Criminal Justice

Institute of Public Administration - IPA

Criminal Justice

Accreditation: National University of Ireland

Place on NFQ: Level 9 (Special Purpose Award).

Award: Postgraduate Certificate

The Programme

Postgraduate Certificates are one-year programmes in which students take the second year of IPA MA programmes. They are stand-alone qualifications that focus on subjects relevant to a particular sector or function in public management. There is no progression from these programmes to the Master of Arts programme.

Postgraduate Certificate in Criminal Justice

Students take three or four subjects and complete a minor dissertation. Students must successfully complete the taught courses before moving to the dissertation phase.

Is This Programme For You?

Many graduate students are interested in a number of the fields in which the IPA offers qualifications. Students who wish to focus exclusively on HRM, Financial Management or any other of the specialisms listed above may do so by studying the second year of the MA programme. On completion, they will receive a Postgraduate Certificate in the specialism of their choice. New responsibilities at work or changes in career very often mean that instruction in a new field and an extra qualification are necessary. These one-year certificates are designed to meet such needs.

Subjects taught

Semester One

Crime and Society

This course examines how to understand the effect of crime on society and vice versa. It examines theories of criminal behaviour, environmental criminology, situational crime prevention, influences on crime, forms of crime, drug-related crimes, and changes in crime rates in Ireland.

The Management of Policing

This course provides a history and analysis of policing in Ireland and elsewhere. It considers, among other things, the current functions of An Garda Síochána, global changes in policing, the growth of non-governmental policing, the role of the community in policing itself, and the future of policing.

Criminal Sanctions and the State

The third module of this semester turns to the sanctions that the State applies for criminal behaviour. It explores sociological explanations for the development of modern punishment, the expansion of criminal sanctions in Ireland, contemporary developments in the Irish penal system, sentencing, incarceration, alternatives to custody, the challenge of restorative justice and contemporary theories of prison rehabilitation.

Semester Two

In the second semester of year two, students write a dissertation on a specific criminal justice management issue. Students must successfully complete the taught courses before moving to the dissertation phase.

Entry requirements

Admission Requirements

Applicants must have a primary degree or equivalent qualification.

Application dates

Go to

Download the programme application form and complete it in full.

Email that form, along with all the items below, to, with the subject heading: Application for: Name of Programme. The items below must be scanned and included as attachments in the email:

A passport-type photograph.

A scan of your degree or relevant qualification.

The semester fee OR a letter from your employer confirming that fees will be paid directly to the IPA.

Places on the programmes are limited and demand for places is likely to exceed the number available. Consequently, you are strongly advised to apply as early as possible.

Assessment Info

Students are generally assessed by means of assignments, final exams and a minor dissertation.


One academic year.

Delivery Method

Students attend weekend seminars/webinars in relevant modules and prepare a minor dissertation. They are supported in their studies by a range of resources, including online course material and essential textbooks.


The cost of the programme is €5,000 per annum (includes all matriculation and examination fees, all seminars, textbooks and course material), payable in two instalments.

Enrolment dates

Commences: September 2024

More details
  • Qualifications

    Special Purpose Certificate (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Part time,Blended,Daytime,Weekend

  • Apply to

    Course provider