MA Criminology / Course details

Year of entry: 2021

Coronavirus information for applicants and offer-holders

We understand that prospective students and offer-holders may have concerns about the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. The University is following the advice from Universities UK, Public Health England and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Read our latest coronavirus information

Course unit details:
Criminal Justice Research & Policy

Unit code CRIM70561
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Criminology
Available as a free choice unit? No


This course provide students with a general overview of the criminal justice field in the context of the inter-relationship(s) between research and policy.

Indicative content: (1) Introduction; (2) Police: policy & research; (3) Prosecution; (4) Sentencing; (5) Crime prevention; (6) Alternatives to imprisonment; (7) Comparative case study; (8) Summary & assignment support.


The unit aims to provide students with a general overview of the criminal justice field in the context of the inter-relationship(s) between research and policy. The course is tailored to the learning needs of those who have a criminological background as well as those who are less well versed in criminological research and criminal justice policies..

Learning outcomes

On completion of this unit successful students will gain: (1) a general overview of the different institutions and agencies that comprise the criminal justice field; (2) an appreciation of the importance of the types of relationship between research and policy in criminal justice; (3) an understanding of the social, cultural and political contexts that impact criminal justice.

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching in academic year 20/21 will reflect both University policy and local and national lockdown restrictions operating at the time of delivery. We will offer face-to-face teaching where possible and provide a like for like on-line experience for those unable to be on campus.

Our teaching models will be flexible and allow us to adapt to changing conditions, however, the common intention across units is to provide (1) media, activities and other learning material that should be engaged with before scheduled teaching; (2) a timetabled online lecture/workshop session used for a range of online Q&A and follow-up activities; (3) weekly opportunity for 1:1 support. In total, there will be the opportunity for a minimum of 20 hours of contact time.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

Employability skills: In addition to subject-specific knowledge and understanding, Criminology units foster highly employable skills such as the ability to (i) analyse, critique and (re-)formulate a problem or issue; (ii) rapidly and thoroughly review/rate argument and evidence from targeted bibliographic searches; (iii) plan, structure and present arguments in a variety of written formats and to a strict word limit, (iv) express ideas verbally and organise work effectively in small teams for a variety of written and oral tasks; (v) obtain, manipulate and (re-)present different forms of data; (vi) manage time effectively; (vii) reflect on and improve performance through feedback.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written assignment (inc essay) 100%

Feedback methods

Formative feedback (both individual and collective) will be given on (1) on tasks and contribution in class, (2) developing essay plans. Detailed summative feedback will be given on the submitted essay via Blackboard (Grademark).

Recommended reading

Sanders, A., Young, R. and Burton, M. (2010/latest) Criminal Justice. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Study hours

Independent study hours
Independent study 0

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
William Hebenton Unit coordinator

Additional notes

Study hours: Across their course units each semester, full-time students are expected to devote a ‘working week’ of 35-40 hours to study. Accordingly each course unit demands 9-10 hours of study per week comprised of (i) timetabled contact hours, (ii) preparation, required and further reading. Part-time students study the same number of weekly hours per unit but take fewer units per semester.

Return to course details