Taught course

Crime and Justice

University of South Wales · Faculty of Business and Society

Entry requirements

A minimum 2:2 Honours degree in a social science, or related discipline.

Applicants with established professional experience will be considered on an individual basis via the Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)/Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) mechanism (University regulations will apply).

Months of entry


Course content

The MSc Crime and Justice focuses on contested notions of ‘Crime’ and ‘Justice’. The overall aim of the MSc is to facilitate the development of a deeper knowledge and understanding of central issues and debates in the criminal justice arena and related areas. This postgraduate course will allow students to examine in-depth criminological issues and to question and critically evaluate debates around notions of crime and justice both in philosophical and practice related ways, and from a variety of different perspectives.

The MSc Crime and Justice places emphasis on policy and practice in the contemporary UK, however, where possible students , will be encouraged to draw on wider theoretical resources drawn from an international stage. Students will be encouraged to focus on research areas they are particularly interested in. Tuition draws upon the expertise of research staff in the University’s well established Centre for Criminology.

Stage One (Certificate)

Stage 1 (60 credits) is primarily aimed at developing core academic expertise at level 7 in the areas of criminology and criminal justice policy. The modules Criminological Theories, Critical Issues in Criminal Justice Policy and Approaches to Criminological Research are all worth 20 credits. The teaching strategy focuses on core skills and knowledge and is linked to an assignment strategy, which makes explicit links between theory, policy and practice which are explored in modules.

Stage Two (Diploma)

Stage 2 (60 credits) is primarily aimed at enhancing skills and knowledge developed at stage one and allows for direct entry to the diploma stage for those students with relevant academic and practice backgrounds. Students at this level are expected to critically consolidate a range of theoretical material and demonstrate the ability to utilise specialist skills in a research environment. All modules are worth 20 credits and include: Criminological Research: Applications and Practice, Violence and Homicide and Drug Interventions.

Stage Three

MSc Dissertation (60 credits) is primarily at consolidating and applying the research skills learned in Stages 1 and 2 of the course. This is achieved through the undertaking of an independent research project that forms the basis of a 60 credit Dissertation module.

Students are encouraged to choose an area of criminological research that will enable them to inquire and make links between the theoretical frameworks that inform and motivate policy and practice within their particular area of interest.

The process of undertaking a research project, the development of cognitive independence, and the focus on a chosen area of interest, benefits students in terms of their own professional skills and development. Furthermore, the chosen area of research and the interpretation of any data collected during the research process will also be of value to any organisation involved in the study.


Taught by a team of lecturers with long-standing expertise in the field, you will learn through a mix of lectures, seminars and tutorials. Teaching is on a Monday between 10:00 and 16:00 and this is likely to remain the pattern in the future. Each module is taught over a 4-week period. Full-time students attend every week during term-time and part-time students attend when their modules are being taught.

Most of the MSc modules make good use of expert guest speakers. These are usually professionals whose expertise and experience can help students consider the links between theory and practice and bring particular areas of practice ‘to life’ for students. Recent guest lecturers have included speakers from the police, prison and probation services, youth justice, substance misuse agencies, and Welsh Government.


Assignments are assessed in a range of ways. The majority involve written essays and some form of examination, but individual presentations, reflective work, text analysis and other approaches are also used. The MSc award requires a dissertation of around 18,000 words on an individual piece of research, which may be work-related.


The MSc Crime and Justice will provide you with the knowledge and skills to pursue or progress a career in the criminal justice system, the key agencies being: the police, courts, prison, probation services and youth offending services. You could also choose a career in government organisations such as the Home Office, Ministry of Justice, Welsh Government and local authorities.

Graduates also go on to careers within voluntary agencies such as offender rehabilitation, victim support, community safety, and drug treatment services. It is also an excellent basis for further research at MPhil and PhD levels or teaching careers.

Information for international students

The course welcomes international applicants and requires an English level of IELTS 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each component or equivalent.

Fees and funding

UK students
International students

For information on the funding options available for this course please visit our Student Money Pages.

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

Enquiries and Admissions
03455 76 77 78