L3KC09 Criminology and Criminal Justice MSc Postgraduate Taught 2019
This course critically addresses a range of key issues and debates relating to crime and the criminal justice system. You will have the opportunity to develop an in-depth understanding of crime, deviance and criminal justice from critical, theoretical, policy, legal, political and practical perspectives and will address issues of historical and contemporary concern such as terrorism, sex work, legal and illegal drugs, crime in the night-time economy, forced migration, gender and crime, domestic violence, crime prevention, prison and punishment, policing, youth crime and justice, law enforcement and the use of new technologies. You will also study issues of theoretical and social importance with lecturers who are international experts in their fields.
You will take a range of taught modules primarily in the first two terms of the academic year. You will also undertake two research modules, which will enable you to develop a research proposal for your dissertation.
Theorising Crime and Criminal Justice (30 credits)
- Apply theories of crime and justice to topical issues
- Theory and practice of criminal justice
- Analysis of contemporary politics
- Governance of criminal justice.
Perspectives on Social Research (15 credits)
- Introduction to social scientific research
- Establishing cause and interpreting meaning in social sciences
- Essentials of quantitative and qualitative research in social science research.
Research Design and Process (15 credits)
- Formulating research questions
- Ethical review procedures
- Research proposal design, evaluation, and development
- Conversational analysis in practice
- Qualitative interviewing.
Dissertation (60 credits)
- A dissertation of up to 15,000 words on a topic of your choice.
You may choose modules to the value of 60 credits.
In previous years, typical modules offered were:
- Gender, Violence and Abuse (30 credits)
- Drugs, Crime and Society (30 credits)
- Crime, Justice and the Sex Industry (30 credits)
- Young People, Crime and Justice (30 credits)
- Cyberculture and Cybercrime (30 credits)
- Sociology of Forensic Science (30 credits)
- Prisons, Crime and Criminal Justice (Inside-Out prison exchange programme) (30 credits)
- Statistical Exploration and Reasoning (15 credits)
- Qualitative Research Methods in Social Science (15 credits)
- Quantitative Research Methods in Social Science (15 credits)
- Participatory Action Research (15 credits)
- You will also have the opportunity to take a range of modules from other courses within the Faculty.
To find out more about the modules available to students studying at Durham University please click here.
Please note: Current modules are indicative. Information for future academic years may change, for example, due to developments in the relevant academic field, or in light of student feedback.
Course Learning and Teaching
The MSc Criminology and Criminal Justice is a 1 year full-time course which may also be taken part-time. The course’s core consists of a 60 credit dissertation module, one 30 credit module on Criminological Theory, one 15 credit module on Theories of Social Research and one 15 credit module on Research Design. You are also required to undertake 60 further credits of modules from within the Department of Sociology or other related departments which may be taught in a variety of ways.
Core teaching on the course falls primarily within the two 10 week terms. Depending on module choice you may receive between 6 and 8 hours of tuition per week in either or both of these terms.
The course is taught according to a variety of approaches. Modules such as ‘Theorising Crime and Criminal Justice’ operate a standard 2 hour session within which lecturing, seminar discussion, workshops or presentations may take place. Modules such as ‘Perspectives on Social Research’, ‘Quantitative Methods’ and ‘Qualitative Methods’ operate a weekly lecture series followed by seminar discussion. Other modules such as ‘Statistical Exploration and Reasoning’ operate computer-based practicals. Prisons, Crime and Criminal Justice is an innovative module that emphasises transformative education. It is taught within a prison each week using the Inside-Out dialogical pedagogy whereby university students learn together with prisoners, completing the same readings and assessments, as well as group work and group projects (please see the website for further details). For this module you will need to undertake security clearance and mandatory prison training before being allowed to enter the prison.
The ‘Research Design’ module is taught in weekly lectures and seminars in term 1. Reflecting on the process of research design, the module supports the student in formulating the research question for their dissertation.
The MSc course is research-led at its core. The compulsory module 'Theorising Crime and Criminal Justice' links explicitly with the research activities of the criminology staff. For example, the module ‘Crime Violence and Abuse’ links with the current research activities of the Department’s research group of the same name; and ‘Drugs, Crime and Society’ is taught by an internationally renowned expert in the field. You will subsequently undertake a 60 credit dissertation on a topic of your choice, supervised by staff who are actively researching in a relevant area. While this module is intended to afford an opportunity for a significant piece of independent and original research, it includes up to six hours of regular supervision which takes place typically from the end of term 2. You will also participate in two workshops convened by the course Director and usually alongside others researching in similar areas.
While teaching is intensive, particularly in terms 1 and 2, it is intended that the course presents options for part-time study. Consequently, teaching is undertaken where possible in timetable slots which take place late in the afternoon.
Subject requirements, level and grade
Normally an upper second class honours degree (2:1) or equivalent.
We are keen to consider applications from a professional range of criminal justice backgrounds and experiences.
When submitting your online application, you will also need to provide:
- Academic Transcript and Certificate (if possible)
- Two academic references (it is the applicants responsibility to obtain their references from their referees).
English Language requirements
Please check requirements for your subject and level of study.
How to apply
Fees and Funding
Full Time Fees
|EU Student||£7,750.00 per year|
|Home Student||£7,750.00 per year|
|Island Student||£7,750.00 per year|
|International non-EU Student||£19,000.00 per year|
Part Time Fees
|EU Student||£4,300.00 per year|
|Home Student||£4,300.00 per year|
|International non-EU Student||£10,500.00 per year|
The tuition fees shown are for one complete academic year of study, are set according to the academic year of entry, and remain the same throughout the duration of the programme for that cohort (unless otherwise stated).
Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.
Scholarships and funding
Open days and visits
Pre-application open day
Overseas Visit Schedule
Postgraduate VisitsPGVI or
Department of Sociology
The Department of Sociology is an interdisciplinary department with over 50 years’ experience in teaching and research in sociology and social policy, expanding over time to provide a focus for collaboration across the related academic disciplines of criminology, social work, and community development. We are a leading international centre of excellence in interdisciplinary applied social research that shapes and informs social policy and practice, enhances individual, community and social wellbeing, promotes social inclusion, and forms the foundations of research-led education.