Why study this course?

This master’s degree enables you to explore safeguarding issues, identify vulnerabilities, and assess policy and intervention methods in relation to child and adult protection. You can also choose to explore related topics that interest you, such as cybercrime, sexual violence and exploitation, mental disorders or resilience.

If you’re looking to advance or start your career in adult or child protection, this is the safeguarding course for you. You'll be able to work across a number of sectors including health and social care, risk management, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), local authorities, the civil service, policy research and private sector management.

More about this course

This Safeguarding and Security MA allows you to learn about a wide range of contemporary safeguarding issues. You can explore everything from child abuse to modern slavery and criminal exploitation, cases of abuse within sports, and safeguarding in care homes.

In addition to looking at policy and frameworks, you’ll have the opportunity to analyse controversial debates around gender violence, vulnerabilities of refugees, plus culturally sensative safeguarding issues such as female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage.

Our team of experienced lecturers will guide you through the factors that affect different vulnerable groups of people, such as children, young people, the elderly, people with physical or mental disabilities and migrants or refugees. By learning how to identify the people and populations who are most at risk, you can then begin to identify suitable resilience strategies.

Safeguarding is often affected by external contributing factors, such as social inequalities including class, race and gender, as well as other factors like healthcare problems. It’s important that you’re able to view safeguarding from a wider perspective and take these
factors into account, so we teach you how to employ a range of research methodologies for the evaluation of violence and institutional abuse.


You'll be assessed through coursework and a dissertation of between 12,000 and 15,000 words. The dissertation forms a key element of your master's degree. It allows you to gain in-depth knowledge of your chosen topic and is to be completed over the summer study period.

Fees and key information

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Entry requirements

You will be required to have:

  • a minimum of a lower second class (2.2) honours degree in a relevant discipline of social sciences such as criminology, sociology, law or psychology, or possess relevant professional qualifications.
  • a basic Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check

Applications are also welcome from those who have experience working in the criminal justice system.

Accelerated study

You may also be accepted on the basis of relevant education and experience. Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) could also be accepted for modules in a relevant subject.

Accreditation of Prior Learning

Any university-level qualifications or relevant experience you gain prior to starting university could count towards your course at London Met. Find out more about applying for Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL).

English language requirements

To study a degree at London Met, you must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. If you require a Student visa you may need to provide the results of a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

If you need (or wish) to improve your English before starting your degree, the University offers a Pre-sessional Academic English course to help you build your confidence and reach the level of English you require.

Modular structure

The modules listed below are for the academic year 2022/23 and represent the course modules at this time. Modules and module details (including, but not limited to, location and time) are subject to change over time.

Year 1 modules include:

This module currently runs:
  • spring semester - Monday evening
  • autumn semester - Monday evening

This dissertation allows students to demonstrate and develop the core objectives of the MA in Safeguarding and Security MA degree by completing an independent research project. The research project should be based on and developed around a relevant substantive topic to be chosen by the student and authorised by the dissertation supervisor. The research must be grounded in the appropriate conceptual frameworks and debates addressed across course modules and demonstrate an in-depth critical awareness of contemporary safeguarding policies and practice. The dissertation must also demonstrate evidence of the student’s capability to produce independent research that reflects a high level of knowledge and skills. The dissertation process and workshops provide an environment for students to further develop and apply academic skills acquired on the MA Safeguarding and Security degree course. These stand alongside a range of transferable skills that can be deployed in professional environments and contribute to the student’s future role as a reflexive practitioner in safeguarding and/or related positions and in terms of their performance in performing associated responsibilities of care and security.

This module currently runs:
  • spring semester

This module cultivates students’ familiarity with a range of policies and regulatory frameworks that have emerged in the context of ensuring the identification of risks and the meeting of safeguarding needs. The module builds on the Safeguarding and Security MA’s ethos of developing critical awareness of contested notions of vulnerability and policy responses addressed across core modules. This module will enable students to theorise aspects of legal reform and be equipped with conceptual tools for the evaluation of legislative procedures and policy arrangements. The module assignments are designed to develop core course objectives relating to the development of individual judgement and reflexivity and to apply evaluative skills in practice through an evidence-based approach.

The module aims to:
• build student’s awareness of the underpinning historical and social policy context of regulatory safeguarding frameworks
• critically engage students in themes within safeguarding and their relevance to existing and emerging policy and legislation
• develop student’s capacity to apply knowledge to the communication, interpretation and development of safeguarding policy and practice

This module currently runs:
  • autumn semester

This module reflects the Safeguarding and Security MA’s ethos of enabling students to engage with contested perspectives and values relating to effective safeguarding practice. It therefore complements core modules addressing the legislative landscape and politics of vulnerability by turning to the implementation of policies and questions of agency.

The module aims to:

• develop students’ understanding of the concept and ideology of social responsibility and its relationship to constructs of state agency and inter-agency partnerships
• develop students’ critical understanding of the theoretical models, methods and approaches which frame mandatory and voluntary interventions
• facilitate the development of students’ capacity to evaluate the impact of economic, political, sociological and cultural factors on the design and implementation of interventions promoted to support social change and control
• develop the intellectual tools that enable the safeguarding practitioner to demonstrate the fundamental course objectives of critical reflexivity and practical judgment in relation to structures of institutional intervention

This module currently runs:
  • autumn semester

This module serves as a central component in realising the Safeguarding and Security MA’s objective of enabling students to develop a critical awareness and appreciation of contested views of vulnerability and responses. It therefore complements core modules addressing modes of intervention, responsibility and institutionalisation of policies. In addition, the module conceptually informs students’ perspectives on methodological approaches to researching vulnerability and violence. The module invites students to develop a critically-informed approach to categories of vulnerability and risk as an introduction to safeguarding policy and practice. The module traces the emergence of vulnerability and risk in social, cultural and political contexts encouraging students to understand their social construction in relation to broader social issues. The module equips students with a range of theoretical positions and concepts allowing sociological insight into the inter-subjective dynamics of risk and vulnerability. These include attention to dominant moralising agendas, societal influences, cross-cultural comparisons, the normalisation of abuse, precarity, and/or exploitation, and the implications of media representations of the vulnerable.

The module aims to:
• explain the historical development of safeguarding measures in terms of social attitudes and welfare policy mechanisms
• provide the theoretical and conceptual tools as a basis for defining and measuring vulnerability and risk
• explore a range of tensions between the conceptualisation of vulnerability and the effective implementation of prevention policies
• study the nature of abuse/exploitation in relation to age, gender, social class and ethnicity
• develop a systematic understanding of the complex relationship between society and vulnerable groups

This module currently runs:
  • spring semester - Monday afternoon

The module aims to:

1. Provide a thorough grounding in the understanding and appreciation of criminological research methods.
2. Develop a competence in understanding the strengths and limitation of quantitative and qualitative research
3. Develop a competence in analysing quantitative and qualitative research data and writing research reports.
4. Assist students in designing and conducting research for their thesis, and in developing their skills of critical reflection and analysis.
5. To critically appraise quantitative and qualitative research produced by statutory agencies (such the Home Office, the Metropolitan Police) and voluntary sector organisations related to the Criminal Justice System to enhance their employment prospects.

The module is designed to extend students’ understanding and competence in the application of research methods to a level appropriate for planning and carrying out a substantial piece of empirical research at Master’s level.

This module currently runs:
  • autumn semester

This module will focus on methodological approaches to researching forms of violence which are primarily targeted against women and children (e.g. domestic violence, rape, sexual assault and childhood sexual abuse, sexual exploitation and trafficking, crimes in the name of honour, female genital mutilation, stalking and harassment) and evaluating support and prevention initiatives/interventions. Content will cover: feminist epistemologies and power in the research process; formulating research questions; ethical dilemmas and practices; survey methods, including prevalence data; qualitative research exploring women and children’s perspectives as well as those of perpetrators; creative and arts-based methods; policy-oriented research. In the second half of the module, we introduce approaches to evaluation and the specific issues, challenges and opportunities when creating knowledge through evaluating interventions with victim-survivors and perpetrators of violence. Module aims:

• To introduce feminist epistemological and methodological approaches to research
• To explore the range of methods used to build the evidence base on violence against women and children, and their creep into policy contexts
• To assess the strengths and limitations of qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods for answering research questions on violence against women and children
• To critically examine approaches to evaluating interventions with victim-survivors and perpetrators of violence
• To explore the creation and critique of knowledge claims about violence and interventions

This module currently runs:
  • autumn semester - Tuesday afternoon

This module provides a broad introduction to cybercrime and cyber security evolution. The module examines the relationship between advances in Internet-based and digital technologies, and their criminal exploitation within cyberspace. It examines a wide range of cyber threats, attacks and risks, and the strategies employed to mitigate these, including the laws that are in place to protect and prevent online crimes/cybercrimes.

The module provides essential coverage of the principles and concepts underpinning cybercrime and cyber security, maintaining focus on the identification, examinations and assessment of the key threats, attacks and risks, and in areas related to legal, ethical, social and professional issues.

This module currently runs:
  • autumn semester - Monday afternoon

This module will allow students to investigate the complex issue of violence through a multidisciplinary approach. Indicative topics include serious youth violence, murder, football hooliganism and violence in the home. The module will be structured to identify and explain violent behaviour both in the West and the Global South. These will then be tied to the wider criminological field and possible prevention strategies will be considered.

There is a negotiated element to the module, allowing students to focus on topics specific to their own interests.

The module will incorporate a ‘Flipped-Learning approach’. Active student involvement in the module is thus imperative to make it as successful and enjoyable as possible. Students are expected to attend and contribute to all seminar sessions, and attendance will be monitored. Sessions will require student preparation, including the reading of academic journal articles.

The module aims to enable students to:

1. Explore the prevalence of and trends in violence in the UK and globally

2. Identify and assess violent crimes

3. Recognize and contextualize various types of violence

4. Use various theories within the field of Criminology and Sociology to explain violent behaviour

This module currently runs:
  • spring semester - Thursday afternoon

This module allows students to explore the relationship between key aspects of the law, rights and code of professionals’ ethics within mental health. This module will look at the science base behind legal and policy developments across a range of mental health problems.

This module currently runs:
  • autumn semester - Thursday morning

This introductory module will focus on the theoretical explanations of psychopathology from a biological, social, behavioural and cognitive perspective across the lifespan. Using formal classification systems including the DSM-5, it will provide an eclectic and multidisciplinary approach to understanding psychopathology. Various theoretical frameworks in both understanding and management of psychological problems will be explored.

This module currently runs:
  • spring semester - Thursday morning

This module will focus on the importance of integrating resilience and mindfulness into healthcare practices to support and develop clients skills necessary for coping with problems and set- backs. It will integrate resilience and mindfulness across the lifespan in the context of mental health, special needs, the care system, at risk families and end of life issues from a cultural and systemic perspective. This module will further employ a family systems approach and explore the assessment of families, resilience, mental health promotion and empowering families towards making positive changes towards mental wellbeing. Theoretical models such as attachment theory, epigenetics, family and bio-ecological systems approach will be also covered.

This module currently runs:
  • summer studies

This course focuses on the sexual exploitation of children and young people in UK and global contexts. Sessions cover definitions and framings, including feminist debates on the sex industry, researching sexual exploitation, evidence and prevalence, abusers and coercers, policy and legislative approaches, and promising practices in intervention, protection and prevention. Specific forms of exploitation will be explored, such as trafficking, sex tourism, abusive images of children (including 'sexting'), and online grooming. The course aims:

• To provide an understanding into the nature and prevalence of sexual exploitation of children and young people in national and international contexts;

• To explore theoretical, policy and legislative perspectives and responses;

• To evaluate the implications for promising practice in supporting sexually exploited young people, particularly in relation to the criminal justice and child protection systems.

This module currently runs:
  • spring semester

This module will focus on forms of sexual violence in child and adulthood. We will address: incidence, prevalence and reporting; theoretical and explanatory frameworks; impacts and meaning for victims/survivors; persistence and change with respect to legal frameworks, the justice system and support services; perpetrators and approaches to prevention.

This module will:
- explore the extent and forms of sexual violence in child and adulthood;
- critically examine theoretical, conceptual and explanatory frameworks;
- locate legal reform, support services and policy development in historical and comparative contexts;
- examine the impacts and consequences for individuals and for gender and generational relations;
- explore prevention and work with perpetrators in context of contemporary sexual norms and cultures.

This module currently runs:
  • spring semester - Wednesday morning

This module is aimed at developing students’ professional & practitioner skills in Motivational Interviewing and Therapeutic interventions, which may support their current working practices and/or assist and develop their employability. The module presents, discusses, and critically evaluates evidence-oriented interventions for substance misuse and psychological distress. Motivational interviewing, Therapeutic techniques, and evidence-based interventions, will be described, demonstrated, used and evaluated with targeted clients. Clients in this context will include other students and teaching & examining team only. For students with no core psychology/healthcare training additional training would be necessary to pursue a clinical/counselling career.

By the end of the module you will be able to:
1. Understand Motivational Interviewing skills in a therapeutic context.
2. Use scientific evidence to evaluate critically Motivational Interviewing and Therapy skills across the lifespan.
3. Specify the theoretical principles underlying these interventions.
4. Manifest a detailed grasp of Motivational Interviewing and Therapy skills for mental health problems.
5. To be able to utilise Motivational interviewing and Therapy skills in a professional context

This module currently runs:
  • autumn semester

This module introduces students to the range of forms of violence against women, their prevalence and consequences: intimate partner violence, domestic abuse, rape and sexual assault, sexual harassment, sexual exploitation, FGM and crimes in the name of honour. We will address explanatory frameworks and perspectives, including human rights, and critically assess current policy approaches. Within an intersectional framework we will:

- introduce students to the range of forms of violence against women
- familiarise students with the current knowledge base on prevalence of, relationships and contexts for violence and its short and long term consequences
- locate the emergence of the issues within social movement and social problem analysis
- critically assess explanatory frameworks and contemporary policy responses

Where this course can take you

Safeguarding is now a central concern across a range of institutions, including the public sector, private companies, NGOs (eg Amnesty International), charities and sports. Safeguarding roles are growing and this master’s degree can help you break into this area of expertise.

On successful completion of this course, you could work in a safeguarding role at schools, higher education, sports clubs, local authorities, charities, NGOs and social care.

Additional costs

Please note, in addition to the tuition fee there may be additional costs for things like equipment, materials, printing, textbooks, trips or professional body fees.

Additionally, there may be other activities that are not formally part of your course and not required to complete your course, but which you may find helpful (for example, optional field trips). The costs of these are additional to your tuition fee and the fees set out above and will be notified when the activity is being arranged.

Important information for international applicants

Due to unprecedented demand for our courses for the spring 2023 intake, international admissions are now closed for the majority of our postgraduate courses. You can still apply for the autumn 2023 intake. Distance learning courses courses are still available for spring 2023.

How to apply

Use the apply button to begin your application.

If you require a Student visa and wish to study a postgraduate course on a part-time basis, please read our how to apply information for international students to ensure you have all the details you need about the application process.

When to apply

You are advised to apply as early as possible as applications will only be considered if there are places available on the course.

To find out when teaching for this degree will begin, as well as welcome week and any induction activities, view our academic term dates.

News and success stories

Meet the team