This course is part of the MSc Criminal Justice Postgraduate Flexible Framework.
The Flexible Framework allows you to customise your postgraduate degree. The units and subjects you choose will determine which award title you graduate with. To view the other unit options, visit the MSc Criminal Justice page.
Our MSc Criminology degree course is the perfect way to take your interest in the field further – whether you're already working and want to advance your career, or a graduate who wants to take their studies to Master's level.
On this course, you'll develop your understanding of the origins, principles and concepts of key theoretical approaches, explore the political and sociological influences on crime, and get to grips with the changing nature of criminology.
You'll tailor your studies and choose between additional specialisms including counter fraud, security and cybercrime, so that your final award matches your interests and career ambitions.
You can choose to study this course full or part-time, either on campus or through distance learning.
When you graduate, you'll have the skills and knowledge for a career in organisations including criminal justice agencies, local and central government, think tanks, the voluntary sector and non-governmental organisations.
- Counter Fraud and Counter Corruption
- Crime Science
- Criminal Justice
- Criminal Psychology
- Cybercrime (Campus learning only)
- Intelligence (in combination only)
- International Criminal Justice (Distance learning only; campus study from 2019)
- Policing, Policy & Leadership (Distance learning only)
- Security Management
- Victimology (Distance learning only)
What you'll experience
Our MSc Criminology degree course offers you two routes of study, depending on your preferences and career goals.
As well as the core units of the course, which include Key Criminological Approaches: Past and Present, Research Methods and Research Ethics, you can choose from Specialist Options including:
- Substance Misuse, Crime and the Criminal Justice System (campus only)
- Dangerous Offenders and Vulnerable Victims (campus only)
- Global Landscape of Cybersecurity (campus only)
- International Fraud and Corruption
- International and Transnational Offending (distance learning only)
- Missing Persons (distance learning only)
Your exit qualification will depend on which options you choose. You'll graduate with one of the following:
Campus (full and part time) and distance learning:
- MSc Criminology
- MSc Criminology and Criminal Justice
- MSc Criminology and Criminal Psychology
- MSc Criminology and Intelligence
- MSc Crime Science and Criminology
- MSc Cybercrime and Criminology (campus only)
- MSc Security Management and Criminology
- MSc International Criminal Justice and Criminology
- MSc Criminology and Policing, Policy & Leadership
- MSc Criminology and Victimology
On this course, you'll:
- 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
- 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 newspapers
- Complete a major project, based on your chosen area of research, with the support of qualified and enthusiastic staff who are experts in the field
Work experience and career planning
We'll help you to identify internships, voluntary roles and opportunities that will complement your studies.
When you finish the course, our Careers and Employability service can help you find a job that puts your criminology skills to work.
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.
Careers and opportunities
When you graduate, your career path will depend on the specialism you choose. You'll have the skills and knowledge needed for a successful career in the field of criminology, as well as transferable skills which are valuable in other professions.
Career opportunities include:
- Policing (as an officer or civilian staff)
- Crime analysis
- The courts and prison service
- Youth offending support officer
- Emergency planning officer
- Academia and research
- Private industry
- Crime prevention
- Community safety
- Victim support
We'll provide you with as much support as possible in finding employment through close industrial contacts, careers events, recruitment fairs and individual advice.
- A second-class honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject. Exceptionally, applicants with strong relevant criminal justice experience will be considered.
- English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.
Tuition fees (2019 start)
UK, EU, International, Channel Islands and Isle of Man students
- Full time: £8,700
- Part time: £4,350 per year (90 credits) (subject to annual increase)
- Part time distance learning: £3,500 per year (subject to annual increase)
- Full time: £13,900
- Part time: £6,950 per year (60 credits) (subject to annual increase)
- Part time distance learning: £3,500 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 units a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each unit.
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.
What you'll study
Each unit on this course is worth a certain number of credits.
In each year, you need to study units worth a total of 180 credits. For example, 4 units worth 30 credits and 1 unit worth 60 credits.
Changes to course content
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 and some optional units may not run every year. If a unit doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative unit.
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:
- academic writing
- note taking
- time management
- critical thinking
- presentation skills
- working in groups
- revision, memory and exam techniques
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 an assessment period:
- Autumn teaching block – September to December
- Spring teaching block – January to Easter
- Assessment period – Easter to June
Most teaching takes place during the day, on Thursdays, Fridays and very occasionally on Saturdays. You may occasionally need to go to University and course events in the evenings and at weekends.
How you're assessed
You'll be assessed through:
- case study
- literature review
- research proposal
- dissertation or major project
Admissions terms and conditionsWhen you accept an offer to study with us, you also agree to our terms and conditions as well as the University’s policies, rules and regulations. You should read and consider these before you apply.
Apply for this course by using our online application form. Choose Law and Criminology from the subject area list and MSc Criminal Justice from the course list. You’ll graduate with a Criminology Master’s degree when you complete the course.
Our courses fill up quickly, so submit your application as soon as you decide which course you want to study.