Victimology MSc

Police stand ready to assist victims of crime
Mode of Study
Part-time by distance learning
2 years part-time distance learning
Start Date
September 2018, 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 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.

Victimology is about understanding and helping people at one of the lowest points in their life – when they've become the victim of a crime. If you're looking to take your studies or career in a rewarding, socially responsible direction, then this MSc Victimology degree course is the perfect choice for you.

On this course, you'll gain an insight into the challenges faced by victims of crime, study the theoretical perspectives that inform our understanding of victimisation, and the wider historical and political contexts that influence victim-centred policy and legislation.

And because the way society identifies and treats victims has changed so dramatically, you'll also study the way in which these changes have impacted professional cultures and practices, and learn how to identify individuals who are the most vulnerable or at greater risk of victimised.

This distance learning course offers a flexible approach, so you can tailor your studies to meet your preferences and career goals, choosing from other Core Subjects such as Crime Science, Criminal Justice and Criminology.

When you graduate, you'll be able to evaluate criminal justice processes as they relate to victims of crime, and you'll understand how important support services and collaborative partnerships are for achieving the best outcomes for victims. You'll be prepared for work in the police force, social services, or in victim support organisations.

The additional Core Subjects you can choose from include:

What you'll experience

Our MSc Victimology degree course offers you two routes of study, depending on your preferences and career goals.

Route A

In addition to Working with Victims of Crime: Theory, Policy and Professional Practice, and Research Methods and Ethics, you'll study one additional Core Unit from the list above, and a relevant Specialist Option. You'll also have a free choice to study any other option.

Route B

In addition to Working with Victims of Crime: Theory, Policy and Professional Practice, and Research Methods and Ethics, you'll study two additional Core Units from the list above, and a relevant Specialist Option.

Specialist Options include:

  • Victimology: Vulnerability, Risk and Resilience
  • Policing Communities
  • Investigation and Psychology
  • Missing Persons

Your exit qualification will depend on which options you choose. You'll graduate with one of the following:

  • MSc Victimology
  • MSc Criminal Justice and Victimology
  • MSc Criminology and Victimology
  • MSc International Criminal Justice and Victimology
  • MSc Counter Fraud & Counter Corruption and Victimology
  • MSc Criminal Psychology and Victimology
  • MSc Security Management and Victimology
  • MSc Crime Science and Victimology
  • MSc Policing, Policy & Leadership and Victimology
  • MSc Victimology and Intelligence

On this course, you'll:

  • Learn about victimisation and its effects on informal and formal responses to victims of crime
  • Understand the criminal justice process from a victim's perspective
  • Improve your knowledge of victim-centred reforms, policies and legislation, and how they affect professional cultures and practices
  • 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 victimology 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

Recent reforms have led to an increase in victim-centred policies and legislation, and there is a shortage of specialists in this area. You'll graduate from this MSc Victimology degree course with the knowledge and skills to pursue a career in this important, developing field, within criminal justice agencies and related support services.

Career opportunities include:

  • Managerial roles in the police force
  • Social Work
  • Criminal justice agencies
  • Victim support services
  • Security
  • Government departments
  • PhD research

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

Entry requirements​

Entry Requirements

​Course costs

Tuition fees (2018 start)

UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students

  • Full-time: £6,000
  • Part-time: £3,000 per year (subject to annual increase)
  • Part-time distance learning: £2,250 per year (subject to annual increase)

International students

  • Full-time: £13,200
  • Part-time: £6,600 per year (subject to annual increase)
  • Part-time distance learning: £2,250 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 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.

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.

You'll need to cover the cost of travel for internships and placements. These will vary depending on the nature of the internship or placement, and can range from £50 - £1,000.

If you take the optional Certificate of Knowledge in Policy (CKP) qualification, you'll need to pay a license fee, currently set at £100. This is payable to the College of Policing for students.

​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.

Units currently being studied

Core units 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.

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.

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 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, Monday to Friday. There’s no teaching on Wednesday afternoons. 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:

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

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. 


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. 

Contact information
  • Admissions
  • +44 (0) 23 9284 5566

Get in touch

Subject Area
Criminology and forensic studies