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Criminology MA

Mode Duration Start date
Full time 1 year September 2019
Part time 2 years September 2019

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

Choose Kingston's Criminology MA

Kingston's Criminology MA is taught by a vibrant, multi-disciplinary team. Designed for those with a background in criminology/social science, socio-legal studies or policy studies, we offer two MA programmes: MA in Criminology and MA in Criminology with Forensic Psychology. Both programmes can be studied on a full-time or part-time basis.

The programmes will provide you with an in-depth understanding of the complex nature of crime, harm and victimisation, together with an appreciation of the role of the criminal justice system in relation to crime control, protection and the delivery of justice. Our courses develop your critical thinking skills whilst also providing you with the tools to undertake rigorous, high quality research. Through a theoretical and applied lens, you will gain a broad knowledge and develop a range of transferable skills sought after by employers in the field.

We are well-located, offering you 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.

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 policy. On completion you will be conversant with the current global trends in the exploration of criminological issues.
  • You'll take fieldwork trips to institutions related to the course, like High Down Prison in Banstead

What will you study?

You will engage critically with the theoretical ideas that govern the study of criminology and apply them to better understand a range of substantive issues in the study of crime, harm, victimisation and justice. You will study contemporary criminal justice policy, practice and politics in local, national and global contexts, developing a critical appreciation of the dynamics between criminological theory and criminal justice policy. Criminology is multi-disciplinary; for example, by studying these courses you can also explore modules in Forensic Psychology, Politics and Human Rights. Criminologists draw upon a range of social science theoretical frameworks and social research techniques in order to question and explore criminological phenomena. During the course of your study, you will develop methodological knowledge and skills in order to prepare for your own criminological enquiry.

Assessment

To enhance your overall skills, we draw upon a range of assessments, including: essays, oral and poster presentations, reports, research proposals and the dissertation.

Course structure

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

Example 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 you 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 you will study the development, transformation, and the politics of policing as the gate keeping institution to ‘justice'. You 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 you will think critically about the role of structure and agency in understanding convergent and divergent practice in crime control and punishment.

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

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  • 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.

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Optional modules

  • Green criminology is a relatively recent area of specialization within criminology. It refers to the study of crimes and harms affecting the planet and the associated impacts on human and nonhuman life. It spans the micro to the macro, from individual-level environmental crimes to business/corporate violations to state transgressions. As a harm-based discourse, it includes not just violations of the law, but also individual and institutional, socially-accepted activities, behaviours, and practices (such as the human domination of animals in agribusiness, slaughterhouses, and sports).

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  • This module explores the rise of risk and insecurity in relation to crime as a condition of existence in late/post modernity.  Risk is a dynamic and fluid concept. In order to explore risk in contemporary crime governance and risk in criminal activity you will examine theoretical perspectives and political approaches.  You are required to examine your own assumptions about risk and crime in terms of theorectial approaches, to undertake a fieldwork analysis about risk and criminal justice and to write a case study on an area of risk and crime of your own choosing.

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  • This module introduces you 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 you 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.

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  • This module takes a critical look at the concepts of crime, power and class in the contemporary world, and the impact of 'crimes of the powerful' on the struggle for human rights and social justice. The gaze of many political scientists and criminologists tends to be focused firmly 'downwards', towards analysing the misdemeanours of the poor, the dispossessed, the underclass. This module, in contrast, will focus 'upwards', in an attempt to understand and explain deviant actions by states, corporations, and the ruling class more broadly. Through the use of case studies, presented by the teaching team but also generated by students, we will examine issues such as war crimes, torture, corruption, global supply chains, police abuses, and state terrorism. 

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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.

We aim to ensure that all courses and modules advertised are delivered. However in some cases courses and modules may not be offered. For more information about why, and when you can expect to be notified, read our Changes to Academic Provision.

Regulations governing this course are available here

Details of term dates for this course can be found here

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020 3308 9929*

*Calls cost 7p per minute from a UK landline plus your phone company's access charge. Calls to this number from mobiles are normally deductible from your inclusive minutes.

Location

This course is taught at Penrhyn Road

View Penrhyn Road on our Google Maps

Contact our admissions team

Submit an enquiry

020 3308 9929*

*Calls cost 7p per minute from a UK landline plus your phone company's access charge. Calls to this number from mobiles are normally deductible from your inclusive minutes.

Location

This course is taught at Penrhyn Road

View Penrhyn Road on our Google Maps
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Contact our admissions team

Submit an enquiry

020 3308 9929*

*Calls cost 7p per minute from a UK landline plus your phone company's access charge. Calls to this number from mobiles are normally deductible from your inclusive minutes.

Location

This course is taught at Penrhyn Road

View Penrhyn Road on our Google Maps
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