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The Wilberforce Institute and Faculty of Arts, Cultures and Education

MA in Contemporary Slavery Studies and Critical Victimology

Postgraduate - Taught MA

Open for admission in September 2021

Start in September

Full time Part time
MA 1 year 2 years

About the course

A blended-delivered programme to help you critically explore debates on Contemporary Slavery Studies and to examine interventions and approaches across a range of contexts.

The University of Hull's Wilberforce Institute, with its multi-disciplinary approach to the study of slavery, is best placed to offer a programme that will transform and educate our future scholars and professionals in this field.

The programme provides a comprehensive curriculum to critically engage with the specific histories of slavery and unfree systems, how these have been codified in law, to situate the diverse political and policy environments in which these have developed and critically evaluate the responses and interventions put in place to address them. The programme aims to challenge students to nurture different ‘ways of seeing’.

The course is delivered via a blended approach. Teaching and learning activities are provided via our web-based learning system. This is complemented by one week of face-to-face teaching and learning activities at the Wilberforce Institute in Hull in terms 1 and 2. International students may be required to arrange for a short-term visa to attend face-to-face teaching and learning activities in the UK. For students unable to attend face-to-face, alternative arrangements could be made.

This MA offers an academically robust and transformative learning experience, where students learn how to help shape the landscape in terms of policy and practice across diverse geo-political contexts.

International partnerships

This MA is delivered jointly by the Faculty of Arts, Cultures and Education and the renowned world-leading Wilberforce Institute for the Study of Slavery and Emancipation.

What you'll study

  • A comprehensive and critical understanding of systems of slavery and exploitation in a global context
  • The study, comparison and evaluation of different historical and contemporary approaches to critically conceptualise and theorize slavery and victimhood
  • Critical exploration of methodological approaches to understanding the experience of enslavement, oppression and exploitation and how groups have fought for rights to self-determination, dignity and social justice
  • In-depth knowledge of how responses to systems of slavery and unfree practices have developed in relation to geo-political diverse contexts
  • A range of tools to critically examine and evaluate anti-slavery policy in a global context

 

Compulsory modules

All modules are subject to availability and this list may change at any time.


  • Contemporary Slavery Studies

    Gain a broad and critical overview of systems of slavery and unfree practices historically and across a multitude of contexts. Familiarise yourself with complex theoretical debates on analytical categories such as ‘slavery’, ‘forced labour’, ‘debt bondage’ and how these related to the lived experiences of people across socio-historical contexts. You'll examine a range of cross-disciplinary academic literature and research, including in history, anthropology, sociology, politics, criminology and law. Past and current research at the Wilberforce Institute will contribute to developing a critical and multi-layered understanding of concepts, ideas and public discourses and how these have been moulded and shifted across time.

  • Critical Victimology and Contemporary Slavery

    Examine the definitions and representations of victimisation in slavery studies. You will also critically examine the limitations and challenges of existing criminal justice approaches to victimisation, even when these are victim-centred. You'll examine theoretical explanations of victimisation and explore the relationship between victimisation and social divisions of class, ethnicity, age, gender, nationality, immigration status, etc.

  • Methodologies in Contemporary Slavery Studies

    You'll develop an overview of a variety of research methodologies, techniques and skills necessary to conduct critical research on systems of slavery and unfree practices and how these intersect with ideas on victimology. You will not only learn the standardised methods used in social science research, but also new approaches which have more recently been developed to better engaged the ethical, power and social justice dilemmas we all encounter in the field. You'll have the opportunity to explore questions of design and execution of a research project of your choice.

  • Policies and Contemporary Slavery

    This is a module that bridges both theoretical and more practical elements. Working alongside the Humber Modern Slavery Partnership, you'll develop a comprehensive understanding of the historical, legal, social and practical approaches in working directly in the field. The module allows you to analyse policy responses from the time when issues are first constructed as ‘social problems’ to the post-implementation phase, foregrounding the impact these policies have had on targeted and non-targeted population groups.

  • MA thesis or equivalent practice-based portfolio project

    Throughout the MA, you will gain knowledge and skills to critically evaluate different theoretical, technical, normative, moral and political approaches when considering contemporary forms of slavery and intersecting systems of exploitation. Two routes will be available. You can write an academic thesis to demonstrate advanced scholarship and academic abilities in an original, creative and ethical way in an area of research relevant to the programme. You can also opt to write a practice-based portfolio to undertake a small-scale project relevant to your professional area, such as a programme evaluation, development of new initiative, or restructuring of current activity.

Methodologies in Contemporary Slavery Studies

You'll develop an overview of a variety of research methodologies, techniques and skills necessary to conduct critical research on systems of slavery and unfree practices and how these intersect with ideas on victimology. You will not only learn the standardised methods used in social science research, but also new approaches which have more recently been developed to better engaged the ethical, power and social justice dilemmas we all encounter in the field. You'll have the opportunity to explore questions of design and execution of a research project of your choice.

Policies and Contemporary Slavery

This is a module that bridges both theoretical and more practical elements. Working alongside the Humber Modern Slavery Partnership, you'll develop a comprehensive understanding of the historical, legal, social and practical approaches in working directly in the field. The module allows you to analyse policy responses from the time when issues are first constructed as ‘social problems’ to the post-implementation phase, foregrounding the impact these policies have had on targeted and non-targeted population groups.

MA thesis or equivalent practice-based portfolio project

Throughout the MA, you will gain knowledge and skills to critically evaluate different theoretical, technical, normative, moral and political approaches when considering contemporary forms of slavery and intersecting systems of exploitation. Two routes will be available. You can write an academic thesis to demonstrate advanced scholarship and academic abilities in an original, creative and ethical way in an area of research relevant to the programme. You can also opt to write a practice-based portfolio to undertake a small-scale project relevant to your professional area, such as a programme evaluation, development of new initiative, or restructuring of current activity.

Core modules

All modules are subject to availability and this list may change at any time.


Contemporary Slavery Studies

Gain a broad and critical overview of forms of slavery historically and across a multitude of contexts. Familiarise yourself with complex theoretical debates on analytical categories such as ‘slavery’, ‘forced labour’, ‘debt bondage’ and how these related to the lived experiences of people across socio-historical contexts. You'll examine a range of cross-disciplinary academic literature and research, including in history, anthropology, sociology, politics, criminology and law. Past and current research at the Wilberforce Institute will contribute to developing a critical and multi-layered understanding of concepts, ideas and public discourses and how these have been moulded and how they have been moulded and shifted across time.

Critical Victimology and Contemporary Slavery

Examine the definitions and representations of victimisation in slavery studies. You will also critically examine the limitations and challenges of existing criminal justice approaches to victimisation, even when these are victim-centred. You'll examine theoretical explanations of victimisation and explore the relationship between victimisation and social divisions of class, ethnicity, age, gender, nationality, immigration status, etc.

Where you'll study

The location below may not be the exact location of all modules on your timetable. The buildings you'll be taught in can vary each year and depend on the modules you study.

Click to view on Google Maps
Hull Campus

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Fees and funding

  • Home/EU (full time): £7,700
  • International (full time): £14,500
  • Home/EU (part time): £855 (20 credits), £2565 (60 credits), £3850 (90 credits)

UK students can take out a Master’s Loan to help with tuition fees and living costs. For 2021 entry, they provide up to £11,570 for full-time and part-time taught and research Masters courses in all subject areas. Find out more about Postgraduate Loans.

Graduate PGT Scholarship

The University of Hull is pleased to offer graduates progressing from undergraduate to postgraduate taught study a £1,000 scholarship towards the cost of their tuition fees.

Find out if you’re eligible by visiting the University of Hull Graduate PGT Scholarship page.

International Scholarships and Bursaries

For a list of all scholarships and bursaries for international students, please visit the International Scholarships and Bursaries page.

We also offer an International Studentship Scheme Discount of up to £3,500.

UK and EU Scholarships and Bursaries

The University offers a range of scholarships to help you with your studies.

For more information, please visit the UK and EU Scholarships and Bursaries page.

Specialist resources include the Wilberforce Institute for the study of Slavery and Emancipation, plus one of the UK's best university libraries and Hull History Centre.

Study under active researchers whose historical expertise and passion underpins the modules they teach.

Hull pioneered study into Criminology more than 30 years ago and is one of the UK's leading criminology centres.

Entry requirements

Normally a Bachelor Honours degree (typically 2:2 or above, or international equivalent) in History, Criminology, Sociology, Social Policy, Law, Social Work, Anthropology or other Humanities / Social Science equivalent.

If you hold a degree in another area, or if you have been out of education for a significant period of time, we would still encourage you to apply. We are looking for applicants with an interest in Victimology and Modern Slavery (broadly defined) and would be happy to consider your application even with a different academic background, or with professional experience.

International students

If you require a Tier 4 student visa to study or if your first language is not English you will be required to provide acceptable evidence of your English language proficiency level.

This course requires academic IELTS 6.0 overall, with no less than 5.5 in each skill. See other English language proficiency qualifications accepted by this University.

If your English currently does not reach the University's required standard for this programme, you may be interested in one of our English language courses.

Visit your country page to find out more about our entry requirements.

Future prospects

Graduates from this programme will pursue a wide range of careers in research, academia, voluntary/third sector, government agencies and departments both in the UK and abroad. The Wilberforce Institute has an extensive range of partnerships in the sector and you will contribute and benefit from these in your time with us and beyond.

The University of Hull has been highly ranked nationally for its achievements in employability among its graduates. We work closely with the University Careers and Employability Service, which has recently been granted the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (AGCAS) award for employability, ensuring that our postgraduate students make the most of their teaching and learning experience with us.