Law - Criminology & Criminal Justice

A unique programme, based in Ireland’s only Institute of Criminology and Criminal Justice, for non- lawyers who wish to work in the field of criminology and criminal justice.

To understand and think critically about the intersections between law, politics and social policy that come to the fore in the study of Criminology and Criminal Justice;
To apply knowledge and understanding of Criminology and Criminal Justice to real and hypothetical factual situations;
To conduct independent research and write coherent, well-structured papers.

The Institute of Criminology offers a wide range of modules for the Masters programmes. Modules of especial interest to those undertaking this programme include:

Advanced Criminological Theory explores key theories of crime both classic and recent, including biological, psychological and sociological explanations of criminal behaviour and their potential application in the Irish context.

Digital Investigations&the Law deals with the legal framework governing the activities of persons involved in Information Technology security and forensics. Topics covered will include:
* Legal issues associated with securing networks (including penetration testing, legal obligations to store data / keep data secure);
* Legal issues raised in the conduct of investigations (including the legality of network monitoring and employee surveillance, duties to report certain findings to the police, interaction with police investigations); and
* The role of digital evidence in litigation (including the use of discovery, Anton Piller orders and other court procedures, reliability and admissibility of digital evidence, implications of illegally and unconstitutionally obtained evidence).
This course will primaily reflect Irish and European law but where relevant comparison will be made with practice in other jurisdictions.

Punishment, Prisons and Public Policy The response to crime since the mid-1990s has been characterised in many developed countries by an emphasis on prison expansion. This module explores some of the dilemmas that confront prison systems everywhere (e.g. violence, drug misuse, effective risk assessment and recidivism). The extent to which these problems have characteristics that reflect peculiarly local conditions is a recurrent theme. What, if anything, is distinctive about the 'society of captives' in Irish prisons?

Please note that the Part Time programme has the same timetable as the full time programme but is held over 2 years rather than 1 year.

There will be dissertation seminars in weeks 1-4 on Tuesdays and Wednesdays 11-1pm (Jan-May term)

NEW Double Degree Masters in Law with University Western Australia located in beautiful Perth

This 1+1 Double Degree consists of two separate awards: a UCD SSoL one-year taught Masters Degree followed by a UWA Law School one year taught Masters Degree.

The UCD SSoL degree will be from one of the following programmes
● LLM General,
● LLM International Commercial Law,
● LLM in Criminology & Criminal Justice,
● LLM in IP and IT Law,
● LLM in International Human Rights,
● LLM European Law and Public Affairs,
● MSc Criminology and Criminal Justice,
● MSc International Law and Business AND

The UWA Law School one year taught Masters Degree can be taken in one of the following fields:
● Master of International Commercial Law,
● Master of International Law,
● Master of Taxation Law,
● Master of Law, Policy and Government,
● Master of Commercial and Resources Law, and
● Master of Mining and Energy Law.

More details on the UWA programmes available

The academic calendar at UWA extends from February to June (Semester 1) and July to November (Semester 2). So the first entrants from UCD will take place in February 2020

Students transferring from UCD will be required to meet normal overseas admission standards before being admitted to the UWA Masters programme i.e. the equivalent of a Weighted Average Mark of 60% overall in the first year of their UCD Masters study

Each student shall pay the full annual fees for the programme to the institution they are studying at for the year of payment.

Each year, UWA may award full or partial tuition fee scholarships to the best qualified UCD candidates who commence the UWA Masters programme. The number of these full or partial scholarships and eligibility for them may be determined by UWA in accordance with the number of students entering the programme and/or their academic performance.

It is expected that these will be as follows:
- For Students with a UWA WAM equivalent of 70% (UCD GPA of 3.08) or greater a fee waiver of $A5,000 per annum.
- For Students with a UWA WAM equivalent of 75% (UCD GPA of 3.38) or greater a fee waiver of $A8,000 per annum.
- For Students with a UWA WAM equivalent of 80% (UCD GPA of 3.68) or greater a fee waiver of $A10,000 per annum.

Subjects taught

The MSc requires the completion of 90 ECTS. The dissertation is worth 30 ECTS and there is a dissertation seminar in semester 2 for 2 hours per week with the dissertation being completed in Semester 3. The typical enrolment for a full-time student is 3 modules in Semester 1 and 2.

Stage 1 - Core
Dissertation LAW40290

Stage 1 - Option
Human Rights Law and EqualityEQUL40070
Gender, Conflict-related Harm & Transitional JusticeGS40100
Punishment, Prisons & Public PolicyLAW40620
Advanced Criminological TheoryLAW40640
Desistance, Rehabilitation and ReintegrationLAW40970
Coercive ConfinementLAW41050
White Collar CrimeLAW41500
Law of Armed ConflictLAW42020
Gender, Peace, and SecurityPOL41720
Policing & Social ConflictSOC40080
Organised Violence and SocietySOC40720

Entry requirements

Applications are invited from non-law graduates holding an excellent degree (at least 2.1) in a relevant subject area such as Sociology, Politics, Philosophy, History, Psychology or English (if you are unsure whether your area of study qualifies as 'relevant' please contact us). In exceptional circumstances, substantial professional experience within the field of criminal justice may be regarded by the selection panel as compensating for a lack of an upper second class honours level 8 qualification. Such applicants should state clearly in their application why they feel their other qualifications/experience are appropriate for admission onto the programme.

These are the minimum entry requirements - additional criteria may be requested for some programmes

What is the Application Procedure?
Applicants should take careful note of the following:

Go to to make an application. Remember to keep a note of your login and password as you will need to return to the application.

Official transcripts must be submitted as proof of examination results by all applicants except graduates of UCD

Students of UCD applying for the MSc do not need to supply Transcripts, References or give names of Referees

The personal statement is an important component of the application. It should contain information demonstrating your capability to undertake the course successfully. Thus, you should detail your relevant research and practical experience including any publications and major essays/projects.

Applicants must nominate two academic referees unless the applicant has been in employment for more than two years, in which case one of the named referees must be an employer. Applicants are required to submit the name, position held, postal address, email address and contact number for the two academic referees.

Applicants whose first language is not English must submit satisfactory evidence of competence in written and spoken English, i.e. overall IELTS 6.5 (including a minimum of 6.5 in the reading and writing parts and no part below 6.0) or 90 in the TOEFL iBT (with a minimum of 22 (reading) and 24 (writing) and no part below 20.) The test results must be less than 2 years old.

Applicants with an IELTS score of 5.5 (with no band less than 5.0) may undertake the ten week Pre-Sessional Pathway at UCD's Applied Language Centre (25 June to 31 August at the UCD Applied Language Centre Upon Successful completion of all elements of this course the level of English attained will be acceptable for entry to this Masters programme. Grade C or above in Advanced Cambridge Exams will also be accepted as sufficient English fluency for the Masters programme.

Students meeting the programme’s academic entry requirements but not the English language requirements, may enter the programme upon successful completion of UCD’s Pre-Sessional or International Pre-Master’s Pathway programmes. Please see the following link for further information

Please indicate any other Masters programmes for which you are applying.

Part Time Applications
Students wishing to apply for the Part Time option should note that classes are as for those taking the full time option, but students will be required to take less credits per semester than in the full time programme as they have a longer period of time (2 years) to complete this programme. Typically, Full Time students study 30 credits of modules (3 modules x 10credits) in Semester 1 and 30 credits of modules (3 modules x 10credits) in semester 2. There is a dissertation seminar in semester 2 for 2 - 4 hours per week. The 30 credit dissertation is completed over the summer term (submitted in mid-August). Part Time students would study 30 credits of modules in year 1 (semester 1 and 2), 30 credits of modules in year 2 (semester 1 and 2) and complete the dissertation in the summer term of year 2. Note: Semester 1: September-December, Semester 2: January -May, Summer Term: June-August

International Applicants and students:
Students/Applicants requiring information from an International perspective may visit the website for information regarding our campus, location of UCD and visa information. Applicants may visit for full information on fees and fee payment methods.

Application dates

The following entry routes are available:

MSc Criminology & Criminal Justice FT (B220)
Duration 1 Years Attend Full Time Deadline Rolling*

MSc Criminology & Criminal Justice PT (B221)
Duration 2 Years Attend Part Time Deadline Rolling*

* Courses will remain open until such time as all places have been filled, therefore early application is advised




1 year full-time, 2 years part-time.


MSc Criminology & Criminal Justice (B220) Full Time
EU fee per year - € 9320
nonEU fee per year - € 19900

MSc Criminology & Criminal Justice (B221) Part Time
EU Year 1 - € 4660
EU Year 2 - € 4660 aa
nonEU Year 1 - € 9950
nonEU Year 2 - € 9950

aaSecond Year Fee applies to Students in 2nd Year in 2020 and who were a 1st Year Student on the programme in 2019/20
***Fees are subject to change

Tuition fee information is available on the UCD Fees website. Please note that UCD offers a number of graduate scholarships for full-time, self-funding international students, holding an offer of a place on a UCD graduate degree programme. For further information please see International Scholarships. We also offer scholarships for EU applicants. All applicants who apply before May 31st will be included. Further details at

Enrolment dates

Next Intake: 2024/2025

Post Course Info

Careers & Employability
This programme provides opportunities for those who wish to work or are already working in relevant areas, such as policing, youth justice, prisons, probation and voluntary organisations to enhance their knowledge of the field. It also provides a good platform for doctoral studies and a possible academic career in what has become an area of substantial growth in universities around the world.

We have an excellent Careers Development Centre here at UCD, designed to help you with information regarding future employment or studies. UCD hold a number of graduate events throughout the year including a dedicated law fair at which at which many of the big Law firms will be in attendance. The School of Law has a dedicated careers advisor on it’s Academic staff, and a staff member from the careers office will be in attendance at the School of law on a number of occasions throughout the academic year. To see the full range of services offered by the careers office go to

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Part time,Daytime

  • Apply to

    Course provider