MA Criminology / Course details

Year of entry: 2023

Course description

Prerna Meshram

"The highlight of my course has been taking Data Analysis and Crime Mapping course units.

"Both areas have opened many opportunities for me in the field of criminology."

Prerna Meshram / Criminology MA

The MA in Criminology course allows you to develop specialist knowledge of the current themes and historical debates surrounding crime causation, crime control and regulation of behaviour.

The course equips you with the intellectual, critical, and analytical skills needed for understanding and applying criminological theories and concepts in practice. The course also provides an in-depth understanding of the interactions between politics, criminology and criminal justice, and the impact of public policy in these areas.

This innovative course is taught by experts from sociological, legal, and psychological backgrounds with real-world experience. You will benefit from research-led teaching, as well as strong links to wider criminal justice professions and industry.


  • Develop your intellectual, critical and analytic skills in the academic areas of criminology and criminal justice.
  • Provide you a thorough understanding of the key theoretical and political positions, and concepts within criminology and criminal justice. As well as the ability to use this knowledge in sophisticated ways in the critical assessment and development of public policy and interventions.
  • Provide you with the opportunity to explore a range of optional courses on particular areas of study that are either professionally relevant or of academic interest.
  • Improve your quantitative and qualitative research method skills in a way that is consistent with the demands of the discipline and the professional market.
  • Develop your appreciation for interdisciplinary studies as the only way to confront the complexity of our object of study, an interest in the applied dimension of scientific knowledge and the awareness of the ethical implications of the scientific criminological project.
  • Enhance your transferable skills including proficiency in oral and written communication; the capacity for independent learning; the ability to reflect on the ethical and ideological components of your work; and the capacity for working co-operatively with others to produce professional outputs in a timely fashion.
  • Develop criminological knowledge and research skills for the writing of a master's dissertation.

Special features

The School of Social Sciences works in partnership with institutions outside the higher education sector to enable you to produce research with a wider relevance and develop your knowledge and expertise.  

We are dedicated to shaping policy-making and practice nationally and internationally in diverse areas including drug policy, domestic abuse and policing.

Teaching and learning

This course is taught by an interdisciplinary team using a variety of delivery methods:

  • lectures;
  • workshops;
  • student-led presentations and debate;
  • group work;
  • individual research.

Coursework and assessment

  Most course units are assessed by 3,500-word essay or by essay and presentation.

Course unit details

You will be taking 180 credits in total for a master's degree, 120 of which will be taught course units and the remaining 60 credits, a compulsory research component, in the form of a 12,000-15,000 word dissertation.

Course units are worth 15 or 30 credits each. You will be required to select course units to a total of 120 credits, and so must choose a minimum of four course units or a maximum of eight course units. The availability of individual optional course units is subject to change (due, among other factors, to staff availability to deliver the course units in any given year).

Your dissertation must be within the area of one of the units you have chosen. The research element of the course is supported by weekly research methodology lectures delivered throughout semesters one and two, designed to improve your legal writing and research skills.


  • Supervised summer dissertation of 12-15,000 words.

Exit awards

Students who fail to fulfil the requirements to pass the 180 credits necessary to attain the final degree of MA can leave the course with the award of Postgraduate Diploma by passing 120 credits at the pass mark of 40%, or can qualify for the Postgraduate Certificate by passing 60 credits at the pass mark of 40%.  Students who do not fulfil the criteria for passing the taught element of the course at the Masters' level of 50% will not be permitted to progress to the dissertation element of the course, and will leave the course with the highest award that the credits that have been passed will allow.

Course unit list

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Dissertation (MA Criminology) CRIM62000 60 Mandatory
Advanced Theoretical Criminology CRIM70501 15 Mandatory
Evaluating Policy & Practice CRIM70542 15 Mandatory
Criminal Justice Research & Policy CRIM70561 15 Mandatory
Research Design SOCY60401 15 Mandatory
PG Crime Mapping: an introduction to GIS and Spatial Analysis CRIM60142 15 Optional
White-Collar, Corporate and Environmental Crime CRIM61142 15 Optional
Necrocriminology: Human Remains and Mass Violence. CRIM70102 15 Optional
Drugs: Markets, Policies and Consumption CRIM70572 15 Optional
Data Analysis with R & RStudio CRIM70821 15 Optional
Qualitative Research Methods CRIM71361 15 Optional
Prisons: Exploring the Carceral World to the UK CRIM72212 15 Optional
Research Strategy and Project Management SOCY60412 15 Optional
Creating a Sustainable World: Interdisciplinary Applications of the Sustainable Development Goals UCIL60312 15 Optional
Displaying 10 of 14 course units

Scholarships and bursaries

We offer a number of postgraduate taught scholarships and merit awards to outstanding applicants and international students.

In addition, the Manchester Alumni Scholarship Scheme offers a £3,000 reduction in tuition fees to University of Manchester alumni who achieved a first-class bachelor's degree and are progressing to a postgraduate taught master's course.

For more information, see fees and funding or  search the University's postgraduate funding database .

What our students say

The highlight of my course has been taking Data Analysis and Crime Mapping course units. Both areas have opened many opportunities for me in the field of criminology.

Prerna Meshram, Criminology MA


As a School of Social Sciences student, you are supported by first-class resources.

As well as access to networked study areas and one of the best-resourced academic libraries in the country, The University of Manchester Library .

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: