Students in Belfast are working to get a degree in terrorism, it was revealed today.
Queen’s University, some of whose students were founding leaders of the North's civil right movements 40 years ago, is offering a Masters in violence, terrorism and security.
Course convenor Professor Beverley Milton-Edward said the issue of terrorism is now at the forefront of international politics and news agendas.
He said: “The MA in violence, terrorism and security at Queen’s is an exciting new course which allows students to explore the issues surrounding terrorism and violence in today’s society, and the challenges they present to international security.
“Queen’s is in a unique position to offer such a course as it is based in a community that has transformed itself after having experienced some of the worst terrorist atrocities ever seen in this part of the world.
“Staff in the School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy include internationally renowned specialists in theories of violence, terrorism and security in Western Europe, the Middle East and around the Muslim world.”
He added: “The tragic events of 9/11 and the advent of the ongoing ’war on terror’ have presented huge challenges to global security. With more and more people joining the debate on terrorism and violence and their effects on our society, Queen’s decided to offer this course to help equip students with a critical understanding of these important issues.”
Students undertaking the new MA can study a range of topics including violence, terrorism, international security, conflict management and globalisation. They will examine the experiences of such issues in Northern Ireland and around the world.
About 15 students, a third of them from overseas, are taking part in the course, but many more are expected when the second course starts next September.
Prof Milton-Edwards said: “The MA in violence, terrorism and security provides a perfect stepping stone to professions in a number of areas such as policy analysis, human rights, national and global security, advocacy and lobbying.
“Having completed the course, students will also be well equipped to complete further research at PhD level.”
Postgraduate student Conor Browne, who has been studying the course since September, said the course was ideal for anyone who wanted to gain a deeper understanding of terrorism and security in the modern world.
The topics covered in lectures are very relevant to the post-9/11 global situation, he said.
He said: “The school has a regular programme of lectures, events and conferences.
“The highlight for me was a talk by Baghdad-based New York Times journalist Stephen Farrell, who described his experiences in Iraq.
“The course also serves as a perfect foundation for further research at PhD level, which is what I plan to do.”