Course specification and structure
Undergraduate Course Structures Postgraduate Course Structures

PMSAFSEC - MA Safeguarding and Security

Course Specification


Validation status Validated
Highest award Master of Arts 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 6 YEARS
Part-time 2 YEARS 6 YEARS
Course leader Robin West

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

The MA in Safeguarding and Security has been designed to meet the development needs of graduates and professionals who wish to further their knowledge of contemporary safeguarding policy and practice. The course aims to enable students to explore multiple aspects of safeguarding legislation, policy reform and practice in relation to both adult and child safeguarding by drawing on a range of theoretical perspectives. The course adopts a multidisciplinary approach in its range of module options allowing students to familiarize themselves with specific discipline/career understandings of the needs and practice of safeguarding through the development of a critical awareness of social and political contexts.

This course is distinctive in its promoting of the need to identify, discuss, and evaluate contested views surrounding the conceptualisation of, and responses to, categories of vulnerability. Understanding the need to take contested views into consideration as part of an ongoing learning process enables students to recognise the basis of effective and reflexive safeguarding practice: this is the central ethos revisited across the course content. Consequently, pedagogical emphasis falls on developing critical explorations of the politicisation of vulnerability as underpinning contemporary safeguarding policies and practice. Students are therefore encouraged to recognise the multiple perspectives that inform legislation and protection assessments and to negotiate the potential polarisations embedded in safeguarding rhetoric and actual practice; contested ideas of moral orders; state power and individual rights; and diverse or conflicting cultural values. Core substantive modules tackle these issues directly whilst core methodological modules equip students with the tools to research violence and criminality, and to understand the complexity of ethical issues and appropriate sensitivity when researching victimisation. A range of optional modules allow students to selectively develop this critical capacity at both theoretical and practical levels by focusing on the psychological dynamics of vulnerability, approaches to gender-based violence and emerging personal security risks in the online world. Students wishing to tailor their studies towards safeguarding against political radicalisation and other forms of political violence will be offered the opportunity to choose a module from the University’s companion course, Radicalisation and Political Violence MSc.

The Safeguarding and Security MA progressively introduces students to the study of vulnerability and the safeguarding of children and adults across the range of core and optional modules. The concept of vulnerability has become formalised in contemporary human rights discourses giving rise to increased institutional and legislative recognition of the diverse categories and experience of vulnerable populations. The course will offer students opportunities to establish a firm basis for developing research agendas (potentially, but not limited to, PhD study) and future career paths. The course answers the University’s 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 of Social Sciences. 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. Therefore the course is also distinctive as it provides students with the intellectual and practical tools to enter an ever-widening field of safeguarding practices and policy implementation across the public and private sectors amid the broadening institutional recognition and categorisation of vulnerable groups. The course is complementary to other courses and developments in the subject area and across the School, e.g. sociology, criminology, politics and psychology.

Students will acquire and develop competences necessary for:

1/ conducting research on vulnerability and risk both across a wide range of social groups

2/ producing critical analysis and evaluation of such data including an assessment of the data;

3/ theoretical interpretation of data into original pieces of work.

The learning and teaching strategy is underpinned by current research, as reflected in the learning outcomes of the programme. The learning and teaching strategy is tested by successful completion of assessment requirements.

It provides students with a variety of teaching and learning methods, including:

1/ dissemination of information via lectures, seminars and Weblearn;

2/ debate in seminars and on-line discussion boards;

3/ analysis of case studies allowing students to develop an enhanced critical and practical awareness of the conditions of vulnerability, the classification of risk, and the effectiveness of safeguarding responses

4/ directed reading through the use of texts / articles / hand-outs;

5/ individual/group presentations;

6/ development of a research proposal culminating in the completion of a dissertation.

All appropriate theories will be introduced through tutor input as well as through reading and active application of course material in teaching sessions. Core modules will incorporate guest speakers to facilitate critical reflection on diverse intellectual and professional perspectives relating to safeguarding policies and practice.

Emphasis is placed on individual responsibility for learning. Participation and interaction is encouraged to pursue original, creative and reflective thought in class and in assignments. We will also explore the possibilities of hosting an annual academic conference to expose students further to the variations of academic and public discourse and to present their own ideas as a means of formative assessment.

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 MA.

Course aims

The aims of the MA in Safeguarding and Security are to introduce students to the key principles of the safeguarding of children and adults through exploration of key social, cultural and political contexts. The latter underline and facilitate the development of an advanced level of critical awareness and contribute to the development of original thinking, reflexive awareness and practical skills applicable to the complex landscapes of vulnerability, risk and security in contemporary society.

The course will familiarise students with contemporary safeguarding debates and policy initiatives related to the identification and protection of vulnerable populations and individuals. The course will move students through the factors that lead to societies constructing and recognising categories of vulnerability to eventual legislative responses and practical protections. Course modules will allow students to critically reflect on the identification of those persons and populations most at risk and to understand the relevance and practicality of resilience strategies. The interdisciplinary nature of the course enables students to view vulnerability and safeguarding interventions thorough a wide lens – from the perspective of cultural and political violence to the criminalisation of the vulnerable, and to the effective meeting of needs in terms of overcoming social inequalities and addressing healthcare concerns. The course will also guide student through the emergence, implementation and outcomes of recent safeguarding legislation and policies in both the public and private sector.

The MA in Safeguarding and Security will develop students’ intellectual skills at Masters level and provide them with:

1. An overview of the various demonstrations of safeguarding and security, the connections between them and debates with respect to their definition/s.

2. A critical understanding of the theoretical, methodological and ethical considerations when researching the social, cultural and political contexts in which vulnerability emerges and policy and practice is located.

3. The methodological and analytical skills within the fields of sociology, criminology and psychology that are required to conduct research on safeguarding and security.

4. An advanced understanding of specific academic fields that form part of, or are allied to safeguarding legislation and practice and contemporary sociological issues and /or related specialisms.

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 safeguarding and security.

7. Experience applying course content to their specific working context.

Course learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

LO1. Apply methods and techniques appropriate to their own research or advanced scholarship in safeguarding and security;

LO2. Apply knowledge with originality, based on a practical understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge of safeguarding and security;

LO3. Evaluate critically current research and advanced scholarship in safeguarding and security;

LO4. Evaluate methodologies and develop critiques of them and, where appropriate, to propose new hypotheses;

LO5. 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.

LO6. Exercise self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems, and act autonomously in planning and implementing tasks at a professional or equivalent level;

LO7. Advance their knowledge and understanding, and to develop new skills at a high level;

LO8. Exercise initiative and personal responsibility, including decision-making in complex and unpredictable situations

LO9. Learn independently for the purposes of continuing professional development.

Course learning outcomes / Module cross reference

Module Title Module Code LO1 LO 2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7

Social Responsibility and Interventions SS7061 X X X

Vulnerabilities and Risks SS7062 X X X

Dissertation in Safeguarding and security SS7P02 X X X X X

Researching Violence and Evaluating Interventions SS7168 X X

Policies, Regulatory Framework for Safeguarding SS7060 X X X X

Further Research Methods PY7817 X X X

Criminological Research Methods SS7079 X X X X

Explaining Violence SS7170 X X

Violence Against Women: Issues, Research and Policy SS7147 X X
Psychopathology PY7179 X X

Cybercrime and Cyber Security CC7177 X X

Sexual Exploitation of Children and Young People SS7146 X X

Sexual Violence: Causes, Consequences and Interventions SS7148 X X

Law, Policy and Ethics PY7010 X X X X

Resilience and Mindfulness PY7193 X X

Treatment Interventions PY7194 X X

Principle QAA benchmark statements

https://www.qaa.ac.uk/docs/qaa/subject-benchmark-statements/sbs-sociology-16.pdf?sfvrsn=e696f781_12

Assessment strategy

Skills and learning outcomes are assessed through essays, presentations and a dissertation (12,000 and 15,000 words).

Assessment methods and requirements take into account, and test, knowledge, evaluation and application of knowledge to the materials included in the module content and the learning outcomes. The student develops knowledge and understanding of conceptual theories, synthesis and application of knowledge on issues in the field of enquiry, together with their academic related skills.

The course is assessed through a variety of formative and summative assessments including essays, examinations, practical research methodology assignments, dissertation, and various presentations to class peers.

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

Students will gain experience of safeguarding practice via organised workshops with visiting practitioners/ guest lecturers.

Modules required for interim awards

PG Certificate in Safeguarding and Security (60 credits) – 2 cores (SS7061 and SS7062) and 1 alternative core (SS7168 or SS7079)

PG Diploma in Safeguarding and Security (120 credits) – 4 taught core modules (SS7060, SS7061, SS7168 and SS7079/PY7187) and 2 options

MA in Safeguarding and Security (180 credits) – 5 core modules (SS7060, SS7061, SS7062, SS7P02, SS7079/SS7168/PY7187) 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 them 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 approaches. 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.

Career, employability and opportunities for continuing professional development

A focus on the interdisciplinary nature of Safeguarding studies and the need for multi-agency approaches to successful safeguarding outcomes will give students a competitive advantage in future careers. These include careers in child and adult protection, health and social care, risk management, non-governmental organisations, local authorities, civil service, policing and prison services, education, policy research and journalism, and private sector management.

In addition, the course will 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; it will also act as a stepping stone for graduates intending to pursue doctoral studies sociology, criminology, psychology, social care and other relevant fields;

Career opportunities

Career opportunities are available across the private and public sectors, local authorities, civil organisations working with vulnerable children and adults, safeguarding adult boards (SAB) and the justice system.

Entry requirements

You will be required to have:

  • a minimum of a lower second class (2.2) honours degree in a relevant discipline of social sciences such as criminology, sociology, law or psychology or possess relevant professional qualifications.
  • a basic Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check

Applications are also welcome from those who have experience working in the criminal justice system.

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 SAFSEC

Course Structure

Stage 1 Level 07 September start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
SS7060 Policies, Regulatory framework for Safeguarding Core 20 NORTH SPR THU EV
SS7061 Social Responsibility and Interventions Core 20 NORTH AUT THU EV
SS7062 Vulnerabilities and Risks Core 20 NORTH AUT WK AM&PM
SS7P02 Dissertation in Safeguarding and Security Core 60 NORTH AUT FRI PM
          NORTH SPR FRI PM
PY7187 Further Research Methods Alt Core 10        
SS7079 Criminological Research Methods Alt Core 20 NORTH SUM 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
PY7010 Law, Policy and Ethics Option 20 NORTH SPR THU PM
PY7191 Psychopathology Option 20 NORTH AUT THU AM
PY7193 Resilience and Mindfulness Option 20 NORTH SPR THU AM
PY7194 Treatment Interventions Option 20 NORTH SPR WED AM
SS7146 Sexual Exploitation of Children and Young People Option 20 NORTH SUM WK AM&PM
SS7147 Violence Against Women: Issues, Research and Po... Option 20 NORTH AUT WK AM&PM
SS7148 Sexual Violence: Causes, Consequences and Inter... Option 20 NORTH SPR WK AM&PM
SS7170 Explaining Violence Option 20 NORTH AUT WED AM

Stage 1 Level 07 January start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
SS7060 Policies, Regulatory framework for Safeguarding Core 20 NORTH SPR THU EV
SS7061 Social Responsibility and Interventions Core 20        
SS7062 Vulnerabilities and Risks Core 20        
SS7P02 Dissertation in Safeguarding and Security Core 60 NORTH SPR FRI PM
PY7187 Further Research Methods Alt Core 10        
SS7079 Criminological Research Methods Alt Core 20 NORTH SUM WK AM&PM
SS7168 Researching Violence and Evaluating Interventions Alt Core 20        
CC7177 Cybercrime and Cyber Security Option 20        
PY7010 Law, Policy and Ethics Option 20 NORTH SPR THU PM
PY7191 Psychopathology Option 20        
PY7193 Resilience and Mindfulness Option 20 NORTH SPR THU AM
PY7194 Treatment Interventions Option 20 NORTH SPR WED AM
SS7146 Sexual Exploitation of Children and Young People Option 20 NORTH SUM WK AM&PM
SS7147 Violence Against Women: Issues, Research and Po... Option 20        
SS7148 Sexual Violence: Causes, Consequences and Inter... Option 20 NORTH SPR WK AM&PM
SS7170 Explaining Violence Option 20