Crime, Safety and Justice (MSc)
12 months (full-time) / 24 months (part-time) / n/a (distance / e-Learning)
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 and 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.
- Informed by the priorities of the UK College of Policing;
- Informed by a dialogue with members of the School of Social Sciences external advisory group, including representatives from the police, local government and other regulatory agencies with an interest in issues of crime and community safety;
- Includes, when possible, guest lectures from analysts concerned with issues of community safety in outside agencies such as the police, local government, commercial security and other relevant organisations.
The purpose of the MSc in Crime, Safety and Justice is to provide, within a research-led environment, education and training for each student which:
- Develops the student’s knowledge, experience, specialist and transferable skills to a level appropriate to the qualification taken;
- Fulfils the student’s intellectual potential;
- Provides for personal growth;
- Maximises career prospects.
More specifically the programme aims to provide students with the opportunity to:
- Acquire advanced transferable employment-related skills, particularly related to the problem-solving approach to crime, safety and justice; and
- Explore the applications of social research to crime, safety and justice.
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 currently include (subject to availability): Criminal Justice in Europe and Legal Theory offered by the School of Law and Politics.
The School currently offers specialist crime, safety and justice modules on the following topics, although these may change from year to year:
Researching Crime, Safety and Justice
Researching Crime, Safety and Justice (20 credits)
This module is premised on the overall aim and distinctive quality of the MSc, which will be to produce postgraduates capable of ‘problem-solving’. As such, the MSc structures its modules and their learning outcomes around 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. In these terms, the Masters addresses the School of Social Sciences’ strategic aim of delivering theoretically-informed and policy-relevant learning and teaching programmes. 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.
Responses to Crime, Safety and Justice
Responses to Crime, Safety and Justice (20 credits)
This module builds on material considered in the module on ‘Researching Crime, Safety and Justice’ (SIT725) and is also premised on the overall aim and distinctive quality of the MSc, which will be to produce postgraduates capable of ‘problem-solving’. This module 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.
Optional Modules (20 credits)
Selected from a list of optional modules from other postgraduate programmes in and outside of the School of Social Sciences including (subject to availability): Criminal Justice in Europe and Legal Theory offered by the School of Law and Politics.
Principles and Practices of Research Design
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.
Critical Perspectives in Social Science
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 a criminological topic of their choice. This dissertation involves a small scale independent piece of research, and 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.
Specialist modules 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. The core theory and methods modules will each be taught over 11 weeks through two hour sessions and in accordance with the teaching methods adopted for the specialist modules. In addition, students on these two core 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.
Demonstrate a critical understanding of how problems of crime, safety and justice can be investigated or ‘scanned’;
• Demonstrate a detailed understanding of how evidence about problems of crime, safety and justice can be analysed, interpreted, communicated and criticised;
• Demonstrate a critical understanding of policing, punishment and prevention strategies for responding to problems of crime, safety and justice;
• Demonstrate a critical understanding of social environments for problem-solving, including tensions between the scientific and political drivers of responses to problems of crime, safety and justice;
• Demonstrate a critical understanding of evidence-based approaches to the formulation, implementation and evaluation of responses to crime, safety and justice;
• Show an in-depth comprehension of what research strategies, designs and methods of investigation can be used to evidence problems of crime, safety and justice;
• Undertake oral, written and ICT presentations that are evidence-based, theoretically informed and demonstrate competence in the use and evaluation of criminological and criminal justice concepts;
• Participate actively in informed debate and group discussion concerning the range of criminological and criminal justice topics covered in the scheme.
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, commercial and voluntary sectors. There is also an increasing demand for graduates with evaluative skills to assess the processes and 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, commericial loss prevention officers.
Public Sector: police, local authorities, environment agencies, food standard agencies, health and safety executive, public health organisations, offender management services.
Commercial Sector: retail companies (e.g. clothing stores, electronic goods, supermarkets), financial services, commercial security organisations, new media companies including business analytics.
Voluntary Sector: non-governmental organisations concerned with victim support, the care and resettlement of offenders, restorative justice approaches, offender-victim reparations, diversion from custody, social cohesion and integration.
Applicants should have an upper second class degree or higher in an arts, humanities or social sciences subject. 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 for whom English is not their first language must obtain an IELTS score of 6.5, with no sub-score below 5.5. and a minimum score of 6.5 for written English.
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 this MSc in Crime, Safety and Justice at Cardiff University.
In your statement, 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 1 August; for UK residents, the deadline for applications is 1 September. The different dates are due to the need to allow sufficient time for visa processing for international applicants.
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
Name: Dr Adam Edwards
Telephone: +44 (0)29 208 74174
Fax: +44 (0)29 208 74175