This unique course views the criminal justice process as a set of decision points involving numerous agencies working singly or jointly.
It provides you with comprehensive, up-to-date, information while exploring in detail some key contemporary transformations in the field (digitalisation, partnership working, internationalisation, privatisation and accountability).
It is aimed at criminal justice practitioners, or those intending to work in this field. Our strong and growing links with local and regional criminal justice agencies support a critical and reflective approach to the workings of criminal justice.
MSc The Criminal Justice Process will lead you to:
The course has both full-time and part-time routes, comprising three 12-week semesters or five 12-week semesters, which you can take within one year, or 30 months, respectively.
All modules except the Dissertation and Criminal Justice Placement/Project are delivered via blended learning, combining some three-hour evening sessions on campus with distance learning activities (e.g. online reading, discussion board, webinars). Classes frequently use case studies as the focus for discussion. Lecturers provide key overviews of each topic. Students use classroom or online group discussions and questions-and-answers to explore each week’s topic. Where appropriate, experienced practitioners will join the session as visiting instructors.
All modules are supported by the virtual learning environment (Blackboard), which allows students to access learning materials remotely, participate in discussion boards and webinars, and access lists of recommended readings. The vast majority of the latter are available through the Library in electronic form and can be retrieved remotely.
Students opting to write a dissertation are supported by a designated supervisor. Students opting to undertake the Criminal Justice Placement/Project are supported by an on-site supervisor in the corresponding agency and by an academic supervisor on campus.
You will be assessed through written assignments (66%) and dissertation (33%) or project (25%) and oral presentation (8%)
Criminal justice practitioners who obtain this qualification will typically use it as a credential for promotion within their organisation.
Recent graduates can use this qualification to support their applications for employment in the criminal justice system.
This course will suit you if you are planning to seek promotion within the criminal justice agency in which you currently work, or are seeking to change employment within the sector.
Recent graduates can use this qualification to support their applications to the wide variety of organizations involved in the criminal justice process: police, private security companies, victim and court services, probation, the prison service, youth offending services, treatment and intervention programmes.
We are proud of the growing links we have established with our Criminal Justice Partners – experienced practitioners from all segments of the criminal justice system who support our teaching at all levels. These practitioners provide invaluable guidance on new procedures and policies in criminal justice, contribute to our classes as guest instructors, and host site visits for students. They ensure that our teaching is up-to-date, closely linked to developments in the sector, and critically informed by their professional perspectives and experiences.
Further study beyond the MSc would involve a research degree (either an MPhil or PhD). The Directorate of Social Sciences has numerous research-active staff, several of whom specialise in topics relating to criminology and security. (See http://www.salford.ac.uk/nmsw/academics for detailed information.) We welcome applications for research degrees and can support a wide variety of projects relating to the criminal justice process.
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.
The opportunity to study Criminal Justice and Criminal Law at an advanced level is a particular strength of the LLM at the University of Leeds.
This programme will enable you to develop a sophisticated knowledge of current issues in criminal justice, criminology and criminal law in the UK, Europe and across the globe. It combines cutting-edge compulsory modules with a wide range of optional modules allowing you to tailor your degree to your own particular interests.
Throughout the course we’ll encourage you to:
This programme is offered within the dynamic Centre for Criminal Justice Studies (CCJS), an internationally-recognised research centre that provides an active and multi-disciplinary environment, whose members are committed to high-quality teaching in criminal justice, criminology and criminal law. The CCJS also excels in the production of research that is empirically rich, conceptually sophisticated and policy relevant. Research is interdisciplinary and often international in its reach. The University of Leeds recognises CCJS as one of its key 'peaks of research excellence'.
CCJS academics have conducted research for a range of external funding bodies including the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Nuffield Foundation, the Home Office, the Youth Justice Board, the Leverhulme Trust, the European Commission, the National Probation Service and others. Since 2001, CCJS members have been awarded research grants totalling over £10 million. Such projects sustain the established profile of the Centre as a pre-eminent research unit and ensure that our teaching is at the cutting edge of contemporary academic and policy debates.
The CCJS has an Advisory Board with more than twenty members who hold senior positions within local criminal justice and partner organisations, including the police, the judiciary, the probation service, prisons and the courts. Our strong links with the local criminal justice community bring valuable benefits for our students.
Compulsory modules studied throughout the year will introduce you to fundamental principles, theories, concepts and approaches in the fields of criminal law and criminal justice. You’ll also explore and examine the intricate and complex relationships and dynamics between criminological theory, research and practice, and the impact of criminal justice processes on individuals and social groups, often in the wider context of social and political change.
These modules will also enable you to hone your critical and analytical abilities and your legal research and writing skills, which you’ll be able to demonstrate in your dissertation – an independent piece of research on your chosen topic.
If you study with us, you’ll also benefit from our academic skills programme. This 10-week programme runs alongside your taught academic programme, and is specifically designed to meet the needs of home and international students in the School of Law. It allows you to refine and develop the academic and transferable skills to excel during your taught postgraduate programmes, as well as prepare for professional roles after graduation.
Our optional modules will give you the opportunity to gain specialist knowledge in topics that interest you. An indicative list of optional modules is provided below.
If you are a part-time student, you’ll take four compulsory modules in your first year. You’ll then take the compulsory dissertation module and your chosen one or two optional modules in your second year.
Our compulsory and optional modules are taught through a range of weekly seminars, lectures and workshops.
You’ll need to prepare for your seminars and lectures, undertaking any exercises that might be prescribed in advance. Independent study is integral to this programme – not just to prepare for classes but to develop research abilities and other critical skills.
The LLM Degrees Director will be your personal supervisor and will support you throughout the programme.
You’ll be assessed using a variety of methods but for most modules you’ll be required to write an essay of up to 4,500 words at the end of each module. You’ll also be expected to write a final dissertation.
This programme is particularly suited to those who wish to pursue a career in public service, the private sector, the voluntary sector, or any other arena where success is built upon higher-level skills and advanced knowledge of criminal justice, criminology and criminal law issues.
Recent graduates have gone on to do a PhD and work in academia and in research outside academia both in the UK and overseas. Other alumni hold senior positions in criminal justice organisations including police and probation services, the prison service, and youth justice services, as well as in the private and voluntary sector, both in the UK and abroad. Some graduates have been awarded promotions following successful completion of the programme.