CR6020 - Understanding Extreme Violence

What will I learn on this module?

This module looks at three distinct but inter-related aspects of violence: structural violence, symbolic violence and subjective violence. Analyses of structural violence looks principally at the violence of systems. It is the unseen violence that occurs every day; the violence that needs to take place so that contemporary western consumer societies to continue onwards in their present form. Analyses of symbolic violence focus on the violence of language and symbols. Bourdieu’s account of symbolic violence, for example, addresses the ability of the powerful to deny the working class a language that might allow them to understand their true value and social position. Analyses of subjective violence focus on forms of violence committed by clearly identifiable ‘subjects’, or individuals. In this module, we will use psychoanalytic theory to identify the fundamental forces that drive the violent individual to inflict harm upon others.

How will I learn on this module?

This module is built around a weekly 3-hour teaching session. This session will begin with a traditional lecture. There will then be a break. After that, we will engage in a group discussion that focuses upon the material presented in the traditional lecture element of the session.

Reading lists and lecture slides will be placed on the blackboard site, and all students are encouraged to book tutorials with the module leader, especially as we draw close to the assessment deadline.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

The module leader will be available for individual tutorials in addition to the timetabled sessions. Teaching sessions will be interactive, and draw upon Socratic method. Students are expected to engage critically with the module and its contents. The module will of course be supported by a blackboard site.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
1. To understand the differences and connections between structural violence, symbolic violence and subjective violence
2. To understand, generally, the evolution of violence across history
3. To understand the most important explanations for subjective violence

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
4. Develop self-directed learning skills, especially with regard to identifying and reading relevant texts that do not appear on the module reading list.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
5.To demonstrate a critical awareness of the social position of others.

How will I be assessed?

Formative assessment is embedded in our learning programme. Summative assessment takes the form of a traditional 4000-word essay. A list of essay questions will be circulated early in the module, and students are encouraged to discuss their essay with the module leader. The summative assess all of module learning outcomes. All students will receive feedback on their summative assessment, and students will be encouraged to meet with the module leader to discuss their work and the mark they’ve received.





Module abstract


Course info

UCAS Code C8M9

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years Full Time or 4 years with optional study abroad year

Department Psychology

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


Useful Links

Find out about our distinctive approach at

Admissions Terms and Conditions

Fees and Funding

Admissions Policy

Admissions Complaints Policy