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Dr Amy Thornton
Department of Security and Crime Science
35 Tavistock Square
Tel: 02031083052
Dr Amy Thornton profile picture
  • Associate Professor (Teaching)
  • Dept of Security and Crime Science
  • Faculty of Engineering Science

Amy gained her PhD in Security Science in 2015, focusing on Understanding Radicalisation. She previously gained an MRes in Security Science in 2011 and an MA in Post-War Recovery Studies from York University in 2008. Amy originally studied History at York University from 2004-7 and has always had an interest in political and religious history and conflict. She has worked in diverse locations including Berlin, Jordan and Sierra Leone, conducting research and projects with national governments, international organisations such as the Red Cross, and partner universities.

Research Summary

Amy is the Director of Studies in the Department of Security and Crime Science. Her research interests include radicalisation, terrorism and counter-terrorism, forensic science, crime reduction strategies, evaluation methods and qualitative methods. She has worked with UK and EU governments, international institutions and organisations in the charity sector in order to provide strategic research partnerships in diverse crime and security areas. Amy is a champion of evidence-based policy, and reaches out to practitioners on a regular basis in order to disseminate her work and that of others within the department. Amy regularly supervises PhD, MSc and BSc students in areas such as terrorism ideology, the use of the internet by terrorist groups and sympathisers, the use of qualitative methods to analyse terrorist recruitment materials, and counter-radicalisation strategies (using UK and international comparisons). For her PhD Amy researched the topic of radicalisation from the individual to the systemic level, using a number of methodologies including systems theory, agent-based modelling and interviews with former extremists and counter-terrorism practitioners. She is adept at evaluation and systematic review methodologies, and disseminates her research to national and international audiences in formats including conferences, workshops, seminars, lectures and private policy meetings.

Teaching Summary

Amy teaches on a number of MSc and BSc modules on the topics of crime and terrorism. She teaches on the MSc Prevention and Disruption module in DSCS, and the MSc Perspectives on Terrorism course, including lectures on the history and ideology of terrorism, Islamist terrorist groups, countering terrorism and counter-radicalisation strategies. Amy supervises MSc students on the topics of terrorism, radicalisation and the application of qualitative methods to crime and terrorism prevention. She runs the BSc modules in Evaluation of Crime Prevention, Qualitative Methods and Professional Development in DSCS, while contributing to the Terrorism module at this level as well. Amy manages the widening participation summer school at DSCS for 17 year old students who can get a taste of what life is like at UCL before they apply for university. She is also an e-learning champion for the department.

01-JUL-2020 Director of Studies Security and Crime Science UCL, United Kingdom
01-JUL-2018 Senior Teaching Fellow Security and Crime Science UCL, United Kingdom
01-OCT-2014 – 31-MAR-2017 Research Associate Department of Security and Crime Science UCL, United Kingdom
Academic Background
2018   ATQ03 - Recognised by the HEA as a Fellow University College London
2015   Doctorat University College London
2014   APM Project Management Qualification University College London
2011   Master of Research University College London
2008   Master of Arts University of York
2007   Bachelor of Arts University of York
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