Taught course

Criminal Investigation

Canterbury Christ Church University · Law and Criminal Justice Studies

Entry requirements

Our standard offer for accepting students onto this programme is a good honours degree (2.2 or above). Applicants from a range of undergraduate subjects will be considered.

This is in addition to a brief personal statement outlining interest and areas of specialism being considered, as well as a complete CV. The University has a well-established Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning (APCL) and Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) structure in operation. Students without previous qualifications may be accepted as part of this process.

If you are unsure whether your qualifications are appropriate you can contact our Post Graduate admissions team at pgadmissions@canterbury.ac.uk.

If English is not your first language you require an IELTS overall score of 6.0 with no element below 5.5 for most standard undergraduate and postgraduate courses. There are some exceptions and if the IELTS requirement differs it will be specified on the course page.

Months of entry


Course content

The MSc in Criminal Investigation develops your knowledge of key aspects of contemporary criminal investigation.

We live in a world where issues in criminal investigation take centre stage in the media - just think of cases like that of Sarah Everard or Liam Allen. Throughout this course, you will be able to gain a thorough understanding of best practice and challenges of known but also lesser-known topics, through a combined academic and practitioner perspective.

It is available as a full time, as well as part time course, suitable for current professionals and new entrants into the area of criminal investigation alike.

Why study MSc Criminal Investigation?

You will be studying within the School of Law, Policing and Social Sciences which will enable you to gain a well-rounded understanding of criminal justice from a variety of perspectives. This course includes several taught modules which cover key legal, social and political issues.

Two further module consider contemporary issues within criminal investigation, as well as police investigative response to public protection. Your dissertation then enables you to research a criminal investigation topic of your choice and you will be supervised by an expert in the area.

As part of the course, you will be able to make full use of our new facilities, including our Hydra Suite. We have a track record of criminal investigation education and research spanning over two decades, and have the expertise that you need to really appreciate the complexities and intricacies of criminal investigation in the contemporary era.

The course is taught and facilitated by academics, as well as professionals from varied backgrounds. We have always had very high student satisfaction across all our different criminal investigation provision and continue to develop courses further to ensure you are provided with the most up-to-date knowledge.

This course is suitable for current working professionals who would like to deepen their understanding or update their knowledge on criminal investigation, as well as for those just embarking on a career within criminal investigation. As well as a career in policing, this course can also enable you to gain employment or help with promotion in other public and private sector investigative roles. Upon successful completion of the course, you can continue your studies with us – we provide supervision within the criminal investigation area at a PhD level.

All about the course

You can complete the course as a full-time student in one year, or as a part-time student over two years. The part-time route might be especially attractive if you are in full-time employment. Through the different modules, you will be introduced to key contemporary concepts and theories relating to social justice, with specific focus placed on the area of criminal investigation.

The course includes a combination of core and specialist modules and so you will benefit from a variety of inputs, including lecture-style input which is complemented by classrooms discussions. More specialist information is taught in an interactive seminar-type setting which allows you to really get into the detail of 21st century justice. You will benefit from interacting with students progressing their education in other areas of social justice, allowing you to gain a multi-perspective view of criminal investigation and beyond.

The course is composed of six taught modules and a dissertation. We use a trimester calendar for this course – so the year is split into the advent, Easter and trinity trimesters. The is how the course is structured for a full-time student:

  • Advent trimester: Research methods; Critical issues: Shifting perspectives; Contemporary issues in criminal investigation
  • Easter trimester: Human Rights; Public protection investigations and managing offenders in the community; Key issues in counter-terrorism
  • Trinity trimester: Dissertation.

You will be asked to engage in a variety of activities during this course (e.g. Hydra stimulation, case study learning, case review analysis) and will be assessed via thought-provoking assessments all relating to the challenges of social justice in the current age. All assessments are centred on supporting you in being able to critically appraise historical and contemporary policy and practice, enabling you to create novel ideas in relation to problem solving relevant to your current or future career.

Fees and funding

See University 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

Course Enquiries
+44 (0)1227 928000