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Criminology and Socio-Legal Research - MSc


Course Description

Explore the relationship between crime and the law, from the criminal justice system and issues with reoffenders, to crime in the media and the glamorisation of drugs.

Our MSc Criminology and Socio-Legal Research forms part of our ESRC Doctoral Training Centre accreditation and combines training in current debates in criminology with an introduction to legal theory and legal methods. It provides a good basis if you wish to conduct criminological research with a socio-legal dimension.

On this course you investigate topics including:
-Philosophy of law and jurisprudence
-Ripping, remixing, and viral culture
-Surveillance and punishment
-The English legal system
-Methods of social control

This course should also interest you if you are without a background in law, as we make good use of legal materials, in addressing our sociological and criminological research questions.

Our Department of Sociology was rated top 10 in the UK for research quality (REF 2014), and we consistently receive strong student satisfaction scores, including 96% overall student satisfaction in 2015.

Our expert staff

We are a large and friendly department, offering a diverse range of research interests and with staff members who are committed to teaching, research and publication that covers a broad geographical spectrum.

Many have worked at the local level with local authorities, justice councils, community partnerships and charities. Others have worked at a national and international level with bodies like the United Nations, the European Commission’s Expert Group on Public Understanding of Science, Amnesty International, The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, the Home Office and national non-governmental organisations.

Specialist facilities

-Dedicated postgraduate support facilities
-Our renowned off-campus Graduate Conference takes place every February
-A unique Student Resource Centre where you can get help with your studies, access examples of previous students’ work, and attend workshops on research skills
-The Sociology common room is open all day Monday-Friday, is stocked with daily newspapers, magazines and journals, and has free drinks available
-Links with the Institute of Social and Economic Research, which conducts large-scale survey projects and has its own library, and the -UK Data Archive, which stores national research data like the British Crime Survey
-Our students’ Sociology Society, a forum for the exchange of ideas, arranging talks by visiting speakers, introducing you to various career pathways, and organising debates

Your future

This course provides excellent preparation for further academic study, and many of our postgraduates go on to successful academic careers, both in the UK and overseas.

Others have established careers in non-governmental organisations, local authorities, specialist think tanks, government departments, charities, media production, and market intelligence.

We work with the university’s Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.

Example structure

-Dissertation
-Legal Research and the English Legal System
-Approaches to Legal Theory
-Sociological Research Design
-Current Controversies in Criminology and Criminal Justice Policy
-Introduction to Quantitative Analysis (optional)
-Digital Economy (optional)

Visit the Criminology and Socio-Legal Research - MSc page on the University of Essex website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Christian Kemp

“Essex has a very strong reputation for the high caliber and standard of both its social and criminological research. I felt that the Department of Sociology at Essex would be an ideal environment where I could not only develop a deeper appreciation of the theoretical aspects of my subject, but also how to practically apply and implement these ideas in the field.

I settled into the academic side of life at Essex quite easily as my course is flexible, and I could choose optional modules that appealed to me the most. The added luxury of being able to choose optional modules is that you can pick those which best suit your future career plans.

I enjoy the theoretical modules that are also rooted in current contemporary social events the most. We learn about quite abstract ideas such as theories of globalisation, whilst discussing how these concepts and ideas can be used to understand contemporary social changes, like the expansion of the global forms of crime and crime control.

There is good support available and lots of social events to help you make new friends. I live at the Quays which have spacious bedrooms and lovely views over the river Colne. It’s great for me because it’s more peaceful allowing me study easily. Being here has also really helped me to understand the options and opportunities available. I have a strong belief that studying here at Essex will greatly help my chances of getting into a successful career.”

(Student Profile)

Emma Weddell

"I initially wanted to study at Essex because my potential supervisor was teaching there. However I soon realised what an exceptional reputation the Department of Sociology has, which made me even more determined to come here.

I completed my undergraduate degree in sociology and wanted to pursue an academic career, so I took the next step which was research methods training (through Essex’s MA Sociological Research Methods), followed by my PhD. The teaching in the Department was excellent; lectures were always really interesting and well-delivered. It was also great be surrounded by so many like-minded people; everyone on the course worked hard but had a sense of humour. I have made lifelong friends at Essex and for that I will always be thankful.

Since completing my PhD, I have been working in the UK Data Archive, based at the University, and am in the process of applying for post-doctoral funding. I’m also working on my journal articles and conference papers in order to disseminate my research findings. Studying at Essex has provided me with a thorough grounding in sociological research methodology and definitely prepared me for an academic career. "


Scholarships

Entry Requirements


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