Friday 28 April 2023
Applicants should apply as early as possible to be eligible for certain scholarships and for international visa purposes.
- An upper 2:1 Honours degree in political science, international relations, social sciences or other relevant disciplines. If you studied your first degree outside the UK, see the international entry requirements.
- English language proficiency. See English language tests and qualifications.
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.
- CV or résumé
- personal statement indicating your knowledge of the programme and how it will benefit you (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.
The MLitt in Terrorism and Political Violence is a 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.
Each module typically comprises:
- one-hour lecture per week
- one-hour tutorial or seminar per week
- office hours
- 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.
Students must take the following compulsory module:
- 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.
You must also choose one compulsory module from the following:
- Fundamental Issues and Structures of Terrorism: introduces the core conceptual issues of terrorism and political violence.
- Terrorism after 1945: provides an overview of the evolution, characteristics, and decline of terrorist movements and campaigns since 1945.
Students choose two of the following optional modules:
- Counter-Extremism: Ethics, Policy and Practice: explores the most appropriate response to extremism through collaborative enquiry and direct engagement with policymakers and practitioners. The roles of education, civil society efforts to counter extremist speech, deradicalisation initiatives, victims, communities, and companies are explored.
- Nationalism and Ethnic Conflict: familiarises students with different approaches that seek to explain how ethnicity and nationhood are created and maintained, how different forms of ethnic conflict and ethnic violence come about, and what possible mechanisms to contain nationalism and ethnic conflict are.
- 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.
- Terrorism and Liberal Democracy: addresses conceptual and definitional issues concerning terrorism; the relationship of terrorism to other forms of political violence; the origins, dynamics and development of contemporary terrorism; the efficacy of terrorism as a political weapon; the dilemmas and challenges of liberal democratic state responses to terrorism; and case studies in terrorism and counter-terrorism.
- Terrorism and Theories of Collective Action: addresses issues such as what it means to take a 'political collective action' approach to terrorism; social movement theory and terrorism; understanding recruitment and mobilisation in terrorism and high-risk activism; terrorism and the collective action repertoire; terrorism in the context of transnational activism.
Optional modules are subject to change each year and require a minimum number of participants to be offered; some may only allow limited numbers of students (see the University's position on curriculum development).
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 traditional teaching in the form of lectures and tutorials alongside access to e-teaching facilities including online journals, podcast presentations and interviews by experts in the field.
Over the course of a year, students will take four taught modules followed by a three-month research period finishing in the submission of a 15,000-word dissertation.
Assessment comprises coursework including essays and projects.
Every MLitt student is assigned a dissertation supervisor who will advise on the choice of subject and provide guidance throughout the research process.
The School of International Relations hosts a variety of research seminars throughout the academic session to promote the work of the faculty, students and visiting speakers.
A number of student-led associations and organisations contribute to development and profile of International Relations throughout the University and the community.
- Model United Nations (SaintMUN) promotes awareness and understanding of international affairs among the student body through simulated debates and seminars.
- International Politics Association (IPA) provides a platform for those involved in the practice of international relations and political affairs to express their views and offer their insights.
- The Foreign Affairs Society encourages the St Andrews community to explore global politics and current affairs.
The Centre for Study of Terrorism and Political Violence is dedicated to the study of the causes, dynamics, characteristics and consequences of terrorism and related forms of political violence. Each February, the centre hosts a non-compulsory postgraduate workshop in which both full-time and distance-learning students are invited to attend to hear from experts in the field, network, and meet one-to-one with lecturers and supervisors.
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.
After your degree
Students who graduate from the MLitt in Terrorism and Political Violence go on to work in various professional fields including:
- policy research and consultancy
- non-governmental organisations
- international organisations
- civil service
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.
In addition to the MLitt, the School offers a two-year 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
Online information events
Join us for one of our information events where you can find out about different levels of study and specific courses we run. There are also sessions available for parents and college counsellors.
Postgraduate virtual days
We encourage all students who are thinking of applying to the University to attend one of our online visiting days.
- +44 (0)1334 46 1944
- School of International Relations
The Arts Building