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Course content

The MSc Crime and Justice provides an understanding of issues relating to crime and the criminal justice system, enhancing your career in this and related fields. Tuition draws upon the expertise of research staff in the University’s well established Centre for Criminology.

You will examine a range of crimes and criminal behaviour, the context of crime and responses to it. In addition to core areas of study, you can choose modules and/or pathways to suit your career development. You will explore an area of interest to you, through a 20,000-word dissertation, and gain a thorough grounding in qualitative and quantitative research methods – invaluable skills for any profession that includes planning, analysis and evaluation.

On the Substance Misuse pathway, you will study a range of criminological modules and a module on drug interventions. This specialist module provides an insight into the nature and extent of substance misuse and responses to it, including prevention, treatment, harm reduction and enforcement. Your dissertation will be related to substance misuse.

On the Youth Justice and Offender Management pathway, you will study the contexts in which offenders come into contact with the criminal justice system. The work of relevant agencies and systems that engage with those at risk of offending are also considered. Your dissertation must be related to youth justice and offender management.

See the website http://courses.southwales.ac.uk/courses/230-msc-crime-and-justice

What you will study

- Criminological theory
Explore the philosophical foundations of criminological theory and the way in which it relates to general social theory. You’ll examine the social and political contexts within which the various criminological theories have developed.

- Criminal justice – theory and practice
Learn about the general theories, principles, and models of criminal justice within a national and international context. You’ll examine the key institutions and processes that deliver criminal justice, and evaluate the interplay between them.

- Approaches to criminological research
Gain an understanding of the ways in which criminological research is designed and conducted. You’ll be given a broad overview of both qualitative and quantitative approaches to research in criminology and criminal justice and will learn about the relationship between theories and methods.

- Criminological research in practice
Develop your understanding of the ways in which criminological research is designed and conducted, putting into practice both qualitative and quantitative approaches considered in ‘Approaches to Criminological Research’.

- Dissertation
A significant piece of research into an appropriate area of study.

Optional modules include:
- Violence and Homicide
- Policing in a Global Age
- Drug Interventions (specified for Substance Misuse pathway)
- Youth Justice and Offender Management (specified for Youth and Offender Management pathway)

Learning and teaching methods

You will learn through lectures, seminars and tutorials. Certificate (PgCert) and Diploma (PgDip) stages are taught in group sessions.

Teaching on the MSc Crime and Justice takes place in the evenings and at weekends specifically to enable you to continue to work alongside your studies.

Work Experience and Employment Prospects

This course provides the knowledge and skills to pursue careers in the criminal justice system, such as the police, courts, prison, probation services and youth offending services. You could also choose a career in government organisations such as the Home Office, Ministry of Justice, Welsh Government and local authorities. Graduates also go on to careers within voluntary agencies such as offender rehabilitation, victim support, community safety, and drug treatment services. It is also an excellent basis for further research at MPhil and PhD levels.

Assessment methods

Assessment methods include essays, critiques, written examinations, multiple choice tests, and oral and poster presentations. The MSc award requires a dissertation of around 20,000 words on an individual piece of research, which may be work-related.

Visit the Crime and Justice (MSc) page on the University of South Wales website for more details!

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