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Course content

The course was one of the first to take an internationally comparative perspective across a broad range of criminology and criminal justice issues. It is designed to meet the needs of three groups of potential students: those requiring a thorough research training specialising in criminology and criminal justice; those who are interested in pursuing criminology and criminal justice to an advanced level; and practitioners in the criminal justice field who wish to expand their horizons from national to international levels. The programme components consist of a generic research module (The Research Process) for training in qualitative and quantitative research methods in the Social Sciences, specialised training in Applied Research Criminology and a module on international case studies in Criminology, which allows students to incorporate their particular research interests and areas of enquiry in comparative criminological and criminal justice research. The MA includes a 20,000 word dissertation.

Structure
The course aims to provide advanced training in research and analysis, linking theoretical awareness with empirical studies in criminology and criminal justice. The taught element of the course is studied by both MA and Diploma students and consists of core research training and theory modules, plus a module focussing on international and comparative criminological and criminal justice research. MA students who successfully complete the taught element proceed to the research dissertation.

Core modules:

The Research Process
Comparative Criminological Research
Key Issues in Crime and Justice
Empirical studies:

Applied Research in Criminology
MA students also take part in the fortnightly lecture series of the School of Social Sciences. Visiting speakers and Bangor staff present topics related to social policy, criminology and sociology.

Research Dissertation
The dissertation is a piece of independent research where you are expected to apply your research skills to a specific criminological or criminal justice topic. You will conduct this work with academic guidance provided by your supervisor who will be a member of the criminology and criminal justice team. Examples of successful MA dissertations in the past include:

Youth crime: high spirits or a criminal act
Sex offenders in the community
Human trafficking
An Englishman’s home is his castle
’Get out of jail free’ – malingered psychosis in prison populations
Research Interests of the Criminology and Criminal Justice Team
Youth homelessness and crime
Institutional child abuse
Critical approaches to law, crime and criminology
Sociology of law
Public opinion on crime and criminal justice
Penal policy
Rural criminology
Lay judges and jurors
Procedural justice
Popular legal culture, including film and TV
Victimology
Islamic extremism and terrorism
Trust in courts, police and the legal profession
Teaching and assessment methods
Teaching occurs via lectures, seminars and tutorials given by research experts in the School of Social Sciences. The team of lecturers employs the concept of ’active learning’ by students. Assessment methods include essays, assignments, presentations and a 20,000 word dissertation.

Careers
The course prepares for a wide range of employment including:

Law-enforcement agencies: the police, customs, the prison service
Public administration: including crime prevention units, offender management, general administration, international institutions
Political associations, work for members of parliaments, for lobby groups related to the criminal justice system and to issues of social justice broadly conceived
Research institutes, researching criminological and sociological issues
Academic institutions such as universities

Visit the Comparative Criminology and Criminal Justice MA page on the Bangor University website for more details!

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