Student tutorial

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This is a twenty one month part-time programme which equips its graduates with an advanced understanding of crime and criminal justice. The degree comprises core courses in criminological theory and the study of criminal justice, provides training in research design and methodology, and offers students the opportunity to take optional courses in a wide range of subject areas, including policing, sentencing, prisons, the theorising punishment, restorative justice, crime and the family, human rights, victims, youth justice, risk and security, and the death penalty. Students also research and write a dissertation on a subject of their own choosing under the guidance of a supervisor. A stimulating and demanding programme, involving intensive learning in small groups, the MSc is suitable for those with an excellent first degree in sociology, law, politics, psychology, history or another subject relevant to criminology.

Course structure

An induction programme is run in the two weeks before the start of the first term. This introduces students to the modules on offer on the MSc Criminology and Criminal Justice, along with introductions to the computing services and library facilities at Oxford. Students attend introductory lectures on criminological theory, an introduction to the ‘Structure of the English Criminal Justice System’ and an introduction to research methods session. A ‘What to expect’ session will be held by former part time MSc students giving further insight into the course and you will be invited to join the welcome drinks reception to meet your cohort along with the tutors and other members of the Centre for Criminology. 

The MSc is comprised of three components:

1. The three Compulsory Courses; Criminology Theories; Criminal Justice, and Research Design and Data Collection.

2. Five optional modules selected from a list of 15 or so

3. A dissertation of 12,000 to 15,000 words researched and written independently under the supervision of a member of academic staff

The part-time course will demand a commitment to attend Oxford two days a week during term time from students.



Michaelmas term

Hilary term

Trinity term

Part time Year 1

1.   Criminological Theories (Compulsory)

3.   Criminal Justice (Compulsory)

Academic Skills for Criminologists



2.  Research Design and Data Collection


4. Optional course 1

Part time Year 2

5. Optional Course 2

7. Optional course 4

9.Academic Skills for  Criminologists (Recommended)


6.  Optional Course 3

8. Optional Course 5

10. Dissertation


For further details please see here.


Part-time students will spend Trinity term of year 2 researching and writing their dissertations but they will be encouraged to start thinking about/planning their dissertations in Trinity term of Year 1.

The weekly Acadmic Communication Skills sessions are compulsory for all MSc students in year 1 of their programme. Students will also give a presentation based on their dissertation at the separate ‘MSc symposium’, in Trinity Term of Year 2.

Collegiate System

Oxford is a collegiate university, which means it is made up of self-governing, independent colleges. All Oxford students are a member of a college. Colleges provide students with an ideal opportunity for interaction with peers from different academic disciplines, countries and backgrounds, as well as a place to get involved in clubs, sports and cultural activities, socialise, eat and sometimes live.

Although colleges are very important in admissions and teaching provision for undergraduate students, it is the Faculty that manages the admissions process and provides the teaching for graduate students.

Admission to a college happens after a candidate receives an offer of a place on the MSc Criminology. Receiving an offer of a place on the MSc Criminology guarantees the candidate a place at a college, but not necessarily the college of their choice.