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Organised Crime, Terrorism and Security

Course overview

(MSc) Master of Science
Organised Crime, Terrorism and Security
Current
University of Essex
University of Essex
Sociology
Colchester Campus
Masters
Full-time or part-time
None
MSC MF9012
http://www.essex.ac.uk/students/exams-and-coursework/ppg/pgt/assess-rules.aspx
15/04/2017

A degree with an overall 2:1, or international equivalent, in a social science, humanities, statistics or maths. Your degree must also include at least two quantitative or research methods modules (this can also include the research project/dissertation).

Applications from students with a 2:2 or equivalent or a non-social sciences degree will be considered dependent on any relevant professional or voluntary experience, previous modules studied and/or personal statement.

IELTS 6.5 overall with a minimum component score of 6.0

If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.

Additional Notes

The University uses academic selection criteria to determine an applicant’s ability to successfully complete a course at the University of Essex. Where appropriate, we may ask for specific information relating to previous modules studied or work experience.

External Examiners

Prof Paul Stretesky
The University of Northumbria at Newcastle
Professor of Criminology

External Examiners provide an independent overview of our courses, offering their expertise and help towards our continual improvement of course content, teaching, learning, and assessment. External Examiners are normally academics from other higher education institutions, but may be from the industry, business or the profession as appropriate for the course. They comment on how well courses align with national standards, and on how well the teaching, learning and assessment methods allow students to develop and demonstrate the relevant knowledge and skills needed to achieve their awards. External Examiners who are responsible for awards are key members of Boards of Examiners. These boards make decisions about student progression within their course and about whether students can receive their final award.

eNROL, the module enrolment system, is now open until Monday 21 October 2019 8:59AM, for students wishing to make changes to their module options.

Key

Core You must take this module You must pass this module. No failure can be permitted.
Core with Options You can choose which module to study
Compulsory You must take this module There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.
Compulsory with Options You can choose which module to study
Optional You can choose which module to study

Year 1 - 2019/20

Exit Award Status
Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Credits PG Diploma PG Certificate
01 SC981-7-FY Dissertation Core 60 Optional
02 SC556-7-AU Organised Crime: Global and Local Core 20 Compulsory Optional
03 SC557-7-SP Critical Perspectives on Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism Core 20 Core Compulsory
04 SC905-7-AU Sociological Research Design Compulsory 20 Compulsory Optional
05 SC555-7-AU Formative Debates in Criminology Compulsory 20 Compulsory Optional
06 Sociology spring term option from list Optional 20 Optional Optional
07 Sociology spring term option from list Optional 20 Optional Optional

Exit awards

A module is given one of the following statuses: 'core' – meaning it must be taken and passed; 'compulsory' – meaning it must be taken; or 'optional' – meaning that students can choose the module from a designated list. The rules of assessment may allow for limited condonement of fails in 'compulsory' or 'optional' modules, but 'core' modules cannot be failed. The status of the module may be different in any exit awards which are available for the course. Exam Boards will consider students' eligibility for an exit award if they fail the main award or do not complete their studies.

Programme aims

To provide students with a systematic understanding of the diverse range of current debates around organised crime, terrorism and security.

To provide students with advanced knowledge of key theoretical approaches to organised crime, terrorism and security.

To provide students with a critical awareness of the problems of, and responses to, organised crime and terrorism within cultural, economic, social and political contexts.

To provide students with an advanced understanding of the distinctive character of the criminological and sociological research process in relation to organised crime, terrorism and security.

To establish a critical understanding of integration of theory, concepts, data, and analysis.

To train students in the design and conduct of original research.

To provide students with the knowledge and skills to enable them to proceed to further independent, self-directed learning.

To enable students to enhance their intellectual, sociological and generic skills in preparation for further academic and/or professional work.

Learning outcomes and learning, teaching and assessment methods

On successful completion of the programme a graduate should demonstrate knowledge and skills as follows:

A: Knowledge and understanding

A1 Advances knowledge of curretn debates and issues in relation to organised,crime, terrorism and security
A2 A systematic awareness of the latest theoretical developments in the areas of orgnaised crime, terrorism and secirity
A3 A systematic awareness of the latest theoretical developments in the areas of orgnaised crime, terrorism and secirity
A4 An ability to critically evaluate current research and advanced scholarship in the fields of organised crime, terrorism and security
A5 An advanced comprehension of the principles of research design and strategy, such as the formulation of research problems and appreciation of alternative approaches to research
A6 A critical understanding of the relationships between theory and empirical research in the areas of of organised crime, terrorism and security.
A7 An appreciation of the centrality of research questions to criminological enquiry as it applies to of organised crime, terrorism and security.
A8 Locating issues of organised crime and terrorism within broader criminological debates
A9 A practical understanding of how to address the ethical and political dimensions of research.
A10 A critical understanding of the significance of competing epistemological and ontological positions within criminological research.
Learning Methods: The course provides two core 20-credit modules (SC556 - Organised Crime: Global and Local, and SC557 - Critical Perspectives on Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism), two compulsory 20-credit modules (SC555 - Formative Debates in Criminology, and SC905 - Sociological Research Design), and a core dissertation.

In addition, students choose from a range of options in Sociology and other departments to pursue their own specific interests in the field.

The Department uses lectures to present material, ideas, data and arguments, in a clear and structured manner using examples, mapping the field and the contours of debates.

Lectures are also used to stimulate students interest in learning the methods for criminological analysis as they apply to the specific contexts of of organised crime, terrorism and security.

In each module the issues, arguments and methods are covered in lectures are explored further through classes, seminars and workshops for which students have to prepare through either hands on practice or assignments.

The programme also places strong emphasis on developing students' theoretical understanding of broader criminological areas (which inform much academic work in the areas of organised crime, terrorism and security) through the structuring of the material in SC555, which provides an advanced understanding of the intellectual foundations of the wider discipline with a systematic awareness of the latest thinking in criminology.

Classes and seminars provide the opportunity for students to develop their knowledge and understanding of the content of the modules.
In addition student learning takes place through the work they do preparing essays and assignments.
Assessment Methods: Outcomes A1 to A9 are assessed through coursework, which includes oral presentations and practical skills based assignments (SC905), as well as essays.

In addition, the assessed work for all MSc students includes a dissertation, which specifically assesses A10.

B: Intellectual and cognitive skills

B1 An advanced ability to search, summarise and critically review literature in the areas of organised crime, terrorism and security and the wider criminological context.
B2 A critical ability to comparatively review competing theories and explanations.
B3 An ability to construct an original criminological argument in relation to organised crime, terrorism and security themes.
B4 An advanced ability to formulate researchable questions
B5 An ability to creatively evaluate, analyse and interpret empirical evidence
Learning Methods: Students enhance the above intellectual skills primarily through the work they do for their modules, although lectures and classes provide a means of teachers demonstrating these skills through example.

Preparation for classes involves the reading, interpretation and evaluation of sociological texts and the collection and analysis of empirical data to hone methodological skills.

Class tutors provide feedback on all student work through comment and discussion.
In addition, tutors also engage students outside the classroom during office hours, appointments, and by email.

Similarly the preparation of essays and other assignments also develops the listed intellectual skills.

Students are provided with feedback on all assessed work and this is crucial to their intellectual development.

Their dissertations are used to demonstrate self direction and originality in tackling and solving research problems, whilst also acting to advance their capacity for self-directed knowledge and understanding.

Additionally, MSc/MA students, along with PhD students and staff, are encouraged to attend the two-day annual residential Graduate Conference, which is held in February off-campus.

Addressing a different topical theme each year, it provides a stimulating forum for intellectual debate and discussion.
Assessment Methods: Outcomes B1, B2 and B3 are judged and evaluated by essays in SC556- Organised Crime: Global and Local, and SC557 - Critical Perspectives on Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism.

B1 and B4 are assessed through both practical skills based assignments (in SC905) and essays.

All five outcomes will be assessed once more in the dissertation.

Demonstration of advanced intellectual skills is a key criterion in awarding distinctions for essays and dissertations.

C: Practical skills

C1 An advanced ability to retrieve relevant organised crime, terrorism and security-related literature using library and online searches.
C2 A practical ability to summarise, evaluate and review criminological arguments, texts and findings in relation to organised crime
C3 A practical ability to summarise, evaluate and review criminological arguments, texts and findings in relation to terrorism and security issues.
C4 A comprehensive understanding of the principles of research design, and an understanding of the merits of different methods.
C5 An ability to choose and apply an appropriate method of research
C6 A capacity for self-direction in the planning and execution of a piece of research.
C7 An ability to make judgements about the best use of time and data in meeting their research objectives.
C8 An ability to plan, conduct and present a medium scale piece of research
Learning Methods: In SC905 students learn to conduct literature searches and reviews and to work on various aspects of the sociological process, typically found in a research proposal.

Throughout the degree practical skills are developed through preparation for classes, preparing essays and other assessed assignments, and giving presentations.

Students receive detailed feedback on all their coursework and presentations.

In addition the dissertation is particularly valuable in developing students practical research skills.
Assessment Methods: Skill C1 and C3 are specifically assessed in assignments for SC905, but also forms part of the assessment of almost every piece of assessed module essays.

C2 is specifically addressed in assignments for SC556 - Organised Crime: Global and Local and C3 is specifically addressed in SC557 - Critical Perspectives on Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism.

While all the modules assess an understanding of C4 through C7, the full range of these skills is assessed in the marking of the dissertation.

D: Key skills

D1 An advanced ability in presenting ideas and evidence to others orally, in a clear and concise manner and an advanced ability to present ideas and evidence to others clearly and concisely in writing.
D2 An ability to collect and present materials using information technology
D3 A good self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems
D4 An essential understanding of how to plan, set appropriate time scale and assess feasibility of projects; a keen awareness of the need to reflect on their own work and respond constructively to the comments of others
Learning Methods: Key skills are taught and learned throughout the course through a range of strategies, such as requiring students to give oral presentations, through giving them specific assignments such as carrying bibliographic and web searches, through specific writing assignments and essays, and through class discussion and class and essay preparation.

Issues of dissemination are discussed in SC905.
Students learn to manage their own research projects through the support and advice of supervisors.

They are given feedback on all their coursework and on their dissertation research and are encouraged to reflect on their own work and improve on it.

Students also have the opportunity to develop skills in working in groups through their participation in the classes for every module.
Assessment Methods: Key skills are assessed throughout the degree through continuous assessed coursework.
Oral communication skills (D1) and IT skills (D3) are specifically assessed on SC905, and written skills (D2) and constructive response (D6) by most by coursework and the dissertation.

The dissertation is an overall assessment of communication, research management, and problem solving skills.


Note

The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.

Should you have any questions about programme specifications, please contact Course Records, Quality and Academic Development; email: crt@essex.ac.uk.