The Political Life of Security Methods

Queen Mary, University of London

Course Description

  • Course Name

    The Political Life of Security Methods

  • Host University

    Queen Mary, University of London

  • Location

    London, England

  • Area of Study

    Global Security and Intelligence Studies, International Studies, Political Science

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • UK Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Credits: 15.0
    Overlap: None
    Prerequisite: None

    This module examines contemporary security practice through the methods they use. It introduces students to (a) the security life of methods -- how methods shape contemporary security situations -- and (b) the political controversies about their use -- the political life of methods. The module will cover a range of controversial methods, for example: the deployment of anthropological knowledge and methods in counter-insurgency, the role of algorithms in surveillance, the rise of big data in security governance, the use of visual methods in security practice and their political contestation, the rise of forensic methods in criminal investigations of war, and scenario planning and foresight in anticipating catastrophes. Students will be expected to gain an understanding of security methods and their limits, and evaluate their political and social effects.

    Assessment: 60.0% Examination, 40.0% Coursework
    Level: 6

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.


This site uses cookies to store information on your computer. Some are essential to make our site work; others help us improve the user experience. By using the site, you consent to the placement of these cookies.

Read our Privacy Policy to learn more.