MA, PgDip, PgCert Evidence Informed Practice

Start date(s)
September 2023
Study mode
Part-time (2 years)
Faculty of Arts, Professional and Social Studies:
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About this course

LJMU's Evidence-Informed Practice PgDip is designed for ‘in-service’ criminal justice professionals who want to develop research skills.

  • Develop your research skills enabling you to generate research findings that contribute to the development of criminal justice policy and practice
  • Study over 2 years
  • Learn via LJMU-based study days, online learning and independent study
  • Undertake practice-relevant research to stimulate work-related learning for your employer
  • Follow this hybrid programme developed as a result of the successful delivery of the Police Knowledge Fund Project in partnership with Merseyside Police, the Home Office, College of Policing and HEFCE 

The programme will enhance your awareness of, and engagement with, research and (good/best) practice-informed evidence in the development of operational criminal justice practice.

Building on the momentum of the successfully delivered Police Knowledge Fund, ​which developed participants' research skills and communication of often complex and sensitive findings, the programme draws on the fantastic wealth of interdisciplinary collaborations within the Faculty of Arts, Professional and Social Studies. The Liverpool Centre for Advanced Policing Studies has the capacity to source expertise beyond the immediate spheres of criminal justice and policing. Calling on partners specialising in STEM and 


Quantitative Social Sciences disciplines, the Centre will draw on their capacity to better understand and develop understandings of new and future challenges for criminal justice and offender management policies to engage with.

Through the work-based research module you will be supported in constructing individual research projects that have a clear focus on positively impacting your own professional practice. They will outline manifest policy change or enhance a critical understanding of the challenges to creating greater efficiencies and enhanced performance in service provision.

Applicants will need a clear ambition to develop, and commit to the development of, a work-based research project designed to positively impact the operational practice of criminal justice.


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

Additional costs

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)

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  • 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 PgDip is aimed at practitioners already working within or alongside policing or criminal justice agencies.

Through an improved knowledge of key issues and engagement in new research, you will better understand the landscape and challenges facing your role and employer. You will develop new key skills, including dissemination and communication of complex information, and the role of leaders in key public service organisations.

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The student experience

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Course modules

Discover the building blocks of your programme

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 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.

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Core modules

Evidence-Informed Policy and Practice
30 credits

This module, designed with 'in-service' criminal justice professionals in mind, seeks to develop your knowledge, understanding and ability to critique available research and good/best practice guidance in respect of evidence informed policy and practice. The module aims to:

  • develop your critical appreciation and understanding of the capacity of evidence-based research
  • examine the contributions research informed knowledge has
  • encourage you to think critically about the scope to extend further the role of evidence-based thinking

Methods for Work-Based Research
30 credits

This module, designed with 'in-service' policing, probation and criminal justice professionals in mind, seeks to develop your knowledge and understanding of the research methods used in the design, conducting, and delivery of good quality social research. It will enable you to:

  • develop the skills required to design and undertake your own original, work-based research project
  • develop an advanced and critical knowledge of the key issues that impact on research into criminal justice practice
  • generate a critical appreciation of diverse approaches to conducting research, methods of data collection and analysis

Work-Based Research Project
30 credits

This module, designed with 'in-service' criminal justice professionals in mind, provides you with the knowledge and skills to plan, implement and critically evaluate your own work-based research projects. It will enable you to:

  • design, conduct and deliver a research project explicitly focused on an area of your working practice
  • plan and implement an agenda for research in an area of work-based practice
  • critically reflect the policy and practice development work that have taken place in the subject area
  • document and reflect on the challenges of conducting work-based research and, by its conclusion, produce critical commentary on how the understanding of practice may be meaningfully developed

Applied Research-Informed Evidence - Policing pathway 
10 credits

This course, designed with 'in-service' criminal justice professionals in mind, aims to develop your research data and direct key messages to academic and practitioner audiences. It aims to:

  • provide you with the knowledge, skills and confidence to identify and present the impact of your research activity
  • tailor your research findings to academic and practitioner audiences, a process that will involve working together to peer review and discuss generated research data
Optional modules

Delivering Rehabilitation
20 credits

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

Contemporary Issues in Research-Informed Criminal Justice Practice
20 credits

The module aims to develop your ability to identify good and the best practice in the generation of evidence-informed policy and practice in criminal justice. You will be encouraged to explore the role of evidence-informed practice in fields across the criminal justice sector and propose new directions for practitioner-led research activity to take in the future.


Leadership and the Individual
20 credits

The aim of this module is to examine leadership as a theoretical concept and to interpret different perspectives in terms of personal leadership in various settings and environments within policing and law enforcement. It explores emerging debates relating to leadership and how this discourse impacts on practice within operational spheres in policing and law enforcement.


An insight into teaching on your course

Study hours

You will be expected to attend study days, actively participate in workshops and engage with your project supervisors when conducting work-based research.

Teaching methods

The PgDip is a programme of learning that develops knowledge and skills with a clear building of momentum towards the completion of a 6000 word report and presentation in your bespoke area of interest. Projects will be the result of dialogue and discussion involving you, your employer and the teaching team to ensure the academic and practice and credibility of the research activity.

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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.

There are no examinations on this programme, instead the PgDip uses a range of coursework-based assessment formats, ranging in length from 1500 to 6000 words.

There are six pieces of coursework to submit and you will be expected to deliver a 20-minute assessed presentation on your work-based research project.

​All assessment tasks will have guidance notes and marking criteria available online and all assessments will be submitted online.

Course tutors

Our staff are committed to the highest standards of teaching and learning

Given the climate of change within policing, it is essential to allow officers to gain valuable experience in gaining research skills and academic knowledge.

School facilities

What you can expect from your School

Based within the John Foster Building, in the Mount Pleasant Campus, the School of Humanities and Social Science has many outstanding facilities, including well-equipped IT Suites, a light-filled Student Common Room and dedicated postgraduate study areas. At the back of the John Foster Building is the Aldham Robarts Library, which gives access to an exceptional range of materials to support your studies.

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Entry requirements

You will need:

  • a minimum 2:2 in a policing studies or related social sciences discipline


  • a strong portfolio demonstrating appropriate equivalent skills in the workplace

Additional information

  • IELTS 6.0 (minimum 5.5 (6.0 in writing) in each component)
  • Pearson PTE Academic 61 (minimum 59 (61 in writing) in each component for UKVI purposes)
  • RPL is accepted on this programme

If you have any specific queries, please contact

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Application and selection

Securing your place at LJMU

You will apply for the majority of postgraduate courses using our online application form. You should complete the form thoroughly and provide a detailed personal statement which reflects your suitability and aptitude for the programme.

Individual assessment of suitability for postgraduate level study will be overseen by the programme team and may require evidence to be submitted as part of an assessment process, e.g: portfolio of written work, reports, evidence practice development and presentations. 

Demonstrable personal and professional interest in one of the defined project areas will enhance your application. The Programme Leader must also be confident that you have the potential to study successfully at Level 7 and that you will benefit from completing the course.

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.