module specification

SS7146 - Sexual Exploitation of Children and Young People (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Sexual Exploitation of Children and Young People
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School School of Social Sciences
Total study hours 200
38 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
162 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 20% 50 Annotated Bibliography with Commentary
Coursework 20% 50 Presentation based on Annotated Bibliography
Coursework 60% 50 3000-3500 Word Essay
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Summer studies North - -
Spring semester North - -

Module summary

This module runs in block format

In 2015-16:
5th, 6th, 19th and 20th May
9th and 10th June

This course focuses on sexual exploitation of children and young people in UK and global contexts. Sessions cover definitions and framings, including feminist debates on the sex industry, researching sexual exploitation, evidence and prevalence, abusers and coercers, policy and legislative approaches, and promising practices in intervention, protection and prevention. Specific forms of exploitation will be explored, such as trafficking, sex tourism, abusive images of children (including 'sexting'), and online grooming.

Module aims

To provide an understanding into the nature and prevalence of sexual exploitation of children and young people in national and international contexts
To explore theoretical, policy and legislative perspectives and responses
To evaluate the implications for promising practice in supporting sexually exploited young people, particularly in relation to the criminal justice and child protection systems.


Definitions and framings
How is sexual exploitation of children and young people defined and located in discourses on sexual abuse of children and within debates on the sex industry?
Commercial forms of exploitation of young people: prostitution, pornography, trafficking, sex tourism
Informal exploitation and blurred boundaries: transactional sex, online grooming and 'sexting'

Researching Sexual Exploitation
Methodological approaches
Evidence and prevalence: UK and global knowledge bases
Vulnerability to sexual exploitation: routes in and recruitment

Policy and practice responses
International obligations: human rights obligations and national actions plans
Criminal justice and safeguarding frameworks
Specialised support services

Learning and teaching

This module is delivered over 6 days, 10am - 5.00pm. An introductory first two days, and two blocks of 2 days will be spread over the teaching semester of 11 weeks. The teaching methods will include groupwork, lectures, guest lectures, workshops, and audio-visual material. Case study material will be supplied, as well as recommended reading to support each session. Additional electronic material and lecture notes will be made available via Weblearn.

Learning outcomes

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

1.  Understand and critically evaluate perspectives on sexual exploitation and the sex industry, including to what extent global research evidence supports them.

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

Assessment strategy

Three components: an annotated bibliography; presentation based on this; 3000-3,500 word reflective essay. The annotated bibliography requires students to assess three websites, three journal articles and three books/book chapters and summarise their content in 150-200 words per entry. For the presentation, students will focus on one each of these sources from the annotated bibliography and present their commentaries to the group. This will assess learning outcome 1. The final component requires students are required to submit a 3,000-3,500 word reflective essay, on a subject of their choosing, agreed by the module leader. This essay will assess learning outcome 2: define, identify and explain the context, of one or more forms of sexual exploitation of children and/or young people.


Cockbain, E. (2013) Grooming and the ‘Asian sex gang predator’: the construction of a racial crime threat Race & Class 54(4) 22-32
Coy, M. (2012) (ed.) Prostitution, Harm and Gender Inequality: Theory, Research and Policy Farnham: Ashgate
Coy, M. (2016) Joining the dots on sexual exploitation of children and women: gaps in UK policy approaches Critical Social Policy 36(4) 572–59
Gillespie, A. (2011) Child Pornography: Law and Policy London: Routledge
Horsman, G. (2016) Digital forensics: Understanding the development of criminal law in England and Wales on images depicting child sexual abuse Computer Law & Security Review 32(3) 419-432
Kelly, L., Regan, L. and Burton, S. (2000) Sexual exploitation: a new discovery or one part of the continuum of sexual abuse in childhood? In Itzin, C. (ed.) Home Truths about Child Sexual Abuse: a reader London: Routledge
Melrose, M. & Pearce, J. (2013) (eds) Critical Perspectives on Child Sexual Exploitation and Related Trafficking Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan
O’Connell-Davidson, J. (2005) Children in the Global Sex Trade Cambridge: Polity Press
Pearce, J. (2009) Young People and Sexual Exploitation: hard to reach and hard to hear London: Routledge Falmer
Child Abuse Review, Wiley Publishing (available through on-line library facility)