About your course
The MA Criminal Justice at Liverpool John Moores University is a stand alone qualification designed to enhance your career prospects in roles linked to criminal justice agencies, the probation service, social science departments, the police and community based correction/treatment agencies.
- Course available full time (1 year) and part time (2 years)
- Teaching from research-active staff and local criminal justice professionals ensures that you will critically engage with the theory, policy, and practice of the institutions and agencies of criminal justice
- Extensive range of module options, including an MA International Criminal Justice pathway
- Our focus on research training will equip you with the key transferable skills required to undertake original, empirical research
- Opportunities for careers involving criminal justice agencies, probation services, the police, academic departments and community based correction and treatment agencies
The MA has given me the chance to build on my degree study, in both academic knowledge and the confidence to apply that knowledge in a variety of situations. Ideas are encouraged and supervised in an environment that readily informs, supports and inspires an analysis of often very controversial and current issues.
Introduction to the School
The School of Law offers a range of opportunities for you to play an active part in an evolving, dynamic, and engaging postgraduate culture.
The School has a long-standing reputation for providing professional, practitioner, and work-related learning opportunities for undergraduate and postgraduate students alike. The School's academic team are a mixture of research active lecturers, qualified and former practitioners of law and criminal justice services, and internationally established leading experts in their field.
Through its portfolio of postgraduate courses and the enthusiastic support and guidance of a dynamic and dedicated staff group, the School offers a stimulating and rewarding environment for postgraduate study, where work related skills development is seen as a priority.
Research conducted by LJMU’s School of Law was ranked 4th out of all post-92 universities in the UK in the REF 2014, and is considered as being of international importance. This research helps ensure we offer you a contemporary curriculum designed and delivered by leaders in their field.
Why study this course at LJMU?
Contemporary changes in social reform have a far-reaching effect, not only on how we police and manage offenders, but also how those changes in social policy are decided and influenced by a range of professionals, including academics and those who work within the sector. Our academics are currently influencing policy and the contemporary issues surrounding Criminal Justice and your postgraduate study will be directly influenced by their specialist knowledge.
When social agendas and reforms change, the experience of criminal justice workers and professionals changes too. In particular it brings up issues regarding how their roles operate, and this feeds into their experience of working with offenders practically or from a more removed position of agenda-making. In studying this discipline at postgraduate level you will broaden your understanding and grasp of the complexity of issues that enable change in offenders, and explore the place of those issues within the criminal justice system.
This depth of knowledge is vital in maintaining an informed and valuable influence in the sector and its daily practices. The value to your own contribution and professional development will also reflectively increase. At LJMU you will join a highly supportive scholarly community and network with a cohort of fellow postgraduate professionals, enabling you to concentrate your own area of expertise in this highly rewarding area of postgraduate study.
Programme outline and structure
The Masters in Criminal Justice offers the opportunity for students, practitioners, and criminal justice professionals to critically engage with a broad range of issues that impact upon 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.
During the programme you will evaluate discriminatory practice in the criminal justice process and the causes of miscarriages of justice. Your evaluations will be informed by a critical understanding of sources of data and research methodologies and, through option modules, you will develop an in-depth knowledge of particular issues relating to criminal justice in England, Wales and elsewhere.
What you will study on this degree
Please see guidance below on core and option modules for further information on what you will study.
- Contemporary Issues in Criminal Justice
The module aims to develop advanced knowledge and critical understanding of specific issues relating to the principles and practice of criminal justice in England and Wales
- Research Dissertation
Provides you with an opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge of a specific criminal justice issue, by constructing a sustained and coherent assignment and showing a critical ability to apply appropriate research methods
- Researching Crime and Criminal Justice
Prepares you for the compulsory dissertation by developing an advanced understanding of the politics and practice of crime and criminal justice research
The following option modules are typically offered:
- Sex, Crime and Society
Develops your knowledge and understanding of the principles, policies and doctrines relating to the criminalisation and de-criminalisation of sexual, and sexually-related behaviour within society
- Drugs, Alcohol and Criminal Justice
Provides a broad critical understanding of the different paradigms and perspectives on substance (mis)use and relevant policy in relation to crime and criminal justice
- The Police, Policing, and Governance of Security
Explores the complex and dynamic relationship between policing services/agents and members of the diversity of publics these organisations serve
- Crime, Power and Victimisation
Considers various definitions of crime and the relationship between these and the various sources of power within society
- Delivering Rehabilitation
Encourages you to critically evaluate, at an adavnced level, the role and function of the prison and probation services in relation to the delivery of state punishment and rehabiliation
- Youth Justice
Develops an analytical approach to understanding the treatment and experiences of young people within, and at the hands of, the criminal justice system
- The United Nations, International Security and Global Justice
Enables you to understand and critically evaluate the effectivness of the United Nations as an actor capable of contributing to international security and global justice
- Contemporary Issues in International Criminal Justice
Develop advanced knowledge and critical understanding of the theoretical concepts that underpin policy and practice with regard to International Criminal Jutsice and the issues in dealing with transnational crime
Further guidance on modules
The information listed in the section entitled 'What you will study' is an overview of the academic content of the programme that will take the form of either core or option modules. Modules are designated as core or option in accordance with professional body requirements and internal Academic Framework review, so may be subject to change. Students will be required to undertake modules that the University designates as core and will have a choice of designated option modules. Additionally, option modules may be offered subject to meeting minimum student numbers.
Academic Framework reviews are conducted by LJMU from time to time to ensure that academic standards continue to be maintained.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you require further guidance or clarification.
How will I be assessed?
Our expert academics have designed your assessed work to ensure that you fulfil your potential at this important stage of your development as a Criminal Justice MA postgraduate.
The final and defining piece of the Masters programme is the completion of a 20,000 word dissertation, the space in the course for you to make your own unique contribution to knowledge.
To assist in this process we have a structured programme of research training and supervisor input that will support you from the design to the completion stage of the project. Supervisory staff, and all who teach on the programme, have qualifications to PhD level in the fields of Criminal Justice, Criminology, Law and/or have worked as professionals/practitioners in the criminal justice system.
Staff research interests
Members of staff at the School of Law carry out research in two different fields: Law and Criminal Justice.
Research in Law includes the following areas:
- corporate governance
- banking and finance
- global finance law
- financial services & financial crime
- media law
- comparative private/public law
- EU law
- international law
- commercial law
- sports law
- German public law
- Italian public law
- medical ethics
- legal theory
- human rights
- criminal law
- police powers
- trans-national crime
- family law
- law and religion
- legal history
Research in Criminal Justice includes the following areas:
- organisation and governance of the National Probation Service and HM Prison Service
- community penalties
- surveillance and social control
- multi-agency approach to crime prevention
- international politics of crime control
- application of criminological theories to practice
- justice in England and Wales
- youth Justice bail service
- crimes of the powerful (including corporate crime and state crime)
- sentencing policy and practice
- criminal justice policy and relationship between policy and research
- relationships between the police and the public
- sex offenders
- drug users
- effectiveness in probation intervention
- mentally disordered offenders
Entry requirements (Home)
You will have an honours degree in, ideally but not exclusively, Criminal Justice, Criminology, Sociology, Law or related Social Science and Humanities subjects.
Coupled with a genuine enthusiasm to study issues related to the organisation and delivery of criminal justice, LJMU is looking for a recognised first degree of at least a good Second Class Honours Standard.
Additional qualifications considered: The requirements of a Second Class degree may be waived where it can be shown that an applicant has achieved a comparable academic standard through past studies and/or where work experience has made the applicant suitable for the programme.
International qualifications will be considered in line with UK qualifications.
Candidates whose entry qualifications were not assessed in English must have attained a level of competence equivalent to an IELTS score of 6.5, with a minimum of 5.5 in each component.
Entry requirements (International)
LJMU welcomes applications from international students. In addition to normal entry requirements, you will be expected to demonstrate a very good level of English language competence, for example an IELTS score of 6.0-6.5 or equivalent. Please note: specific courses may require higher levels of English language competence.
If you have applied to study a full-time taught Masters, MRes, MPhil or PhD at LJMU, you should check if you require an Academic Technology Approval Scheme or ATAS certificate. It can take four to six weeks to receive an ATAS certificate, so please make sure you apply as early as possible. You can find out more on the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) website. Alternatively, contact LJMU’s International Admissions Team for guidance.
Please note: international students entering on a Tier 4 visa cannot study part time. Students entering the UK on alternate types of visa may be in a position to study part time. Please contact LJMU’s International Admissions Team for further details before making your application.
In order to obtain a visa you will also need to show evidence that the money required to cover your tuition fees and living expenses has been in your bank account for at least 28 days prior to submitting your visa application. So please make sure that your finances are in place before applying. For more details, go to our international website.
For advice on any aspect of the application process, please contact LJMU’s International Admissions Team.
Application and selection
6.5 (Minimum of 5.5 in each component)
58-64 (Min. 51 in each component for UKVI Purposes)
Please Note: All international qualifications are subject to a qualification equivalency check via NARIC.
All full and part-time students enrolled on postgraduate taught programmes at LJMU are liable to pay an annual tuition fee. You can opt to pay your tuition fees in full at the start of each academic year or pay by instalments. If you need advice about how you will pay your tuition fees, please email to LJMU’s Student Funding Team as soon as possible.
Sources of funding
Postgraduate Masters loans are available for the 2017/18 academic year. The new loans, of up to £10,000, are available for students attending eligible full and part-time Masters courses, in line with the existing qualification framework for England. Administered by the Student Loan Company, the loans will be available to those under 60 at the start of their course.
Loan repayments will begin the April after course completion, with the first cohort of borrowers commencing repayments in April 2019. Repayments will be made at a rate of 6% of income above an earning threshold of £21,000. This threshold will be frozen until 2021. For details of loan terms, conditions and eligibility, go to: ljmu.ac.uk/postgraduate-funding LJMU Alumni Award
Final year undergraduates and alumni of the University are eligible to apply for a 20% reduction in their postgraduate tuition fees if they choose to progress onto a higher degree programme at LJMU. Both Home and international LJMU students and alumni can apply for this award (subject to eligibility criteria*).
Postgraduate International Scholarships
LJMU offers scholarships for international applicants accepted onto taught masters programmes (excluding distance learning programmes) and research degrees. Current LJMU international students and alumni interested in pursuing postgraduate study and research at the University are eligible to apply for these scholarships along with new applicants.
English for Postgraduate Studies Bursary
A Bursary is also available for international students who need to improve their IELTS score prior to enrolling on their postgraduate course or research programme at the University. This course is run by LJMU’s International Study Centre.
Earn While You Learn
Working while you study means you may be able to pay for your course without taking out any further loans or at least reducing the amount you need to borrow. Working while you study also gives you the skills valued by employers, such as managing your workload and prioritising your time.
LJMU’s Vacancy website can help you find graduate vacancies, sandwich/industrial placements, internships / summer work, part-time jobs, volunteering opportunities and work-based learning placements. Over 1,000 local and regional employers regularly list opportunities on the website.
Professional and Career Development Loans (PCDL)
Many students fund their postgraduate studies via Professional and Career Development Loans. This is a bank loan which you will have to pay back once you’ve completed the course. However, while you are studying any interest on the loan will be paid for you by the Skills Funding Agency. PCDLs worth between £300 and £10,000 are available for eligible postgraduates to fund up to two years of study (three if the course includes work experience). The loan is split into course fees and living costs.
Some organisations and companies fund the cost of postgraduate studies for their employees as they recognise the value of having well qualified staff. Check out our courses and see if there are any on offer that could enhance your current career. Remember, employer support doesn’t always have to be financial; it can take other forms too, such as flexible working arrangements, day release and time in lieu of study.
Support for disabled students
Disabled Students’ Allowances or DSAs are designed to help meet the extra course costs students can face as a direct result of a disability, on-going health condition, mental health condition or specific learning difficulty. DSAs don’t have to be paid back and the type of support you receive will be determined by your specific needs not your household income. Please contact LJMU’s Disability team for further advice: 0151 231 3164/3165.
Council tax exemption
All full-time postgraduate students studying courses lasting one year or more are eligible for a council tax exemption certificate.
We aim to produce postgraduate professionals adept at making informed decisions that support positive social change.
The Masters in Criminal Justice is a stand-alone qualification for those wishing to enhance their career prospects through acquiring 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.
International applicants are required to demonstrate equivalent qualifications to the standard requirements for entry when applying for courses at LJMU.
Students must also demonstrate a proficiency in communicating through English, for example via an IELTS tests or equivalent.
Please note: UK visa restrictions mean that international students are only permitted to study on a full-time basis.
Please contact LJMU’s International Team by visiting www.ljmu.ac.uk/international for more information and advice.
LJMU has launched a range of generous international scholarships for students enrolling at the University.
These prestigious scholarships take the form of tuition fee waivers and are available for outstanding international students applying for taught postgraduate programmes and research degrees.
You will need to complete an additional application form in order to be considered for these scholarships. Full eligibility criteria and the online application form are available here: www.ljmu.ac.uk/international
Applications for these scholarships are welcomed from:
- new international applicants
- current LJMU international students hoping to progress onto postgraduate study at the University
- LJMU international alumni
English for Postgraduate courses bursary
A bursary will be available for students who must complete the six week English for Postgraduate Studies course to improve their IELTS score by 0.5 prior to enrolling on their postgraduate taught or research degree at LJMU.
This bursary take the form of a tuition fee waiver, which will be deducted from your tuition fee when you enrol on your degree programme. You do not need to complete the online scholarship form in order to receive this bursary. Please note: If you are awarded this bursary you are not eligible to apply for an international scholarship.
The University may make changes to a programme of study or module where 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.
Further guidance on programme changes