Postgraduate study
Providing an opportunity to understand the nature of psychological trauma, this course offers a rich, diverse foundation for working in the field of trauma for a broad range of professional disciplines.
MA Trauma Studies
2 years part-time
Entry requirements
2:2 (or international equivalent) in a helping-related discipline
Other requirements
Applicants with a degree in any other discipline must have at least one year of practice providing trauma-related support and will be considered on an individual basis
6.5 (no less than 6.0 in any element)

If these grades are not met, English preparatory courses may be available
Start date
September 2020
UK/EU fees
Fees for 2020 entry are to be confirmed - Terms apply
International fees
Fees for 2020 entry are to be confirmed - Terms apply
Jubilee Campus



Psychological trauma affects almost everyone at some point in their lives, be it through loss, accident or illness. Professionals from a wide range of backgrounds work with traumatised people.

This course is ideal if you are looking towards or already working in counselling, psychotherapy, psychology, social work, police/probation/prison services, education, NGOs or as emergency service staff.

It will enable you to develop, extend and deepen your knowledge of theory and practice relevant to your own work and build towards a masters-level qualification through a supervised research project of your choice. You will be able to draw from the broad range of existing knowledge, skills and research of staff and colleagues in the Centre for Trauma, Resilience and Growth.

You will learn experientially through group learning, workshops and seminars as well as through lectures aimed at developing your personal awareness, skills and knowledge. We strive to create a small vibrant learning community where we learn from each other, and also run a seminar series linked to this course.

International students can apply for the short-term study visit visa for this programme.


Academic English preparation and support

If you require additional support to take your language skills to the required level, you may be able to attend a presessional course at the Centre for English Language Education, which is accredited by the British Council for the teaching of English in the UK.

Students who successfully complete the presessional course to the required level can progress to postgraduate study without retaking IELTS or equivalent. You could be eligible for a joint offer, which means you will only need to apply for your visa once.

Key facts


Full course details

This course recruits every two years so the next available start date is September 2020.

The taught element of this course is made up of 120 credits, plus a 60-credit dissertation. It can be completed over two years part-time. There are PGDip and PGCert exit points.

Your attendance will typically be equal to five full days each semester/three months (two Friday-Saturday blocks and one Friday). International students can apply for the short-term study visit visa for this programme.

You will start your dissertation project during semester two, which will run alongside the taught elements of the course.


Each 30-credit module is assessed through an assortment of tasks, including written assignment, verbal presentation, poster production, book or policy review.

Assignment tasks are set according to your learning objectives and you are encouraged to develop assignments around their own specialist field of interest. To complete the masters, you must achieve a pass of 50 on each assignment.

The 15,000-word dissertation is an original piece of work focusing on a research topic associated with your area of practice.

Recognition of Other Learning (ROL)

If you have prior learning or experience at an appropriate level, you may apply for exemption from some of the credit requirements of the course.



Year one


Practice Perspectives on Dealing with Trauma: Skills and Pathways to Managing and Working Trauma

This module will introduce you to the literature on treatment and intervention with groups and individuals will be reviewed. Literature on recovery and growth following adversity will be reviewed. The process of self-reflection and critical self-analysis by the helping professional is central to the development of effective working relationships in the field.

This module will also help you develop your self-awareness and self-knowledge. This process is facilitated through in-depth exploration of the nature and effect of difference on self, other and relationship, and the phenomenology of trauma. Particular attention will be paid to developing advanced interpersonal skills.

Theoretical Perspectives on Defining Trauma: Developmental Sociopsychology and the Impact of Trauma

This module will introduce you to the theory and knowledge central to the role of the professional working in the field of trauma studies. Historical perspectives and theoretical models will be reviewed. It will consider the major resilience and vulnerability factors that influence how people respond to trauma, and how that may impact on the process of recovery.


Year two


Research Applications: Evidence, Methods and Professional Development

This module will build on theory and knowledge learned in the first two modules to examine in more depth the research underpinnings of trauma studies. You will also be asked to critically evaluate evidence supporting theoretical models and therapeutic ways of working.

The module introduces you to the issues and research ideas that inform trauma studies and trauma informed practice, and as such provide the conceptual foundations for you to begin planning your dissertation. You will learn about a range of methodologies used in trauma research, from qualitative methods to quantitative methods.

The module will help you develop your skills of critical evaluation, conceptual knowledge, and research planning. This process is facilitated through in-depth exploration of your own professional issues in relation to the learning and knowledge that arises from the module.

Trauma and the Community: Perspective on Group, Community and the Organisational Contexts to Trauma

This module will build on theory and knowledge learned in the first two modules to examine in more depth, the research underpinnings of trauma studies. You will examine the different contexts in which trauma presents in individuals and groups to community and cultural perspectives.




This involves the researching and writing of a substantive piece of scholarship within the field of the course.

You will choose a topic in consultation with your course leader and an appropriate supervisor. The topic will normally be based on interests and skills you have developed in the course of the modules already studied.



You can view an example timetable, however this is subject to change year on year and your live timetable will be available via the various online timetable systems.

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. Due to the passage of time between commencement of the course and subsequent years of the course, modules may change due to developments in the curriculum and information is provided for indicative purposes only.


Fees and funding

See information on how to fund your masters, including our step-by-step guide. Further information is available on the school website.

Extra costs

As a student on this course, we do not anticipate any extra significant costs, alongside your tuition fees and living expenses. You should be able to access most of the books you’ll need through our libraries, though you may wish to purchase your own copies which you would need to factor into your budget.

Government loans for masters courses

The Government offers postgraduate student loans for students studying a taught or research masters course. Applicants must ordinarily live in England or the EU. Student loans are also available for students from Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

International and EU students

Masters scholarships are available for international 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 your course application is submitted in good time.

Information and advice on funding your degree, living costs and working while you study is available on our website, as well as country-specific resources.


Careers and professional development

Career destinations for our graduates include counsellors, education advisers, language tutors, primary/secondary teachers and vocational/industrial trainers and instructors. A number of our graduates are already in employment while undertaking part-time study for professional development in their chosen career.

Employability and average starting salary

99.5% of postgraduates from the School of Education who were available for employment secured work or further study within six months of graduation. £22,500 was the average starting salary, with the highest being £38,000.*

* Known destinations of full-time home postgraduates 2016/17. Salaries are calculated based on the median of those in full-time paid employment within the UK.

Career and professional development

Whether you are looking to enhance your career prospects or develop your knowledge, a postgraduate degree from the University of Nottingham can help take you where you want to be.

Our award-winning Careers and Employability Service offers specialist support and guidance while you study and for life after you graduate. They will help you explore and plan your next career move, through regular events, employer-led skills sessions, placement opportunities and one-to-one discussions.


This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.

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