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Course content

Our MSc Criminology course establishes clear connections between conceptual theories of crime and justice, and applied examples of how they affect contemporary societies. The course has an international focus that goes beyond UK or Scottish borders, making it appealing for a diverse student cohort.

The course content encourages pursuit of innovative and socially just responses to the problem of crime from crimes in the streets or at home, to crimes of the powerful, crimes across borders, or the much newer phenomenon of online crime. Throughout the course, there's an emphasis on the need for a strong critical understanding of how research is framed, used and developed, which is delivered via modules in data analysis and research design, as well as criminological and socio-legal research methods. You’ll have the opportunity to explore concepts of criminal justice, the social contexts of crime, and a variety of criminological theoretical perspectives as well as applied insights.

With elective modules in specialist subjects such as rehabilitation and criminal justice work; drug policy and interventions; and criminalisation, social control and human rights, students can acquire and develop a range of skills which will significantly enhance both their confidence in criminology and their employability.

The course is ideal for those who are keen to continue their studies at postgraduate level, as well as for practitioners who wish to consolidate existing experience and training with a Masters qualification.

Course objectives

This course offers interdisciplinary insights into pressing current social issues such as terrorism, ethical uses of technology in criminal justice, the issues faced by women in criminal justice, drug policy reform, emergence and regulation of psychoactive substances, or tracing the links between poverty and imprisonment.

You'll gain a critical understanding of how research is framed, used and developed, and by whom, in criminology. Our academics are members of an internationally leading research centre; the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research (SCCJR), as well as being affiliated with the Scottish Institute for Policing Research (SIRP). Our research features in the media and is used by policymakers and practice leaders.


Visit the Criminology MSc page on the University of Stirling website for more details!

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