International criminal justice student
Mode of Study
Part-time, Full-time, Part-time by distance learning
1 year full-time, 2 years part-time 2
Start Date
September 2020


Whether you're already working in the field or eager to start a new career in the world of international criminal justice, our MSc International Criminal Justice degree course is the ideal next step towards achieving your ambitions. 

On this course, you'll develop your understanding of the internationalisation of criminal justice, the importance of comparative perspectives in the field, and learn about international criminal justice and institutions in the modern world.

When you graduate, you'll have the skills needed to advance in your career, whether in the UK police force, civil service or private sector, or as an intelligence analyst or international liaison officer with international organisations such as Europol or Interpol.

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.

Our MSc International Criminal Justice degree course offers you two routes of study, depending on your preferences and career goals:

Route A

In addition to International 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. 

Route B

In addition to International 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.

Specialist Options include:

  • International and Transnational Offending
  • International Fraud and Corruption
  • The Global Landscape of Cybersecurity
  • Contemporary Security in International Relations (distance learning only)
  • Missing Persons (distance learning only)
  • Victimology: Vulnerability, Risk and Resilience (distance learning only)

Your exit qualification will depend on which options you choose, according to your career goals. You'll graduate with one of the following awards:

  • MSc International Criminal Justice
  • MSc International Criminal Justice and Intelligence
  • MSc International Criminal Justice and Criminology
  • MSc International Criminal Justice and Criminal Justice
  • MSc International Criminal Justice and Policing, Policy & Leadership (Distance Learning only)
  • MSc Crime Science and International Criminal Justice
  • MSc Cybercrime and International Criminal Justice
  • MSc Security Management and International Criminal Justice
  • MSc Criminal Psychology and International Criminal Justice
  • MSc Counter Fraud & Counter Corruption and International Criminal Justice

What you'll experience

On this course, you'll:

  • Examine national and international criminal justice in relation to international norms and standards, including human rights issues
  • Study the development and challenges of international and transnational offending from criminological, legal and political perspectives
  • Benefit from our local, national and international links with the criminal justice sector
  • Customise your degree to meet your career goals
  • 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

Careers and opportunities

When you graduate from this course, your skills will be in demand in international policing and justice organisations, in roles such as intelligence analyst and international liaison officer.

Career opportunities include:

  • Europol
  • Interpol
  • International Office of Migration
  • International criminal tribunals/courts
  • Private sector investigation
  • National/international non-governmental agencies
  • International criminal justice
  • International policing

You'll also be qualified for a career within the UK police force, as a civil servant or a private sector investigator, with international and transnational criminal justice responsibilities.

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

What you'll study on this MSc International 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 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 International criminal justice sector.

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:

  • online materials
  • online study support

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. If you study on campus, you may occasionally need to go to University events in the evenings and at weekends. Some course seminars may be held in the evening, both on campus and distance learning study modes.

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 (2020 start)

UK, EU, International, Channel Islands and Isle of Man students

  • Full time: £9,000*
  • Part time: £4,500 per year (90 credits)*
  • Part time distance learning: £3,650 per year*

International students

  • Full time: £14,300*
  • Part time: £7,150 per year (60 credits)*
  • Part time distance learning: £3,650 per year*

* All fees 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:

You'll be applying for MSc Criminal Justice. The modules 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 (see 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.

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. 

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