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Key information

Qualification type

MSc - Master of Science

Subject areas


Course type


Course Summary

The MSc in Criminology has been designed for those who wish to pursue advanced criminological study and explore some of the most cutting-edge ideas in contemporary criminology. The programme is open to graduates of various social science disciplines, and provides a multidisciplinary platform from which to engage with the complexity of contemporary debates and challenges around crime and its control. It will appeal to those with a keen interest in security, crime and criminal justice, as well as those seeking to develop a deeper appreciation and understanding of the core issues facing criminal justice in the twenty-first century. It will also appeal to those who desire advanced knowledge and understanding of contemporary criminological theory and cutting-edge research methods, as well as those who wish to pursue a substantial, original research project of their own design (through the research project component).

As part of the core provision on the programme, you will learn about and critically engage with the most widely used contemporary criminological theories and approaches. This includes those which seek to explain crime and criminality in ways that are straightforward and useful for policy makers and practitioners, and those which seek to explicate the dramatic changes to criminal justice and the crime control apparatus over the past few decades. You will also be instructed in a wide range of research methods, and will be able to choose from an extensive list of nearly 30 option modules to complete your degree.


Teaching may include formal lectures, seminars, and practical classes and tutorials. Formal lectures are used in most degree programmes to give an overview of a particular field of study. They aim to provide the stimulus and the starting point for deeper exploration of the subject during your own personal reading. Seminars give you the chance to explore a specific aspect of your subject in depth and to discuss and exchange ideas with fellow students. They typically require preparatory study.


Graduates can pursue a career in law enforcement or corrections, policy analysis and policy making, in non-governmental organisations, international research institutions and think-tanks (eg UNODC), within various government departments and ministries, and in the media and criminal justice system more broadly.

Different course options

Full time | Birkbeck, Central London WC1 | 1 year | OCT-20

Study mode

Full time


1 year

Start date



This module will introduce you to the fundamentals of quantitative and qualitative methods in the social sciences as applied to criminological, criminal justice research and cross-national and comparative research. The module will enable you to carry out your own research as well as further developing your critical skills in order to analyse and evaluate the research you read in academic journals, government reports and popular media. You will be introduced to both principles and practices of criminological research through an examination of case studies in the field.

Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK / EU students

For this course (per year)


Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


International fees
Course fees for non-UK / EU students

For this course (per year)


Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


Entry requirements

A second-class honours degree in the humanities, social sciences or law.

University information

With a history that dates back 200 years, Birkbeck, University of London is unique in that it delivers its near-300 postgraduate courses in the evenings, enabling students to work or focus on other commitments during the day. Courses can be studied full-time or part-time and some can be studied through distance learning. Birkbeck is one of the world’s leading research universities and provides its 700 postgraduate research student with a...more

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