MSc Criminology and Criminal Justice (part-time)


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.

MSc Criminology and Criminal Justice Student Handbook

Course in brief

Course length
21 months

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.

Who should consider this course

Students wishing to develop an advanced understanding of crime and criminal justice, studying part-time over two years.

Practical information

Official course overviews, application deadlines and application procedures can be found on the main Oxford University website.

The Centre for Criminology

This course is taught by the Centre for Criminology in the Faculty of Law.

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. 

Michaelmas Term Year 1
Hilary Term Year 1
Trinity Term Year 1
Michaelmas Term Year 2
Hilary Term Year 2
Trinity Term Year 2

1.   Criminological Theories (Compulsory)

2.  Research Design and Data Collection (Compulsory)


3.   Criminal Justice (Compulsory)

4. Optional course 1


Academic Skills for Criminologists (Compulsory)

5. Optional Course 2

6.  Optional Course 3

7. Optional course 4

8. Optional Course 5

9.Academic Skills for  Criminologists (Recommended)

10. Dissertation

MSc Criminology Detailed Course Structure