module specification

SC6052 - Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism (2024/25)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2024/25
Module title Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Social Sciences and Professions
Total study hours 150
45 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
105 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 100%   3000 word essay
Running in 2024/25

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester North Thursday Afternoon

Module summary

The aim of the module is to examine the debate over of the origin of a variety of forms of ideological, nationalist and religiously motivated violence in the form of 'terrorism'. You will examine the contemporary range of counter terrorist agencies and policies in the national and international context. You will develop a deep critical understanding of the ways in which meanings are constructed and how these impact on social life.

Prior learning requirements

Available for Study Abroad? YES


The syllabus will include coverage of topics such as those listed below.

  • Introduction to the concepts, definitions and problems: What is ‘terrorism’? this session explores key concepts of ‘terrorism’. (LO1)
  • History of terrorism: this session explores the historical account of terrorism. (LO2)
  • Terrorism and Legislation: this session explores the various efforts to define terrorism in various conventions and law. (LO1, LO4) 
  • State terrorism: this session critically evaluates state-sponsored terrorism. (LO3)
  • War on Terror - Counter-Terrorism strategies and policies: this session explores the focus of UK counter terrorism policy and practical counter terror measures. (LO4)
  • Contemporary examples: these sessions explore different examples of terrorism such as Islamic Terrorism, Far Right Terrorism and specific country examples. (LO3,4)
  • Problematising gender and terrorism: this session explores the link between gender and terrorism. (LO1,2,4)
  • Theoretical understanding of terrorism and challenges researching terrorism: this session examines key theoretical explanations for why terrorist acts are committed and the challenges researching terrorism (LO1,2)
  • Assessment workshop: assists you with expressing and defending, orally and in writing, and evidence-based arguments (including Harvard referencing) (LO 1,2,3,4).

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Each week, this module will be delivered through a one-hour lecture, and a two hour seminar or workshop. The reading and workshops will be supported by weblearn and you will be encouraged to engage in debate, presentations and web materials as well as attending lectures and seminars.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, you will be able to:

  1. Understand and critically evaluate the social construction of the concepts of terrorism, abuse and vulnerability.
  2. Describe and analyse the ideologies, strategies and tactics of state terrorism
  3. Produce a case study of non-state or state terrorism.
  4. Evaluate the legitimacy and effectiveness of counter terrorism policies, strategies and operations.