Policing and Criminal Investigation

MA Policing and Criminal Justice

Year of entry

This course is ideal for you if you are interested in a career in policing or law enforcement but it will also be of interest to those considering a career anywhere in the criminal justice system.

20% Alumni discount

UK and EU Christ Church alumni are eligible for a 20% discount on self-funded Postgraduate Taught Masters and Masters by Research.

It will enable you to gain a greater understanding of the complex nature of policing and its relationship with the criminal justice system.

The course is designed to give you an integrated knowledge of policing and criminal justice. It explores both the theoretical foundations of policing and criminal justice and the application of this knowledge to contemporary issues of crime, social control and justice.

The course provides a sound theoretical basis in policing and studies, as well as a detailed understanding of the complex nature of crime and the criminal justice system. It addresses traditional subjects such as community policing and philosophies of policing, but also criminal investigation and European policing.

"Lectures on the MA Policing and Criminal Justice are delivered by a combination of the departmental specialist staff and external guest lecturers with diverse backgrounds relevant to the modules, these contrasting perspectives add texture and complexity which improves the learning experience."

James Nunn BSc (Hons), MA with Merit.

Develop skills of research and analysis

A key focus of the course is to enable you to undertake research in the area of policing and criminal justice. Indeed, one entire module on the programme is dedicated to helping you develop your research and analysis skills. Lectures include a number of case studies of ‘real life’ research undertaken by academic staff within the School of Law, Criminal Justice and Computing.

Experience postgraduate study in a stimulating and supportive environment

Our programme is underpinned by high quality tutorial support provided by the University’s academic staff. You'll benefit from joining a course which is:

  • taught by enthusiastic experts;
  • based on research­led teaching;
  • enhanced by regular special guest speakers;
  • enjoyed by a diverse community;
  • a supportive learning environment;
  • supported by industry standard facilities.

You'll study six taught modules, and will need to submit one 18,000 word dissertation which gives you the opportunity to explore an area of your choice either through library-based study or empirical research.

Examples of modules include:

  • European Policing
  • Criminal Justice: Themes and Issues
  • Policing and Community Safety
  • Criminal Investigation, concepts and Principles
  • Punishment and Penology
  • Research Design, Procedure and Analysis

The course enables you to acquire knowledge and transferable skills which will be particularly useful for career progression in the police and other law enforcement or criminal justice related positions.

The programme will employ a variety of learning and teaching strategies but the overall emphasis will be on student-centred learning, with formal lectures assuming less importance than in undergraduate academic programmes. It is recognised that, as a postgraduate programme, the study undertaken should be more intellectually and individually demanding than at undergraduate level and the teaching and learning methods are designed to reflect this. Similarly, to reflect the integrated theory and policy based focus, the programme will explore subjects through a combined theoretical and policy oriented approach.

Your teaching will comprise of lectures, group tutorials, workshops and seminars; some of these will exploit multi-media and e-learning, for example online discussion boards. You will study in a supportive and participative environment. Guidance will be provided on reading materials and other sources of learning. Case studies and similar exercises will be used to apply knowledge.

Assessment will take a number of forms, and tutors will endeavour to use a wide range of appropriate assessment methods. You will, where appropriate, be encouraged to consult a combination of academic and policy-based sources of information in preparation for assessments. Assessment methods will include essays, literature reviews, seminar presentations, a project initiation document and an extended dissertation on a topic of your choice.   


2017/18 tuition fees for this course

Full-time n/a n/a
Part-time £2,745 (90 Credits) / £1,855 (60 Credits) n/a


Tuition fees for all courses which last more than one academic year are payable on an annual basis, except where stated.

There will be an annual inflationary increase in tuition fees for this course where the course lasts more than one academic year. The increase will reflect cost inflation in the University. Any inflationary increase will be no more than 3.5% for each year of your study. The increase will be calculated on the previous year’s tuition fees and not the tuition fees at the start of the course. The University aims to publish the tuition fees for the 2018/19 academic year on the University’s website by 31st July 2017.


Government loans of up to £10,000 are available for some postgraduate Master’s courses for students starting their course from 1 August 2017. Loans are subject to both personal and course eligibility criteria. 

The rules around course eligibility mean that in some cases it may depend on how you are studying (full-time or part-time) as to whether you can apply for a postgraduate loan. To check whether your course is eligible, you can email the Student Fees Team or call 01227 923 948

Read more about postgraduate masters student loans.

The part-time fees quoted relate to courses taken over 2 years (90 credits per year) or 3 years (60 credits per year).

Students may self-fund their course or a sponsor may fund or part-fund. Bursaries, scholarships and fee discounts may also be available.

Further information

**Overseas fee scholarships may be available. See further information about funding and scholarships or contact the International Office.

Additional course costs

Although we aim to minimise any additional costs to students over and above the course tuition fee, there will be some additional costs which students are expected to meet.

Costs applicable to all students

Text books Own purchase text books
Travel to other sites Where travel to other sites is required, this will be payable by the student
Library Fees and Fines Where students fail to return loaned items within the required time they will be responsible for the cost of any library fees and fines applicable
Printing & Photocopying The cost of printing and photocopying undertaken by students to support their individual learning are payable by the student
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire / photography are additional costs payable by the student

General principle policy

The University’s general principles policy for additional course fees are set out here

CategoryIncluded in the tuition feeAdditional cost to student
Field trips (including trips abroad and trips to museums, theatres, workshops etc) Yes, if the trip contributes to the course (whether it is part of an optional or compulsory module), but not including food and drink. Yes, if the trip is not an essential part of the course but is offered as an enhancement or enrichment activity, or for a student’s personal development.
Travel and accommodation costs for placements  No

Travel and accommodation costs for professional placements within the Education and Health & Wellbeing Faculties.

Travel and accommodation costs for other work placements. 
Text books No Own purchase text books.
DBS / Health checks No Yes
Professional Body registration No Yes
Travel to other sites (e.g. travel to swimming pool for lessons) No Yes
Clothing / Kit Yes, where the clothing / kit is essential for Health & Safety reasons. Yes, where the clothing is kept by the student and not essential for health and safety reasons.
Learning materials Essential learning materials (excluding text books) in connection with the course. Additional materials beyond the standard provision essential for the course or where the costs are determined by the student’s area of interest and the outputs are retained by the student.
Library fees and fines No Yes
Printing and photocopying No Yes
Social events No, unless the event forms an essential part of the course. Yes, unless the event forms an essential part of the course.
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire/ photography are additional costs payable by the student.

Studying for an MA whilst working is not easy, and you should not underestimate the amount work involved. However, we understand the many challenges you will face, and provide a friendly and supportive environment to help you make the most of your studies. We will even assign you a one-to-one tutor for the duration of your time with us.

Fact file


  • Two to three years part-time

Entry requirements

  • The minimum academic requirement is a 2:2 degree in an appropriate discipline such as police studies, criminology, social sciences or law═ż degrees in other disciplines may also be considered appropriate.



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Last edited: 28/04/2017 15:16:00