This course is subject to University approval.

The MSc Counterterrorism, Risk Management and Resilience is a specialist course designed particularly for students working in the risk management and risk mitigation sectors. Cranfield has a long history of specialising in defence and security subjects and boasts unique facilities for teaching and research in these areas. This course brings together a distinctive mix of different subjects, providing students with the fundamental knowledge, core expertise and evidence-based methodological tools and approaches necessary to understand, analyse, prevent and mitigate terrorism.

Overview

  • Start dateOctober 2020
  • DurationPart-time: two years (PgDip and PgCert) or three years (MSc)
  • DeliveryBy written and practical examinations, continuous assessment, project presentation and oral exam
  • QualificationMSc, PgDip, PgCert
  • Study typePart-time
  • CampusCranfield campus

Why this course?

The MSc Counterterrorism, Risk Management and Resilience pathway is specifically tailored for students interested in developing a career in the risk management or insurance sectors with a focus on protective security against terrorism and related threats. This pathway should appeal particularly to candidates who are either serving or recently retired from government, military or policing agencies, or those who are already in the risk management or insurance space who want to specialise in counterterrorism risk management and protective security.

Course details


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reflect the needs of business and industry and the research interests of our staff and, as a result, may change or be withdrawn due to research developments, legislation changes or for a variety of other reasons.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 modules and (where applicable) some elective modules affiliated with this programme which ran in the academic year 2018-2019. There is no guarantee that these modules will run for 2019 entry. All modules are subject to change depending on your year of entry.

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.

Modules

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
Aim

    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.


Syllabus
  • Counterterrorism theories and models
  • Ethics and Human Rights 
  • Critical debates in counterterrorism
  • CVE/PVE
  • 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. 
 


Strategies, Ideologies and Tactics of Terrorism

Aim

    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.


Syllabus
    • 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

Risk, Crisis and Resilience

Module Leader
  • Edith Wilkinson
Aim

    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.




Syllabus

    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.
 

Terrorism Risk Management and Mitigation

Module Leader
  • Professor Andrew Silke
Aim

    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.


Syllabus
    • 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.






Understanding Terrorism & Counter-terrorism

Module Leader
  • Professor Andrew Silke
Aim

    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.


Syllabus
    • 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.

 


Research Project - Counter-Terrorism

Module Leader
  • Professor Andrew Silke
Aim

    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.


Syllabus
     
    • 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.


 


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

Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Terrorism

Module Leader
  • Professor Andrew Silke
Aim

     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.


Syllabus
  • 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


Counter Improvised Explosive Devices Capability

Module Leader
  • Stephen Johnson
Aim

    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.



Syllabus
    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.


Counterterrorism and Intelligence

Module Leader
  • Dr Anastasia Filippidou
Aim

    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. 


Syllabus

    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.

Courtroom Skills

Module Leader
  • Professor Peter Zioupos
Aim

    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.

Syllabus
    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.

 

 

Cyberterrorism

Module Leader
  • Professor Andrew Silke
Aim

    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.



Syllabus
  • 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



Fires, Explosions and their Investigation

Module Leader
  • Stephen Johnson
Aim

    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.

Syllabus
    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 Exploitation and Intelligence

Module Leader
  • Stephen Johnson
Aim

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


Syllabus
    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.


National Security: Resilience and Crisis

Module Leader
  • Dr Bryan Watters
Aim

    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.

Syllabus
    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.
 

Protecting Critical National Infrastructure

Module Leader
  • Professor Andrew Silke
Aim

    This module focuses on the protection of critical national infrastructure (CNI). It outlines current risks to critical infrastructure and key resources posed by terrorism and related threats. Key concepts covered include how security vulnerabilities are analysed. Students will learn about the critical infrastructure protection cycle as well as risk assessment and risk management plans relevant to CNI.


Syllabus
  • The concept and characteristics of critical national infrastructure (CNI)
  • The nature of terrorist and related threats to CNI
  • Terrorist decision-making and attack planning on CNI
  • Protection of CNI and key resources
  • Considering CNI in the context of both public and private sectors
  • Case studies in CNI targeting and responses
  • Comparative analysis of CNI protection
  • Risk mitigation and resilience in the context of CNI
  • Understanding emerging CNI and future threats and risks

Intended learning outcomes
  • To develop knowledge and understanding of the nature and vulnerabilities of critical national infrastructure (CNI)
  • To develop a strong awareness of the history and evolution of terrorist and related attacks and plots targeting CNI
  • To develop the analytical skills to critically research, evaluate and assess policies and measures implemented to protect CNI, showing awareness of legal, ethical and sector issues 
  • Display a strong awareness of the roles for risk management, risk mitigation and resilience in the context of CNI