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MSc International Criminal Justice (Distance Learning)

Course Description

Why take this course?

This distance learning degree will develop your understanding of the internationalisation of criminal justice and the importance of comparative perspectives, for an informed broad-based understanding of international criminal justice in the contemporary context.

What will I experience?

On this course you can:

Study a curriculum that is responsive to the diverse international backgrounds of students
Examine national and international criminal justice with reference to international norms and standards of human rights and police ethics
Study the development of international and transnational offending from criminological, legal and political perspectives

What opportunities might it lead to?

This course supports entry to or promotion within careers that have an international policing context. This could include working for international criminal justice and law enforcement bodies such as Europol, Interpol and the International Office of Migration, or working as an investigators or administrator at international criminal tribunals. Alternatively, careers in private sector investigation or national/international non-governmental agencies would be open to you.

Module Details

On this course you will study:

International Justice: This unit covers concept of justice and the differing systems of criminal justice. You will also review the development and source of international norms and standards in criminal justice; the role, function and policy-making processes of international criminal justice bodies; the human rights system within United Nation and European Union criminal police and judicial cooperation.

Research Methods and Research Management: Research methods in crime, criminal justice and related settings include complex statistical modelling and analysis, surveys to establish self-reported offending and victimisation, in-depth interviews, ethnographies, as well as various forms of content, narrative and documentary analysis. This unit prepares you for your dissertation and will give you an overview of many of the possibilities, as well as directions on where to look for more information and ideas about particular techniques, approaches or issues. It covers structured literature reviews, the web and the methodology behind systematic reviews and meta-analysis.

Dissertation: You will conduct a small-scale 15,000-word research project, giving you the chance to demonstrate your achievement on the course as a whole. You will need to demonstrate your grasp of research design, methods and ethics, as well as your personal organisation and planning in the conduct of your criminal justice research-based project. You will choose you own topic taking into account academic advice and guidance as well as the broad parameters of the expertise of the Institute’s academic staff.

You will also choose two optional units from:

International and Transnational Offending

Contemporary Security in International Relations

Managing Justice and Security Organisations

International Fraud and Corruption

Cybercrime, Risk and Security Management (Campus Block Teaching)

Please note that all options are subject to minimum student numbers and may not all be available. The course structure may vary from year to year, but course content and learning opportunities will not be diminished by this.

Professional Accreditation

Through their studies students can also gain professional accreditation that could assist them in the development of their further career prospects. These opportunities are for 0 credit professional Units, in addition to their normal study programme. Opportunities include those from the:

College of Policing, with the Certificate of Knowledge in Policing (exempting them from parts of police training), subject to any additional requirements set down by the College of Policing.

Counter Fraud Professional Accreditation Board, as an Accredited Counter Fraud Technician (ACFTech), subject to additional requirements set down by the Counter Fraud Professional Accreditation Board

Counter Fraud Professional Accreditation Board, as an Accredited Counter Fraud Specialist (ACFS), subject to additional requirements set down by the Counter Fraud Professional Accreditation Board.

Programme Assessment

This course is delivered entirely over the web. You will have access to our virtual learning environment where the learning materials are hosted. These include specially authored online multimedia learning materials, online 'thematic debates' and a broad range of electronic texts that cater for a diverse range of student interests, professional backgrounds and geographic locations. Throughout the course you will also have access to your course leader via a virtual classroom as a group and for one-to-one tutorials via Skype.

Assessment will be in the form of academic essays, some assessment of online discussion contributions, research reports, a literature review and dissertation proposal focussed on your chosen project, and finally a 15,000-word dissertation. For each assignment full academic support is provided by an academic subject expert and you will be provided with an academic supervisor once you have identified the subject area for your research project.

Student Destinations

Students have enrolled on the award to further develop their professional expertise in the international criminal justice or international policing context, or to help support a career change or specialisation in this direction. Our students have included UK police, civil servants or private sector investigators either within or moving towards international and transnational criminal justice responsibilities.

Over the years, we have also attracted a wide variety of nationalities working for international criminal justice and law enforcement bodies. These have included those performing a variety of roles within Europol, Interpol, the International Office of Migration, or those working as investigators or administrators at international criminal tribunals.

Visit the MSc International Criminal Justice (Distance Learning) page on the University of Portsmouth website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Maren Eline Kleiven

785.jpg What made you decide to come to University of Portsmouth to study?
I had for several years thought about further education, but did not find anything that suited me. In May 2003 I went on a study trip to Centrex, Bramshill to learn more about the English police. One of the officers there actually informed me of this course - he said it looked intriguing....and it did! I found more information on the web which I thought looked very interesting and decided to apply.

How have you found your course?
It has been excellent! The course is very innovative and has have covered a variety of subjects which I believe to be vital in the "future of policing". It must be added that it also have been demanding, in particular for us foreign students who have had the second language as an additional element. The pace of the course have been high, but that has in a way been positive - I have learned a great deal from that  not only the contents of the subjects, but also how to be structured and to speed up my writing (which has proven to be very handy in me current position).

How have you found life at the University?
The life at the University has been good. Most of my studies have been over the web through distance learning, but that has been excellent for me personally - I like to choose when to study. The web-based learning in "Victory" has been very professional with several tutors being online almost "constantly" to answer whatever question I've had. Victory has also been a good way to interact with other students. The Study Schools arranged every year has been a brilliant way to get to know the tutors personally and to interact with other students. I would like to emphasise that the latter element is an important part of distance learning studies (!) and has been an important part of my studies. Thank you for two fantastic years which has been such a learning experience and very self-fulfilling for me! Good luck to new and returning students.


Entry Requirements

A good honours degree in a relevant subject, or equivalent professional experience and/or training within the police or other criminal justice organisation.English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5, with a minimum score of 6.0 in Reading and Writing components.

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