Political Violence and Radicalisation Studies - MSc

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Why study this course?

This MSc degree will provide you with the analytical understanding and knowledge to lead the agenda for prevention of two of the world's most pressing issues, the politics of violence and radicalisation at the national and global scale.

University experts in politics, sociology, criminology and international relations will critically instruct you on current policies and social practices related to national and global scenarios of violence and radicalisation.

More about this course

This course looks in-depth at the concepts and politics surrounding terrorism, political violence and security worldwide. It provides an understanding of the forces of global politics and develops the skills needed to engage in academic and professional discussions that are shaping the international agenda on violence and radicalisation. With a particular focus on human rights and international conflict, the course strikes a balance between the theoretical and practical elements of the study of international relations.

You'll be able to develop a specialism in a field that interests you, including politics and international relations, women's studies, conflict resolution and contemporary issues in sociology and criminology.

We invite visiting professors and experts in criminology and international relations to the University to share their expertise. These guest visits complement the knowledge of our academics, who are actively engaged in research in fields including street crime, gangs and police body cameras. Their expertise will support you when undertaking your dissertation.

Research on political violence and radicalisation is a growing concern for academia. The crisis of violence, corruption, terrorism and security in regions such as Latin America, Africa and the Far East guarantee the need of specialists and professionals in political violence and radicalisation worldwide. On graduation you'll be at the cutting-edge of these issues globally, regionally and nationally.


You'll be assessed through coursework and a dissertation of between 12,000 and 15,000 words. The dissertation forms a key element of your master's degree and allows you to gain in-depth knowledge of your chosen topic.

Fees and key information

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Entry requirements

You will be required to have:

  • a minimum a lower second class (2.2) honours degree in a relevant discipline such as criminology, politics, international development or social and behavioural sciences

Applications are also welcome from those who have experience in criminal justice or possess relevant professional qualifications.

To study a degree at London Met, you must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. If you require a Tier 4 student visa you may need to provide the results of a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

If you need (or wish) to improve your English before starting your degree, the University offers a Pre-sessional Academic English course to help you build your confidence and reach the level of English you require.

Accelerated study

You may also be accepted on the basis of relevant education and experience. Accredited prior learning can also be accepted for modules in a relevant subject.

Modular structure

The modules listed below are for the academic year 2020/21 and represent the course modules at this time. Modules and module details (including, but not limited to, location and time) are subject to change over time.

Year 1 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Thursday evening

    According to republican ideals, citizenship originally denoted being an active part of a city and its civil society, of a polis and its political community, not simply the possessor of a passport. This module explores the changing meaning and continuing potential of citizenship, including the modern separation of the politics of the sovereign, bureaucratic state from the market society of its economically active subjects, and the failure of twentieth-century attempts to use states’ representative democracy to democratize society and justify corporate and institutionalized power in terms of citizens’ participation. This failure has much to do with the massive scale of modern political and economic organization, and the module will explore recent arguments about both the politics of locality and community and the relation of citizenship and rights to duties, virtues, and justice.

    Module aims

    • To provide a historical and critical introduction to ideas, theories and arguments about
    citizenship and social justice.
    • To explore ethical ideas and to articulate such ideas in the construction of a logical argument.
    • To relate philosophical propositions to political, social and economic issues and to institutional, legal and policy prescriptions.
    Module learning outcomes
    By the end of this module students will be able to:
    • understand the sources and development of contemporary ideas and practices of
    • analyse, articulate, criticize and defend ethical ideas, and apply such ideas in the
    evaluation of political ideologies and institutions and of social and economic policies;
    • present and defend a logical argument supported by relevant evidence.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Friday afternoon
    • autumn semester - Friday afternoon

    The module gives students the opportunity to attain achievement of a high level of personal development by working independently with the minimum necessary supervision. The module enables students to investigate in depth a specific core question related to the field of political violence and radicalisation. The module aims to:

    - assist students in designing their research proposal and completing their dissertation;
    - provide students with advanced analytical skills to conduct research for their thesis independently;
    -instruct students into assessing the strengths and limitations of research methods for answering questions on political violence and counter-radicalisation strategies;

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester
    • autumn semester

    This module introduces students in the main issues surrounding political violence in a contemporary world: key definitions, past and present accounts, current theories, and tactics for prevention and solution to political violence in selected settings. This introductory module presents the ethos for the course by challenging students to think critically about different forms of political violence (e.g. such as conventional and civil war, ‘New Wars’, colonial and decolonisation violence, counter-insurgencies, torture and domestic repression, demonstrations and riots, and terror) from a sociological, political, human rights and media perspectives. Ultimately, the module enables critical engagement with government responses and a comparative view of where the UK sits in relation to political violence in other countries.
    The content in the module is organised in five sections: political violence – causes and consequences; the politics of naming: ‘New Wars’, genocide and crimes against humanity; Citizenship and war: refugees, Internally Displaced Peoples (DPs), women and children; Political violence and humanitarian intervention; and finally, Political violence: the role of media and social media. Students have the opportunity to return to the content addressed in this module throughout their module choice in the course.

    This module aims to:

    1. introduce students to the concepts of the radicalisation; its development globally in different settings, e.g. war, civil war, colonial and postcolonial times and its different manifestation including political violence
    2. explore the impacts of radicalisation and political violence on governments, society and individuals..
    3. explain the different forms of political violence and the political and social policy responses to them
    4. provide account of mass media involvement with radicalisation and political violence and use of contemporary communication modes for dissemination and prevention.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Wednesday evening

    This module is an opportunity for students to engage with the growing literature in this field, to learn about statutory obligations like the Prevent Duty and to critically analyse socio-political movements and state responses to those movements from a human rights perspective. This module will challenge students to think about the usefulness and operationalisation of particular concepts (extremism, radicalisation, terrorism, racism, fascism, and fundamentalism), it will provide a detailed analysis of current modes of radicalisation (face to face, online, offline, through networks and through institutions like prisons) and specific right wing or extremist formations (white supremacist, Christian Right, Muslim fundamentalism or Islamism, Zionism, Sikh and Hindu fundamentalism) and consider in detail the impact on specific groups of people (women/girls, children/young people, dissenters and minorities). The module will enable critical engagement with government responses and a comparative view of where the UK sits in relation to counter-radicalisation strategies in other countries.

    The module aims are as follows:
    • To consider and critically engage with key concepts;
    • To provide an understanding of the ideological projects of the groups concerned and their mobilisation tactics;
    • To nurture a human rights framework for responding to radicalisation;
    • To encourage a comparative analysis of these formations;
    • To encourage a comparative analysis of state and civil society responses.

    This is a core module for the MSc Political Violence and Radicalisation Studies, the PGCert in Political Violence and Radicalisation Studies, and the PGDip in Political Violence and Radicalisation Studies. It will also contribute to teaching in Sociology, Criminology and Politics and International Relations. It provides an important foundation for anyone that wants to make a contribution to countering the rise of racism, fascism, fundamentalism and terrorism.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • summer studies

    The module aims to:

    1. Provide a thorough grounding in the understanding and appreciation of criminological research methods.
    2. Develop a competence in understanding the strengths and limitation of quantitative and qualitative research
    3. Develop a competence in analysing quantitative and qualitative research data and writing research reports.
    4. Assist students in designing and conducting research for their thesis, and in developing their skills of critical reflection and analysis.
    5. To critically appraise quantitative and qualitative research produced by statutory agencies (such the Home Office, the Metropolitan Police) and voluntary sector organisations related to the Criminal Justice System to enhance their employment prospects.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester

    This module will focus on methodological approaches to researching forms of violence which are primarily targeted against women and children (e.g. domestic violence, rape, sexual assault and childhood sexual abuse, sexual exploitation and trafficking, crimes in the name of honour, female genital mutilation, stalking and harassment) and evaluating support and prevention initiatives/interventions. Content will cover: feminist epistemologies and power in the research process; formulating research questions; ethical dilemmas and practices; survey methods, including prevalence data; qualitative research exploring women and children’s perspectives as well as those of perpetrators; creative and arts-based methods; policy-oriented research. In the second half of the module, we introduce approaches to evaluation and the specific issues, challenges and opportunities when creating knowledge through evaluating interventions with victim-survivors and perpetrators of violence. Module aims:

    • To introduce feminist epistemological and methodological approaches to research
    • To explore the range of methods used to build the evidence base on violence against women and children, and their creep into policy contexts
    • To assess the strengths and limitations of qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods for answering research questions on violence against women and children
    • To critically examine approaches to evaluating interventions with victim-survivors and perpetrators of violence
    • To explore the creation and critique of knowledge claims about violence and interventions

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Tuesday morning

    Students with experience of a particular area of the criminal justice system, and concomitant attempts to enhance crime control and community safety, will be able to formalise and consolidate their knowledge of agencies and policy, and to place their work within a broader framework. The module will enable such students to critically integrate and evaluate their existing knowledge and skills.
    All students will develop their skills of critical reflection and analysis and apply such skills to a fuller appreciation of contemporary crime control and community safety. Students will enhance their knowledge of crime control and community safety through relevant scholarly activity, and through reference to the appropriate academic literature and policy documentation. The module aims to provide an advanced knowledge of 'best practice’ as it pertains to crime control and community safety, with an emphasis on practical application: as such, it is hoped that the module will appeal to students already engaged in crime prevention and community safety work, or to those who seek employment in this area.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Friday afternoon

    The module explores the factors among children and young people, which are identified, through research, as being associated with future offending. The module starts by looking at the research and theoretical issues underpinning ‘risk factors’ and then moves on to look at early intervention programmes which have aim to target children who are identified as at risk, and how they might prevent future offending. Students are encouraged to consider critically the theory, ethics, and impact of these interventions

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Tuesday morning

    This module provides a broad introduction to cybercrime and cyber security evolution. The module examines the relationship between advances in Internet-based and digital technologies, and their criminal exploitation within cyberspace. It examines a wide range of cyber threats, attacks and risks, and the strategies employed to mitigate these, including the laws that are in place to protect and prevent online crimes/cybercrimes.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Wednesday morning

    The module aims to enable students to:
    Explore the prevalence of and trends in violence in the UK and globally
    Identify and assess violent crimes specific to particular communities
    Use various theories within the field of criminology to explain and understand violent behaviour

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Wednesday afternoon

    This module will explore the concept of security as it is understood in international relations discipline. What has been the rationale for the development of a distinct concept of ‘human security’? What are the implications of the concept of human security for our understanding of security in the international system? It will then examine the application of the concept to substantive problems and policy areas. These include the impact of environmental degradation, mass population movement, human trafficking and international crime. Finally, it will assess the impact of the concept on the strategies and policies of international organisations and states.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Tuesday afternoon

    • Enables students to evaluate differing interpretations of the political importance of religious actors in international relations
    • Educates students about doctrines and organizational methods of major religious currents insofar as these are relevant to international relations
    • Informs students about Transnational Religious Actors and their role in international relations

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester

    This module will focus on forms of sexual violence in child and adulthood. We will address: incidence, prevalence and reporting; theoretical and explanatory frameworks; impacts and meaning for victims/survivors; persistence and change with respect to legal frameworks, the justice system and support services; perpetrators and approaches to prevention.

    This module will:
    - explore the extent and forms of sexual violence in child and adulthood;
    - critically examine theoretical, conceptual and explanatory frameworks;
    - locate legal reform, support services and policy development in historical and comparative contexts;
    - examine the impacts and consequences for individuals and for gender and generational relations;
    - explore prevention and work with perpetrators in context of contemporary sexual norms and cultures.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Tuesday morning

    This module explores the relationship between the state and terrorism and considers how the nation state has been the perpetrator and a motivating factor behind terrorist acts, as well as considering other reasons behind such acts of violence. Students will consider the role of the state as a protector of its citizens has been challenged by its own actions and by terrorist organisations including groups such as ISIS.
    The module goes on to outline contemporary terrorist tactics and reviews the impact on national and international responses to terrorism

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After the course

As a graduate in Political Violence and Radicalisation MSc you'll be prepared for a future career in the national diplomatic services, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), international political support organisations, journalism, teaching, higher education, the armed forces or public sector management.

You'll also be able to continue to study at PhD level and gain the knowledge, understanding and skills applicable to teaching and research in the field.

If you're already engaged in a related occupation, you'll benefit from academic contextualisation with which to understand and evaluate the complexity of varied agencies, departments and policies related to the politics of violence and radicalisation.

Alternative qualifications

You may be eligible to gain alternative qualifications based on the number of modules you complete. The qualifications and requirements are as follows:

  • PG Certificate in Political Violence and Radicalisation Studies (60 credits) – two core and one alternative core modules
  • PG Diploma in Political Violence and Radicalisation Studies (120 credits) – four taught core and two optional modules
  • MSc in Political Violence and Radicalisation Studies (180 credits) – five core and two optional modules

Additional costs

Please note, in addition to the tuition fee there may be additional costs for things like equipment, materials, printing, textbooks, trips or professional body fees.

Additionally, there may be other activities that are not formally part of your course and not required to complete your course, but which you may find helpful (for example, optional field trips). The costs of these are additional to your tuition fee and the fees set out above and will be notified when the activity is being arranged.

How to apply

Use the apply button to begin your application.

Non-EU applicants looking to study part-time should apply direct to the University. If you require a Tier 4 visa and wish to study a postgraduate course on a part-time basis, please read our how to apply information for international students to ensure you have all the details you need about the application process.

When to apply

You are advised to apply as early as possible as applications will only be considered if there are places available on the course.

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