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Understanding the Psychology of Genocide and Intergroup Conflict

Intergroup conflict, and in its most extreme form, genocide, is a major concern at local and global levels. While historical and contemporary events dominate political and societal narratives, the psychological mechanisms that underpin these issues are often ignored.

Our short course aims to address this deficit by providing you with a critical understanding of these psychological mechanisms and how they relate to both local and global conflicts.

Through your studies you will develop a critical understanding of psychological theories of genocide and intergroup conflict.

This course aligns directly with a number of areas relating to global citizenship and harmonious communities such as

  • The Wellbeing of Future Generations Act (2015)
  • UNESCO's Education about the Holocaust and preventing genocide: A policy guide (2017) 
  • How does education about the Holocaust advance global citizenship education? (2018)

All of these highlight the need for further understanding of the origins of intergroup conflict and genocide.

Who Should Take This Course?

This course will be of interest to those working in third sector areas, education, civil service and government, as well as those looking to take first steps into potential MSc study.

Teaching Methods

Collaborative learning takes place within this short course as the approach is based around exploration, debate and discussion. This inclusive approach to learning involves students and staff engaging in critical discussion and debate.

You will be encouraged to share your learning and knowledge with the group, gaining equal and equitable opportunities to enhance your potential and develop autonomy, in line with the University’s commitment to providing a supportive and inclusive learning experience. This course will also give you the chance to build your knowledge and confidence in a structured and coherent manner, working closely with the course tutor.

The choice of an intensive two-day structure, supported by video lecture content created by the delivery team, is deliberate as it allows depth of discussion to develop across the course of the two days.


Assessment comprises a recorded 10-minute individual presentation relating to the topic area, therefore developing your practical skill in the creation and presentation of your recording that you can directly transfer to professional practice.

Formative tasks and seminar activities will have a professional focus and enable you to consider case studies and real-life scenarios, allowing you to apply your knowledge and learning to the real world and explore critical topics in greater depth with academic tutors and peers.

The assessment deadline will be supported with online content and contact to ensure that adequate time is given for the development of the assessment to Level 7 standard.

Formative assessments will include group activities and discussions in sessions, individual activities and exercises within modules, and personal and group seminar discussion.

You will receive detailed feedback on marked assignments highlighting key areas for development in your work for any future studies.