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Criminology - MSc

Why study this course?

This course allows you to develop an advanced knowledge of crime and offenders, as well as to assess contemporary trends and concepts in criminal justice policy and community safety. In the most recent (2014-15) Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey, 100% of graduates from this course were in work or further study within six months.

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It will incorporate approaches to crime control within the community and penal institutions. You will also gain the methodological and analytic skills required to conduct research within the field of crime and criminal justice; this level of knowledge and skill can prepare you for doctoral study or research posts within the criminal justice arena, or can consolidate your professional experience.

Visit the criminology subject hub for news, events and staff profiles

Assessment

You are assessed via essays, projects, examinations and a dissertation between 12,000 and 15,000 words in length. The dissertation forms a key element of the MSc. It allows you to pursue in depth a topic of your choosing and is to be completed over the summer study period.

You will be required to have:

  • at least a lower second class honours degree in a relevant discipline such as criminology, or social and behavioural sciences (applications are also welcome from those who have experience in criminal justice or possess relevant professional qualifications)

In some circumstances applicants who do not meet the standard entry requirements 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 2017/18 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 and debates associated with contemporary criminology, with a particular focus on England and Wales. The focus is on theory, although controversies in criminal justice are also visited.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Wednesday

    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).

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Wednesday

    This module allows students to identify and critically assess patterns in specific forms of crime and offending behaviour, as well as to consider the prevalence, characteristics and typologies of specific types of offence. Models used to explain crime and offender patterns, as well as recidivism and desistance, will be considered. These will be related to the wider theoretical criminological field.

    To begin with, the module is structured around identifying and evaluating key patterns and characteristics of recorded crime and offending behaviour, with a particular (but not exclusive) emphasis on the UK. The module also aims to present and assess explanatory models used to explicate crime trends, and changes in offending patterns.

    The module then focuses on specific types of offence category (including violent and sexual offences, financial, organised crime and environmental crime), and identifies specific trends. As a corollary, the escalation of offending behaviour and the concept of criminal 'career' is evaluated.

    The third and final element of the module centres on an analysis of 'serial offenders', and the ways in which offender and geographic profiling might (or might not) assist in understanding and detecting such offenders.

    Read full details.
  • 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.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester
    • summer studies
    • autumn 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.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Wednesday afternoon

    The module aims to explore what is known about children and young people at risk of offending, and what is known about the childhoods of adults dealt with in the criminal justice system, to understand what interventions might have reduced risk. It also considers the social disadvantages and environmental context which contribute to risk, leading to a comparison of targeted versus universal strategies of prevention. The second part of the programme is then on ‘what works’ in early intervention.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Wednesday morning

    This module will allow students to investigate the complex issue of violence through a multidisciplinary approach. It will consider the psychological, biological and social causes through criminological theory to explain specific types of violence. It includes topics such as murder, rape, assault, terrorism, violence within the family and culturally specific violence.

    The module will be structured to identify the key patterns and trends in violent behaviour and specifically how such violence applies to communities in the UK. Theories of violence and aggression will then be used to assess crime trends and behaviour. These will then be tied to the wider criminological field and possible prevention strategies will be considered.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Tuesday afternoon

    The module aims to explore what is meant by the term 'Green Criminology'. In its broadest sense, it refers to the study of harms committed against the environment by corporations, states and also ordinary people. A growing realisation that the health of this planet is intricately linked to the health of each one of us, has led to the development of a multi-disciplinary approach within Criminology incorporating a number of theoretical and philosophical perspectives. The module will therefore make use of a wide range of contributions from Human Geography, Philosophy, Political Science, Sociology and others in order to link together and further our understanding of the complex nature of environmental harms and crimes in particular and criminogenic systems in general.

    Read full details.
  • 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.

    Read full details.
  • This module will focus on methodological approaches to researching forms of violence which are primarily targeted against women and children (e.g. domestic violence, rape, sexual assault and childhood sexual abuse, sexual exploitation and trafficking, crimes in the name of honour, female genital mutilation, stalking and harassment) and evaluating support and prevention initiatives/interventions. Content will cover: feminist epistemologies and power in the research process; formulating research questions; ethical dilemmas and practices; survey methods, including prevalence data; qualitative research exploring women and children’s perspectives as well as those of perpetrators; creative and arts-based methods; policy-oriented research. The second section of the module will introduce approaches to evaluation and the specific issues, challenges and opportunities when creating knowledge through evaluating interventions with victim-survivors and perpetrators of violence.

    Read full details.
  • 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.

    Read full details.
  • 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.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester

    This module runs in block mode.

    In 2014-15 it should run in Autumn Semester - 9, 10, 23, 24 October
    20 and 21 November

    This module introduces students to the range of forms of violence against women, their prevalence and consequences: intimate partner violence, rape and sexual assault, sexual harassment, sexual exploitation, FGM and crimes in the name of honour. We will address explanatory frameworks and perspectives, including human rights, and critically assess current policy approaches.

    Read full details.

The course consists of four core modules, and a dissertation of no more than 15,000 words.

Core modules:

  • Contemporary Issues in Criminal Justice
  • Crime Control and Community Safety
  • Criminological Research Methods
  • Crime and Offender Patterns

Students also select one 'designate' module per semester, and these include (subject to availability):

  • Community Development
  • Sexual Violence: causes, consequences, and interventions
  • Psychology and Criminal Behaviour
  • Intelligence Analysis
  • Urban Patterns and Spatial Analysis

The aim of the course is to prepare you for employment or further study in the criminal justice sector.

The curriculum will equip you for a range of careers in the criminal justice system and related professions, all with excellent recruitment prospects. Key career paths include the Metropolitan Police Service, Probation Service, Foreign Office, Prison Service, youth offending and community safety departments, as well as academic or government research posts.

Full-time

1 year, Mon and Wed (subject to change) 

Part-time

(day): 2 years, 1 day a week, Mon or Wed (subject to change)

Start dates

September and January F/T, P/T

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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