Taught course

Criminology and Criminal Justice (Distance Learning)

University of Portsmouth · Institute of Criminal Justice Studies

Entry requirements

A second-class honours degree in a relevant subject, or equivalent professional experience and/or training within the police or other criminal justice organisation.

English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5. Distance learning applicants require a minimum score of 6.0 in reading and writing components.

Months of entry


Course content

Why take this course?

This established programme allows you to develop your understanding of criminological theories of offending and the extent of crime, enabling you to critically examine the role and function of the criminal justice and penal policy process, and the criminal justice policy-making context, in England and Wales. It has been specifically designed for graduates of criminology or other related degrees, for those with criminal justice career aspirations or those already working in the criminal justice arena at all levels.

What will I experience?

On this course you can:

  • Develop an understanding of the application of criminological and criminal justice principles to law enforcement and criminal justice agencies
  • Examine the treatment of disadvantaged communities and groups discriminated against, by and within, the criminal justice system
  • Shape your study to your interests through your choice of options and dissertation topic

Module Details

You will study the following core units:

  • Criminology past and present (30 credits)
  • Criminal justice (30 credits)
  • Research methods and research management (30 credits)
  • 15,000-word dissertation (60 credits)

Optional units include:

  • Investigation and psychology
  • Managing justice and security organisations
  • Countering fraud and corruption in public and private sectors
  • International and transnational offending

Please note that all options are subject to minimum student numbers and may not all be available.

Please note that the course structure may vary from year to year; course content and learning opportunities will not be diminished by this.

Programme Assessment

All ICJS distance learning students are supported in the initial stages by the extended induction programme (online and face-to-face). Immediately following induction, an engagement officer proactively ensures any issues are resolved rapidly, and thereafter personal support is provided by your course leader for the duration of your studies.

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: £2,100 p/a * (for the first two years of study only.) *Tuition fee is subject to annual increase.
International students
part time: £2,100 p/a * (for the first two years of study only.) *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