The Master of Criminology programme is designed to provide students with an advanced understanding of crime, public response to crime and, specifically, criminal justice in Europe and beyond.
The programme is characterised by a strong link between education and research, an explicitly international orientation, and a comparative approach, with special attention to the cross-border character of criminality.
General subjects include criminological theories and models of law enforcement, psychology, law and criminal justice, youth criminology and juvenile justice, and research methods. The programme also offers cutting-edge courses on international police and judicial cooperation, political crimes and transitional justice, restorative justice, terrorism, and organised and corporate crime – research fields in which our Leuven Institute of Criminology (LINC) professors are internationally renowned experts.
LINC is the most recent institutional incarnation (2007) of the criminological tradition in Leuven, which began with the establishment of the School for Criminology in 1929. Excellence in criminology continues today, combining solid research with a deep commitment to society structured within ten research lines. LINC is composed of 11 professors and more than 70 assistants and fellows involved in criminological research and education.
Prospective students should possess:
Knowledge: The graduates need 1) to obtain specialized and more in-depth theoretical insights into the criminology; 2) to know facts concerning the developments and (the possible solutions for) problems in policy and practice of institutions that are involved in dealing with criminality. 3) to have specialized knowledge of recent developments in the field of methodology that allows to examine the problems from a point of legal and empirical-criminological view.
Skills: The graduates must be able to make an autonomous contribution in the development in the search to solutions for complex social and individual questions on the field of crime and the treatment of crime. More specifically: to be able to formulate relevant challenges for further criminological research; to observe, detect and analyze the large variables and indicators; to collect information independently; to comment and report in a methodically founded statement; can possibly function in (multidisciplinary) surroundings with eye for its own input and the guarantee of its quality.
Attitude: the graduates need to develop a discerning mind and recognize the importance of theoretical, methodological and moral reflection, both to guarantee the quality of policymaking as the quality of the own vocational practice. From an ethical notion the students develop further sensitivity for the tensions which occur at the treatment of crime and (in)security, at the individual, institutional and social level on the one hand and between these levels on the other hand.
The programme is intended to prepare students for research and professional employment in national and international policy and operational agencies in the fields of criminal justice and victim assistance.
Graduates find employment in the domains of:
The MA Criminology allows you to develop specialist knowledge of the current trends and historical debates surrounding crime causation, crime control and regulation.
This innovative, interdisciplinary course is taught by experts from sociological, legal and psychological backgrounds with real-world experience. You will benefit from research-led teaching as well as strong links to wider criminal justice professions and industry.
Whether you are a recent graduate, or a practitioner or professional already working in the criminal justice field, this course will enable you to gain a critical understanding of contemporary criminological and socio-legal issues and engage with a diverse range of methods used to research them.
Aims of the course:
On successful completion of the course, students will have:
This course is taught by an interdisciplinary team using a variety of delivery methods: lectures, workshops, student-led presentations and debate, group work and individual research.
Most course units are assessed by 3500 word essay or by essay and presentation.
You will be doing 180 credits in total, 120 of which will be taught modules and the remainder 60 credits in the form of a dissertation.
Course units are of the value of 15 or 30 credits. You will be required to select course units to a total of 120 credits, and so must choose a minimum of four course units or may be able to choose a maximum of eight course units to make up your course of study. The availability of individual optional course units is subject to change (due, among other factors, to staff availability to deliver the course units in any given year).
The course has a compulsory research component, in which you must write a 12,000 to 15,000 words dissertation (60 credits). The taught element of the degree programme will total 120 credits and the research element of the degree programme will total 60 credits i.e. you will study 180 credits for a master's programme. Your dissertation must be within the area of one of the units you have chosen. The research element of the course is supported by weekly research methodology lectures delivered throughout semesters one and two designed to improve your legal writing and research skills.
Students who fail to fulfil the requirements to pass the 180 credits necessary to attain the final degree of MA can leave the course with the award of Postgraduate Diploma by passing 120 credits at the pass mark of 40%, or can qualify for the Postgraduate Certificate by passing 60 credits at the pass mark of 40%. Students who do not fulfil the criteria for passing the taught element of the course at the Masters' level of 50% will not be permitted to progress to the dissertation element of the course, and will leave the course with the highest award that the credits that have been passed will allow.
The MSc Criminal Justice & Social Research Methods offers excellent postgraduate training. You will engage with the ethical issues concerning criminology and criminal justice research and with the policies informing the design of research into crime, deviance and punishment. It opens doors to research careers in both the public and private sectors.
This degree, which is eligible for ESRC 1+3 funding, guides you through the theory of criminological and criminal justice research and develops your skills in the collection, analysis and reporting of qualitative and quantitative data. The integration of criminal justice and criminological modules gives you a broader overview of current research and allows you to engage in more specialised criminological and socio-legal studies.
Our Law School is home to the Centre for Crime, Law and Justice, the Centre for Law and Society, and the Centre for Child and Family Justice; these centres underpin our postgraduate teaching, which is research-led and research-informed. You will be taught by lecturers who are nationally and internationally renowned researchers.
Your core modules are Research Projects in Practice, Qualitative Methods in the Social Sciences, Quantitative Research Methods, Crime and Criminal Justice in the 21st Century, and Criminological Theory. You will choose one module from: Criminological Research in Practice; International Criminal Law; International Human Rights Law; International Terrorism and the Law; Gender, Sexualities and Human Rights; and Transitional Justice, Human Rights and Peace Building. A research-based Criminal Justice dissertation completes your degree.
Your postgraduate degree prepares you for research jobs in the Home Office, Probation Service, Social Services, and other government departments or voluntary organisations. You will develop the skills to undertake and critically evaluate criminological research, which are highly prized by employers. The analytical and communications skills developed through your studies also enhance your employability.