With the University of Stirling ranked first in Scotland for the study of Criminology (The Guardian University Guide 2018), this course provides you with expert training in the latest methods and approaches used in criminological research.

We cover the principles of collecting, analysing and reporting on qualitative and quantitative data whilst also taking account of ethics, reliability and validity. You’ll critically examine the theoretical foundations that underpin criminology and socio-legal research, as well as exploring issues with comparative research and developing an understanding of the relationship between criminology research and policymaking.

The course is recognised as research training by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and is supported by staff from the Scottish Centre for Crime and Criminal Justice Research – a multi-university body with international influence and links to academics, policymakers and practitioners around the world.

Top reasons to study with us

#1 1st in Scotland for Criminology, top 5 in the UK – The Guardian University Guide 2018

#2 1st in Scotland for Criminology – Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018

#3 Recognised as research training by the Economic and Social Research Council

Course objectives

The MRes Criminological Research provides expert training to ensure you can:

  • collect, analyse and report qualitative and quantitative data, taking account of ethics, reliability and validity
  • critically examine the theoretical foundations that underpin criminological and socio-legal research
  • examine issues concerning comparative criminological and socio-legal research
  • understand the relationship between criminological research and policy, and the meanings of evaluation, its terminology, practice and use

The course is designed to be suitable for both novice and experienced researchers. No matter what your level of expertise may be, we’ll equip you with the necessary knowledge and abilities to become successfully employed as a researcher or enrolled as a PhD student.

You’ll study in a multi-disciplinary environment where internationally renowned staff introduce you to cutting edge empirical and theoretical research.

MRes or MSc?

Uniquely, we offer you the opportunity to graduate with an MRes or MSc.

Whether you’re studying for the MRes Criminological Research or MSc Applied Social Research (Criminology), you’ll follow the exact same pathways. The choice of award is designed to give you freedom in determining what outcome will suit your future aspirations.

MRes Criminological Research

The Masters of Research is best suited to you if you see your future career in research, research management and commissioning or using research.

MSc Applied Social Research (Criminology)

The Master of Science is the ideal preparation for social research and evaluation in criminal justice and criminology and will suit you if you want to pursue a career in academia and use the MSc as a precursor to completing a PhD. Find out more about the MSc Applied Social Research (Criminology).

Professional accreditations

The MRes pathways' research training meets the criteria for accreditation from the ESRC, signifying our excellence in researcher training and development. As such, prospective students are eligible for the 1+3 studentship, providing you with funding for a one-year research training Masters linked to a three year PhD.

Course details

Enhance your research skills and open up future opportunities in criminology with this versatile Masters degree.


The MRes in Criminological Research comprises six compulsory taught core modules and a dissertation. Alternatively, you can graduate with a Postgraduate Diploma by completing the core modules but not the dissertation.

You’ll participate in lectures, seminars, tutorials, computer-based workshops and group work. Teaching methods are tailored for each module to help you acquire new skills in critical thinking, research methodologies, communication and analytical thinking.

You can study the course full-time or part-time:

  • Full-time: one year, four/five modules per semester
  • Part-time: two and a half years, two modules per semester


You’ll be assessed via a combination of essays, book reviews, research proposals, presentations, critical review essays, and the research dissertation. There are no examinations.

Course director

Richard Simmons, Course Director

+44 (0)1786 466314


Fees - 2018/2019

  • Overseas £13,650
  • Home/EU £4,700
Program taught in:
Last updated November 14, 2018
This course is
Start Date
Jan. 2019
Sept. 2019
12 - 30 months
4,700 GBP
Home/EU: £4,700 - Overseas: £13,650
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