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Criminology and Criminal Justice

About the Course


One year full-time or two or three years part-time

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The MA Criminology and Criminal Justice, based at our Canterbury Campus, allows students to combine the study of contemporary issues in the criminal justice system with theoretical approaches to the study of crime. Students will initially follow three core courses that provide an informed overview of crime, criminology and the criminal justice system. These three core courses will be complemented by three further courses in more specific subject areas (Punishment and Penology, Policing and Community Safety and Research Design, Procedure and Analysis) followed by a final dissertation.

Students who complete the initial three 20 credit core courses successfully may exit the programme with the award of postgraduate certificate. On the completion of a further 60 core credits, students not wishing to take the dissertation may exit with the award of postgraduate diploma. Assessment methods will include essay, presentation, literature review, project initiation document and dissertation. 

Programme Structure

The MA Criminology and Criminal Justice is composed of six core 20 credit taught courses and a 60 credit dissertation. Each of the taught courses comprises a taught element (including lecture and seminar) and associated assessment and each has a series of defined learning outcomes which are assessed as part of the course requirements.

The six taught courses are:

Dimensions of Crime (20 credits)
The aim of this course is to develop in students a critical appreciation of both the different forms that crime takes and the different approaches to analysing its causes and effects.

Criminal Justice: Themes and Issues (20 Credits)
The aim of this course is to introduce students to the contemporary criminal justice system and the associated themes, issues and dilemmas which impact on criminal justice policy.

Understanding Criminology (20 credits)
The course has two main aims; first, to explore the inter-disciplinary nature of criminology and its relationship to different research agendas. Second, it aims to investigate the increasingly complex political and ethical contexts within which such research occurs.

Research Design, Procedure and Analysis (20 credits)
The course aims to provide students with a critical and appreciative knowledge of the research methods used in the study of crime and the criminal justice system. It will provide students with an in-depth critical knowledge of both qualitative and quantitative research methodologies.

Punishment and Penology (20 credits)
This course has two main aims; first, to introduce students to conflicting ideologies of punishment and, second, to allow students a critical appreciation of the persistent themes and issues associated with both imprisonment and community punishment.

Policing and Community Safety (20 credits)
This course will introduce students to contemporary issues in, and strategies of, policing drawing on practice, policy and theory.

Dissertation (60 credits)
The dissertation is the final component of the MA and builds upon themes and issues covered in the core course Research Design, Procedure and Analysis. The dissertation involves the student undertaking a research based project that is written up in the form of a dissertation. The dissertation gives students the opportunity to pursue research in an area of specific interest to them and is supervised by a member of staff.

How to Apply

Candidates for this programme are normally expected to have a good honours degree in a relevant area. Candidates with other degrees or relevant professional qualifications may also apply, but additional criteria may be set for admission onto the programme.

Applications must be made in writing on the appropriate application form. A curriculum vitae detailing the applicant’s educational and professional background is required, together with a statement outlining the reasons for wishing to undertake the programme. The Programme Director will arrange for all suitable applicants to be interviewed (by telephone or in person). Applicants will be selected for the programme on the basis of their previous educational attainment and present expertise and potential, together with evidence of their commitment to Master’s level study and their willingness and ability to study as part of a group.

An application form can be downloaded here

Copies are also available from:
Student Recruitment (Postgraduate Admissions)
Canterbury Christ Church University
North Holmes Road

Telephone: 01227 782900
Fax: 01227 782888

Informal enquiries can be made to Sofia Graca

Department of Law and Criminal Justice Studies