Skip to content

Module Catalogue

Breadcrumbs navigation

IR5036   Critical Security Studies

Academic year(s): 2023-2024

Key information

SCOTCAT credits : 30

ECTS credits : 15

Level : SCQF level 11

Semester: 1

Planned timetable: Thursday 10am - 12noon (Group 1) and Thursday 2-4pm (Group 2)

This module will examine the challenge to traditional conceptions of security presented by the emergence of Critical Security Studies since the end of the Cold War. Students will explore what it means to study the concept and practice of security from a critical perspective. They will examine the various theoretical traditions that have informed critical security studies and the methodological implications for the analysis of different types of security contexts, ranging from alliance relations, terrorism, the environment, migration, famine, etc. Via its analysis of security from such different viewpoints, the module provides critical insights into the core issues confronting the study, conception, understanding and evolution of security in the 21st century.

Learning and teaching methods and delivery

Weekly contact: 1-hour lecture and 1-hour tutorial.

Assessment pattern

As used by St Andrews: 3-hour Written Examination = 50%, Coursework = 50%

Re-assessment: re-sit and/or re-submission


Module coordinator: Dr A J Ferhani
Module teaching staff: Dr Adam Ferhani

Intended learning outcomes

  • recognise security as being socially constructed and thus meaning different things to different people, communities, and regions across the globe
  • move their analysis away from the state being the sole referent object of security, and the military as being the main way to achieve ‘security’
  • identify and deconstruct the different structures (whether gender, race or class- based), which marginalize & disempower particular identities
  • evaluate how critical security (and its critique of traditional approaches) is a dynamic concept that responds and evolves to changing circumstances.