Duration & study mode
1 years full-time / 2 years part-time
Education & Social Sciences
Course starting dates
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The MSc Criminal Justice degree gives you the opportunity to study both theoretical and applied criminology at an advanced level and to use the knowledge, skills and understanding gained to engage critically, innovatively and independently with contemporary issues surrounding criminal justice.
Students gain a critical understanding of how key theories, concepts and empirical findings are used to create and interpret knowledge within the study of crime and criminal justice. Key issues debated include policing, crime prevention, rehabilitation and punishment.
Programmes underpinned by internationally excellent/world-class research - Research Excellence Framework 2014
Completing the MSc in Applied Social Science (Criminal Justice) at UWS has given me the skills and experience to develop, immensely, both academically and personally, and to pursue a career in research. In particular, being given the opportunity to complete a practice-based dissertation in collaboration with Police Scotland was a fantastic and unique opportunity to conduct meaningful ‘real-world’ research and has helped transform me into a more confident researcher. The course offered me the flexibility to pursue my own academic interests in greater depth alongside expert, helpful staff. I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending the course to anyone looking to further explore their interests within the social sciences, or to those building a career in policy, practice or research.
Conor Wilson, 2018 graduate, PhD researcher
The MSc Criminal Justice degree has been designed to be flexible and allows for part-time and full-time study, while also blending on-campus, and online delivery techniques.
The MSc comprises five core and one optional taught, 20-credit modules followed by a 60-credit research dissertation.
If you chose to exit the course before undertaking the research dissertation, you can exit with the award of Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip).
You will be required to design and undertake an extended piece of written research focused around a specific research question via the MSc Dissertation.
For the Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip) stage, you will study the following modules:
To complete the PgDip stage, you will select one 20-credit module as an option. The selection of the optional taught 20-credit module is based both on your interests and on their availability (which can change from year-to-year). Currently, options include, but are not restricted to:
Successful completion of the PgDip allows you to proceed to the master's module:
The statistical breakdown details below describe the core modules:
LEARNING AND TEACHING
Learning is within an international context and research underpins all modules across the course. You have the opportunity to work with academics and external partners on research projects.
Your skills development and employability are embedded throughout assessments. Academics who teach on the course draw on their research networks for the benefit of your experience through a combination of field trips to external organisations and the use of guest speakers from external bodies.
Find out more about the structure, learning outcomes, compulsory and optional modules in this course.
We welcome Scottish, UK and international students and consider all applicants on an individual basis.
Don’t worry if your qualifications are not listed here, we take a range of factors into account when assessing your application and are happy to consider other alternative combinations of qualifications and experience
If you are applying with an EU or non-EU qualification, please check our Postgraduate Entry Requirements page which gives more information about country-specific entry requirements.
You should normally hold a relevant Honours degree at 2:2 or above in any of the subjects below:
You will also be considered if you have a degree in another discipline or other professional training or experience relevant to course specialisms. In order to demonstrate your academic ability you will be required to complete written work and may be invited to attend an interview prior to acceptance.
If you are an overseas student then you must also meet UWS English language requirements (see below).
For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level. The qualifications below must have been gained within two years of the start of your course.
General English language requirements at UWS: International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training)
Exceptions to this level of IELTS scoring exist for some accredited or professionally-recognised courses (see IELTS Score Exceptions section below for more details).
For our research degrees (MRes, MPhil, PhD, DBA, DProf) applicants are required to have an IELTS score as follows:
For all our Health, Nursing & Midwifery courses that lead to, or require professional registration with the Nursing & Midwifery Council, applicants are required to have an IELTS or Occupational English Test (OET)*.
For such courses, the IELTS score is as follows:
* Note that the Occupational English Test (OET) will now be accepted in addition to IELTS as proof of a Nurse's English Language Competence (Nursing & Midwifery Council, 2019).
For our BSc (Hons) Applied Biomedical Science, BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science and MSc Advanced Biomedical Science degrees, applicants are required to have an IELTS score as follows:
Our BSc Paramedic Science degree leads to professional registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC); it has different IELTS requirements than other Health-related courses. Although it is not possible to apply for this degree directly as an international student, for applicants who meet SAAS residency requirements and for whom English is not their first language, then the following IELTS scores are required:
Our BA (Hons) Social Work and MSc Social Work degrees are professionally-recognised by the Scottish Social Services Council; applicants are required to have an IELTS score as follows:
For our Certificate of Higher Education courses, applicants are required to have an IELTS score as follows:
All stated English tests are acceptable for admission for both home/EU and international students for this programme:
TOEFL IBT*: 78; no sub-test less than:
* Please note that TOEFL is still acceptable for admission to this programme for both home/EU and international students.
For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use TOEFL to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level courses. We therefore still accept TOEFL tests taken in the last two years for admission to this programme.
West African Senior School Certificate of Education (WASSCE) including acceptance of WAEC Scratchcard*
*UWS will accept a WAEC scratchcard confirming that an applicant has achieved C6 or above as evidence of meeting English language requirement from Nigeria if the student graduated within the last 5 years. After 5 years applicants would be required to provide the WAEC Certificate. WAEC Certificates should not be older than 10 years at the time of making the application.
Applicants who do not meet the minimum English language requirements have the option to study one of our preparatory and pre-sessional English courses. The UWS courses available are:
The programme equips students with essential skills and knowledge for a range of careers in the criminal justice sector including the police, prison service and criminal justice social work, policy analysis and evaluation, and policy work in governments, local authorities or charities.
Graduates may also use the MSc Criminal Justice programme as an opportunity to commence doctoral-level research studies (MPhil/PhD) or a research career.
£7,000 Cost of study
£11,250 Cost of study
£11,250 Cost of study
£14,500 Cost of study
£1,000 Cost per 20-credit module of study
£1,610 Cost per 20-credit module of study
£1,610 Cost per 20-credit module of study
£2,070 Cost per 20-credit module of study
£7,500 Cost of study
£11,750 Cost of study
£11,750 Cost of study
£15,250 Cost of study
£1,070 Cost per 20-credit module of study
£1,680 Cost per 20-credit module of study
£1,680 Cost per 20-credit module of study
£2,180 Cost per 20-credit module of study
The cost of attending university is an investment in your future career.
In addition to tuition fees and living expenses, some courses involve extra costs like study materials, field trips, equipment and uniforms.
Fortunately, there is a great deal of financial support available to help students meet the cost of their study. This ranges from:
The sections below provide details of additional costs that your course may involve along with any financial support that may be available.
You can also find additional information in our Postgraduate Money, Fees & Funding section.
Students on certain degrees will incur some additional costs not covered by their tuition fees. These could be for things like specialist equipment, study materials, work placements, graduation, membership of relevant organisations or costs related to carrying out fieldwork.
For students on course with an element of fieldwork, there may also be extra costs for travel and accommodation.
Please contact the course leader for details of the additional costs associated with this course.
Tuition fees are calculated based on where you are from and what you are studying. Some courses also involve additional costs, such as mandatory field trips, equipment or studying abroad.
Find out how much it will cost you to study at UWS as a postgraduate student.
Scottish students studying at postgraduate level at UWS are entitled to various funds and support towards tuition fees and living costs.
English, Welsh and Northern Irish students studying at postgraduate level at UWS are entitled to various funds and support towards tuition fees and living costs.
EU students studying at postgraduate level of UWS may be eligible for SAAS funding, as well as support to meet the costs of childcare and various sources of additional funding.
There are several scholarship and incentive schemes available to international students studying at postgraduate level at UWS, as well as support to meet the costs of childcare and various sources of additional funding.
UWS administer a range of discretionary and childcare funds. These are designed to support students who are experiencing financial difficulty or struggling to meet the costs of childcare.
Becoming a student can have an impact on your entitlement to certain benefits. It may mean you are no longer eligible to claim a benefit you have been receiving, or your new income from student funding may affect the amount you are able to receive.
If there isn’t a statutory source of funding for you or your course, or you are in need of additional financial support, you may wish to consider more alternative sources of funding such as trust funds and scholarships.
At UWS, we believe financial restrictions should never be a barrier to your education.
The WEST (Widening Education and Supporting Talent) Scholarship Programme aims to remove the financial barriers that stop talented students from progressing throughout their degree to graduation.
Choosing to become a student can have a big impact on your budget and you may need to reassess your spending to account for a reduced income. We’ve put together some guidance to help you manage your money and make the right financial choices for you and your family.
All students should apply directly to the University through our online application system. Before you apply, you should check that you meet our entry requirements and you should have all your supporting documents ready.
The first stage of the process is to create a profile; you don't have to complete the application in one session - you can complete it in stages by saving each section and return to complete it at a later date.
You will need to upload documents with your applications, which may include transcripts and degree certificates.
Most courses don't have a formal closing date, but they will close when they are full; apply early to avoid disappointment. There may also be funding deadlines that apply to you. Please be aware that programme fees are subject to increases each year.
Before you begin your application, it is important to read the Postgraduate & Post-Experience application step-by-step guide for a smooth process.
An ATAS certificate is not required for overseas students applying for this course.
Do you have a question about applying for this course? Get in touch. We are here to help!
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