Security In A Changing World - POLI9160

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2022 to 2023
Autumn Term 7 20 (10) Rubrick Biegon checkmark-circle


This module focuses on the evolution of security studies as a discipline and its implications for practice. We examine a variety of theoretical and empirical materials that provide students with the basis for analysing pressing questions related to issues of war, security and peace in the world today. This module thus provides a good grounding for understanding contemporary security challenges (such as the environmental degradation, conflict, gender-based insecurity, terrorism, mass surveillance and arms proliferation among others) and our responses to them. It will engage with debates around the 'broadening' and ‘deepening’ agenda of security studies, which has extended the scope of security studies beyond the nation-state, and the role of new security actors.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 22
Private study hours: 178
Total study hours: 200


Security and Terrorism MA

Method of assessment

Essay, 3500 words (70%)
Presentation (20%)
Weekly Participation reports (10%)

Reassessment methods: 100% coursework

Indicative reading

Reading list (Indicative list, current at time of publication. Reading lists will be published annually)

Williams, Paul. D. (ed) (2013). Security Studies: An Introduction 2nd ed. Abingdon: Routledge

Buzan, B. and L. Hansen (2010) The Evolution of International Security (Cambridge University Press).

Collins, A. (2013). Contemporary Security Studies, 3rd ed. Oxford: Oxford UP.

Dannreuther, R. (2013). International Security: The Contemporary Agenda. 2nd ed. (Cambridge: Polity Press).

Smith, M. E. (2010). International Security: Politics, Policy, Prospects. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes. On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1: demonstrate a conceptual understanding by which to critically evaluate contending approaches to international security

2: appreciate key issues and dynamics regard conflict and the use of force in international relations.

3: demonstrate advanced knowledge of the theoretical debates about the meaning of security in international relations and their relationship to practice

4: demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the evolution of security studies and practice

5: apply theoretical and conceptual frameworks to the analysis of politics and international relations

6: use a variety of research methods and evaluate critically their application in the scholarly literature

7: conduct research in politics and international relations demonstrating awareness of epistemological, methodological and ethical principles

8: demonstrate a systemic understanding and critical awareness of the following issues in international security: energy security, peace building, war crimes, international law and intelligence

The intended generic learning outcomes. On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1: work with theoretical knowledge at the forefront of their discipline;

2: aware of the ethical dimensions of the scholarly work done in their discipline in general as well as of their own work in particular;

3: have a comprehensive understanding of methods and methodologies in their discipline;

4: undertake analysis of complex, incomplete or contradictory areas of knowledge;

5: have a level of conceptual understanding that will allow them to critically evaluate research, advanced scholarship and methodologies and argue alternative approaches;

6: be reflective and self-critical in their research work;

7: engage in academic and professional communication orally and in writing;

8: have independent learning ability required for continuing professional study.

9: demonstrate specialised knowledge of, and critical insight into, the key historical and theoretical issues in their programme area, together with familiarity with appropriate bibliographical sources;


  1. Credit level 7. Undergraduate or postgraduate masters level module.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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