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Delivered by academics from the Centre for Criminal Justice Studies in one of the leading law schools in the UK, the Criminal Justice and Criminology MSc offers you the opportunity to develop advanced knowledge in relation to the study of criminal justice processes and criminological theory. You’ll also develop a critical awareness of social research methods and skills used to undertake real world research on crime and criminal justice.
You will develop an in-depth understanding of the nature, purposes, dynamic processes and outcomes of the criminal justice process. A wide range of optional modules allows you to tailor your degree to your own particular interests.
Throughout the course we’ll encourage you to:
explore the complex and dynamic nature of the criminal justice process
investigate contemporary policy debates and theorectical perspectives in crime and its control
develop advanced knowledge of the research process and skills to undertake research on crime and criminal justice.
This programme is offered within the dynamic Centre for Criminal Justice Studies (CCJS), an internationally recognised research centre that provides an active and multi-disciplinary environment, whose members are committed to high-quality teaching in criminal justice, criminology and criminal law. The CCJS also excels in the production of research that is empirically rich, conceptually sophisticated and policy relevant. Research is interdisciplinary and often international in its reach. The University of Leeds recognises CCJS as one of its key 'peaks of research excellence'.
CCJS academics have conducted research for a range of external funding bodies including the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Nuffield Foundation, the Home Office, the Youth Justice Board, the Leverhulme Trust, the European Commission, the National Probation Service and others. Since 2001, CCJS members have been awarded research grants totalling over £10 million. Such projects sustain the established profile of the CCJS as a pre-eminent research unit and ensure that our teaching is at the cutting edge of contemporary academic and policy debates.
The CCJS has an Advisory Board with more than twenty members who hold senior positions within local criminal justice and partner organisations, including the police, the judiciary, the probation service, prisons and the courts.
Our strong links with the local criminal justice community bring valuable benefits for our students.
Try our free short course
If you’re thinking of studying MSc Criminal Justice and Criminology you may be interested in our short course, ‘Incarceration: Are prisons a suitable punishment?’. This is a free 2 week course delivered online, allowing you to explore the ethics of imprisonment and identify prison alternatives.
Compulsory modules studied throughout the year will enable you to:
explore the complex and dynamic nature of the criminal justice process and the relationships that can exist between its components;
analyse contemporary theories, concepts and approaches to understanding crime, crime control and the criminal justice system;
explore and examine the intricate and complex relationships and dynamics between theory, research and practice, and the impact of criminal justice processes on individuals and social groups, often in the wider context of social and political change;
explore different approaches to designing and undertaking research on crime and justice, and the politics and ethics the impact on social research.
You’ll also benefit from our Support in Academic and Personal Development programme. This runs alongside your taught academic programme in semester one and is specifically designed to complement the School’s induction activities and ongoing academic skills support for students, both home and International.
The optional modules will give you the opportunity to gain specialist knowledge in topics that interest you. An indicative list of optional modules is provided below. You’ll also be able to hone your critical and analytical abilities, your writing skills and your knowledge of research methods, which you can demonstrate in your dissertation.
The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.
Optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)
Choose 30 credits from the below:
Research with Children and Young People
Central Issues in Criminal Law
Rethinking Policing 1
International Criminal Law
Intercultural Business and Organisational Communication
Security, Conflict and Justice
European Human Rights
Inequalities, Law and Justice
International Human Rights
Human Rights and Disabled People 1
Quantitative Research Methods
Qualitative Research Methods
Inequalities: Exploring causes, Consequences and Interventions
Learning and teaching
Our compulsory and optional modules are taught through a range of weekly seminars, lectures and workshops.
You’ll need to prepare for your seminars and lectures, undertaking any exercises that might be prescribed in advance. Independent study is integral to this programme – not just to prepare for classes but to develop research and other critical skills.
A personal academic supervisor will support you throughout the programme.
On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.
You’ll be assessed using a variety of methods but for most modules you’ll be required to write an essay at the end of each module. You’ll also be expected to write a final dissertation.
International students who do not meet the English language requirements for this programme may be able to study our postgraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.
This link takes you to information on applying for taught programmes and to the University's online application system.
If you're unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.
Documents and information you will need include:
Original or certified copies of your transcripts
Original or certified copies of your degree certificate
Original or certified copy of your IELTS/TOEFL results (if English is not your first language).
Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.
Visit our Brexit page for the latest information on the effect of the UK's exit from the EU on current students and applicants to the University.
For fees information for international taught postgraduate students, read Masters fees.
Additional cost information
There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs
Scholarships and financial support
If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There may be help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more at Masters funding overview.
The School of Law offers a number of scholarships for its Masters students.
This programme is well-suited to you if you’re wishing to pursue a career in public service, the private sector, the voluntary sector or any other area where success is built upon the ability to understand, analyse and respond to developments in criminal justice.
Recent graduates have gone on to work in a range of sectors and professions from academia, to security and mental health in the UK and overseas. Alumni hold senior positions in criminal justice organisations including police and probation services, the prison service, and youth justice services, as well as in the private and voluntary sector, both in the UK and abroad. Others have been awarded promotions following successful completion of the programme.
The School of Law offers career and personal development support through the School’s dedicated Employability Officers. You can book one-to-one appointments with our Employability Officers throughout the year to discuss your career aspirations and get advice on how to make the most of your time with us.
The School also arranges a number of community engagement (pro bono) and work experience opportunities, career development workshops, guest speaker events and careers fairs throughout the year. These opportunities will allow you to develop new skills, enhance your career prospects and network with prospective employers.
In addition to the School-specific careers support, you will also have access to the University’s award-winning Careers Centre. The Careers Centre offers one-to-one appointments, advice on starting your own business, careers events, mentoring schemes and support with your CV, applications and interviews.