Course Overview

The Department of Criminology at Swansea University has run a successful MA in Applied Criminal Justice & Criminology since 1997. As well as garnering high praise from successive external examiners for the quality and content of its teaching, and for the performance of its students, it has acted as a springboard for some of its graduates to progress to PhD study, and in a few cases into careers as academics.

The MA focuses mainly on the application of knowledge to the operation of the criminal justice system, reflecting the policy/practice orientation of members of the staff team. The programme was reviewed in 2012/13 following Swansea University’s designation as a member of the Wales Doctoral Training Centre, and consequently now also offers a substantial research methods component which will be of interest to applicants wishing to progress to higher degrees, or to academic or research careers.

Please click here for copy of the Criminology Brochure

‌For further information please visit the course page: MA in Applied Criminal Justice & Criminology


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 Masters-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 which includes 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 & Assessment

The course consists of Part One (120 credits) and Part Two (60 credits). In Part One you study a range of taught modules which are assessed by a written assignment (usually an essay of not more than 4000 words.

All modules are delivered by research-active staff with particular expertise in the subject area.

Part Two consists of a dissertation of not more than 20,000 words. You will produce your dissertation on a criminological topic of your own choice under the guidance of a personal supervisor. You can opt to undertake a ‘classic’ written dissertation, or an empirically-based study.


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 may be made to:

Director of Postgraduate Taught Masters and Admissions Tutor, Dr Pamela Ugwudike


A student’s view


- Christie Owen, MA student 2010 -11

“There are a range of different modules covering a broad spectrum of subjects. Helpful tutoring means that those who have not studied Criminology previously will find the subject easy to pick up. There are plenty of approachable staff and lecturers to seek advice if you are unsure. Lectures are well structured with scope for debate with your peers and lecturers, as well as informative media such as videos and power point presentations. There is continuous mentoring while completing dissertations, with supervisors engaging well with students and aiding them in making it more manageable. Supervisors are continuously available to answer any questions or solve any problems that arise while writing such a large piece of work. The library services are also extremely helpful, with access to many books, journals and the internet with a room specifically for postgraduates which is very much needed during busier periods.

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 to use in my new position.”

Entry Requirements

Admission requirements for the programme are either first or upper second class honours in a first degree, or a minimum of two years relevant and responsible experience. Applicants who have a lower second class degree may also be considered and should contact the admissions officer for more information.

Applicants without a degree will need to show that they are capable of academic work at Master’s level. Applicants whose first language is neither English nor Welsh are required to provide evidence of English proficiency. The programme requires a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 and we will only consider a score below this in very exceptional circumstances.

How to apply

Apply online and track your application status at