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Political Violence and Terrorism

Duration: 2-5 years
Attendance mode: Part-time
Award: MA
Suitable for international students
Start date: September
Faculty of Social Sciences
Apply Download course booklet


The study of terrorism and political violence has long been an important area of academic research. Since the terrorist attacks on 11 September 2001, and the resulting US-led 'war on terror', this subject to the forefront of the debate on security and international conflict for academics, policymakers, and popular debate. The nature, evolution, causes and normative justifications of what is called terrorism and other aspects of political violence are now a central issue in current foreign and security policy.

The core module is entitled Political Violence, Terrorism and Islamism and is concerned with the phenomenon of political violence in the 20th and 21st century which form the central themes of this programme. It covers key aspects of political violence, terrorism such as the politics and strategies of terrorism; the structure and dynamic of terrorist groups/terror group operations; technologies and tactics of terrorist groups; state vs. non-state terror, insurgencies and counterinsurgency strategies.

It looks at terrorism and national liberation movements during the Cold War, the Arab-Israeli conflict and terrorism in the Middle East, urban terror in Western Europe and radical Islam. The emergence of Al Qaeda, global terror networks and the threat of weapons of mass destruction are discussed alongside the efforts to counter terrorism and the US led ‘war against terror’. This cutting-edge MA programme should appeal to students interested in careers in foreign services, security, some non-governmental or intergovernmental organisations, and many areas of the private sector.

Why Bradford?

This course is taught in Peace Studies — the largest centre in the world devoted exclusively to the study of peace and conflict.

Entry requirements

English language requirements:

IELTS at 6.0 or the equivalent.

If you do not meet the IELTS requirement, you can take a University of Bradford pre-sessional English course. See the Language Centre for more details.


The modules for this course can be found in the latest programme specification.

Find more information on our module descriptors page.

Core modules

  • Political Violence and Terrorism
  • Introduction to Peace Studies
  • Regional and Global Security Politics
  • Dissertation (Political Violence and Terrorism)

Option modules

  • Fragile States and the Security-Development Nexus
  • Conflict Resolution Theory
  • International Politics and Security Studies
  • The Authoritarian Challenge to Democracy
  • Cities in Conflict
  • African Security Studies
  • African Study Visit
  • Religions, Conflict and Peacemaking
  • Sustainable Tourism Development

Reading lists

All reading lists can be found here.

Career support and prospects

Career support

The University is committed to helping students develop and enhance employability and this is an integral part of many programmes. Specialist support is available throughout the course from Career and Employability Services including help to find part-time work while studying, placements, vacation work and graduate vacancies. Students are encouraged to access this support at an early stage and to use the extensive resources on the Careers website.

Discussing options with specialist advisers helps to clarify plans through exploring options and refining skills of job-hunting. In most of our programmes there is direct input by Career Development Advisers into the curriculum or through specially arranged workshops.

Fees, Finance and Scholarships

Tuition fees


  • Home / EU: £6,500
  • International: £15,500

Tuition fees are subject to review for students starting their course in subsequent years. See our Fees and Financial Support website for more details.

Financial support

You may be eligible to apply for the government's new Postgraduate Loan of up to £10,000 to put towards your fees and living costs. Find out more on our Fees and Financial Support website.

How do I find out more?

Steps to Postgraduate Study

Find out more about studying at a postgraduate level on the official, independent website Steps to Postgraduate Study (link opens in new window).

How to apply

The easiest way to apply is online.

This will help us process your application more quickly and allow you to submit your supporting documents electronically.

If you are unable to apply online, please email to request a paper application form.

We will also need the following supporting documents, along with any other information specified on the course page:

  • Degree certificates/transcripts
  • Research proposal (if required)
  • Two references (including one academic reference)
  • Evidence of English language level (if required)
  • A copy of your passport

Once you have applied you will have access to the University's Applicant Portal, where you can track the status of your application.

You should also start thinking about how you plan to fund your postgraduate study — you may need to apply for loans or grants at this stage.

International students

If you applying from outside the UK and require additional support you may apply through your country representative.

They can help you at every stage and communicate with the University on your behalf. They often provide additional services to ensure your smooth arrival to the UK such as visa application support and assistance with your travel arrangements.

Further information is available on our International Office website.

This is the current course information. Modules and course details may change, subject to the University's programme approval, monitoring and review procedures. The University reserves the right to alter or withdraw courses, services and facilities as described on our website without notice and to amend Ordinances, Regulations, fees and charges at any time. Students should enquire as to the up-to-date position when applying for their course of study.