Counter Terrorism MSc/PGDip/PGCert

Counter Terrorism MSc/PGDip/PGCert

School of Forensic and Applied Sciences


Post- graduate




Preston and Online

Contact UCLan

Course Enquiries
University of Central Lancashire
Preston, PR1 2HE, UK.

Tel: +44 (0)1772 892400

  • Duration:

    Full-time: One year, Part-time: Two years

  • Level:


  • Mode:


  • Delivery:

    Mixed Mode, Full-time and Part-time

  • Campus:

    Preston and Online

  • Start Date:


  • Award Type:


Why study this programme?

This programme is designed using a practice-informed perspective and delivered by expert practitioners with extensive experience. You’ll develop an in-depth understanding of legislation, policy and the latest methods used to deal with the changing face of violent extremism in the UK and internationally, enabling you to enhance your career prospects. You’ll be taught using a combination of lectures, interactive seminars and self-directed study to develop theoretical knowledge and practical application of the key aspects of counter terrorism. This course is available in full-time, part-time and distance learning modes of study.  

This course is available in full-time, part-time and distance learning modes of study.  

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Entry Requirements

An honours degree at level 2.2 or above, or equivalent qualifications and experience. Applications are welcome from individuals with non-standard qualifications.

Proficiency in the use of spoken and written English is required. Students whose first language is not English will need to meet the University’s English language requirement.


Programme at a Glance


Semester 1

  • FZ4711 International Terrorism
  • FZ4708 Policing Terrorism
  • FZ4710 Religion and Radicalisation

Semester 2

  • FZ4701 Research Methods
  • FZ4712 Investigating Terrorism

Semester 3

  • FZ4707 MSc Dissertation



Year 1: Semester 1

  • FZ4708 Policing Terrorism
  • FZ4710 Religion and Radicalisation


Year 1: Semester 2

  • FZ4712 Investigating Terrorism


Year 2: Semester 1

  • FZ4711 International Terrorism


Year 2: Semester 2

  • FZ4701 Research Methods


Year 2: Semester 3

  • FZ4707 MSc Dissertation


Further Information

FZ4701 Research Methods for Crime & Criminal Justice
Investigators are required to have a wide range of skills beyond expertise in their specialist subject. This module provides the necessary skills in research techniques appropriate to the discipline, project management, data analysis and retrieval etc. and equips the student to undertake primary research by acceptable and valid methodologies, some of which will be used in the dissertation module. 

FZ4707 MSc Dissertation
You will undertake a project which uses and enhances many of the skills learnt on the course, including undertaking primary research. Following the conclusion of the work, you will complete a 10,000 word report on the project as well as give a presentation of your findings; you will be expected to justify your choice of research methodology and comment on your work’s validity and reliability.

FZ4708 Policing Terrorism
Terrorism is an area of criminality that established investigative agencies such as the police are required to investigate. This policing area is subject to much attention because of world-wide events such as 9/11 and the UK has developed the CONTEST strategy as a response. The module aims to provide students with detailed knowledge of UK law and policy on terrorism.

FZ4710 Religion and Radicalisation
History shows that extremism comes in many forms and is motivated in a variety of ways. This module critically examines how faith affects radicalisation in context and what this might mean for counter terrorism methodologies and leadership of organisations responsible for this task. Approaches to reducing the likelihood of young people being radicalised into violent extremism are explored and the module aims to provide students with a conceptual understanding of the difficulties involved and to develop and apply solutions.

FZ4711 International Terrorism
This module critically reviews appropriate legislation and policy illustrating these by use of significant case studies and examination of the resulting investigations. The relationship between organisations tasked with investigative responsibilities and the wider political landscape are considered. Emerging international threats and the factors which drive terrorism are explored and students successfully completing the module will have a comprehensive knowledge of the subject matter.

FZ4712 Investigating Terrorism
This module describes how students might understand the investigation of terrorist crimes operating at a complex level. Students apply legislation, policy and techniques appropriate to investigations into terrorist incidents. Examining issues in respect of intelligence-led working with partner agencies students successfully completing the module will have a comprehensive understanding of relevant investigative strategies.



Typically, graduates continue in their specialist posts, with enhanced career prospects. Some students move into consultancy, or move careers into CT-related roles within the police or security services.

Progression to PhD is available within the School. 

Study Policing and Forensic Science at UCLan

How to Apply

Our Postgraduate section has more information around applying including visiting UCLan and the support available.

If you want to continue and apply now, you can apply for many of the postgraduate UCLan courses using our Online Application System.

For other postgraduate courses you can apply directly to UCLan by downloading a Postgraduate Application Form (.pdf 190KB) please also see our Postgraduate Application Guidance Notes (.pdf 158KB).


For detailed information about studying this course at UCLan, please see the course handbook for your year of entry:

For information on possible changes to course information, see our Important Information.


Apply now or see further information about postgraduate study and research. International students should visit our international pages.

Contact Us

Tel: +44 (0)1772 892400


Fees 2020/21

Full-time: £6,900 per year (UK/EU)
Part-time: £765 per 20 credits (Taught) (UK/EU), £1,125 per 20 credits (DL)(All Domiciles)

Further information:

For 2019/20 fees please refer to our fees page.

UK Government Postgraduate Loans Scheme

If you're thinking of studying a master's or doctoral degree you could be eligible for a loan from the Government to help you study.

For additional help with financing your studies, UCLan offers a range of Postgraduate scholarships, studentships, bursaries and the Alumni loyalty discount.

View further information

Industry Links

The entire course delivery team are serving or former practitioners in the various fields of counter terrorism . The full-time academic tutors are engaged in subject-relevant research while associate tutors keep relevant in their specialist area by working with national and international organisations and various North West police services. The course team maintain strong links with counter terrorism agencies and the police service, especially within the North West of England. The programme is designed to improve career prospects and employability.


Learning Environment and Assessment

All modules are assessed by coursework. Each assignment is based upon work covered on the course.
To ensure there is not an excessive amount of assessment at any one time, coursework is spread throughout the course.

The course can be taken full or part time and also as an attended or online option. The full-time attended option has face-to-face teaching of six hours each week at Preston. However you can also complete the course part-time, over two years. There is also a full-time and part-time option of completing the degree online which means you do not need to attend classes at Preston, but meet other students and tutors in an online environment.

Course Team

Ian Palmer lecturer in Counter terrorism (undergraduate and postgraduate)
Having completed thirty years police service and reaching the rank of Superintendent, Ian joined the lecturing team in February 2017 having been a guest lecturer since 2014. Ian’s policing focused on divisional policing in Greater Manchester’s inner city areas and strategic leadership in the areas of Criminal Justice, Performance Management and Evidence Based Policing. Ian completed European Baccalaureate studies in Valladolid, Spain in 1985 prior to commencing a policing career with Greater Manchester Police. He was awarded a Masters in Criminology from Cambridge University in 2011 where his research area was the use of evidence based practice in policing. He was a founding member of the British Society of Evidence Based Policing and his Master’s thesis has been cited in a number of academic journal articles and books. Ian is currently undertaking Doctoral research into the phenomena of ‘Suspect Communities’ within a counter-terrorism context.