Course specification and structure
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PMPOVRAS - MSc Political Violence and Radicalisation Studies

Course Specification


Validation status Validated
Highest award Master of Science Level Masters
Possible interim awards Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate
Total credits for course 180
Awarding institution London Metropolitan University
Teaching institutions London Metropolitan University
School School of Social Sciences
Subject Area Criminology and Sociology
Attendance options
Option Minimum duration Maximum duration
Full-time 1 YEARS  
Part-time 2 YEARS  
Course leader  

About the course and its strategy towards teaching and learning and towards blended learning/e-learning

The MSc Political Violence and Radicalisation has been designed to meet the development needs for professionals and graduates who wish to enhance their knowledge on political violence and radicalisation/counter-radicalisation strategies within the national and international contexts of stability, uncertainty and changefrom global and intersectional perspective. The course aims to develop sensitivities to the differing requirements of local, national and global as well as for profit to voluntary organisations.

The course aims at providing an informed and organised account of the political violence, radicalisation and counter-radicalisation strategies led by government and other organisations in contemporary world. The ethos for the course is reflected in the module structure. Students must complete three core modules (‘Political Violence in a Contemporary Context’, ‘Radicalisation and Counter-radicalisation Strategies’ and ‘Citizenship and Social Justice’), which will explain students the concepts, theories and arguments over political violence, radicalisation and counter-radicalisation strategies worldwide. Students must choose between two research modules (‘Researching Violence and Evaluating Interventions’ and ‘Criminological Research Methods’), which enable students to engage with a range of methods to researching violence and interventions. These modules provide a through grounding in the understanding of research methodologies in preparation for writing their 12,000 words Dissertation on a specific question related to the content addressed in the course. The course offer completes with a set of optional modules that enhances the students’ knowledge on the central topics in the course.

‘Political Violence in a Contemporary Context’ represents the ethos for the course as it encourages students to critically evaluate political violence from a sociological, political, human rights and media perspectives. The content of this module complements with the content taught in ‘Radicalisation and Counter-radicalisation Strategies’, in which students engage with the growing literature about current modes of radicalisation and counter-radicalisation strategies and the impact on specific groups of people, as well as the place that the UK government sits in relation to counter-radicalisation strategies worldwide. ‘Citizenship and Social Justice’ provides students with unique theoretical ground on the changing meaning of citizenship, social justice and states’ representative democracy. This content will help students to understanding the implications that political violence and radicalisation cause in the global order. Students can develop their competence in handling the concepts and theories introduced in these three core modules throughout their optional modules' choice.

As mentioned above, students must choose between the two research modules in preparation for writing the Political Violence Dissertation. ‘Researching Violence and Evaluating Interventions’ focuses on methodological approaches to researching forms of violence that are primarily targeted against women and children and to evaluating support and prevention interventions. ‘Criminological investigation methods’ teaches students criminological research methods produced by statutory agencies and voluntary sector organisations related to the Criminal Justice System. Finally, students must write a Political Violence Dissertation, which is a lengthy and relevant academic work on a specific question related to the field of political violence and radicalisation studies. This piece of work enables students show evidence of their understanding of the content and research methodology learnt throughout the course.

The course answers the Portfolio Strategy towards career trajectories in the Public, Social Care and Third Sector Professionals strand as well as the realignment of Sociology towards a stronger Applied Social Policy approach. This is complementary to other courses and developments in the subject area and across the School. The course addresses the principles of the portfolio strategy by providing access to newly emerging graduate professions and areas of practice, meeting the needs of employers and enabling students to integrate studying with work and life commitments.

This course addresses gaps in career paths for a number of our UG Sociology and other courses by creating an opportunity to progress into graduate jobs. The course is complementary to other courses and developments in the subject area and across the School, e.g. criminology, sociology, politics and international relations. The course is distinctive because it provides students with a critical understanding of the global responses to problems associated to political violence and radicalisation in various fields, such as sexual violence, terrorism/cyber terrorism, religious sectarianism or nationalism.

Modules are studied through a mixture of methods, as specified in the module specifications. Teaching will primarily be in lecture style with emphasis on case study analysis, student-led seminars; workshops; in-class and on-line exercises; and guest lecturers. These are supported by our e-learning web facility Weblearn where Powerpoint presentations, additional reading materials and online tutorials can be provided. All students also are offered personal one to one tutorials to plan work or receive feedback.

The students will be assessed through coursework and a dissertation between 12,000 and 15,000 words. It is hoped that some students will progress to doctoral studies after successful completion of the MSc.

Course aims

The aim of the course is to provide MSc students a trans-disciplinary approach to the theories and practical approaches to the problems derived from political violence and radicalisation phenomena in the global sphere. The course content and the required activities address the social policy and the mechanisms for protection and prevention and securing the well-being of the victims of political violence and radicalisation both in conflict and peaceful settings. Students on the course will study the historical and political approaches to the impact of physical, sexual, psychological and emotional violence and radicalisation processes. The course will explain how these abuses are responded to in the legal and social frame in the diverse communities that comprise the UK and internationally.

The MSc in Political Violence and Radicalisation Studies will develop students’ intellectual skills at Masters level and provide them with:

1. an overview of the various demonstrations of political violence and radicalisation, the connections between them and debates with respect to their definition/s;

2.a critical understanding of the theoretical, methodological and ethical consideration when researching international law and conflict resolution associated to political violence and radicalisation in peaceful and conflict settings;

3.the methodological and analytical skills within the fields of sociology, criminology and politics that are required to conduct research on political violence and radicalisation studies;

4.an advanced understanding of specific academic fields that form part of, or are allied to international law and order, conflict resolution and contemporary sociological issues and /or related specialism.

5.a strong grasp of the current knowledge base with respect to incidence, prevalence, perspectives of victims, perpetrators and responders;

6.an awareness of the historical and political shifts in perspectives, policies and practices with respect to violence, radicalisation and counter-radicalisation;

7.experience applying course content to their own working context.

Course learning outcomes

Cognitive and intellectual skills

By the end of the course, the students will be able to:

1. Apply analytical methods appropriate to their own research or advanced scholarship in political violence and radicalisation;

2. Apply knowledge with originality, based on a practical understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to reflect on political violence and radicalisation;

3. Evaluate critically current research and advanced scholarship in the issues associated to political violence and radicalisation;

4. Evaluate methodologies and develop critiques of them and, where appropriate, to propose new hypotheses;

5. Deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively, make sound judgements in the absence of complete data, and communicate their conclusions clearly to specialist and non-specialist audiences;

6. Exercise self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems, and act autonomously in planning and implementing tasks at a professional or equivalent level;

7. Advance their knowledge and understanding of the contexts in which political violence and radicalisation develop, and to develop new skills to a high level;

8. Exercise initiative and personal responsibility, including decision-making in complex and unpredictable situations;

9. Learn independently for the purposes of continuing professional development.

Course learning outcomes / Module cross reference

Module Name Module Code
Radicalisation and counter-radicalisation strategies SS7058
Political Violence in a Contemporary Context SS7059
Dissertation Political Violence and Radicalisation
SS7P01
Researching Violence and Evaluating Interventions
SS7168
Citizenship and Social Justice GI7040
Criminological Research Methods SS7079
Cybercrime and Cyber Security CC7177
Explaining Violence SS7170
Crime Control and Community Safety SS7078
Religion and International Relations GI7076
Human Security GI7073
Sexual Violence: Causes, Consequences and Interventions SS7148
Terrorism and Counter Terrorism SS7143
Crime, Risk and Early Intervention SS7171
Victims and Crime SC6053

LO 1 - LO 8

Principle QAA benchmark statements

N/A

Assessment strategy

Skills and learning outcomes are assessed through a combination of essays, presentations and a dissertation up to 12,000 words.

The Course assessment strategy is underpinned by the learning outcomes which has informed the rich and varied design of the assessment strategy. The design of the Course assessment and feedback strategy is linked to the specialist discipline of marketing within the professional context as well as the local to international perspectives which are derived from the aims of the Course.

The student will develop knowledge and understanding of conceptual theories, synthesis and application of knowledge on issues in the field of enquiry, together with their academic related skills on an evidenced based measurement. This will allow the student show evidence of mastery of the module content.

Organised work experience, work based learning, sandwich year or year abroad

Practitioners organise a number of trips to public policy agencies, NGOs, and relevant government bodies and international organisations working on counter-violence and counter-radicalisation.

Modules required for interim awards

This PG Certificate in Political Violence and Radicalisation Studies (60 credits) – students must complete 2 core modules (SS7058 Radicalisation and Counter-radicalisation strategies and SS7059 Political Violence in a Contemporary Context) and choose 1 alternative core between SS7168Researching Violence and Evaluating Interventions and SS7079 Criminological Research Methods)

PG Diploma in Political Violence and Radicalisation Studies (120 credits) – students must complete 4 taught core modules (SS7058 Radicalisation and Counter-radicalisation strategies, SS7059 Political Violence in a Contemporary Context, GI7040 Citizenship and Social Justice and choose between SS7168 Researching Violence and Evaluating Interventions and SS7079 Criminological Research Methods) and 2 options.

MSc in Political Violence and Radicalisation Studies (180 credits) – students have to complete 5 core modules (SS7058 Radicalisation and Counter-radicalisation strategies, SS7059 Political Violence in a Contemporary Context, SS7P01 Political Violence Dissertation, Researching Violence and Evaluating Interventions and SS7079 Criminological Research Methods) and 2 options.

Arrangements for promoting reflective learning and personal development

Personal professional development and reflective practice activities are embedded throughout the programme. The programme has been designed with a personal and professional development (PDP) ethos. All students engage with a range of activities aimed at enabling the students to make the most of their learning experiences and allay any potential fears as they embark on this learning journey.

The course’s learning strategy aims to accommodate a diverse range of learning styles with different teaching methods that include, for example group work and case study approach. The course team make regular use of digital and social media as well as NGO and journalistic accounts as part of teaching and learning strategies for each module. Guest speaks are often invited to present in class. Students are also offered study skills sessions, including research methods training, throughout their programme to introduce and/or refresh skills and conventions associated with studying at Master’s level.

The Research Dissertation will support the development of research, critical analysis and communication skills. This module will also facilitate a reflective piece that will be included in the final submission. The programme is designed to complete the certificate and diploma stages prior to the start of the Masters stage.

Career, employability and opportunities for continuing professional development

This course is specifically designed to:

a) serve as a conversion course for those students with an interest in social sciences, criminology and international politics who do not have previous background in these areas;

b) act as a stepping stone for graduates intending to pursue doctoral studies in international relations, politics, development studies, sociology, criminology, history and other relevant fields;

c) provide a valuable background for a career in government/diplomatic service, journalism, law, non-governmental humanitarian services for the defence of human rights, higher education, business or the media;

d) deliver government and or agency policy commitments with respect to strategies for prevention of political violence and radicalisation.

Career opportunities

As a graduate in Political Violence and Radicalisation MSc you'll be prepared for a future career in the national diplomatic services, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), international political support organisations, journalism, teaching, higher education, the armed forces or public sector management.

You'll also be able to continue to study at PhD level and gain the knowledge, understanding and skills applicable to teaching and research in the field.

If you're already engaged in a related occupation, you'll benefit from academic contextualisation with which to understand and evaluate the complexity of varied agencies, departments and policies related to the politics of violence and radicalisation.

Entry requirements

You will be required to have:

  • a minimum a lower second class (2.2) honours degree in a relevant discipline such as criminology, politics, international development or social and behavioural sciences

Applications are also welcome from those who have experience in criminal justice or possess relevant professional qualifications.

To study a degree at London Met, you must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. If you require a Tier 4 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.

Official use and codes

Approved to run from 2019/20 Specification version 1 Specification status Validated
Original validation date 12 Jun 2019 Last validation date 12 Jun 2019  
Sources of funding
JACS codes
Route code POVRAS

Course Structure

Stage 1 Level 07 September start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
GI7040 Citizenship and Social Justice Core 20 NORTH SPR THU EV
SS7058 Radicalisation and counter-radicalisation strat... Core 20 NORTH AUT WED EV
SS7059 Political Violence in a Contemporary Context Core 20 NORTH AUT WK AM&PM
          NORTH SPR WK AM&PM
SS7P01 Dissertation Political Violence and Radicalisation Core 60 NORTH AUT FRI PM
          NORTH SPR FRI PM
SS7079 Criminological Research Methods Alt Core 20 NORTH AUT WK AM&PM
SS7168 Researching Violence and Evaluating Interventions Alt Core 20 NORTH AUT WK AM&PM
CC7177 Cybercrime and Cyber Security Option 20 NORTH AUT TUE AM
GI7073 Human Security Option 20 NORTH SPR WED PM
GI7076 Religion and International Relations Option 20 NORTH AUT TUE PM
SS7078 Crime Control and Community Safety Option 20 NORTH AUT TUE AM
SS7143 Terrorism and Counter Terrorism Option 20 NORTH SPR TUE AM
SS7148 Sexual Violence: Causes, Consequences and Inter... Option 20 NORTH SPR WK AM&PM
SS7170 Explaining Violence Option 20 NORTH AUT WED AM
SS7171 Crime, Risk and Early Intervention Option 20 NORTH SPR FRI PM

Stage 1 Level 07 January start Not currently offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
GI7040 Citizenship and Social Justice Core 20        
SS7058 Radicalisation and counter-radicalisation strat... Core 20        
SS7059 Political Violence in a Contemporary Context Core 20        
SS7P01 Dissertation Political Violence and Radicalisation Core 60        
SS7079 Criminological Research Methods Alt Core 20        
SS7168 Researching Violence and Evaluating Interventions Alt Core 20        
CC7177 Cybercrime and Cyber Security Option 20        
GI7073 Human Security Option 20        
GI7076 Religion and International Relations Option 20        
SS7078 Crime Control and Community Safety Option 20        
SS7143 Terrorism and Counter Terrorism Option 20        
SS7148 Sexual Violence: Causes, Consequences and Inter... Option 20        
SS7170 Explaining Violence Option 20        
SS7171 Crime, Risk and Early Intervention Option 20