module specification

PY7137 - Psychology and the sexual exploitation of young people (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18, but may be subject to modification
Module title Psychology and the sexual exploitation of young people
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 10
School School of Social Sciences
Total study hours 100
65 hours Guided independent study
35 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Oral Examination 20% 50 10-15 minute Presentation
Coursework 80% 50 Reflective Essay (1400-1600 words) *FC*
Attendance Requirement 0%   Attendance
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Summer studies North - -

Module summary

The module is taught in a block format over a period of a few days.


This module examines the nature and context of sexual exploitation of children and young people, and the implications for criminal justice and child protection practice. Students attend 5 full days.

Students who study for this module will do so along side those students who are compleating the HSP035N module sexual exploitation of children and young people. The module will be delivered by members of the department of Social Sciences (CWASU) on the North Campus.

Prior learning requirements


Module aims

This module aims to provide students with the skills and knowledge to enable then to be able to -

• Develop a critical understanding into the nature and prevalence of sexual exploitation of children and young people in a national and international context

• Explore and critically evaluate the policy and legislative perspectives and responses in response to sexual exploitation of children and young people

• Evaluate the implications for professional practice, particularly in relation to the criminal justice and child protection systems and make policy and practice recommendations


The course will extend the student's knowledge base in relation to sexual exploitation of children and young people, covering definitions, prevalence, intervention and protection, managing perpetrators, policy and legislation. Historical continuities in the form and nature of sexual exploitation will be examined, in a national and international context. The impact of sexual exploitation on the child or young person will be examined, and good practice in working with young people explored. Particular examples of exploitation will be analysed, such as trafficking, prostitution, pornography, and the various systems for interventions with and management of perpetrators will be evaluated.

Learning and teaching

Students attending this module will study alongside those students taking the MA in Child and Women Abuse Studies as well as those taking this module as a short course.  The module is taught in a block format which allows for extensive group discussion during the teaching sessions. Students will be expected to continuously reflect upon how socio-political influences affect notions of causality and acceptance of child sexual exploitation. As part of this module, students will be expected to demonstrate that they can autonomously seek out and evaluate various sources of support for vulnerable or abused young people. Students will also be required to reflect upon how a socio-political approach to criminal behaviour contrasts with the psychological perspectives presented within other aspects of the MSc. The range of intervention opportunities discussed during this module will assist students with personal as well as career planning.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module students will be able to:

1.   Define, identify, and explain the contexts of the various forms of sexual exploitation  of children and young people

2.   Demonstrate a deep understanding of how to work effectively with children and   young people to reduce their risk of sexual exploitation and to further protect them,   including where to find help.

3.  Critically evaluate a range of theories of sexual exploitation of children and young  people with reference to both socio-political and psychological frameworks.

Assessment strategy

For the 10-15 minute presentation students will be expected to seek out and critically evaluate three different sources of help, guidance or support for vulnerable or abused children (e.g. books, papers, internet pages.

For the reflective essay (1400-1600 words) students will be asked to outline what they consider to be the most pertinent learning points acquired during the module. The specific issues selected for discussion will be a matter for the individual student. However, the student will be expected to integrate the knowledge gained from this module into their understanding from other aspects of the MSc in Forensic Psychology (making reference, where appropriate, to theory knitting). Reference to the appropriate literature base should be made within the reflective account in order to ensure the work meets MSc academic standards. Students must pass both components. This assignment must be submitted to the Calcutta House PG Office.

Students should also note there is an attendance element to this module and they are required to attend a minimum of 80% of the taught sessions.


Barrett, D. (ed) (2000) Youth prostitution in the New Europe, RHP; Lyme Regis.

Browne, K.D, Hanks, H. Statton, P and Hamilton, C. (2002) Early Prediction and prevention of child abuse: A Handbook. Chichester: John Wiley and Sons.

Chase, E. & Statham, J. (2004) The commercial sexual exploitation of children & young people; an overview of key literature and data, Department of Health/Thomas Coram Research Unit.

Cusick, L., Martin, A. & May. T. (2003) Vulnerability & involvement in drug use and sex work, Home Office Research Study 268.

Cusick, L. (2002) ‘Youth Prostitution; a literature review’, Child Abuse Review 11 pp230-251.

Hester, M. & Westmarland, N. (2004) Tackling Street Prostitution; Towards an Holistic Approach Home Office Research Study 290, London.

Fowler (2003) A Practitioner's Tool for Child Protection and the Assessment of Parents. London: Jessica Kingsley

Itzin, C. (ed) (2000) Home Truths about Child Sexual Abuse; a reader Routledge; London.

Levy, A. (2004) Stigmatised, marginalized and criminalized; an overview of issues relating to children and young people involved in prostitution, NSPCC, London.

May, T., Haracopos, A. & Hough, M. (2000) For Love or Money; Pimps and the management of sex work, Home Office Research paper 134.

Melrose, M. & Barrett, D. (eds) (2004) Anchors in Floating Lives; Interventions with young people sexually abused through prostitution RHP; Lyme Regis.

O’Connell-Davidson, J. (1998) Prostitution, Power and Freedom, Polity Press; Cambridge.

Palmer, T. (2001) No Son of Mine! Children abused through prostitution Barnardo’s Barkingside

Pearce, J. Williams, M. and Galvin, C. (2002) It’s someone taking a part of you; a study of young women and sexual exploitation NCB; London.

Phoenix, J. (2002) ‘In the name of Protection; youth prostitution policy reforms in England and Wales’ Critical Social Policy Vol 22, No 2, pp353-375.

Somerset, C. (2001) What the professionals know; the trafficking of children into and through the UK for sexual purposes ECPAT UK; London.

Swann, S. (1998) Whose daughter Next? Children abused through prostitution, Barnardo’s; Barkingside.