The one year MPhil programmes in Criminology and Criminological Research regularly recruit around 40 students each year. The programmes have a high national and international standing, and the MPhil in Criminological Research is a recognised Doctoral Training Centre pathway towards a PhD and so candidates can apply to the Institute of Criminology for Economic and Social Research Council 1+3 funding.
The MPhil programmes consist of core modules and seminars on topics in key areas. The core modules are compulsory and familiarise students with current criminological thinking and research. The other seminars cover a range of topics which include criminal justice, comparative criminology, mental health and crime, a sociology of punishment, developmental criminology, a sociology of prison life, policing, social contexts of crime and crime prevention (please note that not all optional courses are run each year).
The MPhil in Criminological Research includes compulsory participation in the Social Sciences Research Methods course (which provides additional research methods training).
1. to offer an up-to-date and high-quality course, introducing students to some of the most important theory and research in criminology 2. to offer a sound foundation for more advanced work, such as that involved in research and teaching careers in criminology, and in particular for progression to the Institute’s PhD in Criminology 3. to provide those who wish to proceed to careers beyond academic or research contexts with a sound foundation of knowledge and methodological skills, which can be used effectively in relation to work in criminal justice agencies, the legal profession or other professional or voluntary organisations.
Students should acquire:
- an understanding of core criminological and criminal justice theories; a critical awareness of current problems and debates within the field; originality in application of knowledge to current issues; and skills in critical evaluation of theoretical and empirical literature relevant to criminological and criminal justice research;
- a comprehensive understanding of qualitative and quantitative research methods used in criminology; the ability to use acquired knowledge to propose new hypotheses and address research problems; the ability to organise research; the ability to independently acquire and interpret additional knowledge needed for their own research; and an understanding of the quality of work required to satisfy peer review;
- the ability to use national data banks and develop competencies in devising and implementing surveys, active mastery of advanced statistics; the ability to use a range of qualitative methods such as interviews, observation and ethnography, and documentary and discourse analysis, and the ability to apply those research techniques to current research questions; students should also acquire the ability to use theoretical knowledge creatively and independently in order to be able to handle practical issues arising in empirical work; to understand the problems of knowledge transfer to non-specialist audiences, and develop skills in communicating criminological knowledge to specialist and non-specialist audiences.
For progression from the MPhil to the PhD: the Institute strongly recommends that students who intend to register for the PhD apply for the MPhil in Criminological Research in the first instance. Progression to the PhD is dependent on a good performance on the MPhil programme.
Continuation to the PhD programme will involve a separate application process, undertaken during the MPhil year. Prospective PhD students are encouraged to discuss their plans with their MPhil supervisor as early as possible during the MPhil year. Please see our web pages at: http://www.crim.cam.ac.uk/courses/phd/prospective/#applications
The Institute of Criminology is pleased to be able to offer a number of Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) 1+3 or +3 studentships. Each of the studentships covers the cost of the University Composition Fee for four years, together with a maintenance stipend for each year. Where appropriate, the Institute can apply for an enhanced stipend for anyone wishing to pursue research which is likely to involve advanced quantitative research. The studentship enables each successful applicant to study for the M.Phil. in Criminological Research in the first year, followed by three years of doctoral research leading to the award of a Ph.D.
For further information on the ESRC studentships, and other possible sources of funding, please see our funding pages.