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Masters Degrees (Violence)

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The Violence, Conflict and Development programme attracts applicants with a variety of academic and working backgrounds. Read more

Who is this programme for?:

The Violence, Conflict and Development programme attracts applicants with a variety of academic and working backgrounds. We welcome those who have worked in the field of development and/or conflict, but we also welcome applications from students without relevant work experience who can demonstrate a strong interest in the major themes of the programme and a strong first degree, preferably in a social science.

The degree has been developed to meet the needs of people working, or hoping to work, in international agencies, humanitarian organisations, and NGOs.

As the pioneering programme of its kind internationally, this MSc programme develops detailed empirical knowledge and analytical skills for understanding the complex linkages between violent conflict and development, both historically and today. It enables students to explore these linkages both within specific country and regional contexts and in the context of global interdependencies and the ways these affect peace, war, and non-war violence.

The programme introduces students to competing analytical approaches. It is multi-disciplinary though shaped by a particular interest in political economy. It encourages deep case study knowledge. And it offers students the ability to tailor their choice of optional courses and dissertation research to their own interests.

The MSc in Violence, Conflict and Development draws on the exceptional expertise at SOAS in different disciplinary understanding of development challenges and processes as well as the strong commitment among all teaching staff to area expertise. Staff teaching on this programme are research active and have a range of links to international organisations.

The programme is of interest for development practitioners, activists, and students with a scholarly interest in the patterns of violence internationally, in how violence affects development, and in how the uneven processes of development themselves may both generate violence and generate mechanisms for containing violence.

Highlights include:

- Zoe's Blog! (http://vcd-soas.blogspot.co.uk/) A convenor's-eye view of the MSc Violence, Conflict and Development programme

- Exploration of the long history of theories of human violence

- Relationships between violence and long-run historical change

- The concept of a continuum of violence

- The relevance of historical and more recent evidence that the process of structural change involved in ‘development’ is inherently conflictual and often violent

- To what extent democratisation is a mechanism for securing perpetual peace

- The challenges of understanding gender based violence

- Whether abundant natural resources, or high levels of inequality, or clear markers of religious or ethnic difference are clear sources of violent conflict

- How highly localised violent conflicts are connected to processes of global economic development

- The challenges of post-conflict reconstruction and ‘war to peace transitions’

- The role of NGOs in causes of, dynamics of, and responses to conflict

- Explaining the prevalence of high levels of non-war violence

- Explanations of the political economy of – and alternative perspectives on – terrorism

- Students can draw on SOAS's unique expertise to specialise further in particular regions or topics. Please see Postgraduate modules for details on core and optional modules.

Visit the website http://www.soas.ac.uk/development/programmes/mscviolconfdev/

Structure

- Overview
There are four main components to this degree: three taught modules and a 10,000 word dissertation. All students take a core module, Political Economy of Violence, Conflict and Development. They then select one of three ‘development’ modules: Political Economy of Development; Theory, Policy and Practice of Development; or Anthropology of Development. Through these modules, students build their analytical skills and their knowledge of the main issues and debates in Development Studies. A distinctive feature of the core module is that students put together a group case study presentation.

- Specialisation
Students also take optional modules (one full unit module or two half-unit modules). By tying these to their individual dissertation topic, students design their degree to suit their own interests and career development goals.

Students should be aware that not all optional modules may run in a given year. Modules at other institutions are not part of the approved programme structure.

Programme Specification

Programme Specification 2015/16 (pdf; 97kb) - http://www.soas.ac.uk/development/programmes/mscviolconfdev/file101806.pdf

Materials

SOAS Library is one of the world's most important academic libraries for the study of Africa, Asia and the Middle East, attracting scholars from all over the world. The Library houses over 1.2 million volumes, together with significant archival holdings, special collections and a growing network of electronic resources.

Teaching & Learning

Modules are taught by a combination of methods, principally lectures, tutorial classes, seminars and supervised individual study projects.

The MSc programme consists of three taught modules (corresponding to three examination papers) and a dissertation.

- Lectures

Most modules involve a two hour lecture as a key component with linked tutorial classes.

- Seminars

At Masters level there is particular emphasis on seminar work. Students make full-scale presentations for each unit that they take, and are expected to write papers that often require significant independent work.

- Dissertation

A quarter of the work for the degree is given over to the writing of an adequately researched 10,000-word dissertation. Students are encouraged to take up topics which relate the study of a particular region to a body of theory.

Employment

MSc Violence, Conflict & Development postgraduate students leave SOAS with a portfolio of widely transferable skills which employers seek. These include analytical skills, presentation skills, the ability to think laterally and employ critical reasoning, and knowing how to present materials and ideas effectively both orally and in writing. A postgraduate degree is a valuable experience that provides students with a body of work and a diverse range of skills that they can use to market themselves with when they graduate. Graduates from MsC Violence, Conflict & Development have gone on to work in a range of different organisations, including Development and Human Rights Organisations, and many have continuted in the field of research.

For more information about Graduate Destinations from this department, please visit the Careers Service website (http://www.soas.ac.uk/careers/graduate-destinations/).

Find out how to apply here - http://www.soas.ac.uk/admissions/pg/howtoapply/

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Your programme of study. Read more

Your programme of study

This programme focuses on the issues surrounding gender based violence and human rights and principles of human rights. This discipline and subject area has a wide international reach in terms of how society and central government tackle the different levels of crimes against women and men in different countries and regions of the world looking at the very basic rights of people, expectations and challenges in some societies to top level and bringing in a range of other disciplines to analyse issues.  There are a wide range of career options within this subject area which range from international development and diplomacy to security, peace-building, charitable work to improve conditions in communities, women's and men's rights, international justice, policy and law making and so on.

In this programme the focus will be on ways we think about, understand and respond to violence. How do we know what counts as violence or a violent act?Why does legislation against violence so often transpire as inadequate, perhaps especially in the case of gendered and sexual violence? As the links between sex, gender and violence appear intimate and often lethal, a central but not exclusive focus of the programme will be on theories and practices of sex/gender. You are taught by experts in the School of Sociology.  

Courses listed for the programme

Semester 1

  • Qualitative Sociology: Philosophy and Methods
  • Advanced Social Theory

Semester 2

  • Sex, Gender, Violence: Critical Approaches

Optional

  • Dimensions of Globalisation
  • The Comparative Study of European Societies
  • Religious Belief and Practice in the Modern World

Semester 3

  • Dissertation

Find out more detail by visiting the programme web page

Why study at Aberdeen?

  • You are taught by renowned international experts from The Centre for Gender Studies and School of Sociology
  • University of Aberdeen provides an excellent range of interdisciplinary events which you can attend

Where you study

  • University of Aberdeen
  • 12 Months Full Time or 24 Part Time
  • September start

International Student Fees 2017/2018

  • International
  • Scotland and EU
  • Other UK

Find out more from the programme page

*Please be advised that some programmes have different tuition fees from those listed above and that some programmes also have additional costs.

Scholarships

View all funding options on our funding database via the programme page and the latest postgraduate opportunities

Living in Aberdeen

Find out more about:

Your Accommodation

Campus Facilities

Find out more about living in Aberdeen and living costs



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This programme provides dynamic and critical study in Violence, Terrorism and International Security. It aims to help students develop a critical and analytical approach to problems in history and the contemporary world of these three areas. Read more

This programme provides dynamic and critical study in Violence, Terrorism and International Security. It aims to help students develop a critical and analytical approach to problems in history and the contemporary world of these three areas. It challenges accepted wisdom and opens up the debate about the role of violence in relation to political power in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Successfully completing the MA can enhance students' opportunities for career advancement by developing their knowledge and skills, including the independent research skills required for the dissertation.Queen’s University, located in Belfast, Northern Ireland offers a unique opportunity for our students to access and engage with a community context challenged by violence, terrorism and security. Our students have the opportunity to live and study in a post-conflict environment as well as meet people involved in Northern Irish conflict and the peace process, from researchers and policy makers to ex-combatants.

Course Details

Six taught modules, plus a dissertation of no more than 15,000 words.

Students will take: 

3 Core modules/classes in the Autumn term:

  • Violence, Terrorism and Security
  • Approaches to Research Design
  • Contemporary Security

2 core modules/classes in the Spring term:

  • Conflict Terrorism
  • Global Terrorism

Plus one elective module/class from the following:

  • Ethnic Conflict
  • International Political Economy
  • Philosophy of Conflict and War

There are two different degrees available in Violence, Terrorism and Security - MA and PgDip.

The Post-Graduate Diploma (PgDip) consists of all the above six core taught modules/classes, but students do not complete an MA dissertation. The PgDip is a credit-bearing and internationally recognised post-graduate degree, but it is not the equivalent to a Master’s degree. It is both an entry and exit route.

The Master’s degree (MA) in Violence, Terrorism and Security is awarded to students who successfully complete six core taught modules/classes and the MA dissertation.

Moving from a PgDip to an MA: Students who are registered on the PgDip are invited to register and complete the MA upon successful completion of the six core taught modules/classes. 

Assessment and Feedback

Assessment and Feedback are continuous throughout the course of study. 

Students are provided a range of assessment approaches, both formal and informal as well as formative and summative, in order to enhance the student learning experience and improve student attainment. Each module typically consists of two or three main pieces of assessment and can include essays, policy reports, simulations, presentations, among other forms of assessment.

Feedback is provided throughout the VTS programme for continuous student reflection and growth. Teachers provide thorough and systematic feedback on assessed work. Feedback is also available from your personal tutor as well as via various support mechanisms and training courses in the university, such as via the Student Guidance Centre.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching hours take place in morning/afternoon/night.

  • Each module usually consists of 2-4 contact teaching hours per week, depending on the module. Most study, however, consists of independent research and reading. Each student is also allocated a personal tutor/academic advisor who, alongside teaching in each module, aids in the learning process.
  • Modules involve a variety of teaching approaches designed to inspire critical and transferable skills.
  • Learn with award winning teachers. Teachers in the MA VTS programme are leading experts in their field. Many have been granted teaching awards for their innovative and engaging pedagogical approaches.
  • There are multiple talks, events, and extra-curricular activities and training courses on campus each year, outside of the formal VTS programme, that are related to Violence, Terrorism and Security.
  • It is anticipated that internship opportunities in Belfast will be made available to students.

Career Prospects

The PgDip in VTS provides you with the essential transferable skills and in-depth knowledge of theories and issues in the areas of violence, security and terrorism for career development at any stage, from students straight from an undergraduate degree with limited to no prior professional experience to those seeking continued professional development. The programme enables you to broaden your horizons providing you with a competitive edge in a global graduate market in a wide variety of areas such as the security sector, including intelligence agencies, government agencies and public office, the military, NGOs, academia, businesses and corporations, and the media among many other possibilities.

We are proud that many of our graduates have gone to serve in the most senior ranks of a number of National Police Services, and Law Enforcement Agencies, Border and Immigration Control, National Armed Forces including the US Army, US Air Force, US Secret Service, British Army and Irish Defence Forces. Our graduates also work as senior government policy advisers in a variety of different countries, including the State Department in the USA, in international NGOs in diverse parts of the globe including major conflict zones, other graduates have gone into international security consultancy, and many have worked in the media, and others have gone on to successful careers working for international business in a variety of capacities.



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This programme provides dynamic and interdisciplinary analysis into fields of conflict studies and theories and concepts on violence, terrorism studies and international security. Read more

This programme provides dynamic and interdisciplinary analysis into fields of conflict studies and theories and concepts on violence, terrorism studies and international security. The MA in VTS helps students develop a critical and analytical approach to problems in history and the contemporary world in these three core areas. It challenges accepted wisdom and opens up the debate about the role of violence in relation to political power in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Successfully completing the MA can enhance students' opportunities for career advancement by developing their knowledge and skills, including the independent research skills required for the dissertation.

Course Details

Six taught modules, plus a dissertation of no more than 15,000 words.

Students will take:

3 core modules/classes in the autumn term:

  • Violence, Terrorism and Security
  • Approaches to Research Design
  • Contemporary Security

2 core modules/classes in the spring term

  • Conflict Intervention
  • Global Terrorism 

Plus one elective module/class from the following:

  • Ethnic Conflict
  • International Political Economy
  • Philosophy of Conflict and War

Over the summer term students complete a 15,000 word MA dissertation

Some recent MA VTS dissertation topics have included:

  • Bioterrorism and arms control
  • Child soldiers and international law
  • Counter-insurgency and targeted assassinations
  • Covert Intelligence and Collusion
  • Cultures of Youth Violence
  • Cyber-terrorism
  • Gender and Counter-terrorism

Assessment and Feedback

Assessment and Feedback are continuous throughout the course of study. 

Students are provided a range of assessment approaches, both formal and informal as well as formative and summative, in order to enhance the student learning experience and improve student attainment. Each module typically consists of two or three main pieces of assessment and can include essays, policy reports, simulations, presentations, among other forms of assessment.

Feedback is provided throughout the VTS programme for continuous student reflection and growth. Teachers provide thorough and systematic feedback on assessed work. Feedback is also available from your personal tutor as well as via various support mechanisms and training courses in the university, such as via the Student Guidance Centre.

Career Prospects

The MA in VTS provides you with the essential transferable skills and in-depth knowledge of theories and issues in the areas of violence, security and terrorism for career development at any stage, from students straight from an undergraduate degree with limited to no prior professional experience to those seeking continued professional development. The programme enables you to broaden your horizons providing you with a competitive edge in a global graduate market in a wide variety of areas such as the security sector, including intelligence agencies, government agencies and public office, the military, NGOs, academia, businesses and corporations, and the media among many other possibilities.

We are proud that many of our graduates have gone to serve in the most senior ranks of a number of National Police Services, and Law Enforcement Agencies, Border and Immigration Control, National Armed Forces including the US Army, US Air Force, US Secret Service, British Army and Irish Defence Forces. Our graduates also work as senior government policy advisers in a variety of different countries, including the State Department in the USA, in international NGOs in diverse parts of the globe including major conflict zones, other graduates have gone into international security consultancy, and many have worked in the media, and others have gone on to successful careers working for international business in a variety of capacities. The MA also provides the research skills and knowledge to carry out a PhD to pursue, as a number of our graduates have done, an academic career. 

Why Queen's

  • Queen’s University, located in Belfast, Northern Ireland offers a unique opportunity for our students to access and engage with a community context previously challenged by violence, terrorism and security as part of the programme of study. Our students have the opportunity to live and study in a post-conflict environment as well as meet people involved in Northern Irish conflict and the peace process, from researchers and policy makers to ex-combatants
  • World-class research: Students have the opportunity to study under world-class academics in the areas of Violence, Terrorism and Security such as Professor Beverley Milton-Edwards, Professor Richard English, Dr Debbie Lisle, Dr Michael Bourne, Dr Heather Johnson, Dr Julie Norman, Dr Andrew Thomson, among many others. 


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The MA degree can be taken full-time over one year, or part-time over two years. Read more
The MA degree can be taken full-time over one year, or part-time over two years. In addition to the four compulsory modules (Difference, Diversity & Change; Interdisciplinary Methods in Women's Studies; Gender, Violence & Justice; Women, Citizenship & Conflict) and the 60 credit dissertation, students taking the MA Women Violence and Conflict will select a programme of research training modules to make up the remaining 40 credits, or opt to take Work, Politics & Culture and a further 20 credits of research training methods from the available selction. This programme should be agreed with the supervisor and submitted to Chair of Board of Studies. You will be allocated a supervisor for your dissertation which must be submitted towards the end of your final year.

Natalie, an MA Women, Violence and Conflict student writes:
'Welcome! I'd encourage students to take advantage of all the resources available to them - don't be shy! Everyone is the department is wonderful and more than willing to help. I'd encourage you to get to know your classmates - the beauty of this department is how amazingly interesting and diverse the students and professors are. I've learned more from my classmates than I ever anticipated. I'd say, frankly, READ. Read as much as you can on as many topics as you can - it's not often that you'll have the opportunity to engage these topics in depth in such a supportive environment with some of the greatest resources right in the department! Don't be afraid to not know, or to ask questions. Everyone is here to support you both academically and otherwise. Challenge yourself and appreciate the opportunity to feel uncomfortable sometimes! I'm sad my time here is almost over!!'

Programme aims

-To provide a solid grounding in interdisciplinary women's studies, emphasizing gendered aspects in relation to violence and conflict in inter/national contexts
-To expose students to an interdisciplinary range of conceptual, theoretical and methodological approaches to and debates violence against women and in contexts of violent conflict
-To familiarize students with the epistemological and philosophical underpinnings of research methodologies, the politics and ethics of research, the principles of research design and to enable them to evaluate and apply a range of methodologies to research questions related to issues of violence against women
-To foster the development of a critical, self-reflexive and independent approach to research and scholarship, as well as the acquisition of transferable skills

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Minimising conflict, violence and aggression within educational, health and social care settings, particularly mental health and forensic settings, has become an integral part of the professionals role. Read more

Minimising conflict, violence and aggression within educational, health and social care settings, particularly mental health and forensic settings, has become an integral part of the professionals role. Moreover, violence is not inevitable and is, therefore, preventable. Positive alliances, effective information sharing and commitment to innovative practice will underpin this course which is aimed at those working within a senior level within their services. You will develop your knowledge and skills related to the recognition and minimisation of conflict and violence. This will be in line with current legislation and best practice guidance.

LEARNING ENVIRONMENT AND ASSESSMENT

Teaching approaches vary according to the topic and needs of the student. Students will be taught utilising a mixture of lectures, peer review, micro teaching sessions, poster presentations, critical incident analysis, student led seminars, tutorials, eLearn and group work.

The modules use a range of authentic assessment strategies including: essays, practice based projects, poster presentation.

PROGRAMME AT A GLANCE

YEAR 1

  • Promoting a Safe Organisation (L7)
  • Student Initiated Practice Development (L7).
  • Minimising Conflict: Enhancing Alliances (L7).

Minimising conflict, violence and aggression within educational, health and social care settings, particularly mental health and forensic settings, has become an integral part of the professionals role. Moreover, violence is not inevitable and is, therefore, preventable.

FURTHER INFORMATION

Positive alliances, effective information sharing and commitment to innovative practice will underpin this course which is aimed at those working within a senior level within their services. You will develop your knowledge and skills related to the recognition and minimisation of conflict and violence. This will be in line with current legislation and best practice guidance.

  • The Effect of Practice and Leadership Styles e.g. defensive practice
  • User Involvement and Empowerment
  • Formulation-based Practice
  • Utilising the Reflective de-brief to Respond Positively.
  • Harm Minimisation and Self-destructive Behaviours
  • Organisation and Societal Expectations
  • Policy & Legal Issues
  • Deconstructing Organisational Culture, Customs and Practices
  • Collaborative Practice
  • Attitudes: Societal, Organisation & Personal
  • Attributed Positions within the Organisation
  • Prevalence and Distribution
  • Risk : Likelihood and Cost
  • Healthy Settings
  • Critique and Utilisation of National and International Directives and Guidance


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This degree will provide you with the skills and resources necessary to ask critical questions about the politics of conflict and violence in the modern world. Read more

Course Description

This degree will provide you with the skills and resources necessary to ask critical questions about the politics of conflict and violence in the modern world. Combining theoretical and empirical approaches, you will explore the politics, sites, logics, technologies and ethics of conflict and violence.

You will complete one core module - 'The Politics of Conflict and Violence' - then choose three option modules which, along with your chosen dissertation subject, allow you to focus on your preferred specialisms. You will have the opportunity to conduct advanced study on subjects which include:

the politics of war and peace
the politics of nuclear weapons and arms control
humanitarian intervention
the political legacies of conflict
the changing character of war
the nature and theoretical conceptualisation of violence

This course is suitable if you have an academic background in (but not limited to) international relations, politics, political theory, war studies, terrorism studies, history, human rights, journalism, philosophy or law. The course will benefit you if you are seeking professional development and enhanced employability in relevant sectors such as non-governmental organisations, the military, media, private security, the UN or other international organisations.

Distance learning gives you the flexibility to tailor your study around your other commitments and gain your qualification whilst still working.

If you have any questions about this course, join us for a live online chat with academic tutors and admissions staff.

Modules

Core Modules

The Politics of Conflict and Violence
Dissertation.

Plus 3 option modules from a choice of approximately 15 (visit the University of Leicester website for an up to date list).

Teaching and Assessment Methods

The University’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) Blackboard allows for a range of innovative and engaging teaching techniques including online presentations, podcasts, interactive message boards and wikis, as well as one-to-one contact through conventional channels. Modules are assessed by a traditional end-of-module essay and a range of online activities. An Associate Tutor will guide you through the module, contactable via the online forums or by email at any time.

(Please note: due to regular enhancement of the University’s courses, please refer to Leicester’s own website (http://www.le.ac.uk) or/and Terms and Conditions (http://www2.le.ac.uk/legal) for the most accurate and up-to-date course information. We recommend that you familiarise yourself with this information prior to submitting an application.)

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This cutting-edge MA programme explores the sources and consequences of political violence and terrorism, as well as the crucial ethical questions involved. Read more

This cutting-edge MA programme explores the sources and consequences of political violence and terrorism, as well as the crucial ethical questions involved. It should appeal to students interested in careers in foreign services, security, some non-governmental or intergovernmental organisations, and many areas of the private sector.

We offer a flexible programmes and a wide choice of modules (part-time students also welcome).

In the Department of Political Science and International Studies we offer much more than a degree. As a student here, you have the opportunity to take part in a wide range of events, with some or all of the costs paid for by the School. 

Course details

This cutting-edge MA programme explores the sources and consequences of political violence and terrorism, as well as the crucial ethical questions involved. It should appeal to students interested in careers in foreign services, security, some non-governmental or intergovernmental organisations, and many areas of the private sector.

Issues and topics examined include:

  • The sources and nature of political violence and terrorism
  • Debates regarding the prevention of terrorism, counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency policy
  • The politics, legality and ethics of the 'war on terror' and the balance between public security and individual freedom
  • The circumstances under which armed resistance and revolution can be permissible
  • Whether democracies can justify or excuse the use of torture in combating terrorism 

One of the real strengths of our masters programmes is the wide range of available modules, giving students the ability to tailor their course of study to their own academic interests.

More information on: International Relations MA (with specialist pathways)

Learning and teaching

We advocate an enquiry-based approach to learning, which means that we encourage you to become an independent and self-motivated learner. Through the programme of study we offer, we will develop the qualities that employers value in today's university graduates - qualities that will set you apart in your future career.

To help you develop the above-mentioned skills, we adopt a range of teaching methods. They may include:

  • Lectures - listening to experts sharing their knowledge and discoveries in challenging and provocative ways. Students are expected to 'read-around' the subject matter of their lectures, adding to their understanding and developing their critical faculties and analytical skills.
  • Seminars - where you present and discuss your ideas and knowledge in smaller groups and debate interpretations and opinions with other students.
  • Tutorials - are your opportunity to discuss your work with your tutor, usually in small groups.
  • Workshops - are problem solving sessions facilitated by a member of academic staff; these sessions usually involve students working in groups.

Our lecturers and tutors will ensure you have all the resources you need to make the transition from A levels to the more rigorous demands of a degree.

Skills gained

You will gain specialist knowledge of the following:

  • The sources and nature of political violence and terrorism
  • Debates regarding the prevention of terrorism, counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency policy
  • The politics, legality and ethics of the ‘war on terror’ and the balance between public security and individual freedom
  • The circumstances under which armed resistance and revolution can be permissible

You will also have the opportunity to learn about other fields within the broader disciplines of political science and international relations through your choice of optional modules.

Learning and teaching

Learning and teaching methods are based centrally on:

  • Seminar teaching: students engage in weekly two-hour seminars in which they participate in debate, discussion and other activities led by specialists from POLSIS. Readings are set for each session.
  • One-to-one dissertation supervision: students develop a specialist research project for their dissertation, working with one member of staff in particular who acts as supervisor during the concluding part of the programme.

Assessments vary according to module but may involve a combination of essays, presentations and written examination.

More about teaching and learning at the University of Birmingham.

Enhancing your student experience

In the School of Government and Society we offer much more than a degree. As a student here, whether undergraduate or postgraduate, you have the opportunity to take part in a wide range of events, with some or all of the costs paid for by the School.

Some of these are targeted to help you build skills and experience for your CV, others are more open events designed to expose you to high-level speakers on current debates relevant to all Government and Society students.

Read more of our students' experiences and profiles on the school website.



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New for 2018/19, this. programme. offers an intensive training in the anthropology of politics, violence and crime. It provides a solid grounding in anthropological theory, analysis and ethnographic methods. Read more

New for 2018/19, this programme offers an intensive training in the anthropology of politics, violence and crime. It provides a solid grounding in anthropological theory, analysis and ethnographic methods. It does so by uniquely enabling you to explore the central role of anthropology as a tool to engage with other people’s politics, ‘the state’, ‘democracy’, ‘the rule of law’.

About this degree

Students develop knowledge and understanding of major theoretical, ethnographic and methodological debates in anthropology of politics, violence and crime and enhance their independent research skills through practical training in research methods. This is the first programme to embed these themes deeply within anthropology. This anthropological grounding and bottom up ethnographic approach uniquely distinguishes the degree from existing programs rooted in International Relations, Security and Peace Studies and/or Development Studies.

The programme consists of two core modules (45 credits), three optional modules (45 credits) and a research dissertation (90 credits).

Core modules

Anthropology of Politics, violence and Crime

Anthropology Methods

Optional modules

Anthropology of Crime

Social Forms of Revolution

Anthropologies of Religion

Issues in Power and Culture (Anthropology of War)

Risk, Power and Uncertainty

The Anthropology of Islam in Diaspora

Anthropology of Socialist and Post-Socialist

Anthropology of Nationalism, Ethnicity and Race

Theory in Anthropology

Anthropology of Latin America

Anthropology of India

Ethnography of Forest People

Dissertation/report

All MSc students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of approximately 15,000 words.

 

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, small group presentations and discussion, tutorials, laboratory and practical work, independent directed reading, interactive teamwork, and video, film and web based courses. It includes a research seminar series with invited speakers. Assessment is through unseen examination, essays, and the research dissertation.

 

Funding

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Careers

This programme is likely to include an orientation towards further engagement and work in the NGO and intergovernmental sector and careers focused on applied work in the international arena on a range of issue from legal aid, human trafficking and migration, law and governance, il/licit economies, money laundering, counterfeiting, electoral monitoring, gender violence, drugs and development, organized crime and political risk analysis for impact investing and social enterprises.

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL Anthropology was the first in the UK to integrate biological and social anthropology with material culture into a broad-based conception of the discipline. It is one of the largest anthropology departments in the UK in terms of both staff and research student numbers, offering an exceptional breadth of expertise.

Our excellent results in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise and 2014 Research Excellence Framework show that we are the leading broad-based anthropology department in the UK.

Students are encouraged to take full advantage of the wider anthropological community in London and the department's strong links with European universities and international institutions.


Application dates

All applicants

Open: 20 March 2018

Close: 27 July 2018



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This course looks in depth at the concepts and politics surrounding terrorism, political violence and security in the post-Cold-War era. Read more
This course looks in depth at the concepts and politics surrounding terrorism, political violence and security in the post-Cold-War era. It will provide an understanding of the forces of global politics and develop the skills needed to engage in academic and professional discussions that are shaping the contemporary international agenda. With a particular focus on human rights and international conflict, the course strikes a balance between the theoretical and practical elements of the study of international relations.

Key features
-Our experienced teaching staff are all active researchers, which means that you will encounter the latest thinking and research.
-You will benefit from visiting speakers, which include leading figures from politics, the media and international organisations.
-You will be fully supported in developing your postgraduate academic skills and will receive one-to-one support and expert supervision in preparing your dissertation, which allows you to research an area of particular interest in depth.
-The extensive list of option modules enables you to tailor the course to your own interests.

What will you study?

You will examine the moral, ethical and legal aspects of the use of violence by both state and non-state groups. You will also focus on politics of the state in the modern world and the wider contexts of ‘globalisation' within which modern violence takes place.

A variety of case studies and your choice of option modules allow you to pursue more-specialist interests. You will also develop your research skills and apply them in your own research project of 15,000 words.

Assessment

Essays, reports, class presentations, and dissertation.

Course structure

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list.

Core modules
-Dissertation
-From State to Global Politics
-Research Skills and Dissertation/Project Proposal
-Terrorism, Political Violence and Human Rights

Optional modules
-Crime, Harm and Justice
-Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity
-The Theory and Practice of International Relations
-Human Rights: Architectures, Actors, Activism
-International Political Economy: Capitalism, Imperialism and the State
-Strategies for Achieving Human Rights

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Examine the impact of being abusive or being abused. You will look at theoretical perspectives considering abusiveness and its impact in different international, cultural and social contexts. Read more

Examine the impact of being abusive or being abused. You will look at theoretical perspectives considering abusiveness and its impact in different international, cultural and social contexts.

This MA in Understanding Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse is unique and represents the first psychologically informed programme of its kind.

It is particularly suitable for people wanting to increase their grasp of the interplay between mental distress, domestic violence and sexual abuse. The programme will offer a blended learning approach with a mixture of online and face to face contact. The online components will be largely focused on the acquisition of theoretical knowledge through computer mediated activities via the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).

The classroom-based content of the programme will have an emphasis on experiential and reflective learning which will help you understand the process of identifying, assessing and managing both perpetrators and victims. This aspect of the programme will be delivered in blocks preferably over weekends to make the study more accessible to working adults.

Individual modules on the programme are likely to be valued as part of a continuing professional development plan for psychological therapists and other workers in the field. 

You may take individual modules separately or exit with a Postgraduate Certificate or Diploma.

CPD (Continuing professional development) modules

Modules from this course will be availabe to study through Continuing professional development. Find out more on our CPD course page.

Modules & structure

Your learning will be underpinned by a unique synthesising of psychodynamic, systemic, cognitive behavioural and social theories to examine the impact of being abusive or of being abused. The programme focuses on looking at practice and research from these theoretical perspectives and will consider abusiveness and its impact in different cultural and social contexts from childhood to older age. 

The learning will be provided by a cross-disciplinary team that covers approaches from the social work, community and youth work, cross-sectoral arts, and therapeutic approaches including art and dance psychotherapy, psychodynamic, counselling and cognitive behavioural approaches. 

Assessment

Assessment is through a combination of extended essays, journals, reports, assignment and dissertation. 

Skills

The MA will develop skills including:

  • a knowledge various theoretical perspectives
  • an understanding of cross-disciplinary work within the field
  • an understanding of the different international, cultural and social contexts from childhood to older age within the field

Careers

It is expected that a number of professionals will use either the course credit or the degree to supplement their CPD portfolios, which are a requirement for the majority of these professionals.

For workers with extensive experience this programme (or its constituent courses) will provide a sound basis in theoretical knowledge and current research which will help them develop their current work and increase their potential for further advancement in the field.

The UK has developed recognised forms of intervention in this field that have an international application and relevance. Issues regarding domestic violence and sexual abuse have an international public health and human rights dimension, which makes the programme internationally relevant.

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths.



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Engage critically with debates around the relationships between gender, violence and conflict. You’ll consider perspectives from anthropology, international relations, sociology and law. Read more
Engage critically with debates around the relationships between gender, violence and conflict. You’ll consider perspectives from anthropology, international relations, sociology and law. You have the opportunity to explore critical and feminist approaches to social research and its ethics.

The course focuses on:
-Gendered experiences of violence
-Conflict and peace
-Militarisation
-Masculinities and femininities
-Representations and embodiment
-Institutionalisation of violence

How will I study?

In the autumn and spring terms, you’ll take core modules and options. In the summer, you undertake supervised work on your dissertation.

Assessment is through term papers, coursework assignments, practical exercises and presentations as well as the final 10,000-word dissertation.

Scholarships

Our aim is to ensure that every student who wants to study with us is able to despite financial barriers, so that we continue to attract talented and unique individuals.

Chancellor's International Scholarship (2017)
-25 scholarships of a 50% tuition fee waiver
-Application deadline: 1 May 2017

ESRC 1+3 and +3 Scholarships (2017)
-A number of ESRC-funded standalone PhD and PhD with Masters scholarships across the social sciences
-Application deadline: 30 January 2017

HESPAL Scholarship (Higher Education Scholarships Scheme for the Palestinian Territories) (2017)
-Two full fee waivers in conjuction with maintenance support from the British Council
-Application deadline: 1 January 2017

USA Friends Scholarships (2017)
-A scholarship of an amount equivalent to $10,000 for nationals or residents of the USA on a one year taught Masters degree course
-Application deadline: 3 April 2017

[[Careers[[
This MA is for you if you’re working in – or planning to work in – the fields of:
-International development and diplomacy (including on gender, gender-based violence, conflict and security, and peace-building)
-The charity sector/NGOs
-Various activist movements, women’s rights, and peace and justice nationally or internationally

The MA is also excellent preparation for a PhD in Anthropology, Gender Studies, International Relations or International Development.

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Applicants apply for the MSc Violence, Conflict and Development programme but can decide to follow the Palestine Pathway upon arrival by choosing the combination of modules required for this pathway (see Structure tab). Read more

Who is this programme for?:

Applicants apply for the MSc Violence, Conflict and Development programme but can decide to follow the Palestine Pathway upon arrival by choosing the combination of modules required for this pathway (see Structure tab).

We welcome applications from those who have worked in a broad field of development and/or conflict, but also from students without relevant work experience who can demonstrate a strong interest in, and understanding of, development issues in Palestine.

Students taking the Palestine Pathway will develop a specialist understanding of Development Studies in the context of Palestine. Development and conflict issues in Palestine are a major focus of NGO and international organisations that work in the Middle East. SOAS' recognised strengths in this area, including the establishment of the Centre for Palestine Studies, makes this a unique and exciting opportunity for those interested in Palestine.

Visit the website http://www.soas.ac.uk/development/programmes/msc-violence-conflict-and-development-palestine-pathway/

Programme Specification

Programme Specification 2015/16 (pdf; 97kb) - http://www.soas.ac.uk/development/programmes/mscviolconfdev/file101806.pdf

Materials

SOAS Library is one of the world's most important academic libraries for the study of Africa, Asia and the Middle East, attracting scholars from all over the world. The Library houses over 1.2 million volumes, together with significant archival holdings, special collections and a growing network of electronic resources.

Teaching & Learning

Modules are taught by a combination of methods, principally lectures, tutorial classes, seminars and supervised individual study projects.

The MSc programme consists of three taught modules (corresponding to three examination papers) and a dissertation.

- Lectures

Most modules involve a two hour lecture as a key component with linked tutorial classes.

- Seminars

At Masters level there is particular emphasis on seminar work. Students make full-scale presentations for each unit that they take, and are expected to write papers that often require significant independent work.

- Dissertation

A quarter of the work for the degree is given over to the writing of an adequately researched 10,000-word dissertation. Students are encouraged to take up topics which relate the study of a particular region to a body of theory.

Employment

MSc Violence, Conflict & Development postgraduate students leave SOAS with a portfolio of widely transferable skills which employers seek. These include analytical skills, presentation skills, the ability to think laterally and employ critical reasoning, and knowing how to present materials and ideas effectively both orally and in writing. A postgraduate degree is a valuable experience that provides students with a body of work and a diverse range of skills that they can use to market themselves with when they graduate. Graduates from MsC Violence, Conflict & Development have gone on to work in a range of different organisations, including Development and Human Rights Organisations, and many have continuted in the field of research.

For more information about Graduate Destinations from this department, please visit the Careers Service website (http://www.soas.ac.uk/careers/graduate-destinations/).

Faculty of Law and Social Sciences (L&SS)

Welcome to the Faculty of Law and Social Sciences at SOAS. The faculty is the largest in the School in terms of student and staff numbers and consists of the departments of Development Studies, Economics, Financial and Management Studies, Politics and International Studies and the School of Law, as well as the Asia-Pacific Centre for Social Sciences, the Centre for Gender Studies, the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy, the Centre of Taiwan Studies and a number of department-specific centres. All five departments offer undergraduate programmes, and all but Finance and International Management offer joint undergraduate degrees which can be combined with other disciplines from across the School. Each department also offers a range of masters-level programmes with a regional or disciplinary specialism, as well as a postgraduate research programme. The range of course options and combinations is one of the most distinctive characteristics of studying at SOAS and all students are given the option of studying an Asian or African language, either as part of or on top of their degree.

Staff in the faculty come from all over the world and combine regional knowledge with disciplinary specialisms. Teaching draws heavily on academic staff’s individual research which allows the faculty to maintain a large portfolio of courses, often exploring cutting-edge issues. Many faculty members have played a significant part in public debates and policy-making in relation to Asia and Africa. Academics in the faculty are regularly consulted by governments, public bodies and multilateral organisations including the United Nations and the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, European Commission, DFID and other country-specific organisations and NGOs.

- Excellent student satisfaction for Faculty of Law and Social Sciences
The Faculty of Law and Social Sciences (LSS) at SOAS, University of London has performed extremely well according to the 2014 National Student Survey (NSS).

Find out how to apply here - http://www.soas.ac.uk/admissions/pg/howtoapply/

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The MLitt in Terrorism and Political Violence is a taught postgraduate programme run by the School of International Relations. Read more

The MLitt in Terrorism and Political Violence is a taught postgraduate programme run by the School of International Relations.

Highlights

  • Study in Terrorism and Political Violence examines selected approaches to knowledge generation around terrorism and counterterrorism and considers the development of new responses to terrorism and political violence.
  • Students have the opportunity to apply for a semester abroad at Georgetown University in Washington DC during their second semester.

Teaching format

The course is delivered via mixed mode teaching involving traditional teaching methods in the form of lectures and tutorials alongside access to e-teaching facilities including online journals and podcast presentations and interviews by experts in the field.

Over the course of a year, students will take four taught modules followed by a three-month research period culminating in the submission of a 15,000-word dissertation. Assessment comprises coursework including essays and projects.

Every MLitt student is assigned a dissertation supervisor who will advise on the choice of subject and provide guidance throughout the research process. 

Further particulars regarding curriculum development.

Modules

Each module typically comprises:

  • one-hour lecture per week
  • one-hour tutorial or seminar per week
  • office hours
  • 100% coursework assessment.

For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue which is for the 2017–2018 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2018 entry.



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This course will appeal to practitioners and students interested in careers in a range of professions such as policing, probation, prison service work, social work and many new areas in third sector and private sector security and outsourced support for offenders, vulnerable adults and young people. Read more
This course will appeal to practitioners and students interested in careers in a range of professions such as policing, probation, prison service work, social work and many new areas in third sector and private sector security and outsourced support for offenders, vulnerable adults and young people. A broad based masters programme in public protection would enable students to pursue their particular interest be it in domestic violence, terrorism, dangerous offenders or child protection.

More about this course

The course encourages you to look critically at public protection, a key practitioner concept for professionals working in socially responsible professions.

You'll explore applied and theoretical critical understanding of public protection and other aspects of risk, which will transform the professional practice of participants or enhance their future employability.

Modules draw on the research expertise of staff, and aim to create a virtuous circle, where contacts generated through students/staff on the course and via the London Practitioner Forum will enable and assist their further research.

Including critical approaches to the understanding of risk within hard to reach groups and incorporating issues of diversity, the programme draws upon the University's established Criminology MSc degree and utilises the existing module provision.

Two additional modules are offered, Public Protection and Risk Awareness, and Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism.

There is a special emphasis on a sound grasp of the relevant academic literature, including substantial use of key scholarly journals in the field of criminology and criminal justice. There is also a focus on how theory relates to and enhances good practice.

This is assessed through a variety of summative assessments including essays, examinations (seen), practical research methodology assignments, an extended thesis (12-15,000 words), and various formative presentations to class peers.

Modular structure

This course consists of five core modules: Understanding Public Protection and Risk, Crime Control and Community Safety, Criminological Research Methods, Crime and Offender Patterns and the Criminological Dissertation on a topic of students choice.

There are opportunities to specialise in areas of your interest when choosing the two optional designates: topics range from Terrorism/Counter Terrorism, Domestic Violence, Critical Issues in Criminal Justice, Psychology and Crime and other more specialist research modules.

The course also provides a unique opportunity to enhance professional practice and critical understanding.

After the course

The course will help prepare students for employment in the criminal justice sector (including the police, probation, prison, youth offending and community safety departments), as well as academic or government research posts. It is hoped that some students will progress to doctoral studies after successful completion of the MSc.

It is the intention that students already engaged in a related occupation will benefit markedly from the course, in that the latter will provide the academic contextualisation with which to understand and evaluate the complexity of, and reciprocity between, varied agencies, departments and policies related to crime, criminology and criminal justice.

Criminology itself is an increasingly strong and prevalent academic discipline. The analytic and research skills acquired on the MSc are, of course, transferable to other jobs and areas of expertise. Previous students from this course have joined the police service either as police officers or civil investigation officers, some have embarked upon training to equip them to join the probation service or become social workers working with young offenders.

Other students have joined the voluntary sector working in residential or drugs/alcohol units. Still others have entered research jobs within the public or private sector and finally a number have progressed on to PhD studies.

Moving to one campus

Between 2016 and 2020 we're investing £125 million in the London Metropolitan University campus, moving all of our activity to our current Holloway campus in Islington, north London. This will mean the teaching location of some courses will change over time.

Whether you will be affected will depend on the duration of your course, when you start and your mode of study. The earliest moves affecting new students will be in September 2017. This may mean you begin your course at one location, but over the duration of the course you are relocated to one of our other campuses. Our intention is that no full-time student will change campus more than once during a course of typical duration.

All students will benefit from our move to one campus, which will allow us to develop state-of-the-art facilities, flexible teaching areas and stunning social spaces.

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