MSc Criminal Psychology and Criminal Justice
About this course
LJMU's Criminal Psychology and Criminal Justice MSc is a new stand-alone qualification designed to enhance your career prospects in criminal justice agencies, the probation service and the police
- Study criminal psychology in depth and understand how it influences criminal justice practice and wider societal perspectives
- Obtain an overview of criminal justice policy and process, and understand key contemporary issues in these areas
- Choose from a number of optional modules giving a critical insight into key areas of offending such as sex crimes and society, as well as criminal justice practice, which can include drugs, policing, rehabilitation and crimes of the powerful
- Undertake a research dissertation to generate knowledge in this area and further your own skills as a professional
The MSc in Criminal Psychology and Criminal Justice offers the opportunity for students, practitioners, and criminal justice professionals to critically engage with a broad range of issues that impact on the effectiveness and integrity of the workings of the criminal justice system.
Through exploring a series of theoretical and policy-orientated debates relevant to the delivery of contemporary crime control and management, and assessing their cultural, social and symbolic consequences, the course helps you to develop a comprehensive and critically aware understanding of the manufacture and delivery of criminal justice policy.
In addition, you will obtain an in-depth understanding of the psychology of a range of criminal behaviours, and how this knowledge can impact on law enforcement, management and treatment of criminals, as well as wider decision making within the justice system.
Fees and funding
There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students
The fees quoted at the top of this page cover registration, tuition, supervision, assessment and examinations as well as:
- Library membership with access to printed, multimedia and digital resources
- Access to programme-appropriate software
- Library and student IT support
- Free on-campus wifi via eduroam
Although not all of the following are compulsory/relevant, you should keep in mind the costs of:
- accommodation and living expenditure
- books (should you wish to have your own copies)
- printing, photocopying and stationery
- PC/laptop (should you prefer to purchase your own for independent study and online learning activities)
- mobile phone/tablet (to access online services)
- field trips (travel and activity costs)
- placements (travel expenses and living costs)
- student visas (international students only)
- study abroad opportunities (travel costs, accommodation, visas and immunisations)
- academic conferences (travel costs)
- professional-body membership
- graduation (gown hire etc)
There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students. From loans to International Scholarships and subject-specific funding, you’ll find all of the information you need on our specialist postgraduate funding pages.
Please be aware that the UK’s departure from the EU may affect your tuition fees. Learn more about your fee status and which tuition fees are relevant to you.
Further your career prospects
LJMU has an excellent employability record with 96% (HESA 2018) of our postgraduates in work or further study six months after graduation. Our applied learning techniques and strong industry connections ensure our students are fully prepared for the workplace on graduation and understand how to apply their knowledge in a real world context.
The Masters in Criminal Psychology and Criminal Justice offers vocationally relevant knowledge and skills. It will be particularly relevant if you are currently working with or would like a career involving criminal justice agencies, the probation service, social science departments, the police or community-based correction/treatment agencies.
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Discover the building blocks of your programme
This course is currently undergoing its scheduled programme review, which may impact the advertised modules. Programme review is a standard part of the University’s approach to quality assurance and enhancement, enabling us to ensure that our courses remain up to date and maintain their high standard and relevancy.
Once the review is completed, this course website page will be updated to reflect any approved changes to the advertised course. These approved changes will also be communicated to those who apply for the course to ensure they wish to proceed with their application.
Your programme is made up of a number of core modules which are part of the course framework. Some programmes also have optional modules that can be selected to enhance your learning in certain areas and many feature a dissertation, extended report or research project to demonstrate your advanced learning.
This module provides students with a comprehensive and critical guide to both the theory and practical applications that currently exist within practice using criminal behaviour models. It will use case examples, published journals, some that have been authored by the staffing team, to illustrate the application of these models and how they are applied by professionals
This module aims to give students a comprehensive and critical guide to both the theory and practice of research on criminal behaviour and the criminal justice process. It will link theories to the practical issues relating to doing these kinds of research, using case studies to illustrate the possible difficulties which students may face when doing research for themselves (including political and ethical obstacles)
Key contemporary issues
This module aims to provide students with the opportunity to critically analyse key issues in contemporary criminal justice at an advanced level
The module is intended as a learning device, which will demonstrate the student's capacity to apply knowledge learned throughout the MSc Criminal Psychology and Criminal Justice course as a whole, in an appropriate and substantial manner
Research Methods for Criminal Psychology and Criminal Justice
Criminal Psychology and Criminal Justice Dissertation
Key Contemporary Issues in Criminal Justice
Advanced Critical Criminology
This module is designed to examine the social construction of crime. It aims to:
- provide a balance between theoretical perspectives and empirical, practical knowledge about the power imbalances in society
- critically examine the relationship between these imbalances and crime (reported and unreported), as well as the criminal justice system's responses to them
- equip you with the skills required to demonstrate a critical understanding of crimes involving the abuse of social and/or individual power
This module critically evaluates, at an advanced level, the role and function of the prison and probation services in relation to the delivery of state punishment and rehabilitation. It aims to:
- critically reflect on the values and principles that underpin the delivery of contemporary penal policy through the creation of the National Offender Management Service (NOMS)
- scrutinise the extent to which contemporary penal policy and practice actually delivers a more systematic approach to the management of offenders
The Sociology of Policing
This module seeks to critically explore the complex and dynamic relationship between policing services/agents and members of the diverse public these organisations serve. It will help you develop a critical appreciation of the historical and conceptual development of modern policing forms, evaluate contemporary policing structures/methods/networks, and explore future challenges for service provision.
Sex, Crime and Society
This module will critically evaluate the phenomenon of sexual offences from a variety of perspectives: historical and modern; social/cultural; ethical and moral; political. Within these contexts, the criminalisation of sexual behaviour will be evaluated and the law applied critically to specific factual situations. The module aims to:
- develop a knowledge and understanding of the principles, policies and doctrines relating to the criminalisation and de-criminalisation of sexual, and sexually-related behaviour within society
- provide a critical analysis of the rationale for, and scope of, a selective range of sexual offences in their socio-legal context
Drugs, Alcohol and Criminal Justice
This module aims to develop your understanding of drug and alcohol use within contemporary society. It deconstructs the drug and alcohol status quo so you can acknowledge the complexities and contradictions that exist within this sphere. It aims to:
- provide a broad critical understanding of the different paradigms and perspectives on substance (mis)use and relevant policy in relation to crime and criminal justice
- set a critical socio-cultural scene for you to build up a comprehensive picture of drug and alcohol use within contemporary capitalist society
- develop your understanding of drug policy and critically consider the rationale and motivations that mould policy developments within this sphere
- develop your knowledge of how drug and alcohol users are responded to within a criminal justice context
This module aims to give you a critical, theoretically-informed and socially-orientated grounding in the study of youth justice. It enables you to:
- develop an analytical approach to understanding the treatment and experiences of young people within, and at the hands of, the criminal justice system
- consider the historical basis of the youth justice system and how political influence has played a significant role in the current development of youth justice policy
- critically compare youth justice policy and practice in England and Wales
An insight into teaching on your course
Typically, students attend teaching on two or three days per week. Days of attendance vary according to timetabling requirements.
The MSc Criminal Psychology and Criminal Justice programme is made up of a number of core modules, which are part of the course framework. You also have a choice of optional modules that can be selected that are of interest to you and enhance your learning in key areas.
Core modules include:
- Criminal Psychology
- Key Contemporary Issues in Criminal Justice
- Research methods in Criminal Psychology and Criminal Justice
- Criminal Psychology and Criminal Justice Dissertation.
The option modules you study will help you develop an in depth knowledge of how contemporary criminal psychology helps us understand criminal behaviour and how it affects criminal justice practice.
You will also develop research skills in order to design, execute and analyse your own research project in a relevant area of your choice. Your final core module will focus on key contemporary issues in the criminal justice system.
Additional optional modules available in Semester 2 include areas of: drugs, alcohol and criminal justice, delivering rehabilitation, sex, crime and society and policing.
How learning is monitored on your programme
To cater for the wide-ranging content of our courses and the varied learning preferences of our students, we offer a range of assessment methods on each programme.
Assessment methods may include essays, reports, quizzes, portfolios and presentations as well as a final dissertation.
Our staff are committed to the highest standards of teaching and learning
Dr Helena Gosling
Dr Helena Gosling
Dr Steele is the Deputy Subject Lead for Criminal Justice, and programme leader for the BSc in Forensic Psychology and Criminal Justice at Liverpool John Moores University. A chartered psychologist, Rachael has spent over fifteen years within the Probation Service working with staff and offenders in various capacities, carrying out applied research into subjects as diverse as desistance and impact of cognitive behavioural interventions of reoffending. Rachael teaches forensic psychology at undergraduate level and supervised a range of undergraduate and postgraduate dissertations. She is currently the module leader for a level 4 module entitled 'Introduction to forensic psychology' and a level 5 module 'Exploring forensic psychology' which incorporates qualitative research methods.
This MSc aims to continue the excellent experiences of our equivalent undergraduate course (BSc in Forensic Psychology and Criminal Justice) by providing students with a course that considers influences and profiles of criminal offending and victimisation, as well as how this is applied and experienced through the criminal justice system. Through our expert Criminal Justice Team with their experience of working with Behavioural Investigative Advisors on serious offences, probation, magistrate and prison work, along with expert guest speakers from around the world, we bring a modern, interactive learning experience to help develop your expertise and career prospects.
Where you will study
What you can expect from your School
The School of Justice Studies is based in the Redmonds Building and John Foster Building, in the heart of the bustling Mount Pleasant Campus and Liverpools growing Knowledge Quarter. Redmonds is shared by two Schools within the Faculty of Arts, Professional and Social Studies Liverpool Screen School and the School of Law - and Liverpool Business School, making for a rich blend of student learning experiences. The building is home to high quality lecture theatres and seminar rooms, a mock courtroom, social spaces, and a caf. It is only a short walk from LJMUs Aldham Robarts Library, which contains all the resources you will require for your studies.
You will need:
Alternative qualifications considered
All candidates must be able to demonstrate an ability to benefit from and contribute to the programme. Given the general nature of assessment, candidates will normally match the entry criteria below: - a degree from a recognised University or equivalent awarding institution at upper second class honours level or above; or - a professional qualification recognised as equivalent to the above; or - an award which the University has agreed to accept as equivalent to a degree. Where a candidate does not fulfil the standard entry qualification the Programme Leader reserves the right to interview the person to determine their suitability for the Programme. This process would be used where the applicant has no relevant degree or professional qualification, but does have relevant professional experience relevant to the programme, or where the undergraduate degree award criteria above have not been met. The Programme Leader would conduct an interview with another member of the programme team. Interviews would be based around the applicant's suitability for the programme, which is also measured by the completion of a written piece of work by the applicant, which is discussed at the interview.
Other international requirements
The programme is taught entirely in the English language, and, due to the participatory nature of its delivery, and the need to complete reading, assignments and written work (along with participants contributing to group discussions), overseas students will normally need an IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each component
- Extra Requirements
Application and selection
Securing your place at LJMU
To apply for this programme, you are required to complete an LJMU online application form. You will need to provide details of previous qualifications and a personal statement outlining why you wish to study this programme.
The University reserves the right to withdraw or make alterations to a course and facilities if necessary; this may be because such changes are deemed to be beneficial to students, are minor in nature and unlikely to impact negatively upon students or become necessary due to circumstances beyond the control of the University. Where this does happen, the University operates a policy of consultation, advice and support to all enrolled students affected by the proposed change to their course or module.
Further information on the terms and conditions of any offer made, our admissions policy and the complaints and appeals process.