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2023/24 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

PIED5569M Counterterrorism

30 creditsClass Size: 27

Module manager: Dr Gordon Clubb

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

‘Counterterrorism’ provides students with an advanced understanding of the issue of terrorism and a comprehension of some of the problems developing and developed countries face in responding to this threat. Discussions of academic attempts to examine manifestations of (counter-)terrorism across time and space will equip students with the analytical tools to systematically evaluate and critique varying national and international responses.


This module aims to provide:
1 A familiarity with the key debates within (critical) terrorism studies scholars concerning the nature of the terrorism threat.
2 An understanding of the challenges which state actors (democratic and authoritarian) and international organisations (EU, NATO) face in responding to the threat of terrorism.
3 An appreciation of the range of political and institutional influences that shape counter-terrorism policy.
4 Analytical tools to systematically assess the impact of the changing character of terrorism on national and international responses and how, in turn, counterterrorism measures have shaped the use of terrorist violence by non-state actors.
5 The opportunity to develop transferable skills such as the appreciation of different interests and the ability to defend a point of view in the seminars.

Learning outcomes
On successful completion of this module students will be able to demonstrate:
1 A nuanced understanding of the political context of counter-terrorism policies across a range of (inter-)national actors;
2 An ability to contextualize and assess the policy instruments which states and international organisations choose in responding to the threat of terrorism;
3 A capacity to evaluate in depth the difficulties that democratic states face in balancing the requirements of security and civil liberties;
4 An appreciation of how the changing nature of terrorism is likely to impact future directions of counterterrorism policy.


The context of counterterrorism I: How does the political system impact counterterrorism policies?
The context of counterterrorism II: What contribution can the intelligence community and policing make?
The context of counterterrorism III: What are the costs and benefits of counterterrorism collaboration at the international level?
Strategies of counterterrorism I: The US ‘War on Terror’
Strategies of counterterrorism II: Targeted Killings
Strategies of counterterrorism III: De-Radicalization
Topics of counterterrorism I: State-sponsored terrorism
Topics of counterterrorism II: State failure and terrorism
Topics of counterterrorism III: WMD
Topics of counterterrorism IV: Countering terrorism in the age of migration

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours278.00
Total Contact hours22.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)300.00

Private study

In addition to researching and writing one non-assessed essay of 2000 words and a final version of this essay of 4000 words, students are required to engage with the required readings for weekly seminars. This means that students spend roughly four hours per week preparing for our group discussions in seminar.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Students will submit an early, non-assessed version of their essay of up to 2000 words for a mid-term review. They will then use the feedback to develop their essay into a final 4000 word version which will be assessed and submitted at the end of term.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1x4000 Word essay end semester100.00
Essay1 x 2000 Word Essay (Mid Semester)0.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 28/04/2023 14:51:20


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