About your course
Study Policing and Criminal Investigation at LJMU and work with crime victims and witnesses to enhance your knowledge and key skills in this area.
- January and September start dates
- Explore investigative issues to gain the knowledge and practical skills to operate as a crime investigator in serious and complex cases
- Consider the links between investigation, forensics and psychology
- Work with crime victims and witnesses
- Ideal for serving officers and those about to embark on their policing or academic career
- Excellent employment opportunities in policing/investigative work, private investigation and with bodies such as Trading Standards and the Inland Revenue
- A valuable foundation for progression to PhD
My policing studies provided me with an excellent foundation to explore the knowledge and skills required to undertake a research project. They not only fully equipped me to develop my own unique piece of research, but provided a solid base for me to progress naturally to PhD studies.
Introduction to the School
The School of Humanities and Social Sciences strives to break boundaries and develop new thinking by exposing you to a dynamic research culture.
Our mission is to critically understand the world and offer new ways of approaching challenging social and cultural issues. We support our students in becoming part of our mission and embracing their learning with vigour and enthusiasm. We have a thriving postgraduate community and are proud of the research output of our students and academics as well as the high quality teaching, supervision and scholarship which characterises the School.
Learning disciplines are organised into six subject areas:
- Media Culture and Communication
- Advanced Policing Studies
All areas of activity are underpinned by the work of three research centres: The Liverpool Centre for Advanced Policing Studies; the Centre of the Study of Crime, Criminalisation and Social Exclusion and the Research Centre for Literature and Cultural History. We also have strong partnerships in other areas of research, including Port and Maritime History and Liverpool and Merseyside Studies. All programmes of study prepare students for the world of work in a variety of ways, with support from a dedicated team who are on-hand to help students brush up on the key skills sought by employers.The School is based in the newly refurbished John Foster Building, at the centre of the University’s Mount Pleasant Campus and a short walk from the Aldham Robarts Library. Facilities within the building include social areas, a cafe, and the main office for the Liverpool Students' Union.
Why study this course at LJMU?
Whether your career aspirations lie in investigative work within the police service, within private security or with other public bodies such as the Inland Revenue and Trading Standards, this new MSc will develop your investigative skills and prepare you for career success. Working with crime victims and witnesses, you will explore the links between investigation, forensics and psychology.
The Liverpool Centre for Advanced Policing Studies has significant expertise in the Policing sector and can thus provide supervision in a wide range of topics. We are particularly interested in interdisciplinary methodologies. Our suite of Policing Studies qualifications are focused on developing the professionalisation agenda for policing and we work with the professional body, the College of Policing, as well as local policing organisations to ensure that course content is relevant and current.
Our notable areas of strength include:
- Investigation of Complex and Serious Offences
- Pro-active Investigation
- Investigative Interviewing
- Criminal Behaviour
- Forensic and Medio-legal Death
- Organised Crime
- Intelligence and Security
The programme is specifically designed to address the skills gap identified by the police service in relation to quantitative research. Taught by lecturers with academic and professional backgrounds in policing and research, you will explore and engage with policing debates at national, international and transnational level. You will also be part of the new Liverpool Centre for Advanced Policing Studies, the UK's first research centre devoted to supporting the needs of 21st century policing.
Programme outline and structure
The MSc Policing and Criminal Investigation combines supervised independent research with specialist training in research methods and academic skills, while also helping students become aware of emerging approaches currently practiced in the discipline.
Over the course of the programme you will be introduced to key developments in policing studies and given the skills necessary to produce a successful postgraduate research project. You will work individually with a supervisor throughout the year, as well as taking part in taught modules with fellow Policing Studies students and/or students from other disciplines/Faculties. In addition, you will be part of the wider research activities of the Liverpool Centre for Advanced Policing Studies.
You will receive specialist supervision and study within a diverse community of fellow researchers. Staff are active in a wide range of fields including: Crime Prevention, GIS, People Trafficking, Public Order, Mental Health, Multi Agency and Partnership Working in the Public Sector, Computer Crime, Investigation, Terrorism and Counter-terrorism, Port Security, Risk Management and Education.
What you will study on this degree
Please see guidance below on core modules:
- Policing in Context
Gain insights into current policing, community safety and criminal justice priorities by exploring different perspectives that relate to policing, regulatory processes, professional values and ethics
- Advanced Research Skills
In preparation for your dissertation, this module introduces key epistemological and methodological issues that impact upon research into crime, security, community safety and criminal justice
- Advanced Investigation Skills
Examine the administrative difficulties posited during a criminal investigation and the importance of investigative ethics
- Forensic and Medicolegal Death
Discover core foundational concepts of criminal investigations, enabling you to understand, explain, analyse and evaluate causes, sustainment and consequences of processing a death scene
- Forensic Cognition
Critically explore why offenders commit acts of sexual and physical violence by examining influential theories that have been developed to aid in investigating sexual/violent offences
- Investigative Interviewing
Examine current practices, techniques and applications of police interviewing by being exposed to comparative international techniques in interviewing, interpretation of verbal and physical behaviour, causes of denial, deception and defensiveness
Analyse and interpret an issue in your chosen field
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 email@example.com if you require further guidance or clarification.
How will I be assessed?
Teaching is delivered through a combination of lectures, workshops and seminars all of which you are expected to attend. You will need to participate in online activities and discussions using our virtual learning environment, Blackboard.
Your tutors have a wide range of practical and academic policing-related experiences and are actively engaged in research exploring innovative topics in policing, criminal justice and research. All of this experience and knowledge feeds directly into original and thought-provoking material for all Policing Studies programmes taught in the Liverpool Centre for Advanced Policing Studies.
The team is also committed to ensuring you get the most out of your learning experience. They are available at set office times to meet you for one-to-one consultations to discuss course-related issues.
You will have a dedicated supervisor to offer expert knowledge, guidance and support as you complete your dissertation.
Feedback will be available on the 15th working day after the submission date for a piece of work. That's because we believe that timely and constructive feedback is vital in helping you identify your strengths as well as the areas where you may need to develop further.
Assessment is based on a range of research tasks and projects reflecting the skills developed by the various modules.
We understand that all students have different strengths and preferences when it comes to assessments, so we use a variety of methods to assess your work structured across the academic year. Assessment methods include: academic essays; annotated bibliographies; reflective research exercises; position papers; exams; reports; case studies; portfolios; online blogs and wikis; workplace practice; posters; oral presentations (individual and group); debates; reviews; group work and the dissertation/research project.
You will normally receive extensive written feedback on your assessments, and occasional verbal feedback. All feedback is designed to help you achieve your full potential and get the most out of your studies, so staff will be available to discuss it with you and direct you to further support if you feel you need it.
Staff research interests
Your self-directed study will be supported by a surrounding framework of expertise, within a scholarly community that hosts regular seminars, lectures and a fertile platform for the dissemination of research.
The Liverpool Centre for Advanced Policing Studies brings together research-active staff from across the University and specialises in eight distinct areas:
- Policing studies
- Criminal Justice
- Forensic Computing
- Public Health
- Urban Affairs
In bringing together leading researchers from these fields, the Centre produces sector-leading research that addresses the needs of modern policing, law enforcement and security.
Examples of this cross-sector research activity includes a large-scale data mining project with the Machine Learning Research Group and a future collaboration with researchers from the Networked Appliances Research Group.
Staff at the Centre are currently conducting research is topics such as:
- Crime Prevention
- Human Trafficking
- Smuggling of Migrants
- Public Order
- Mental Health
- Multi Agency and Partnership Working in the Public Sector
- Computer Crime Investigation
- Terrorism and Counter-terrorism
- Port Security
- Risk Management and Education
Entry requirements (Home)
Applicants for Policing and Criminal Investigation will normally be expected to have a good first degree (2:2 or above) in Policing, Criminology, Criminal Justice or a related subject.
Applications are welcomed from highly motivated non-standard entry students with relevant experience, but without the necessary formal qualifications. Prospective applicants are advised to contact the Programme Leader for further information.
Application and selection
You must submit a completed LJMU online application form, together with your academic transcript or equivalent and an academic reference.
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.
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, will be 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.
Thanks to our working relationships at local, regional and national level with policing organisations and through our links with a diverse range of Merseyside employers and organisations, you will enjoy excellent opportunities for academic and personal career development.
This programme prepares you for further study, employment or new roles in your current profession.
Policing and other related public sector fields currently suffer a skills gap in relation to quantitative research so there are opportunities for employment or career progression for those with these skills. The programme teaches the advanced skills of research, conceptualisation, analysis and argument, and presentation. These are highly valued in many areas of employment.
Students with an interest in pursuing an academic path will be encouraged to progress to PhD level. This MSc plays an important development role in this process.
On completion of your MSc, you may consider a career in the police service or in areas connected to investigation, security or criminal justice e.g. the armed services, prison service, social work or criminal justice-related roles within the Civil Service. If you are already in employment, the MSc will prepare you to specialise in your area of interest.
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