Module code: POLM029

Module provider


Module Leader

GILLESPIE C Dr (Politics)

Number of Credits


ECTS Credits



FHEQ Level 7

JACs code


Module cap (Maximum number of students)


Module Availability

Semester 2

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 128

Lecture Hours: 11

Seminar Hours: 11

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Oral exam or presentation PRESENTATION 20
Examination 2-HOUR EXAM 80

Alternative Assessment


Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module overview

The module offers an introduction to the major theoretical and empirical debates that structure two subdisciplines: Critical Security Studies and Critical Terrorism Studies.  In the first half, the module is organised around core questions in Critical Security Studies, such as: what is security; security for whom of for what; security from whom or from what; how should security be achieved; and is security possible?

In the second half, the module is organised around similar core questions in Critical Terrorism Studies.


Module aims

Provide students with an overview of the development of Critical Security Studies and Critical Terrorism Studies as academic subdisciplines approaches

Assist students in further developing their theoretical vocabulary by introducing them to critical approaches to the study of terrorism international security

Enable students to analyse, understand and think critically about terrorism and international security issues of historical and contemporary significance

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
1 Demonstrate familiarity with major debates in CSS and CTS, concerning both theoretical and substantive topic matter
2 Demonstrate familiarity with and critical engagement of central texts on key issues such as war, globalisation and terrorism
3 Have the fundamental knowledge necessary to progress further into the subdisciplines of CSS and CTS

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Module content

The module is structured in two halves, considering core questions at the heart of CSS and CTS in turn.


Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

Introduce students to core tenets of critical political theorising
Allow them to compare and contrast orthodox and critical perspectives on a limited area of policy. In this case state security and terrorism.
Develop not only an awareness of critical perspectives on the subject, but develop skills for critical reflection on the utility of such a departure from orthodox approaches i.e. to ask whether critical perspectives actually give us anything useful?

The learning and teaching methods include:

Classes are two hour blocks, split between lecture and seminar. The format can shift between the two several times over the course of the teaching block, facilitating an interactive teaching environment
Simulations, debates and policy analysis form key components of seminar activity, giving opportunities for practical application of concepts derived from literature.



Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate

Presentations are used as a means of developing student public engagement skills, presenting a challenge in communication of complex, and at many times controversial ideas in a public context. Students have to not only present their own rationale, but must reflect on the perception of that rationale by their colleagues beforehand. This prepares students for a range of potential difficulties in the public communication of political ideas.
A seen exam is used to assess students to test ability to reflect on critical perspectives in a concise and time limited manner, requiring a substantial amount of forethought and planning. It is within student’s capacity to use the seen aspect to their advantage, but this requires preparation- moreover it means that students must engage with course literature throughout the module rather than utilising in limited portions for written assignments

Reading list


Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
International Relations MSc 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2017/8 academic year.