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Security and Crime Science - PGCert

Course Description

This programme provides students with a thorough understanding of how science and scientifically-based techniques can deliver immediate and sustainable reductions in crime. The programme focuses on how to apply science better to understand crime problems, develop investigative strategies for preventing them and increase the probability of detecting and arresting offenders.

Degree information

Students develop the ability to apply scientific principles to crime control, think more strategically in developing and implementing crime control policies, appreciate the complexity of implementation issues, critically assess the likely impact of planned crime reduction initiatives and generate more innovative proposals for reducing particular crime problems.

This programme can be taken as classroom based (full time or flexible) or by distance learning. Students undertake modules to the value of 60 credits. The programme consists of one core module (15 credits) and three optional modules (45 credits).

Core modules
-Foundations of Security and Crime Science

Optional modules - students choose three of the following:
-Designing and Doing Research
-Quantitative Methods
-Preventing Crimes
-Crime Mapping and Spatial Analysis
-Qualitative Methods
-Investigation and Detection
-Perspectives on Organised Crime
-Perspectives on Terrorism
-Prevention and Disruption

Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through lectures, seminars, tutorials, projects, laboratory classes, and practical exercises. Practical work will involve the analysis and interpretation of data sets, and the development of new ideas for solving problems. Assessment is through laboratory and project reports, unseen written examinations, coursework and presentations.


Many graduates now work in the field of crime prevention and detection for public sector employers such as the Home Office, Police and Ministry of Defence (MOD), or private sector companies with a crime prevention and community safety focus. Other graduates go on to further doctoral research.

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL Security & Crime Science is a world first, devoted specifically to reducing crime through teaching, research, public policy analysis and by the dissemination of evidence-based information on crime reduction.

Crime science is supported by the police, forensic psychologists, applied criminologists, economists, architects, statisticians and geographers, and has been strongly endorsed by the government.

This multidisciplinary programme draws on expertise in psychology, geography, criminology, philosophy and a range of forensic sciences. Our graduate students come from varied backgrounds; many are practitioners and are encouraged to contribute their experience in and out of the classroom.

Visit the Security and Crime Science - PGCert page on the University College London website for more details!

All Available Videos:

(Student Profile)

Stephen McKellar

My frustrations with my previous studies with relation to my undergraduate degree in criminology encouraged me to search for a more practical and empirical way of understanding, explaining and tackling crime. I chose to study crime science essentially due to the practical transferable skills the program offered. Specifically the program offered research skills and technical skill related to software such as SPSS and arc GIS that could make me more employable. The crime science programme allowed me to develop my understanding of statistics and research methods which crucially allowed me to understand others research, my own, while also giving me the skills to conduct my own small piece of research.

(Just to reassure, I must admit that to begin with a was terrified and a complete novice when it came to statistics and research methods. I remember contacting Shane and Ruth for help with statistics and SPSS; but in contrast by the end of the year I was in Kate’s office discussing the fact I wanted to do, and still do, a crime science PhD at some point).

The program and staff can really push you and make you think understand some complex concepts and underlying philosophies. The staff are all wonderful, friendly and ever so helpful! They are easy to contact and respond ever so quickly!

Essentially I hoped the research and practical skills would help me secure employment by allowing me to stand out from the crowd and have some technical training that could be useful. I was interviewed for a position just before the summer of 2010 and they were interested because of the practical skills and evidenced technical ability. Shortly after the interview I was offered an analysts position.

My current role as an analyst in a fraud intelligence team. We investigate fraud and have to deal with very sensitive data that is generally not disclosed and protected under the data protection act (1998). Importantly this means I need to analyse large volumes of data, interpret it accurately and make appropriate recommendations. due to the nature of the job it is important to that we accurately interpret our data and make appropriate recommendations..

I have to say that the staff made this one of the most enjoyable, engaging and rewarding experiences of my life. It is challenging but in the end it is worth the hard work.

(Student Profile)

Shaymoly Mukherjee

1. Why did you choose to study Crime Science at UCL?
I had just completed an undergraduate degree in Biochemistry and was unsure of where to go afterwards. I wanted a job in law enforcement, and the natural progression was to go down the forensic science route, but I didn’t want to work in a laboratory. The MSc appealed to me as it amalgamated a variety of subjects (geography, psychology, criminology and statistics to name a few) I found interesting, but still utilised the scientific thinking skills that I had acquired during my undergraduate.

2. What kind of learning experience did you have (in terms of new skills, facilities, staff support, social aspects)?
The MSc is multi-displinary so there’s always something in there that a student is good at. I particularly enjoyed the applied research methods course, which is really useful in my current role. The essay writing is probably one of the hardest parts of the course but the skills I’ve learnt assist me when writing reports for my current job.

Our year group included practitioners who were carrying out the masters part-time, students who had just finished an undergraduate degree, and people taking a career break to study the masters. This meant there was a wide range of skills and different life experiences that everyone could benefit from when completing group tasks. The people that I met from the course are valuable contacts to have in the sector, and also good to meet up with for a night out!

The staff support was incredible. They were really helpful and encouraged you through the whole process.

3. What did you go on to do as a job and how do you feel your Crime Science course aided you in securing this position?
After I finished the masters I secured a job in the Metropolitan Police Service as Performance Analyst in the Performance Information Bureau, with an aim of going on to be an Intelligence Analyst. I’m now an Intelligence Analyst working for Southwark Borough in their Intelligence Unit. The MSc helped in securing my role as an intelligence analyst as in my interview I drew upon the Routine Activity Triangle to explain crime problems.

The courses in the masters that have really made a difference in what I do are Applied Research Methods and Research Methods. It helped me understand how to analyse data, the problems and limitations of different types of data, and how to analyse crime geographically.


Brown Family Bursary - No. of awards TBC

Selection criteria
The bursary will be awarded based on financial need only as determined by the Student Funding Office.Value, Benefits and Duration:
- The value of the bursary is £15,000. The payment is to be applied to tuition fees in the first instance, with any remainder being paid to the successful applicant towards maintenance in termly instalments.
- The bursary is tenable for one year only.
- The bursary may not be held alongside other tuition fee only awards.

Value of Scholarship(s)



- prospective full-time UK Master's students who are undertaking a one-year programme of study in the Faculties of the Built Environment, Engineering Sciences or Mathematical & Physical Sciences (BEAMS) in 2015/16
- currently holding a first-class Bachelor's degree; and
- in financial need.

Application Procedure

See http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/scholarships/graduate/UK-EU-Master/uclalumniandfriends

Further Information


Entry Requirements

Normally, a minimum of a second-class Bachelor's degree in a relevant discipline from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Relevant disciplines include science subjects (e.g. engineering or computer science) or social science subjects (e.g. psychology, criminology or geography). Alternatively candidates may qualify for entry if they can offer five or more years of relevant professional experience (for example in the police service, or as a crime prevention worker).

Last Updated

14 October 2016

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