Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2023-2024 (archived)


Department: Law


Type Open Level 3 Credits 10 Availability Available in 2023/24 Module Cap Location Durham


  • The Individual and The State (LAW1081), OR, at the discretion of the Chair of the Board of Studies or delegate, a suitable module from another Department.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To examine the evolution and content of counter-terrorism law at the international, European Union and domestic (UK) level. It will examine conceptual and methodological challenges in the development of the legal and policy framework. The evolution of law and policy will be viewed from a contextual and multidisciplinary perspective.


  • The social, political and historical context of terrorism; theories of terrorism and radicalisation.
  • The problems and challenges in defining terrorism, extremism and violent extremism.
  • The international legal framework, with a particular focus on the United Nations Security Council Resolutions concerning terrorism as well as the role of regional bodies such as the European Union, the Council of Europe and the OSCE.
  • Investigating and preventing terrorism, Prevent policies, stop and search powers, pre-trial detention.
  • The challenges of using criminal law, the development of evolution of terrorism and terrorism related offences.
  • The use of executive measures: control orders, TPIMS, immigration controls and removal of citizenship.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • On completion of the module, students will:
  • understand the challenges in defining terrorism;
  • have a critical understanding of the legal rules and principles governing the topics studied;
  • understand the factors shaping the development of international and national counter-terrorism law and practice.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • On completion of the module, students will be able to:
  • make reasoned judgement on the effectiveness of specific laws and the desirability of their reform;
  • situate current legal controversies relating to the areas of law studied in their historical, political and social contexts;
  • critically engage with key legal and policy debates on national security and counter-terrorism.
Key Skills:
  • Students will develop:
  • skills in conducting research into legal materials from a variety of national and international jurisdictions;
  • abilities to summarise concisely and critically legal rules, principles and values;
  • skills in investigating and analysing linkages between legal and constitutional theory and legal outcomes;
  • intellectual capacity to recognise potential alternative conclusions to particular legal problems.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • The teaching will be based on seminars supported by targeted reading drawn from both primary and secondary sources;
  • The seminar questions and directed discussion will be designed to facilitate and build knowledge, understanding and critical insights;
  • The method of assessment will test students' ability to meet the relevant learning outcomes. The summative essay will require some degree of independent research, assess the extent to which students have developed an overall grasp of the subject matter and underlying theoretical issues in comparative perspective, and test their ability to engage in critical analysis through a structured argument.
  • The formative essay will consist of the development and drafting of a detailed plan for the summative essay and so will directly assist students in preparing for the summative assessment.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Seminars 6 Weekly 2 hours 12
Preparation and reading 88

Summative Assessment

Component: Summative Essay Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
summative essay 2,000 words 100% Y

Formative Assessment:

Students will prepare a plan and outline of their summative essay of no more than 1000 words.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University