Criminology & Criminal Justice MSc

Statue of justice

Recognising the challenge for politicians, policy makers and practitioners in the criminal justice, and criminal law fields, this programme addresses the complex problems that crime poses for contemporary societies.

Key facts

Why this programme

  • The programme provides you with the key attributes for professions related to criminal justice.
  • You will be benefit from the combined strengths of staff from the Scottish Centre for Crime & Justice Research who are based at the University.
  • You will develop analytic and research skills, an interdisciplinary knowledge base, and a practical understanding of the settings in which crime and justice policies are devised and implemented.
  • 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 the MSc in Transnational Crime, Justice & Security, which provides more focus on the international aspects of crime. An MRes in Criminology is also available, combining a study of the subject with greater focus on research methods training.

Programme structure

You will take core courses in criminological theory; criminal justice systems and processes; and research design and methodology. You also have the opportunity to take optional courses from a range of subject areas. In addition, the MSc programme requires you to produce a dissertation on a subject of your choice.

Core courses

  • Understanding and explaining crime
  • Research and enquiry in crime and criminal justice.

Optional courses include

  • Punishment and penology
  • Crime, media and popular culture
  • Rehabilitation and desistance from crime
  • The global criminal economy
  • Managing and controlling crime
  • Women and girls in crime and justice
  • International trafficking in cultural objects.

Background and aims

Recognising the huge challenge for politicians, policy makers and practitioners in the criminal justice, and criminal law fields, the taught MSc programme addresses the complex problems that crime poses for contemporary societies. Whether looking at recent cases involving offenders under supervision who have committed serious crimes, or the ongoing issues around developing better systems to tackle youth justice and anti-social behaviour, or to the problems of tackling corporate crime, state crime and terrorism – the need for fresh thinking, informed by the best available research, is apparent. 

The MSc in Criminology and Criminal Justice draws on the combined strengths of staff from the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research at the University of Glasgow, and from the Centre for Sentencing Research at Strathclyde University. The breadth and diversity of expertise represented within the teaching team is a key strength of the programme. All teaching staff are currently actively engaged in research into crime and criminal justice, and among them have an unrivalled range of experience and expertise in diverse areas such as crime prevention, community safety, youth crime and youth justice, white collar crime, violence, gender, crime  and criminal justice, social work with offenders, offender management, criminal justice, punishment, penology and sentencing.

The MSc programme is available both part-time and full-time, and we welcome applicants from across the UK and abroad. The course will be of interest to those who are concerned to understand the contemporary critical social and political challenges posed by crime, and is suitable whether you have studied criminology at undergraduate level or are new to the subject.  It is directly relevant to those considering professional careers in criminal justice, and public, private and third sector agencies concerned with crime prevention and community safety, as well as those who are already working in the criminal or community justice sectors who wish to undertake the degree as part of ongoing professional development. Recent graduates, social workers and social work managers, prison governors or officers, police officers, lawyers and other criminal justice professionals as well as those with a first degree all get the opportunity to learn about how different professionals and different criminal justice organisations think about and address current issues in crime, criminal justice and punishment. Moreover, they bring diverse and valuable real-world experience of criminal justice with which to interrogate the most recent developments in criminological theory and 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 (www.sccjr.ac.uk) at the University of Glasgow is a friendly, informal place in which to study for an MSc degree. 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

Alejandro Rubio Arnal, Spain (2013-14)

'The University has given me the perfect environment in order to fulfil both my personal and academic goals: professors were helpful, attentive, very respectful and always open to answer any question, matter or inquiry formulated by the students; classmates were kind and open minded; the library is wonderful and extensive and if they do not have a book, you can request it; the programme was very wide but also flexible, giving you the opportunity to choose between a range of courses. Now, after finishing the MSc, I do not regret having chosen the University of Glasgow and particularly this progrmme. Moreover, I am very proud of my decision.'

Elvinas Blazevicius, Lithuania (2010-11)

'The programme offered a good combination of fundamental criminology and contemporary challenges in crime control. Since I see myself working in international organisations such as Europol, United Nations or European Union institutions, I found the programme’s focus on the issues of crime and globalisation particularly useful.

Being a student in Glasgow was a truly enjoyable experience for me. The friendliness and kindness of Glaswegians, as well as the attention and willingness to help of the teaching staff, made me feel at home. Considering the current economic climate, I am convinced that my Masters degree will put me ahead of my competitors and will definitely open many doors.'

Orla Clohessy, Ireland (2010-11)

'The programme provides a challenging and comprehensive course. It has provided me with an advanced knowledge and understanding of the wide range of empirical and theoretical issues in criminology. A key feature of the course is the opportunity to select from the range of interesting and diverse modules available. All seminars are planned to take into account what is going on in the world today making each module up-to-date and relevant. This often involved guest speakers taking part in seminars.'

The support and guidance from the teaching staff is exceptional, with the contact time between the lectures and students being particularly impressive. The fact that the department and teaching staff are at the heart of the SCCJR meant that I got the opportunity to attend and take part in several criminology conferences and training courses which the Centre provided funding for.

On a practical level I obtained an in-depth understanding of the complex problems that crime can pose within criminal justice and criminal law fields. Through this course I developed excellent data and research skills and an extensive knowledge of the methods and data used in criminal justice settings. This has proved invaluable in my employment in the criminal justice field. This course will provide you with an advanced knowledge and a range of the necessary research and analytical skills which are vital for a career within a criminal justice setting.

Shadi Whitburn, Mexico (2010-11)

'What reinforced my theoretical understanding of criminology while studying the MSc was to learn and interact with practitioners and researchers from different disciplines in criminology. From gender violence, youth gangs to organized crime, there is a leading expert for each area at the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research. Today the Centre is my second home. Thanks to the support and guidelines of the professional academic staff, I was able to secure funding as an international student at Glasgow University and continue my studies with a PhD programmr.'

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.

SCCJR

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.

Scottish Centre for Crime & Justice Research (SCCJR)

Entry requirements

for entry in 2015

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 (see below)

Common equivalent English language qualifications

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

  • ibTOEFL: 92; no sub-test less than 20
  • 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 (Person Test of English, Academic test): 60; no sub-test less than 59

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 Language Centre Pre-sessional courses. We also consider other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses:

FAQs

What do I do if...

my language qualifications are below the requirements?

The University's Language Centre 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: pgadmissions@glasgow.ac.uk

 

For further information about English language requirements, please contact the Recruitment and International Office: pgadmissions@glasgow.ac.uk

Fees and funding

Tuition fees for 2015-16 (subject to change and for guidance only)

MSc

Home and EU
Full time fee£6800
Part time 20 credits£756
International
Full time fee£14500

PgDip

Home and EU
Full time fee£4533
Part time 20 credits£756
International
Full time fee£9667

Funding opportunities

Career prospects

You will be well equipped for careers in public, private and third sector agencies concerned with crime prevention and community safety. The programme provides an excellent professional development choice for social workers and social work managers, prison governors or officers, police officers and lawyers.

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)

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 pgadmissions@glasgow.ac.uk. 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
Glasgow
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) 24 July 2015
  • UK and EU applications 28 August 2015
    (with the exception of those programmes offering SFC funded places)

Classes start September 2015 for most programmes and you may be expected to attend induction sessions the week before.

Apply now