Taught course

MA Criminology and Social Justice

Newman University · Department of Science

Entry requirements

Students should have a minimum 2:2 undergraduate degree in either criminology, or in a relevant associated subject (psychology, sociology, policing, law, social work)

Consideration will also be given to applicants with equivalent professional experience in the relevant fields or with considerable life experience, for whom it is considered study at postgraduate rather than undergraduate level is more appropriate.

Students from other HEIs requesting a transfer into the programme will be considered in line with the University transfer and Recognition for Prior Learning (RPL) procedures.

Months of entry


Course content

The Criminology subject area is situated within the Department of Law, Criminology and policing and builds on the successful Criminology undergraduate provision. The Department is small, friendly, and focused on providing students with a personalised, transformative student experience.

This course is uniquely designed to offer students a foundation of critical criminological knowledge through which concerns relating to matters of social justice, equality and diversity are examined, promote access to social justice for all within the criminal justice system and wider society.

This will equip students to be prepared for the ethical challenges in applying their knowledge to this challenging area of practice and enquiry in their future careers.

You will be taught by an experienced team of academics, some of whom draw on their experience within the Criminal Justice System, and all of whom are actively engaged in innovative research, which informs their teaching. This provides our students with a contemporary knowledge of criminological and social justice issues to support the Newman mission to empower our students to transform society.

The Department has links with overseas institutions, with the teaching team being invited to present and share their research and knowledge, developing this extended academic network for the benefit of our students.

Students can study full-time (1 year) or part-time (over 2 years) electing to progress at their own pace. The programme is timetabled to enable participation by working and to promote a work / life balance.

Students will be taught through a blended approach to learning that balances traditional teaching methods, such as tutorials, lectures and seminars, with other delivery methods such as field observations, opportunities for work-place observation and learning, the use of virtual learning environments, external expert speakers, interactive learning workshops, and external visits. The programme views your learning within the ‘classroom’ as one part of rich learning environment, which includes your own lived experiences.

Fees and funding

UK students

There are likely to be some additional costs associated with your programme of study that you need to be aware of. These may include:

a) Text books. You may wish to purchase recommended textbooks for your personal use to support your study. Copies of key texts will however be available on loan from the library at no cost.

b) Printing costs. Lecture materials and journal articles for seminar preparation can be accessed in digital format. There is a small charge per sheet for printing on campus and printing credit can be obtained through the Newman e-store.

c) Field trips. Additional field trips may be organised to enhance your student experience you may be asked to make a contribution.

d) Accommodation. Travel to and from campus and other living costs are not included within your course fees.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

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

Why study this course?

The MA Criminology and Social Justice has the following special features:

· Provides a much broader perspective on Criminology courses by exploring the relationship between criminal and social justice, in both a local and global context.

· Reflects the University’s commitment to Social Justice.

· Highly focused and student-centred programme with small class sizes and a high level of individual support for students

· Opportunities for students to negotiate the content of modules with teaching team

· Taught by committed research active staff who have experience as practitioners

· Develops the employability skills needed for careers in a range of criminal justice agencies, public bodies, local and central government, and community organisations.

What does the course cover?

This course, while located in the field of criminology, has a distinct and contemporary focus on issues of social justice in relation to individuals, particular sections of society and the community as a whole. The course guides students through a stimulating learning journey, that moves through the discipline of Criminology and beyond, to encounter and reflect upon broader themes of respect for others, social justice, and ethical practice.

The programme is designed to guide students in their understanding and exploration of key criminal justice concepts and their awareness of the relationships between economic, political and social power and their distribution within society and influence on social and criminal justice. This enables students to reflect and critically analyse the criminal justice system and social justice interventions, drawing on relevant history and cultural context, along with social and political theories, to informs and influence the practice of critical criminology.

This progressive understanding and reflection will enable students to focus on areas of interest to either their current professional roles or in preparation for future career preferences, though completion of their research dissertation which enables student to engage at the forefront of the criminology discipline.

How will I be assessed?

The MA in Criminology and Social Justice programme draws on a range of assessment methods resulting in a balanced portfolio of assessment which provides students with the opportunity to demonstrate a range of academic skills that enhance their capacities as critical citizens and prepare them for employment.

Assessments include:

· Essays – on negotiated topics and with negotiation titles

· Group work/individual presentations

· Critical review

· Presentation of seminar papers

· Research proposals

· Practical research projects

· Research reports

· Dissertation - students will have the opportunity to reflect their own personal interests in undertaking a dissertation in relation to a topic of their choice, reflecting their chosen field of current or future practice.


This programme is designed to support the learning needs of postgraduate students, with teaching and learning provided through a range of blended learning approaches, drawing on online lectures and materials that can be studied at the student’s own pace. Alongside this, structured sessions are timetabled for one day each week. This blended approach enables students to meet virtually and in person, within interactive lectures, seminars and workshops, to explore material and develop their understanding by engaging in critical discourse with their peers. Experienced tutors guide and support students on their learning journey, providing supporting students in their academic development.

What careers could I consider?

On successful completion of this programme of study student will have skills that are enable them pursue careers in any of the fields indicated below:

Community development

Community Rehabilitation Companies

Criminal Justice policy

Government Departments such as the Home Office and Ministry of Justice

Local Government

National Probation Service

Police and Crime Commissioners Office

Police Services

Policy and campaigning organisations

Public and private sector prison governor grades


Social Work


Third Sector organisations’ leadership

Victim agencies

Youth Justice

In addition, students are ideally placed, on completion of this programme of study, to continue to advance their studies to gain a PhD through a further programme of Doctoral study.

Course contact details

Karen Cooper
0121 476 1181