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MSc in Criminology and Criminal Justice

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  • Entry requirements
    Entry Requirements Applicants will normally hold a first- or second-class Honours degree from a UK university or college (or an equivalent qualification), or relevant professional qualifications.
  • Academic Title
    MSc in Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • Course description
    Programme Overview

    The MSc in Criminology & Criminal Justice is offered in association with Glasgow Graduate School of Law (GGSL) - a joint venture between the Law Schools of the Universities of Glasgow and Strathclyde.

    The course is available both part-time and full-time in the evening, and encourages experienced practitioners from different criminal justice agencies as well as recent graduates of related disciplines to study Criminology and Criminal Justice at postgraduate level. There are exit points at Postgraduate Diploma and Postgraduate Certificate level for those who do not wish to complete the MSc.

    Recognising the huge challenge for politicians, policy makers and practitioners in the criminal justice, and criminal law fields, the programme addresses the complex problems that crime poses for contemporary societies.

    Whether looking at recent cases involving offenders under supervision who have committed serious crimes, or the ongoing issues around developing better systems to tackle youth justice and anti-social behaviour, or to the problems of tackling corporate crime, state crime and terrorism – the need for fresh thinking, informed by the best available research, is apparent.

    The rationale behind the MSc in Criminology and Criminal Justice is that this kind of thinking can be encouraged by bringing together experienced practitioners from different criminal justice agencies and recent graduates of related disciplines. Graduates, social workers and social work managers, prison governors or officers, police officers, lawyers and other professionals – all get the opportunity to learn about how different professionals and different criminal justice organisations think about and address current issues in crime and punishment. Moreover, they bring diverse and valuable real-world experience of criminal justice with which to interrogate the most recent developments in criminological theory and research.

    The programme benefits from association with the Glasgow Graduate School of Law - a unique partnership which provides students with a greater choice of subjects* and use of the resources and facilities of two Universities, as well as the new modern facilities dedicated to postgraduate studies in the Lord Hope Building located on Strathclyde’s city-centre campus.

    * 3 students per module may enrol on subjects taught at the University of Glasgow.

    The Criminology and Criminal Justice programme uniquely draws on the combined strengths of several departments from both institutions and on the resources of the newly established Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research. All teaching staff are engaged in criminal justice research and among them have an unrivalled range of experience and expertise in areas such as crime prevention, white collar crime, gender and criminal justice, social work with offenders, offender management, criminal law and process, penology and sentencing. The course team are developing links with universities overseas to explore crime and justice issues in other jurisdictions: making these connections with academics and students overseas is part of the wider vision of developing new ways of thinking about crime and doing justice.

    Course Structure

    The programme combines the development of an academic and theoretical awareness with a responsiveness to the interests and professional needs of each student. There are 3 potential exit points from the course, certificate, diploma and masters. Assuming satisfactory performance, it is possible to change between these so that, for example, a student who initially registers for the certificate may opt to continue studying to the diploma or masters qualification. Likewise, a student originally registered for the masters may be transferred to the certificate or diploma stream.

    Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip) students select four modules from those listed below. MSc students also complete a dissertation. Completion of two modules qualifies students for the Postgraduate Certificate (PgCert).

    The programme may be completed part-time over two years, taking one module per semester, or full-time over one year taking two modules per semester. The academic year operates on a two semester basis: October to January, and January to June. In each semester, for full-time study there will usually be two seminars per week and for part-time study one seminar per week.

    MODULES
    Course Modules

    The core modules include ‘Understanding Crime and Crime Prevention’, ‘Understanding Punishment and Penal Practice’ and ‘Understanding Research in Crime and Justice’; all three modules aim to explore and develop the connections between theory and practice.
    Understanding Crime and Crime Prevention

    The aims of this module are to :

        * enhance students' knowledge and awareness of current developments in crime and criminality and in policing and crime reduction strategies
        * explore contemporary issues surrounding the 'management' and delivery of policing and crime reduction
        * identify how these affect policy and practice in relation to key areas of crime reduction, for example: changes in the recording of crime, new developments in policing, the utility of CCTV, the significance of victim support

    Understanding Punishment and Penal Practice

    The aims of this module are to :

        * enhance students' knowledge and awareness of current theoretical developments in the sociology of punishment
        * demonstrate how these affect and explain policy and practice in relation to key areas of punishment, for example: sentencing, criminal justice social work, imprisonment, punishment of women
        * explore contemporary issues surrounding the 'management' and delivery of punishment

    Understanding Research in Crime and Criminal Justice

    This module will enable students to:

        * understand the principles of research design used in research in crime and criminal justice, including an understanding of how to define and formulate researchable problems
        * critically assess different approaches to researching crime and criminal justice and evaluating criminal justice interventions
        * engage critically with the debates concerning research utilisation, and the social, political and institutional contexts in which this takes place

    Optional Modules
    Criminal Justice Management

    This module was introduced in response to feedback from our students and developed in consultation with experienced practitioners. A module on this topic offers the opportunity to address more directly some of the issues relating to inter-agency working which are increasingly relevant to Criminology and Criminal Justice practice.

    This module aims to enhance student’s knowledge and awareness of:

        * Contemporary theoretical perspectives and research relating to Criminology and Criminal Justice organisation and management
        * Current developments in the organisation and management of a range of Criminology and Criminal Justice services
        * Common themes facing contemporary services and their managers in a range of Criminology and Criminal Justice settings

    Criminal Law and Process

    The module aims to enhance student’s knowledge and awareness of:

        * Contemporary issues in criminal law and process, providing an opportunity for the student to acquire an in-depth understanding of certain key issues in criminal law and process from a theoretical perspective
        * Comparative and theoretical issues in criminal law and process
        * The reform of criminal law and process, for example, the impact of human rights, children and the criminal law, drink, drugs and intoxication

    Research Project

    This module offers students the opportunity to take responsibility for their own learning and select a Criminology and Criminal Justice topic which they will study in depth. Students are responsible for selecting a topic from a range that reflects their own interests and those of the teaching team. Support and advice will be provided by members of the teaching team, one of whom will act as the supervisor for each student.

    Students will work to :

        * Use theory and research evidence from earlier modules to devise a research project
        * Develop a methodology for research
        * Collect the material and report the findings

    Class members either take one of these modules or, with the agreement of the course director, a module from another LLM.

    Staff

    The breadth and diversity of expertise within the teaching team is a key strength of the Criminology and Criminal Justice programme. The team draws on the combined strengths of several departments from both Strathclyde and Glasgow Universities.

    Teaching staff are actively engaged in criminology and criminal justice research and between them have an unrivalled range of experience and expertise including crime prevention, white collar crime, gender and criminology and criminal justice, social work with offenders, criminal law and process, penology and sentencing.

    The team also draws on the resources of the recently established Centre for Sentencing Research and its wide international contacts maintained through the International Network for the Study of Sentencing and Society (INSSS).
    Professor Neil Hutton
    Dean of Faculty, University of Strathclyde, Co-Director, Centre for Sentencing Research

    Professor Lindsay Farmer
    School of Law, University of Glasgow

    Cyrus Tata
    Law School, University of Strathclyde, Co-Director, Centre for Sentencing Research

    Professor Michele Burman
    Department of Sociology, University of Glasgow

    Jon Bannister
    Dept. of Urban Studies, University of Glasgow

    Fergus McNeill
    Glasgow School of Social Work, Universities of Glasgow and Strathclyde

    Susan Batchelor
    Department of Sociology, University of Glasgow

    Claire Connelly
    School of Law, University of Glasgow

    Professor Mike Nellis
    Glasgow School of Social Work Universities of Glasgow and Strathclyde

    Jenny Johnstone
    School of Law, University of Glasgow

    Leading academics and practitioners in the criminology and criminal justice field are drawn upon to tutor, and provide guest lectures on a regular basis. Recent guest tutors include:

    Professor Ken Pease
    Jill Dando Institute

    Professor Gill McIvor
    Centre for Social Work Research, University of Stirling

    Mr Alec Spencer
    Formerly of the Scottish Prison Service

    Professor Jason Ditton
    Law School, University of Sheffield

    Dr. Gwen Robinson
    Law School, University of Sheffield

    Mr Dan Gunn
    Scottish Prison Service

    Professor Gerry Johnstone
    Law School, University of Hull

    Dr Basia Spalek
    University of Birmingham

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