Criminology, Investigation and Policing
Start date(s)
September 2023
Study Mode
Full time (1 year)
Part time (2 years)

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.


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.

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

The full-time option is delivered over the course of a full academic year, delivered on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. The part-time option runs over two academic years and you will be on campus one evening a week.

Full-time, one year course

TermModuleContact hours

Current Criminological Concepts

10 x 2.5 hours 

Practical Criminological Research

10 x 2.5 hours
2 Justice and Control in the 21st Century 10 x 2.5 hours
  Illicit Markets 10 x 2.5 hours

1 and 2

Scholarly Project
Summer Staff and Student Research Conference


6 hours of introductory tuition
12 hours of supervision and additional support 'workshops


Part-time, two year course

Year 1

TermModuleContact hours
1 Current Criminological Concepts   10 x 2.5 hours 
Justice and Control in the 21st Century 10 x 2.5 hours
1 and 2 Scholarly Project  

Year 2

TermModuleContact hours
1 Practical Criminological Research 10 x 2.5 hours 
Illicit Markets 10 x 2.5 hours
1 and 2 Scholarly Project  

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.

  • Minimum English Language entry requirements: IELTS Academic 6.0 (with no less than 5.5 in any component) or equivalent.

You do not need to provide evidence of your English Language if any of the following conditions apply:

To view 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 Provider-led, School Direct or SCIT courses and Masters by Research courses. You will need to achieve a 2:2 or above in a Leeds Trinity undergraduate course to qualify.

Postgraduate courseDiscount
MA programmes  50% for graduates with a 1st class honours degree
MA programmes  35% for graduates with a 2:1 honours degree
MA programmes  20% for graduates with a 2:2 honours degree

How to apply

Applications for September 2023 entry are now closed. Applications for 2024 entry open in early October.

Information for applicants awaiting award results

For any students applying for postgraduate study with Leeds Trinity University, who are impacted by UCU action connected to the marking of assessment for their first degree, the University has agreed the following approach:

New postgraduate students will be permitted to enrol on their LTU postgraduate programme but will remain provisionally registered with the University pending the final award of their degree. The deadline for confirmation of their final award is Friday 27 October 2023.

During the period of provisional registration, any finance arranged via the Student Loans Company, ITT bursaries etc will not be paid out. Payments to eligible students will be triggered when a student has met all their conditions of entry and are fully registered with the University. Students who do not meet the conditions of entry, following confirmation of a late award, will be withdrawn.

Applicants who have been made an offer for a postgraduate programme at LTU starting in September 2023 and are impacted by the UCU action may contact the Admissions team to discuss their position at

Receive an alumni discount

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 postgraduate tuition fees. 

Visit our Student Finance pages to find out more.