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Full time | Aberystwyth University | 1 year | 02-OCT-23

Study mode

Full time


1 year

Start date


Key information

Qualification type

MSc - Master of Science

Subject areas

Children's Law Youth Studies

Course type


Course Summary

The MSc Youth Justice offers a unique opportunity to study the youth justice system in England and Wales. The scheme adopts a focused and specifically critical standpoint in the consideration of relevant issues, from within England and Wales. The scheme content directly relates to emerging critical youth justice research and provides students with an opportunity to develop a sophisticated understanding of current policy, legislation and its historical development, legislation and research, to current and rapidly developing changes in conceptions of ‘children’ and their treatment within and beyond current systems. The scheme also offers opportunities engage in a comparative analysis of the approaches adopted in other jurisdictions, in order to provide further critique the current and developing picture, and evaluate the impact of research on practice and policy.

Students will be supported throughout to become independent researchers and writers in the realm of youth justice, through a series of lecture-seminar combined sessions, at which students will also be expected to lead discussions. Writing skills are a particular focus, with assignments structured as journal articles, and feedback given mirroring peer reviews, to prepare students for academic publication with advice and guidance from published academics.

The scheme comprises of two compulsory modules (Critical Youth Justice and International Comparative Youth Justice), and a themed youth justice dissertation. Critical Youth Justice covers a wide range of topics including paradigms (justice vs welfare, risk-based youth justice, Child First/Rights-based youth justice), contentious issues (minimum age of criminal responsibility, moral panics, custody and resettlement) and contemporary debates (current topics, for example: disproportionality, gangs/knife crime). International Comparative Youth Justice comprises detailed critical exploration of a range of different jurisdictions, for example, Scotland, USA, Australia, Canada, Nordic countries, Japan and New Zealand.


Graduates from this scheme will leave with the professional knowledge and capacity to independently practice, reflect, review and build upon disciplinary expertise and judgement. The schemes’ teaching, learning and assessment requires students to develop ethical practice, critical analytical skills, research skills and presentation skills which will enable them to share their criminological expertise in both academic and professional settings.

Graduate career opportunities include (but not restricted to):

· government departments and criminal justice agencies

· voluntary organisations / non-governmental organisations in the crime and justice field

· international organisations, such as the UN

· research and academia.


This module will use a mixture of lectures (1 hr; NB: initial lecture 2 hrs) and seminar discussions (2 hrs) each week to investigate and develop independent critical thinking and analysis of a range of international youth justice jurisdictions; this will encourage students to develop their own skills of critical analysis. There will also be opportunities for them to present on a jurisdiction or comparative issue of their own choice, requiring them to develop sophisticated arguments, and respond to class questions.

Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK students

For this course (per year)


International fees
Course fees for EU and international students

For this course (per year)


Entry requirements

2:2 Bachelors (Honours) degree in criminology or a related subject area, or equivalent. Non-graduates will be considered individually based on relevant work experience. Applicants are encouraged to submit an up-to-date CV as part of their application.