You develop your knowledge of contemporary theory and practices in criminal investigation, relevant legislation, and information relating to criminal justice studies and criminal law. This cross-disciplinary programme develops your intellectual capability and enhances your understanding of criminal justice both national and international.
Inter-disciplinary by nature, this course incorporates the knowledge of staff with practical experience of investigation, law and research whilst offering a strong academic base. It has a clear focus which merges theory and practice and emphasises the importance of relevant legislation, policies and practices, linking them to the overall theme exploring criminal investigation.
This programme includes a dissertation module which enables you to focus on an aspect of investigation which is of particular interest you, relevant to criminal investigation, but potentially in relation to an area not taught within the programme.
and one optional module
Modules offered may vary.
How you learn
Teaching is student-centred to develop your understanding of theory, practice and presentation.
The programme commences with a three-day block induction period to enable you to meet staff and be introduced to the programme. You then begin a blended learning programme, which involves studying both in the classroom (one evening and one half day) and independently via on-line learning. This increases the flexibility of the programme and it is anticipated this combined approach of on-line study, evening and daytime study offers sufficient flexibility to fit into most lifestyles, whilst offering the benefit of the socialising aspects of group study. It also encourages the development of independent learning skills at an earlier stage in the programme, in readiness for research tasks.
These teaching methods offer you the opportunity to develop subject-specific knowledge and understanding, developing your cognitive-intellectual, practical-professional and generic key skills.
Your research skills are developed during the research module and further developed through the course, enabling you to conduct your research successfully towards more specialist fields of enquiry for your dissertation.
The programme involves high levels of personal responsibility and self-direction. It requires you to work with complex knowledge, theory and concepts appropriate to postgraduate studies. On the completion of this course, you should be able to plan, manage and evaluate your own learning effectively so as to become an independent lifelong learner.
How you are assessed
Formative assessment is ongoing throughout each module, either via on-line tasks or by classroom tasks, offering you feedback to assist you to develop your skills.
This programme adopts a wide range of formal assessment methods which assists you to achieve the learning outcomes and to evaluate the effectiveness of your learning. Essays and other forms of writing are commonly used. These assess your analytical, evaluative and communication skills. Presentations allow you to demonstrate a critical and systematic understanding of the key subject matter.
Seen examinations test your knowledge and information retention as well as your fluency. You are required to undertake appropriate criminal investigation-related research. The dissertation gives you the opportunity to demonstrate an appropriate standard of research and enquiry into a specialised area of investigation, displaying an analytical discussion of that area.
Graduates are equipped to work within, or progress their existing careers in, the criminal justice institutions, such as the police, prison and probation services, other investigation-related institutions and organisations, and relevant private sectors.
Understanding data is becoming increasingly important for us all. This is especially true for the intelligence analyst working for a police intelligence unit or business analytics department.
The work boundaries of the traditional police intelligence analyst and digital forensic investigator are becoming blurred – today’s analysts need to be cyber aware, understanding how communication records and web search histories can be extracted and analysed.
This course covers these areas as well as theories that provide a better sense of the causes of crime and the prevention measures that can be put in place to stabilise and reverse these trends. Analysts shouldn’t be phased by data simply because of its size, complexity or format. This course provides you with the skills to work effectively with large datasets, allowing you to make more informed decisions in relation to criminal investigations. Key features include writing code to quickly clean up data and packaging it so it’s suitable for analysis and visualisation. You will discover that the world constantly presents data in data frames or spreadsheets – our daily activities are invariably logged by a time, date, geolocation. You develop these skills along with your confidence in applying them to make more sense of the data – analysing Twitter downloads, searched words and images, geolocation points or big data. This course also explores strategies employed in forensic investigation. It gives you the space and opportunity to develop your own area of interest in a 60-credit research project where your supervisor enables you to maximise your skillsets from academic writing to data analytics.
For the PgDip award you must successfully complete 120 credits of taught modules. For the MSc award you must successfully complete 120 credits of taught modules and a 60-credit master's research project.
PgDip and MSc core modules
Modules offered may vary.
How you learn
You learn through a range of lectures, seminars, tutorials and IT laboratories using a variety of software. Simulated problems and scenarios are posed in much the same way that analysts would face in the real world. You can expect to use software that is found in real-world intelligence analysis/digital forensic units and data science. An element of the learning is through peer engagement, learning from others to achieve solutions. Much of the software you use in class can be downloaded for home use.
How you are assessed
You are assessed in formal examination settings as well as through structured coursework.
You could expect to apply for intelligence researcher and intelligence analyst roles in a wide variety of career opportunities ranging from security, policing and business.