Birkbeck, University of London

Course Introduction

The MSc Criminology is ideal if you have a keen interest in crime and criminal behaviour and the key issues that influence criminal justice, particularly in the contemporary environment and the local/domestic (UK) context.

The programme provides the opportunity to engage with contemporary criminological theory which explains crime and criminality in straightforward and useful ways for policy makers and practitioners, as well as the dramatic changes to the criminal justice system and crime control apparatus over the past several decades.

You will be instructed in the range of research methods that are used to explore crime and its control, and a range of options allow you to expand the scope of your interests and research before focusing on a particular aspect of criminology through a substantial research project.


' The School of Law is an internationally recognised centre for critical and interdisciplinary legal research with a strong theoretical and policy focus. It is the home of Birkbeck Law Press and publishes Law and Critique: The International Journal of Critical Legal Thought.

' We are among the top 10 law schools in the UK and in the top three in London in the Times Higher Education 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) rankings, while our research environment was judged conducive to producing research of the highest quality.

' The School is the home of the Institute for Criminal Policy Research. Mike Hough and Paul Turnbull, its co'directors, lead a team of outstanding researchers. They bring a wealth of knowledge to the Master's programme, participating in core and specialist modules and providing dissertation supervision.

' We use technology, such as electronic learning environments, to enhance teaching and learning. Birkbeck Library has an extensive teaching collection of books, journals and electronic resources in law and related disciplines, such as economics, politics and sociology. For example, it provides access to over 17,000 electronic journals, which are available online 24 hours a day.

' You can also take advantage of the rich research collections nearby, including those of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, Senate House Library, the British Library of Political and Economic Science (LSE Library) and the British Library.

' Applicants with a strong academic background may be eligible to apply for AHRC/ESRC awards (UK and EU'based applicants only). Candidates with an outstanding academic record who demonstrate high potential for strong performance on one of our Master's degrees can apply for School of Law Postgraduate Fee Awards.

Course Modules

For information about course structure and the moules you will be studying, please visit Birkbeck’s online prospectus.

Start Date:


Duration & Attendance Qualification Tuition fees Fee type
1 year
Full Time
Master of Science - MSc (PG)
2 years
Part Time
Master of Science - MSc (PG)

Qualifications required:

  • A second class honours degree in the humanities, social sciences or law.
  • Other relevant qualifications and appropriate professional experience and training welcome.