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Certificate in Terrorism Studies by University of St Andrews

The Certificate in Terrorism Studies is the leading and most influential qualification in this realm of study. Over 4,700 learners, in over 130 countries globally, have studied this online distance learning qualification, from companies and organisations including the FBI, the RAF, the UK MOD and American Airways.

It is the first counter-terrorism online course to provide individuals, military and police, as well as public and private sector organisations with an understanding of the latest thinking on terrorism and homeland security.

The course is constantly being improved based on the latest insights, trends and methods in counter-terrorism. The results speak for themselves, with high learner engagement; satisfaction ratings and an above average percentage of learners returning for further study.

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“This training is by far the best I have experienced during my 27 years in the federal service and I will highly recommend it to my colleagues”
Michael H. Sparks,
Office of Security, US Department of Energy

When: February, June, October
Where: Delivered online with the support of leading industry experts
Duration: Individual modules (4 weeks), Certificate (16 weeks), Advanced Certificate (32 weeks)
What sets this programme apart?

  • We are the first international online learning course to provide learners with an understanding of the latest thinking on terrorism.
  • Over 4,700+ individuals have benefitted from this programme representing over 130 countries.
  • We deliver the widest breadth of terrorism related content.
  • The course is offered as an online distance learning course making this accessible to professionals in active service, wherever they are in the world.
  • This programme is now the industry standard globally for teaching on this subject.
  • The content is continuously revised and kept up to date. During a 5-year period, the content is completely renewed.

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Choose from the 17 Modules available:

  • Key issues in International Terrorism
  • Terrorist Ideologies, Aims, Beliefs, and Motivations
  • Terrorist Modus Operandi
  • International Policing Policy
  • Aviation Terrorism & Security
  • Maritime Terrorism Security
  • Critical Infrastructure Protection
  • Cyber-Terrorism
  • Radicalisation, Counter-radicalisation and Deradicalisation
  • CBRN Weapons in Terrorism
  • Terrorism and Human Rights
  • Homeland Security
  • Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs)
  • Intelligence
  • The Psychology of Terrorism
  • Personnel and Personal Security
  • Terrorism Financing

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Who are our learners?

  • Soldiers / military personnel on active duty looking to better identify terrorist networks of influence.
  • Individuals within police forces globally looking to improve their response programmes in times of terrorist activity.
  • Private security professionals or those transitioning into private security looking to reduce risk for individuals who are potential victims of terrorist threats.
  • Individuals within counter-terror organisations and central/local government bodies looking to prevent future terrorism incidents through counter-radicalisation and counter-terrorism tactics.

Exceptional Blend of Content, Teaching and Technology

Ensuring self-study success

We provide our students with an online platform that is simple and easy to use, as well as tools that will support them throughout the programme.


Our modules are delivered through Moodle. Moodle is on open-source learning platform, recognised and supported globally.


Quizzes are provided for each module to test knowledge absorption and to allow learners to discover which areas need to be revisited.


The forum has provided learners with an open space to share questions and practical feedback. This forum is essential for the engagement of the learners and to allow them to interact with industry experts.

Flexible Modules

Because of the self-paced nature of this course, learners can return to take new modules at times that suit their working lifestyle.

Bi-weekly Reviews

A dedicated learner experience team conducts bi-weekly progress review with each student to ask for feedback and allow students an opportunity to raise any challenges they may be experiencing.

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The Leading Centre for the Study of Terrorism

University of St Andrews and the Handa Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence

The late Emeritus Professor Paul Wilkinson was a keen supporter of education for those working in the field of terrorism. At the time (2009), there weren’t any formal education courses specifically aimed at counter-terrorism. He had a vision to offer a course which allowed terrorism and security professionals to be formally recognised for their knowledge.

This led to the University of St Andrews’ Certificate in Terrorism Studies: a first-of-its-kind transnational qualification developed for non-traditional students. The online course provides individuals, military and police, as well as public and private sector organisations with an understanding of the latest thinking on terrorism and homeland security.

Led by Dr Tim Wilson, Director of the Handa Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence (CSTPV), the course faculty is comprised of world leaders in the sphere of Terrorism Studies.

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