module specification

SS7147 - Violence Against Women: Issues, Research and Policy (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Violence Against Women: Issues, Research and Policy
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School School of Social Sciences
Total study hours 200
162 hours Guided independent study
38 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 30% 50 2 page briefing paper for policymakers (between 500-750 words)
Coursework 70% 50 3500 - 4000 word Essay
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North - -

Module summary

This module runs in block mode.

In 2014-15 it should run in Autumn Semester - 9, 10, 23, 24 October
20 and 21 November

This module introduces students to the range of forms of violence against women, their prevalence and consequences: intimate partner violence, rape and sexual assault, sexual harassment, sexual exploitation, FGM and crimes in the name of honour.  We will address explanatory frameworks and perspectives, including human rights, and critically assess current policy approaches.

Prior learning requirements


Module aims

Within an intersectional framework:
- to introduce students to the range of forms of violence against women
- to familiarise students with the current knowledge base on prevalence of, relationships and contexts for violence and its short and long term consequences
- to locate the emergence of the issues within social movement and social problem analysis
- to critically assess explanatory frameworks and contemporary policy responses


Violence Against Women
Critical engagement with theory, concepts and definitions
Feminist challenges to traditional research methods
Assessing the evidence base
From private matters to public issues - social movement and human rights perspectives
Explanatory frameworks: from simplistic gender power to gender orders and intersectionality, the continuum of violence
Policy responses

Intimate Partner Violence
The current knowledge base: prevalence, extent and context of violence
Working with men as perpetrators
Children's experiences
Current debates

Harmful traditional practices in a globalised world
FGM, forced marriage and crimes in the name of honour
The current legal framework, law enforcement and health based responses
Trafficking and the international sex industry
Femicide and feminicide

Learning and teaching

This module is delivered over 6 days, 10am - 5.00pm. An introductory first 2 days, and 2 further 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 appraisal of audio-visual material. Recommended reading will be available 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 should be able to:

1.  identify the extent and consequences of a range of forms of VAW
2.  analyse the emergence of the issues
3.  link trends in UK policy responses to the international context
4.  apply key explanatory frameworks and analyse current debates

Assessment strategy

Students should prepare a 2 page briefing paper for policymakers (between 500-750 words) from a list of topics provided. The briefing can be tailored to a specific geographic region, including the UK. This assessment is to be handed in on day 5 of the course.

Students will be provided with a list of titles for the 3,500-4,000 word essay during Day 3.  If a student wishes to focus on an issue or debate not covered in the list, it may be possible to devise an alternative title, however this must be agreed with the module convenor and must be able to evidence learning outcomes 2-4.

Students must pass both components
Coursework 100% - a briefing paper and extended essay.


Buzawa, E, Buzawa, C & Stark, E. (2011) Responding to Domestic Violence:  The Integration of Criminal Justice and Human Services London: Sage

Connell, R.W. (2009) Gender Cambridge: Polity Press (2nd edition)

Eriksson, M., Hester, M., Keskinen, S. & Pringle, K (eds.) (2005) Tackling Men's Violence in Families - Nordic issues and dilemmas. Bristol: The Policy Press

Jackson, S. & Scott, S. (2002) (eds) Gender: a sociological reader London: Routledge

Kelly, L. & Lovett, J. (2005) What a Waste: The Case for an Integrated Violence Against Women Strategy.  London: DTI. Available on Weblearn. 

Kennedy Bergen, R.L., Edleson, J.L. & Renzetti, C.M. (eds) (2005) Violence Against Women: Classic Papers. Boston: Allyn & Bacon 

Loseke, D.R., Gelles, R.J. & Cavanaugh M.M. (Eds)  (2005)  Current Controversies on Family Violence  (2nd Edition), London: Sage

Lundgren, E. (2004), The Process of Normalising Violence, Stockholm:
Riksorganisationen för kvinno-och tjejjourer i Sverige (ROKS). Available on Weblearn.

Women’s National Commission (2009) Still We Rise: Report from WNC Focus Groups to inform the Cross-Government Consultation “Together We Can End Violence Against Women and Girls” London: WNC. Available from

Women’s National Commission (2010) A Bitter Pill To Swallow:  Report from WNC Focus Groups to inform the Department of Health Taskforce on the Health Aspects of Violence Against Women and Girls London: WNC. Available from