Criminology & Criminal Justice

Ulster University - Belfast

Criminology & Criminal Justice

This course is designed to generate critical thinkers and skilled practitioners who are equipped to improve criminal justice outcomes. You will be immersed in cutting-edge knowledge, techniques, and approaches. This will develop you to effectively challenge harmful crime trends at a regional, national, and international level and tackle complex social issues like marginalisation, inequality, and impunity.

The degree responds to growing industry demand for applied knowledge and practical understandings in areas such as crime prevention, designing-out crime, restorative justice, cybercrime, white-collar crime, digital forensics, victim support, and evidence-based policy and practice. If you want to open new career horizons, the MSc in Criminology and Criminal Justice is your professional gateway.

As a dedicated and enthusiastic team of internationally recognised scholars, we are committed to critical criminology, evidence-based policy and practice, and investing in your personal, academic, and professional development.

Work placement / study abroad
The Criminology and Criminal Justice team have strong research and industry links with a range of public, private, voluntary and community organisations and can help to facilitate internships opportunities for students who wish to gain practical work experience during or after the course.

For further course details please see "Course Web Page" below.

Subjects taught

Year one
Foundations of Social Science Research
This module will introduce students to some of the key concepts, ideas and debates in social science research. The module will also introduce students to the main stages in the research process, the main approaches and methods and will give students a firm foundation in the basics of social research that will prepare them for other research methods modules.

Victims and Restorative Justice
The module will empower students to develop a range of theoretical and practical understandings of victims, restorative justice, restorative practice and associated applications. Students will reflect critically on the diversity of evidence-based methods and approaches, and the need to evaluate personal and sector practices and explore the history of restorative approaches and the ways in which different practices have developed.

Global Landscapes of Crime and Justice
This module is suitable for students who seek careers in global policy analysis, security, consultancy, anti-money laundering, compliance and enforcement. The module equips students with a range of transferable skills sought after by employers in statutory and non-governmental organisations. These include opens source intelligence, data analysis and management, independent research, project management, presentation and dissemination.

Contemporary Perspectives on Risk and Security
This module is designed to introduce students to key security and risk theories within criminology and criminal justice and the implications for civil liberties. It also enables students to critically apply these theories to contemporary empirical examples.

MSc Criminology Dissertation
This module enables students to develop and apply criminology and criminal justice analysis and research skills in a 15,000 word dissertation. The dissertation represents a sustained period of independent work which addresses a research question or issue in the field of Criminology and Criminal Justice.

Social Action for Peace and Justice: A Community Development Approach
This module is optional

This module is designed as an integrated social sciences paradigm infused with a co-production theme.

The content is fashioned to raise the awareness of students to injustices oppression and discrimination that are embedded in personal, cultural and structural frames of reference. They will be challenged to explore how to tackle these issues using a community development approach that leads to sustainable social action.

The module is primarily focused on emancipatory praxis to promote critical dialogue and social action using a community development lens.

Critical Perspectives on Punishment
This module is optional
In a speech to the House of Commons in 1910, then Home Secretary Winston Churchill claimed that, 'the mood and temper of the public in regard to the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of the civilisation of any country'. Critical Perspectives on Punishment will offer students the opportunity to engage with a range of debates on how punishment is understood and represented in society. It will encourage a critical appraisal of both how and why we punish, and what the answers to these questions can tell us about the societies we live in.

Survey and Quantitative Methods
This module is optional
This module provides students with a thorough knowledge of survey research and quantitative analysis. It takes students from an introduction to the principles and practice of elementary techniques through to use of advanced quantitative methods. Topics covered include survey methods and sampling as well as univariate, bivariate and multivariate techniques. Practical applications are used to give the student experience of data handling, analysis, inference and results presentation.

Qualitative Research Methods
This module is optional
The module will introduce students to essential features of qualitative research through: conceptualizing research, constructing appropriate and effective data collection instruments, accessing archived data, interpreting and presenting research findings. Throughout, the module explores issues of ethics, access and accountability; and issues of application and limitation of different qualitative approaches in different exampled research contexts. This module is designed to introduce participants to approaches to research with groups who are most impacted by social inequality and to understand the ethical issues that apply to research with 'vulnerable groups', a term that is used here in the sense in which it is used by ethics approval committees. By the end of the module, students are expected to be conversant with qualitative research perspectives and methods, skilled in the techniques of qualitative research design and data collection, and competent in both manual and computer-aided qualitative data analysis (Nvivo), and will be required to demonstrate their newly acquired competencies through coursework.

Entry requirements

Applicants must have a second class honours degree or better in Social Sciences, Humanities, Law or a cognate discipline from a university of the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland, or from a recognised national awarding body, or from an institution of another country which has been recognised as being of an equivalent standard.

Where an applicant has substantial and significant experiential learning, a portfolio of written evidence demonstrating the meeting of graduate qualities (including subject-specific outcomes, as determined by the Course Committee) may be considered as an alternative entrance route.

English Language Requirements
If English is not your first language this course requires
a minimum English level of IELTS (academic) 6.0 with no band
score less than 5.5, or equivalent.

This course is open to international (non-EU) students (full-time only).

For full entry requirements please see "Course Web Page" below.

Application dates

Your Application
Application is through the University's online application system (see "Application Weblink" below).

Enrolment dates

Start Date: September 2023.

Post Course Info

Career options
Completing the MSc in Criminology and Criminal Justice opens up a range of unique career opportunities. There is increasing demand across the public, private and voluntary sectors for graduates and professionals with an applied knowledge and practical understanding of crime, its drivers, societal impacts, and the strengths and limitations of evidence-based methods used to address crime. Graduates go on to careers in areas such as law enforcement and regulation, victim support, offender rehabilitation, restorative practice, community development, corporate compliance, forensic auditing, criminal justice research, crime prevention (including designing-out crime), cybercrime, advocacy, and policy making. The knowledge, skills and techniques developed by MSc students are transferable across sectors and regions placing them in a strong position within a globalised job market.

Employability is also enhanced through the provision of advanced research methods training, practice, training and opportunities to apply criminological theory to real life policy and practice scenarios. These skills equip students to pursue careers across all sectors in a wide range of areas, including human rights, criminal justice, social justice, compliance, law, education, conflict resolution and psychosocial interventions among others.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Postgraduate Diploma at UK Level 7,Degree - Masters at UK Level 7,Postgraduate Certificate at UK Level 7

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Part time,Daytime

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