Master War & Psychiatry

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Comments about Master War & Psychiatry - At the institution - London - Greater London

  • Objectives
    To provide an internationally recognised qualification in military psychiatry which will give students transferable skills and a higher level of theoretical understanding.
  • Entry requirements
    students and professionals with an interest in the way that human beings respond in situations of extreme stress
  • Academic title
    MSc, PG Dip War & Psychiatry
  • Course description
    Programme description

    - Helps students understand the major principles and issues of military psychiatry.
    - Students learn not only about the psychological effects on soldiers fighting on the front line but also how civilians cope when subjected to the trauma of war.
    - Students develop knowledge and skills not necessarily provided by clinical training.

    Enables students to develop skills and knowledge about the way individuals, both in the armed forces and civilians, respond to psychological trauma. Drawing on multidisciplinary expertise, it compares the experiences of different nations over the last century to identify both theoretical and practical elements of the subject.

    Programme format and assessment

    The MSc has four elements. All students take two core modules: an introductory series of 20 seminars held in the Department of War Studies and an advanced module in military psychology. Students choose a third option module from a range of subjects offered by the department. The fourth element is a 15,000 word dissertation on a subject of the student’s choice.

    Programme modules for MSc, PG Dip War & Psychiatry 

    Advanced Concepts in Military Psychiatry
    (40 credits) (Core Module)
    This core module is designed to build on the work undertaken in the introductory module. It too is taught in ten two-hour seminars. Key topics include: The development and particular issues of psychiatry in the Royal Navy; Psychological trauma in civilians affected by man-made disasters; The psychological problems of prisoners-of-war; Psychology during the Nazi regime; Gas in the First World War: protection and treatment; Brutalisation of combatants and the psychology of killing in warfare; Combat motivation: how do soldiers survive intense or prolonged stress; Iconic images of warfare: what do they tell us about the changing culture of combat; The role of the media in veteran's health issues; Future trends in military psychiatry - the next ten years.

    Dissertation - War & Psychiatry (60 Credits) (Core Module)
    Students are required to complete a 15,000 word dissertation on a theme chosen from within the broad field of War & Psychiatry.

    War and Psychiatry (Core Module)
    Twenty seminars will provide an introduction to the main developments and principles of military psychiatry from 1900 to the present. Key topics include: the issue of shell shock in World War One; the discovery of 'forward psychiatry' and 'PIE' methods to treat combat stress reaction; attempts to treat 'battle exhaustion' in World War Two; group therapy at Mill Hill and Northfield; comparative approaches in France and Germany; the realities of war and the impact of combat on servicemen; the efficacy of forward and base treatments; Vietnam and the rise of PTSD; veterans pressure groups and war pensions; Gulf War syndrome; psychiatric responses of civilians to trauma and the issue of risk communication: the need to encourage vigilance without causing panic. There will also be a visit to either: Combat Stress (Ex-Services Mental Welfare Society), to the Historial de la Grande Guerre and the Somme, or to the Centre for Defence Medicine. The course is primarily based on the UK experience, though reference throughout will be made to US, Israeli, French and German examples for comparison. Students will be encouraged to explore cultural differences between armies. It is a comparative course, which uses the past to inform the present and draws on the differences between nations.

    Comparative Civil Wars (40 Credits)
    Because war and Psychiatry is concerned with cultural differences across time and between nations, this module provides important contextual relevance. Drawing on a range of historical and contemporary case studies, the course provides a comparative and empirically informed examination of the origins, characteristics and dynamics of civil wars. The case studies examined include: the Spanish Civil War (1936-39), the Angolan Civil War (1974-2001), Liberia and Sierra Leone (1991-2001), Somalia (1990-2001) and the Balkans (1991-95). Drawing upon a range of historical and contemporary case studies, the course provides a comparative and empirically informed examination of the origins, characteristics and dynamics of civil wars. It explores competing theories about the causes of civil wars and is concerned with the difficulties of bringing such wars to an end. Special attention is given to the role of international organisations, international law and outside military intervention in the mitigation, regulation and resolution of contemporary civil wars. The case studies examined include the Spanish civil war (1936-39), the Angolan Civil War (1974-2001), Liberia and Sierra Leone (1991-2001), Somalia (1990-1993) and the Balkans (1991-95).

    Human Rights and Migration
    (20 credits)
    This course examines the development of migration rights as human rights in the European framework. Starting from the right of the state to control its borders and who is entitled to enter and reside on its territory, the course examines how, in the European context, migrants have acquired rights of movement and residence protected at the supra national level. Topics covered include citizenship, refugees and forced migration, family life and protection from expulsion.

    Human Rights in a World of States (20 credits)
    The aims of the course will be to introduce students to a particular way of thinking about the place of human rights in contemporary world politics, to launch an inquiry into the shortcomings of the way in which the discipline has traditionally dealt with the issue of human rights in an international context, to determine the usefulness of a human rights centred approach to the study of global politics and to explore the tension between human rights and sovereign states in the modern practices of international relations.

    International Peace Support Operations
    Since 1948 UN forces have been used for peaceful purposes to act between opposed armies in war zones and crisis areas. By the 1990s, the UN’s efforts to maintain international peace and security were increasingly focused on civil conflict and peacekeepers found themselves in an environment that was dangerous and complicated by the number of warring factions. The wars and violence of the 1990s took place in failing states and involved civil militias, warlords, child soldiers, starvation, displaced communities, looting on a massive scale and terrible human rights abuses. By 2000, troops from at least 75 nations were involved in international operations which deploy under the supervision of NATO, ECOMOG, CIS, OSCE and the UN. Contributing to international peaceforces has moved from being a peripheral and undemanding military activity to becoming a central defence requirement and a major item in national defence budgets. The purpose of this MA option is to explain how the concept of peacekeeping has changed since the contingencies of the Cold War period to cope with emergencies of the 1990s; to show how peace forces have grown in military power and changed their approach from being conciliatory to confrontational.

    Prosecuting War Crimes
    This course examines the establishment and conduct of international war crimes (including crimes against humanity) prosecutions. It evaluates the background to the emergence of war crimes as a concept in the 20th century, looking at martial, ethical and legal issues. It studies the creation of the first international tribunals following the Second World War and the issues which arose from these. The course examines the interaction between politics and law in the prosecution of war crimes and crimes against humanity, and the relationship of laws and rules to the social activity that is war.

    Science, Technology and Security Policy
    What role do developments in science and technology play in national security policy? Does the development of new technologies such as the ballistic missile and the nuclear weapon transform international security and require new policies, or is the development of new technologies driven by the security problems that states face? This course investigates these questions by examining developments at the intersection of science and security. It explores how scientific advances have influenced defence policy and international security in the past as well as preparing students to analyse the effects of current and future developments. To this end, it provides a basic grounding in the science underlying key weapons systems and security technologies, examines the role of science and scientists in the policy process, and through a series of case studies, prepares students to analyse the security implications of new technologies.

    The Conduct of Contemporary Warfare
    The aim of this course will be to provide students with an understanding of contemporary military operations, in the light of economic, social, technological and political changes affecting the environment in which these operations take place. Conflicts in Europe, the Middle East and Africa will be covered. The course will build on issues raised in the MA core and provide an opportunity for those students who wish to develop further their interest in contemporary strategic issues.

    The Rise and Fall of the Cold War
    This course investigates an ‘age of global threat’ to Western values and beliefs which followed after the end of the Second World War. The focus of our enquiry is to discern the major trends and dynamics of the Cold War and to discuss the changes and continuity in the international security order during and after the end of the Cold War.

    War in Philosophy and Imagination
    This course examines, compares and contrasts the representation of war in two types of discourse other than the historical and human science idioms which are mainstream in War Studies and considers what ‘philosophy’ and ‘literature’ have in common, and how they may be fruitfully contrasted, in their treatment of military affairs. The course will explore the strengths and limitations of elucidating general questions about types of discourse through the close reading of particular ‘great’ texts. This will include assessing the pairing of Homer’s Iliad with Plato’s Republic, and two other suitably paired texts, such as a Shakespeare play with Hobbes’s ‘Leviathan’ and Tolstoi’s ‘War and Peace’ with Nietzsche’s ‘Genealogy of Morals’ as models for any philosophical-literary study of war.
    One year FT; two years PT.

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