Criminology MRes

Statue of justice

This programme introduces the theoretical and conceptual resources relevant to the study of crime, criminal justice and crime policy. It provides advanced training in social research methods.

Key facts

  • MRes: 12 months full-time; 24 months part-time
  • PgDip 9 months full-time; 21 months part-time
  • Contact:

Why this programme

  • This MRes will prepare you for a career as a researcher or for undertaking a PhD in criminological or criminal justice research. It is recognised for an Economic and Social Research Council 1+3 award through the Scottish Doctoral Training Centre.
  • You will be benefit from the combined strengths of staff from the Scottish Centre for Crime & Justice Research who are based at the University.
  • The breadth and diversity of expertise represented within the teaching team is a key strength of the programme.
  • There will be a number of guest lectures, presentations and seminars throughout, with high-calibre speakers from the UK and abroad.
  • You will have the opportunity to link up with a criminal justice organisation for your dissertation work.
  • This degree is taught alongside two MSc degrees: Criminology & Criminal Justice and Transnational Crime, Justice & Security. They have a stronger subject focus and less emphasis on research training.

Programme structure

The four core courses and two optional courses provide you with in-depth knowledge of current criminological issues and refine your social research abilities. For the MRes you will apply your analytical and research skills to a specialised topic and produce a dissertation.

Core courses

  • Understanding and explaining crime and social control
  • Research and enquiry in crime and criminal justice
  • Social science statistics 1
  • Qualitative research methods.

Optional courses

At least one must be taken from the following

  • Criminal justice: global challenges
  • Rehabilitation and desistance from crime 
  • Penology and punishment 
  • Crime, media and popular culture 
  • Crime and community safety
  • Criminological perspectives on security 
  • The global criminal economy.

Background and aims

This programme offers postgraduate study in criminology with the aim of preparing students for a career as a researcher, or for undertaking a PhD in criminology or criminal justice.  It introduces students to theoretical and conceptual resources relevant to the study of crime and provides students with critical knowledge of research methods and advanced theory in order to undertake and critically evaluate criminological research.  It serves both as a qualification in its own right as well as a platform for those who wish to go on to study for a PhD, or to conduct further research.

Glasgow is a stimulating place to study crime and responses to it, with a wide range of events and resources to enhance your studies. The Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research at the University of Glasgow is a friendly, informal place in which to study criminology.  Staff are knowledgeable, approachable and enthusiastic and there is a thriving and welcoming research culture. Our regular seminar series draws visiting speakers from the UK, Europe and the United States to give talks on their research and to meet students; we run an inter-disciplinary Ethnography Reading Group; a working lunch meeting which is an informal arena for staff and students to discuss research ideas and theoretical interests, and our postgraduates organise events through the year, including mini conferences, and social events.

Our programmes benefit from extensive links to the worlds of policy and professional practice. We have regular contributions to programmes from high-calibre speakers from the UK and abroad

What our students say

‌Caitlin Gormley, UK (2011-2012)

'The University of Glasgow was the obvious choice for me when it came to deciding where I should continue my academic career and research training. I had completed my honours degree in the sociology subject area and I was confident about the academic rigour and development opportunities available to me as a research student. Teaching and administrative staff provided excellent support throughout the department during the application process for my postgraduate degree while completing my undergraduate degree. The new postgraduate study space in the University Library and the Gilchrist Postgraduate Club really accentuated the University’s focus on delivering appropriate research and social environments for postgraduate students on campus.

The broad research areas of the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research (SCCJR) broadened my understanding of the possibility of working within the criminal justice academic field. Members of this research cluster were extremely approachable and helped me to develop my own research interests. As criminology students, we were invited to crime and criminal justice events, conferences and even to visit some Scottish prisons to speak to prisoners and staff. I had a great opportunity to form my dissertation by working alongside an SCCJR Research Assistant on a Government-funded project exploring community security and the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. The extensive research training offered by the Graduate School has prepared me for my PhD – I would recommend undertaking an MRes in the College of Social Sciences to anyone preparing for future or doctoral research in this area.'

Research environment

Recognising the challenge for politicians, policy makers and practitioners in the criminal justice fields, the University of Glasgow’s postgraduate Masters programmes address the complex problems that crime and security threats pose for contemporary societies. Drawing on the combined strengths of academic staff at the University of Glasgow, who are also members of the Scottish Centre for Crime & Justice Research, the breadth and diversity of expertise represented within the teaching teams are a key strength of the programmes.

All teaching staff are currently actively engaged in research into crime and criminal justice, and have experience and supervisorial expertise in diverse areas such as crime prevention, community safety, youth crime and youth justice, white collar crime, organised crime, transnational crime, the governance of security, violence, gender and criminal justice, social work with offenders, offender management, punishment, penology and sentencing.

We offer three taught MSc Criminology programmes:

All three are available part-time and full-time, and we welcome applicants from across the UK and abroad. The courses will be of interest to those who are concerned to understand the contemporary critical social and political challenges posed by crime and security threats, and are suitable for those who have studied criminology at undergraduate level and for those who are new to the subject. The programmes are directly relevant to those considering, or already working in, professional careers in criminal justice, and public, private and third sector agencies concerned with crime prevention, security and criminal justice locally, nationally and internationally. For those with a research or teaching career in mind, they can be a precursor to further study at doctoral level.

Teaching on our Masters programmes normally takes the form of weekly seminars in which student reading and active participation are very strongly encouraged. In line with advances in educational theory and practice, student assessment can take a number of forms although we favour written essays which incorporate personal research.


The Scottish Centre for Crime & Justice Research (SCCJR) is an academic research centre forged from a unique partnership between Glasgow, Edinburgh, Stirling and Glasgow Caledonian Universities. The University of Glasgow hub of SCCJR is a friendly, informal place in which to study for a postgraduate degree. Staff are knowledgeable, approachable and enthusiastic and there is a thriving and welcoming research culture.

Our regular seminar series draws visiting speakers from around the world to give talks on their research and to meet students; and our postgraduates organise events through the year, including mini conferences, away days and social events.

SCCJR has strong links with criminal justice, government and third sector agencies in Scotland and beyond. Our postgraduate students can benefit from these knowledge exchange networks. Possibilities include dissertation projects conducted in collaboration with such partners, and our developing internship programme for students who want to gain practical experience in a professional criminal justice setting. There are diverse employability prospects following the programmes.

Entry requirements

for entry in 2017

Entry requirements for postgraduate taught programmes are a 2.1 Honours degree or equivalent qualification (for example, GPA 3.0 or above) in a relevant subject.

English language requirements

For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training)

  • overall score 6.5
  • no sub-test less than 6.0
  • or equivalent scores in another recognised qualification:

Common equivalent English language qualifications

All stated English tests are acceptable for admission for both home/EU and international students for this programme:

  • ibTOEFL: 90; no sub-test less than:
    • Reading: 20
    • Listening: 19
    • Speaking: 19
    • Writing: 23
  • CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): 176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
  • CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English):  176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
  • PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English, Academic test): 60; no sub-test less than 59
  • Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English: ISEII at Distinction with Distinction in all sub-tests

For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use these tests to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level programmes. The University is also able to accept an IELTS test (Academic module) from any of the 1000 IELTS test centres from around the world and we do not require a specific UKVI IELTS test for degree level programmes. We therefore still accept any of the English tests listed for admission to this programme.

Pre-sessional courses

The University of Glasgow accepts evidence of the required language level from the English for Academic Study Unit Pre-sessional courses. We also consider other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses:


What do I do if...

my language qualifications are below the requirements?

The University's English for Academic Study Unit offers a range of Pre-Sessional Courses to bring you up to entry level. The course is accredited by BALEAP, the UK professional association for academic English teaching; see Links.

my language qualifications are not listed here?

Please contact the Recruitment and International Office:


For further information about English language requirements, please contact the Recruitment and International Office:

Fees and funding

Tuition fees for 2017-18


Home and EU
Full time fee£7250
Part time 20 credits£806
Full time fee£16000


Home and EU
Full time fee£4833
Part time 20 credits£806
Full time fee£10667

Fees are subject to change and for guidance only

Additional fees

  • Fee for submission by a research student: £460
  • Fee for re-assessment of a dissertation (PGT programme): £300
  • Submission for a higher degree by published work: £1,000
  • Submission of thesis after deadline lapsed: £200
  • Submission by staff in receipt of staff scholarship: £680
  • Research students registered as non-supervised Thesis Pending students (50% refund will be granted if the student completes thesis within the first six months of the period): £260
  • Registration/exam only fee: £110
  • General Council fee: £50

Alumni discount

A 10% discount is available to University of Glasgow alumni applying to the MRes. This includes graduates and those who have completed a Junior Year Abroad, Exchange programme or International Summer School at the University of Glasgow. The discount is applied at registration for students who are not in receipt of another discount or scholarship funded by the University. No additional application is required.

Funding opportunities

Career prospects

The MRes is an ideal pathway towards a PhD and a career in academia. It will also prepare you for a career in research or policy development; especially with those public agencies and voluntary organisations concerned with crime prevention and community safety.

How to apply

We ask that you apply online for a postgraduate taught degree. Our system allows you to fill out the standard application form online and submit this to the University within 42 days of starting your application.

You need to read the guide to applying online before starting your application. It will ensure you are ready to proceed, as well as answer many common questions about the process.

Guide to applying online

Do I have to apply online for a postgraduate taught degree?

Yes. To apply for a postgraduate taught degree you must apply online. We are unable to accept your application by any other means than online.

Do I need to complete and submit the application in a single session?

No. You have 42 days to submit your application once you begin the process. You may save and return to your application as many times as you wish to update information, complete sections or upload additional documents such as your final transcript or your language test.

What documents do I need to provide to make an application?

As well as completing your online application fully, it is essential that you submit the following documents:

  • A copy (or copies) of your official degree certificate(s) (if you have already completed your degree)
  • A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing full details of subjects studied and grades/marks obtained
  • Official English translations of the certificate(s) and transcript(s)
  • Two supporting reference letters on headed paper
  • Evidence of your English Language ability (if your first language is not English)
  • Any additional documents required for this programme (see Entry requirements for this programme)
  • A copy of the photo page of your passport (Non-EU students only)
  • A two-page personal statement highlighting:
    • How your academic career to-date makes this programme a suitable next step
    • Why you want to study this programme
    • How you think this programme will help you in your future career development

If you do not have all of these documents at the time of submitting your application then it is still possible to make an application and provide any further documents at a later date, as long as you include a full current transcript (and an English translation if required) with your application. See the ‘Your References, Transcripts and English Qualification’ sections of our Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

Do my supporting documents need to be submitted online?

Yes, where possible, please upload the supporting documents with your application.

How do I provide my references?

You must either upload the required references to your online application or ask your referees to send the references to the University as we do not contact referees directly. There is two main ways that you can provide references: you can either upload references on headed paper when you are making an application using the Online Application (or through Applicant Self-Service after you have submitted your application) or you can ask your referee to email the reference directly to See the 'Your References, Transcripts and English Qualifications' section of the Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

What if I am unable to submit all of my supporting documents online?

If you cannot upload an electronic copy of a document and need to send it in by post, please attach a cover sheet to it that includes your name, the programme you are applying for, and your application reference number.

You may send them to:

Recruitment & International Office
71 Southpark Avenue
G12 8QQ
Fax: +44 141 330 4045

Can I email my supporting documents?

No. We cannot accept email submissions of your supporting documents.

What entry requirements should I have met before applying? Where can I find them?

You should check that you have met (or are likely to have met prior to the start of the programme) the individual entry requirements for the degree programme you are applying for. This information can be found on the ‘entry requirements’ tab on each individual programme page, such as the one you are viewing now.

What English Language requirements should I have met before applying? Where can I find them?

If you are an international student, you should also check that you have met the English Language requirements specific to the programme you are applying for. These can also be found on the ‘entry requirements’ tab for each specific programme.

Further Information

Please see the Frequently Asked Questions for more information on applying to a postgraduate taught programme.

Guidance notes for using the online application

These notes are intended to help you complete the online application form accurately, they are also available within the help section of the online application form. If you experience any difficulties accessing the online application then you should visit the Application Troubleshooting/FAQs page.

  • Name and Date of birth: must appear exactly as they do on your passport. Please take time to check the spelling and lay-out.
  • Contact Details: Correspondence address. All contact relevant to your application will be sent to this address including the offer letter(s). If your address changes, please contact us as soon as possible.
  • Choice of course: Please select carefully the course you want to study. As your application will be sent to the admissions committee for each course you select it is important to consider at this stage why you are interested in the course and that it is reflected in your application.
  • Proposed date of entry: Please state your preferred start date including the month and the year. Taught masters degrees tend to begin in September. Research degrees may start in any month.
  • Education and Qualifications: Please complete this section as fully as possible indicating any relevant Higher Education qualifications starting with the most recent. Complete the name of the Institution (s) as it appears on the degree certificate or transcript.
  • English Language Proficiency: Please state the date of any English language test taken (or to be taken) and the award date (or expected award date if known).
  • Employment and Experience: Please complete this section as fully as possible with all employments relevant to your course. Additional details may be attached in your personal statement/proposal where appropriate.
  • References: Please provide the names and contact details of two academic references. Where applicable one of these references may be from your current employer. References should be completed on letter headed paper and uploaded on to your application.

Standard application deadlines

  • International applications (non-EU): 21 July 2017 
  • UK and EU applications: 25 August 2017

Classes start September 2017 and you may be expected to attend induction sessions the week before.

Apply now