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MA Criminology

Course Description

Criminal offending and the state’s response to it are constantly evolving, and this course explores the latest ideas, thinking and research into the subject. Benefiting from the practice and practical knowledge of highly experienced tutors and lecturers, you will reflect critically on the latest theories and the many explanations used to explain why crime occurs.

The department’s expertise is deep and wide ranging, and covers youth crime and justice, substance abuse, gang related crime, corporate crime and forensic mental health.

You will be taught by leading researchers from the Institute of Applied Social Research, whose studies on sexual exploitation, trafficking, and disability is internationally renowned and at the interface between research, knowledge, policy and practice.

Why study this course?

• Study the social, political and cultural contexts that inform criminology, and develop a critical in-depth knowledge and understanding of the subject
• Explore and research a particular topic of interest, and as you do this sharpen your independent study skills and become highly specialised in a particular area
• Develop the ability to apply originality in the application of knowledge that addresses problems relating to criminal justice, crime and offending
• Gain a wide range of new skills and qualities that are relevant to the workplace and will give you the opportunity to seek employment at a senior level
• Benefit from the ability to take part in critical discussions, systematic reviews and the analysis of complex, unfamiliar or unpredictable criminological problems, and work to produce an understanding that is informed by current scholarship.

Visit the website: https://www.beds.ac.uk/howtoapply/courses/postgraduate/next-year/macriaaf

Course detail

Criminology at the University of Bedfordshire is taught by subject experts who are all members of the Vauxhall Centre for the Study of Crime under the direction of Professor John Pitts - a key member of the Home Office gang strategy’s expert advisory group. This dynamic programme considers developments in the academic study and research evidence of criminology in the context of an increasingly globalised world.

You will have the opportunity to critically reflect on theory while drawing on a depth of practical knowledge, theory and professional expertise from the teaching team. In addition, the team have an interest in the personal development of Masters students through a system of seminars and personal tutorials. This allows both staff and students to get to know each other well and fosters a shared commitment to the subject.


The units you will study are a mix of core and option units critically examining issues relating to offending and the responses to a range of offending behaviours by the state and other institutions.

Semester 1
• Theories and Perspectives in Crime and Criminal Justice
• Models and Methods of Social Research

Semester 2
• Young People Group Offending and Violent Crime
• Offenders and Offending: The experience of end to end offender management
• Corporate Crime and Corporate Criminals
• Forensic Mental Health: Dealing with the mentally disordered offender
• Complexities in Forced Migration: Human displacement, trafficking and refuge

Semester 3
• The Dissertation in Criminology


You will undertake written assignments – essays and reports – as well as participating in group conferences, poster presentations, reflective journals and presentations.

These presentations are designed to allow you to become accustomed to presenting yourself in a variety of settings. Being able to practice these skills in a supportive environment will develop this essential employability skill.

You will also have in-class tests and an examination. These assessments will allow you to demonstrate and record your ability to work under pressure. However, the weight of assessments are written assignments and these allow you to explore the subject in depth and through detailed research demonstrate your ability to apply knowledge to understand the variety of behaviours and potentially offer solutions.


The MA in Criminology will allow you to achieve a range of skills and levels of personal enquiry deemed essential in the world of work.

The depth of knowledge you will acquire at Masters level together with the ability to apply knowledge in a range of offending settings will offer you a transformative experience and equip you with the qualities and skills necessary for employment at a high level across the sector.

In addition, the MA offers the potential to progress to further study at PhD or Professional Doctorate level.


For information on available funding, please follow the link: https://www.beds.ac.uk/howtoapply/money/scholarships/pg

How to apply

For information on how to apply, please follow the link: https://www.beds.ac.uk/howtoapply/course/applicationform

Visit the MA Criminology page on the University of Bedfordshire website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Applicants should have a good undergraduate degree at Honours level, or equivalent. English language requirements: View Website

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Recipient: University of Bedfordshire

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