Top 12 Conflict, Security, and Counterterrorism Degrees in the US and UK

We live in a dangerous world. It’s a matter of opinion whether the blitzkrieg of bombs and rockets that rained on London decades ago is worse than the cyber wars, jihadists, suicide bombers, cyberattacks and countless and relentless strikes by terrorist groups acting in cells or as individuals against targets all over the world. Normal law enforcement techniques are outclassed.

The Internet has become the primary tool for terrorists to plan, communicate and move resources; and the soldiers are unrecognisable because they look like any of us. Combatting these attacks are challenging, and talented, trained people are needed in law enforcement, the intelligence community and the military. The advancements in detecting, psychologically profiling and anticipating threats are even now becoming critical components of educational programs developed to train investigators, diplomats, law enforcement personnel and people like you who want to challenge these new threats by enemies that clever fiction writers have not yet imagined.

This has opened a world of opportunities for those who want to do their duty in combating terrorism. Here, we look through a few educational opportunities available for such careers in the UK and the US.


United Kingdom


1. UCL (University College London)

UCL offers a graduate programme for security professionals in Countering Organised Crime and Terrorism through the Jill Dando Institute of Security and Crime Science. This course provides the opportunity to peruse subjects including the causation of public violence, public policies in global economies and methods involved in developing strategies to address extremist threats against citizens, corporations and other critical targets.


2. King’s College London

KCL has extensive study programs at the graduate level in their Centre for Science and Security Studies on subjects such as preventing nuclear terrorism, perspectives on Afghanistan and war studies.


3. UCLAN (University of Central Lancashire)

UCLAN, through their school of Forensic and Investigative Sciences, offers a counterterrorism degree programme, as well as related programme in cybercrime and financial crime investigation.


4. The University of Buckingham

The University of Buckingham presents their program in Terrorism and Counter Terrorism from a humanities perspective, which allows students to understand the political and historical context of terrorism from a Islamic fundamentalist perspective. It looks at radicalisation, motivation and attacks in the US and UK. Graduates will be able to both anticipate and formulate counterintelligence and counterterrorism strategies.


5. Coventry University

Coventry offers a master’s degree programme in Peace and Reconciliation Studies, which includes theory and practice of conflict transformation, international human rights law and other modules.


United States


6. Henley-Putnam University

Henley-Putnam in Santa Clara, California is focused on the strategic safety industry, which includes law enforcement, military and intelligence management. They have bachelors and masters degrees in intelligence management, counterterrorism studies and strategic security; doctorate programmes in strategic security as well as certificates in counterterrorism, intelligence collection and other subjects.


7. The University of Massachusetts

The University of Massachusetts in Lowell, MA, in their School of Criminology and Justice Studies, has a range of degrees and certificates within the Center for Terrorism and Security Studies including a Ph.D. in terrorism studies, where dissertations focus on current challenges in counterterrorism.


8. Southern New Hampshire University

Southern New Hampshire offers an MS in Justice Studies with a concentration in terrorism and homeland security. It details emergency management, terrorism, strategic response and other relevant law enforcement concerns.


9. INSCT (The Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism)

This Institute at Syracuse University, NY, offers a variety of programs, including a curricular program in National Security and Counterterrorism Law for law students specialising in cyber security, national security, counterterrorism, homeland security and related subjects.  They also offer an online course in cybersecurity law and policy, which is an interdisciplinary discussion about the gravity of threats to US interests and how to address this security challenge without harming civil liberties.


10. American University

American University in Washington, DC has developed a Master’s Degree in Terrorism and Homeland Security Policy through their Department of Justice, Law and Criminology Department. Their approach to security issues is through the social sciences, and is informed by law enforcement and criminology. This programme emphasises strategic policy-based solutions on a diplomatic scale.

In addition to these and many other programmes, there are several institutes that both support educational establishments or provide forums for academics to publicise research papers.


11. The Foreign Policy Research Institute

The Foreign Policy Research Institute is a Philadelphia, PA think tank that analyses critical international issues, and brings the insights of scholarship and academia to bear on the formation of policies that advance national interests. They have a Center for the Study of Terrorism, which gathers and analyses details on terrorist’s organisations, operations and motivating factors, in order to gain insights into threats posed by Islamist and other terrorists, and develop strategies to prevent large scale attacks in the future. They also offer educational programs for teachers, high school students and the public, including webcasts and forums reporting on issues of the day.


12. The CSIS (Center for Strategic & International Studies)

CSIS sponsors a Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Program, which sponsors research and studies on disaster preparedness, response, recovery, resilience, the evolving dynamics of militancy, security cooperation between governments, the future of al Qaeda and affiliates, the emergence of new threats such as ISIS, homegrown extremism, and other critical issues on the international stage.
Your Turn: Interested pursuing a career in counterterrorism or national security issues? Want to learn more about how to combat cyber terrorism? Tell us about your educational goals.




  • Please I want to know whether there is related programme in PhD (Law) that has to do with counterterrorism and security law.

    • The degrees mentioned in this article are a starting point for you to make your search. We can’t advice you because we have no knowledge about your qualifications, education, geographic location – and, even you are now considering sending them to us – don’t. We don’t place with admissions departments at any schools. We gather information and get you started. One of the primary skills of a forensic specialist is research. Hone those skills, knowing what you already know (and your own preferences) and start searching for the college that is right for you.

      • Coolo-Moses T. Sepoh, II says:

        Hello Sir/madam, l am really finding it difficult to register my email especially with my high level of enthusiasm to enroll as per the advertised scholarship programs in Homeland security and Counter terrorism, masters. How can you be a help to me in this process? l am awaiting a candy response…please. Kind regards.

  • Emmanuel Goltokka says:

    I have a Bachelor Degree in Sociology and would like to pursue a Masters Degree in counter terrorism studies

  • Bisi Egbeyemi Jr. says:

    Iam a qualified and practicing lawyer, Iam currently undertaking an LLM in International Criminal Law at Sussex University, Brighton, UK. I desire to pursue a PhD in Terrorism related course in any top institution in UK or US, but I want it to be law or legal-related. Please advise. Thank you.

    • The Forensic Outreach Team says:

      Hi Bisi,

      We receive a large volume of comments regarding further studies in these disciplines, so unfortunately we’re not able to answer your question in detail. However, the article above should hopefully shed light on where to begin your search. Good luck!


    I,m Tanzanian taking masters in History can i study PhD in terrorism because I studied topic on peace keeping


    can i study PhD in peace manegament after studing in the same courses in masters in history


    Can i get scholarship on PhD like peacekeeping , Terrorism , and International Diplomacy?

  • bob says:

    those are graduate colleges, would you please give me one or two thats within the same interest?


  • Hannah says:

    Thanks for your article! I am graduating in May with a BS in Anthropology, however I am interested in pursuing a Masters Degree in Counterterrorism and Homeland Security. I was wondering if you could offer me any advice on which programs to apply to/look into. Thanks so much!

  • nahashon says:

    am pursuing bachelors in security management at Kenyatta university in Kenya and would like to pursue homeland security and counter terrorism programs .do you offer sponsorship?

  • Mojeed says:

    I have Master in peace studies and Conflict resolution… Also a senior police officer.. I will like to pursue my PhD in terrorism and counterterrorism.. Need your advice.

  • leonard sasita says:

    am pursuing bachelor degree in law enforcement and I would like to study master degree in counterterrorism, financial crime and cyber crime, so what procedures I can apply to get admission and sponsorship if available.

  • Ashleigh says:

    Do you have any ideas for counter-terrorism programs outside the US and the UK (as a third country national the UK’s tuition is unaffordable)? Or any programs which can offer a stipend so that its somewhat affordable to live during the years spent completing the PhD? Thanks

    • Hi Ashleigh – that does sound like a good idea for an article. We have not researched this topic as of yet. If you intend to go ahead and discover information about other counter terrorist programs in countries like France, Russia, China or more international partners, please let us know, or propose an article yourself. Good luck on your search.

  • moenda maliro says:

    hie i have been a soldier for 12 years and wish to persue bachelors degree in counter terrorism

  • Biar Peter Ayuen says:

    How do I get admission in the US especially on a course to do with Homeland Security and Counter-terrorism?

  • Wilf says:

    Hi – I am about to enter my final year studying War Studies at the University of Birmingham, and have begun to look into postgraduate courses in Security and Counter-terrorism. Was looking for advice for programmes in the UK or USA

  • Fadaini Oluwaseyi says:

    hello i am a graduate of criminology and security studies, also bagged an advanced professional certificate in security management and strategic studies, i am looking forward to an msc program in terrorism and counter-terrorism or intelligence and international security either in US,UK or Canada. Looking forward to your recommendations. Regards

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