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Course content

The MSt in Applied Criminology, Penology and Management has traditionally been intended for prison and probation practitioners. In addition to such applicants, we now also welcome candidates working elsewhere in the Criminal Justice System, both in the UK and overseas. In recent years, in addition to large cohorts of staff from the prison and probation services, we have welcomed onto the course immigration officals, magistrates and lawyers.

See the website http://www.ice.cam.ac.uk/mst-applied-criminology-penology-and-management

Course detail

Course aims:

- To offer an up-to-date high-quality course which introduces senior persons working within the field of criminal justice as well as others with relevant experience and interests (e.g. senior personnel working with public sector organisations concerned with penology related operations) to some of the most important theory and research in applied criminology, penology and management.
- To develop the skills necessary to locate, read, interpret and analyse relevant research and other source materials.
- To develop the conceptual understanding necessary to evaluate research methods and findings.
- To facilitate course members in communicating the results of their ideas, research and its conclusions in a written form, as well as orally.
- To enhance the capacity of course members to apply up-to-date research in applied criminology, penology and management to aspects of their work.


The programme is a part-time course that takes place over two years starting in the spring. There are normally three two-week residential teaching blocks in the first year: Block A (March/April), Block B (June/July) and Block C (September).

The residential teaching blocks incorporate key modules:

- Management in Criminal Justice
- Prisons and Imprisonment
- Criminological Theory and Criminological Research
- Criminal Justice and Community Justice
- Sentencing, the Legal Context and Court Issues

The modules cover a range of topics and use a range of delivery styles including seminars, lectures, symposia, practical exercises and project work. Reading lists are provided for each session, giving required and suggested further reading.

- Lectures, seminars and classes: 47 hours per term (first year)
- Small group teaching: 3 hours per term
- Supervision: 3 hours per week during residential blocks (both years)
- Practical sessions: as required - optional research methods surgeries and workshops for attendance depending on research methods being used.

Supervision and learning support

Students are allocated a Personal Supervisor with whom they can discuss any aspect of the course (essay choice, thesis topic, time management, sources of information, academic development and support) on a one-to-one basis.

Independent study time is incorporated into the teaching blocks. Students have access to college library facilities as well as the Radzinowicz (Institute of Criminology), Squire (Faculty of Law), Cambridge Judge Business School and University Libraries.

In the second year, supervision may pass to another member of staff who is better suited to supervise the thesis topic and in some cases a separate subject specific thesis advisor may also be allocated to work alongside the supervisor. Student support materials are also available via a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).


- Dissertation: 18,000 words maximum (including footnotes and appendices but excluding bibliography). The dissertation requires a literature review.
- Four essays: 3,000 words maximum each
- A research proposal: 4,000 words maximum

How to apply: http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/applying


Sources of government funding and financial support - including Professional and Career Development Loans: https://www.gov.uk/browse/education/student-finance

Visit the MSt in Applied Criminology, Penology and Management page on the University of Cambridge website for more details!





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