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MSc Criminology and Socio-Legal Research

Course Description

The University of Essex is one of the UK's leading academic institutions, ranked ninth nationally for research excellence following the most recent Research Assessment Exercise (RAE, December 2008).

Our Department of Sociology is one of the best in Europe and was ranked first in the UK following the last RAE. We pride ourselves on our intellectual breadth and diversity, offering a range of expertise and enthusiasms. We are a large, friendly, international and diverse department, and build upon the traditions of sociological analysis whilst exploring the contributions of cultural history, criminology, social psychology, social anthropology, social philosophy, feminism and cultural studies.

Our new course forms part of our ESRC Doctoral Training Centre accreditation and combines training in current debates in criminology with a foundation in sociological research design, plus an introduction to legal theory and legal methods. It will provide a good basis for you if you wish to conduct criminological research with a socio-legal dimension.

Our MSc Criminology and Socio-Legal Research 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.

Visit the MSc Criminology and Socio-Legal Research 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. "


Entry Requirements

2.1 or above in sociology or an appropriate discipline; IELTS 6.5.

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