From Shakespeare to Hollywood, as a culture we are fascinated by crime. Discover what makes crime captivating with City’s Criminology and Criminal Justice MSc.
Who is it for?
This degree is for independent, critical thinkers who want to work, or are working, within criminal justice or want to undertake further research. Many of our students have undergraduate criminology degrees, and come from universities across the world. Often they want to continue their learning or specialise within a specific subject area. Students also come from other science, humanities and legal backgrounds and from within the criminal justice system. Research methods form a key component of the programme so having an interest in data collection and analysis is valuable.
"To understand crime in the 21st century you have to have specialist criminological knowledge. We don’t just focus on the criminal act; we look at the societal reaction to crime and the cultural narratives that exist around it. At City we will encourage you to develop your criminological imagination but also to use it." - Professor Eugene McLaughlin
At City we believe crime is multi-dimensional, which is why this MSc course brings the victim into focus, not just the offender. The criminal mind is complex and our understanding of it matters – not just to the individual, but also to their family, the community and wider society at large.
We live in a criminogenic global society; one that is producing new forms of crime, and new criminal opportunities. City’s Criminology and Criminal Justice MSc course unpicks the power of the criminological imagination within this society.
This is not a Masters that focuses purely on criminal justice or crime control – instead we emphasise cutting-edge theoretical analysis and methodological training, so you can research the contemporary significance of crime and see how it can be a powerful marker of social and institutional change.
Originally part of City’s MA in Human Rights, this degree offers a distinctive perspective on the relationship between criminology and human rights violations. It is global in outlook because, by its nature, crime is transnational and is taught by eminent criminologists who author the books that appear on reading lists across the country.
Here are some of the questions the course poses:
-Why don’t more people commit criminal acts?
-What does crime tell us about the society in which we live?
-Why is crime considered abnormal but at the same time central to news, fiction and popular culture?
-What would a victim-centred justice system look like?
When it comes to studying criminology, London is an amazing facility. It is one of the most sociologically diverse laboratories offering a wide range of accessible resources. From the myriad centres of policy, justice and media to the endless range of public events, at City you can become a researcher in a global city. As part of the University of London you can also become a member of Senate House Library for free with your student ID card.
Teaching and learning
We will teach you through a combination of lectures, interactive workshops and seminars, in the first and second term (September-April). This is supplemented by insight from external visiting criminologists, criminal justice charities, research agencies and, in some cases, retired criminals. This gives you the opportunity to ask questions, debate your ideas and present your own evidence around particular arguments.
During the dissertation phase of the degree you also have the chance to visit the Central Criminal Court (otherwise known as the Old Bailey) and in some cases undertake a prison visit. One student is currently in New York, researching the New York Police Department, as part of her dissertation on the stresses of being a police officer in 2016.
The majority of postgraduate sociology modules are assessed by coursework. However, if you choose to study some modules outside of the department you may have different assessment methods so please check this carefully. You will need to gain a minimum pass mark of 50% in all assessment components.
The dissertation marks the point in the course where you begin to take hold of your research and let your criminological imagination come into play. The dissertation (of 15,000 words) accounts for one third of the total marks for the Criminology and Criminal Justice MSc degree. By the end of the first term you will have to start considering your dissertation topic. You may already know you area of focus, but we offer guidance and support through dissertation workshops.
You will take three 30-credit compulsory core modules and two 15-credit elective modules. You can then choose from two of four elective modules to hone your degree towards your own area of interest. In the final part of the course you take part in a dissertation workshop and produce a dissertation over the summer period.
The first module, ‘Analysing crime’ makes up the course’s theoretical base. You then research contemporary developments in criminal justice and penal policy within the second core module. At this point in the course you get to choose from a number of elective modules covering diverse topics including the dark side of media notoriety and celebrity, and the criminal mind. All these modules draw on the School’s research strengths making them unique to City.
-Criminal justice policy and practice
-The criminal mind
-Victims: policy and politics
-Developments in communication policy
NB: Elective module choices are subject to availability and timetabling constraints.
The Criminology and Criminal Justice course is taught by internationally recognised experts and prepares you for careers across the public, private and voluntary sectors.
From research to policy development and from the security services to the criminal justice system and victim support, you will have a wealth of employment options once you graduate. Previous graduates are now working in:
-The Metropolitan Police
-The National Probation service
-The UK Foreign Office
-The prison service
-Criminal justice charitable sector