PGDip Criminology / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course description

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

The course equips you with the intellectual, critical and analytical skills needed for understanding and applying criminological theories and concepts in practice. Furthermore, the course 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.

Choosing the PGDip means you will gain all the specialist knowledge of the full MA, but will not be required to produce a dissertation.


  • Develop your intellectual, critical and analytic skills in the academic areas of criminology and criminal justice.
  • Produce graduates who have a thorough understanding of the key theoretical and political positions and concepts within criminology and criminal justice and 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 through a range of optional courses 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.
  • Engender an appreciation for interdisciplinary studies in you, in order to confront the complexity of our object of study, and nurture 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.

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 both nationally and internationally in diverse areas including drug policy, domestic abuse and policing.

Teaching and learning

This course is taught by an interdisciplinary team of experts 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

To meet the requirements of the taught element of the course, you must take course units totalling 120 credits.

This is normally attained with eight 15-credit course units, with 60 credits taken each semester. 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).

Part-time students take four out of the five compulsory course units in the first year, and then take the other one in year two. The remaining 60 credits of optional course units are selected and taken accordingly over the two years.

Exit awards: If you fail to fulfil the requirements to pass 120 credits, you can qualify for the Postgraduate Certificate by passing 60 credits at the pass mark of 40%. 

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
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 13 course units


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

In addition to the networked study areas, you have access to 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: