Taught course

Youth Justice

Aberystwyth University · Aberystwyth Law School

Entry requirements

An Honours Degree 2:2 (minimum). Degrees in law, the social sciences, or other similar subjects are preferred. Those from other disciplines or with suitable professional experience will be considered on an individual basis. Equivalent international qualifications are acceptable especially if ECTS evidence is available. Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) and/or Accreditation of Experiential Prior Learning (APEL) are considered on an individual basis according to current University Regulations. Further information including applications forms, reference forms and information on fees can be found on our website.

Months of entry


Course content

The MSc Youth Justice at Aberystwyth University offers a unique opportunity to study the youth justice system in England and Wales. This degree adopts a focused and specifically critical standpoint in the consideration of relevant issues, from within England and Wales. Programme content directly relates to emerging critical youth justice research and provides you with an opportunity to develop a sophisticated understanding of current policy, legislation and its historical development, legislation and research, and current and rapidly developing changes in conceptions of ‘children’ and their treatment within and beyond current systems. The degree programme also offers opportunities to engage in a comparative analysis of the approaches adopted in other jurisdictions in order to provide further critique of the current and developing picture, and evaluate the impact of research on practice and policy.

Students will be supported throughout to become independent researchers and writers in the realm of youth justice, through a series of lecture-seminar combined sessions, at which you will also be expected to lead discussions. Writing skills are a particular focus, with assignments structured as journal articles and feedback given mirroring peer reviews, to prepare you for academic publication with advice and guidance from published academics.

The degree comprises two compulsory modules (Critical Youth Justice and International Comparative Youth Justice), and a themed youth justice dissertation. Critical Youth Justice covers a wide range of topics including paradigms (justice versus welfare, risk-based youth justice, Child First/Rights-based youth justice), contentious issues (minimum age of criminal responsibility, moral panics, custody and resettlement) and contemporary debates (current topics such as disproportionality, gangs/knife crime). International Comparative Youth Justice comprises a detailed critical exploration of a range of different jurisdictions, for example, Scotland, USA, Australia, Canada, Nordic countries, Japan and New Zealand.

Information for international students

If you have a Bachelor's degree from a UK University, you do not need to take an English proficiency test. Non-native English speakers who do not meet this requirement must take a University-recognised test of academic English language proficiency. For further details see our website.

Fees and funding

For more information on funding please see our website.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MSc
    part time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

PG Admissions
+44 (0)1970 622270