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Critical Global Security Studies - POL00077I

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  • Department: Politics
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Nuray Aridici
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: I
  • Academic year of delivery: 2024-25
    • See module specification for other years: 2023-24

Module summary

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 2 2024-25

Module aims

The module offers a comprehensive survey of the diverse and contested field of critical security studies. It engages with key concepts like threat, risk, securitisation and vulnerability. It covers the most important theoretical approaches in the field of critical security studies - including critical theory, feminism, and post-structural and postcolonial perspectives.

It delves into fundamental controversies in security debates, such as: the relationship between security and emancipation; the importance of gender in security analysis; border politics; and the place of the individual in conceptualisations of security. It highlights the diverse disciplinary and methodological approaches which have informed the development of the field, from sociology to International Relations. In addition to exploring traditional security concerns such as military build-up through a critical lens, it maps some of the diverse issues brought into the remit of security studies by the ‘broadening’ and ‘deepening’ engendered by the move to criticality and, as such, explores what critical engagements can help us to understand about the most pressing security problems of our era: terrorism; energy security; climate change; migration; global health and disease; transnational criminal networks; and gender-based violence.

Through a range of seminar activities including group discussion, simulations and role play exercises, the module has also been designed to enable the development of analytical and communication skills, namely critical thinking, data analysis and problem-solving skills.

Module learning outcomes

  • Explain, and critically evaluate, the most important theoretical paradigms in critical security studies;
  • Demonstrate detailed knowledge of some of the most important problems and puzzles in the contemporary security landscape;
  • Apply theories and concepts to the analysis of security problems, using critical thinking to assess the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches.


Task Length % of module mark
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
N/A 100

Module feedback

Students will receive written timely feedback on their formative assessment. They will also have the opportunity to discuss their feedback during the module tutor’s feedback and guidance hours.

Students will receive written feedback on their summative assessment no later than 25 working days after submission; and the module tutor will hold a specific session to discuss feedback, which students can also opt to attend. They will also have the opportunity to discuss their feedback during the module tutor’s regular feedback and guidance hours.

Indicative reading

Alan Collins (ed) Contemporary Security Studies, 4th ed, Oxford University Press, 2015.

Columba Peoples and Nick Vaughan-Williams, Critical Security Studies: An Introduction, 2nd ed, Routledge, 2014.

Karin Fierke, Critical Approaches to International Security, 2nd ed, Polity, 2015.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.