Crime & Justice

Open University in Ireland

Crime & Justice

This masters degree explores new perspectives and ways of thinking about crime, harm and justice. It is concerned with examining problematic areas of social life, transgression, ‘crime’, social harm and justice. You will consider the significance of power, social structure, and economic and social inequalities in understanding ‘crime’, and processes of criminalisation in local, transnational and global contexts. Studying this qualification will enhance your ability to think critically about problems of crime, social harm and the delivery of justice.

Subjects taught

To gain this qualification, you need 180 credits as follows:

Compulsory modules Credits
• Principles of social and psychological inquiry (DD801) 60
• Crime and global justice (DD804) 120

Please note that Crime and global justice (DD804) is worth 120 credits. Module fees for postgraduate modules are based on the number of credits you study. Therefore the fee for this 120-credit postgraduate module will be double that for the 60 credit module Principles of social and psychological inquiry (DD801).

You should note that the University’s unique study rule applies to this qualification. This means that you must include at least 60 credits from OU modules that have not been counted in any other OU qualification that has previously been awarded to you.

Entry requirements

You must hold a UK honours degree (2:2 at least) or equivalent to be accepted for the MA in Crime and Justice. Your first degree need not be in criminology, but you must have the skills expected of a social sciences graduate.

This qualification has a required study order. All students will begin with the postgraduate module, Principles of social and psychological inquiry (DD801). This module will help equip you with the requisite skills needed to undertake postgraduate-level study, but it does not offer remedial training for those who have an unsuitable bachelors degree or inadequate experience. You will have the opportunity to study with a cohort of peers throughout, while the modules and assessments build on one another systematically.

You must be able to:
write accurately, clearly and concisely
read large quantities of text quickly, accurately and critically
classify evidence precisely and assess its value and reliability
argue logically and consistently
select and interpret evidence to support a logical argument.

Your spoken and written English must be of an adequate standard for postgraduate study. If English is not your first language, we recommend that you will need a minimum score of 6.5 under the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Please see their website for details. If you’re not sure whether your English skills are good enough, there is some help and guidance at our Skills for OU Study website.


2 years.

How long it takes
You will be able to complete this masters qualification within two years by studying one module each year.

Enrolment dates

See Course Web Page link for next start date.

Post Course Info

Career relevance
This qualification offers knowledge and skills relevant to a range of professions and careers concerned with the criminal justice system, victim protection and support, civil society, civil liberties, human rights, security, safety and social justice. The skills developed will be recognised by employers in all fields who value people who can communicate clearly; analyse complex information; and show initiative in formulating and critically considering and investigating questions of their own and devising innovative solutions.

You will develop skills to prepare you for work in a variety of organisations and sectors concerned with protection, safety, and harm prevention, as well as sectors where analytical, nuanced and careful decision making is required, and where independence and initiative are valued. This qualification will also provide you with the academic skills to further develop theoretical and empirical understandings of issues related to crime, social harm and justice.

Please note that this masters degree does not include a research methods component. This may present an impediment for entry to some PhD programmes. If you wish to go on to PhD level study, we recommend you check the regulations of a potential programme of interest.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters at UK Level 7

  • Attendance type

    Part time

  • Apply to

    Course provider