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  • Study Type

    Full time & Part time available

  • Subject Areas


  • Start Date


  • Course Duration

    1 year full time, 2 years part time

  • Course Type


  • Course Fees


  • Last Updated

    19 October 2017

Course content

Our MA Applied Criminology course has been designed for both recent graduates and practitioners who wish to develop their understanding of the debates surrounding crime and the criminal justice system. It offers an exciting opportunity to study both theoretical criminology and the more applied aspects of criminology and criminal justice issues.

The course has three formal stages:
-The Diploma stages consist of three taught modules, a proposal module that is delivered through work groups and a practice-based module involving reflection upon work or volunteering experience.
-Those proceeding to the Master's stage will be required to complete an extended project to be determined individually.
-It is possible to complete your studies at any of the Certificate, Diploma or Master's stages.

Full-time students will complete all these stages in one year. Part-time students would normally complete the diploma and masters stages over two years.

What's covered in the course?

During study, you are asked to reflect upon your experience of crime and the criminal justice system, looking at significant factors involved in crime in contemporary society. These include globalisation, consumerism and political economy, as well as considering more psychological and theoretical drivers of harmful and criminal behaviour and the responses to crime.

In order to provide an engaging and flexible educational experience to diverse range of students, the course utilises a wide range of learning and teaching methods and technologies. Given the small size of each group of students recruited, the postgraduate status of the programme and the experience which many of its recruits have had of the criminal justice system, the course is highly participative. While sessions will provide periods of structured teaching, they will also provide a forum, within which you will take responsibility for your own learning, and share your knowledge and views with other students and staff.

The precise nature of sessions and delivery will vary with the year, the cohort of students, and the general and specific experience possessed by individual students. The programme team also makes increasing use of the University’s virtual learning environment, Moodle, where teaching staff will upload lecture notes, web links, video programmes and extracts from academic sources. Moodle is also used for general announcements and communication with a group of students, many of whom are unlikely to be on campus every day.

The course has a strong link with research practice, and will help you develop and understand the principles and practice of research, as well as enabling you to form judgements on the relative merits of, and relationships between, different research tools and methods. You will also develop the capability to design, manage and disseminate a research project to a professional standard.

Why Choose Us?

-The course has strong links with the University’s Centre for Applied Criminology, a leading research centre staffed by established criminologists. They are renowned for their international reputations, with their specialist areas including homicide, violence and organised crime.
-You’ll have flexible study options, enabling you to focus on either an academic route or a more practice-based approach.
-The course will help you develop and understand the principles and practice of research, and allow you to form judgements on different research tools.
-The course team has valuable links with the regional criminal justice system and leading non-Government organisations, including therapeutic prison HMP Grendon, where the University holds an annual debate.

How you learn

The course is taught in weekly seminars, tutorials and workshops, which encourage substantial student participation. Our virtual learning environment is also used to deliver some content and facilitate communication remotely.

The MA Applied Criminology will normally be studied on a one-year full-time basis and a two-year part-time basis, with the taught elements of the programme being delivered over a teaching period of approximately 30 weeks from September to May/June.

The programme is divided into study units called modules, each of 20 credits (excluding the Extended Project which amounts to 60 credits). Most modules on the programme are core, but there is also optional modules which cover influential areas of work undertaken in the Centre for Applied Criminology. You’ll complete 120 credits at the Postgraduate Certificate and Diploma Stage, and a further 60 credits at the Master’s stage. It is expected that most applicants will wish to progress to Master's stage, which is delivered and assessed through an extended project supervised through evening workgroups and through one-to-one supervision, which will come from an expert academic attached to the Centre for Applied Criminology.

The taught Master’s component covers a range of core and option modules, including topics such as - Research Methods (where you will develop your proposal for the final Applied Research Proposal module); Criminological Thought; Criminal Psychology; Penal Theory and Practice; Crime and Rehabilitation in Media; and Reflective Practice or Criminological Issues.

At the Diploma stage, you may select options modules covering topics such as Restorative Justice, Crime Prevention in Homicide and Organised Violent Crime (HAVOC), and Understanding Domestic and Sexual Violence (UDSV). Additionally, the MA is awarded on the completion of the Applied Research Project [Dissertation] module (60 credits), which contains a taught component with evening sessions.


The teaching team draws on the combined with the expertise of members of the Centre for Applied Criminology, who will give you cutting-edge criminological knowledge from their impactful and high-profile research, as well as giving you excellent access to experienced practitioners and Criminal Justice System organisations.

The access provided to professionals, the presence of practitioners among fellow students and the capacity to reflect upon relevant volunteering or work experience within the structure of the course means that the course provides excellent opportunities for building contacts and networking, as well as developing opportunities for employment.

The School of Social Sciences has relationships with a number of criminal justice agencies and non-government organisations, including the local Community Safety Partnership, HMP Grendon and the Howard League.

Visit the Criminology - MA page on the Birmingham City University website for more details!





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