POSTGRADUATE PROGRAMME SPECIFICATION

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1 POSTGRADUATE PROGRAMME SPECIFICATION Programme Title: Awarding Body: Institution: Final Awards: Intermediate Awards: Mode of Study UCAS Codes: QAA Subject Benchmarks: JACS Code: Professional/Statutory Body: MA Terrorism, Crime and Global Security Staffordshire University Staffordshire University MA PG Certificate / PG Diploma: Terrorism, Crime and Global Security Distance Learning; P/T N/A N/A L300 N/A Date of Production: June 2012 Date of Revision: If you require this document in a larger text or a different media please contact us.

2 EDUCATIONAL AIMS OF THE PROGRAMME Provide a rigorous postgraduate academic education which is in accordance with The Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (FHEQ), and which is an extension at Masters Level of the themes of relevant benchmarked standards in the area of study Provide you with the opportunity to combine the advanced study of terrorism, transnational crime and global security in an integrated and innovative programme of modules that equip you with advanced conceptual, theoretical, methodological and academic skills and the ability to carry out analytic research at postgraduate level beyond a Masters degree Ensure the intellectual quality and currency of the curriculum through the promotion of research and scholarly activity, which encourages critical examination of the contested and evolving nature of sociological knowledge in the areas of terrorism, crime, global security as well as research methods and methodology Provide you with an opportunity to develop a range of the key skills necessary for the successful management of continuous career and professional development, life-long learning and further post-graduate study including the development of academic skills such as argument, analysis, critical exposition, precision, methodological practice, verbal and written communication skills, time and resource management skills, and personal and social (online etiquette and competence) skills, including teamwork Provide you with high quality pastoral care and academic support and guidance What is distinctive about this programme? This programme offers you the opportunity to combine the advanced study of terrorism, transnational crime and global security in an integrated and innovative fashion. It will allow you to acquire specialist expertise as well as a critical understanding of current research, advanced scholarship and current problems regarding terrorism, transnational crime and global security from a sociological perspective. Through the programme you will also acquire specialist knowledge which will provide you with opportunities for career personal development. Currently, no other MA programme in the UK offers such a rigorous programme in distance learning format that provides you with such a unique and timely route into the professional fields of global security and criminology. You will be taught by a highly published team with strong experience in the fields of sociology and political science, with particular expertise in transnational crime, who will make use of, and support you through, a variety of online learning tools such as video tutorials and the use of the VLE to provide a stimulating and rewarding learning experience that also allows you to take control over where, when and how you learn. This unique Programme also enables you to situate your learning, and the development of higher order transferable vocational and research skills underpinned by a contemporary sociological framework, within the context of your own work and domestic lives. 2

3 PROGRAMME OUTCOMES What will this programme teach me to do? At the end of your studies you should be able to: Postgraduate Certificate Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the theories and methods that inform sociological knowledge in the areas of terrorism, transnational crime and global security (Knowledge and Understanding) Demonstrate the independent learning abilities required to advance knowledge and understanding of key theoretical and methodological texts, debates and orientations about terrorism, transnational crime and global security. Develop new skills of sociological reasoning and competence in the use of theoretical concepts and research methods (Learning, Enquiry and Reflection, Problem Solving) Engage in debate and critical analysis through awareness and evaluation of the range of methodological and epistemological issues and debates, and scholarship in the field of study and apply research skills with awareness of methodological problems using secondary sources (Analysis, Application, Enquiry, Problem Solving, Reflection) Postgraduate Diploma Engage in critical enquiry through a comprehensive understanding and critical evaluation of theoretical and methodological approaches from terrorism, transnational crime and global security studies and, where appropriate, propose new insights (Knowledge and Understanding, Problem Solving, Reflection) Engage in problem solving through systematic and creative evaluation of complex issues and debates by identifying and employing appropriate methods of analysis and conceptual frameworks (Learning, Enquiry, Problem Solving) Demonstrate proficiency in undertaking and communicating the technical-academic skills of theorising, research, preparation, planning, writing and presentation the intellectual-academic skills of argument and debate, analysis and critical self-awareness the social-academic skills of self-confidence, professionalism and communication (Learning, Enquiry, Communication) Demonstrate the ability to distinguish between the different theoretical and methodological approaches from terrorism, transnational crime and global security studies in their work (Analysis) 3

4 Masters Demonstrate the ability to theoretically contextualise developments in terrorism, transnational crime and global security studies, and situate them against the background of changing global events and, where appropriate, propose new insights (Knowledge and Understanding, Problem Solving, Reflection) Demonstrate reflection and the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment by exercising initiative and personal responsibility, self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems, and acting autonomously in planning and implementing dissertation research at Masters level (Learning, Enquiry and Application) Demonstrate originality in the application of knowledge, together with a practical understanding of how established techniques of research and theory are used to study terrorism, transnational crime and global security (Enquiry, Analysis and Application) Recognise and select appropriate strategies to communicate the dissertation research findings and to explore potential sources of publication and use a wide range of appropriate technologically orientated frameworks of visual, aural and written sources of VLE in your own learning mechanisms and presentational delivery of your work (Communication, Enquiry, Learning and Application) Demonstrate higher order skills in the selection and use of theoretical approaches and research methodologies to critically engage with key debates and to apply these to the analysis of a range of representative examples of terrorism, transnational crime and global security issues and the responses of national and international state and non-state actors to them (Knowledge and Understanding, Reflection and Problem Solving) 4

5 PROGRAMME STRUCTURE, MODULES AND CREDITS MA in Terrorism, Crime and Global Security SEPTEMBER ENTRY (PART TIME) Block Block 2 Block 1 Block 2 AM Crimes of the Powerful AM Terrorism AM Crimes against Humanity AM International Security AM Terrorism, Crime and Global Security: Postgraduate Dissertation (60) FEBRUARY ENTRY (PART TIME) Block 2 AM Terrorism 1 Block 1 AM Crimes of the Powerful 2 Block 2 Block 1 AM International Security AM Crimes against Humanity 3 AM Terrorism, Crime and Global Security: Postgraduate Dissertation (60) 5

6 Potential Awards: Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits) comprises AM plus AM Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits) comprises PgC plus AM and AM Master of Arts (180 credits) comprises PgD plus AM Other Routes through the Award: Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits) comprises AM plus AM Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits) comprises PgC plus AM and one of these modules: AM , AM or AM Master of Arts (180 credits) comprises PgD plus AM Progression: In order to progress from one stage of an award to another (i.e. PgC to PgD, PgD to Masters), you must normally have successfully completed the 60 credits for each stage. Thus, to progress to the Postgraduate Diploma stage you must have successfully completed all 60 credits associated with the Postgraduate Certificate. To progress from the Postgraduate Diploma to the Master of Arts stage, you must have successfully completed all credits associated with the Postgraduate Certificate and Postgraduate Diploma. 6

7 and Learning HOW WILL I BE TAUGHT AND ASSESSED? The Programme was developed and will be taught by a multi-disciplinary group of academics from Sociology and Political Science. The academic team has wide experience of innovative approaches to curriculum development, teaching, learning and assessment, as well as particular long-standing expertise in the relevant fields of this MA programme. In addition, the team is also committed to current national, University and Faculty-wide priorities: Widening student access and recruitment Inclusion and diversity Promotion of life-long learning Student-focussed and student-led learning Transmission of transferable skills Employability In particular, the issue of employability has greatly influenced our teaching, learning and assessment strategy and resulted in the need to address your requirements at point of entry as well as to create an active overall learning environment which strengthens your position regarding employability in future job markets. The programme offers an on-line curriculum suited to those of you seeking a range of general employability skills that include practical, analytical, communication and research skills, transferable to any field of professional employment. The range of online learning tools that you will master will strongly develop your competencies in online communication and team working. Induction and guided support in using these tools will be provided at every stage. All teaching and learning self-instructional material is delivered via the University s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), known as Blackboard. Here you will have permanent access to online lectures or podcasts, as well as carefully prepared online activities for you to complete as individuals or as part of a learning group. The modules typically consist of weekly online lectures, learning activities containing information, directed reading, viewing and listening [through hyperlinked web-based documents] and tasks. Other visual or oral media may also be employed to support and enhance your learning. The VLE will also be used as a discussion forum for you to engage in regular debates with your fellow students and the teaching team, providing not only a source of stimulation for your learning but also online support. As well as constant access to the resources on the VLE, you may also receive reading packs as a hard copy or on disc. Regular interaction between you and other members of your cohort and with tutors during each module is also encouraged through discussion forums and interchange. Formative, constructive feedback from your tutors will be regularly provided throughout the module, usually via Blackboard, as well as summative feedback at the end of the module. Your tutors will also provide advice on request about assignment or regulatory issues. You will also experience team teaching which is an important part of this distinctive delivery style, giving you the opportunity to experience a range of approaches and academic specialisms, as well as a range of tutors with whom you are welcome to communicate. 7

8 Assessment The Award operates within the general framework for the University Modular Masters Programme (for further details see University Regulations). The table below sets out the formal assessment requirements for each module showing what you need to do to gain the award of a Certificate, Diploma or Masters degree. All assessment on the programme consists of coursework and there are no examinations. The assessment, which varies between modules, can take the form of essays, book reviews, on-line presentations, research reports, on the four taught modules and a final dissertation. The assessments will vary between modules and full information will be provided in Module Handbooks. At the level of the weekly study units there are on-line interactional tasks which may involve problem solving, short weekly responses to questions, evaluations of documents, critical analyses and comparisons and these provide an opportunity for formative feedback. Specific details about the format required for each module are again provided in the Module Handbooks. For online, distance-learning programmes, the modules adhere to a 10% assessment rule, whereby 10% of the marks you are awarded for each module will arise from your online contributions to tasks and/or discussion forums. The 10% rule is there for a purpose: it will serve as an indicator to you, and your tutors, of how well you are progressing on the Award. There are also, however, more formal assessments towards the end of each module. You can expect to have individual discussion and support for each of these pieces of work. The assessment workload has been devised to ensure that the distribution of work across the award is appropriate, equitable and balanced. The weighting for the assessments is clearly indicated in the award handbook and each of your module handbooks. The essay and the online presentation are the main forms of formal assessment for this programme, and are modelled on the style of the published academic paper as this is the main method of professional academic communication/debate. Essays and presentations should therefore follow correct academic conventions of referencing and citation. They should also have a clear structure that clearly presents coherent analysis or a clear line of argument which directly focuses on the question under review. Assessed work and essay titles for each module are designed to reflect the learning objectives and planned skill enhancements of that module, as included in the module descriptor. Most modules require at least two pieces of work allowing formative feedback from the first to inform preparation for the second. The virtual presentation, where used, allows opportunity to present your ideas and arguments to peers, inviting feedback and discussion. Every module you take contributes to the overall final grade that you achieve. In order to achieve a Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma or MA qualification you normally need to pass all of the modules. However, you can normally have two attempts at each module and certain categories of 'near failure' may be compensated for by a good performance overall. Due to the lack of unseen examinations in this distance-learning programme, the university enforces a plagiarism search engine (Turnitin) that requires you to submit all of your assignments electronically. The guidance against plagiarism is very important as discovery of plagiarism can result in serious consequences. 8

9 The Dissertation is assessed on the basis of a range of criteria (see the separate Dissertation Guidance handbook). The Dissertation itself is the result of sustained research on your part and is considered to be the defining element of the Masters level. Feedback on Assessment This key aspect of your learning will operate within a framework comprised of three elements:- The online return of work to you within a normal maximum of 20 working days from submission Provision of written commentary consisting of (a) annotated engagement with your text and b) summary of overall strengths and weaknesses. The opportunity to receive further informal feedback from tutors when work is returned. As well as feedback from your tutors on your performance in individual modules, the Faculty will also monitor your overall progression and achievement in relation to assessment. This will occur at the Assessment and Award Boards in the second and third semesters. Finally, quality assurance of marking will be ensured by doublemarking procedures by another member of the teaching team, and moderation by External Examiners. 9

10 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION Entry Requirements (including IELTS score) The normal language requirement is Cambridge English and International English Language Testing Service (IELTS) examinations passed at WLTS 7 or other equivalent. For this online, distance-learning programme, applicants must have regular access to a computer device with working internet access. What qualifications would I need to join this programme? The entry requirements for the award are normally: 1. A good Honours degree of a United Kingdom institution of higher education or international equivalent. or 2. A Postgraduate Diploma or Post-experience Diploma recognised as bei equivalent to an Honours Degree. or 3. In addition we would also accept non-standard applicants who have considerable relevant experience and a record of academic achievement. Applicants in this category may also be eligible to apply for Accreditation to Prior Learning (APL) providing enough evidence can be submitted. Accredited Prior Learning Students may be considered for APL/APEL on the basis of credit achieved in prior study; work based training, substantial employment or other experiential learning. This will be considered in accordance with the APL/APEL Handbook. Evaluation is delegated to the Faculty which is required to assess each application according to the specified procedure. The MA Board of Studies will ensure consistent application of the Handbook. For the Masters, Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate awards a maximum of 75% of the total credits for the award may be set against accredited prior learning/experience. Application from Overseas Students The normal language requirement is Cambridge English and International English Language Testing Service (IELTS) examinations passed at WLTS 6.5 or other equivalent. Language ability is assessed through correspondence Disability Applications from candidates with disabilities are always considered and assessment of their abilities and learning requirements will be undertaken sensitively. There will be consideration of your requirements and alternative arrangements will be made to allow you to complete the programme where possible. 10

11 Disability Statement Staffordshire University operates a policy of inclusive teaching and learning to ensure that all students have an equal opportunity to fulfil their educational potential. Details about how to apply to have your needs assessed can be found at: Further information about the award can be found in the relevant Student Handbook and on the University Website. This includes information about optional modules, student support, and academic regulations. ==================================== 11

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