MA Criminology

The University of Nottingham - Faculty of Social Sciences

Program Description

MA Criminology

The University of Nottingham - Faculty of Social Sciences

MA Criminology

This course will help you develop an advanced critical understanding of crime in its social context, drawing on insights from subjects across the social and human sciences and the humanities.

The MA Criminology covers areas such as:

  • how and why certain kinds of behaviour are defined as crime
  • how societies respond to these and other harmful behaviours
  • how crime is experienced by victims (or survivors) and by society as a whole
  • how crime is represented or misrepresented in the media and popular culture

The programme draws on insights from subjects across the social and human sciences and the humanities, including sociology, law, psychology, geography, history, and cultural and media studies. It reflects the nature of criminology as a fast-developing, interdisciplinary subject concerned with understanding crime in its local, regional, national and international contexts, as well as in an increasingly globalised world.

You will develop skills in a range of research methods and have the opportunity to put them into practice by undertaking an extended piece of criminological research. A period of hands-on experience with a local organisation working on crime or criminal justice forms an integral part of the programme and gives you the chance to apply and reflect on what you have learned in the classroom in a practical context.

This course has been designed to equip you with key skills in:

  • understanding and assessing the strengths and weaknesses of key theories and concepts in criminology
  • evaluating arguments and the evidence used to support them
  • developing your own perspectives on a range of issues in criminology
  • conducting methodologically rigorous and ethically sound research
  • communicating your ideas clearly at an advanced level in an appropriate scholarly style
  • reflecting critically on your own learning and personal development

It offers you the opportunity to:

  • study criminology in a social scientific environment with teaching by experts in criminology, sociology, social work and social and public policy
  • gain practical experience with a local organisation (such as the police or a member agency of a local crime and drugs partnership), working on crime and how to respond to it
  • undertake research on a criminological topic with support from a specialist supervisor
  • choose from a range of elective modules in related fields within and beyond criminology and the social sciences

Key facts

  • Brief internships in approved agencies/organisations such as probation services, police forces, youth justice, and prisons are available to help build your practical skills and enhance your employability
  • Teaching is conducted by criminologists, as well as experts in sociology, public and social policy and social work, reflecting the interdisciplinary nature of the school

Course details

This course consists of taught modules totalling 120 credits (which are taken during the autumn and spring terms) and a 60-credit dissertation (undertaken over the summer period).

Summative assessment is normally by means of an extended 5,000-word piece of writing in the form of an essay or report, usually on a topic of your own choosing.

A dissertation of 15,000 words in length must be submitted by the end of the summer period. The dissertation is a key component of this degree. It offers you the opportunity to conduct independent research on a topic of your choice under the supervision of academics who are nationally and internationally known for their expertise on diverse aspects of criminology.



  • Contemporary Issues and Debates in Criminology
  • Criminology in Practice
  • Criminology: Theories and Concepts
  • Dissertation in Criminology
  • Research Methods and Research Management


You will need to choose a further 40 credits of optional modules, split equally between the autumn and spring terms. This includes modules from other courses within and outside the School of Sociology and Social Policy (subject to approval).

The modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result may change for reasons of, for example, research developments or legislation changes. This list is an example of typical modules we offer, not a definitive list.


This course will equip you with knowledge, research, intellectual, cognitive, and transferrable skills that will help you to pursue a career in the police forces, probation service, prison service, criminal justice, NGO sector, victim support, academia, civil service or journalism.

Our postgraduate students move into an extraordinarily wide range of careers following their time in the school. The level of study fosters many vital skills and may give you a head start in the job market, allowing you to develop qualities of self-discipline and self-motivation that are essential to employment in a wide range of different fields.

A postgraduate degree from an institution like The University of Nottingham shows potential employers that you are an intelligent, hard-working individual who is bright and flexible enough to undertake any form of specific career training.

Average starting salary and career progression

In 2015, 100% of postgraduates in the School of Sociology and Social Policy who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £27,031 with the highest being £40,800.*

*Known destinations of full-time home higher degree postgraduates 2014/15. Salaries are calculated based on those in full-time paid employment within the UK.

Career prospects and employability

The acquisition of a masters degree demonstrates a high level of knowledge in a specific field. Whether you are using it to enhance your employability, as preparation for further academic research or as a means of vocational training, you may benefit from careers advice as to how you can use your new found skills to their full potential.

Our Careers and Employability Service will help you do this, working with you to explore your options and inviting you to attend recruitment events where you can meet potential employers, as well as suggesting further development opportunities, such as relevant work experience placements and skills workshops.

The University of Nottingham is the best university in the UK for graduate employment, according to The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017.

Entry requirements

  • 2:1 (or international equivalent) in any discipline
  • IELTS: 6.5 (no less than 6.0 in any element); if these grades are not met, English preparatory courses are available
This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated March 16, 2017
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2017
1 - 2 years
Part time
Full time
6,930 GBP
United Kingdom - Nottingham, England
Start date: Sept. 2017
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Sept. 2017
United Kingdom - Nottingham, England
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
International fees: 15,885 GBP (HEU fees: 6,930 GBP)