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Terrorism Studies - Certificate / Advanced Certificate / Individual Modules

Get a thorough understanding of terrorism and counter-terrorism

Starts 16th February 2021

Led by Tim Wilson, Director of CSTPV, the course faculty is comprised of some of the world’s thought leaders in the field of Terrorism studies

Tim Wilson was born in 1971, going to school in Cambridge and university in Oxford. His intellectual interests in conflict derive from working as a community worker in both North Belfast and East London in the later 1990s. Trained as an historian, his chief interest is in the widely differing effects political violence can have across different contexts. In over ten years of teaching and researching at top universities (Oxford, St Andrews, Queen’s Belfast) he has worked widely both on terrorism committed by governments, and by their opponents.

Both his teaching and research have been recommended for prizes: indeed, his first book Frontiers of Violence – a grassroots comparison of different patterns of ethnic violence – was nominated for the Royal Historical Society’s prestigious Whitfield Prize in 2010. He is currently working upon a second book that seeks to ask why militant violence in Western societies has taken the forms that it has over the past 150 years, provisionally entitled: Terrorists: A Social History of Political Violence.

He assumed the Directorship of CSTPV in September 2016.


Dr. Peter Lehr is Lecturer in Terrorism Studies at the CSTPV, University of St Andrews. Being a regional specialist on the Indian Ocean/Asia-Pacific, he currently specialises on research in the areas of piracy and maritime terrorism as well as terrorism and organised crime in South and Southeast Asia. He also works on critical infrastructure protection, with a focus on airport and seaport security. He is the editor of Violence at Sea: Piracy in the Age of Global Terrorism (Routledge 2007) and co-editor of Lloyd’s MIU Handbook of Maritime Security (CRC 2009).

Sir David Veness is an Honorary Professor of International Relations with CSTPV at the University of St Andrews. David served as Under-Secretary-General of the UN Department of Safety and Security from its creation in 2005 until June 2009. This role carries responsibility for UN operations globally. Prior to this appointment, he was Assistant Commissioner (Specialist Operations) New Scotland Yard from 1994-2005. He joined the Metropolitan Police as a cadet in 1964 and as a constable in 1966. In the course of his police career he specialised in serious crime investigations, hostage negotiation and counter-terrorism. David was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge (MA, LLM) and attended the Royal College of Defence Studies in 1990. David was awarded Queen's Police Medal in 1994, appointed CBE in 2000, was Knighted in 2004.

Dr. Gilbert Ramsay is teaching fellow at the CSTPV and is a specialist in terrorism and the Internet and has delivered reports on this issue for the United Nations and the European Union and has been an expert consultant for a UN working group on countering the use of the internet for terrorist purposes. Research interests cluster around the subjects of Internet jihadism, resemblances between hacking and terrorism as practices, and the concept of the subcultural 'ethic' in either case.

William Vlcek is Lecturer in International Relations with the School of International Relations,
University of St Andrews, where he teaches international political economy. With a PhD in
International Relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science he has
investigated questions of global financial governance since 2002. In addition to his books Offshore Finance and Small States: Sovereignty, Size and Money (Palgrave, 2008) and Offshore Finance and Global Governance: Disciplining the Tax Nomad (Palgrave, 2017) are journal articles that interrogate global initiatives to suppress money laundering, to counter terrorist finance and to regulate
international taxation.

Dr. Michael Boyle is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at La Salle University in Philadelphia. He was formerly a Lecturer in International Relations and Research Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence at the University of St. Andrews. He has consulted for the US and UK governments and was a leading counter-terrorism advisor to the Obama campaign in 2007-2008. He has a Ph.D. in International Relations from Cambridge University and an MPP from Harvard University. His research interests include political violence, terrorism, insurgencies, civil war and American foreign policy. He is the author of the forthcoming Explaining Violence after Wars (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013).

Nick Brooke is an Associate Lecturer in Terrorism and Political Violence at the Handa Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence, a position he has held since January 2016. He holds an MA in Politics from the University of Edinburgh, an MLitt in Terrorism Studies from the University of St Andrews and a PhD in International Relations from the University of St Andrews.

Dr Brooke serves as Academic Co-ordinator for the Certificate & Advanced Certificate in Terrorism Studies, and teaches on both undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. In April 2019 he received the Student Association’s 2018/2019 Teaching Excellence Award for Academic Mentorship.

Nick’s first academic monograph Terrorism and Nationalism in the United Kingdom: The Absence of Noise examines the relationship between nationalism and political violence in the United Kingdom, considering why political violence was a greater feature of the nationalist movements in some parts of the British Isles and not others. His research more generally focuses on the causes of terrorism and the circumstances under which terrorist movements emerge. Further to this, Nick works on nationalism, non-violent protest and identity and the interplay between these phenomena, as well as Scottish and British politics and representations of political violence in popular culture.

Dr Nicole Ives-Allison received her PhD from the Handa Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence at the University of St Andrews where she worked as Teaching Fellow from 2014-2016. Her research has primarily focused on the social dynamics of, and responses to, urban conflict in Northern Ireland and the United States. The next major stage of her research will explore the use of sport as part of the recovery process for those living with the effects of trauma, taking a particular interest in how sport impacts veteran communities and those who have experienced community violence.

Orla Lynch is a lecturer in criminology at University College Cork, Ireland, and previously was director of teaching and a lecturer in terrorism studies at the CSTPV at the University of St Andrews. Her background is in international security studies and applied psychology
after training as a social psychologist, and current research focuses on victimisation and political violence in relation to the direct victims of violence, but also the broader psycho-social impact of victimisation and the perpetrator-victim complex. She has also examined the notion of suspect communities in relation to the impact of counter terrorism measures on Muslim youth communities, and is currently the principal investigator on a multisite EU funded project that looks at the importance of notions of victimisation for former perpetrators of political violence and the role of both former perpetrators and victims in ongoing peace initiatives. Orla is also interested in individual and group desistance from political violence, including issues related to deradicalisation, the role of grand narratives in justifying involvement in violence and psychosocial understandings of the transitions from violence to peace. Her recent books include Victims of Terrorism, a comparative and interdisciplinary study and International Perspectives on Terrorist Victimisation: An interdisciplinary approach.

Dr Eric Metcalfe is a barrister at Monckton Chambers in London specialising in human rights, public law and international law. After completing his D.Phil in law at the University of Oxford he was called to the Bar of England and Wales in 1999. Between 2003 and 2011, he was the director of human rights policy at JUSTICE, one of the leading human rights organisations in the UK, and has been involved in many of the key cases before the UK courts involving national security over the last decade, including A and others v Secretary of State for the Home Department (No 2) (2005), Binyam Mohamed v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (2010), and Al Rawi and others v Security Service and others (2011). His publications include Intercept Evidence (2006), Secret Evidence (2009), Freedom from Suspicion: Surveillance Reform for a Digital Age (2011), and 'Terror Reason and Rights' in Civil Liberties, National Security and Prospects for Consensus (2012). He is also editor of Current Law Statutes Annotated for the Counter Terrorism Act 2008 (Sweet & Maxwell).

Andy Oppenheimer is an independent defence analyst specialising in chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear weapons and explosives (CBRNE) and counter-terrorism. He is Editor-in-Chief of the journals CBNW (Chemical, Biological & Nuclear Warfare) and CBNW Xplosive, an Associate Member of the Institute of Explosives Engineers, and a Member of the International Association of Bomb Technicians and Investigators (IABTI). From 2006 to 2008 he was Editor of Jane’s Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Defence and NBC International, and in 2004/2005 was Co-editor of Jane’s World Armies.

His book IRA – The Bombs and the Bullets: A History of Deadly Ingenuity (Irish Academic Press 2008) is widely acknowledged as the seminal work on the military campaign of the Irish republican movement. As a comprehensive account of the IRA’s mission, doctrine, targeting, operational details, and acquisition of weapons and explosives, it analyses what the IRA was hoping to accomplish in its unrivalled campaign of violence and insurgency through covert acquisition, training, and evolution of most IEDs used in modern insurgencies and terrorism – and details how countermeasures by the British authorities evolved to deal with them.

His main areas of interest are CBRNE threat analysis, IEDs (improvised explosive devices), EOD (explosives ordnance disposal), counter-terrorism, nuclear proliferation, CBRNE defence equipment and first response, defence technologies, and business continuity and protection. He writes for journals, gives presentations at conferences and chairs events, is a VIP speaker at professional seminars, and advises media on news, films and documentaries. He has contributed to the Radicalisation, CIP, Maritime, Modus Operandi, Ideologies, Homeland Security, and Key Issues modules as well as authoring IEDs and CBRN.


Ken holds a master’s degree in Terrorism Studies with St Andrews University. He has lectured on terrorism in Nigeria for the UK Department of Foreign Investment and Development and for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in Poland and Spain. Ken is a qualified trainer with the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe for their Human Rights and Counter Terrorism Policing program and with the FBI National Academy Association. Ken regularly provides talks on international terrorism, including Iceland and California (FBINAA) in 2016. He has also been invited to join a working group on Torture with the United Nations in Washington USA in 2016.

James Rosie is a Strategic Analyst for the UK MoD, in the field of social and behavioural sciences. Previously, James served as a member of the British Army, completing several tours of Afghanistan, focused on Helmand and the south of the country.

James Thomson is a post-Doctoral Researcher at the Brunel Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies at Brunel University in London. His research interests include the effective use of intelligence in the provision of security at the strategic, operational and tactical levels, and are primarily concerned with the development of a political-economy for these areas of governance. His previous career was focused on operational counterterrorism, and he now consults on security, intelligence and governance issues.