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Criminology MA

Mode Duration Start date
Full time 1 year September 2020
Part time 2 years September 2020

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

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

Full time: This course, studied across 1 year, is made up of 4 core modules and a dissertation.

Part time: Typically, as a part time student you will study two modules in the first year, and two modules plus a dissertation in the second year.

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

Criminology MA Core modules

  • 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.

     
  • 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.

     
  • The first part of the module offers a comparative analysis of the main theoretical approaches to criminology : approaches centered on the individual (psychological and biological approaches) and approaches centered on the social context. This theoretical knowledge will be applied to the study of various types of ‘criminal trajectories' such as youth crime, professional crime, white-collar crime, and sex offences. The second part of the module is about the policing process that is necessary for a deviant act to be labelled as such. We will study the role played by the police in modern and late modern societies, and explore how key contemporary policing issues are situated in more general question of social control and governance. The module aims to develop an understanding of how the specific combination of individual and social factors and factors of social control lead individuals, or group of individuals, to cross the line to a place where they are now labelled ‘criminals'.

     
  • This module aims to engage in a critical analysis of punishment practices in the West.

    In the first part of the module, throught the readings of classical texts such as the works of Rudolf von Jhering, Emile Durkheim, Georg Rusche and Otto Kirchheimer, or Michel Foucault, we will discover and debate the major theories that try to answer these different questions: How do we punish? Who do we punish? Why do we punish the way we do? Why is the meaning of punishment so debated? Why did we develop "alternative" punishments in late modernity? Why are prisons in a state of constant reform? The aim of this first part of the module is to build a critical framework to understand the actions of judges and policymakers as a continuation of the social history of the punishing practices.

    In the second part of the module, we will go throught current empirical and theoretical research on sentencing, on the prison experience and on the political discourse on punishment. We will compare punishment practices and discourses in the UK with the other countries of the West, and debate the methodological and substantial aspects of these researches. The aim of this second part of the module is to develop a deep understanding of the criminal justice system and of its relations to the rest of society.

     
  • This module seeks to offer a critical understanding of the social, economic and political contexts that give rise to crime and to state responses to crime. You will explore different levels of offending, from individual offences to business/corporate violations and state transgressions. We will problematise the constructions of crime and deviance and the processes that have led to the dominant, accepted conceptions of crime and deviance becoming ‘naturalised'. One of the purposes of the module is to develop an understanding of the ways in which the definition of acts as ‘crimes' is central to shaping responses to them. We will examine a wide range of social harms that criminologists and the legal system often fail to examine, or to define as offences, or those that are seen as offences, but that are under-enforced. This includes not just violations of the law, but also harmful individual, institutional, and socially-accepted activities, behaviours, and practices. We will also build up an understanding of the relationship between processes of marginalisation and criminalisation.

     
  • This module aims to engage in a critical analysis of punishment practices in the West.

    In the first part of the module, through the readings of classical texts such as the works of Rudolf von Jhering, Emile Durkheim, Georg Rusche and Otto Kirchheimer, or Michel Foucault, and the more contemporary works from feminist criminologists - Pat Carlen, Kelly Hannah-Moffat and critical race theorists - Angela Davis and Michelle Alexander, we will debate the major theories and contributions that try to answer these different questions: How do we punish? Who do we punish? Why do we punish the way we do? Why is the meaning of punishment so debated? Why did we develop "alternative" punishments in late modernity? Why are prisons in a state of constant reform? The aim of this first part of the module is to build a critical framework to understand the decisions of judges and policymakers in the social history of punishment.

    In the second part of the module, we will go through current empirical and theoretical research on sentencing, on the prison experience and on the political discourse on punishment. Here we will look at the work of Alison Liebling, Kelly Hannah-Moffat, Mary Bosworth, Ben Crewe and Coretta Phillips. We will compare punishment practices and discourses in the U.K. with the other countries of the West, and debate the methodological and substantial aspects of these researches. The aim of this second part of the module is to develop a deep understanding of criminal justice systems and their relations to the rest of society.

     

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).

     
  • 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.

     
  • 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.

     

Criminology with Forensic Psychology MA Core modules

  • 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.

     
  • 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.

     
  • The first part of the module offers a comparative analysis of the main theoretical approaches to criminology : approaches centered on the individual (psychological and biological approaches) and approaches centered on the social context. This theoretical knowledge will be applied to the study of various types of ‘criminal trajectories' such as youth crime, professional crime, white-collar crime, and sex offences. The second part of the module is about the policing process that is necessary for a deviant act to be labelled as such. We will study the role played by the police in modern and late modern societies, and explore how key contemporary policing issues are situated in more general question of social control and governance. The module aims to develop an understanding of how the specific combination of individual and social factors and factors of social control lead individuals, or group of individuals, to cross the line to a place where they are now labelled ‘criminals'.

     
  • 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 you develop 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 you to identify areas within the courtroom process where psychological techniques could be utilised. Thus, you 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 aims to engage in a critical analysis of punishment practices in the West.

    In the first part of the module, through the readings of classical texts such as the works of Rudolf von Jhering, Emile Durkheim, Georg Rusche and Otto Kirchheimer, or Michel Foucault, and the more contemporary works from feminist criminologists - Pat Carlen, Kelly Hannah-Moffat and critical race theorists - Angela Davis and Michelle Alexander, we will debate the major theories and contributions that try to answer these different questions: How do we punish? Who do we punish? Why do we punish the way we do? Why is the meaning of punishment so debated? Why did we develop "alternative" punishments in late modernity? Why are prisons in a state of constant reform? The aim of this first part of the module is to build a critical framework to understand the decisions of judges and policymakers in the social history of punishment.

    In the second part of the module, we will go through current empirical and theoretical research on sentencing, on the prison experience and on the political discourse on punishment. Here we will look at the work of Alison Liebling, Kelly Hannah-Moffat, Mary Bosworth, Ben Crewe and Coretta Phillips. We will compare punishment practices and discourses in the U.K. with the other countries of the West, and debate the methodological and substantial aspects of these researches. The aim of this second part of the module is to develop a deep understanding of criminal justice systems and their relations to the rest of society.

     
  • This module seeks to offer a critical understanding of the social, economic and political contexts that give rise to crime and to state responses to crime. You will explore different levels of offending, from individual offences to business/corporate violations and state transgressions. We will problematise the constructions of crime and deviance and the processes that have led to the dominant, accepted conceptions of crime and deviance becoming ‘naturalised'. One of the purposes of the module is to develop an understanding of the ways in which the definition of acts as ‘crimes' is central to shaping responses to them. We will examine a wide range of social harms that criminologists and the legal system often fail to examine, or to define as offences, or those that are seen as offences, but that are under-enforced. This includes not just violations of the law, but also harmful individual, institutional, and socially-accepted activities, behaviours, and practices. We will also build up an understanding of the relationship between processes of marginalisation and criminalisation.

     

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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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

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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