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This course aims to provide a critical overview of international organised crime and the strategies employed to combat it. Uniquely, the course is split between a traditional academic setting in Coventry and study in the field alongside counter-crime practitioners in Sicily, Italy.
MA Countering Organised Crime seeks to immerse students in a community of practice formed from partnerships built between the course team and practitioners of international security. The course aims to provide students with not only an academic understanding of countering organised crime, but also a practical understanding of how these theories are applied in the ‘real world’. These experiences and ideas are essential for anyone wishing to develop a career in this expanding sector.
Why Coventry University?
An award-winning university, we are committed to providing our students with the best possible experience. We continue to invest in both our facilities and our innovative approach to education. Our students benefit from industry-relevant teaching, and resources and support designed to help them succeed. These range from our modern library and computing facilities to dedicated careers advice and our impressive Students’ Union activities.
Global readyAn international outlook, with global opportunities
EmployabilityCareer-ready graduates, with the skills to succeed
Student experienceAll the support you need, in a top student city
The course provides students with not only an academic understanding of countering organised crime, but also a practical understanding of how these theories are applied in the ‘real world’. These experiences and ideas are essential for anyone wishing to develop a career in this expanding sector.
Uniquely, this course dedicates half of its taught content (three modules) to international study trips (included within the fee). Students will have the opportunity to study organised crime in situ in Sicily, southern Italy and Vienna (UNODC), learning directly from police officers, prosecutors, and civil society activists fighting these criminal networks.
The first phase of the course charts international organised crime’s historical development, and this crime’s social, economic and political impacts are measured. In addition, state and civil society responses to this activity are analysed. A specialist exploration of human trafficking and modern slavery is then developed, rounding off this initial overview of international crime.
The second phase of the course revolves around three study trips. Each trip employs a similar approach of introducing students to practitioners fighting organised crime, with each trip concentrating on a distinctive case study: respectively addressing state counter-crime strategies, civil society responses, and modern slavery. Examples of this access to a ‘community practice’ include tailored-made/ad hoc sessions with state judicial investigators and prosecutors, police officers, managers of confiscated assets, and civil society activists.
In the final phase, Masters students then have the opportunity to write a dissertation based on independent study or a placement subject to competitive applications and availability of places. This dissertation is supported by modules developing study and research skills.This course includes the Global Professional Development module. Each of the participating postgraduate courses have an individually tailored version of the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) Global Professional Development module.
- International Organised Crime
- Trafficking in Human Beings
- Research Skills
- Global Professional Development
- Research Design
- State Responses to Organised Crime
- Civil Society Responses to Organised Crime
- Countering Modern Slavery
- Dissertation in the Humanities
We regularly review our course content, to make it relevant and current for the benefit of our students. For these reasons, course modules may be updated.
In more detail...
MA Countering Organised Crime immerses students in a community of practice formed from partnerships built between the course team and practitioners of international security (i.e. two leading antimafia organisations AddioPizzo and Libera, the Italian antiracket organisation, the Palermo’s Office of the Prosecutor, who heads this city’s antimafia directorate, the anti-trafficking and anti-smuggling unit of the Judiciary and the state police, the antimafia elite branches of the Police, Carabinieri and the finance police, leading anti-trafficking/slavery NGOs).
Research-informed teaching will be delivered by our experts on criminal mafias, security, policing and human trade/modern slavery which include a current Director of the Royal Institute of International Affairs, former heads and deputy head of the UK human trafficking centre, senior managers in the NCA, a senior security adviser to the British government’s stabilisation unit and the academic responsible for pioneering the study of mafias within UK universities.
You could also have the opportunity to attend workshops at the foreign affairs think tank Chatham House, the International Maritime Organisation, the UNODC (United Nations Office on drugs and Crime), the International Slavery Museum or study organised crime in Costa Rica.
The interdisciplinary approach of this course aims to provide transferable skills valued by employers. Employment opportunities for this course may include careers in security, policing, intelligence and justice professions, non-government organisations, international organisations, media, local authorities, charities, specialist think tanks, government departments and market intelligence.
The course also includes the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) accredited module, Global Professional development. Students who successfully complete the CMI module will also gain a level 7 certificate in Strategic Leadership and Management and a Level 7 Award in Professional consulting.
We lead nationally and internationally on Online International Learning. We enrich course material with tutorials, workshops and inter/multi-cultural perspectives. We use various strategies for teaching multi-cultural/ mixed ability classes.
- All students have the opportunity to be supported by a Futures team, providing bespoke career development advice.
- Alongside the contact with practitioners the course curriculum focuses on addressing the same strategic and policy dilemmas faced by practitioners.
- Embedding employability is delivered by providing students repeated opportunities to apply conceptual knowledge to real organisations and contemporary issues.
- Research inspired teaching is delivered through an emphasis on staff using their own research and publishing in the fields of international security, organised crime and modern slavery to enrich the course curriculum.
- Importantly, students also feed their own research back into the course through seminars and workshops, encouraging independent learning. Assisted by research methods modules, students have ample opportunity deliver their own research inspired teaching to peers.
- Likewise, the course also benefits from the input of external partners. Visiting scholars and practitioners expose students to the latest developments within these disciplines, as well as their own experience of countering organised crime. This external input is delivered through a visiting scholar/practitioner seminar series and in the field (the three study trips).
- External experts are also employed to deliver bespoke workshops within modules. Students, for example, studying the module International Organised Crime prepare a workshop on the difficulties of prosecuting mafia crimes, and then have the opportunity to test their ideas and findings in the company of Palermo’s Office of the Prosecutor, who heads this city’s antimafia directorate. In this manner, the course is kept up to date and remains embedded in an academic-practitioner community of practise.
- The history of international organised crime
- State strategies countering organised crime
- Civil-society strategies countering organised crime
- The position of Human slavery and human trafficking within international organised crime
- The experience of practitioners countering international organised crime
Phase one – Lectures, seminars, simulations and workshops based in Coventry
Phase two – Three 10-day fieldtrips with site visits and practitioner-led workshops, supported by preparatory work and de-brief sessions in Coventry
Phase three – Independent research leading to a dissertation
This course will be assessed using a variety of methods which will could vary depending upon the module. Assessment methods include essays, reports, literature reviews, reflective diaries, oral presentations, production of podcasts, research and a 12,500-word dissertation.
This course is predominantly assessed by coursework.
The Coventry University Group assessment strategy ensures that our courses are fairly assessed and allows us to monitor student progression towards the achieving the intended learning outcomes. There are no examinations on the programme.
On successful completion, you should have knowledge of:
- The threat of organised crime in the changing world order.
- The changing international environment and the threats posed to global security.
- The principles of consultancy and the theories and practices found in leadership.
On successful completion, you should be able to:
- Evaluate the different perspectives and approaches used in the study of terrorism, organised crime and global security.
- Demonstrate awareness of, and sensitivity to, differing international environments and the impact that these have on terrorism, international crime and global security.
- Apply advanced research skills, identify appropriate sources and methods, take personal responsibility and demonstrate initiative in dealing with complex and unpredictable environments.
- Demonstrate advanced analytical and evaluative skills to construct fair, coherent and convincing arguments.
- Exhibit advanced problem-solving skills, tackling complex issues both independently and as part of a team, identifying appropriate solutions in a systematic, creative and constructive manner.
Phase one – Approximately 9 hours per week (plus ad hoc guest workshops)
Phase two – Three 10-day workshops, plus preparatory and de-brief sessions
Phase three – Dissertation tutorials
Intercultural and international engagement is at the heart of this course. The community of practice that underpins this MA is international both in its composition and outlook. Current staff, external experts and students on related courses hail from across Europe, Africa, the Americas and Asia. The interaction of these participants invites intercultural engagement at every session. Likewise, the curriculum addresses Countering Organised Crime across the globe, exploring how different communities react to this problem in different ways. Again, case studies are selected from Europe, Africa, the Americas and Asia, maximising this international learning.
The pinnacle of the intercultural engagement provided by this course are the three Italian fieldtrips. Here students are immersed in the Italian culture that simultaneously hosts organised crime and seeks to eradicate it, alongside experiencing the ‘cultural melting pot’ of Sicilian society, and the migrants this island attracts.
Did you know we help more students travel internationally than any other UK university according to data from the experts in higher education data and analysis, HESA?
In 2016/17, we were able to provide a total of 3,482 student experiences abroad that lasted at least five.
Much of this travel is made possible through our Global Leaders Programme, which enables students to prepare for the challenges of the global employment market, as well as strengthening and developing their broader personal and professional skills.Explore our international experiences
Sending more students overseas than any other UK uni (HESA 2016/17)
The number of student trips abroad for at least 5 days in 2016/17
The number of students we’ve helped travel internationally so far
As well as trips, we offer other opportunities like language courses
Applicants should normally hold an undergraduate degree, at upper second classification or above, in a social science or humanities related subject, or equivalent international grade/qualification, from a recognised University.
EU and overseas applicants will be considered if they possess equivalent qualifications from other national educational systems and a proficient knowledge of English (normally the Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English, IELTS or equivalent at point 6.5 or above).
The Recruitment and Admissions Office has a detailed table of these “equivalences” for these qualifications and these will be consulted by the Admissions Tutor to determine the suitability of EU and overseas applicants.
Our International Student Hub offers information on entry requirements for your country, as well as contact details for agents and representatives should you need more advice.More detail
We pride ourselves on offering competitive tuition fees which we review on an annual basis and offer a wide range of scholarships to support students with their studies. Course fees are calculated on the basis of what it costs to teach each course and we aim for total financial transparency.
£11,450 (per year)
£11,450 (per year)
If you're a truly outstanding undergraduate candidate we may be able to offer you a Coventry University Scholarship. Coventry University Scholarships are awarded to recognise truly exceptional sports achievement and academic excellence.
£11,450 (per year)
£11,450 (per year)
We're investing into scholarships for high achieving and enterprising students. Our scholarships are worth up to £10,000 and every student that applies will be considered. Fulfil your potential this academic year with Coventry University!
£15,800 (per year)
£15,800 (per year)
EU student fees
EU nationals and their family members starting in the 2019/20 academic year remain eligible for the same fees as home students and the same financial support. Financial support comes from Student Finance England, and covers undergraduate and postgraduate study for the duration of their course, providing they meet the residency requirement.
For tuition fee loans
EU nationals must have resided in the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland for the three years prior to the start of their course. The purpose of that three year residency should not have been mainly for the purpose of receiving full time education.
For maintenance loans
EU nationals must have resided in the UK and Islands for the five years prior to the start of their course. The purpose of that five year residency should not have been mainly for the purpose of receiving full time education.
Our students come to us from a variety of national and international academic and professional backgrounds.
Our mix of ‘professional’ (e.g. Police, army, intelligence, local government, security, law, media, and more) and ‘traditional’ students creates an interactive, engaging and dynamic classroom experience. This broad mix of academic skills is complimented by ‘professional’ students in real working conditions of security and counter organised crime policy and practice. This diverse mix of backgrounds can lead to intense and engaging class discussions.
The MA Countering organised crime and Modern Slavery will help to prepare students for a range of roles beyond on the MA. Employment opportunities for this course may include careers in security, policing, intelligence and justice professions, non-government organisations, international organisations, media, local authorities, charities, specialist think tanks, government departments and market intelligence.
Where our graduates work
Our graduates started, or progressed existing, careers within governance (e.g. International Centre for Asset Recovery, the United Nations, the National Crime Agency, Police Forces, and Defence and Security Offices in their respective countries, intelligence services, Media, and others). Some graduates have opened their own consultancy companies, others have gone to work for think tanks, and others have gone on to undertake PhD research.
By accepting your offer of a place and enrolling with us, a Student Contract will be formed between you and the University. A copy of the 19/20 Contract can be found here. The Contract details your rights and the obligations you will be bound by during your time as a student and contains the obligations that the University will owe to you. You should read the Contract before you accept an offer of a place and before you enrol at the University.
The tuition fee for the course that is stated on the webpage and in the prospectus will apply. If the duration of the course is longer than one academic year, the University may increase the fee for each subsequent year of study but any such increases will be no more than inflation.