Research Methods in Psychology
Psychology of Coercive Control
School of Health and Society
In a nutshell
This course provides advanced insights and knowledge of cutting-edge practice and research about coercive control and behaviour and its development and effects on individuals, families and organisations. You will develop a deep understanding of the psychological processes involved in coercive and controlling behaviour across a variety of settings including in domestic relationships, human trafficking and groups and organisations more widely.
On this course, you will receive tailored support from a highly experienced and qualified team of psychology and professional staff who are involved in advancing practice and research regarding the prevention, effects and recovery from coercive and controlling behaviour.
You will be very well placed to advance your career in a variety of professions where the government is seeking to develop provision for the prevention of and recovery from coercive control and abuse and you will also be very well prepared to apply for a professional doctorate and research career paths in psychology and other relevant disciplines
The course breakdown is as follows:
- MSc (one year full-time or three years part-time)
- PgDip (eight months full-time or two years part-time)
- PgCert (four months full-time or nine months part-time)
Please note that from September 2020, this course will be delivered via distance learning.
- Gain a deep appreciation of contemporary approaches to the prevention of, and recovery from, coercive control and abuse in domestic settings, in trafficking and in organisations more widely.
- Be supported by a highly qualified and experienced team in professional staff in advancing your career in a variety of 'in demand' professions relating to coercion and abuse or towards a professional doctorate in psychology or related disciplines.
- Develop an advanced understanding of the psychology of coercive control and cutting-edge research and practice in this area.
This is for you if...
You work or want to work in a setting supporting those affected by coercive control
You want to help further research in the field
You want to shape and change government policy
All about the course
The full-time route is structured over 12 months and comprises of three ten-week semesters. In semester one and two you will complete two taught modules in each semester. In semester three you will complete your dissertation under the supervision of one of the course tutors. If you choose to follow the part-time route you will complete the course over three years, completing two taught modules in each of the first two years and the dissertation in your third year.
The dissertation module on this course will also give you the opportunity to pursue an area of the psychology of coercive control directly related to your own work or interest.
This module will allow you to develop a systematic and rigorous approach to the process of research. It will prepare you for the completion of your research dissertation in the field of applied psychology and how it relates to the area of coercive control and behavior and its development, processes and effects and approaches to recovery.
The Aetiology and Psychology of Coercive Control
You will examine the development of coercive control and controlling behavior in relationships and groups. You will also explore the underlying psychological processes involved and the effects of coercive control on individuals and families and implications for recovery, as well as an assessment of risk factors and prevention strategies.
The Anatomy of Coercive Control in Comparative Contexts
You will gain an advanced understanding of the comparative context for coercive control and how evidence for psychological process and change is located comparatively. The module will also examine how the responses to coercive behaviour and control is contextualized in terms of practice and legal and policy developments.
Psychological Approaches to Recovery from Coercive Control
This module provides a detailed and high level understanding of the psychological approaches that are used to help people recover from coercive control and behaviour. Tailored approaches to recovery from particular forms of coercive control across varied and diverse contexts will be explored including through analysis of case studies (with the option of drawing case study material from a guided work experience placement or from existing experience in a suitable workplace environment).
A research project or systematic literature review will be undertaken in an area of applied psychology that relates to coercive control and behavior and its development, processes and effects and/or approaches to recovery and with a focus that derives from an area of research or work interest.
The Aetiology and Psychology of Coercive Control (30 credits)
You will examine the development of coercive control and controlling behaviour in relationships and groups. You will also explore the underlying psychological processes involved and the effects of coercive control on individuals and families and implications for recovery, as well as an assessment of risk factors and prevention strategies.
The Anatomy of Coercive Control in Comparative Contexts (30 credits)
You will gain an advanced understanding of the comparative context for coercive control and how evidence for psychological process and change is located comparatively. The module will also examine how the responses to coercive behaviour and control are contextualised in terms of practice and legal and policy developments.
Research Methods in Psychology (30 credits)
This module will allow you to develop a systematic and rigorous approach to the process of research. It will prepare you for the completion of your research dissertation in the field of applied psychology and how it relates to the area of coercive control and behaviour and its development, processes and effects and approaches to recovery.
Psychological Approaches to Recovery from Coercive Control (30 credits)
This module provides a detailed and high-level understanding of the psychological approaches that are used to help people recover from coercive control and behaviour. Tailored approaches to recovery from particular forms of coercive control across varied and diverse contexts will be explored including through analysis of case studies (with the option of drawing case study material from a guided work experience placement or from existing experience in a suitable workplace environment).
Dissertation (60 credits)
A research project or systematic literature review will be undertaken in an area of applied psychology that relates to coercive control and behaviour and its development, processes and effects and/or approaches to recovery and with a focus that derives from an area of research or work interest.
Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.
What will I be doing?
This course is taught using a mixture of approaches including the following:
- Oral presentations including Q&As
- Work experience placement (optional)
- Video presentation
- Research seminars and workshops
- Guest speaker presentations
- Virtual learning environment, online resources and web-based learning and training packages
- Student presentations
- Self-directed study
You will be assessed in a variety of ways including:
- Theoretical and reflective essays
- Case study analysis
- Oral presentations
- Research proposal
The School of Health and Society
In the School of Health and Society, we are focused on enhancing the health and wellbeing of patients, service users and athletes and our commitment to public involvement helps us retain our strong focus on real-world issues.
Dr Linda Dubrow-Marshall, Lecturer in Psychology and Programme Leader
Linda is an HCPC registered clinical and counselling psychologist and a BACP accredited Counsellor/ Psychotherapist and has co-led the development of this course. Linda also designed the in-house counselling service for the University. She researches coercive control and abuse, cultic influences, CBT and physical health, technology-enhanced psychotherapy and self-care and ethical issues for psychological therapists.
Linda co-founded the Re-Entry Therapy Information and Referral Network in the UK which provides support and advice to people affected by abusive groups and relationships. She is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
Dr Rod Dubrow-Marshall, Lecturer in Psychology
Rod is a graduate member of the BPS (MBPsS) and is a member of the BPS Division of Social Psychology. An experienced lecturer in psychology and researcher including in psychology, policy, education and mental health, Rod has co-led the development of this course.
He has also worked for over 20 years in the areas of coercive control and abuse and cultic studies and undue influence and is co-editor of the International Journal of Cultic Studies. Rod also co-founded the Re-Entry Therapy Information and Referral Network in the UK.
Dr Simon Cassidy, Senior Lecturer in Psychology
Simon is a chartered psychologist, Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society and Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Current research projects include psychological resilience and self-efficacy and exploring cognitive style through brain imaging and eye movement.
What about after uni?
This course is an excellent way to take your career forward positively in a number of professions and in particular equips graduates with great opportunities to advance professionally in the field of support and prevention of domestic abuse, human trafficking and abuse in groups and organisations more widely (whether as a new career or as a continuation of an existing career in these fields). This is an area where the government is seeking to grow provision and specialist roles and you will have a range of career choices open to you across different practice settings. As well as within the psychology field, you will also be able to pursue successful careers in the Home Office, the police and the Civil Service, as well as in schools, colleges and universities.
This master's course also is an excellent way to prepare for a clinical psychology doctorate and provides you with a great grounding that will boost an application for a doctorate in clinical psychology, forensic or counselling psychology or doctorates in other relevant disciplines.
The course team work closely with an extensive range of professional agencies and organisations that work in the field of support and recovery from domestic abuse and violence, human trafficking and abuse in organisations and groups more widely. Some of these organisations provide input into the design, delivery and development of the course so that students are hearing directly from practitioners at the cutting edge of these fields. Additionally, a number of partner organisations will offer students opportunities for a work experience placement which is a great way to develop skills in this area of work.
What you need to know
This course is suitable for you if you are a psychology graduate or graduate of another relevant discipline e.g. counselling, health sciences, nursing, criminal justice, law and police science. It's also suitable if you're a professional working in an organisation or setting where survivors of abuse are assisted.
Some applicants (who have studied psychology to degree level) will have a good grounding in core areas of psychology and a real interest in and appreciation of applied psychology and psychological interventions in a variety of applied settings. Experience of working in organisations who work in the areas of domestic abuse, trafficking and in other related areas will also be an advantage. Students who have previously studied health and social care courses or programmes in sociology, criminology, policing and the law must also have a real appreciation of psychology in applied settings (and if accepted onto the course such students may be offered additional reading and classes in Psychology either before or during the course). The programme team may invite applicants from a non-psychology background to an informal interview that will allow a two-way assessment to be made of the interest in and fit with the course.
English language requirements
International applicants will be required to show proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.5 (no element below 5.5) is proof of this.
A 2.1 honours degree or equivalent in psychology or other relevant disciplines including counselling, health sciences, nursing, criminal justice, law and police science.
Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)
We welcome applications from students who may not have formal/traditional entry criteria but who have relevant experience or the ability to pursue the course successfully.
The Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) process could help you to make your work and life experience count. The APL process can be used for entry onto courses or to give you exemptions from parts of your course.
Two forms of APL may be used for entry: the Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning (APCL) or the Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL).
|Type of study||Year||Fees|
|Full-time home/EU||2020/21||£7,920per year|
|Full-time international||2020/21||£14,670per year|
|Part-time||2020/21||Your annual fee will be calculated pro rata to the full-time fee according to the number of credits you are studying.|
You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.
Scholarships for international students 2020/21
If you are a high-achieving international student, you may be eligible for one of our international scholarships worth up to £5,000. Our international scholarships include the Salford International Excellence Scholarship. For information, go to International Scholarships.