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. There is a strong focus on employability throughout the programme, including opportunities for student placements with criminal justice organisations and civil society.

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 90 credits in total – 40 credits from the optional modules, plus the compulsory modules Research Methods in Criminology (10 credits) and Comparative Criminology (10 credits). Students must also complete the compulsory Professional Development (5 credits) and Dissertation (25 credits) modules.

Students should register for 20 credits of optional modules in each semester.

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.

Students can elect to graduate with a Postgraduate Diploma instead of an MA, if they find that they are unable to complete the Dissertation.

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. Decisions 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

Post Course Info

Students who undertake the MA 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 MA Comparative Criminology and Criminal Justice is also excellent preparation for undertaking doctoral studies. 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


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Part time,Daytime

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