As this is a distance learning course, the majority of content will be taught online, allowing you to access the learning resources from anywhere in the world.
All versions of this course include four 20-credit core modules which are taught online. MA and PGDip students also take two 20-credit modules taught back-to-back over two weeks of intensive face-to-face seminars in Nottingham (in the spring semester for full-time students and in the spring semester of year two for part-time students).
Slavery Since Emancipation
This module explores how slavery and the response to slavery changed after the end of legal slavery in late 19th century.
You will examine several themes including:
- the social, moral, and political re-definition of slavery, and the way this re-definition shaped modern concepts of human rights
- America's botched emancipation in 1865 and after; the emergence of 'slavery by another name'
- the emergence of non-governmental organisations from the anti-slavery movement and their growth into a major influence in today's world
- uses of 'new' technologies by the anti-slavery movements
- the 'third' anti-slavery movement - The Congo Reform Association - King Leopold and the genocide/slavery nexus
- use of forced labour by colonial powers and the emergence of global anti-slavery conventions within the League of Nations
- the economic transformation of slavery as an economic pursuit in the late 20th and early 21st centuries
Case studies will also be offered to illuminate global patterns of change in relation to slavery.
Anti-Slavery Policy and Legal Frameworks
This module explores the development, complexity, and variety of governmental policies and legal frameworks dealing with slavery and human trafficking from the 20th to the 21st century.
You will examine several themes including:
- legal definitions of slavery, practices similar to slavery (servitude), forced and compulsory labour, and human trafficking
- the social, moral and political re-definition of slavery and the way this shapes modern approaches to anti-slavery law and policy
- the emergence of non-governmental organisations from the anti-slavery movement and their influence on governmental policies and legal frameworks dealing with slavery
- the role of anti-slavery issues in international diplomacy and law from the late 19th century to today
- impact of regional international organisations on anti-slavery law and policies
- development of domestic anti-slavery policies and laws enacted by countries around the world including the development of 'National Action Plans' against slavery in a number of countries
- the emergence of trade regulations and laws concerning slavery in global supply chains, including the applicability of WTO and World Bank provisions
Selected case studies will be offered to illuminate global and regional patterns of change in anti-slavery and human trafficking laws and policies.
Research Methods in Human Rights
This module explores the specific methodologies, debates, and ethical concerns when conducting social research into human rights violations.
You will examine several themes including:
- the vulnerability and special attention needed when research subjects are also victims of criminal acts
- approaching contemporary slavery through different levels of analysis (individual, group and community, societal and culture) and what each unit of analysis can and cannot tell us about the subject under study
- formulating research questions around human rights violations
- leading edge estimation techniques for hidden crimes, activities, and populations
- use of new technologies in unobtrusive data collection
- use of correlational and inferential statistics in uncovering the underlying factors supporting slavery and trafficking
Case studies will be offered to illuminate diverse research techniques in relation to slavery. You will also explore research methods relevant to different stages of policy/intervention design, monitoring and evaluation, as well as research tools for making effective responses.
The Anti-Slavery Usable Past
This module explores several core areas and methods of artistic expression and rebellion. It is split into four themes.
The first theme - art after atrocity - examines themes of memory, representation, shame, appropriation and archetypes. It does so by exploring photography, the novel and poetry to consider the lived experiences of slaves and how these are represented.
The second theme – repression and resistance – examines how these things occurred concurrently in dance, music and visual culture, being both exploitative and sympathetic.
The third theme – art in activism – looks at activism, propaganda and campaigning through the mediums of the theatre, street murals, films and documentaries and considers common themes of slave and anti-slave narratives across centuries and changes.
Finally, the module considers how art is used by survivors as a form of therapy and recovery as well as self expression.
Dissertation (MA only)
The dissertation allows you the opportunity to work in considerable detail on a topic of special interest to you related to the MA programme. You will choose the project, conduct the research, analyse the findings and write the report. It gives scope to undertake original research and to apply the knowledge and skills learnt throughout the MA programme.
The module will also include content on:
- how to write a dissertation proposal
- revisitation of ethical considerations and how to complete an ethical review
- forming a research question
- writing a literature review
- method and methodology selection
You will be allocated a dissertation supervisor for guidance.
Face-to-face modules (MA/PGDip only)
Methods of Liberation and Reintegration
This is the first of two professional training modules, which lays the foundation for an understanding of how those in slavery can best be reached, liberated and helped to achieve full lives.
You will examine:
- types of intervention; symptomatic responses and systemic responses
- the place of community-based anti-slavery work within other anti-slavery strategies, and community-based work as a strategy for institutionalising government responsibility
- methods of liberation and slavery eradication
- basic principles of community organising and social mobilisation
- economic and psychosocial recovery; access to legal justice for survivors
- the role of local actors, and development of social movements/alliances with other social movements
- strengthening government fulfilment of their responsibilities
- using the reach of aid and mainstream development programmes into affected communities; how to integrate anti-slavery components
- strategies for developing business responsibility against slavery
Programme Design in Human Rights
This is the second of two professional training modules, which enables you to explore and use various tools for planning programme interventions against slavery, and more broadly within the human rights and development field.
It will help you consider which types of planning and monitoring approaches are most conducive to broad engagement of frontline activists, NGO teams and programme participants (in this case, often slavery survivors) in working together to progressively eliminate slavery.
It assumes that the overall goals of the organisation are already established, and the focus is then on the preparation, design and implementation of particular programmes through which those goals are pursued. It will assist students to prepare proposals as well as gain a better understanding of the capacity and training needs of the organisations that would carry out the planned work.
This module focuses on building practical skills and designing approaches that are:
- relevant to the context
- aimed at achieving transformative change, especially through stimulating new patterns of behaviour by key actors
- based on the insights and needs of participants
- cost effective
- able to generate appropriate data for programme improvement and to demonstrate results
- stimulating collaboration and engagement among a range of key stakeholders
The above is a sample of the typical modules that we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. This course page may be updated over the duration of the course, as modules may change due to developments in the curriculum or in the research interests of staff.
I recently started heading a project on forced marriage. This was included in the International Labour Organisation's definition of modern slavery in 2017.
Building on the work of early feminists (particularly John Stuart Mill, Harriet Taylor Mill, William Thompson and Anna Wheeler), who all explicitly called marriage a kind of slavery, I am working on a clearer conceptual understanding of the relationship between forced marriage and modern slavery. Once we understand what forced marriage is, we will be in a better position to more-accurately count how many people are affected in the world today; understand what causes, or makes people vulnerable to, forced marriage; and assess what efforts are effective in eradicating it – which the global community has pledged to do by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals.
As part of this, I have been working with Walk Free, and with NGOs who work to end forced marriage and the UK Government's Forced Marriage Unit. This work has fed into my teaching.
This course will prepare you for a career in a wide range of fields relating to human rights, such as national government, international organisations and non-governmental organisations.
Graduating from Nottingham means that you have opened the door to an opportunity for an interesting and well paid career. Our students are highly regarded by employers because of the strong academic foundation and transferable skills that they gain during their degree course.
Average starting salary and career progression
95.2% of postgraduates from the School of Politics and International Relations secured work or further study within six months of graduation. £25,000 was the average starting salary, with the highest being £42,000.*
* Known destinations of full-time home postgraduates who were available for employment, 2016/17. Salaries are calculated based on the median of those in full-time paid employment within the UK.
Careers support and advice
We offer individual careers support for all postgraduate students whatever your course, mode of study or future career plans.
You can access our Careers and Employability Service during your studies and after you graduate. Expert staff will help you research career options and job vacancies, build your CV or résumé, develop your interview skills and meet employers.
More than 1,500 employers advertise graduate jobs and internships through our online vacancy service. We host regular careers fairs, including specialist fairs for different sectors.
As a student on this course, you should factor some additional costs into your budget, alongside your tuition fees and living expenses.
You should be able to access most of the books you'll need through libraries, though you may wish to purchase your own copies or more specific titles which could cost up to £120.
Please note that these figures are approximate and subject to change.
Scholarships and bursaries
For 2020 entry, the School of Politics and International Relations is delighted to announce 10 scholarships of £1,000 towards tuition fees, for our MA Slavery and Liberation.
To apply for the scholarship:
- Wait until you have received an offer of study
- Email email@example.com with a statement of up to 300 words, detailing how you hope the MA will advance your own work and development (for example, in the fields of anti-slavery, anti-trafficking and related areas)
The scholarships will be awarded to offer holders on a competitive basis, and we will contact successful recipients after Wednesday 17 June 2020.
See information on how to fund your masters, including our step-by-step guide. Further information is available on the school website.
Government loans for masters courses
Masters student loans of up to £10,906 are available for taught and research masters courses. Applicants must ordinarily live in the UK or EU.
International and EU students
Masters scholarships are available for international and EU students from a wide variety of countries and areas of study. You must already have an offer to study at Nottingham to apply. Please note closing dates to ensure you apply for your course with enough time.
We provide guidance on funding your degree, living costs and working while you study. You can also access specific funding opportunities, entry requirements and other resources for students from specific countries.