Not all of the optional modules listed will be available in any one year. Module availability is dependent on staffing and the number of students wishing to take each module.
This module forms the core of the MSc Criminology with Forensic Psychology. It has two major aims. First, the module aims to get you to engage in a discussion of major theoretical trends and debates in contemporary criminology, with particular attention to the links between these perspectives and criminal justice research, practice and policy-making. Your studies will interrogate theoretical criminology in a dynamic way, in dialogue with the social and political contexts of its production and circulation in our increasingly interdependent world. The second aim of the module is to equip you with basic knowledge and skills in contemporary criminological research methods. In this section of your studies you’ll combine conceptual sessions on the main qualitative and quantitative methods deployed in criminological research with practical exercises tailored to familiarise you with computer-assisted data analysis software.
This module forms the core of the MSc Criminology with Forensic Psychology course. In this module you’ll use the criminal justice system and its different institutions to critically examine contemporary issues, debates and policy relating to crime control, the processing of defendants through the criminal courts, sentencing and punishment. You will explore shifts and changes in criminal justice responses to assess whether we are witnessing an era of tightening and punitive crime control policy. The module takes as a central underpinning that we live in a world of enhanced ‘securitisation’ along with emerging and sophisticated ‘risk’ identification and offender management strategies; in turn having a bearing on who, and how people enter the criminal justice system. It incorporates the intersections of migration and criminal justice, how gender, race and class interact with the criminal justice system, sentencing and imprisonment trends, and new considerations of restorative and integrative justice. The module takes a comparative perspective to assist an understanding of different approaches and responses to crime, offenders and criminal justice in other European and international jurisdictions, and to consider whether they provide ideas for alternative policies in this area. You’ll study this module alongside the core module ‘Psychological Interventions and Responses to Offending’ and visits to the criminal courts and one of HM Prisons embed learning across both modules.
This module is core to the MSc Criminology with Forensic Psychology programme and aims to develop your understanding of how psychology interacts with the criminal justice system. You will consider the psychological and psycho-social dimensions of crime and offending, and the psycho-judicial reactions to it. The module will require you to look at key contributions psychology makes to criminal justice and its related institutions – from delinquency interventions, ‘therapeutic jurisprudence’ and specialist courts, how we understand offenders’ experiences of prison, and specialist offender assessment tools and behavioural treatment programmes both within the community and in prison settings. Through an analysis of the relationship between decisions made at different stages of the criminal justice system, such as by the police, the courts, the parole board, and the implications of those decisions at subsequent stages in the legal process, you’ll be encouraged to reflect upon the application of psychology to the practice of criminal justice.
A core module for the MSc Criminology with Forensic Psychology programme, this module will acquaint you with the principal qualitative and quantitative research methodologies deployed in criminological and psychological enquiry. This module will develop and advance your knowledge and critical appreciation of research enquiry, interpretation and practice. It will equip you with the core skills involved in developing, conducting, analysing and presenting criminological and psychological research findings.
This module aims to provide you with the opportunity to develop a detailed and advanced understanding of a particular aspect of criminology, criminal justice and forensic psychology. You will define your own topic area, write a proposal for your dissertation work, conduct a comprehensive review of existing knowledge on the subject, formulate a methodology for conducting your own enquiries and write an in-depth report of the findings of your research. Alternatively, you may choose to conduct a theoretically oriented piece of work involving the systematic analysis of an issue or area of policy/practice.
The module aims to provide you with an opportunity to undertake work experience commensurate with your postgraduate level of study and, by so doing, to advance your knowledge, critical thinking and understanding to an appropriate level. You will be provided with an opportunity to work alongside key decision makers in organisations where global governance occurs. Providing an alternative to the dissertation credit for your degree, the Practicum will enable you to develop advanced insight into core issues in global governance, developing your capacity for problem solving, interpretation and critical construction of knowledge.
Crime and disorder reduction remains a dominant issue on local and national governments' agendas. This module enables you to understand and analyse developments in crime and disorder reduction in urban localities though partnership working. You’ll examine crime and 'disorder' in its sociospatial aspects, exploring 'urban' and 'neighbourhood' dimensions of crime in the contemporary context, local modes of regulation and national-level policies to deal with neighbourhood problems, their problems and merits. Alongside the theoretical background to crime reduction, you will critically review applied practitioner solutions to crime prevention and reduction in a partnership context. The module prepares you with an understanding of key issues of public protection in the partnership context, including the National Offender Management Service (NOMS); risk assessment with regards to victims of crime; compliance to national standards; a critical appraisal of 'What Works' with offenders, tackling offending behaviour and restorative justice. The learning outcomes will enable you to develop a detailed knowledge and understanding of the theoretical and policy concepts relevant to practice within the criminal justice system.
This module aims to help you develop advanced skills in the application of criminological theories and concepts in relation to drugs, drug use, and drugs control and in critically analysing the relationship between drugs and crime. You will critically evaluate the laws, policies and institutions of drugs control within their social, political and economic contexts and compare and contrast the role of the criminal justice system in responding to drugs in various countries. The module also aims to get you to foster a critical interest in the reform of drugs control policy and institutions at both national and international levels.
This core module on the MA Environmental Law and Justice critically evaluates perspectives on green criminology, and crimes against the environment (including animals). It considers contemporary perspectives on green offending, the regulation of environmental problems, and global perspectives on green crimes, green criminality and the effectiveness of justice systems in resolving environmental problems. It also adopts a critical approach to theoretical debates on animal rights, the legal personhood of animals, and the tension between the continued exploitation of natural resources and the prosecution of environmental crime. In this module you will also critically examine the link between environmental offending and mainstream crimes, including the link between violence towards animals and violence towards humans and the extent to which corporate environmental crime constitutes a ‘crime of the powerful’ or a corporate-state crime. The module will require you to critically examine theoretical concepts and practical considerations in environmental justice and consider how examining environmental harms inevitably results in a wider definition of green ‘crime’ than simply considering those activities defined as such by the criminal law. The module will also help you to develop knowledge and skills appropriate to working in the environmental justice sector with NGOs, local authorities and other policy and enforcement bodies.
This core module on the MA Criminology will introduce you to key debates about political violence and contemporary terrorism. You’ll be required to consider a range of perspectives emerging from the study of the different forms of political violence, including terrorism and war. It also adopts a critical approach to theoretical and contextual debates on the use of the term terrorism as shorthand for a range of issues relating to political violence. Both institutional and anti-institutional violence will be discussed, along with critical analysis of the controversies surrounding the definitions of violence and terrorism in the different epochs. In the module you’ll examine in detail the contributions of the major schools of thought, along with the most recent sociological-criminological analysis of authorised and unauthorised political violence. The module requires you to critically examine theoretical concepts and practical considerations in contemporary political violence and terrorism discourse drawing on a range of case studies.
The module introduces you to techniques of coding and qualitative data analysis and is specifically tailored for the use of the NVivo10 software, with the aim of developing practical skills and a critical appreciation of the benefits and disadvantages of computer software for storing, organising and analysing qualitative data. NVivo is one of the most powerful and widely used research packages for the analysis of qualitative data and you will be able to analyse a range of qualitative data such as interviews, focus group transcripts, diaries, journal articles, policy reports as well as multimedia.
This module aims to introduce you to statistics in the social sciences, presenting and discussing a variety of methods that can be applied to a broad range of research areas. You’ll approach this through critical discussion of statistical theory as well as through the application of statistical analysis techniques to small and large scale secondary data-sets. You will learn these techniques through several in-lab exercises using the software package 'SPSS' (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences) - and in this way the module aims to provide you with skills in using SPSS in an analytical, non-mechanical way. The module starts from the basics of descriptive statistics aiming to build your knowledge and skills in more advanced methods, including analysis of statistical relationships, statistical tests, multivariate analysis and modelling. Finally, you will look at issues of data visualisation, reporting and interpretation of findings, through a series of case studies of relevance and interest within the social sciences.
You can find more information about this course in the programme specification. Module and programme information is indicative and may be subject to change.
As a specialist in criminology and criminal justice, Dr Jenni Ward is the Programme Leader for
MSc Criminology with Forensic Psychology and her teaching focuses on sentencing and punishment in the criminal courts, the lay magistracy, and modernising transformations in the lower criminal courts. She has previously received funding grants from the UK Economic and Social Research Council and the UK Home Office, and works with postgraduate students completing their dissertations and doctoral research.