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MSc Applied Social Research (Criminology)

Course Description


The course prepares students for undertaking social research and evaluation in criminal justice and criminology, leading to careers in research, research management, and commissioning or using research.


The course is recognised as research training by the ESRC for those who are studying or going on to study for a PhD (+3), and is also recognised by the ESRC for Master’s Course plus Research Studentship (1+3) purposes.

Key information

- Degree type: MSc, Postgraduate Diploma
- Study methods: Part-time, Full-time
- Start date: Full-time: September Part-time: September/January
- Course Director: Richard Simmons

Course objectives

This MSc has been designed to run concurrently with the MSc Applied Social Research, a long-standing course in Applied Social Science that is recognised by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) as meeting the standards of their Research Training Guidelines. The objectives are to:
- Provide you with the skills and knowledge base required to collect, analyse and report qualitative and quantitative data, taking account of ethics, reliability and validity
- Enable you to examine critically the theoretical foundations that underpin criminological and socio-legal research
- Enable you to examine issues concerning comparative criminological and socio-legal research
- Develop your understanding of the relationship between criminological research and policy, and the meanings of evaluation, its terminology, practice and use

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:
- IELTS: 6.5 with 6.0 minimum in each skill
- Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade C
- Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade B
- Pearson Test of English (Academic): 60 with 56 in each component
- IBT TOEFL: 90 with no subtest less than 20

For more information go to English language requirements https://www.stir.ac.uk/study-in-the-uk/entry-requirements/english/

If you don’t meet the required score you may be able to register for one of our pre-sessional English courses. To register you must hold a conditional offer for your course and have an IELTS score 0.5 or 1.0 below the required standard. View the range of pre-sessional courses http://www.intohigher.com/uk/en-gb/our-centres/into-university-of-stirling/studying/our-courses/course-list/pre-sessional-english.aspx .

Structure and content

The MSc/Diploma in Applied Social Research (Criminology) comprises six compulsory taught core modules and (for the MSc) a dissertation.
The modules are: Research Design and Process; Introduction to Information Technology and Library Services (not formally assessed); Quantitative Data Analysis; Qualitative Data Analysis; Research Methods in Criminology and Socio-legal Studies; Criminological Perspectives; and Criminalisation, Social Control and Human Rights.
In addition to the modules, you will complete the following:
- Research Dissertation: MSc students must undertake an original criminological or socio-legal research study and complete a research dissertation with academic supervision.

Examples of recent dissertation topics include:
- Explaining Crime through Narrative
- Nurses Perceptions of Workplace Violence and Aggression within an A&E Department
- Policing a Democracy
- The Effect of Anti-Terror Legislation on Liberty

Delivery and assessment

Teaching methods are designed for each module to facilitate your acquisition of skills and progressive development. You are expected to participate in lectures, seminars, tutorials, computer-based workshops and group work.
Full-time and part-time MSc/Diploma students experience a range of different forms of assessment across the compulsory taught modules. These include essays, critical review essays, book reviews, research proposals, a computer lab-based assessment for quantitative data analysis, and the research dissertation. There are no examinations.

Why Stirling?

In REF2014 Stirling was placed 6th in Scotland and 45th in the UK with almost three quarters of research activity rated either world-leading or internationally excellent.


In the most recent Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), 95 percent of research in Applied Social Science at Stirling was 'Internationally Excellent' with the top 10 percent of that judged to be 'World-leading'.

Career opportunities

90.5% of Stirling students are in employment or further study six months after graduation.

Visit the MSc Applied Social Research (Criminology) page on the University of Stirling website for more details!

Entry Requirements

A minimum of a second class Honours degree (2.1 preferred) or equivalent in a relevant subject. Applicants without these formal qualifications but with significant appropriate/relevant work/life experience are encouraged to apply. INTO University of Stirling offers a Graduate Diploma for those students who do not meet the required criteria for this course. If you successfully complete the Graduate Diploma in Media, Humanities and Social Sciences and meet the required progression grades, you will be guaranteed entry onto year one of this Master's degree.

Course Fees

2015/16: Home/EU £4,500; Overseas £11,900

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