Designed to develop an advanced critical understanding of crime in its social context, this programme draws on insights from across the humanities and social sciences.

This course incorporates 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.

You will consider questions such as:

  • How and why do certain kinds of behaviour get defined as 'crime' whilst other harmful activities do not?
  • Who has the power to determine what is 'criminal' and why does this vary across different times and places?
  • How can theory and research help us to account for different kinds of lawbreaking behaviour?
  • How do societies respond to the problem of 'crime' and its impact on victims through systems of formal and informal social control?

This course 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.

You will gain practical experience with a local crime or criminal justice organisation (such as the police or a member agency of a local crime and drugs partnership), offering you the opportunity to apply and reflect on what you have learned in the classroom.

You will be able to choose from a range of optional modules in criminology and related fields. You will also develop skills in a range of research methods, and your dissertation will enable you to put them into practice by carrying out and writing up an extended piece of criminological research.

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

  • understanding and assessing criminological theories and concepts
  • 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
  • reflecting critically on your own learning and personal development

Find out more.

Course details

Across the autumn and spring semesters, you will take 120 credits of core and optional modules.

MA students will complete a 60-credit 15,000-word dissertation over the summer supported and advised by a supervisor with appropriate skills and expertise.


Modules are assessed using a number of methods. As well as exams, you will complete 5,000-word essays or reports, usually on a topic of your choice.

Entry requirements

2:1 (or international equivalent) in a relevant arts, humanities or social science discipline

English language requirements

IELTS: 6.5 (no less than 6.0 in any element)


This programme will equip you with the knowledge and research, intellectual, cognitive and transferable skills needed for a career in:

  • criminal justice (policing, probation and the prison service)
  • community safety
  • national and local government
  • non-governmental organisations and advocacy groups
  • academia
  • journalism

Our graduates move into a wide range of careers following their time in the school. Studying at postgraduate level can give you a head start in the job market by helping you to gain new knowledge and develop vital skills.

Program taught in:

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Last updated February 12, 2019
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Sep 2019
9 - 24 months
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Start Date
Sep 2019
End Date
Application deadline

Sep 2019

Application deadline
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