Institution / Queens University Belfast

Youth Justice

Designed for those who want to advance their understanding of youth issues, youth offending and social and criminal justice responses to young people, this programme focuses on developing critical analytical skills and enhancing the ability to assess policy and practice against international standards and benchmarks.

Targeted at practitioners, policy-makers and those interested in further academic study, it provides the opportunity to apply academic knowledge and critical analytical skills to practice and enhance understanding of young people's lives, the criminal justice system and the discourse of children's rights.

Given increased policy attention in the area of youth justice and strategies impacting on children and young people more generally, the programme reflects the concern to understand the needs and rights of children and young people and ground responses in evidence, best practice and international standards.

Course Structure
Course Details
20 CATS modules generally involve 20 contact hours per semester, 10 CATS modules generally involve 10 contact hours per semester. Contact hours often include a blend of face-to-face lectures/ workshops and online sessions. Students can choose some optional modules that are all face-to-face, all online or a blend of both.

Entry requirements

Entrance requirements
Normally a 2.1 Honours degree or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University in a social science or related discipline.

Applicants with a 2.2 Honours degree or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University may be considered if they have at least two years of professional experience in a relevant context.

For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.

English Language Requirements
Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.5, with not less than 5.5 in any component, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University is required. *Taken within the last 2 years.

International students wishing to apply to Queen's University Belfast (and for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study or research. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes.

For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see:

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.

•Academic English: an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level

•Pre-sessional English: a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.


MSc: 1 year full time
PgDip: 1 year full time/3 years part time

Teaching Times
Morning / Afternoon / Evening/ Weekend and online flexible learning.

Learning and Teaching
Flexible Learning

Morning / Afternoon / Evening/ Weekend and online flexible learning

Weekend teaching and workshops outside normal teaching hours.

6 hours contact teaching hours per week.

Careers or further progression

Career Prospects
Possible career paths include work in youth and social justice related fields. Previous graduates have been successful in gaining jobs working for NGOs in the criminal justice and youth justice fields. The programme is also an excellent stepping stone for Doctoral research.

Queen's postgraduates reap exceptional benefits. Unique initiatives, such as Degree Plus and Researcher Plus bolster our commitment to employability, while innovative leadership and executive programmes help our students gain key leadership positions both nationally and internationally.

Further enquiries

Dr Nicola Carr or Dr Siobhán McAlister
School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work
Tel: 9097 5117

Subjects taught

Core modules:
Childhood and Youth Research and Practice – 10 CATS
Foundations in Children's Rights – 20 CATS
Introduction to Research Methods - 20 CATS
Perspectives in Childhood and Youth – 10 CATS
Youth and Social Justice – 20 CATS
Youth Justice: Theory, Law and Practice – 20 CATS
Dissertation – 60 CATS (20,000 words max.)

Optional modules include:
Child Rights Based Research Methods – 20 CATS
Economic Impact of Childhood Interventions – 10 CATS
Improving Outcomes Using Evidence Based Practice – 10 CATS
International Contexts of Childhood Adversity – 10 CATS
Qualitative Data Analysis – 10 CATS
Qualitative Research in Childhood and Youth – 10 CATS
Quantitative Data Analysis – 10/20 CATS


Youth Justice highlights

World Class Facilities
•The programme is an excellent stepping stone for Doctoral research.

Student Experience
•This programme involves a blended learning approach offering a mixture of online and face-to-face course delivery.

•Skills development The programme has been designed to encourage students to consider the interface between social justice, criminal justice and children’s rights. Students have the opportunity to apply academic knowledge and critical analytical skills to practice and enhance understanding of young people’s lives, the criminal justice system and the discourse of children’s rights.

Assessment method

Modules will be assessed through a variety of written work plus dissertation.

Application date

Postgraduate Taught
Closing dates do apply for some of our courses, and details of these are available on our Course Finder. We advise you to apply as early as possible, particularly for those courses where there is a high demand for places. Early application is also important for international applicants to allow sufficient time to obtain a student entry visa.

How to Apply
Apply using our online Postgraduate Applications Portal and follow the step-by-step instructions on how to apply. See application weblink below.

Enrolment and start dates

Entry year: 2018

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