This course combines core modules with a dissertation in order to explore contemporary issues connected to the detection and prevention of homicide, conflict and genocide.
Module 1: Introduction to Genocide and Mass Violence.
Knowledge brings awareness, understanding and tolerance. On this module, you will be introduced to the history and evolution of genocide, its definition, and the legal aspects of mass violence and atrocity. You will study acts of genocide from across the globe to develop an understanding of the events and the legacies that such acts left behind. Taught by active forensic archaeologists and genocide investigators, this module represents an important step in your development towards a career in conflict and forensic investigation.
Module 2: Archaeologies of Genocide and Mass Violence
Understand the past to build a better future. On this module, you will study the wide range of acts of violence and genocide perpetrated in the 20th and 21st centuries and learn to identify the types of evidence that such acts leave behind. You will be tasked with thinking critically about how complex landscapes are formed and how they evolve due to the actions of perpetrators, victims and bystanders in a variety of contexts. The module will challenge you to analyse sites of genocide from many disciplinary perspectives and it will equip you with the necessary theoretical and practical knowledge to identify and interpret a wide range of physical evidence.
Module 3: Methodological Approaches to Genocide Investigation
Develop your competency through methodological practice. This module provides understanding and practical experience of the wide range of desk-based methodologies used to investigate sites of genocide and mass violence. It also introduces a range of state-of-the-art technologies and field techniques used by forensic archaeologists and explores how they are applied within a range of scenarios and settings. You will participate in online practical workshops that will teach you how to analyse a range of digital data utilised in genocide investigations.
Module 4: Aftermaths of Genocide and Mass Violence
Learn about the legacies of genocide and develop strategies for post-conflict recovery. On this module you will examine the repercussions of genocidal acts on societies, communities and individuals as well as the impact that these have upon the ability of forensic archaeologists to investigate them. This focus on the aftermath of mass violence will also allow you to critically evaluate how war crimes investigations, searches for missing persons, memorialisation and education may all be affected by the nature and extent of genocide and human rights abuses in the short, medium and long term, and how they too can influence understandings of traumatic events.
Note: Students who generally prefer a distance learning course but who wish to gain practical field experience in forensic archaeology, have the option to substitute module 4 for the Field School: Practical Skills in Genocide Investigation module that features on our MSc Forensic Archaeology and Genocide Investigation (face-to-face course).
Please note this is subject to a top up fee to cover the costs of accommodation, flights and other travel costs. If you are interested in this option, please contact one of the course tutors for details.
Module 5: Dissertation
Design and complete your own research project in forensic archaeology and genocide investigation. A dissertation is probably the longest piece of academic work you will complete. It will require effective project management, research, academic writing and data collation and analysis skills to complete on time. It is the one piece of work that is truly your own. Therefore, it will help you develop an in-depth understanding of a particular topic of genocide investigation whilst acquiring transferable skills in inter-personal communication, data collection and analysis, systematic analytical writing to present findings, and effective time-management.
These modules enable you to:
- Study and understand the wide range of acts of violence and genocide perpetrated in the 20th and 21st centuries, and the landscapes connected to them
- Explore the ethical issues and challenges associated with forensic and archaeological investigations at sites of violence, conflict and genocide
- Understand and critically reflect upon the role and contribution of archaeologists in the investigation of conflict and genocide worldwide
- Critically evaluate the methods that can be employed by archaeologists working on sites related to past and current conflicts and genocide, especially intelligence gathering, remote sensing, geophysics and excavation
- Apply desk-based methods to specific case studies in order to locate and analyse a range of evidence connected to genocide and mass violence
- Evidence your understanding of the complex ways in which genocide and mass violence affects societies, communities and individuals in the short, medium and long-term
- Critically reflect on the various approaches to evidence gathering, narrative creation and memorialisation efforts in the aftermath of genocide and mass violence
- Apply appropriate research skills and demonstrate communicative and evidencing skills [for individual assignments] appropriate to master’s level
The dissertation will enable you to:
- Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of research methods including project planning, data collection and research ethics
- Evidence the integration of elements of your learning from the programme as a whole to research a theme or topic associated with forensic archaeology and genocide investigation
- Display competence in applying research skills to collect and analysis primary and/or secondary data and sources
- Demonstrate cognizance of methodological approaches to forensic archaeology and genocide investigation, focusing particularly on desk-based evidence and data integration