MSc Criminology – Bath Spa University

Criminology (Campus based)


Postgraduate degree

    Key facts

    MSc Criminology
    School of Sciences (School of Study)
    Campus or location
    Newton Park
    Course length
    One year full time or two years part time.

    Entry requirements

    Entry requirements for our postgraduate courses vary. We're generally looking for a good honours degree or equivalent.

    Please contact our admissions team for more information:

    Deepen your understanding of current theories, methods and debates in criminal justice with our Master’s in Criminology.

    • Boost your career opportunities within policing and criminal justice, or prepare for further postgraduate research.
    • Become familiar with evaluation and evidence-based practice and its increasing importance in the workplace.
    • Join the conversation – your research and reflections could help shape the dialogue around current issues.

    Want to work in the criminal justice sector? Or do you already work in policing or criminal justice, and want to progress your career?

    Gain an advanced understanding of current debates in criminology, in areas such as crime investigation, offender interventions and the ageing prison population.

    You’ll learn the theories and methods of research, and become familiar with evidence-based practice – which is increasingly important in criminal justice and policing careers.

    This Master's in Criminology is also available via distance learning.

    What you'll learn


    This innovative Master's in Criminology allows you to develop specialist knowledge of the current themes and policy debates surrounding crime, criminal justice, crime control, policing, penology and offender management. It equips you with the intellectual, analytical and research skills needed for understanding and applying criminological theories and concepts in practice.

    The programme also provides an in-depth understanding of the interactions between politics, criminology and criminal justice, and the impact of public policy in these areas. You'll be taught by experts from criminological, sociological and legal backgrounds with professional criminal justice experience. You'll also benefit from research-led teaching, as well as strong links to wider criminal justice professions and industry.

    Recognising your evolving needs as a student and professional, as well as the pressures of the modern workplace, this MSc uniquely allows you to not only choose between studying full-time or part-time, but gives you the opportunity to transfer to a distance-learning version of the programme, should this better suit your changed circumstances.

    Course structure

    MSc Criminology is split into three trimesters, taught across either one year (full-time) or two years (part-time).

    You’ll begin by looking at advanced theory and contemporary issues in crime and justice, before progressing to the research and evaluation-based modules of the course.

    In your final trimester, you’ll complete your dissertation.

    Course modules

    This course includes or offers the following modules. Please check the course handbook or definitive programme document for full details on which modules are core, required or optional.

    • Advanced Criminological Theory
    • Contemporary Issues in Crime and Justice
    • Criminological Research Design: Evaluation and Evidence-based Practice
    • Global Crime and Criminal Justice
    • Dissertation

    How will I be assessed?

    You’ll be assessed in a variety of ways, including essays, practical projects and presentations.

    You’ll also complete a 15,000 word dissertation on a topic that you’ll choose in consultation with a supervisor. Your dissertation topic might be an area of interest that has emerged through your studies, or it could be linked to your current professional role and career aspirations.

    How will I be taught?

    The modules will be delivered through a combination of classroom-based seminars, workshops, interactive online discussions and online content.

    We recognise your evolving needs as a student and professional, which is why our MSc Criminology allows you to not only choose between studying full-time or part-time, but also lets you take any module as a distance-learning module. Our online learning tools are delivered via Bath Spa University's virtual learning environment, Minerva.



    Our aim is to equip you with the advanced criminological knowledge and practical skills you’ll need to pursue or develop your career in fields such as policing, crime prevention and reduction, security, offender management, prisons, probation, youth justice, social work and community development. You could also choose to build on the skills in research you’ve gained during this course with further study.

    You’ll hone your abilities in critical thinking and creative problem-solving, and develop your capacity to work and learn independently. You’ll also develop your research and evaluation skills – which are crucial, given that the sector is turning to evidence-based methods of working.

    You’ll also develop a range of transferable skills which you can take into a career in a number of others sectors such as health and social care, marketing, HR, teaching and the media.

    Facilities and resources

    Where the subject is taught


    UK and EU students full time

    Course fees
    2020/21 entry £7,400
    2021/22 entry Published Jan 2021
    2022/23 entry Published Jan 2022

    UK and EU students part time

    Fees shown below are for part time study over two years, although some courses may be available over longer periods.

    2020/21 Entry

    Course fees
    Year 1 £3,700
    Year 2 Published Jan 2021

    2021/22 Entry

    Course fees
    Year 1 Published Jan 2021
    Year 2 Published Jan 2022

    2022/23 Entry

    Course fees
    Year 1 Published Jan 2022
    Year 2 Published Jan 2023

    International students full time

    Course fees
    2020/21 entry £13,700
    2021/22 entry Published Jan 2021
    2022/23 entry Published Jan 2022

    Interested in applying?

    What we look for in potential students

    We welcome students with a passion and enthusiasm for the subject of criminology. You should have a willingness to engage with the issues of crime, justice and punishment. You'll study with an open mind when considering theories and evidence. We also welcome those who are motivated to use their knowledge and skills to make a difference in the field of practice.

    This course is suitable for anyone with a good honours degree in Criminology or a related discipline. We'll also consider applicants who are new to the field, or who have relevant work experience.

    How do I apply?

    Ready to apply? Click the 'apply now' button in the centre of this page.

    Need more guidance? Head to our how to apply webpages.

    Get ahead

    We recommend you read the following texts to prepare for your postgraduate studies in Criminology:

    • P. Davies et al (2018) Doing Criminological Research, Thousand Oaks, SAGE
    • A. Liebling et al (2017) The Oxford Handbook of Criminology, Oxford, Oxford University Press
    • N. South et al (2017) The Routledge Companion to Criminological Theory and Concepts, London, Routledge.

    Admissions service: +44 (0)1225 876 180
    Course leader: Dr Rainer-Elk Anders

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