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Facilitators of Violence


Admission requirements
Only students of the MSc Crisis and Security Management, enrolled in the specialisation ‘Governance of Violence’ can take this course.

This course will focus on the potential facilitators of violence, including firearms, drugs, mental health and others. In a series of lectures, we explore the effects of such facilitators on different types of violent outcomes, including homicide, non-lethal assaults, and shootings. Theoretical perspectives introduced during the lectures will be complemented with case studies and, where relevant, guest lectures from other academic experts and practitioners.

In discussing these topics, the students will learn how to critically review existing academic and non-academic research based on (for instance) conceptual and theoretical solidity, methodology, argumentation or background of the authors. These skills are not just crucial for their own individual improvements, but also in their future careers in which they will have to rely on analytical skills to appraise, and critically assess, security-related information.

Course Objectives
1. The students will learn to draw conclusions, make judgements and/or suggest interventions to real-life problems related to violence, based on (validity and reliability of) empirical data and on sound and balanced argumentation, considering the specific context of the practice/case at hand.
2. The students will learn to discuss the main challenges and opportunities of relevant stakeholders in the field of violence, including governmental actors (such as the police) and public or private actors.
3. The students will learn to seek information from empirical and theoretical materials for an informed and critical judgement.
4. The students will learn to critically evaluate research in the area of violence, from a conceptual, theoretical and methodological viewpoint.
5. The students will learn to work effectively and efficiently in small groups, to define a common goal and work towards said goal.
6. The students will learn to present results of academic research to various audiences.
7. Self-evaluate and reflect after interactive in-class work and individual assignments.

On the right side of programme front page of the E-guide you will find links to the website and timetables, uSis and Brightspace.

Mode of Instruction
This course will be taught through interactive lectures and guest lectures (2 sessions a week). In the lectures, students will learn the key principles of research, and the relevant concepts and methodologies.

Attendance is mandatory. Students are only allowed to miss more than one lecture if there are special, demonstrable personal circumstances. The Board of Examiners, in consultation with the study advisors, will decide on such an exceptional exemption of mandatory attendance

Total study load: 280h

  • contact hours: 42h

  • self-study (reading, preparing lectures, assignments, etc.): 238h

Assessment method
The learning goals associated with this course (see above) will be assessed through 3 summative assessments and 1 formative assessment.

Individual assignment 1

  • 10% of final grade

  • Resit not possible

  • Grade must be compensated in case of a fail (grade < 5.50)

Group assignment

  • 30% of final grade

  • Resit not possible

  • Grade must be compensated in case of a fail (grade < 5.50)

Individual assignment 2

  • 60% of final grade

  • Resit is possible

  • Resit takes the same form

  • Grade must be 5.50 or higher to pass the course

Additional, formative (non-graded) assignments are mandatory.

The calculated overall course grade must be at least 5.50 in order to pass the course. If the calculated overall course grade is lower than 5.50, students are also permitted to resit the 60% final paper

In the case of written assessment methods, the examiner can always initiate a follow-up conversation with the student to establish whether the learning objectives have been met.

Reading list
A selection of books and articles, podcasts and documentaries will be announced on Brightspace.

To be announced by OSC staff.

Contact us at:


  • The corresponding Brightspace course will become available one week prior to the first seminar.