Taught course

Criminal Justice (Distance Learning)

University of Portsmouth · Institute of Criminal Justice Studies

Entry requirements

An honours degree or equivalent in a subject relevant to the proposed subject specialism. Please check the course details online for information about subject specialisms that can be supported.

English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

Months of entry


Course content

Why take this course?

This flexible framework provides you with a unique approach to studying: not only will you choose the units and subject areas you study, but you will also determine the award you exit with through your choice. Through more than 15 units, this framework allows you to shape your studies to your own interests, developing your knowledge and understanding through your choice of units and dissertation topic.

The subject areas available to study are:

What will I experience?

Route A

Route A allows you to focus on one subject area from the list above, studying a core unit and specialist option relevant to that subject area. Route A also gives you the option to study a unit from outside that subject area, should you want to broaden you knowledge even further. For example, if you are interested in Criminal Psychology, but want to take one of the units specific to Criminal Justice, this framework will allow you to do so.

Route B

Route B allows you to combine two of the subject areas in your studies, and this will be reflected in the degree title awarded. For example, if you have an interest in Crime Science but also in Cybercrime, you can study both subjects and exit with an MSc in Crime Science and Cybercrime.

Module Details

You will study for this course by following one of the two available routes described above, depending on whether you want to study, and be recognised for, one or two subject areas.

Whichever route you choose, you will also study the Research Methods and Research Ethics unit. This unit will enable you to both develop and add to your research skills, through the use of specialist research workshops, and help prepare you for completing your dissertation/major project.

Programme Assessment

You can study this course as a campus-based or distance-learning student, tailoring your learning to suit your own needs. The DL course is facilitated through interactive and engaging multimedia online materials, whilst still being a part of the University of Portsmouth student. The campus-based course is delivered via lectures, seminars and workshops, and involves both individual and group working.

Efforts are made to involve both campus based and distance learning students in research.

Assessment is based upon a range of written assignments including essays, case study, a literature review and research proposal focused on your chosen project. You will also complete a 15,000-word dissertation. For each assignment full academic support is provided by an academic subject expert and you will be provided with academic supervisor once you have identified your dissertation subject area.

Student Destinations

Given the broad range of issues considered and the skills acquired throughout the degree programme, you will be well equipped to embark upon a diverse range of career choices. Over the years our graduates have found employment in areas including policing (both as officers and as civilian staff), crime analysis, probation, the courts and prison service, local authorities, academia and research, charities and private industry to name just a few.

Fees and funding

UK students
Part time distance learning: £2,250 p/a * *Tuition fee is subject to annual increase.
International students
Part time distance learning: £2,250 p/a * *Tuition fee is subject to annual increase.

Qualification and course duration


distance learning
24 months

Course contact details

Admissions Team - Institute of Criminal Justice Studies
023 9284 3933