MA in Applied Criminal Justice and Criminology

External examiners have praised our MA in Applied Criminal Justice and Criminology highly for the quality and content of its teaching, and for the performance of its students. The course, which has run since 1997,  has acted as a springboard for some graduates to progress to PhD study and, in a few cases, into academic careers.

The MA focuses mainly on the application of knowledge to the operation of the criminal justice system. Swansea University is a member of the Wales Doctoral Training Centre so this course offers a substantial component on research methods which will be of interest to applicants wishing to progress to higher degrees, or academic or research careers.

Here is our Criminology Brochure visit the MA in Applied Criminal Justice & Criminology course page.

Why choose this degree?

Whether you are a practitioner working in the criminal justice system, a researcher wishing to gain a firm foundation for a research degree in an ESRC-recognised Doctoral Training Centre, or an undergraduate aspiring to a career in criminal justice, our Master's-level degree in Applied Criminal Justice and Criminology is for you. Taught over one year full-time or two years part-time, it offers you:

  • An up-to-date and high quality programme including some of the most important theory and research in criminal justice and criminology;
  • An opportunity to develop your ability to apply criminal justice and criminological knowledge to research and the operation of the criminal justice system;
  • An opportunity to develop and apply research methods knowledge and skills; and
  • Enhanced employability for those wishing to pursue a career in the criminal justice system and for those interested in an academic or research career.

Course structure and assessment

The course consists of two parts.

  • In Part One (120 credits) you study a range of taught modules assessed through a written assignment, usually an essay of not more than 4,000 words. All modules are delivered by research-active staff with particular expertise in the subject area.
  • Part Two (60 credits) consists of a dissertation of not more than 20,000 words on a criminological topic of your own choice. ou can opt to undertake a traditional written dissertation or an empirically-based study under the guidance of a personal supervisor.


Part One


Ethics & Philosophy of Social Research

20 credits


Quantitative Methods

20 credits


Qualitative Methods

20 credits


Case Studies in Applied Social Research

20 credits


Data Visualisation

10 credits


Crime, Drugs & Alcohol

10 credits


Gender, Crime & Criminal Justice

10 credits


Applied Criminal Justice

20 credits


Understanding Crime

20 credits


Youth Justice: Research, Policy & Practice

20 credits


Criminal Justice System in England & Wales

10 credits


Sexual Abuse & Exploitation of Children

20 credits


Understanding Policing 

20 credits

* = compulsory modules

Part Two



60 credits


Informal inquiries about the programme and admissions are welcomed by the Director of Postgraduate Taught Masters, admissions tutor Dr Pamela Ugwudike


What our students say

The modules cover a broad spectrum of subjects. Helpful tutors ensure those who have not studied Criminology previously will find the subject easy to pick up. Lectures are well structured and varied with scope for debate with your peers and lecturers. Supervisors engage well with students and are continuously available to solve any problems that arise while writing the dissertation. The library services are also extremely helpful, with access to many books, journals and the internet in a room specifically for postgraduates.

"The Masters degree in Criminology encouraged me to pursue a career in the Prison Service. After graduating I was offered a position following my first interview and the course has given me skills I needed.”

Christie Owen, MA student 2010 -11

Entry Requirements

  • First or 2.1 honours in a first degree or a minimum two years of relevant and responsible experience.
  • Applicants with a 2.2 degree may also be considered and should contact the admissions officer for more information.
  • Applicants without a degree will need to show they are capable of academic work at Master’s level.
  • Applicants whose first language is neither English nor Welsh must have a minimum IELTS score of 6.5. A score below this will be considered only in exceptional circumstances.

How to apply

Apply online and track your application status with OnTrack