The course prepares students for undertaking social research and evaluation in criminal justice and criminology, leading to careers in research, research management, and commissioning or using research.
The course is recognised as research training by the ESRC for those who are studying or going on to study for a PhD (+3), and is also recognised by the ESRC for Master’s Course plus Research Studentship (1+3) purposes.
This MSc has been designed to run concurrently with the MSc Applied Social Research, a long-standing course in Applied Social Science that is recognised by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) as meeting the standards of their Research Training Guidelines. The objectives are to:
- Provide you with the skills and knowledge base required to collect, analyse and report qualitative and quantitative data, taking account of ethics, reliability and validity
- Enable you to examine critically the theoretical foundations that underpin criminological and socio-legal research
- Enable you to examine issues concerning comparative criminological and socio-legal research
- Develop your understanding of the relationship between criminological research and policy, and the meanings of evaluation, its terminology, practice and use
A minimum of a second class honours degree (2.1 preferred) or equivalent in a relevant subject. Applicants without these formal qualifications but with significant appropriate/relevant work/life experience are encouraged to apply.
English language requirements
If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence of your proficiency such as a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 (6.0 in all bands).
ESRC quota awards are available on a competitive basis for students who wish to pursue the MSc plus a PhD on a 1+3 basis. Please contact Applied Social Science for details.
Modes of study
Full-time: one year, five modules per semester
Part-time: two and a half years, two/three modules per semester
Course start date
Structure and content
The MSc/Diploma in Applied Social Research (Criminology) comprises eight compulsory taught core modules, a group project and (for the MSc) a dissertation.
The modules are: The Nature of Social Enquiry; Research Design and Process; Introduction to Information Technology and Library Services; Quantitative Data Analysis; Qualitative Data Analysis; Comparative Social Research; Research Methods in Criminology and Socio-legal Studies; Criminological Perspectives.
In addition to the modules, you will complete both of the following:
- Group Project: An opportunity to obtain first-hand experience of research techniques, data collection strategies and group work with the guidance of staff
- Research Dissertation: MSc students must undertake an original criminological or socio-legal research study and complete a research dissertation with academic supervision
Examples of recent dissertation topics include:
- Explaining Crime through Narrative
- Nurses Perceptions of Workplace Violence and Aggression within an A&E Department
- Policing a Democracy
- The Effect of Anti-Terror Legislation on Liberty
Delivery and assessment
Teaching methods are designed for each module to facilitate your acquisition of skills and progressive development. You are expected to participate in lectures, seminars, tutorials, computer-based workshops and group work.
Full-time and part-time MSc/Diploma students experience a range of different forms of assessment across the compulsory taught modules. These include essays, critical review essays, book reviews, research proposals, a computer lab-based assessment for quantitative data analysis, group project reports and the research dissertation. There are no examinations.