Home Menu


Countering Organised Crime and Terrorism MSc

This MSc, designed by a panel of academic departments, industrial partners and law enforcement and security agencies, introduces students to the fundamental knowledge, core expertise and advanced, evidence-driven methodological tools and approaches required to understand, analyse, prevent, disrupt and detect organised crime and terrorism.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2017

Modes and duration

Full time: 1 year
Flexible: 3-5 years
Distance learning: available

Tuition fees (2017/18)

£11,800 (FT) N/A (PT)
£24,610 (FT) N/A (PT)

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 3 October 2016
Close: 28 July 2017

Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Current Students website. Fees for flexible, modular study are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session.

Optional qualifications: This degree is also available as a PG Diploma with fees set accordingly.
Location: London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

Normally, a minimum of a lower second-class Bachelor's degree in a relevant discipline from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Relevant disciplines include science subjects (e.g. engineering or computer science) or social science subjects (e.g. psychology, criminology or geography). Alternatively candidates may qualify for entry if they can offer five or more years of relevant professional experience (for example in the police service, or as a crime prevention worker).

English language requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Good

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

International students

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.

Select your country:

Degree information

Students develop an understanding of how science, engineering and a variety of professional disciplines can contribute to tackling organised crime and terrorism. By the end of the programme, they will be able to apply appropriate scientific principles and methods to security problems, think strategically to develop and implement countermeasures, and appreciate the complexity involved in the design and implementation of organised crime and terrorism threat-reduction technologies.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

Students are required to complete five core modules (75 credits), three optional modules (45 credits), and a dissertation (60 credits).

A Postgraduate Diploma comprising five core modules (75 credits) and three optional modules (45 credits), and which may lead to the MSc, is offered.

Core modules

  • Perspectives on Organised Crime
  • Perspectives on Terrorism
  • Foundations of Security and Crime Science
  • Designing and Doing Research
  • Quantitative Methods

Optional modules

Students choose three of the following:

  • Qualitative Methods
  • Crime Mapping and Spatial Analysis
  • Investigation and Detection
  • Cybercrime
  • Intelligence Gathering and Analysis
  • Risk and Contingency Planning
  • Introduction to Cybersecurity
  • Prevention and Disruption
  • Terrorism (External – Political Science)

NB: places for optional modules are awarded on a first-come first-served basis.


All MSc students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000 words.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, projects and laboratory classes. Student performance is assessed through laboratory and project reports, unseen written examination, coursework, presentations, and the research project and dissertation.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Countering Organised Crime and Terrorism MSc


UCL Security and Crime Science is offering up to 14 bursary scholarships of between £2,500 and £10,000 to outstanding applicants who have been offered places in one of our MSc programmes.

For further information, please visit our website.

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.


This unique linking of organised crime and terrorism, and the study of methodologies that can practically tackle both of these areas, means that this MSc holds appeal for employers across a broad range of industries.

Top career destinations for this degree

  • Consultant, BAE Systems
  • Criminal Intelligence Analyst, Avon and Somerset Constabulary
  • Detective, Metropolitan Police Service
  • Field Intelligence Officer, West Mercia Police
  • Head of Counter Terrorism (Deputy Inspector General), Government of Pakistan


This programme equips students with the knowledge to develop operational strategies to counter organised crime and terrorism. This unique linking of organised crime and terrorism, and the study of methodologies that can practically tackle both of these areas, means that this MSc holds appeal for employers across a broad range of industries.

Each year we ask our graduates to tell us about their experience of the programme and their career after leaving UCL and we include some real-life graduate profiles on our website.

Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2012–2014 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The UCL Jill Dando Institute, of which UCL Security & Crime Science is the core component, is the first research institution in the world devoted specifically to reducing crime through teaching, research, public policy analysis and by the dissemination of evidence-based information on crime reduction.

This MSc programme is delivered by experienced practitioners and researchers working in counter-terrorism, intelligence, law enforcement, risk assessment and security technology. It boasts a unique multidisciplinary platform, being the only postgraduate programme of its kind in the world taught in a faculty of engineering sciences, integrating the cutting-edge of the social and engineering sciences in the security domain.

Our graduate students come from varied backgrounds; many are practitioners and are encouraged to contribute their experience in and out of the classroom.

Department: Security & Crime Science

Student / staff numbers › 12 staff › 120 taught students › 62 research students

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Security & Crime Science
74% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.

What our students and staff say

Student view

"Using a mixture of online quizzes and essays as well as exams offers any student a chance to show their best skills in a variety of ways. UCL also pushes a multi-disciplinary environment giving new perspectives to a field of study for both professors and students. Because the school and location is international, there are countless opportunities to learn new skills, connect with new people, and widen your network for jobs in the future."

Ina Michelsen

Countering Organised Crime and Terrorism MSc
Student view

"I have always been interested in crime, and how to limit its negative consequences. I picked UCL for graduate study because after comparing several Master's degrees, I found that UCL had professors who were at the forefront of crime science. After I have completed my degree, I intend to use this to advance my career in the police service. This Master's will give me expertise that will be hard to match."

Knut Gjaerde

Countering Organised Crime and Terrorism MSc

Application and next steps


Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

Who can apply?

The programme is aimed at security professionals whose role involves developing and implementing strategies to address the threat of extremism, against public, corporate and critical targets. It is also suitable for students with a relevant background wishing to pursue a career in these areas.

Application deadlines

All applicants
28 July 2017

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • what particularly attracts you to this particular programme
  • why you want to study this subject in the Faculty of Engineering Sciences at UCL, rather than elsewhere
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this programme
  • if you are aware and comfortable with the fact that the programme includes courses on statistics and quantitative analysis, as well as a general emphasis on the scientific method and empirical research
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree

Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.

Contact information

Page last modified on 20 October 2016 at 12:07 by UCL Publications & Marketing Services. Please contact us for content updates.


  • Register interest in your chosen subjects
  • Receive notice of graduate open days, events and more
Register now

Learning and living

At UCL we're proud of our pioneering history, our distinguished present and our exciting future. UCL is a great place to be a student.

  • World-leading reputation
  • Extensive connections that benefit your study and career
  • The best and brightest staff and students from over 150 countries
Find out more