Teaching About Terrorism: King's College London

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Details of courses and modules

King's Department of War Studies teaches a Masters in Terrorism, Security & Society. The Course description on Prospects.ac.uk states:

This programme is interdisciplinary, involving history, political science, and international relations, as well as sociology and social psychology, risk studies, and even critical approaches. Depending upon the pathway chosen and the mix of options within each pathway, the focus of the degree will vary from a strong emphasis on security and counterterrorism issues through to a critical social science approach and analysis of societal response and adaptation.

King's College also houses a terrorism research institute called the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence. The Centre claims expertise on 'radicalisation' and is a collaboration between King's College, the University of Pennsylvania in the United States, the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya in Israel and the Regional Center on Conflict Prevention in Jordan. It is headed by the King's College terrorism expert Peter Neumann.

ISCR's was launched at a conference in London which it called the 'First International Conference on Radicalisation and Political Violence'. On the morning of the first day of the conference the then UK Home Secretary Jacqui Smith gave a speech launching the government's new anti-terror initiative. [1] Speaking to the BBC's Radio 4 Today programme before her speech, Smith said there were specific examples of websites that 'clearly fall under the category of gratifying terrorism" and that, "There is growing evidence people may be using the internet both to spread messages and to plan specifically for terrorism.' [2] The government's new intiative coincided with ISCR's first major research 'Countering Online Radicalisation', and no doubt ISCR's launch and the launch of the government's new terrorism initiative were deliberately timed.

Freedom of Information Request 1

  • Does your institution provide any information or advice to students or staff on any potential liability under terrorism legislation?
The Information Services and Systems Regulations (2009-10) make reference to lawful use of College resources: “1.7 All Users are required to use, lawfully at all times College sites, services, facilities and resources provided or managed by ISS. Particular attention should be paid to the following legislation: j) Terrorism Acts” The regulations can be found in the Policy zone section of our web pages at (Original Link not working).
  • Does your institution have any kind of procedure to review or assess reading lists, module descriptors or other teaching materials which explicitly or in practice considers questions of safety and risk under terrorism legislation as part of its remit?
There is no formal procedure, however observations may be made by the Research and Learning Development team, and/or intervention/queries may be raised by the Information Resources team if a particular item is considered to require a review before inclusion.
  • Does your institution have any system, policy or procedure in place for dealing with any potential actions taken by the authorities against the institution, its students or staff under Terrorism legislation?
No. The College abides by its statutory duties under all acts of law.
  • Does your institution have any system, policy or procedure in place for 'preventing violent extremism' as recommended for example in the government guidance document 'Promoting Good Campus Relations'.
There are a range of documents which cover this question:
  • i) ‘Maintaining Good Relations in the College Community’ This is available in the Policy Zone section of our web site at.
  • ii) ‘College Policy and Procedures in Respect of Permissible Activities’ This is available in the Policy Zone section of our web site at.
You may also find that the following documents fall into the scope of your requirements:
The Policy Zone is the College’s repository of publicly available policies and procedures, should you wish to browse it for additional documents. Each document has an approval date on the index page. This completes your request for information.[3]

Teaching About Terrorism Resources

Teaching Terrorism blog
Aberystwyth University
University of Nottingham
University College London


  1. Tom Patterson, The Journal (Newcastle),17 January 2008; p.2
  2. quoted in Hélène Mulholland, 'Government targets extremist websites', guardian.co.uk, 17 January 2008
  3. Kings College London, Teaching About Terrorism Response to FOI 1, Scribd, Accessed 06-January-2010