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Last modified: 28 Jun 2018 10:27

Course Overview


This course looks at how modern terrorism and the threats attributed to radical political thought were experienced and debated in contemporary media, societies and politics. It considers the problems historians face when studying and explaining acts of terror in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The course is designed to provide honours students with an essential understanding of historical contextualization. Comparing various national case studies allows for an analysis of acts of terrorism as a European – even global – phenomenon. Download course guide

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 3
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 30 credits (15 ECTS credits)
Campus Old Aberdeen Sustained Study No
  • Dr Heidi Mehrkens

Qualification Prerequisites


What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)
  • Either Programme Level 3 or Programme Level 4

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?


Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description


This course introduces students to political terrorism in its historical dimensions: Nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Europe witnessed increasing numbers of bombings in public spaces and attempts to assassinate leading political authorities. Such acts of violence could be interpreted as realization of radical political thought. Students will examine how acts of terror that occurred in Spain, France, Russia or England challenged notions of national and international security and peace in times of deep-felt political and social change. The course also encourages debate as to how an awareness of the historical nature of acts of terrorism can contribute to an informed analysis of acts of violence against the state and ordinary people in 21st-century societies.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

More Information about Week Numbers

Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

1st Attempt

  • 2500-word essay (25%)
  • 1500-word gobbet exercise (25%)
  • 3-hour examination (50%)


  • 2500-word essay (100%)

Formative Assessment

Seminar group projects.


Formal written feedback is normally provided within 3 weeks. It will focus on specifics of structure, level of critical thinking and other academic attributes. Seminars will include oral feedback during the weeks between provision of written feedback.

Course Learning Outcomes


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