Supported by the internationally renowned Child and Woman Abuse Studies Unit, the master's in Woman and Child Abuse provides a solid grounding in theoretical frameworks, policy and practice approaches. The course is ideal for those who are working in specialised services for women and children who have experienced violence, in policymaking or delivery at local, regional or national levels, or anyone wanting to establish careers in these sectors.
In the most recent Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey, 100% of all 2017 graduates from this course were in work or further study within six months.
This course will provide you with a comprehensive grounding in woman and child abuse studies, including theory, research, policy and practice.
The MA course content covers all forms of violence against women and child abuse, including sexual violence, domestic violence, sexual exploitation, trafficking and harmful practices. Reflecting the work of the Child and Woman Abuse Studies Unit, a specialist research unit, the degree focuses on what we know about these forms of abuse, the contexts in which they occur and the connections between them. While the main focus will be on the UK, intellectual, policy and practice approaches from across the globe will be discussed.
You'll find the course content to be cross-disciplinary, mainly drawing on sociology and including social policy, criminology and psychology.
Assessment approaches vary according to the aims of each module and how it is delivered. Examples include essays or other written coursework, and individual presentations.
You will be required to have at least one of the following:
If you don't meet the entry criteria for the MA you have the option of taking a core module as a short course and on successful completion of assessments, you can then apply to join the MA.
Everyone who applies for the course is interviewed, with importance placed on the statement of application. Please contact the course leader, Dr Sukhwant Dhaliwal, firstname.lastname@example.org to talk about making an application, or if you have any questions about the course.
All applicants must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. Applicants who require a Tier 4 student visa may need to provide a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.
The modules listed below are for the academic year 2018/19 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 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 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 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 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
This module aims to:
-To integrate the skills and knowledge-base underpinning the core modules on the Woman and Child Abuse programme and focus these on a specific question.
- To apply appropriate skills of analysis and knowledge of methodologies.
- To test the student’s ability to plan, organise and write a lengthy prose work.
- To promote critical reflection on the process of developing and executing a sustained piece of work.
To explain and evaluate contemporary research about children and families
To develop an understanding and awareness of the policy and professional debates on the family and childhood
To explore the concept of childism and promote the rights of the child to protection from harm
This module allows students to identify and critically assess patterns in specific forms of crime and offending behaviour, as well as to consider the prevalence, characteristics and typologies of specific types of offence. Models used to explain crime and offender patterns, as well as recidivism and desistance, will be considered. These will be related to the wider theoretical criminological field.
To begin with, the module is structured around identifying and evaluating key patterns and characteristics of recorded crime and offending behaviour, with a particular (but not exclusive) emphasis on the UK. The module also aims to present and assess explanatory models used to explicate crime trends, and changes in offending patterns.
The module then focuses on specific types of offence category (including violent and sexual offences, financial, organised crime and environmental crime), and identifies specific trends. As a corollary, the escalation of offending behaviour and the concept of criminal 'career' is evaluated.
The third and final element of the module centres on an analysis of 'serial offenders', and the ways in which offender and geographic profiling might (or might not) assist in understanding and detecting such offenders.
This module examines the theory and institutionalized practice of human rights and the significance of human rights politics for the structure of the changing world order, and of domestic politics for both rights and order. It contextualises, analyzes, evaluates and applies various conceptions of human rights that are operative within international relations, and in relation to academic paradigms used to explain international relations. Attention is paid to the transformation of state sovereignty by human rights discourse and practice. The relation of human rights to the international order is questioned in the context of the history and philosophy of human rights, liberalism and its critics and opponents, and institutions and systems of international governance and conflict. Conversely, ideas of realism and constructivism in international relations are questioned by liberal claims for human rights. The globalization and recent reverses of human rights are critically analyzed. Students ae encouraged to explore particular cases of international order or conflict and of human rights’ observance or abuse in a way that is sustained and rigorous.
1 This module contextualises, analyses, evaluates and applies various conceptions of human rights that are operative within international relations, and within the study of international relations.
2 Three subjects in particular are addressed:
i the causes of, and reasons for, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the broader development of human rights as a universalizing, globalizing, Westernizing and institutionalizing force in relations between states;
ii the variety of particular states, domestic and foreign policies, other political actors, cultures, and motivating ideologies with which human rights has come into conflict;
iii the transformation of state sovereignty by human rights discourse and practice. These subjects are problematized in the context of the history and philosophy of human rights, liberalism and its critics and opponents, and institutions and systems of international governance and conflict.
This module will explore the concept of security as it is understood in international relations discipline. What has been the rationale for the development of a distinct concept of ‘human security’? What are the implications of the concept of human security for our understanding of security in the international system? It will then examine the application of the concept to substantive problems and policy areas. These include the impact of environmental degradation, mass population movement, human trafficking and international crime. Finally, it will assess the impact of the concept on the strategies and policies of international organisations and states.
The main aim of this module is to provide students with core knowledge and understanding of approaches to explaining criminal behaviour and its impact upon individuals and society. More specifically, the aims are:
To provide an overview of the measurement of crime and factors influencing the degree of error in this measurement.
To provide an account of psychological factors that are related to or help to explain crime at both a general level and in terms of specific offences (e.g., arson) and specific offender groups (e.g., juveniles).
To evaluate the contribution of psychology to the explanation of criminal behaviour relative to and in interaction with explanatory frameworks and factors from other disciplines.
To provide a brief introduction to victimology.
The module enables students to design and conduct research in a public service setting (including that required for projects and dissertations), to understand key debates in public policy research and to bid for and evaluate bids for funding.
The principal aims of this module are to provide students with:
the opportunity to develop understanding of research as a holistic process, and to gain familiarity with the different stages involved in the design and conduct of a research project
an appreciation of the range of research methods and techniques available, and the capacity to make informed and appropriate choices when designing projects
an awareness and understanding of the key methodological issues that arise in research, and the ability to address them in research plans
the capacity to read critically and to evaluate published research studies
a familiarity with the policy making process
the ability to analyse the decision making process and to provide policy analysis for decision making
the ability to analyse the implementation and impact of public policies including use of the comparative method.
The module starts from the proposition that the study of social policy includes much more than the study of western welfare states. It examines critically the ways in which societies and communities from the local to the transnational, not just governments, address (or fail to address) basic needs. The module uses a selection of policy examples which aim to address a range of basic needs such as access to paid employment, healthcare, schooling, citizenship, family benefits, in and out of work benefits, pensions, affordable housing, adult care, early childhood education and care. It will look at aspects of these through various analytic lenses, including the impact of policies on social divisions, and the roles of neoliberalism, globalisation, social investment, human development, social development, antiracist and feminist perspectives. The module includes a ‘regional’ approach, covering some of the following: the European Union; Latin America; North America; sub-Saharan Africa; East Asia; the Indian sub-continent. The most prominent approaches to comparative social policy are pervasive, namely: regime analysis, path dependency/institutionalism, and convergent functionalism.
The course consists of four core modules:
One designate module from the following list:
You also undertake a triple-module dissertation.
It is possible to enrol on the MA and opt to take a Postgraduate Diploma in Woman and Child Abuse after the completion of 6 modules. You can also opt to take a Postgraduate Certificate in Woman and Child Abuse after the completion of three modules.
"The course exceeded my original hopes and expectations. The knowledge of the staff within the unit was not only academic but was also informed by frontline work in the violence against women sector. This experience gave a depth and a passion to the lectures and course materials."
Woman and Child Abuse MA graduate
"The course has been rigorous and thorough and very enlightening. It strengthened my academic reading and writing and vastly improved my knowledge of the subject. The quality of the teaching is excellent."
Woman and Child Abuse MA graduate
"It has really shaped my way of working and given me so much important knowledge and awareness, and a conviction that we can all make a difference."
Woman and Child Abuse MA graduate
The course is particularly suited to those who are working in specialised services for women and children who have experienced violence. It is also excellent preparation for those who are wishing to establish careers in this sector.
Our graduates have gone on to key roles in policymaking or service delivery at local, regional and national levels, and some pursue further studies to PhD level, including with the Child and Woman Abuse Studies Unit.
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.
Use the apply button to begin your application.
You are advised to apply as early as possible as applications will only be considered if there are places available on the course.
Please select when you would like to start:
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Domestic violence study quoted in Parliament
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