Crimes against Humanity (Aut) (L5103A)

30 credits, Level 6

Autumn teaching

On this module, you'll take an interdisciplinary approach to reflect on how, in times of conflict, it is possible for previously law abiding people to commit acts of cruelty and violence.

Crimes against humanity have only recently caught the attention of criminologists, and the module provides students with in-depth information on the origins and dynamics of such crimes. The module discusses the work of influential social theorists, psychologists, criminologists, psychoanalysts and philosophers.

You'll focus on the work of:

  • Erich Fromm (Escape from Freedom)
  • Hannah Arendt (Eichmann in Jerusalem)
  • Zygmunt Bauman (Modernity and the Holocaust)
  • Ernest Becker (Escape from Evil).

In addition to thinking about the driving force of aggression, conflict and mass violence, you'll also addressthe psychological trauma experienced by victims, as well as considering the role of both internal and external bystanders.


33%: Lecture
67%: Seminar


100%: Written assessment (Essay)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 300 hours of work. This breaks down into about 30 hours of contact time and about 270 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2024/25. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: