Postgraduate study

Criminology and Criminal Justice MSc

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding opportunities

This programme provides a platform to learn about and engage with the latest criminological research and apply this to current theory, practice and debate in this interdisciplinary field.

This MSc is suitable both for those who have studied criminology at undergraduate level and for those who are new to the subject.

As a student on this programme you will be part of our vibrant community of active researchers, international scholars and local practitioners in criminology and criminal justice. You will have ample opportunity to draw from our academics’ research, which is both theoretical and empirical and makes a difference to the world both locally and globally.

You will benefit from top-quality training in criminological research methods and skills, essential both for the further study of criminology (we have a strong cohort of criminology PhD students, some recruited from this MSc) and for employment in the criminal justice field.

ESRC track

The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) track is designed for any student intending to apply to the ESRC studentship. This fully-funded studentship can be used to cover fees and a living allowance for a one year MSc in Criminology and Criminal Justice, including research training, plus three years of PhD study.

You must complete 180 credits of study – 60 credits are taken in the compulsory dissertation and the remaining 120 credits are taken in taught courses. You will be taught by and study with members of the Law School academic community.

You are expected to prepare in advance by reading the required materials and by reflecting on the issues to be discussed, and your participation in classes will be assessed.

For the dissertation you will have a supervisor from whom you can expect guidance and support, but the purpose of the dissertation is to allow you to independently design and conduct a piece of research and analysis.

Please note that due to unforeseen circumstances or lack of demand for particular courses, we may not be able to run all courses as advertised come the start of the academic year.

Find out more about compulsory and optional courses

We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MSc1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2021/22
MSc2 YearsPart-timeProgramme structure 2021/22
MSc1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2021/22

Students who complete the MSc have the opportunity to acquire a more sophisticated understanding of major contemporary debates in criminology in both its theoretical and applied aspects, and to achieve enhanced understanding and skills in research practice and method.

Graduates from this MSc programme have gone on to a wide range of careers, including working with offenders and victims, for various agencies including police, prisons/correctional services, governmental and non-governmental agencies, academic and research institutions. Recent graduates have gone on to work as policy officers, researchers and asylum decision makers.

These entry requirements are for the 2022/23 academic year and requirements for future academic years may differ. Entry requirements for the 2023/24 academic year will be published on 3 October 2022.

A minimum UK 2:1 honours degree from a UK university, or its international equivalent, in law.

We will also consider candidates with a degree in a related discipline which includes relevant prior study.

Supporting your application

Relevant work experience is not required but may increase your chances of acceptance.

Relevant professional qualifications will be considered.

Preference will be given to those with grades above the minimum requirements due to strong competition for places on this programme.

Students from China

This degree is Band C.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic: total 7.0 with at least 7.0 in the writing component and 6.5 in each other component.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 100 with at least 25 in writing and 23 in each other component.
  • CAE and CPE: total 185 with at least 185 in writing and 176 in each other component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components.

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries.

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.

Find out more about our language requirements:

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MSc1 YearFull-timeTuition fees
MSc2 YearsPart-timeTuition fees
MSc1 YearFull-timeTuition fees

UK government postgraduate loans

If you live in the UK, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan from one of the UK’s governments.

The type and amount of financial support you are eligible for will depend on:

  • your programme
  • the duration of your studies
  • your tuition fee status

Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Dr Fiona Jamieson
  • Edinburgh Law School Postgraduate Office
  • Old College
  • South Bridge
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9YL

Due to high demand, the school operates a number of selection deadlines. We will make a small number of offers to the most outstanding candidates on an ongoing basis, but hold the majority of applications until the next published selection deadline when we will offer a proportion of the places available to applicants selected through a competitive process.

Deadlines for applicants applying to study in 2022/23:

Round Application deadline Places awarded by
1 10 December 2021 03 February 2022
2 18 February 2022 13 April 2022
3 02 May 2022 13 June 2022
4 30 June 2022 22 July 2022

Applicants wishing to apply to the MSc in Criminology and Criminal Justice ESRC track must apply for admission with us by 9 December 2021.

Please note that the deadline for meeting the conditions of an offer is 18 August 2022.

You must submit one reference with your application.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • Dr Fiona Jamieson
  • Edinburgh Law School Postgraduate Office
  • Old College
  • South Bridge
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9YL