Your next steps...
This programme is unique in offering students the chance to study the main characteristics of modern forms of slavery and human trafficking, causes/roots, impacts, and methods (legal and otherwise) of prevention.
- Students will have access to the resources of the Centre for the Study of Modern Slavery
- Students will also have access to cutting edge research and lectures by high profile experts in the field
Why study Human Trafficking, Modern Slavery, Migration and Organised Crime?
This master's programme provides an advanced critical insight into current developments in the study of migration, organised crime and human trafficking. The programme is unique, one of the few worldwide to offer students the chance to study the main characteristics of modern forms of slavery and human trafficking, causes/roots, impacts, and approaches to prevention (legal and others).
The degree is unique in examining, in an interdisciplinary manner, the intersection between human trafficking and migratory flows, and forced labour, and organised crime.
The programme combines vocational and theoretical components. You will study the social conditions in which human trafficking occurs, including wealth, social and gender inequalities; migration due to political instability, war and poverty; and the role of criminal gangs and organised crime groups in the proliferation of this crime in recent years. The modus operandi of traffickers and their networks will be explored as will the challenges raised by the role of family members and communities in this increasingly complex issue.
You will also engage critically with existing legal frameworks and policing in place to combat human trafficking and modern slavery. The degree also offers the chance to examine different discourses used to analyse the issue, including debates about terminology, media representations, effectiveness of anti-trafficking policies, the efficacy of rescue and rehabilitation programmes and the intersections with human rights and migration.
Why St Mary's?
The MA programme is part of a wider commitment to addressing modern slavery and human trafficking through the University’s flagship Bakhita Centre for research, previously the Centre for the Study of Modern Slavery (CSMS), established at St. Mary’s in 2015.
The Centre was founded to develop an evidence based response to addressing the current intensification of human trafficking and slavery cases globally.
St. Mary’s offer through this Masters, comes at a critical time, and presents an opportunity for students to engage critically with recent policy developments and to contribute to debates about policy and practice in broader contexts. The first independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner in the UK, Kevin Hyland, advised in the early stages of setting up the Centre and welcomed the development of this unique Masters. The current outgoing Anti-Slavery Commissioner, Dame Sara Thornton, has welcomed the research produced by the Bakhita Centre and contributions made by our research fellows to influence policy and practice.
Students on the MA will benefit from the resources and links made through the Bakhita Centre, to the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner’s Office, policy-makers, police, other academic institutions, safe houses, campaigners, international organisations and NGO. Students get to listen to and engage with policymakers, practitioners and contributions from UK and international experts. In this way, teaching on the programme prepares students to research and fill gaps in knowledge, evidence and practice related to human trafficking and modern slavery.
The applied dimension of the programme aims to fulfil the University’s mission to prepare students for successful careers, both within and beyond the specific fields of migration, crime and human trafficking, as well as filling gaps in professional expertise.
The theoretical dimension of the programme aims to help students engage in active and committed ways with their social/cultural environment. Teaching is research-enriched, policy relevant and draws from staff research (at St. Mary’s and other partner institutions). Staff committed to excellent teaching, particularly in terms of student support and helping to foster a community of mutual respect among students and tutors, set a high standard for individual attainment of knowledge and practical skills on the programme that is being recognised in the modern slavery and human trafficking sector.
Human Trafficking, Modern Slavery, Migration and Organised Crime was successfully revalidated in June 2022. The revalidation has added to the existing strengths of the programme, revitalising it for the demands of the current Higher Education landscape, especially in terms of foregrounding transferable and specialist skills to enhance our postgraduate employability in the modern slavery and human trafficking sector.
Programme Director - Criminology and Sociology