Full-time: 1 year, Part-time: 2 years
£710 per 20 credits* (2019/20)
£14,250 for the full programme (2019/20)
One Friar Gate Square, Derby Campus
- 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
This exciting new MSc has been launched at a time when a process of swift and relentless change is transforming our justice system. This process 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, both in the UK and worldwide. 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, in particular the American justice and penal system; 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, the new home of our Law and Criminology programmes. A modern, iconic building in the heart of the city centre, it is the perfect environment for innovative and engaging teaching.
Criminology is both a theoretical and empirical subject. It is neither purely deductive nor purely descriptive; theorisation needs to guide the collection of data and to be grounded in evidence. This course therefore recognises that theoretical debates about a wide range of perspectives lie at the heart of criminology and criminal justice.
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
- Criminal Justice: Theory and Practice
- Contemporary Issues in Criminology and Criminal Justice
- Global Criminal Justice Systems
You will also have the opportunity to choose from a range of options which include:
- Punishment, Offending and Desistance
- Forensic Psychology and Offending
- The American Criminal Justice System
- Managing Criminal Justice
In addition, you will undertake an original piece of research into a theme of your own choice through our Research Methods/Dissertation/Practitioner Research modules.
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 Michael Teague, a qualified Probation Officer and Social Worker. His research interests centre on probation, imprisonment, and the politics of criminal and community justice. He has published work on the probation and prison systems in America; the privatisation of justice services; probation culture in England; and the impact of neoliberal governments on penality.
Charlotte Hargreaves, a youth justice expert with research interests in young people in the youth justice system, social exclusion, drug and alcohol misuse, mental ill health, school exclusion and disaffection.
Dr Philip Hodgson, who has over 30 years’ experience of research and practice in the criminal justice sector. He has worked for the police, probation, the youth court and the voluntary sector and his research interests include policing, drugs, young people, partnership working, and probation.
Dr Helen Clarke, who has an interest in men’s and women's experiences of crime, with a particular focus on the areas of equality and diversity. Her doctoral research explored women's experiences of sexual violence.
Dr David Hicks, who is Head of Research - Postgraduate Criminology. He has research and teaching specialisms in the areas of serious and organised crime, financial crime, white-collar or corporate crime, and crime prevention.
Jayne Noor Mohammed, who specialises in themes of cybercrime, hi-tech crime, international criminology and research methods. Her research interests include e-fencing, counterfeiting and copyright infringement.
Dr Mark Pettigrew, who was awarded his doctorate for research into the incarceration of condemned prisoners in the USA. His current research areas include the experiences of long-term prisoners and uses of the death penalty.
Dr Henriette Bergstrom, who has conducted research projects on topics such as victims of psychopaths, psychopathy and false confessions, and attitudes toward punishment. Her main research centres on psychopathy, serious violent and sexual offenders, and risk assessment.
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 with a minimum of 6.0 in each module.
2019/20 Fees (August 2019 - July 2020)
£710 per 20 credits*
£710 per 20 credits*
£14,250 for the full programme
*Note – at postgraduate level, you’ll need to gain the following number of credits in total to obtain the awards below.
|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.
Please note that all fees may be subject to annual increase.
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
† 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.
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.