Law - Comparative Criminology & Criminal Justice

Students undertake a wide variety of modules which aim to combine theoretical concepts with real-world problems such as terrorism and organised crime.

As a student in Maynooth you will be part of our vibrant community of students and scholars working in the fields of criminology and criminal justice. Our expert academic team, drawing on their extensive research and professional experience, deliver an interdisciplinary programme with a strong emphasis on enhanced research skills. These skills are highly sought-after by employers in the area.

Teaching is delivered by means of small class lectures, in-class simulations, workshops, and master classes. In addition to the modules, the School works with leading academics and practitioners who provide seminars in various aspects of criminology and criminal justice throughout the academic year.

There is a strong focus on employability throughout the programme. We also offer students the opportunity to apply for our Postgraduate Placement module, which gives successful applicants the chance to work part-time for one semester at one of our partner organisations. We have partnerships with a broad range of organisations across the public and private sector, including the Irish Council for Civil Liberties, the Irish Penal Reform Trust, Forsa, PrivacyEngine, and Alcohol Action Ireland.

Subjects taught

The Comparative Criminology and Criminal Justice programme allows student to choose from a range of criminological modules.

Students must complete 60 credits in total – 40 credits from the optional modules, plus the compulsory modules Research Methods in Criminology (10 credits) and Comparative Criminology (10 credits).

Research Methods in Criminology and Comparative Criminology are both undertaken in year 1. Students should then register for 10 credits of optional modules in year 1, and 30 credits of optional modules in year 2. Students can elect how to spread each year's optional modules across the year.

Not all modules offered will run every year, offerings are dependent upon demand and other potential constraints. Please note that some modules will have prerequisites attached to them.

Entry requirements

The minimum entry requirement for this programme is a 2:2 overall classification in a Level 8 undergraduate degree. This degree must be in law or a cognate discipline in the humanities, or social/political sciences (including but not limited to criminology business, finance, economics, international relations, sociology, etc).

Applicants from certain non-EU countries are required to meet different minimum entrance criteria, which can be found here.

The international office will be able to advise international applications on the compatibility of their degree with these criteria –

Applicants who are required to demonstrate English language proficiency can find the minimum required scores in a variety of accepted tests here.

Meeting the minimum entry requirements does not guarantee an offer of entry onto this programme. Decision on admission to the programme are at the discretion of the Admission Committee.

Applications by applicants with other types of diplomas or who do not reach this minimum level of qualifications will be determined by the Admissions Committee in line with the University's policy on recognition of prior experiential learning, which can be accessed here.

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis.

Application dates

Closing Date : 30 June 2024


1 year full-time, 2 years part-time


In general, there are two levels of fees payable. EU students from EU countries including Ireland pay a subsidised level of fees for both taught courses and research programmes. Tuition fees for students from outside the EU are not subsidised and are thus somewhat higher than for EU students.

Post Course Info

Students who undertake the PG Dip Comparative Criminology and Criminal Justice will have valuable critical analytical and research skills, as well as a deeper perspective of current criminological issues, that will be beneficial to a wide range of related careers. The programme allows students to build upon their existing qualifications with a view to accessing positions within the justice and security field. Students who undertook this programme have gone on to work for organisations including An Garda Síochána, the Department of Justice, IASIO, Peter McVerry Trust, Restorative Justice Services and Foróige. The School has strong links with several public and community sector criminal justice organisations, and through these relationships we offer students valuable opportunities for professional development and networking, both as part of the degree and outside of it.

More details
  • Qualification letters

    PG Dip

  • Qualifications

    Postgraduate Diploma (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Part time,Daytime

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