Terrorism, International Crime and Global Security...

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Terrorism, International Crime and Global Security MA 2018/19 entry

Course code:


Study options:

1 year full-time
2 years part-time

How to Apply

Coventry University


September 2018
January 2019


Get in touch

For questions regarding study and admissions please contact us:

+44 (0) 24 7765 2152


Since the end of the Cold War there has been a growing awareness of the changing nature of security threats facing individuals, communities and states worldwide. With intensifying economic, political, cultural and military globalisation, there is now a heightened awareness of terrorism and international crime.

This interdisciplinary course identifies the challenges these threats pose to national and global governance, human rights and ethics, criminality and regionalism. It builds on our established expertise in the fields of politics, international relations, global and human security, peace and reconciliation studies. 

Guest speakers and field trips are an integral part of the course, which include visits to the counter-crime, counter terrorism and counter modern slavery organisations. Previous students have been able to work on placements with the local police forces, as well as non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and international organisations within Europe, including the antimafia organisation AddioPizzo in Sicily, Ethicando in Paris, the UN NGO Women’s Federation for World Peace in Geneva, the Institute of Cultural Diplomacy in Berlin, CISS (International Cooperation South-South) in Italy, and Chatham House in London.

Why Coventry University?

An award-winning university, we are committed to providing our students with the best possible experience. We continue to invest in both our facilities and our innovative approach to education. Our students benefit from industry-relevant teaching, and resources and support designed to help them succeed. These range from our modern library and computing facilities to dedicated careers advice and our impressive Students’ Union activities.

Global ready

An international outlook, with global opportunities


Career-ready graduates, with the skills to succeed

Student experience

All the support you need, in a top student city

Accreditation and Professional Recognition

This course is accredited and recognised by the following bodies:

Chartered Management Institute (CMI)

Course information

Our experienced faculty includes active researchers who also work or consult for governments, international organisations and prominent think tanks.

 In the most recent national research assessment, the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), 69% of research in Politics and International Studies was recognised internationally, of which 32% was considered ‘internationally excellent’. 

This course is one of the first to offer an integrated study of terrorism, organised crime and global security. It aims to provide you with an informed understanding of key threats that are posed to world politics, how they have evolved and the differing – occasionally controversial – national responses.

Throughout taught sessions, we will draw on case studies and practical illustrations. For instance, during ‘The Ticking Time Bomb Debate’, we consider whether it is justified to use torture on a captured individual, credibly identified as a terrorist leader with knowledge of the whereabouts of a ‘dirty bomb’ capable of killing thousands planted in the centre of London and timed to go off within 24 hours. In another exercise, we undertake a ‘mafia vs antimafia simulation’ on the challenges mafia/organised criminal groups pose to civil society and law enforcement agencies. Previous simulations have included case studies in Mexico, West Africa, the Balkans, Southern Italy and Japan.

Our innovative teaching includes enhancing your digital skills. For example, during the international security field trip to Sicily, you will be introduced to a variety of topics analysing both the role of Cosa Nostra and the antimafia experiences in Sicily and state and non-state responses to the trafficking and smuggling of human beings. Then, working in teams, you will have the opportunity to develop an area you are particularly interested in and produce a 10-minute (maximum) information video-podcast on the topic. The podcast must contain at least one of the following, as appropriate to the chosen topic: secondary footage (respecting issues of copyright); primary interviews; and observation (respecting ethical considerations, particularly consent for filming others).



The key themes of this Master’s degree are addressed in the three core subjects: international organised crime, international terrorism and threats to global security. You’ll have the opportunity to supplement compulsory subjects with optional units, which aims to broaden your understanding of the concept of global security.

Typical choices include: counter crime and terrorism (study trip), governance for security in the developing world, post-colonial African politics, gender and international human rights and trafficking in human beings.


  • Semester 1

    • International organized crime
    • International terrorism
    • Threats to global security
    • Research Methods in the Humanities and Social Science 
  • Semester 2

    • Research Design in Humanities and Social Science 
    • Global Professional Development 

    Optional Modules (2 of the following)

    • International Security Praxis 
    • Post-colonial African Politics 
    • Governance for Security in Developing World
    • Trafficking in Human Beings
    • International Relations of Apartheid
    • International Politcial Economy 
  • Semester 3

    Dissertation in the Humanities and Social Science 

In more detail...

  • Opportunity to graduate with triple awards – from the University and CMI
  • High levels of student satisfaction in the subject of ‘Politics’, 86% overall compared with the sector average of 84% (Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey 2016).
  • Programme of expert speakers, which in 2016 included the Head of the UK’s International Policing Academy, ambassadors and senior diplomats from Guinea, Tanzania and Sudan, and the Managing Director of NHS Protect.
  • Wide network of contacts with individual experts and respected institutions in the field of international security, including the NCA (National Crime Agency), the anti-mafia and anti-trafficking prosecution team and police unit in Sicily, Chatham House, International Centre for Asset Recovery in Basel, Tec de Monterrey in Mexico, UNA in Costa Rica, University of Naples Federico II, University of Palermo, Universita’ del Salento etc.
  • Participate in field trips in the UK and abroad, which in 2016 included: field trip to Sicily to study the mafia, the antimafia and counter modern slavery, the EU and NATO headquarters in Brussels; the EU parliament in Strasbourg; the National Model UN in New York; the Houses of Parliament London, Chatham House and the International Coffee Organisation in London and the International Slavery Museum in Liverpool (availability, application and additional costs may apply).

Your main study themes are:

  • International organised crime: The problem of international and transnational organised crime is growing throughout the world. Crimes such as human and drugs trafficking, money laundering, prostitution and illegal arms trading are all sources of concern for government worldwide. Global organised crime is evolving, embracing new markets and new technologies, moving from traditional hierarchies towards more flexible, network-based forms of organisation. Since the end of the Cold War and the subsequent decline of state sponsorship for terrorism, organised criminal activities have become a major revenue source for terrorist groups worldwide.

  • International terrorism: Provides a critical understanding of the issues surrounding contemporary international terrorism. This specifically includes its different causes and rationales, the relationship that it has to other forms of violence and social protest, the ethical and practical dilemmas surrounding terrorism, and the response of states and international organisations to international terrorism.

  • Threats to global security: The threat of major armed conflict between states that was a dominant feature of much of the 19th and 20th centuries has been replaced by a range of new threats that include crime, economic inequality, poverty, environmental pollution, diseases, natural disasters, state collapse, non-state actors, terrorism and the re-emergence of racial and religious tension.  In examining these issues, we will focus on the theoretical and practical policy challenges that are posed to global security and ability of states and international organisations to respond to the challenges.

  • Academic skills and techniques: The course provides initial training in the higher cognitive skills of critical analysis, evaluation and synthesis and the related scholarly techniques of critical reading, reflection and writing. These transferable skills are prized by employers and are reinforced throughout the course.

The course has been devised primarily as a one-year full-time programme. It may also be taken over two years on a part-time basis with the part-time students participating in the same classes as the full-time students. For part-time students, the taught modules will be split evenly between the two years.
During the first two semesters, we will teach three mandatory modules designed to establish the core agenda of the programme and two optional modules, in addition to the Research Methods and Research Design modules. In Semester Three, you will complete a 15,000-word dissertation. All modules are assigned 20 credits, except the ‘Research Methods’ and ‘Research Design’ modules (10 credits). The dissertation is assigned 60 credits. 

The topics included in the course are delivered as interactive and multimedia workshops. They blend case studies, practical illustrations and theoretical analysis. Each session is designed to encourage interaction and debate. 

Within all sessions, we draw on our own research experience, which often leads to lively debate in live webinars with academics and peer students. For example, on topics such as: the challenges of migration management in the Mediterranean; the state’s incapacity to protect; international policing interventions; challenging the mafia mystique; and civil society responses to drug trafficking in Mexico and Central America. The course team ensures that you have extensive tutorial access to discuss your relationship with the course’s subject matter and your own intellectual development.

We aim to provide a series of specialist workshops, delivered by experienced practitioners including ambassadors, UN weapons inspectors, chief constables, antimafia judges and anti-trafficking and smuggling officers. You will have opportunities to undertake regular field trips to institutions in the UK, such as the Houses of Parliament and Chatham House. We also offer valuable international experiences of diplomatic practice through study trips to, for example, Brussels and Strasbourg, which expose you to the realities of formulating foreign policy. You could also take part in online international learning: participating in live online debates in Italy or presenting with fellow Security students in Mexico, Costa Rica, Italy and Germany.

Assessment employs a range of methods including: individual coursework, seminar-based assessment, presentations, projects, written papers, exercises and individual and group presentations. The pass mark for modules is 40%. You must undertake and pass all seven mandatory modules, plus two optional modules to achieve the MA. 

You will engage in a variety of written coursework methods, including academic essays, comparative review essays, reports, research designs, reflective diaries and logs, as well as reflective writing, group presentations and video podcasts on some modules. There are no exams on the course.

On successful completion, you should have knowledge of:

  • The nature of terrorism, its evolution and role in the changing world order.
  • The threat of organised crime in the changing world order.
  • The changing international environment and the threats posed to global security.
  • The principles of consultancy and the theories and practices found in leadership.

On successful completion, you should be able to:

  • Evaluate the different perspectives and approaches used in the study of terrorism, organised crime and global security.
  • Demonstrate awareness of, and sensitivity to, differing international environments and the impact that these have on terrorism, international crime and global security.
  • Apply advanced research skills, identify appropriate sources and methods, take personal responsibility and demonstrate initiative in dealing with complex and unpredictable environments.
  • Demonstrate advanced analytical and evaluative skills to construct fair, coherent and convincing arguments.
  • Exhibit advanced problem-solving skills, tackling complex issues both independently and as part of a team, identifying appropriate solutions in a systematic, creative and constructive manner.

In a typical week you will have up to 15 ‘contact’ hours of teaching. This generally breaks down as follows:

  • Large group teaching: 6 hours of plenary workshops each week.
  • Small/medium group teaching: 9 hours of group workshops each week.

In addition, you will be expected to undertake a further 25 hours of self-directed study each week, eg. working on course assignments and preparing for workshops.

Attracting students from a number of different countries to this course, including Nigeria, Indonesia, Croatia, Oman, Austria, Ghana, Pakistan and the UK, we offer a multicultural learning experience of diverse cultures and values, which will better prepare you to work in an increasingly globalised job market.

In addition to the international opportunities described above, the School of Humanities has a partnership with Lazarski University in Warsaw, Poland. There is the possibility of individual students exchanging with Lazarski under the Erasmus programme. Students have previously participated in Model European Parliaments in Coventry and in Lecce, Italy, in conjunction with the British Council and funded by the EU through its Youth in Action programme. We have also held Online International Learning (OIL) activities, including webinars and exchange visits, with the University of Costa Rica, the University of Buenos Aires and with the South International Cooperation organisation in Sicily. 

Global ready

Did you know we help more students travel internationally than any other UK university according to data from the experts in higher education data and analysis, HESA?

In 2014/15, we were able to provide a total of 2,264 student experiences abroad that lasted at least five days, 73% of which were our own organised trips for undergraduates and 27% from postgraduate travel. Plus, we've been able to help more than 5,000 students spend time in other countries, from America to China, India and beyond.

Much of this travel is made possible through our Global Leaders Programme, which enables students to prepare for the challenges of the global employment market, as well as strengthening and developing their broader personal and professional skills.

Explore our international experiences

1st for

international experiences

Sending more students overseas than any other UK uni (HESA)


Student experiences

The number of student trips abroad for at least 5 days in 2014/15


and counting

The number of students we’ve helped travel internationally so far


global programmes

As well as trips, we offer other opportunities like language courses

Entry Requirements

Applicants should hold a good honours degree in a relevant academic discipline. Applications from candidates with relevant experiences will be considered on an individual basis.

Applicants should hold a good honours degree in a relevant academic discipline. Applications from candidates with relevant experiences will be considered on an individual basis.

English as a Foreign Language: This course requires IELTS of 6.5 or above. Pre-sessional English is available if required.

Our International Student Hub offers information on entry requirements for your country, as well as contact details for agents and representatives should you need more advice.

More detail

Applicants should hold a good honours degree in a relevant academic discipline. Applications from candidates with relevant experiences will be considered on an individual basis.

English as a Foreign Language: This course requires IELTS of 6.5 or above. Pre-sessional English is available if required.

Our International Student Hub offers information on entry requirements for your country, as well as contact details for agents and representatives should you need more advice.

More detail

Tuition Fees

We pride ourselves on offering competitive tuition fees which we review on an annual basis and offer a wide range of scholarships to support students with their studies. Course fees are calculated on the basis of what it costs to teach each course and we aim for total financial transparency.



September 2018

£6,500 (per year)

January 2019

£6,500 (per year)


If you're a truly outstanding undergraduate candidate we may be able to offer you a Coventry University Scholarship. Coventry University Scholarships are awarded to recognise truly exceptional sports achievement and academic excellence.



September 2018

£6,500 (per year)

January 2019

£6,500 (per year)


For the September 2017 and January 2018 intakes, we're investing £1 million into scholarships for high achieving and enterprising students. Our scholarships are worth up to £10,000 and every student that applies will be considered. Fulfil your potential this academic year with Coventry University!



September 2018

£12,500 (per year)

January 2019

£12,500 (per year)


For the September 2017 and January 2018 intakes, we're investing £1 million into scholarships for high achieving and enterprising students. Our scholarships are worth up to £10,000 and every student that applies will be considered. Fulfil your potential this academic year with Coventry University!

Career prospects

Employers are looking for individuals with the ability to work across different cultures, to manage teams and possess problem-solving and critical analysis skills.

The CMI accredited ‘Global Professional Development’ module will help to set you apart in a competitive job market. You should gain practical leadership skills to critically evaluate and develop solutions for complex, inter-related, multi-faceted issues that you will experience in your future organisations.

We encourage you to gain first-hand experience through volunteering and placement opportunities. In the past, students have undertaken internships in counter terrorism with the West Midlands Police or antimafia and anti-trafficking grass-root project in Sicily, France and Greece and spent time conducting research in universities abroad, such as the Arab-American University in Jenin, or an antimafia research centre in Palermo.

The course can help you purse or advance a career in the armed forces, police force, international agencies such as the United Nations or the European Union or other international NGOs.

Where our graduates work

Our graduates have been successful in securing employment in the foreign services of a range of countries from Ethiopia to the UK, as well as working in government departments in Barbados, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and the United Kingdom. Several have gone on to enter the diplomatic service in their home country; others have sought careers in international organisations, nongovernmental organisations, or international commerce and business.

Some students are now working with big security firms in different parts of the world, others with NGOs and national police or military forces.


By accepting your offer of a place with us, a Student Contract (“the Contract”) will be formed between you and the University. The Contract will detail all of your rights and also the obligations you will be bound by during your time as a student and will also contain all of the obligations that the University owes to you.  We would encourage you to read the Student Contract before you accept any offer of a place at the University. A copy of the Contract can be found here.