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 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 national 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, an education and, where appropriate, 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 (Scheme) aims to provide students with the opportunity to:
- Acquire advanced transferable employment-related skills, particularly related to the SARA model;
- 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 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.
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.
- 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, 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.
- Adam Edwards is the director of the MSc in Crime, Safety and Justice. His research and teaching interests include digital social research, the risks and opportunities associated with disruptive technologies such as digital surveillance, additive manufacture and social media communications, the organisation of serious crimes, urban governance and security, policing metropolises, problem-oriented learning and deliberative research methods
- Dr. Kirsty Hudson is a Senior Lecturer in Criminology and teaches and researches in the area of sexual offending and sexual offenders (including risk assessment and management of sexual and violent offenders, and violence against women); Offender Management (including prison-based research; multi-agency approaches; resettlement and desistance).
- Professor Gordon Hughes has a Chair in Criminology. His teaching and research interests include crime prevention and community safety, urban security in Europe, problem-oriented policing and crime control, crime and social policy, sociological theory and the production of criminological knowledge.
- Professor Trevor Jones has a Chair in Criminology. His teaching and research interests include comparative criminal justice and policy-making, police governance and accountability, private policing and the governance of security, harassment and bullying in the workplace and crime and tourism.
- Professor Michael Levi has a Chair in Criminology. His teaching and research interests include white collar crime, fraud, and the organization of serious crimes, terrorism, cybercrime and security.
- Dr. Amanda Robinson is a Reader in Criminology and teaches and researches in the area of violence, criminal justice responses to violence, and multi-agency partnership work for victims and perpetrators. She has used a range of methods in her research (qualitative, quantitative, mixed methods, programme evaluation). She currently leads projects on risk-led policing of domestic violence in the US and UK, responses to high-risk, serial and other priority perpetrators of domestic violence, and interventions for perpetrators of adolescent to parent violence.
- Dr. Rachel Swann is a Lecturer in Criminology with research and teaching interests in inter-personal violence, the night-time economy, harm reduction and prostitution, governance and regulation. Her methodological interests include ethnography, focus groups and script analyses.
- Dr. Matthew Williams is a Reader in Criminology and teaches and researches in the area of computational criminology, with a methodological focus on ‘big’ social data (including social media and administrative) and quantitative modeling, and a substantive focus on cybercrime, cyberhate and technological advances in policing. He currently leads projects on the ESRC social media flagship programme the Collaborative Online Social Media Observatory.
- Dr. Janna Verbruggen is a Lecturer in Criminology and teaches and researches in the area of life course criminology. Her research interests include desistance from crime, the work-crime relationship, gender differences in offending, youth justice, and domestic violence.
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.
UK & EU Full Time for 2014/15 unless otherwise specified below
UK & EU Part Time for 2014/15 unless otherwise specified below
International Full Time for 2014/15 unless otherwise specified below
International Part Time for 2014/15 unless otherwise specified below
Next intake: September each year
Name: Dr Adam Edwards
Telephone: +44 (0)29 208 74174
Fax: +44 (0)29 208 74175