Terrorism and Political Violence – online or in Singapore (MLitt) 2023 entry

The distance learning MLitt in Terrorism and Political Violence is a part-time online course that seeks to develop in students a critical understanding of the concept of terrorism and political violence within the context of a multidisciplinary approach to security studies.

This programme is also offered with a residential option in Singapore, where students will meet up for a four-day programme of tutorials.

Terrorism and Political Violence is also offered as a full-time residential programme.

Start date
September 2023
End date
Varies depending on how long you take to complete the course
Minimum three years part-time; maximum five years part-time
School of International Relations

Application deadline

Thursday 1 June 2023

Applicants should apply as early as possible to be eligible for certain scholarships and for international visa purposes.

Entry requirements

  • A 2.1 Honours degree in political science, international relations, social sciences or other relevant discipline.
  • A 2.1 Honours degree in any other discipline; successful applicants from other disciplines will likely receive a conditional offer should they be unable to provide evidence of relevant professional experience or prior knowledge.
  • Significant professional or other relevant experience alongside evidence of prior alternative learning such as professional qualifications or certifications.

The qualifications listed are indicative minimum requirements for entry. Some academic Schools will ask applicants to achieve significantly higher marks than the minimum. Obtaining the listed entry requirements will not guarantee you a place, as the University considers all aspects of every application including, where applicable, the writing sample, personal statement, and supporting documents.

Application requirements

  • CV or résumé 
  • personal statement explaining how this programme will enhance your professional development (1,000 words) 
    sample of your own, single-authored previous academic written work or a piece on 'Terrorism is a written term' (2,000 words) 
  • two original signed academic or professional references 
  • academic transcripts and degree certificates. 

For more guidance, see supporting documents and references for postgraduate taught programmes.

English language proficiency

If English is not your first language, you may need to provide an English language test score to evidence your English language ability. See approved English language tests and scores for this course.

Course details

The distance learning MLitt in Terrorism and Political Violence is a part-time taught postgraduate programme run by the School of International Relations.


  • Study in Terrorism and Political Violence examines selected approaches to knowledge generation around terrorism and counterterrorism and considers the development of new responses to terrorism and political violence.
  • The programme utilises both e-learning technologies as well as traditional teaching methods.


Each module typically comprises: 

  • two one-hour tutorials per month plus advertised office hours 
  • a minimum of eight hours of coursework per week 
  • 100% coursework assessment. 

For more details about each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue, which is for the 2022-2023 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2023 entry. 

Distance learning students are required to take four compulsory modules concurrently over two to four years. Students are encouraged to only take one module per year; under certain circumstances, they may be permitted to take two. Each module is completed between September and May. 

  • Fundamental Issues and Structures of Terrorism: introduces the core conceptual issues of terrorism and political violence. 
  • Research Methods: presents appropriate research methods to enable students to critically understand the professional literature and to lay the foundations to enable students to engage in further research. 
  • State Responses to Terrorism: takes a holistic look at state responses to terrorism and political violence; students study the work of scholars from right across the social sciences and humanities who have sought to understand and explain aspects of state responses to terrorism.  
  • Distance Learning Electives: offers students the opportunity to apply the conceptual and theoretical knowledge gained in other modules to selected areas of application, reflecting when possible the student's own interests and needs. 

The final element of the MLitt is a 15,000-word dissertation. The dissertation should focus on an area of terrorism and political violence in which you are interested. Each student is supported by a relevant supervisor from the School who will advise on the choice of subject and provide guidance throughout the research process. The completed dissertation must be submitted by a date specified in August. 

If students choose not to complete the dissertation requirement for the MLitt, there is an exit award available that allows suitably qualified candidates to receive a Postgraduate Diploma. By choosing an exit award, you will finish your degree at the end of the course of study and receive a PGDip instead of an MLitt. 

The modules listed here are indicative, and there is no guarantee they will run for 2023 entry. Take a look at the most up-to-date modules in the module catalogue.


The course is delivered through mixed-mode teaching, which involves online tutorials alongside e-lectures.

Students will take four taught modules followed by a year-long research period finishing in the submission of a 15,000-word dissertation for the award of MLitt. Assessment comprises coursework including essays and projects.

Students who wish to exit the programme with a PGDip in Terrorism and Political Violence will not be required to undertake the dissertation element.

Online tutorial support includes:

  • regular web conferencing
  • direct email contact with tutors
  • podcasts of interviews with area experts
  • access to course materials, including electronic journals.

Every MLitt student is assigned a dissertation supervisor who will advise on the choice of subject and provide guidance throughout the research process.


This programme will offer an intensive four-day programme of tutorials in Singapore, which will take the place of the online tutorials for those opting to take part. These in-person tutorials will take place in mid-October and mid-March.

During the four-day programme, students will discuss the content of online lectures taken throughout the year. No assessments will take place in Singapore or be based on the content conveyed in Singapore.

These tutorials also provide students with an opportunity to meet lecturers and fellow students face to face and to have real classroom interaction and discussions. Staff will also be on site to discuss or deal with administrative matters. 

Holding tutorials in Singapore allows students in the regions of Asia and Australasia to attend tutorial-style classes in person, rather than attend online tutorials which are held in Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).  

All workshops will be closed to the general public and only accessible to instructors and students registered in the programme.


Home £2,245 per module, £4,490 MLitt dissertation module

£4,540 per module, £9,070 MLitt dissertation module

More information on tuition fees can be found on the postgraduate fees and funding page.

Funding and scholarships

The University of St Andrews is committed to attracting the very best students, regardless of financial circumstances. Find out more about the scholarships and postgraduate loans available.

All taught postgraduate scholarships

After your degree


Students who graduate from the MLitt in Terrorism and Political Violence go on to work in various professional fields including:

  • law
  • policy research and consultancy
  • non-governmental organisations
  • charities
  • international organisations
  • civil service
  • publishing.

The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students as well as a programme of events to assist students in building their employability skills.

Further study

In addition to the MLitt, the School offers a two-year residential Master of Philosophy (MPhil) degree option in International Relations.

The new Professional Doctorate (DProf) in International Relations offers a more flexible and attractive programme of research study to those students working in a professional capacity. Undertaken on a part-time basis, the DProf is open to experienced professionals who are employed in any area of work, including those in emerging professions and disciplines.

Many graduates continue their education by enrolling in a PhD programme at St Andrews. 

Postgraduate research

What to do next

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Contact us

+44 (0)1334 46 1940
School of International Relations
The Arts Building
The Scores
St Andrews
KY16 9AX

School of International Relations website