UCL Centre for languages & international education (CLIE)


Understanding and Countering Radicalisation and Terrorism

Key Information

Module code
Taught during
Session Two
Module leader
Dr Noemie Bouhana and Dr Paul Gill
GPA of around 3.3/4.0 (US) or equivalent
Assessment method
Group presentation (100%)
Download syllabus (PDF)
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Module overview

This module will provide an introduction to the phenomena of radicalisation and terrorism; including key definitions, causal accounts, empirical trends, past and present manifestations, current groups, and tactics.

Through successive case studies, students will familiarise themselves with the following five approaches to prevention and disruption: Efforts to anticipate and prevent terrorism acts through situational measures; enforcement measures used to disrupt, disable or suppress the activities of terrorist networks; interventions aimed at the individual actor, their risk factors, belief systems and pathways out of terrorism involvement; removal of the economic basis for terrorist activities by attacking organised crime; and strategies which focus on the "root causes" of terrorism and radicalisation.

Learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of this module, students will:

  • Understand terrorism and radicalisation from a distinctive security and crime science perspective
  • Understand ‘what works’ in preventing and disrupting radicalisation and terrorism
  • Be able to critically reflect on the conceptual and methodological issues involved in studying radicalisation and terrorism as concrete scientific problems
  • Have the ability to consider what a scientific approach implies for the design and implementation of preventative or disruptive social technologies.

Module prerequisites

This is a level one module (equivalent to first year undergraduate). Students must have completed one year of undergraduate study. No prior subject knowledge is required for this module, but students are expected to have a keen interest in the area.

Module hours

Classes (usually three or four hours per day) take place on the Bloomsbury campus from Monday to Friday any time between 9am and 6pm.


  • 10-minute presentation (40%)
  • 2,500-word essay (60%)

Module leader

Noemie Bouhana is a senior lecturer at UCL's Department of Security and Crime Science. She is both a political scientist and a criminologist by training, with a special interest in the contribution of criminological theory and research methodologies to an understanding of terrorism and radicalisation.
Paul Gill is a senior lecturer at UCL's Department of Security and Crime Science. His research focuses on the behavioural underpinnings of terrorism and terrorist attacks. Collectively, their research has been funded by the UK Home Office, Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, the European Union, the Department of Homeland Security, MINERVA, the National Institute of Justice, the U.K. Ministry of Defence, and the Office of Naval Research.

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