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Monash University

Master of Counter-Terrorism Studies

Course code: 3758 ~ Course abbreviation: MCounterTerrSt ~ Total credit points required: 72 ~ 1.5 years full-time, 3 years part-time ~ Managing faculty: Arts

Study mode and course location

On-campus (Clayton, Caulfield)

Course description

The September 11 attacks and the Bali bombings have increased the significance of terrorism and political violence in international politics. The Master of Counter-Terrorism Studies offers a rigorous course of study that evaluates these multifaceted phenomena. The course provides an understanding of what terrorism is and how it is constructed and reproduced. It also addresses the diverse and multifaceted actors involved in enacting and preventing terrorism and other security concerns. The range of studies includes units on terrorisms (state, religious, revolutionary and right wing terrorisms); the political, theological and intellectual bases of terrorism; political violence and political movements; and country and regional studies. Theoretical and empirical units that examine the international processes and events that fuel and discourage terrorism provide further context for students. The course is designed for students who wish to pursue graduate study in these areas and professionals working in law enforcement, public service, defence and diplomacy.

Course objectives

Students successfully completing this course will have: 1. a sound knowledge of diverse aspects of the academic discipline; 2. an understanding of the world view of the field of study; 3. a critical appreciation of the secondary literature in the field of study; 4. a familiarity with many of the key texts and cultural products pertaining to the field of study; 5. advanced reading and communication skills, both written and verbal; 6. advanced analytical skills; 7. a grasp of research methodology and ethics, and an ability to undertake a small, independent research project in one of the disciplines represented in the program.

Minimum pass grade

To graduate with the Masters, students must gain a credit (60 C) or above in core units and a minimum credit average overall.

Course structure

Students complete 72 points comprising 48 points at level 4 (three core units and one elective) and 24 points at level 5.

Course requirements

Level 4

Core units
  • PLM4310 Wars of recognition: Terrorism and political violence
  • PLM4340 Fringe politics and extremist violence: An introduction to terrorism
  • PLM4430 Political Islam

Students take one of the following electives:

  • ASM4230 Culture and conflict in Indonesia
  • ITM4030 Ethics in world politics
  • LAW7320 Terrorism and human rights
  • MGX9110 Diplomacy and statecraft
  • MGX9150 Contemporary Asia
  • PLM4065 Advanced seminar in international political economy
  • PLM4420 Islam and modernity
  • PLM4460 Conflict resolution and Islam in the Middle East
  • PLM4520 Perspectives on world politics
  • PLM4750 Special reading course

Level 5

Students will either take both of:

  • PLM5600 Strategic studies: A critical introduction (12 points)
  • PLM5010 Terrorism and security studies research project (9000 words, 12 points)


  • PLM5020 Terrorism and security studies research dissertation (18,000 words, 24 points)

Exit points

After successful completion of 24 points, students may apply to exit the program with a Graduate Certificate in Arts, or after successful completion of 48 points with a Graduate Diploma in Arts.

Course coordinator

Dr Pete Lentini