Criminal Justice MSc
MSc Criminal Justice
If you're interested in criminal justice – government policy, the penal process or the response of criminal justice systems to offending – then this MSc Criminal Justice Master’s degree is for you.
On this course, you'll focus on disadvantaged communities and groups, and their treatment by and within the criminal justice system. You’ll debate key issues such as policing, sentencing and types of punishment.
You can study the course full or part-time, on campus or through distance learning.
Postgraduate Flexible Framework
This course is part of the MSc Criminal Justice Postgraduate Flexible Framework.
The Flexible Framework allows you to customise your postgraduate degree. The modules and subjects you choose will determine which award title you graduate with. To view the other module options open to you, visit the subject pages below.
The additional Core Subjects you can choose from include:
- Counter Fraud and Counter Corruption
- Crime Science
- Criminal Psychology
- Cybercrime (Campus learning only)
- Intelligence (in combination only)
- International Criminal Justice
- Policing, Policy & Leadership (Distance learning only)
- Security Management
- Victimology (Distance learning only)
You'll also complete a major project or dissertation of your choice, with the support of expert staff and researchers who are active in the field.
Our MSc Criminal Justice degree course offers you two routes of study, depending on your preferences and career goals:
In addition to Criminal Justice, and your research methods study, you'll study a relevant Specialist Option. You'll only be able to study a Specialist Option if enough other students elect to take the option in question. You'll also have a free choice to study any other available option.
In addition to Criminal Justice, and your research methods study, you'll study one additional Core Module from the list above, and a relevant Specialist Option from one of your Core Subjects. You'll only be able to study a Specialist Option if enough other students elect to take the option in question.
What you'll experience
On this course, you'll:
- Learn from an experienced team of criminal justice specialists in our Institute of Criminal Justice Studies
- Benefit from our local, national and international links with the criminal justice sector
- Customise your degree to meet your career goals
- Draw on the expertise and facilities in our Institute of Criminal Justice Studies
- Hear from guest speakers who are professionals in the criminal justice field
- Learn through our supported distance learning programme, which gives you the flexibility to fit your studies in around other commitments
- Have 24/7 access to the extensive facilities in our university library, including books, ejournals and newspaper
Careers and opportunities
What can you do with a Criminal Justice degree?
On this course you'll learn skills that apply to several career choices in areas such as:
- Policing (as an officer or civilian staff)
- Crime analysis
- The courts and prison service
- Local authorities
- Civil Service
- Academia and research
- Private industry
What you'll study on this MSc Criminal Justice degree course
Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits.
You need to study modules worth a total of 180 credits. For example, 4 module worth 30 credits and 1 module worth 60 credits.
Core modules in this year include:
- Research Methods
- Research Ethics
You'll 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.
We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.
Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry.
Work experience and career planning
We'll help you to identify voluntary roles and opportunities that will complement your studies.
When you complete this course, our Careers and Employability service can help you find a job that puts your skills to work in the heritage, teaching, or other related industries.
After you leave the University, you can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years from our Careers and Employability service as you advance in your career.
As well as support by faculty teaching staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).
ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:
academicwriting notetaking timemanagement criticalthinking presentationskills referencing workingin groups revision, memory and exam techniques
The best part is how passionate all the staff that I met are and their readiness to help with anything. Every day I am surrounded by people that love their fields of study and keep pushing forward, words cannot describe what an inspirational effect this had on me.
Teaching methods on this course include:
- individual and group projects
- online materials
How you'll spend your time
Each academic year is divided into 2 teaching blocks and 2 assessment periods:
- September to December – teaching block 1
- January – assessment period 1
- January to May – teaching block 2 (includes Easter break)
- May to June – assessment period 2
Most teaching takes place during the day, Monday to Friday. You may occasionally need to go to University and course events in the evenings and at weekends.
There’s usually no teaching on Wednesday afternoons.
How you're assessed
You'll be assessed through:
- case study
- literature review
- research proposal
- dissertation or major project
MSc Criminal Justice Master's degree entry requirements
Qualifications or experience
- A second-class honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject. Exceptionally, applicants with strong and relevant work experience will be considered.
English language requirements
- English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.
Tuition fees (2020 start)
UK, EU, International, Channel Islands and Isle of Man students
- Full time: £9,000
- Part time: £4,500 per year (90 credits) (subject to annual increase)
- Part time distance learning: £3,650 per year (subject to annual increase)
- Full time: £14,300
- Part time: £7,150 per year (60 credits) (subject to annual increase)
- Part time distance learning: £3,650 per year (subject to annual increase)
Additional course costs
These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.
Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.
You’ll study up to 6 module a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each module.
You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.
There may be travel costs for internships/placements. These will vary depending on the nature of internship/placement and can range from £50 - £1000.
If you wish to undertake the optional Certificate of Knowledge in Policy (CKP) qualification, you are likely to incur a license fee, currently set at £100, This is payable to the College of Policing for students.
If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.
If you're a distance learning student, you may need to cover the travel, accommodation and subsistence costs for any optional campus-based events that you attend. Depending on the distance you need to travel to reach Portsmouth, these can vary from £50 to £500.
You may need to cover the travel costs of internships and placements. These will vary depending on the nature of the internship or placement in question, and can range from £50 - £1,000.
If you're from outside of the UK, you can apply directly to us (above) or you can get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region. To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section.
If you don’t meet the English language requirements for this course yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.