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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.

This MA 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.

This programme is also available via Distance Learning or by studying individual modules as part of a Continuing Professional Development plan

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 (including some Saturdays) to make the study more accessible to working adults.

You may take individual modules separately (see below) or exit with a Postgraduate Certificate or Diploma.

What you'll study

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. 

Students are required to take 180 credits at Masters level. The programme can be taken over one year (full-time) or two years (part-time).

Modules

Students will undertake the following core modules:

  • Theories, Research and Policy - Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse (30 credits)
  • Research Methods (15 credits)
  • Group Work: Power, Identity and Conflict (30 credits)

Students will then take three of the following optional modules:

  • Working with Children in the Context of Domestic Violence (15 credits)
  • Working with Adults in the Context of Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse (15 credits)
  • Adolescents as Victims and Perpetrators (15 credits)
  • The Impact of Trauma - Distress, Resilience and Post-traumatic Growth (15 credits)

Students will also complete a dissertation (60 credits)

Assessment

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

Download the programme specification, for the 2019-20 intake. If you would like an earlier version of the programme specification, please contact the Quality Office.

Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.

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.


Visit the Understanding Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse - MA page on the Goldsmiths, University of London website for more details!

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