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Crime, Violence and Prevention - MSc

Why study this course?

This course will appeal to practitioners and students interested in careers in a range of professions such as policing, probation, prison service work, social work and many new areas in third sector and private sector security and outsourced support for offenders, vulnerable adults and young people. A broad based masters programme in public protection would enable students to pursue their particular interest be it in domestic violence, terrorism, dangerous offenders or child protection.

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The course encourages you to look critically at public protection, a key practitioner concept for professionals working in socially responsible professions.

You'll explore applied and theoretical critical understanding of public protection and other aspects of risk, which will transform the professional practice of participants or enhance their future employability.

Modules draw on the research expertise of staff, and aim to create a virtuous circle, where contacts generated through students/staff on the course and via the London Practitioner Forum will enable and assist their further research.

Including critical approaches to the understanding of risk within hard to reach groups and incorporating issues of diversity, the programme draws upon the University's established Criminology MSc degree and utilises the existing module provision.

Two additional modules are offered, Public Protection and Risk Awareness, and Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism.


There is a special emphasis on a sound grasp of the relevant academic literature, including substantial use of key scholarly journals in the field of criminology and criminal justice. There is also a focus on how theory relates to and enhances good practice.

This is assessed through a variety of summative assessments including essays, examinations (seen), practical research methodology assignments, an extended thesis (12-15,000 words), and various formative presentations to class peers.

You will be required to have:

  • a relevant first degree (eg criminology, social or behavioural sciences), specific experience related to crime and the Criminal Justice System (such as police or probation work) or relevant professional qualifications

In some circumstances applicants who do not possess the standard entry qualifications may be permitted to enrol on the course at the discretion of the course leader.

Applications are welcomed from overseas students, and all applicants are considered on individual merit without regard to gender, marital status, disability, race, ethnic origin, religion or social background.

All applicants must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. Applicants who require a Tier 4 student visa may need to provide a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

The modules listed below are for the academic year 2016/17 and represent the course modules at this time. Modules and module details (including, but not limited to, location and time) are subject to change over time.

Year 1 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Wednesday afternoon

    The module aims to identify and consider the key themes, debates policies, and agencies associated with contemporary criminal justice, with a particular focus on England and Wales

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Monday afternoon

    The module seeks to critically assess recent and current policies and practices associated with crime control and community safety. Whilst there is a particular focus on England and Wales, the module also considers the international context, and some of the approaches utilised in other countries (such as the USA, Canada, and Australia).

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Wednesday morning

    The module seeks to provide a good grounding in the understanding and appreciation of criminological research methods. Students will be taken through the process of conducting social research from the formulation of a research question through to the completion of a [quantitative] research report. Students will learn about designing social research, data collection and analysis in a clear and accessible way. The module will enable students to determine which research methodology to apply as part of the research process. Students on this module will benefit from the experience of ‘guest’ lectures from academics with experience of conducting primary research within the field of criminology/criminal justice. Guest speakers will include, for example, University-based or Home Office researchers or those based in particular criminal justice agencies. These lectures/workshop sessions are designed to help students understand the practicalities and challenges of conducting research in the 'real world'. Students will receive tuition on quantitative data collection and analysis with a particular emphasis on the use of SPSS. During their engagement with the module, students will also be expected to make the appropriate level of reference to standard texts in research methods; this will assist in the evaluation of specific research studies, which forms a key component of the module. The module commences by providing an overview of the principal approaches in social research.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester
    • summer studies
    • spring semester

    The dissertation allows the student to undertake an independent and
sustained piece of research into a substantive topic of his or her own choosing. The dissertation
must include appropriate empirical research in the field of criminology and criminal justice. It must also be grounded in related criminological theories and relate to previous criminological research.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Monday afternoon

    This module will provide students with an critical understanding of criminological theories and effective practice in relation to public protection and those at risk or posing a risk in society. By exploration of the main theories and key policy issues and debates in relation to crime, risk, offender behaviour and the management of offenders/ vulnerable people in the community, the language and practice of risk management will be critical evaluated.

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  • Students will be equipped with a strategic and theoretical undepinning to enhance their practice skills.

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  • This module considers what intelligence and analysis means, and its overall role, and its application to security related issues of Criminology and the domain of Public Protection. It deals with dealing with issues pertaining to law enforcement and government agencies and the private sector combating crime and the use of proactive intelligence.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Tuesday morning

    This module will introduce students to the basic principles and psychological theories underlying criminal behaviour. It is assessed by coursework and taught jointly by the Criminology and Psychology Schools.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • summer studies

    This module provides an opportunity to explore data analysis within the context of the principles of individual qualitative research approaches in greater depth, including IT software tools such as NVivo and their use to analyse raw data. The processes and principles and application of selected analytic schemes will be considered, such as grounded theory and forms of discourse analysis. Students will have an opportunity to apply specific approaches, and compare and contrast manual and IT based analytic procedures.

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  • No module details available
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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester

    Within communities and environments where 'user involvement' and public participation in a range of social and political processes has received increased attention in recent years, so too has the need for effective participation in social research and evaluation activities. Moving beyond ideas of people as research participants, this module examines ways of involving different communities and reasons for using participatory methods, its contexts and how these approaches increase understanding of people's lived experiences. It will further focus on how to decide the appropriateness of different approaches in varied contexts.

    2013-14 timeslots:

    SS7055 will run on 6 single days (9.30-4.30pm) in Autumn Semester - ie not throughout the semester.

    Autumn Semester slots:

    October 7 and 8 (Mon-Tue) 9:30-4:30
    November 8 and 9 (Fri-Sat) 9:30-4:30
    December 5 and 6 (Thur-Fri) 9:30-4:30

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester

    This module runs in block mode.

    In 2015-16 this module should run in Spring Semester - 11th, 12th, 25th, 26th February and 10th ,11th March.

    This module will focus on forms of sexual violence in child and adulthood. We will address: incidence, prevalence and reporting; theoretical and explanatory frameworks; impacts and meaning for victims/survivors; persistence and change with respect to legal frameworks, the justice system and support services; perpetrators and approaches to prevention.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Monday morning

    Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism. This module is in the overall context of Safety and Security, and is an advanced course in terrorism and counter-terrorism.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • summer studies

    N.B. this module is taught in Block - over 6 days, 6 hrs per day.

    The module introduces the student to the fields of social enquiry where mapping can provide relevant answers
    to the key questions. Introduces and evaluates the primary data sources available for this.
    Introduces and explains the principles of computer mapping, GIS software and social data that
    can be spatially represented. The module teaches students to conduct their own GIS based study
    in this field and undertake critical review of GIS generated work.

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This course consists of five core modules: Understanding Public Protection and Risk, Crime Control and Community Safety, Criminological Research Methods, Crime and Offender Patterns and the Criminological Dissertation on a topic of students choice.

There are opportunities to specialise in areas of your interest when choosing the two optional designates: topics range from Terrorism/Counter Terrorism, Domestic Violence, Critical Issues in Criminal Justice, Psychology and Crime and other more specialist research modules.

The course also provides a unique opportunity to enhance professional practice and critical understanding.

The course will help prepare students for employment in the criminal justice sector (including the police, probation, prison, youth offending and community safety departments), as well as academic or government research posts. It is hoped that some students will progress to doctoral studies after successful completion of the MSc.

It is the intention that students already engaged in a related occupation will benefit markedly from the course, in that the latter will provide the academic contextualisation with which to understand and evaluate the complexity of, and reciprocity between, varied agencies, departments and policies related to crime, criminology and criminal justice.

Criminology itself is an increasingly strong and prevalent academic discipline. The analytic and research skills acquired on the MSc are, of course, transferable to other jobs and areas of expertise. Previous students from this course have joined the police service either as police officers or civil investigation officers, some have embarked upon training to equip them to join the probation service or become social workers working with young offenders.

Other students have joined the voluntary sector working in residential or drugs/alcohol units. Still others have entered research jobs within the public or private sector and finally a number have progressed on to PhD studies.

Between 2016 and 2020 we're investing £125 million in the London Metropolitan University campus, moving all of our activity to our current Holloway campus in Islington, north London. This will mean the teaching location of some courses will change over time.

Whether you will be affected will depend on the duration of your course, when you start and your mode of study. The earliest moves affecting new students will be in September 2017. This may mean you begin your course at one location, but over the duration of the course you are relocated to one of our other campuses. Our intention is that no full-time student will change campus more than once during a course of typical duration.

All students will benefit from our move to one campus, which will allow us to develop state-of-the-art facilities, flexible teaching areas and stunning social spaces.

Please note, in addition to the tuition fee there may be additional costs for things like equipment, materials, printing, textbooks, trips or professional body fees.

Additionally, there may be other activities that are not formally part of your course and not required to complete your course, but which you may find helpful (for example, optional field trips). The costs of these are additional to your tuition fee and the fees set out above and will be notified when the activity is being arranged.

How to apply

Use the apply button to begin your application.

Please note, fees and course details may be subject to change.

When to apply

You are advised to apply as early as possible as applications will only be considered if there are places available on the course.

Fees and key information


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