module specification

GI7073 - Human Security (2022/23)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2022/23
Module title Human Security
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School School of Social Sciences and Professions
Total study hours 200
45 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
155 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 75%   Essay 3,000 words
Practical Examination 25%   Seminar Assessment
Running in 2022/23

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester North Wednesday Afternoon

Module summary

 This module will explore the concept of security as it is understood in international relations discipline. What has been the rationale for the development of a distinct concept of ‘human security’? What are the implications of the concept of human security for our understanding of security in the international system?  It will then examine the application of the concept to substantive problems and policy areas. These include the impact of environmental degradation, mass population movement, human trafficking and international crime. Finally, it will assess the impact of the concept on the strategies and policies of international organisations and states.


 - What is Human Security?: Freedom from fear and want

- The gendering of Security LO1

- Human Security and Development: poverty and inequality LO2

- Environmental Degradation LO2

- Food and Security LO2

- Migration, Shelter and Hospitality LO2

- Disease and security LO2

- Operationalising Human Security: the UN, the EU and Canada LO2

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

This module will be taught through a mixture of lectures and seminars. It will also exploit Weblearn to deliver materials (reading, seminar materials, video material, feedback) which can support seminar work and the independent learning of students.

Students will be required to present to and participate in seminar discussions and debates that will focus on both on conceptual debate and the examination of specific policy problems and initiatives. Students are also required to make a presentation on a topic drawn from a list of ‘presentation themes’.

Learning outcomes

At the end of this module students will:

1. Gain an understanding of debates about the meaning of security within international relations and the rationale for the development of a concept of ‘human security’

2. Gain a detailed knowledge and understanding of the human security debate in relation to specific problems and policy issues ranging from the environmental change through food insecurity to migration and international crime

3. Understand the extent and limits of the impact of human security perspectives on the policies of the UN, EU and key states

Assessment strategy

 There will then be two forms of summative assessment on this module:

1. 3000 word essay. This will constitute 75% of the overall assessment. Titles to be provided by tutor

2. Seminar participation. 25% of marks will be awarded seminar participation. This part of the assessment will be based on two broad components. Firstly, marks will be awarded for general participation in class discussion from week to week. Secondly, students will be required to make a presentation to the class on an agreed topic.



P. Hough, Understanding Global Security, Routledge, new ed. 2013 (ebook).
A. Sen, Development as Freedom, 2001
R. Wilkinson and K. Pickett, The Spirit Level: Why Equality is Better for Everyone, Penguin, London, 2009.


C.  Hughes, Security Studies, Routledge, 2006.
M.  Kaldor Human Security: Reflections on Globalization and Intervention, Polity,
S. Tadjbakhsh and A. Chenoy, Human Security Concepts and Implications, Routledge, 2008
S. MacFarlane and Y. Khong Human Security and the UN: A Critical History, Indiana University Press, 2006.
A Hunter, Human Security Challenges, CPRS, 2013

United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security, Human Security in Theory and Practice ,

Contemporary Politics, Issue 15/1, 2015, Review of Human Security