Creating higher education opportunities for those in aviation security


The effective delivery of aviation security is an important factor in the growth and sustainable development of the global aviation industry.  The ever-changing threats to aviation continue to challenge governments and industry in implementing additional effective and efficient security measures.

The tragic events of 9/11 initiated enhanced aviation security measures around the world.  As a result, the presence of competent aviation security practitioners became even more essential.  This, in turn, put more pressure on educational organisations to provide specialised education and training programmes, in response to the requirements of the industry and the workforce, to achieve such competencies.  Throughout this time, aviation has continued to be a priority target for terrorism.

Higher education plays a significant role in providing knowledge that is required to solve the complex challenges faced by societies around the world.  Ensuring the delivery of effective aviation security is one such challenge and so it is important to make sure that those who are entrusted with the protection of aviation have access to relevant higher education opportunities.

Educational institutions and universities are influenced by the events and the trends of the international community.  The interaction between the broader community of academic institutions, scholars and research is essential for the enhancement of knowledge.

The research-based and guided-learning Masters of Science in Aviation Security programme which is offered by Buckinghamshire New University in collaboration with ICAO provides a broad framework that aligns international aviation security Standards and Recommended Practices into a comprehensive and cohesive set of competencies that will shape the new generation of aviation security experts.

This programme constitutes a unique and unprecedented opportunity for students to explore and develop theories and methodologies in order to support regulators and stakeholders with the implementation of a risk management methodology for the aviation transportation system that will result in a prioritised portfolio of risk mitigation activities. The correct identification of risks enables the determination and implementation of proportionate measures to mitigate each risk type.

The programme syllabus is aligned with the ICAO Aviation Security Global Risk Context Statement (RCS) and addresses the current and emerging risks and threats to aviation and their treatment.  It encourages solutions innovation through research and the application of academic theory and principles in business and practical environments. There are five modules in the programme that cover the following:

  • Threat, Risk and Impact perspectives;
  • Aviation Risks and Security Challenges;
  • Organisations, Agencies and Air Travel Stakeholders;
  • Aviation and Organisational Resilience, and
  • Research and Dissertation.

The programme allows students to gain a qualification that is relevant to their professional development whilst building on previous qualifications and experience.  A key objective of the programme is therefore to enable students to gain the necessary knowledge and skills to protect international civil aviation and ensures its resilience.

Despite all the challenges that the industry has endured since its inception; the COVID-19 pandemic challenge has affected the industry like no other challenge ever before. Now more than ever, the aviation industry needs all the support and protection possible in order to ensure its continuity.  This can be achieved by producing high-quality aviation security professionals who are ready for the resumption of aviation operations.

The first cohort of this master’s programme began their two-year distance learning programme in January 2021. Applications are being accepted for the new session that is scheduled to begin in September 2021. Click here for more information.