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Criminology MA

Mode Duration Start date
Full time 1 year September 2017
Part time 2 years September 2017

You can also study the joint degree of Criminology with Forensic Psychology MA.

Choose Kingston's Criminology MA

Designed for those with a background in criminology/social science, socio-legal studies or policy studies, this course will develop the knowledge and practical skills necessary to enhance your employability in the field of criminal justice practice, policy formation and advocacy. The University is well placed for you to enhance your academic learning through field visits to the crown courts, central criminal court and the extensive network of non-government organisations (NGOs) and charities whose work connects to criminal justice/crime prevention and social justice. You will be taught by staff who have published in their specialised research areas and staff with hands-on professional experience. You will have a personal tutor with whom you will work to develop your academic potential and plan your future career strategies.

Key features

  • This course provides in-depth knowledge of contemporary criminal justice policy, practice and politics in local, national and global contexts.
  • The course will enable you to develop a critical appreciation of the dynamics between criminological theory and criminal justice policymaking. On completion you will be conversant with the current global trends in the exploration of criminological issues.
  • Due to its location, Kingston University is well placed to allow numerous opportunities to see, at first hand, the criminal justice system in operation in the extensive London network of courts, custodial institutions and community-based crime-reduction programmes.

What will you study?

You will explore a wide range of crime control policies in local, national and globalised contexts. You will engage critically with the concepts of 'crime', 'offender' and, 'victim', and develop a critical awareness of their theoretical underpinnings, and the role of power in defining and enforcing crime. Criminologists draw upon a range of social science theoretical frameworks and social research techniques in order to question and explore criminological phenomenon and you will develop methodological knowledge and skills through this course in order to prepare for your own criminological enquiry. Criminology is multi-disciplinary and so by studying this course you can also venture into the fields of forensic psychology and politics and human rights.

Assessment

Essays, case study and research proposals, short exercise portfolios, examinations, oral presentations, briefing papers, extended projects and dissertation.

The extensive network of courts, custodial institutions and community-based crime-reduction programmes in London means that we are well placed to provide numerous opportunities to see the criminal justice system in operation. Find out more...

Course structure

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list.

Core modules

  • This is a core module on the MA Criminology programme that aims to deconstruct the fundamental elements of criminology. In so doing, it develops a critical understanding of the concepts of ‘crime’, ‘offender’ and ‘victim’, and their relationship to each other and to broader concepts of ‘harm’. The first part of the module explores a range of contemporary issues in crime and victimisation, fostering a critical awareness of their theoretical underpinning and of the role of power in defining and enforcing crime, and in labelling offenders and victims.  

    In the second part of the module students will engage critically with the concept of ‘justice’ and criminological debates concerning to what extent justice is or is not accomplished through formal responses to crime. Within this section students will study the development, transformation, and the politics of policing as the gate keeping institution to ‘justice’. Students will then study the philosophical justifications to punish, its theoretical explanations, and analyse its historical and contemporary forms. The module recognises the increasingly international nature of crime control and incorporates a comparative analysis of criminal justice. In so doing students will think critically about the role of structure and agency in understanding convergent and divergent practice in crime control and punishment.

     

     
  • This module is designed to stimulate students’ engagement with academic research and analysis. Students develop a critical understanding of the rationale, design and implementation of different methodologies used by social scientists for their research.  They develop a framework for evaluating social research and conducting their own empirical work.  In the first half of the module students gain first hand experience in quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis through instruction and class exercises.  In the second half students will apply their knowledge and understanding of research methods to a specific field of enquiry.

     
  • This module is a required component of the major and full field MA Criminology and is optional for half field students. It provides an excellent opportunity for students to extend their criminological knowledge through a detailed study on a topic of their choice and to demonstrate their capacity to utilise the key conceptual perspectives and practical skills of a working criminologist. Students can approach the module either as a theoretical study which is primarily library-based and adopts the traditional style of a dissertation as an extended essay or they can approach it as an empirical investigation and present their findings as a comprehensive research report. The module will be supervised on an individual basis by a member of the staff team.

     

Optional modules

  • Module Summary:

    The aim of the module is to introduce students to relevant issues within the realm of globalisation, terrorism and international crime: eg. terrorism, environmental crime, piracy, human trafficking, criminal networks, cybercrime. It will enable students to develop a detailed comprehension of the complexity of these criminogenic experiences.

    In the first part of the course, the module focuses on terrorism. It will be introducing students to a range of complex historical, political and social factors that have contributed to the articulation of terrorist practices. Students will have a chance to engage in the understanding of the reasons why certain practices emerge, the interaction between terrorist discourses and the media and how international law enforcement bodies work and interact.

    The second part of the module will present a critical overview of different organised and transnational crimes. Students will be offered a chance to explore the articulation, social control and impact of organised criminal behaviour at an international level. Students will understand the links between terrorist practices and other organised crime (eg. cybercrime or trafficking of humans).

     
  • This module covers a range of theoretical and applied topics regarding investigative and judicial processes. For example, psychological principles may be applied to investigative approaches to interviewing, detecting deception, bearing false witness, offender profiling, case linkage, eyewitness memory, jury behaviour and decision-making, examining the state of mind and assessment, and expert psychological testimony (ethics, code of practice, report writing and practice). By taking this approach the student develops a critical understanding of pertinent stages in the investigative process where psychology may be used to improve interviewing strategies, as in the employment of the cognitive interview to assist in the improvement of witnesses’ memory recall. This course then develops upon the investigative knowledge base provided by encouraging students to identify areas within the courtroom process where psychological techniques could be utilised. Thus, students are taken on an analytical and evaluative journey of the key criminal justice processes of the investigation and presentation of evidence in cases.

     
  • This module introduces students to the study of terrorism and political violence, and engages with the primary debates in the field. The first half of the module addresses definitional, epistemological and methodological issues raised by the study of political violence. The module will also outline the history of modern political violence and the evolution of the way it has been defined and studied. In this context, the module will explore the nature and evolution of various forms of contemporary political violence, including: wars; ‘new wars’; insurgency and counterinsurgency; irregular warfare; guerrilla warfare; state and non-state terrorism; and counter-terrorism. Throughout, focus will be given to a range of mainstream and critical approaches to the field, ensuring that students become aware of the rich variety of perspectives which can be adopted in relation to the subject. In the second half of the module, time will be given to examining a range of human rights issues and debates which arise in relation to political violence and terrorism.

     
  • The module studies the role played by race in all aspects of the criminal justice systems in the United States and United Kingdom. It takes as its point of departure Professor Paul Gilroy’s 1993 concept of the ‘Black Atlantic’ as a cultural-political ‘space of hybridity’ involving Africa, America, Britain and the Caribbean, and we use that concept to examine the extent to which crime and the criminal justice system have been politicised.

    The module concerns itself with the shifting politics of race within the criminal justice system. Among other topics, it explores historical representations of race and crime; press and media depictions of black male offenders; racial profiling and the ‘othering’ of female offenders; and the commodification of prison that has led to the United States having the highest incarceration rates in the world.

    Other focal areas include racial disparities within the criminal justice system, the politics of punishment and sentencing, and empirical, theoretical, practical and policy issues. The module addresses issues of representation, the production of knowledge, the historical contexualisation of minority experiences in theoretical perspectives, and the ethical duties of criminologists working within minority experiences.

    The module includes a field trip to Bristol to explore the history of immigration and emigration as it relates to crime. 

     

You will have the opportunity to study a foreign language, free of charge, during your time at the University as part of the Kingston Language Scheme. Options currently include: Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

Contact us

Admissions team

Location

This course is taught at Penrhyn Road

View Penrhyn Road on our Google Maps

Contact us

Admissions team

Location

This course is taught at Penrhyn Road

View Penrhyn Road on our Google Maps
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