- Study an intellectually challenging course which fosters a deep-level understanding of how our justice and penal system works
- Benefit from the breadth and diversity of our academic expertise and our extensive professional links
- Explore issues of theoretical and social importance with our research-active teaching staff who are recognised authorities in their fields
- Keep up to date with latest policies, practices and debates so that you are better equipped to embark on a new career in the justice arena or to progress in your current working role
- Study full-time or part-time to suit your personal circumstances
During a time when a process of swift and relentless change is transforming our justice system, this MSc aims to develop and sustain a high performing, efficient and effective criminal and community justice system which both benefits victims and rehabilitates those who offend.
Broad appeal and relevance
Our course is designed for anyone with an interest in the critical social and political challenges which crime presents. It will appeal to recent graduates with a first degree in a relevant subject area who want to deepen their knowledge. It is equally valuable for current practitioners and managers within the criminal justice, rehabilitative and penal systems, including social workers and social work managers, prison governors or officers, police officers and lawyers.
You will become part of a dynamic learning community bringing together students from diverse backgrounds who have real-world experience of criminal justice. This means you will benefit from fascinating insights into how different professionals and organisations address current issues in crime, criminal justice and punishment.
New perspectives on crime
The need for fresh and innovative thinking about crime – informed by academically credible research – has never been greater. This applies to the problems of tackling corporate crime, state crime and terrorism as well as to specific types of offending behaviour and examples of recent cases where offenders subject to supervision have gone on to commit more serious crimes.
You will examine all these issues within the context of a comprehensive and detailed analysis of crime control and the criminal justice process, including the courts, probation and prison. You will also explore the most recent developments in criminological theory and research.
Our modules are structured around wide-ranging criminological debates, including criminal behaviour; comparative criminology; victimology; penology; crime prevention; crime, media and popular culture; civil liberties and human rights; gender; and race and ethnicity.
You will also hone high-level research and policy formulation skills to underpin the independent study project that is a cornerstone of your MSc. You can choose an original theme which reflects your personal interests, career aspirations or current job role.
Interdisciplinary and international approaches
The course is framed by our rigorous interdisciplinary and critical approach. You will develop an advanced understanding of crime, deviance and criminal justice through a combination of theoretical, policy, legal, political and practical perspectives.
By exploring competing theoretical standpoints, we will challenge your thinking about the role of the state and the criminal justice system in the regulation of human behaviour, and about the place and limitations of criminal justice interventions in producing safe societies.
You will also compare the role and function of criminal justice processes and policy-making in England and Wales with those of other global jurisdictions.
Build your professional skills and networks
Thanks to our strong emphasis on real-world learning, this course will equip you with the qualities, skills, knowledge, professional values and personal awareness for a wide range of roles in criminal justice, penal and rehabilitative work settings.
We have extensive links with criminal justice organisations which will enhance your learning, including a programme of guest lectures where leading practitioners share their expertise and knowledge.
An inspiring learning environment
This course is delivered at One Friar Gate Square, home of our Law, Criminology, Policing and Social Sciences programmes. A modern, iconic building in the heart of the city centre, it is the perfect environment for innovative and engaging teaching.
The MSc programme begins with an introduction to the nature of crime and contemporary criminal justice policy. It examines the main elements of modern criminal justice systems, such as the police, courts, prisons, probation, the media and private security.
Special emphasis is also given to current pressing policy issues, including the rapidly rising rates of incarceration and the changing nature of the delivery of probation intervention.
You will study the following core modules:
- Criminological Frameworks
- Independent Studies (Criminal Justice and Criminology)
- Criminal Justice: Theory and Practice
- Global Criminology and Criminal Justice Systems
- Applied Research in Criminal Justice Systems
You will also have the opportunity to choose from a range of options which include:
- Concepts of Global Terrorism
- Criminal Justice: Practice and Management
- The Criminal Justice Context of Forensic Psychology
Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.
You will study via a variety of teaching and learning approaches including lectures, online and face-to-face tutorials, discussion fora, project and work-based learning, group work and guided independent study.
Some elements of the course may be delivered via e-learning through group discussion boards and webinars, enabling a degree of flexibility for you to study when it is convenient for you.
There is also a significant focus on reflexivity, encouraging you to think about how the course is assisting you in developing your critical analytical skills.
How you'll be assessed
The emphasis is on continuous assessment and written assignments. Some modules may also include presentations and group projects for assessment purposes.
Who you'll meet
This course draws on the combined strengths of teaching staff who are actively engaged in research into crime and criminal justice.
Collectively they possess an unrivalled range of experience and expertise in diverse areas such as penology, probation, youth crime and youth justice, white collar crime, violence, gender, crime and criminal justice, offender management, punishment, penology, sentencing, and international and comparative criminology. They include:
Dr David Patton
Dr David Hicks
Dr Henry Lennon
Dr Andrew Wilson
An undergraduate degree (2:2 or above) in criminology or a related subject. We also welcome applicants who have substantial and relevant professional experience but do not have a degree.
Applicants who are applying to study on the programme who do not have English as their first language will need to hold IELTS 6.0 with 6.0 in each skill area.
2023/24 (August 2023 - July 2024)
£8,525 for the full course or £950 per 20 credits*
£950 per 20 credits
£14,900 for the full course
Please note fees normally increase in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees, which is reviewed on an annual basis. The total fee you pay may therefore increase after one year of study.
* UK full-time fees paid within one academic year are rounded down to the nearest £50 if applicable
Additional costs and optional extras
About postgraduate awards
Please note at postgraduate level, you’ll need to gain the following number of credits in total to obtain the respective awards. If you have any questions please contact us.
|Postgraduate Certificate||60 Credits|
|Postgraduate Diploma||120 Credits|
|MA or MSc||180 Credits|
This means you will gain 180 credits in total to complete the full MA or MSc. If you are studying part time you will normally complete your studies over two or three years, depending on the course structure.
Funding your studies
Find out more about fees, postgraduate loans and support you may be entitled to.
Find out about funding your studiesFind out about funding your studies
Alumni discount for Derby graduates
We offer a discount on postgraduate course fees for all Derby alumni.
Find out about the Alumni discountFind out about the Alumni discount
This course leads to a valuable qualification if you are planning academic or research roles in criminology. It also provides an excellent stepping stone into professional careers in criminal justice or with any public, private and third sector agencies concerned with crime prevention and community safety.
If you are already working in the sector and studying on a part-time basis, the MSc will contribute to your ongoing professional development and provide a firm foundation for rapid career progression to more senior roles.
If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.Contact us Contact us
Additional information about your studies
Download programme specification
Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.
Additional costs and optional extras
We’re committed to providing you with an outstanding learning experience. Our expert teaching, excellent facilities and great employability prepare you for your future career. As part of our commitment to you we aim to keep any additional study costs to a minimum. However, there are occasions where students may incur some additional costs.
The information provided on this page is correct at the time of publication but course content, costs and other individual course details do change from time to time and are updated as often as possible, so please do check these pages again when making your final decision to apply for a course. Any updated course details will also be confirmed to you at application, enrolment and in your offer letter.
Included in your fees
- Access to library resources
- Some taster events with transport costs covered.
Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.