The programme combines advanced study of criminal justice processes and criminological theory so you can develop an in-depth understanding of the nature, purposes, dynamic processes and outcomes of the criminal justice process.
Throughout the course, you’ll be encouraged to:
- explore the criminal justice process
- investigate contemporary policy debates and perspectives on crime control
- consider how policy debates inform the politics of crime control
- develop your research skills.
This programme is offered within the dynamic Centre for Criminal Justice Studies (CCJS), an internationally recognised research centre that provides an active and multi-disciplinary environment, whose members are committed to high-quality teaching in criminal justice, criminology and criminal law. The CCJS also excels in the production of research that is empirically rich, conceptually sophisticated and policy relevant. Research is interdisciplinary and often international in its reach. The University of Leeds recognises CCJS as one of its key 'peaks of research excellence'.
CCJS academics have conducted research for a range of external funding bodies including the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Nuffield Foundation, the Home Office, the Youth Justice Board, the Leverhulme Trust, the European Commission, the National Probation Service and others. Since 2001, CCJS members have been awarded research grants totalling over £10 million. Such projects sustain the established profile of the CCJS as a pre-eminent research unit and ensure that our teaching is at the cutting edge of contemporary academic and policy debates.
The CCJS has an Advisory Board with more than twenty members who hold senior positions within local criminal justice and partner organisations, including the police, the judiciary, the probation service, prisons and the courts.
Our strong links with the local criminal justice community bring valuable benefits to our students.
Compulsory modules studied throughout the year will enable you to:
- explore the complex and dynamic nature of the criminal justice process and the relationships that can exist between its components;
- analyse contemporary theories, concepts and approaches to understanding crime, crime control and the criminal justice system;
- explore and examine the intricate and complex relationships and dynamics between theory, research and practice, and the impact of criminal justice processes on individuals and social groups, often in the wider context of social and political change.
You’ll also benefit from our Support in Academic and Personal Development programme. This runs alongside your taught academic programme in semester one and is specifically designed to complement the School’s induction activities and ongoing academic skills support for students, both home and International.
The optional modules will give you the opportunity to gain specialist knowledge in topics that interest you. An indicative list of optional modules is provided below. You’ll also be able to hone your critical and analytical abilities, your writing skills and your knowledge of research methods, which you can demonstrate in your dissertation.
If you choose to study part-time, you’ll take three compulsory modules in your first year. You then take the compulsory dissertation module and your chosen one or two optional modules in your second year.
These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time.
- Criminal Justice Processes
- Researching Crime, Security and Justice
- Contemporary Criminological Theory and Approaches
- Dissertation Criminal Law/Criminal Justice
- New Frontiers of Security, Conflict and Justice
- Central Issues in Criminal Law
- Rethinking Policing Through Research 1
- Rethinking Policing Through Research 2
- Security, Conflict and Justice
- European Human Rights
- Globalisation and Crime
- Human Rights and Disabled People
- Global Justice
- Theorising Gender 1
- Understanding Society and Culture
- Power, Critique & Global Transformations
Learning and teaching
Our compulsory and optional modules are taught through a range of weekly seminars, lectures and workshops.
You’ll need to prepare for your seminars and lectures, undertaking any exercises that might be prescribed in advance. Independent study is integral to this programme – not just to prepare for classes but to develop research and other critical skills.
A personal academic supervisor will support you throughout the programme.
You’ll be assessed using a variety of methods but for most modules, you’ll be required to write an essay at the end of each module. You’ll also be expected to write a final dissertation.
A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (Honours) in law, criminal justice, criminology or a related discipline.
We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications.
English language requirements
IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in all components.
Improve your English
International students who do not meet the English language requirements for this programme may be able to study our postgraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.
This pre-sessional course is designed with a progression route to your degree programme and you’ll learn academic English in the context of your subject area.
How to apply
- UK/EU students: 31 July
- International students: 30 June
Documents and information you will need include:
- Original or certified copies of your transcripts
- Original or certified copies of your degree certificate
- Original or certified copy of your IELTS/TOEFL results (if English is not your first language)
- Details of two referees.
For the latest information regarding fees, please see our website: https://courses.leeds.ac.uk
Part-time fees are normally calculated based on the number of credits you study in a year compared to the equivalent full-time course. For example, if you study half the course credits in a year, you will pay half the full-time course fees for that year.
Additional cost information
There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds.
Scholarships and financial support
If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There may be help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government.
The School of Law offers a number of scholarships for its Masters students.
This programme is well-suited to you if you’re wishing to pursue a career in public service, the private sector, the voluntary sector or any other area where success is built upon the ability to understand, analyse and respond to developments in criminal justice.
Our previous graduates have gone on to pursue successful careers in academia and in research outside academia, in the UK and overseas. Alumni hold senior positions in criminal justice organisations including police and probation services, the prison service, and youth justice services, as well as in the private and voluntary sector, both in the UK and abroad. Others have been awarded promotions following successful completion of the programme.
The School of Law offers career and personal development support through the School of Law Employability Officers. The School also arranges career development workshops, seminars and one-to-one sessions for students on all postgraduate programmes.
We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.
The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at
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