Criminology, Investigation and Policing
Start date(s)
September 2024
Study Mode
Full-time (1 year)
Part-time (2 years)
Leeds City Campus

Course overview

The field of criminology and criminal justice is constantly developing, challenging both researchers and practitioners as new forms of crime and harm emerge from a range of perennial issues.

Whether it's established issues of crime and disorder or emergent problems attached to new technologies, changing demographic patterns of globalised structural networks, there is a growing demand - locally and nationally - for professionals with substantive, social-scientific knowledge and evidence-based practice along with the research skills needed for their development.

The MA Criminology and Criminal Justice aims to prepare you for a career in the broad field of criminal justice by developing your awareness of current problems in crime and harm and equipping you with the knowledge and skills needed to contribute to and lead professional services across the criminal justice sector.

The Student Contract

About this course

This course is suitable for graduates from a wide range of academic disciplines, including criminology, policing, sociology, psychology and law, who are keen to build on their current knowledge to pursue a career in criminal justice and for professionals working in the criminal justice sector who want to expand their own skills, knowledge and competencies.

Throughout the course, you will explore current problems and ideas on both sides of the criminological discipline and have the opportunity to develop the knowledge, skills and competencies required to join the next generation of practitioners and researchers.

You’ll receive research training that roams beyond the established distinction between qualitative and quantitative to explore the new frontier of online methodologies.

You’ll learn from practitioners and researchers with interests that range across the social sciences and benefit from our established links with West Yorkshire Police, the probation service and a variety of connected organisations.

These experts will help you to develop strong analytical and research skills and support you as you conduct your own real-world criminological research, putting your ideas and interests into practice through the completion of a postgraduate research project.

Why study with us

  • Gain skills and knowledge vital to higher level criminal justice practitioners.
  • Study alongside experienced researchers and practitioners with extensive experience working in and around criminal justice.
  • Foster your ability to identify, build and employ evidence-based practice.

Course Modules

You will study a variety of modules across your programme of study. The module details given below are subject to change and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

Core modules

You will study the following modules throughout your degree.

Current Criminological Concepts

You will be introduced to explanations of crime suited to the current times in which we live. It will build on the criticisms levelled at 20th-century theoretical frameworks and move forward to familiarise you with the latest 21st-century frameworks currently in use and/or under development. The module will place these emerging frameworks in the contexts of today's mutating crime and criminal markets alongside current transformations in contemporary political economy, culture, social theory, psychoanalysis and philosophy.  

Practical Criminological Research

Develop an advanced understanding of the processes and issues of social research. Drawing upon the philosophical underpinnings which are central to research methodologies, this module will encourage you to consider the relationship between theory, methods and data and to critically consider the need to balance theory with conducting research on real issues in the real world. This module will help you gain a coherent understanding of the decisions researchers make when deciding which research methods to use and to develop practical skills in using a variety of research methods. You will also be able to develop a sound understanding of ethical and practical issues in designing, conducting and analysing research.

Justice and Control in the 21st Century

The module examines the institutions, practices and processes that make up the criminal justice system.  Your study will focus on policing, the penal system and the probation service, youth justice, gender and masculinities, analysing the social, economic and political factors that underpin these institutions and their impact on particular groups. There has been much discussion about the criminal justice system and the apparent failure of key institutions to deliver justice, protect the public and punish criminals. This module explores these themes in a critical way, considering the influence of social, economic and political factors that shape the agencies within the criminal justice system, and the administration of criminal justice. 

Illicit Markets

You will develop the knowledge, understanding and skills to research criminal markets in the 21st century. You’ll be introduced to the field of global crime, critically engaging with debates about the criminogenic effects of global network capitalism. Emphasis will be placed on the relationship between globalisation, technology, political economy and increases in illicit flows of goods and services. The module will also explore global and local criminal marketplaces in these goods and services, both online and offline. You’ll have the opportunity to acquire expert knowledge on the illicit pharmaceutical trade, drawing on cutting-edge research, before critically exploring one of these criminal markets in more depth and detail.

Scholarly Project

You will demonstrate your awareness and skills in research and evaluation, and your ability to integrate, synthesise and critique criminological content, concepts and research methodologies through the production of an extended piece of independent work based on a criminological topic of your choice.

Course structure tables

September - Full-time
Year Semester Module Credits Contact hours
1 Semester 1 Practical Criminological Research 30 10 x 2.5 hours
Current Criminological Concepts 30 10 x 2.5 hours
Semester 2 Justice and Control in the 21st Century 30 10 x 2.5 hours
Illicit Markets 30 10 x 2.5 hours
Semester 2 and Summer Scholarly Project and Summer Staff and Student Research Conference 60 6 hours of introductory tuition plus 12 hours of supervision and additional support workshops
September - Part-time
Year Semester Module Credits Contact hours
1 Semester 1 Current Criminological Concepts 30 10 x 2.5 hours
Semester 2 Justice and Control in the 21st Century 30 10 x 2.5 hours
1 and 2 Semester 1, 2 and Summer Scholarly Project 60 6 hours of introductory tuition plus 12 hours of supervision and additional support workshops
2 Semester 1 Practical and Criminological Research 30 10 x 2.5 hours
Semester 2 Illicit Markets 30 10 x 2.5 hours

Learning and Teaching

At Leeds Trinity we aim to provide an excellent student experience and provide you with the tools and support to help you achieve your academic, personal and professional potential.

Our Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategy delivers excellence by providing the framework for:

  • high quality teaching
  • an engaging and inclusive approach to learning, assessment and achievement
  • a clear structure through which you progress in your academic studies, your personal development and towards professional-level employment or further study.

We have a strong reputation for developing student employability, supporting your development towards graduate employment, with relevant skills embedded throughout your programme of study.

We endeavour to develop curiosity, confidence, courage, ambition and aspiration in all students through the key themes in our Learning and Teaching Strategy:

  • Student Involvement and Engagement
  • Inclusion
  • Integrated Programme and Assessment Experience
  • Digital Literacy and Skills
  • Employability and Enterprise

To help you achieve your potential we emphasise learning as a collaborative process, with a range of student-led and real-world activities. This approach ensures that you fully engage in shaping your own learning, developing your critical thinking and reflective skills so that you can identify your own strengths and weaknesses, and use the extensive learning support system we offer to shape your own development.

We believe the secret to great learning and teaching is simple: it is about creating an inclusive learning experience that allows all students to thrive through:

  • Personalised support
  • Expert lecturers
  • Strong connections with employers
  • An international outlook
  • Understanding how to use tools and technology to support learning and development


We use a range of assessment methods throughout the course, which includes:

  • Essays
  • Podcasts
  • Group and individual presentations
  • Scholarly Project

Entry Requirements

Leeds Trinity University is committed to recruiting students with talent and potential and who we feel will benefit greatly from their academic and non-academic experiences here. We treat every application on its own merits; we value highly the experience you illustrate in your personal statement.

The following information is designed to give you a general overview of the qualifications we accept. If you are taking qualifications that are not included below, please contact our Admissions Office who will be happy to advise you.

  • An honours degree (minimum 2:2) in a relevant subject such as criminology, sociology, psychology, policing or the wider social sciences (politics, economics).

  • Alternatively, we will consider applicants with equivalent professional experience.

For more information on meeting English language requirements and academic requirements by country, visit our International Applicants page.

Please contact us for personalised advice on 0113 283 7123 or at

Fees and finance


UK Home Students:

For information about our tuition fees please visit our Student Fees and Finance pages.

If you studied your undergraduate degree at Leeds Trinity University, you may be eligible for a discount of up to 50% on the cost of your tuition fees.

International Students, including EU Students:

Visit our web page for international students.

Leeds Trinity Alumni Discount

Some Leeds Trinity graduates are eligible for a tuition fee discount on postgraduate courses of up to 50%, excluding PGCE Delivery Partner Model and Lead Partner Model, and Masters by Research courses. You will need to achieve a 2:2 or above in a Leeds Trinity undergraduate course to qualify.

Postgraduate course Leeds Trinity Alumni Discount
MA programmes  50% for Leeds Trinity graduates with a 1st class honours degree
MA programmes  35% for Leeds Trinity graduates with a 2:1 honours degree
MA programmes  20% for Leeds Trinity graduates with a 2:2 honours degree

How to apply

There is no official closing date for applications, but the course will be closed when it is full. We therefore encourage you to make your application as early as possible.

Please ensure you complete the application form in full and supply all the required supporting documentation when you make your initial application. Incomplete applications may be rejected.

If you need advice on your application, please contact our admissions team on 0113 283 7123 (Monday to Thursday, 9.00am to 5.00pm, or Friday 9.00am to 4.00pm) or

Home applicants - How to apply

Applicants who require a Student Route Visa

Applications for September 2024 entry are now closed for students requiring a Student Route Visa in order to study in the UK. Applications for 2025 entry are due to open in early October.

If you require a Student Route Visa in order to study in the UK, then you must apply to us by Sunday 30 June 2024.

Part-time study is not available for international students on a Student Route Visa.

For additional information, including academic requirements by country, visit our country and region page.

International applicants - How to apply

What happens next?

Our admissions team will acknowledge receipt of your application by email.

Where applications are submitted but references are still in progress, admissions will wait for the reference(s) to be received and then will process it, and forward it to the relevant Programme Leader within five days of receipt of the reference(s).

The Programme Leader will make a decision based on your application. You may be asked to provide a reference to demonstrate your academic and non-academic experiences, or you may be invited to attend an interview. If you are successful and are made an offer, the conditions will be outlined in your offer letter. 

Applications will be acknowledged within five working days. Applicants will be contacted within 15 working days with a request for additional information, invite to an informal interview or an application decision.

Made an offer?

You should accept or decline your offer by emailing

If you accept, you'll need to prove you satisfy the conditions outlined in your offer letter.

You may be asked to present the relevant supporting documentation in person to the student information point on campus, if originals are not needed you’ll be contacted and given details of how to provide the supporting documentation.