The study of Violence, Terrorism and Security has long been an important arena of academic research and debate. The rise of groups like ISIS in Iraq and Syria and the legacies of 9/11 and al-Qaeda has now brought the subject to the forefront of academic, policymaking, media and popular debates. Questions over the nature, evolution, causes, and normative justifications of violence, terrorism and security are now an embedded aspect of public discourse. These issues have also driven an exponential growth in these areas in academia.
This Postgraduate Diploma programme provides dynamic and interdisciplinary analysis into fields of conflict studies and theories and concepts on violence, terrorism studies and international security. The Diploma in VTS helps students develop a critical and analytical approach to problems in history and the contemporary world in these three core areas. It challenges accepted wisdom and opens up the debate about the role of violence in relation to political power in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.
To allow students to gain knowledge and understanding of violence, terrorism and security in sufficient depth and breadth to avoid superficiality or narrowness To develop students understanding of various approaches to the core concepts underlying this programme.
To help students to develop a critical and analytical approach to problems in history and the contemporary world of violence, terrorism and security and from this a range of questioning and evaluative skills which can be transferred to other contexts.
To develop in students a range of practical transferable skills of value sought after by graduate employers.
To prepare students for further study of violence, terrorism and security or related disciplines and for employment in a range of professional contexts, for example teaching, nongovernmental organisations or the media
Violence, Terrorism and Security highlights
To provide dynamic and critical study in Violence, Terrorism and International Security. Its aim is to help students develop a critical and analytical approach to problems in history and the contemporary world of these three areas.
- It is anticipated that internship opportunities in Belfast will be made available to students. These possible internships or voluntary placements are not part of the formal curriculum. Instead, they are student-initiated voluntary placements additional to the curriculum with select NGOs in Belfast with which Queen’s has links.
- Graduates now serve in the most senior ranks of a number of National Police Services, and Law Enforcement Agencies, Border and Immigration Control, National Armed Forces including the US Army, US Air Force, British Army and Irish Defence Forces. Graduates also work as senior government policy advisers, in international NGOs and the media.
World Class Facilities
- Outstanding campus facilities and student support and guidance. You will be a member of the brand new Graduate School which is ranked 1st out of 159 universities worldwide.
Internationally Renowned Experts
- Our teaching staff have global standing as experts in their field. They regularly interface with policy-makers, state governments and sectoral actors giving expert advice and expertise to the field. The Research Excellence Framework 2014, a UK-wide research assessment of higher education institutions, has placed Queen’s in the top 20 for research quality and impact. Queens has an excellent academic record: Queen’s University Belfast is a Russell group university, in the top ten for research intensity (REF 2014). In the Sunday Times “Good University Guide” 2016, Queen’s was ranked number 31 in the UK.
- Our programme attracts international award holders of the highest calibre, including Marshall and Mitchell scholars. Study with like-minded students from various backgrounds in VTS. Some of our students have previous experience in the United Nations, national police forces, military, among many others, before coming to study with us.
- Queen’s University, located in Belfast, Northern Ireland offers a unique opportunity for our students to access and engage with a community context previously challenged by violence, terrorism and security as part of the programme of study. Our students have the opportunity to live and study in a post-conflict environment as well as meet people involved in Northern Irish conflict and the peace process, from researchers and policy makers to ex-combatants. Study with like-minded student from various backgrounds: Some of our students have previous experience in the United Nations, national police forces, military, among many others, before coming to study with us. There is an excellent and diverse student body, and you will also learn quite a lot from fellow students. Excellent student satisfaction and employment: The MA in VTS has excellent student satisfaction ratings according to the Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES) 2016 conducted by the Higher Education Academy. Queen's University Belfast has been placed 15th overall for Student Experience and 28th for Graduate Employment. It is also possible to study for a PG Diploma in each of the areas covered by the MA and the PG Diploma is constructed around the coursework elements of the MA. On successful completion of the coursework, it is possible to complete the dissertation for an award of MA.
Core Modules Core modules are so students acquire foundational knowledge and understanding in this field, students will take four core modules covering the theories, debates, and issues in the study of political violence, conflict, terrorism and security.
The Post-Graduate Diploma (PgDip) consists of all the above four core taught modules/classes and two elective modules, but students do not complete an MA dissertation.
The PgDip is a credit-bearing and internationally recognised post-graduate degree, but it is not the equivalent to a Master’s degree. It is both an entry and exit route.
Core Modules (Autumn) Students will take:
3 core modules/classes in the autumn term:
PAI7028 - Violence, Terrorism and Security
HAP7001 - Approaches and Databases in Research Design
PAI7051 - Contemporary Security
Core Modules (Spring) Student will take 1 core module/class in the spring term:
PAI7007 - Global Terrorism
Course Details Students will take three core module in the autumn term and one core module with two elective module in the spring term. Elective Module Spring Term (plus two) Plus TWO elective modules from the following list:
PAI7027 - Conflict Intervention
PAI7030 - International Political Economy
PAI7032 – Gender, Politics and Democracy
PHL7038 – Philosophy of Conflict and War
PAI7050 - Ethnic Conflict and Consensus: The Power of Institutions
LAW7815 – Counter Terrorism and Human Rights
LAW7816 – Comparative Human Rights
MA and Post-Graduate Diploma Degrees There are two different degrees available in Violence, Terrorism and Security.
The Post-Graduate Diploma (PgDip) consists of all the above six core taught modules/classes, but students do not complete an MA dissertation. The PgDip is a credit-bearing and internationally recognised post-graduate degree, but it is not the equivalent to a Master’s degree. It is both an entry and exit route.
The Master’s degree (MA) in Violence, Terrorism and Security is awarded to students who successfully complete six taught modules/classes and the MA dissertation.
Moving from a PgDip to an MA: Students who are registered on the PgDip are invited to register and complete the MA upon successful completion of the six core taught modules/classes.
People teaching you
Professor Beverley Milton-Edwards is regarded as one of the world’s leading experts on violence, terrorism and security. A member of The Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice at Queen’s, work on radical Islamic movements including Hamas, Hizballah, al-Qaeda and more recently ISIS has resulted in seminal research publications and a role in informing and advising some of the highest diplomatic decision and policy-making in the Middle East. She was recently awarded a Visiting Fellowship at the world’s number one Think Tank, Brookings, where she will undertake a project on Security Governance in the Middle East and the Challenge of Islamism.
Morning / Afternoon / Evening
The PgDip in VTS provides you with the essential transferable skills and in-depth knowledge of theories and issues in the areas of violence, security and terrorism for career development at any stage, from students straight from an undergraduate degree with limited to no prior professional experience to those seeking continued professional development. The programme enables you to broaden your horizons providing you with a competitive edge in a global graduate market in a wide variety of areas such as the security sector, including intelligence agencies, government agencies and public office, the military, NGOs, academia, businesses and corporations, and the media among many other possibilities.
Employment after the Course
We are proud that many of our graduates have gone to serve in the most senior ranks of a number of National Police Services, and Law Enforcement Agencies, Border and Immigration Control, National Armed Forces including the US Army, US Air Force, US Secret Service, British Army and Irish Defence Forces. Our graduates also work as senior government policy advisers in a variety of different countries, including the State Department in the USA, in international NGOs in diverse parts of the globe including major conflict zones, other graduates have gone into international security consultancy, and many have worked in the media, and others have gone on to successful careers working for international business in a variety of capacities. The MA also provides the research skills and knowledge to carry out a PhD to pursue, as a number of our graduates have done, an academic career.
The Student Guidance Centre provides excellent careers training and advice, including 1-on-1 consultations https://www.qub.ac.uk/directorates/sgc/careers/
In addition, the Graduate School holds a variety of training classes and other skills-based lessons that are valuable in the MA education. http://www.qub.ac.uk/sites/graduateschool/PostgraduateResearcherDevelopmentProgramme/PostgraduateTaughtTraining/
QUB also has language learning opportunities for students. https://www.qub.ac.uk/directorates/InformationServices/LanguageCentre/
Completing any of these and gaining other skills, such as second or third languages, can also dramatically contribute to the prospect of gaining employment upon graduation.
The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2014 ranks Queen's 26th for graduate prospects and graduate employment, which helps to explain why Queen's graduates play a leading role in the senior management of Northern Ireland’s security sector, Northern Ireland's top companies and NGOs as well as around the world.
Queen's postgraduates reap exceptional benefits. Unique initiatives, such as Degree Plus and Researcher Plus bolster our commitment to employability, while innovative leadership and executive programmes alongside sterling integration with business experts helps our students gain key leadership positions both nationally and internationally.
Learning and Teaching
Each module usually consists of 2-4 contact teaching hours per week, depending on the module. Most study, however, consists of independent research and reading.
Each student is also allocated a personal tutor/academic advisor who, alongside teaching in each module, aids in the learning process.
Modules involve a variety of teaching approaches designed to inspire critical and transferable skills.
Learn with award winning teachers. Teachers in the MA VTS programme are leading experts in their field. Many have been granted teaching awards for their innovative and engaging pedagogical approaches.
There are multiple talks, events, and extra-curricular activities and training courses on campus each year, outside of the formal VTS programme, that are related to Violence, Terrorism and Security.
It is anticipated that internship opportunities in Belfast will be made available to students.
Assessments associated with the course are outlined below:
Normally a 2.2 Honours degree (minimum 57%) or above, or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University in a Social Sciences, Humanities or Arts subject, or a 2.2 Honours degree (minimum 57%) or above, or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University in any subject with relevant professional experience. Applicants who do not meet this entry requirement may, at the discretion of the relevant programme convenor, be considered for admission on the basis of relevant work experience. Please note that a piece of written work may be requested in this instance.
The University's Recognition of Prior Learning Policy provides guidance on the assessment of experiential learning (RPEL).
Please visit http://go.qub.ac.uk/RPLpolicy for more information.
For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.
English Language Requirements
Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.5, with not less than 5.5 in any component, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University is required. *Taken within the last 2 years.
International students wishing to apply to Queen's University Belfast (and for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study or research. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes.
For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see: www.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs.
If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.
- Academic English: an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
- Pre-sessional English: a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.
INTO - English Language Course(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
Fees and Funding
Northern Ireland (NI) £3,933 England, Scotland or Wales (GB) £3,933 Other (non-UK) EU £3,933 International £10,933
All tuition fees quoted are for the academic year 2019-20 and relate to one year of study only. Tuition fees will be subject to an annual inflationary increase, unless explicitly stated otherwise.
Additional course costs
Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies. Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library. If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. Students should also budget between £30 to £75 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges. Students undertaking a period of work placement or study abroad, as either a compulsory or optional part of their programme, should be aware that they will have to fund additional travel and living costs. If a programme includes a major project or dissertation, there may be costs associated with transport, accommodation and/or materials. The amount will depend on the project chosen. There may also be additional costs for printing and binding. Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen. There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.
Violence, Terrorism and Security costs
There are no specific additional course costs associated with this programme.
How do I fund my study?
The Department for the Economy will provide a tuition fee loan of up to £5,500 per NI / EU student for postgraduate study. Tuition fee loan information.
A postgraduate loans system in the UK offers government-backed student loans of up to £10,609 for taught and research Masters courses in all subject areas. Criteria, eligibility, repayment and application information are available on the UK government website.
Information on scholarships for international students, is available at http://www.qub.ac.uk/International/International-students/International-scholarships/.
How to Apply
Terms and Conditions
The terms and conditions that apply when you accept an offer of a place at the University on a taught programme of study.
Queen's University Belfast Terms and Conditions 2019 Entry.
Fees and Funding