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Why study this course?

The course will extend your knowledge in relation to the sexual exploitation of children and young people including an exploration of definitions, prevalence, intervention and protection, perpetrators and policy and legislation.

Historical continuities in the form and nature of sexual exploitation will be examined in a national and international context, as well as the role of digital technologies.

More about this course

This course will explore the research evidence about sexual exploitation of children, the range of forms of exploitation and the contexts in which it occurs. You'll examine the history of sexual exploitation in a national and international context and the current policy focus. The impact of sexual exploitation and promising practices responding to young people will be explored, as well as what research tells us about the motivations of those who abuse and exploit.

This course is important if you're a professional or practitioner working in social care or at a policy level in charities and other related fields, and you want to increase your knowledge of the evidence base on sexual exploitation.

This course will cover:

  • definitions of sexual exploitation
  • a gender analysis of sexual exploitation and debates about the sex industry
  • sexualisation of children in popular culture
  • policy and practice responses including criminal justice and safeguarding frameworks

In particular, the course will cover the following topics in detail:

  • forms of sexual exploitation eg trafficking, abusive images of children and online grooming
  • perpetrators of sexual exploitation

By the end of the course you'll understand and be able to critically evaluate perspectives on sexual exploitation and the sex industry, including to what extent global research evidence supports them. You'll also be able to define, identify and explain various forms of sexual exploitation of children and young people.


This course is accredited at an MA level as part of the Woman and Child Abuse MA. If you're taking this course as a short course, assessment is not compulsory.

To gain the 20 credits for the course, the assessment consists of two items - an annotated bibliography and an essay. Full guidance and support sessions are built into teaching time.


Fees and key information

Course type
Short Course
Entry requirements View
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Entry requirements

A good degree in a relevant subject or experience of delivering policy and/or support services is required alongside proficiency in written and spoken English.

Course structure

This course is delivered in class from 10am to 5pm. The dates for the next intake in 2024 are as follows:

  • Thursday 2 May 2024
  • Friday 3 May 2024
  • Thursday 16 May 2024
  • Friday 17 May 2024
  • Thursday 13 June 2024
  • Friday 14 June 2024

The teaching methods will include group work, lectures, guest lectures, workshops and audio-visual material. Case study material will be supplied as well as recommended reading to support each session.

How to apply

Please download the Enrolment form 2023-24, please complete and send it to

The cost for this course is £885. Please pay online through our eShop.

For more information on course content, please contact the Child and Woman Abuse Studies Unit on +44 (0)20 7133 5014 or the course administrator via email.

When to apply

There is no official closing date for this course, but you are advised to apply as early as possible as we will only consider your application if there are places available on the course.