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Understanding Domestic and Sexual Violence MA/PG Cert/PG Dip

What makes Understanding Domestic and Sexual Violence at Worcester special?

Our MA in Understanding Domestic and Sexual Violence launched in September 2017 and has built on our teaching experience over the last decade.  From September 2018, we are pleased to offer this course as a PG Certificate and PG Diploma as well.

The course is delivered by the Centre for Violence Prevention, whose staff specialise in a range of disciplines across this sector. .  Our reputation in research continues to grow, and you can expect to learn from, and be supervised by, leading academics in the field.

We promote the importance of the link between academic learning to real-world practice. You’ll apply your new skills and knowledge when working with victim/survivors and perpetrators of abuse.

Key features

  • Suitable for those interested in the subject of Domestic and Sexual Violence
  • Aimed at those working with either victims/survivors, and/or perpetrators, adults, young people or children
  • Delivered by classroom teaching and online learning
  • Study with peers from a diverse range of employment and cultural backgrounds
  • Offered on a Part-Time and Full-Time basis from September 2018

Entry requirements

What qualifications will you need?

Entry requirements

Prospective students will be required to have

  • A relevant first degree gained at a 2.1 (or equivalent level) in a health related or social science discipline, or similar subject discipline or
  • A relevant professional qualification and experience, including but not exclusively, Social Work, Police, Probation, Health and Education or
  • Significant experience of working with victims and/or perpetrators of domestic or sexual violence over at least 12 months.

You may also be required to provide an Enhanced DBS check subject to module selection.

Other information

In some cases, an applicant may be required to attend for interview, this may by via attending in person, skype or telephone.

For those with significant experience of working with victims and/or perpetrators, but without a first degree or professional qualification, these applicants will need to evidence through Recognition of Prior Learning procedures how their knowledge and experience demonstrates their potential to meet the programme requirements, which includes meeting the academic requirements of the programme, the ability to communicate effectively and an appropriate understanding of the dynamics of domestic and/or sexual violence. The admissions team will provide further guidance.

The IELTS score for international applicants is 6.5 (with no less than 5.5 in component). Other English Language qualifications will be considered.

If you have any questions, please contact the Admissions office on 01905 855111 or

Course content

What will you study?

Here is an overview of current modules available on this course. Regular updates may mean that exact module titles may differ. Please note: the timetable may be subject to change.

Theoretical Perspectives on Gender, Violence and Interpersonal Relationships

Module code: DSVM4001

Credits: 30

In this module, we explore a range of theories that have been applied to the issues of domestic and sexual violence - ranging from feminist explanations of violence against women, to social learning theories which focus on the family environment, to biological explanations that explain violence according to the psychology of the offender.

Module dates

27th and 28th September 2018 (in Worcester)

6 online learning sessions (completed in your own time)

29th and 30th November 2018 (in Worcester)

Recognition, Responses and Impact of Violence

Module code: DSVM4002

Credits: 30

In this module we look at the impact of domestic and sexual violence on victims and the costs of violence to our society.  The module is designed to examine the impact of violence from a range of cultural perspectives, which will also focus on faith and spiritual beliefs providing students with an in depth critical awareness of the multiple costs of domestic and sexual violence.

Module dates

7th and 8th February 2019 (in Worcester)

6 online learning sessions (completed in your own time)

11th and 12th April 2019 (in Worcester)

Preparing for Independent Research

Module code: DSVM4003

Credits: 30

This module prepares students to conduct research in the field of domestic and sexual violence in preparation for their dissertation.  Students will learn to critique different research methodologies and consider their theoretical underpinnings.  Students will also be asked to consider the practical and ethical issues associated with researching in the field of DSV and will develop their own research proposal which is contextualised by the existing literature.

Module dates

11th and 12th October 2018 (in Worcester)

6 online learning sessions (completed in your own time)

13th and 14th December 2018 (in Worcester)

(Please note: this module will not be studied in the PG Cert route).

Understanding Prevention and Managing Perpetrators

Module code: DSVM4004

Credits: 30

In this module we look at perpetrators of domestic and sexual violence and the work that is being done to try and prevent these forms of violence in our societies.  The module will critically analyse perpetration and interventions within social and culturally specific contexts and explore implications for good practice in relation to prevention; enabling students to develop a critical understanding of legislation, policy and practice.

Module dates

14th and 15th March 2019

6 online learning sessions (completed in your own time)

16th and 17th May 2019 (in Worcester)

(Please note: this module is not studied in the PG Cert route).


Module code: DSVM4005

Credits: 60

Module dates

3 workshops (in Worcester) – dates TBC.

(Please note: this module will not be studied in the PG Cert or PG Dip routes).

Teaching and Assessment

How will you be taught?

Teaching and Learning

The University places emphasis on enabling students to develop the independent learning capabilities that will equip you for lifelong learning and future employment, as well as academic achievement.  A mixture of independent study, teaching and academic support through the personal academic tutoring system enables you to reflect on progress and build up a profile of skills, achievements and experiences that will enable you to flourish and be successful.


You are taught through a combination of traditional face-to-face study days and innovative online learning sessions. 

Each module will consist of four face to face teaching days (delivered in two blocks) in addition to online learning activities to be completed at your convenience. These sessions include activities such as: set readings, narrated lectures, video clips and discussion boards.

In addition, meetings with personal academic tutors can be arranged, either on campus, via skype or via the telephone.

Contact time

As this course is delivered in blocks, you will be on campus for four full days per module (two days at a time). 

In addition to the contact time, you are expected to engage with the online learning sessions that are made available between teaching blocks.  These sessions equate to 66 hours of learning over the duration of the module.

Independent self-study

In addition to the contact time, you are expected to undertake around 15 hours of personal self-study per week.  Typically, this will involve reading and assignment preparation.

Independent learning is supported by a range of excellent learning facilities, including the Hive and library resources, the virtual learning environment, and extensive electronic learning resources. 

Teaching staff

You will be taught by a teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. The team include:

Dr. Holly Taylor Dunn (Programme Leader) – has been working in the field of gender based violence for 17 years, initially she was employed as a Domestic Abuse Officer with the police, she has a particular interest in service provision and advocacy.

Beverly Gilbert (Senior Lecturer) – has 30 years experience of working within the criminal justice sector and has undertaken research evaluation of domestic violence prevention initiatives across the UK within the criminal justice sector. .

Claire Richards (Senior Lecturer) – has considerable experience of multi-agency partnership working within the voluntary and statutory sectors. Her roles have varied in the fields of mental health, substance misuse and domestic abuse and her research focuses on  child advocacy in the context of the safeguarding children.

Teaching is informed by the research and consultancy, and all of our course lecturers have a higher education teaching qualification or are Fellows of the Higher Education Academy. You can learn more about the staff by visiting our staff profiles [link].


The course provides opportunities to test understanding and learning informally through the completion of practice or ‘formative’ assignments.  Each module has one or more formal or ‘summative’ assessments which are graded and count towards the overall module grade.  

Assessment methods include essays, report writing, poster presentations and individual presentations.


You will receive feedback on practice assessments and on formal assessments undertaken by coursework. Feedback on examination performance is available upon request from the module leader. Feedback is intended to support learning and you are encouraged to discuss it with personal academic tutors and module tutors as appropriate.

We aim to provide you with feedback on formal course work assessments within 20 working days of hand-in.

Pathway timetable

  • The PG Certificate is completed in one year for both full and part-time students.
  • The PG Diploma is completed in one year full-time and two years part-time.
  • The MA is completed in one year full-time and two years part-time.


Where could it take you?

You will develop a range of skills on this course that should have an immediate and positive impact on your professional role. 

For those who would like to start working in the areas of domestic or sexual violence, your increased knowledge and skill-set should prepare you for future job applications. 

For those already working in this sector, you will enhance your ability to critically reflect on your professional practice and make valuable contributions to service improvement.


How much will it cost?

Course fees

For up-to-date course fee information visit the postgraduate section of our course fees page.

Postgraduate Loans

The Government will provide a loan of up to £10,000 per student for postgraduate Masters study. It will be at your own discretion whether the loan is used towards fees, maintenance or other costs.

For full details visit our postgraduate loans page.


How do you apply?


Apply for September 2018 enrolment

Apply for the MA - full time
Apply for the MA - part time

PG Cert / PG Dip

Apply for September 2018 enrolment

Apply for the PG Cert - part time
Apply for the PG Dip - part time

Please make your application via our online application form. If you have any questions, please contact the Admissions office on 01905 855111 or

Holly Taylor-Dunn is the current Course Leader and she would love to hear from you if you would like to know more about the course and if you are interested in becoming a student on this excellent programme.

You can email Holly directly at or even better, why not give her a call on 01905 542693. Holly will be very pleased to talk with you and looks forward to hearing from you.

Get in touch

If you have any questions, please get in touch. We're here to help you every step of the way.

Admissions office

01905 855111  

Course Leader

Dr Holly Taylor Dunn
01905 54 2693