Crime, Violence and Prevention - MSc - Postgraduate course | London Metropolitan University

Crime, Violence and Prevention - MSc

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Why study this course?

Our Crime, Violence and Prevention MSc degree will appeal to practitioners and students interested in a range of professions including policing, probation, prison service work, social work and many new areas in third and private sector security, and outsourced support for offenders, vulnerable adults and young people. Whether your interests lie in domestic violence, terrorism, dangerous offenders or child protection, you'll explore applied and theoretical critical approaches to public protection and other aspects of risk that will transform your professional practice and enhance your employability.

More about this course

The master's course encourages you to look critically at public protection, a key practitioner concept for professionals working in socially responsible professions. There is a special emphasis on gaining 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.

Those already engaged in a related occupation will benefit from the course as it provides the academic context to understand and evaluate the complexity of, and reciprocity between, varied agencies, departments and policies related to crime, criminology and criminal justice.

Modules draw on the research expertise of staff and you'll be able to build networks with students and staff on the course and via the London Practitioner Forum to enable and assist 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. There are opportunities to specialise in areas of your interest when choosing the two optional designates. Modules range from Terrorism/Counter Terrorism, Domestic Violence, Critical Issues in Criminal Justice, Psychology and Crime and other more specialist research modules.


You'll be assessed through essays, examinations (seen), practical research methodology assignments, an extended thesis (12,000-15,000 words) and various formative presentations.

Fees and key information

Course type Postgraduate
Entry requirements View
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Entry requirements

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

If you do not have traditional qualifications or cannot meet the entry requirements for this undergraduate degree, you may still be able to gain entry by completing the Criminology, Policing and Law Extended degree.

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.

Modular structure

The modules listed below are for the academic year 2018/19 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 - Tuesday

    Students with experience of a particular area of the criminal justice system, and concomitant attempts to enhance crime control and community safety, will be able to formalise and consolidate their knowledge of agencies and policy, and to place their work within a broader framework. The module will enable such students to critically integrate and evaluate their existing knowledge and skills.
    All students will develop their skills of critical reflection and analysis and apply such skills to a fuller appreciation of contemporary crime control and community safety. Students will enhance their knowledge of crime control and community safety through relevant scholarly activity, and through reference to the appropriate academic literature and policy documentation. The module aims to provide an advanced knowledge of 'best practice’ as it pertains to crime control and community safety, with an emphasis on practical application: as such, it is hoped that the module will appeal to students already engaged in crime prevention and community safety work, or to those who seek employment in this area.

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

    The module explores the factors among children and young people, which are identified, through research, as being associated with future offending. The module starts by looking at the research and theoretical issues underpinning ‘risk factors’ and then moves on to look at early intervention programmes which have aim to target children who are identified as at risk, and how they might prevent future offending. Students are encouraged to consider critically the theory, ethics, and impact of these interventions.

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

    The module aims to:

    1. Provide a thorough grounding in the understanding and appreciation of criminological research methods.
    2. Develop a competence in understanding the strengths and limitation of quantitative and qualitative research
    3. Develop a competence in analysing quantitative and qualitative research data and writing research reports.
    4. Assist students in designing and conducting research for their thesis, and in developing their skills of critical reflection and analysis.
    5. To critically appraise quantitative and qualitative research produced by statutory agencies (such the Home Office, the Metropolitan Police) and voluntary sector organisations related to the Criminal Justice System to enhance their employment prospects.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Friday afternoon
    • spring semester

    The module enables students to investigate in depth a topic within the field of criminology and
criminal justice. Students can select their own research area, but this is subject to authorization of
the course leader. The dissertation must include independent and original empirical research.
    Students will be required to submit a formal dissertation plan by the beginning of the Spring
    Once this has been approved, students will be allocated a dissertation tutor, and for the
remainder of the module, supervision of the dissertation will be conducted on an individual basis.
    It is expected that pertinent knowledge and skills gained in other course modules will be reflected
in the dissertation.

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

    The module aims to enable students to:
    Explore the prevalence of and trends in violence in the UK and globally
    Identify and assess violent crimes specific to particular communities
    Use various theories within the field of criminology to explain and understand violent behaviour

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

    The module seeks to enable students to:
    identify and critically assess contemporary developments in criminology, and to
    explore the theories used in current research, including neoclassicism; biosocial approaches, developmental and life-course criminology; and critical realism

    The teaching will be largely student led in order to accommodate the varying previous experiences found in MSc groups. Students new to criminology will present on more foundational aspects of theories, those with undergraduate experience of criminology will be expected to present in depth on their chosen issue.

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  • 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.

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

    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.

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

    The main aim of this module is to provide students with core knowledge and understanding of approaches to explaining criminal behaviour and its impact upon individuals and society. More specifically, the aims are:

    To provide an overview of the measurement of crime and factors influencing the degree of error in this measurement.
    To provide an account of psychological factors that are related to or help to explain crime at both a general level and in terms of specific offences (e.g., arson) and specific offender groups (e.g., juveniles).
    To evaluate the contribution of psychology to the explanation of criminal behaviour relative to and in interaction with explanatory frameworks and factors from other disciplines.

    To provide a brief introduction to victimology.

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

    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. In the second half of the module, we introduce approaches to evaluation and the specific issues, challenges and opportunities when creating knowledge through evaluating interventions with victim-survivors and perpetrators of violence. Module aims:

    • To introduce feminist epistemological and methodological approaches to research
    • To explore the range of methods used to build the evidence base on violence against women and children, and their creep into policy contexts
    • To assess the strengths and limitations of qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods for answering research questions on violence against women and children
    • To critically examine approaches to evaluating interventions with victim-survivors and perpetrators of violence
    • To explore the creation and critique of knowledge claims about violence and interventions

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester

    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.

    This module will:
    - explore the extent and forms of sexual violence in child and adulthood;
    - critically examine theoretical, conceptual and explanatory frameworks;
    - locate legal reform, support services and policy development in historical and comparative contexts;
    - examine the impacts and consequences for individuals and for gender and generational relations;
    - explore prevention and work with perpetrators in context of contemporary sexual norms and cultures.

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

    This module explores the relationship between the state and terrorism and considers how the nation state has been the perpetrator and a motivating factor behind terrorist acts, as well as considering other reasons behind such acts of violence. Students will consider the role of the state as a protector of its citizens has been challenged by its own actions and by terrorist organisations including groups such as ISIS.
    The module goes on to outline contemporary terrorist tactics and reviews the impact on national and international responses to terrorism

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester

    This module introduces students to the range of forms of violence against women, their prevalence and consequences: intimate partner violence, domestic abuse, 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. Within an intersectional framework we will:

    - introduce students to the range of forms of violence against women
    - familiarise students with the current knowledge base on prevalence of, relationships and contexts for violence and its short and long term consequences
    - locate the emergence of the issues within social movement and social problem analysis
    - critically assess explanatory frameworks and contemporary policy responses

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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.

What our students say

"I am very satisfied with the content of teaching and the enthusiasm of the lecturers. There is always support when needed and I feel the course has been an interesting one."


After the course

Criminology itself is an increasingly strong and prevalent academic discipline. The analytical and research skills acquired on the MSc are transferable to other jobs and areas of expertise. The course will help prepare you for employment in the criminal justice sector including the police, probation, prison, youth offending and community safety departments, and academic or government research posts.

Previous students have joined the police service either as police officers or civil investigation officers, embarked upon training to equip them to join the probation service or have become social workers working with young offenders.

Other students have joined the voluntary sector working in residential or drugs and alcohol units. Many have also entered research jobs within the public or private sector or have progressed on to PhD studies.

Additional costs

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.

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.

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