tools, processes, and frameworks, and critically evaluate them,
examine risk and crisis communication, politics of decision-making, human factors in decision-making, paradoxes with perception and uncertainty,
analyse the contemporary applicability of risk in a resilience strategy,
critically evaluate the implementation approaches and consider the politics of resilience.

National Security: Resilience and Crisis

Module Leader
  • Dr Bryan Watters

    To provide an understanding of the role of leadership in the development, prevention and resolution of challenges to national security, including terrorism and civil crises.

    Indicative module content:

    national and international security,
    global trends,
    resilience as a social science concept,
    people and crises,
    the mass media landscape,
    natural disasters as national security issue,
    disaster management,
    organisational resilience in the UK,
    health protection and crisis,
    terrorism and counter terrorism, 
    leadership resilience in crises.
Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of the module the student will be able to:

analyse the history and contemporary manifestations of leadership in relation to national security issues,
evaluate the utility of alternative leadership approaches to civil crises, particularly when the military are used to assist civil authorities,
critically assess and apply the typology of tame and wicked problems to contemporary national security problems,
critically analyse the development of academic theory and its application to the management of disruptive events that impact on national security,
apply typologies of situations and their appropriate leadership styles to a variety of contemporary situations.

Terrorism Risk Management and Mitigation

Module Leader
  • Professor Andrew Silke

    This module will enhance student’s knowledge and understanding of the development and functioning of risk management and mitigation in the context of terrorism and counterterrorism. The module will outline methods for assessing vulnerabilities associated with those threats, assessing specific risks, and how to make decisions about how to manage and mitigate these. The scope of the methods includes reducing direct and indirect damage across a range of different attack risks.

    • The concept, development and characteristics of risk management and resilience,

    • Risk assessment and risk management techniques,

    • Understanding terrorist threats, decision-making and attack planning,

    • Insights & lessons from situational crime prevention,

    • Case studies in terrorism risk management,

    • Risk mitigation and resilience in the context of terrorism threats,

    • Future trends and issues for terrorism risk management and mitigation.

Intended learning outcomes
  • To develop an understanding of terrorism risk management through risk identification, measurement, management and mitigation,

  • To develop a critical understanding of the nature and importance of effective risk management processes,

  • An ability to assess the techniques associated with risk identification, estimation, evaluation and management in the context of terrorism and related threats,

  • To evaluate the opportunities and challenges in applying techniques of risk management and mitigation with regard to terrorism and related threats,

  • To appraise and develop mitigation strategies for various terrorism scenarios.

Your career

We have entered an era where society faces critical issues in relation to terrorism and the fight against terrorism. The MSc Counterterrorism Studies provides a rigorous, evidence-based qualification which will assist graduates to start careers in a wide variety of fields, including those related to security, policing, military, government policy, and international work. Beyond this, the MSc will help assist the careers of graduates who are already working in these and related fields.