Since the end of the Cold War there has been a growing awareness of the changing nature of security threats facing individuals, communities and states worldwide. With intensifying economic, political, cultural and military globalisation, there is now a heightened awareness of terrorism and international crime.
This interdisciplinary course identifies the challenges these threats pose to national and global governance, human rights and ethics, criminality and regionalism. It builds on our established expertise in the fields of politics, international relations, global and human security, peace and reconciliation studies.
Guest speakers and field trips are an integral part of the course, which include visits to the counter-crime, counter terrorism and counter modern slavery organisations. Previous students have been able to work on placements with the local police forces, as well as non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and international organisations within Europe, including the antimafia organisation AddioPizzo in Sicily, Ethicando in Paris, the UN NGO Women’s Federation for World Peace in Geneva, the Institute of Cultural Diplomacy in Berlin, CISS (International Cooperation South-South) in Italy, and Chatham House in London.
Our experienced faculty includes active researchers who also work or consult for governments, international organisations and prominent think tanks.
In the most recent national research assessment, the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), 69% of research in Politics and International Studies was recognised internationally, of which 32% was considered ‘internationally excellent’.
This course is one of the first to offer an integrated study of terrorism, organised crime and global security. It aims to provide you with an informed understanding of key threats that are posed to world politics, how they have evolved and the differing – occasionally controversial – national responses.
Why choose this course?
The course has been designed to reflect the changing perceptions of international relations in the 21st century. It puts the twin threats of the ‘war on terror’ and transnational organised crime into context with modern societies facing broader challenges, including economic inequality, environmental pollution, disease, natural disasters, state collapse and racial or religious tensions.
Research-informed teaching will be delivered by our many experts on peacekeeping, foreign policy, criminal mafias, security and policing, which includes a current Director of the Royal Institute of International Affairs, a senior security adviser to the British government’s stabilisation unit and the academic responsible for pioneering the study of mafias within UK universities.
Our academic expertise is complemented by the input of international security practitioners. You can benefit from interaction with professionals such as counter-crime and counter-terrorism experts, police officers, judicial prosecutors, diplomats and NGO workers. You could also have opportunities to attend workshops at the foreign affairs think tank Chatham House, travel to Sicily to study the mafia and anti-mafia organisations in situ or study organised crime in Costa Rica.
The interdisciplinary approach of this course aim to provide transferrable skills valued by employers and has helped former students secure a broad range of employment worldwide, as civil servants, diplomats, journalists, military and police offers, NGO leaders and security professionals, for example. It also includes the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) accredited module, Global Professional Development. Students who successfully complete the CMI module will also gain a Level 7 Certificate in Strategic Leadership and Management and a Level 7 Award in Professional Consulting.
International experience opportunities
Attracting students from a number of different countries to this course, including Nigeria, Indonesia, Croatia, Oman, Austria, Ghana, Pakistan and the UK, we offer a multicultural learning experience of diverse cultures and values, which will better prepare you to work in an increasingly globalised job market.
In addition to the international opportunities described above, the School of Humanities has a partnership with Lazarski University in Warsaw, Poland. There is the possibility of individual students exchanging with Lazarski under the Erasmus programme. Students have previously participated in Model European Parliaments in Coventry and in Lecce, Italy, in conjunction with the British Council and funded by the EU through its Youth in Action programme. We have also held Online International Learning (OIL) activities, including webinars and exchange visits, with the University of Costa Rica, the University of Buenos Aires and with the South International Cooperation organisation in Sicily.
Employers are looking for individuals with the ability to work across different cultures, to manage teams and possess problem-solving and critical analysis skills.
The CMI accredited ‘Global Professional Development’ module will help to set you apart in a competitive job market. You should gain practical leadership skills to critically evaluate and develop solutions for complex, inter-related, multi-faceted issues that you will experience in your future organisations.
We encourage you to gain first-hand experience through volunteering and placement opportunities. In the past, students have undertaken internships in counter terrorism with the West Midlands Police or antimafia and anti-trafficking grass-root project in Sicily, France and Greece and spent time conducting research in universities abroad, such as the Arab-American University in Jenin, or an antimafia research centre in Palermo.
The course can help you purse or advance a career in the armed forces, police force, international agencies such as the United Nations or the European Union or other international NGOs.