MSc Counter-Terrorism Studies (PgDip, PgCert)

Start date(s)
September 2022
Study mode
Distance learning
Course enquiries should be made to Knect365:
+44(0)20 7017 4483

About this course

Study global security issues facing the international community.

This 100% distance learning programme is delivered in partnership KNECT365/Informa.

  • Provides flexible distance learning in counter-terrorism studies for full-time employees
  • Aims to produce competent, informed reflectively and ethically competent students who have a developed academic understanding the key issues within counter-terrorism studies and the theories underpinning the discipline
  • Enables students to investigate terrorism and counter-terrorism learning from academic, strategic and operational perspectives 

The Counter-Terrorism Studies programme aims to offer an unrivalled insight into the current debates and controversies around the subject, providing a solid grasp of the growth of the phenomena, its political context and, most importantly, delivering a thorough examination of the latest counter-terrorism measures.

These are outlined from both a military and community engagement point of view and the course draws on contemporary examples and learning from academic, strategic and operational perspectives. The course also explores the ethical and legal issues raised by counter-terrorism operations and situates them within current academic literature. The material is delivered by widely published academics and by experienced practitioners within the counter-terrorism arena. The course is taught by distance learning and aims to connect a diverse body of domestic and international students, across time zones, to share knowledge and develop expertise in the fields.


This course is ideal for those seeking to enter into or advance their counter-terrorism and security related careers in the public and private sectors, as well as professionals already engaged in such fields who seek to enhance their knowledge, critical thinking and career prospects through further qualifications.

The Counter-Terrorism Studies programme is an excellent preparation for many careers including:

  • The civil and foreign service
  • Research
  • Non-governmental organisations
  • The security sector
  • Private firms
  • Consultancy and advisory roles 

Students are ideally placed to develop their career in the fields of: security management, strategic security analysis, international relations and public policy.


Fees and funding

Money - postgraduate funding informationHow to fund your postgraduate study

You can enrol straight onto the Masters or you will be able to build up to the full Masters in future years if you enrol for the Postgraduate Certificate or Postgraduate Diploma first.

Application fee

An application fee of £400 is payable to KNect365 with your application to enrol. This fee must be paid before your application to enrol commences processing. For convenience the online KNect365 Learning registration form includes the ability to pay this fee securely by credit card in GBP, USD or EUR. On acceptance to the course, this application fee is deducted from the full course fee.

Note: The application fee will be refunded if your application for enrolment is rejected by Liverpool John Moores University on academic grounds. It is not refundable if your application is rejected due to incomplete information being provided, if you withdraw your application before all documents have been submitted or before acceptance.

Payment by instalments

There is an interest free instalment plan available. You may pay in 2 instalments for the Postgraduate Certificate, 4 for the Postgraduate Diploma and 5 for the Masters.

If you are a UK or EU national, or have UK ‘settled status’, have lived in the UK or the EU (or wider EEA) for the last 3 years, will be living on the UK on the first day of your course and haven’t been awarded a MSc, MA, MBA or PhD already, you may be eligible for a loan of up to £10,609 from the UK Government to study this course.

Visit the UK Government site for information, download the PDF guide or call the Student Loan Company on +44 (0)30 0100 0031.


Further your career prospects

LJMU has an excellent employability record with 96% (Graduate Outcomes, 2018/19) of our postgraduates in work or further study 15 months after graduation. Our applied learning techniques and strong industry connections ensure our students are fully prepared for the workplace on graduation and understand how to apply their knowledge in a real world context.

The student experience

Discover life as a postgraduate student at LJMU.

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Course modules

Discover the building blocks of your programme

Your programme is made up of a number of core modules which are part of the course framework. Some programmes also have optional modules that can be selected to enhance your learning in certain areas and many feature a dissertation, extended report or research project to demonstrate your advanced learning.

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Core modules

Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism (PgCert)
20 credits

This module examines terrorism and political violence conducted by non-state actors. It is equally concerned to analyse counter-terrorism and other responses by the state, the security services and the police. It aims to explore the phenomena of terrorism, including the different historical definitions of terrorism, and the varying motivational factors for terrorist violence. It also aims to provide an overview of the different theoretical approaches to terrorism studies and an overview of the threat from ‘New Terrorism’ and the ‘War on Terror’. The module engages closely with key texts by leading scholars in terrorism studies, critical terrorism studies and pays special attention to criminological approaches to the subject.

Intelligence Analysis (PgCert)
20 credits

This module considers what intelligence and analysis means: its overall role and its application to security related issues of law enforcement, governmental and international agencies, and the private sector. It deals with issues pertaining to the use of proactive intelligence and analysis.

Contemporary Issues in Crime, Safety and Security (PgCert)
20 credits

This module aims to introduce you to emerging paradigms within criminology, which tackle safety and security at both local and global levels, and to explore some justifications for the increasing ‘securitisation’ of social life. Key theories and policies related to crime, safety and security will be examined and tested and their ethical and legal implications, outlined. 

You will develop your understanding of contemporary trends in security and emerging security threats and how to counter them through relevant scholarly activity, and through reference to the appropriate academic literature and policy documentation. The module also prepares you for further independent research when you embark on your dissertation.

Community Policing Responses to Violent Extremism Leading to Terrorism (PgDip)
20 credits

In this module, you will examine a variety of approaches and applications of community policing models. These vary widely from state to state depending on how political, social and security structures have evolved. The module then moves on to explore the application of community policing principles to the successful combating of radicalisation and violent extremism leading to terrorism. 

It adopts a practice-based approach to exploring the subject matter with case study examples and reference to government policy and strategy documents. You will be required to take a critical and analytical approach to the topics discussed, considering the strengths and weaknesses of the various methods described. The module considers a range of community-focused responses that can be provided by police organisations. In particular, it weighs the strengths and weaknesses of multiculturalism as an effective antidote to radicalisation and violent extremism that lead to terrorism. It seeks to equip you with an in-depth knowledge of community policing models and how they can be applied in an operational setting.

Military and Security Responses to Terrorism (PgDip)
20 credits

This module will examine and evaluate the recent military and intelligence led responses to counterterrorism. It will outline and evaluate these tactics and techniques in relation to both their ethical justifications and their operational effectiveness. The module will review the wide variety of techniques deployed by the military and security services.

Understanding Terrorist Financing (PgDip)
20 credits

The module examines terrorist groups and how they obtain and use finances, both for operational attacks and for long term existential objectives of the group or organisation. It further examines the international counter measures and analyses how successful or otherwise these have been to date. It considers the modes of operation of terrorist fundraising from both an operational practitioner perspective and from the long term strategic international perspective.

Counter-Terrorism Dissertation (Msc)
60 credits

The dissertation enables you to investigate in depth a topic within the field of Counter-Terrorism. You can select your own research area, but this is subject to authorisation by the course leader. The dissertation must include independent and original empirical research. You will be required to submit a formal dissertation plan. Once this has been approved, you will be allocated a dissertation tutor, and for the remainder of the module supervision of the dissertation will be conducted on an individual basis. It is expected that pertinent knowledge and skills gained in other course modules will be reflected in the dissertation. 


An insight into teaching on your course

Teaching methods

The course is taught in a distance learning format, with no attendance required on campus. All aspects of the programme are managed over the internet using a dedicated virtual learning environment platform which manages your learning schedule. The course will include access to online study materials plus tutorial and discussion forums for networking and interacting with tutors and peers. Forum discussions allow you to co-operate across time zones and share knowledge, experience or discuss the course content with other students and course tutors.

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Person sat using laptop


How learning is monitored on your programme

To cater for the wide-ranging content of our courses and the varied learning preferences of our students, we offer a range of assessment methods on each programme.

Course tutors

Entry requirements

You will need:

  • a relevant honours degree - minimum 2:2 (such as in criminology, social or political science)


  • an overseas equivalent qualification 


  • a graduate level professional qualification of comparable standard and suitable work experience (such as policing, security or military work) 

Additional requirements

  • Minimum IELTS score of 6.5 or a TOEFL score of 575
  • In some cases applicants who do not possess the standard entry requirements may be permitted to enrol at the discretion of the programme leader
  • On application you will need to submit proof of your prior qualifications, your CV, a copy of your passport page and the £400 application fee
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Please note: All international qualifications are subject to a qualification equivalency check via NARIC.

View country specific entry requirements

Contact LJMU's International Admissions Team for guidance on visa information. Further information is also available from our international web pages.

Application and selection

Securing your place at LJMU

You must apply directly to KNECT 365 for this programme. The link will be available via the "Apply Now" button at the top of this page.

As part of your application you will be asked to upload the following documents:

  1. Copies of any academic/ professional certificates
  2. A copy of your CV
  3. A personal statement explaining your reasons for choosing the course and your interest in the subject
  4. A copy of the back page of your passport showing the photo and passport number

These should be uploaded to the application form or can be emailed direct to if you have problems uploading. These must be submitted before you can be accepted.

Once you are ready, please complete the online application form where you will also be asked to submit credit card details for payment of the application fee as detailed above. Students who do not provide credit card details will be 

invoiced and your application will not be submitted for acceptance until the application fee has been paid. The application fee is refundable should your application not be accepted on academic grounds.

Cut-off date

The application deadline for this course is 4 September 2020.

The University reserves the right to withdraw or make alterations to a course and facilities if necessary; this may be because such changes are deemed to be beneficial to students, are minor in nature and unlikely to impact negatively upon students or become necessary due to circumstances beyond the control of the University. Where this does happen, the University operates a policy of consultation, advice and support to all enrolled students affected by the proposed change to their course or module.

Further information on the terms and conditions of any offer made, our admissions policy and the complaints and appeals process.

Important info about this course