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School of Applied Social Sciences

MSc Criminology and Criminal Justice

Available as a part-time or full-time programme.

This exciting programme provides an in-depth, advanced level study of crime and criminal justice that can be applied across British, European, and international contexts. This programme critically addresses a range of key issues and debates relating to crime and the criminal justice system. Students have the opportunity to develop in-depth understanding of crime, deviance and criminal justice from critical theoretical, policy, legal, political and practical perspectives. Addressing issues of historical and contemporary concern such as terrorism, prostitution, crime in the night time economy, forced migration, gender and crime, domestic violence, crime prevention, punishment, policing, youth crime and justice,law enforcement and the use of new technologies students study issues of theoretical and social importance with lecturers who are international experts in their fields.

Durham University has a long history of sociological research into crime and justice which has recently lead to a major investment in the subject of criminology – both in relation to an expansion of scholars appointed at every level and the creation of new undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes.

The programme is taught by members of the inter-disciplinary criminological research group at Durham. Funded by a wide range of research grants and consultancies, the group has a particular research strength in crime, violence and abuse, but also includes a strong portfolio of research into crime and technology, policing and penal issues. The research group supports and undertakes theoretical and applied research and includes a large and vibrant postgraduate research community. Studying with expert staff the programme provides a core focus on the discipline of Criminology whilst allowing students to pursue specialised areas of interest. The programme focuses upon understanding crime, its causes and prevention, criminal justice policy, and the links between crime and societal responses.

The programme commences in October of each year. The full-time programme lasts 12 months, and part time lasts at least 24 months.

Students will undertake four core modules in preparation for a supervised Dissertation. The core modules facilitate the advanced study of theories of crime and criminal justice, the acquisition of research skills and the synthesis of specialist knowledge and innovative criminological research methods in a dissertation. A range of further modules are available from which students will pick up to 60 credits of options. Optional modules are continually in development.

Core Modules

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 Progress

(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.

Optional Modules
(choose any combination of modules for a total of 60 credits)

Choose modules to the value of 60 credits,

listed at right

 (60 credits)

  • Crime Violence and Abuse (30 credits)
  • Criminal Justice, Risk and Security: from the Local to the Global (30 credits)
  • The Sociology of Punishment (30 credits)
  • Issues in Criminal Justice (30 credits)
  • Cybercrime: Crime in the Information Age (30 credits)
  • Risk, Security, and Society (30 credits)
  • Statistical Exploration and Reasoning (15 credits)
  • Qualitative Research Methods in Social Science (15 credits)
  • Quantitative Research Methods in Social Science (15 credits)

Dependent on module choice, academic learning is assessed through 3,000 word essays, workshops, self-assessment, oral presentations and research reports. There are no written timed examinations. 

Normally an upper second class honours degree or equivalent is required. English Language Proficiency equivalent to IELTS 6.5. We are keen to consider applications from professionals from a range of criminal justice backgrounds and experiences. We welcome applications from holders of international qualifications.

Normally an upper second class honours degree or equivalent is required. English Language Proficiency equivalent to IELTS 6.5. We are keen to consider applications from professionals from a range of criminal justice backgrounds and experiences. We welcome applications from holders of international qualifications.

You can apply for this course through the University's online application process here.