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Adult advisory explicit content: Queen's University warns students courses may offend

By Jonathan Bell

Queen's University Belfast is giving students "trigger warnings" that material on some courses may offend or cause distress.

History and politics undergraduates at the university have been told they may be upset by modules on the far right movement in Europe and North America.

“Two of the political groups studied in this module hold political views and positions that are extreme and may offend,” a warning said.

Medical students have also been told they might find modules about euthanasia "upsetting" and they may have to talk to patients about life-threatening conditions. While those on forensic pathology courses are told autopsy material could be upsetting. Law students were also issued with a warning of content about sexual offences.

The warnings were revealed in a Daily Mail report which made Freedom of Information requests to each of the prestigious Russell Group of universities.

In a statement to the Belfast Telegraph, Queen's said: "In certain degree modules, students are advised that there may be potentially offensive or distressing subject matters.”

Queen's is not the only institution to issue such warnings to students.

Oxford, Cambridge and the London School of Economics have all reportedly primed students of potentially offensive material coming up though the course of their third level education.

Frank Furedi, emeritus professor of sociology at the University of Kent, told the Mail he feared that the practice was now so widespread in the UK that it was viewed as normal. He added that trigger warnings had a destructive effect and "infantilises young adults".

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