module specification

SS7170 - Explaining Violence (2020/21)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2020/21
Module title Explaining Violence
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School School of Social Sciences
Total study hours 200
64 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
136 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Unseen Examination 50%   Mutliple Choice and Short Answer - 90 minutes
Coursework 50%   Essay 2500 words
Running in 2020/21
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Wednesday Morning

Module summary

The module aims to enable students to:
Explore the prevalence of and trends in violence in the UK and globally
Identify and assess violent crimes specific to particular communities
Use various theories within the field of criminology to explain and understand violent behaviour


 1. Explaining violence LO1, LO2
2. Verbal and Psychological Abuse LO3, LO4
3. Assault & Murder
4. Violence in the home
5. Rape & Sexual Assault
6. Gang Violence
7. Cultural Violence
8. Honour Killings
9. Terrorism
10. State Violence & Torture
11. Conclusions

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Each week, this module will be delivered through three hour workshops featuring lecturing, students presentations and seminar discussion.

Learning outcomes

 At the end of this module, students should be able to:
1.  Explain some of the root causes of many types of violence and aggression. 
2. Evaluate the multiple theories of aggression in relation to specific cultural communities.
3. Use reflection and analysis to explain and evaluate violent behaviour
4. Utilise relevant research findings in the analysis of variations in violent crime
5. Explain and analyse prevention strategies and their link with theories related to violence and aggression.

Assessment strategy

 Assessment consists of one unseen exam, which will be representative of the module syllabus. The assessment is predicated upon thorough academic analysis, and appropriate student reading and research


Identify core and additional reading
Liaise with Library Services to confirm availability of on-line licenses in academic year

Where possible, the most current version of reading materials is used during the delivery of this module.  Comprehensive reading lists are provided to students in their handbooks.  Reading Lists will be updated annually.

Cramer, C. (2011). Unemployment and participation in violence.

De la Calle, L., and I. Sánchez-Cuenca. 2011. “What We Talk About When We Talk About Terrorism.” Politics & Society 39:3, pp.451-72.

Engel, R. S., Tillyer, M. S., & Corsaro, N. (2013). Reducing gang violence using focused deterrence: Evaluating the Cincinnati Initiative to Reduce Violence (CIRV). Justice Quarterly, 30(3), 403-439.

Gerlach, C., & Werth, N. (2009). State violence–violent societies. Beyond Totalitarianism: Stalinism and Nazism Compared, 133-79.

Lefkowitz, M. M., Eron, L. D., & Walder, L. O. (2013). Growing up to be violent: A longitudinal study of the development of aggression (Vol. 66). Elsevier.

Punch, M. (2012). State violence, collusion and the troubles.

Sedem, M., & Ferrer-Wreder, L. (2015, April). Fear of the Loss of Honour: Implications of Honor-based Violence for the Development of Youth and their Families. In Child & Youth Care Forum (Vol. 44, No. 2, pp. 225-237). Springer US.

Wallace, P. H., & Roberson, C. (2016). Family violence: Legal, medical, and social perspectives. Routledge.

Walsh, J. A., & Krienert, J. L. (2009). A Decade of Child-Initiated Family Violence: Comparative Analysis of Child—Parent Violence and Parricide Examining Offender, Victim, and Event Characteristics in a National Sample of Reported Incidents, 1995-2005. Journal of interpersonal violence, 24(9), 1450-1477.