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Start Date(s): September


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)

Fees 2018-19:

2019-20 fees will be displayed shortly.

Part-time - £1,260 per 30 credit module

UK - £7,560

International - £13,860

In Brief:

  • You will develop an advanced understanding of the psychology of coercive control and cutting edge research and practice in this area
  • You will 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
  • You will be supported by a highly qualified and experienced team of 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
  • Part-time study option
  • Work/industrial placement opportunity
  • International students can apply

Course Summary

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

Course Details

The aim of this course is to enable students to develop a systematic understanding of knowledge and a critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights in the psychology of coercive control and controlling behaviour – its development, psychological process, effects and options for recovery.

The full-time route is structured over 12 months and comprises of three 10 week semesters. In semester 1 and 2 you will complete two taught modules in each semester. In semester 3 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.

Full-time study option:    

Year 1, Semester 1    

This module will allow students to develop a systematic and rigorous approach to the process of research and will prepare students for the completion of their research dissertation in the field of applied psychology and as it relates to the area of coercive control and behavior and its development, processes and effects and approaches to recovery.      
The development of coercive control and controlling behavior in relationships and groups will be examined along with the underlying psychological processes involved and the effects of coercive control on individuals and families and implications for recovery and an assessment of risk factors and prevention strategies.      

Year 1, Semester 2    

An advanced understanding will be provided 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 behavior and control is also contextualized in terms of practice and legal and policy developments.      
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).      

Year 1, Semester 3    

A research project or systematic literature review will be undertaken in an area of applied psychology that relates to the area of 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.      

Part-time route    

Year 1, Semester 1    

The Aetiology and Psychology of Coercive Control (30 credits)    

Year 1, Semester 2    

The Anatomy of Coercive Control in Comparative Contexts (30 credits)    

Year 2, Semester 1    

Research Methods in Psychology (30 credits)    

Year 2, Semester 2    

Psychological Approaches to Recovery from Coercive Control (30 credits)    

Year 3    

Dissertation (60 credits)

Entry Requirements

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).

English Language Requirements

International applicants will be required to show a proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.5 (no element below 5.5) is proof of this.

Suitable For

Psychology graduates and graduates in other relevant disciplines e.g. counselling, health sciences, nursing, criminal justice, law and police science. The course will also attract professionals working in a variety of organisations and settings where survivors of abuse are assisted. The course is also a route towards a career in organisations and settings which help survivors of abuse and is also a route to a professional doctorate or an academic / research career.

Applicant profile

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 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.

Fees 2019-20

Fees for entry in 2019 will be displayed shortly.

Fees 2018-19

Type of StudyFee
Part-time£1,260 per 30 credit module
Full-time International£13,860

Scholarships and Bursaries

For more information please see our funding section.


This course is taught using a mixture of approaches including the following:

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Workshops
  • Tutorials
  • Discussion/debates
  • 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
  • Dissertation

Postgraduate Staff Profile

Dr Linda Dubrow-Marshall

Lecturer in Psychology and Programme Leader for the MSc Psychology of Coercive Control

Linda is a HCPC Registered Clinical and counselling Psychologist and a BACP Accredited Counsellor/Psychotherapist and has co-led the development of the MSc Psychology of Coercive Control. Linda also designed the in-house counselling service for the University of Salford and has worked in a variety of settings as a clinical and counselling psychologist. 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 also cofounded 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 (part-time) in Psychology and Visiting Fellow in the Criminal Justice Hub and Professor 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 the MSc Psychology of Coercive Control. He has also worked for over 20 years in the areas of coercive control and abuse and cultic studies and undue influence and he is co-editor of the International Journal of Cultic Studies. Rod also cofounded the Re-Entry Therapy Information and Referral Network in the UK which provides support and advice to people affected by abusive groups and relationships. He was awarded his Professorial title at the University of South Wales in 2006.

Dr Simon Cassidy

Senior Lecturer in Psychology and Programme Leader for the MSc Applied Psychology (Therapies)

Is a Chartered Psychologist, Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society and Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. He is an experienced teacher, receiving the Vice Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award, and an experienced researcher. Current research projects include psychological resilience and self-efficacy and exploring cognitive style through brain imaging and eye movement. Cassidy, S 2012 'Intellectual Styles: Measurement and Assessment ', in: Sternberg, R J & Zang, L & Rayner, S (eds.), Handbook of Intellectual Styles: Preferences in Cognition, Learning, and Thinking, Springer Publishing Co., NY, USA, pp.67-89.q


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 (with the upcoming Domestic Abuse and Violence Act) and graduates will have a really good range of career choices open to them in a range of practice settings including as psychologists but also with options to pursue successful careers in the Home Office, the Police and the Civil Service, as well as in schools, colleges and universities.

The master's course also is an excellent way to prepare for a Clinical Psychology Doctorate and provides students 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.

Links with Industry

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.

Further Study

The course provides a sound basis for postgraduate research study at MPhil/PhD level.

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