February 2021

Degree Program Studies Vulnerability, Violence Reduction

February 18, 2021    |  

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown into the foreground the violence that has simmered below the surface for too long, such as race-based violence, domestic violence, and political violence. The pandemic also has underscored the lack of trust between individuals and communities, and citizens and governments. The spike in vulnerability created by this global disaster requires new solutions that can be created only through a global, interprofessional, and systemic approach.

To meet this challenge, the University of Maryland Graduate School is partnering with the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations at Coventry University in the United Kingdom to offer a master’s degree and certificate in Vulnerability and Violence Reduction that will launch in fall 2021.

Violence and vulnerability are seldom researched or taught from a multidisciplinary and comparative lens, which is critical to developing solutions. Students in this innovative international degree program will have the opportunity to explore critical approaches to the understanding of vulnerability and risk within communities challenged by violence. 

The international faculty will bring the best ideas from around the globe to address the problem of violence in multiple communities and, more importantly, to address the vulnerability that leads to violence. The degree builds on the University of Maryland, Baltimore’s (UMB) commitment to community-engaged and asset-based approaches to address the overlapping epidemics of poverty, racism, and violence.

The innovative program includes UMB faculty from the University of Maryland School of Law, University of Maryland School of Nursing, and University of Maryland Graduate School, many of whom are nationally recognized experts in public health, community engagement, conflict resolution, and global health. 

The program likewise draws on the strengths of the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations at Coventry University. The university has a strong record of accomplishment in integrated peacebuilding as well as a commitment to research that makes a strong impact on society and on the security and quality of life of ordinary people worldwide.

The MS degree is a 30-credit program that is primarily online and designed to be completed in two years. It involves a combination of a launch seminar which includes online lectures, interactive case studies, a research-based capstone project, and a culminating in-person workshop. The seminar is designed to create strong links between the student cohorts and give them the opportunity to share research and develop implementation plans. The core courses trace the nature of violence, the link between vulnerability and violence, violence prevention, and sustaining non-violence. Students can also enroll in the 12-credit certificate program in Vulnerability and Violence Reduction. The program is fully online and will allow them to earn a certificate by taking three of the four core courses.

Both the degree and the certificate program will prepare students to understand the root causes of many types of violence and aggression. It will also give them the knowledge to analyze injury and/or violence data and develop a plan to stimulate change for injury or violence prevention through policy, enforcement, advocacy, and/or education. The degree is designed for community activists, law enforcement officers, government officials, and others who work in communities. 

The application deadline for the degree is July 1, 2021. The program’s webpage and application portal are here

For more information, visit the University of Maryland Graduate School’s Vulnerability and Violence Reduction website or email program director Virginia Rowthorn at Virginia.rowthorn@umaryland.edu