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Masters Excellence Scholarshipsup to £500,000 in tuition fee discounts available

Crime, Safety and Justice (MSc)

12 months (Full-time) / 24 months (Part-time) / n/a (Distance / E-Learning)

Course Aims

The overall aim and distinctive quality of the scheme is to produce postgraduates capable of ‘problem-solving’ in the fields of crime, safety and justice. As such, the structure of the scheme is based on the ‘SARA’ mnemonic (‘Scanning, Analysis, Response, Assessment’) which is familiar in policing and crime prevention practice as well as in the academy in applied as well as in basic criminological research. The scheme also aims to develop research skills by providing training in research methods and to maximise career prospects by providing transferable skills.

Special Features

Course Description

The purpose of the MSc in Crime, Safety and Justice is to provide, within a research-led environment, an education and, where appropriate, training for each student which:

More specifically the Programme (Scheme) aims to provide students with the opportunity to:

Course Structure

The MSc in Crime, Safety and Justice is organised around a sequence of two 20-credit specialist modules in criminology, two 30-credit modules in social science theory and research methods, and one 60-credit supervised dissertation on a criminological topic of your choice. There is also the possibility of choosing up to one 20 credit module from other programmes in and outside of the School of Social Sciences. Potential options outside of the school include: Criminal Justice in Europe and Legal Theory offered by the School of Law and Politics.

Module 1: Researching Crime, Safety and Justice (20 credits)

This module will be premised on the overall aim and distinctive quality of this programme, which will be to produce postgraduates capable of ‘problem-solving’. As such, this compulsory module and that of the other compulsory modules (on Responses to Crime, Safety and Justice) and their learning outcomes will be structured around the ‘SARA’ mnemonic (‘Scanning, Analysis, Response, Assessment’). The module equips students with an understanding of what sources of data are available to social researchers from secondary and primary sources, including the internet and the increasing importance of social media communications, and what analytical approaches can be used to interpret these sources.

Module 2: Responses to Crime, Safety and Justice (20 credits)

This module builds on material considered in the module on ‘Researching Crime, Safety and Justice’. It focuses on the responses implied by the scanning and analysis of problems of crime, safety and justice considered in the other compulsory module for this degree and debates over the appropriate assessment of these responses in outcome and process evaluations. .

Module 3: Option (20 credits)

This will be selected from a list of optional modules from postgraduate programmes in and outside of the School of Social Sciences including: Criminal Justice in Europe and Legal Theory offered by the School of Law and Politics.

Module 4: Principles and Practices of Research Design (30 credits)

This module provides students with an introduction to the principles and practice of social science research design and methods. It introduces students to the main data collection methods used in social sciences and provides a common grounding in how to critically evaluate the research of others and make appropriate choices in their own research projects, enabling them to specify, design and conduct a research project. Seminars in this module help students understand how to apply research principles and practices to the field of criminology in particular.

Module 5: Critical Perspectives in Social Science (30 credits)

This module introduces students to, and advances their understanding of, some of the leading theoretical perspectives and concepts in the social sciences. The module draws on a range of sociological theoretical perspectives and conceptualisations (for example equality, power, values, gender, ethnicity, class and social reproduction) to explore the ways in which theoretical insight can add insight and understanding to our knowledge of the social world and everyday practice. Seminars in this module help students understand how to apply theoretical perspectives and concepts to the field of criminology in particular.

Dissertation (60 credits)

Finally, all students on the MSc in Crime, Safety and Justice are asked to produce a 60-credit, 20,000 word dissertation on an criminological topic of their choice. This dissertation involves a small scale independent piece of research. It enables students to develop their interests in a substantive area related to the programme, and to put into practice the knowledge and skills developed through participation in the taught modules. Each student will be allocated a personal dissertation supervisor to assist in planning, conducting and writing up the research project.

Teaching Methods

Modules 1 – 3 will each be taught over 11 weeks via two hour sessions. This will enable the module to be attended by part time students and professionals taking these modules on a free standing basis, where there may be a need to take time out from ongoing work commitments. Teaching will be varied and include lectures, group discussions, group problem-based learning and student presentations of preparatory and classroom based work. Students will be required to undertake preparatory reading for each session. Modules 4 and 5 will each be taught over 11 weeks through two hour sessions and in accordance with the teaching methods adopted for modules 1-3. In addition, students on these two modules will attend 5 two hour seminars relating general theories and research methods in social science to the criminological subject matter of the MSc in Crime, Safety and Justice. Students begin planning their dissertations in the Autumn Semester with supervision commencing in the Spring Semester through to submission. All students are invited to join the joint School of Social Sciences and School of Law and Politics monthly Centre for Crime, Law and Justice research seminars.

Skills Acquired

Careers and employability

The general shift from subject-centred to problem-oriented learning reflects, in part, the interests of prospective employers in graduates with the skill set to apply subject specific knowledge about crime, safety and justice to the analysis of, and response to, particular instances of these problems in the public, voluntary and commercial sectors. There is also an increasing demand for graduates with evaluative skills to assess the outcomes not just the outputs of the responses made by prospective employers to these problems. In this regard, it is anticipated that the career prospects for graduates from this programme could include the following:

Job Roles: crime analysts, security managers, crime prevention partnership co-ordinators, community safety managers, pressure group campaigners, loss prevention officers.

Public Sector: police, local authorities, environment agencies, food standard agencies, health and safety executive, public health organisations, offender management services.

Voluntary Sector: retail companies (e.g. clothing stores, electronic goods, supermarkets), financial services, commercial security organisations.

Tutor Profiles

Entry Requirements

Applicants should have an upper second class degree or higher in an arts, humanities or social sciences degree. Applications are particularly welcomed from candidates with an undergraduate degree in Criminology, Law, Politics, Psychology and Sociology as well as from graduates in any arts, humanities or social science discipline. Applicants without an upper second class degree in a relevant subject but with significant professional expertise and experience of working in policing, criminal justice or community safety are encouraged to provide a supporting statement outlining their expertise and experience.

Applicants whose first language is not English are required to obtain a minimum overall IELTS score of 6.5 with at least 6.5 in writing and 5.5 in all other sub-sections.

How to Apply

Applications should be made via the online applications service.

Please make sure that you explain clearly in your personal statement why you are interested in applying to the MSc in Crime, Safety and Justice at Cardiff University. You should refer explicitly to the course and module content outlined above and should explain clearly the particular aspects of this course that most interest you, and what topics or themes you are hoping to learn more about in taking it. If this information is not included, this may cause delays in processing your application, and the School may contact you with a request for further information.

The deadline for applications to this course for international applicants is August 1st; for UK residents, the deadline for applications is September 1st. The different dates are due to the need to allow sufficient time for visa processing for international applicants.

Cardiff University Masters Excellence Scheme

This course is included in the Masters Excellence Scholarship 2015 (Pathway to PhD) scheme. If you are looking at applying for a Masters degree with the intention of going on to study at PhD level then you are eligible to apply for this scholarship. The application will ask you to consider your research area and future sources of funding.  It is recognised, however, that in making this application there is not a commitment to undertake further study, or to undertake further studies at Cardiff University.  Similarly, in making an award, Cardiff University is not committing to making an offer for further study or for a further award.

Tuition Fees:

  • UK & EU Full Time Fees: (Payable annually and those stated are for 2015/16 unless otherwise stated below).
  • UK & EU Part Time Fees: (Payable annually and those stated are for 2015/16 unless otherwise stated below).
  • International Full Time Fees: (Payable annually and those stated are for 2015/16 unless otherwise stated below).
  • International Part Time Fees: (Payable annually and those stated are for 2015/16 unless otherwise stated below).

Next intake: September each year

School Contact

Name: Dr Adam Edwards  

Telephone: +44 (0)29 208 74174 

Fax: +44 (0)29 208 74175 


School Website:

More information