Student examines map-based intelligence screen
Mode of Study
Part-time by distance learning
2 years part-time distance learning
Start Date
September 2019


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, visit the MSc Criminal Justice.

The additional Core Subjects you can choose from include:

In both the public and private sectors, security and intelligence are more important than ever. If you choose to study MSc Intelligence as part of your Criminal Justice studies, you'll help meet the growing need for intelligence professionals by building on your research, analysis and management skills and applying them to the field of criminal intelligence.

You'll evaluate established intelligence models and principles, including the intelligence cycle, broaden your understanding of intelligence from both open and closed sources, and learn about the limitations of analytical services available to intelligence professionals.

When you graduate, you'll have a solid grounding in intelligence processes and practice, and you'll understand critical issues like ethical practice and compliance with human rights legislation, particularly the rights to privacy and a fair trial, which underpin the entire field.

You'll have the research, analytical and specialist skills for a successful career, either in the UK or abroad, in the public or private sectors. Opportunities include working for organisations such as UK government intelligence agencies or the Metropolitan Police Counter-Terrorism Centres, or as a security or intelligence consultant in the private sector.

What you'll experience

On this course, you'll:

  • Learn about the principles of intelligence work and the analytical and evaluative tools available to intelligence professionals
  • Understand the challenges of managing intelligence within the evidence chain
  • Get to grips with intelligence processes and practice, and assess how intelligence informs the investigative process
  • Evaluate existing intelligence models, and the analytical services available to intelligence professionals in the context of UK legislation
  • Understand the driving forces behind intelligence strategy, including the relationship between national security strategies, strategic policing requirements and local intelligence strategies
  • Learn from trained lecturers employing innovative and exciting teaching techniques such as online lectures and seminars, online and telephone support and optional workshops
  • Access our library's extensive online resources 24/7, including electronic books, ejournals and newspapers

Careers and opportunities

When you graduate from the MSc Intelligence degree course, you'll have the skills and knowledge you need for a security-oriented career in the public or private sectors.

You'll also get transferable skills in research, analysis and management which will help you find a job in many areas.

Career opportunities include:

  • Government agencies in the UK and abroad
  • Police work
  • Military intelligence
  • British Security Service
  • Metropolitan Police Counter-Terrorism
  • Private sector intelligence/security

If you're already working in the industry, you'll get a professional qualification and the skills needed to advance your career.

We'll provide you with as much support as possible in finding employment through close industrial contacts, careers events, recruitment fairs and individual advice.

What you'll study on this MSc Intelligence 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 on this course include:

  • Managing intelligence

Options on this course include:

  • Understanding the intelligence function
  • The intelligence requirement and strategic drivers for intelligence
  • Intelligence models, intelligence pathologies and the preparation of standardised intelligence products
  • Joining the dots – linking national security strategies, strategic policing requirements and local intelligence strategies
  • Intelligence policy – a case study of the UK’s National Intelligence Model
  • Ethical intelligence-gathering – reconciling covert policing techniques with human rights principles
  • Leadership in intelligence
  • Intelligence collection – open sources
  • Intelligence analysis and interpretation
  • Emerging intelligence practice

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 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 skills to work in the intelligence industry.

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.

Learning support

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
  • referencing
  • working in groups
  • revision, memory and exam techniques


Teaching methods on this course include:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • workshops
  • 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:

  • essays
  • case study
  • blogs
  • presentations
  • research proposal
  • dissertation or major project

Entry requirements​

Entry Requirements

Qualifications or experience
  • A second-class honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject. Exceptionally, applicants with strong relevant criminal justice 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.

​Course costs

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)

International students

  • 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. 

Additional costs

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.


Apply for this course using our online application form.

When applying for this course, apply for MSc Criminal Justice. The units you choose when doing the MSc Criminal Justice will define the award you graduate with. 

International students

If you're from outside of the UK, you can apply directly to us 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. 

Admissions terms and conditions

When 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.