This programme critically addresses a range of key issues and debates relating to crime and the criminal justice system. You will have the opportunity to develop an in-depth understanding of crime, deviance and criminal justice from critical, theoretical, policy, legal, political and practical perspectives and will address issues of historical and contemporary concern such as terrorism, prostitution, legal and illegal drugs, crime in the night-time economy, forced migration, gender and crime, domestic violence, crime prevention, prison and punishment, policing, youth crime and justice, law enforcement and the use of new technologies. You will also study issues of theoretical and social importance with lecturers who are international experts in their fields.
You will take a range of taught modules primarily in the first two terms of the academic year. You will also undertake a module on research design which enables you to develop a research proposal for your dissertation.
Theorising Crime and Criminal Justice (30 credits)
Perspectives on Social Research (15 credits)
Research Design and Progress (15 credits)
Dissertation (60 credits)
You may choose modules to the value of 60 credits.
In previous years, typical modules offered were:
You will also have the opportunity to take a range of modules from other programmes within the Faculty such as those associated with the MSc in Risk and Security.
The MSc Criminology and Criminal Justice is a 1 year full-time programme which may also be taken part-time. The programme’s core consists of a 60 credit dissertation module, one 30 credit module on Criminological Theory, one 15 credit module on Theories of Social Research and one 15 credit module on Research Design. You are also required to undertake 60 further credits of modules from within SASS or other related departments which may be taught in a variety of ways.
Core teaching on the programme falls primarily within the two 10 week terms, the second of which commences one week prior to the undergraduate term. Depending on module choice you may receive between 6 and 8 hours of tuition per week in either or both of these terms.
The programme is taught according to a variety of approaches. Modules such as ‘Theorising Crime and Criminal Justice’ operate a standard 2 hour session within which lecturing, seminar discussion, workshops or presentations may take place. Modules such as ‘Perspectives on Social Research’, ‘Quantitative Methods’ and ‘Qualitative Methods’ operate a weekly lecture series followed by seminar discussion. Other modules such as ‘Statistical Exploration and Reasoning’ operate computer-based practicals. Prisons, Crime and Criminal Justice is an innovative module that emphasises transformative education. It is taught within a prison each week using the Inside-Out dialogical pedagogy whereby university students learn together with prisoners, completing the same readings and assessments, as well as group work and group projects (please see the website for further details). For this module you will need to undertake security clearance and mandatory prison training before being allowed to enter the prison.
Following completion of teaching in terms 1 and 2, the ‘Research Design’ module allows for 4 day long workshops. Reflecting on the process of research design, the module supports the student in formulating the research question for their dissertation.
The MSc programme is research-led at its core. The compulsory module 'Theorising Crime and Criminal Justice' links explicitly with the research activities of the criminology staff; the module ‘Crime Violence and Abuse’ links with the current research activities of the School’s research group of the same name; and ‘Drugs, Crime and Society’ is taught by an internationally renowned expert in the field. You will subsequently undertake a 60 credit dissertation on a topic of your choice supervised by staff who are actively researching in a relevant area. While this module is intended to afford an opportunity for a significant piece of independent and original research, it includes up to four hours of regular supervision which takes place typically from the end of term 2. You will also participate in two one-hour workshops convened by a supervisor and usually alongside others researching in similar areas.
While teaching is intensive, particularly in terms 1 and 2, it is intended that the programme presents options for part-time study. Consequently, teaching is undertaken where possible in timetable slots which take place late in the afternoon.
Visit our website for more information on fees, scholarships, postgraduate loans and other funding options to study Applied Criminal Justice and Criminology at Swansea University - 'Welsh University of the Year 2017' (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017).
The Department of Criminology at Swansea University has run a successful MA in Applied Criminal Justice and Criminology since 1997. Students of the Applied Criminal Justice and Criminology will have the opportunity to learn about crime, the criminal justice system and cutting edge themes in criminology from leading experts in the field. The MA in Applied Criminal Justice and Criminology specialises in the application of criminological knowledge to the workings of the Criminal Justice System and this is strongly reflected in the exciting range of diverse and cutting-edge modules on offer.
The MA in Applied Criminal Justice and Criminology focuses mainly on the application of knowledge to the operation of the criminal justice system, reflecting the policy/ practice orientation of members of the staff team.
Whether you are a practitioner working in the criminal justice system, a researcher wishing to gain a firm foundation for a research degree in an ESRC recognised Doctoral Training Centre, or an undergraduate aspiring to a career in criminal justice, our Masters-level degree in Applied Criminal Justice and Criminology is for you! The MA in Applied Criminal Justice and Criminology offers you:
• an up-to-date and high quality programme which includes some of the most important theory and research in criminal justice and criminology
• an opportunity to develop your ability to apply criminal justice and criminological knowledge to research and the operation of the criminal justice system
• an opportunity to develop and apply research methods knowledge and skills
• enhanced employability for those wishing to pursue a career in the criminal justice system and for those interested in an academic or research career
Modules on the MA in Applied Criminal Justice and Criminology typically include:
• Ethics and Philosophy of Social Research
• Quantitative Methods
• Qualitative Methods
• Case Studies in Applied Social Research
• Data Visualisation
• Crime, Drugs and Alcohol
• Gender, Crime and Criminal Justice
• Applied Criminal Justice
• Understanding Policing
• Youth Justice: Research, Policy & Practice
• Criminal Justice System in England and Wales
• Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Children
• Human Trafficking
The MA in Applied Criminal Justice & Criminology will open the door to a range of careers, including: Local Government, Police Force, Prison Service, Social Work, Victim Support, Teaching, and Probation Service to name a few. Enhancing your career prospects whilst studying on this course, you will have a wealth of opportunities to take advantage of in order to boost your CV and form important employment links for the future.
Every student is allocated a Personal Tutor who offers academic and pastoral care throughout the student’s stay in Swansea. Several lecturers invite senior criminal justice practitioners, managers, and policy makers to deliver lectures on key aspects of criminal justice policy and practice. The Department of Criminology also ensures that MA in Applied Criminal Justice & Criminology students participate in social events through the Criminology Society which organises events that give students opportunities to socialise and meet others in the Department of Criminology. There may also be placement and research internship opportunities available to students (subject to availability). Research internships provide opportunities for students to observe practices in a criminal justice agency and then produce their dissertation on a topic that is relevant to the work of the agency.
- Christie Owen, MA in Applied Criminal Justice and Criminology graduate 2010 -11
“There are a range of different modules covering a broad spectrum of subjects. Helpful tutoring means that those who have not studied Criminology previously will find the subject easy to pick up. There are plenty of approachable staff and lecturers to seek advice if you are unsure. Lectures are well structured with scope for debate with your peers and lecturers, as well as informative media such as videos and power point presentations. There is continuous mentoring while completing dissertations, with supervisors engaging well with students and aiding them in making it more manageable. Supervisors are continuously available to answer any questions or solve any problems that arise while writing such a large piece of work. The library services are also extremely helpful, with access to many books, journals and the internet with a room specifically for postgraduates which is very much needed during busier periods.
The Masters degree in Criminology encouraged me to pursue a career in the Prison Service. After graduating I was offered a position following my first interview and the course has given me skills to use in my new position.”
- Peter Doyle, MA in Applied Criminal Justice and Criminology graduate
Retired Detective Chief Inspector and Senior Investigating Officer Peter, from Kenfig near Porthcawl, had specialised in Homicide and Serious Crime Investigation and has an extensive background in Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) investigation.
“The course was challenging for me as I do not possess a first degree – a particular challenge was writing in an academic style. I overcame the challenges by applying practice and more practice – plus support from those within the College and my family. I believe the key is not worrying about every mistake you make but learning from them instead.
“I chose Swansea University because it has an excellent reputation for criminology studies and I also worked in Swansea for many years as a police officer. It was a great honour to meet people on my course from such a wide spectrum and of all ages – this was very inspiring, I was made to feel welcome by everyone involved.”