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The interdisciplinary programme Social Resilience and Security brings out a new minor: Violence Studies

In the academic year 2022-2023 the Social Resilience and Security interdisciplinary programme will offer a new minor for students who are interested in studying interpersonal violence and who are entering the third year of their Bachelor's degree. The announcement went down well with students: the available spots were filled in one day.

This English-taught minor will focus on interpersonal violence (i.e. violence taking place between individuals), the most common types including physical violence and sexual violence. In this minor programme we study the origins, correlates, mechanisms, social contexts, and resilience after experiencing violence. We delve deeper into the ways in which we can both prevent as well as respond to acts of violence.

For further detail on each of the courses, please check the Prospectus. 

The four courses (30 EC) are part of the interdisciplinary programme Social Resilience & Security, involving five Leiden University faculties, and are taught by leading experts in the field. In addition, the courses include guest lecturers from government, public health and criminal justice organisations, who will put theoretical notions into practical perspective.

'Violence fascinates, yet repulses us. These courses will provide you with an in-depth and nuanced understanding of violence.' Professor Marieke Liem 

What will students learn?

In the minor Violence Studies, you will become familiar with the nature and scope of violence; the ways in which it impacts public order, and the ways in which society can prevent and respond to violence.

Furthermore, the programme addresses specific forms of violence, ranging from collective violence (riots, organised crime), to domestic violence (child abuse and neglect, intimate partner violence), lethal violence (drug-related homicide and firearm-related homicide), and the impact of violence on individuals, communities, and society at large. Using criminological, victimological, sociological, historical, and psychological perspectives, these courses provide you with an in-depth understanding on this multifaceted phenomenon.


1. Victims and Offenders of Violence (10 EC) You will learn how we can explain violent victimisation and offending: Who are these victims? And why did they become victimised? And: Who are these offenders, how did they become offenders, and how can we best respond to violent offending? 2. Resilience to Violence (5 EC) You will learn what the impact is of violence on resilience later in life. What are the psychological effects of exposure to violence? How can we increase resilience after exposure to violence? 3. Collective Violence (10 EC) You will become acquainted with the most prominent theoretical frameworks on collective violence, derived from the psychological, sociological, and criminological literature. You will reflect on the similarities and differences between collective violence and interpersonal violence. You will learn about the different approaches researchers have used to study collective violence, and what they discovered as a result. 4. Violence and the Brain (5 EC) You will explore the complex neurobiology of violence, and take a whirlwind tour of the multifaceted factors and mechanisms that underlie interpersonal violence. You will discuss the role of the brain one second before a violent act is committed, and how this is shaped by neurobiological mechanisms that were formed in the preceding months and years.

Prospectus minor Violence Studies
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