Department profile

School of Justice Studies

Liverpool John Moores University
2020/21 edition

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About School of Justice Studies

Bringing together expertise across a range of criminal justice fields

Established in August 2019, the School of Justice Studies at LJMU empowers students within an environment that is strong in its research and professional links.

The School of Justice Studies are engaged in work that encompasses three disciplines: Criminology, Criminal Justice and Policing Studies. Our aspirations as a School are to create just outcomes for individuals and our broader commitment to the creation of a just society. The School further aspires for structural change and a practical commitment to enlightening justice professionals, whichever state/private agencies they are employed in. It also reflects a strong personal commitment to justice among staff and in its application to our work lives.

Within the School of Justice Studies each department, Criminology, Criminal Justice and Policing Studies will retain its identity and this will be reflected in our delivery of foundation, professional, undergraduate, and postgraduate teaching. Staff within the School are research active working in a theoretical, applied and interdisciplinary way, publishing articles, research reports and books.


Our Criminology degree programme at LJMU takes our students on a thought-provoking and engaging critical exploration of the institutions which make up the criminal justice system. The degree explores the impacts of crime and other socially harmful activities on communities and individuals, as well as scrutinising the effectiveness of responses to the problem of ‘crime’. In broad terms, this means viewing criminal justice as more than just a set of discrete institutions, divorced from social divisions and power relations that operate in the wider society.

Our Criminology programme moves beyond typical definitions of what constitutes ‘criminal activity’. It critically evaluates claims to knowledge in this area - whether based on data, concepts or theoretical argument. Throughout our courses students will be encouraged to think about what is truly meant by the term ‘criminal’ and associated concepts including punishment and justice.

Criminal Justice

LJMU’s Criminal Justice department has a distinguished history of being the first of its kind in the UK, and is currently at the forefront of the discipline. Our expert staff are a blend of former practitioners, who have previously worked in areas such as drug services, probation, prisons, and the police – as well as researchers, all of whom are actively engaged within these fields.

Our collective aim is to provide our students with critical insight into the theory, policy, and practices of our criminal system, as well as producing research on a wide variety of subjects surrounding the justice system. We also work closely alongside various partner agencies and organisations, in order to continuously improve the fairness and efficacy of criminal justice practices and processes.

Policing Studies

The Liverpool Centre for Advanced Policing provides students with a chance to gain relevant policing experience as part of their degree. Our innovative and thought-provoking modules both reflect and challenge current policing practices and debates, giving students a chance to form their own opinions and approaches.

Students benefit from being taught by lecturers with both academic and professional backgrounds in policing, as well as the chance to attend regular career workshops and symposiums, delivered by police officers and other career specialists. Our aim is to fully prepare our students for a career in policing and educate them fully in a range of areas – including security, risk management, and criminal justice as a whole. There are also opportunities for students to gain some hands-on experience of policing, with a chance to work as Special Police Constables on a volunteer basis.

World-class technology in an inspirational environment

The School of Justice Studies facilities provides an inspiring and educational environment to help both our student and staff communities excel within their area of expertise.

The School is largely based within the historic John Foster Building, in the heart of the city centre. Students and staff have an extensive range of cutting-edge technologies and software packages at their disposal in order to aid with their studies and research. This includes everything from access to pioneering forensic science technology, to facial reconstruction programs, advanced data analytics, and geographic information systems.

Our students also have access to a number of libraries within the LJMU campus and online learning resources, all of which provide specialist subject support to students studying within the school.

Distance Learning postgraduate

Our portfolio of Distance Learning degrees are delivered in partnership with KNect 365, a specialist provider of digital learning. LCAPS tutors write and deliver the course content, using the KNect 365 platform and support network to provide a first-class learning experience.

Our Distance Learning portfolio:

Research with the School of Justice Studies

A probing and insightful research culture.

Here at the School of Justice Studies, we produce a broad body of quality work centred around subjects such as criminal behaviour, law enforcement, and criminal justice. Our research portfolio is both diverse and impactful - with our knowledgeable academics, professionals, and postgraduate students weighing in on the most contemporary and important issues of our times.

Criminal Justice

Research is a central and hugely fundamental part of Criminal Justice at LJMU. Our experienced and knowledgeable researchers have the expertise that allow us to produce meaningful work, which ultimately feeds directly into wider policies and practice. Our team also often collaborates with local and national partners, as well as working with the Centre for the Study of Crime, Criminalisation and Social Exclusion at LJMU. There is a distinct and specific focus on the concept of ‘justice’ in its widest sense – with three definitive learning streams stemming from this:

  • Creative Justice
  • Policy and Practice
  • Justice and Harm


By studying Criminology at LJMU you will be part of an interdisciplinary centre producing world-leading research. Criminology lecturers are active members of the Centre for the Study of Crime, Criminalisation and Social Exclusion, a vibrant research centre that produces rigorous interdisciplinary research.

As a Criminology student you will be encouraged to attend critical research seminars, which are a series of talks and debates that examine social policy. Every year, four seminars are held and each seminar is led by a renowned speaker. Typically, speakers are either a leading academic or activist. Recent highlights included Sheila Coleman, Hillsborough Justice Campaign, Professor Carol Smart, a prominent feminist sociologist, and Robert King and Albert Woodfox, two of the ‘Angola Three’, who after a wrongful conviction served between them 72 years in solitary confinement.

At the critical research seminars, a variety of topics are discussed from historical policies to current issues. Each seminar has a distinct theme and past talks have explored the following areas: policing, drugs policy, youth justice, prison policy, deaths in custody and violence against women.

Policing Studies

The Liverpool Centre for Advanced Policing Studies’ research agenda is themed around a number of dynamic research clusters, which reflect the primary and secondary interests of our staff.

Current research activities are themed around the following research clusters:

  • Serious and organised crime
  • Evidence-based policing and practice
  • Intelligence analysis
  • Counter-terrorism
  • Domestic violence

Our research clusters enable us to engage in the co-creation of knowledge alongside industry stakeholders. We do this by addressing contemporary issues within policing and broader human security domains. In addition to this, our research initiatives and aspirations enable us to play a strong role in the Research Exercise Framework.

Find out more about our research by taking a look at the sections on our projects and expertise.

Housed within a former convent, our facilities are unique.

Based within the John Foster Building, a former convent, alongside the School of Humanities and Social Science, we have many outstanding facilities at our disposal, including well-equipped IT Suites, a light-filled Student Common Room and dedicated postgraduate study areas. Our students can take advantage of our criminal investigation suite during their studies, providing realistic crime scene scenarios for the collection of DNA and evidence of criminal activities.

Aldham Robarts Library

At the back of the John Foster Building is the Aldham Robarts Library, which gives access to an exceptional range of materials to support the study of humanities and social science.

Contact details

0151 231 5175
John Foster Building
80-98 Mount Pleasant
L3 5UZ
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