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What makes the MA Criminology programme at Worcester special?

Criminology is a thriving subject at the University of Worcester, with academics drawing from a range of disciplines including Sociology, Law and Psychology. You will be joining a welcoming community of peers and colleagues who will support and encourage you to succeed in your endeavours.

The MA in Applied Criminology dynamically integrates theory and practice embracing both learning in the classroom and in placement settings. The course encompasses a range of service user groups, and every effort is made to involve service users, carers, practitioners, and managers from across the criminal justice arena in the learning experience. This course will provide you with opportunities to develop your specialist interests with the variety of assessments, unique work placements and the opportunity to conduct an extended research project on a relevant topic that you are passionate about.

This course has been designed for those who are ready to apply their current knowledge to a practical field, and to increase their knowledge and skills further so they can take the next step in their career. This course is also desirable for those who currently work in the criminal justice sector who would like to gain an MA in their field.

*Subject to approval 



Key features

  • Develop the intellectual, critical, and analytical skills needed for understanding and applying criminological theories and concepts in practice
  • Gain an in-depth understanding of the interactions between criminology and criminal justice, and the impact of public policy in certain areas, via different lenses and perspectives
  • An innovative course taught by experts from criminological, legal, and psychological backgrounds with real-world experience in both research and practice
  • Benefit from research-informed teaching, as well as strong links to wider criminal justice professions through your placement
  • Strong relationships with organisations in the criminal justice system which offers you the opportunity to gain experience in the field of the criminal justice sector
  • Placement opportunities designed to enhance your professional and personal skills, supporting you to apply what you have learned to gain hands on experience with some of our most vulnerable and hard to reach populations in society

Register your interest

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Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Prospective students will normally be required to have:

A first degree gained at a 2:1 or above (or equivalent) in a similar subject discipline e.g., Criminology, Law, Psychology, Sociology or policing


Any first degree gained at 2:2 or above with a relevant professional qualification and experience, including but not exclusively, Social Work, Police, Probation, Health and Education


Significant experience of working within a criminal justice sector (i.e., substance use, youth support, courts etc.)

Applicants who have obtained a 2:2 are encouraged to talk to the course leader as decisions will be made on an individual basis and contextual offers can be made.

Those with significant experience of working within the criminal justice area, but without a first degree or professional qualification, will need to evidence through Recognition of Prior Learning procedures how their knowledge and experience demonstrates their potential to meet the programme requirements, which includes meeting the academic requirements of the programme, the ability to communicate effectively and an appropriate understanding of the criminal justice system in the UK.

The admissions team will provide further guidance.

Other information

You will also be required to provide an Enhanced DBS check prior to placements on this course, which we advise you apply for as soon as possible, to avoid placement delays and to ensure this is transferable between organisations. It is the student's responsibility to ensure this is in place before commencing on placement.

Successful candidates will be required to complete the University's suitability documentation and an occupational health check as well as obtain an enhanced DBS statement.

Applicants will be required to attend an interview as part of the application process. Interviews will be in person, unless otherwise specified.

The IELTS score for international applicants is 6.5 (with no less than 5.5 in component). Other English Language qualifications will be considered.

Course content

Course content

Our courses are informed by research and current developments in the discipline and by feedback from students, external examiners and employers. Modules do therefore change periodically in the interests of keeping the course relevant and reflecting best practice. The most up-to-date information will be available to you once you have accepted a place and registered for the course.


  • Applied Criminology Dissertation (60 credits)
  • Professional Criminology Practice (30 credits)
  • Applied Research Methods in Criminology (15 credits)
  • Risk Management (15 credits)
  • Current topics in crime (15 credits)
  • Complex Criminal Investigation (15 credits)
  • Lived Experience, Equality and Diversity (15 credits)
  • Leadership and Diversity in Criminology (15 credits)
Teaching and assessment

Teaching and assessment

The University places emphasis on enabling students to develop the independent learning capabilities that will equip you for lifelong learning and future employment, as well as academic achievement. A mixture of independent study, teaching and academic support from Student Services and Library Services, and also the personal academic tutoring system enables you to reflect on progress and build up a profile of skills, achievements and experiences that will help you to flourish and be successful.


You are taught through a combination of interactive workshops, lectures, and seminars. Interactive workshops take a variety of formats and are intended to enable the application of learning through discussion and small group activities. Seminars enable the discussion and development of understanding of topics covered in lectures and are focused on developing subject specific skills and applied individual and group project work.

In addition, meetings with personal academic tutors are scheduled on at least four occasions throughout your course. You will also receive monthly supervision as part of your placement module, with regular supervision from your host organisation (this will differ between organisations).

Contact time

Your programme comprises seven taught modules with teaching and learning activities running across three semesters, and a dissertation.

Full time students (starting in September) complete all seven taught modules across two semesters, plus the dissertation within a third semester in one academic year (12 months). In addition to this, you will be engaged in independent learning (assessment preparation for taught modules and dissertation planning/supervision sessions). It is expected you will undertake around 12 hours of personal self-study per week if you are a full-time student.

Part time students are expected to undertake around 6 hours of personal self-study per week. In total, it is expected that as a full-time student you will be spending 37 hours per week engaged in study and placement. As a part time student, you will select which modules and how many you want to complete in each year, with your dissertation in the final year.

Alongside the taught component of this course, you will be required to engage with a placement that is 72 days in length. Broken down, this equates to you attending placement twice a week across all three semesters.

Independent self-study

In addition to the contact time, you are expected to undertake around 15 hours of personal self-study per week. Typically, this will involve completing online activities, reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking research in the library and online, preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for examinations.

Independent learning is supported by a range of excellent learning facilities, including The Hive and library resources, the virtual learning environment, and extensive electronic learning resources.


  • Full-time: 1 year
  • Part-time: 2-3 years


Timetables are normally available one month before registration. Please note that whilst we try to be as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week; and some classes can be scheduled in the evenings.


The course provides opportunities to test understanding and learning informally through the completion of practice or ‘formative’ assignments.

Each module has one formal or ‘summative’ assessments which are graded and count towards the overall module grade. Assessment methods include written examinations and a range of coursework assessments such as essays, reports, portfolios, performance, presentations and a final year independent studies project.

The precise assessment requirements for an individual student in an academic year will vary according to the modules taken, but some examples of assessments include:

  • Dissertation in an applied setting
  • Research analysis portfolio
  • Conference Presentation
  • Reflective Essay
  • Diary Journal alongside your placement
  • Case Formulation Practical
  • Case Review
  • Narrative Synthesis (conducted after listening to those with lived experiences)
  • Problem Scenario


You will receive feedback on practice assessments and on formal assessments undertaken by coursework. Feedback on examination performance is available upon request from the module leader. Feedback is intended to support learning and you are encouraged to discuss it with personal academic tutors and module tutors as appropriate.

We aim to provide you with feedback on formal course work assessments within 20 working days of hand-in.

Teaching staff

You will be taught by a teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. The team includes senior academics, professional practitioners with industry experience, demonstrators and technical officers.

Meet the team

You will be taught by a highly qualified and experienced teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. Most teaching is directly related to the research and publications of the lecturers and 66 per cent of course lecturers have a higher education teaching qualification or are Fellows of the Higher Education Academy.

Amy Johnson

Amy Johnson

Amy has been a lecturer at the University of Worcester for four years. Amy enjoys bringing real-world challenges and issues into her classroom and draws upon her experience of working with various client groups (homelessness, addictions, offending and domestic abuse) to demonstrate application. Specifically, Amy enjoys listening to her student’s ambitions and supporting them throughout their degree to reach their potential. Amy has been working with organisations across Worcestershire to ensure students have the best volunteer and work placement opportunities.

Amy enjoys researching offending behaviour and exploring how the criminal justice system is set up to support individuals with behavioural challenges and those who have a lower intellectual ability. Amy has an interest in the development of behaviour change interventions and evidence-based practice, particularly within the community and healthcare settings. Most recently, Amy is working on a large scale research project relating to the development of an integrated intervention targeting men in substance use treatment who perpetrate intimate partner abuse. Over the past twelve months, Amy has been delivering intimate partner violence and ADVANCE training all over the UK to practitioners at substance use services.


Michael Allen

Michael is a former police officer who served 27 years in West Mercia Police. He was fortunate enough to serve the community in a broad range of operational front-line policing duties.

After serving 12 years in a wide variety of uniform policing roles, Michael became a Detective and later Detective Sergeant. He developed a keen interest in interviewing, which included the interviewing of suspected offenders, victims of crime, and witnesses involved in serious and major crime investigations.

Profile Image of Courtney Smith

Courtney Smith

Courtney joined the University as an Associate Lecturer in March 2021, having previously gained her undergraduate degree in Law and Masters in Criminology from the University of Nottingham.

Courtney’s interests within Criminology are in the field of green criminology. Specifically, Courtney enjoys exploring the criminogenic nature of the current environmental crisis and investigating the distribution of criminal responsibility for such acts. Courtney is also interested in critically thinking about how traditional criminological theory may apply in the context of green criminology, exploring the challenges and benefits that this may bring to mainstream understandings of ‘crime’ and ‘justice’.  Courtney enjoys taking a multi-disciplinary approach to her work, drawing on expertise from a range of academic fields.


Jenna Page

Jenna has worked at the university as a lecturer in criminology, teaching on the undergraduate criminology degrees, since 2018. Prior to moving into academia Jenna was a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives specialising in housing litigation law. Jenna is passionate about both education and criminology and enjoys the privileged role of supporting students throughout their university journey. Jenna enjoys working with students from a diverse range of backgrounds and uses contemporary issues and case studies to encourage student engagement and passion within the discourse of criminology. Jenna undertakes the role of Learning and Teaching Coordinator within the School of Psychology with the aim of discussing and disseminating outstanding learning and teaching practice throughout the school.

Isabel Gilbert

Isabel Gilbert

Isabel has a background in the heritage sector and has specialised in the relationship between interpretations of history and racism in contemporary society. She brings her knowledge of societal inequality, social justice, symbolism, politics and ideology, and the influence of popular culture to the subject of Criminology.

Isabel enjoys researching cultural conflict, social justice movements, reactionary politics and legacies of colonialism.

beverly gilbert

Dr Beverley Gilbert

Beverley has over 30 years of experience working within the criminal justice system. She was a Police Officer in Birmingham deployed in various uniform and plain clothes roles, including in plain clothes surveillance roles and as a Detective Family Protection Officer. As a Probation Officer, Beverley worked with individuals who posed a high risk of causing harm, including perpetrators of domestic and sexual violence. She was a semi specialist officer working with custodial cases, including those serving Life and Indeterminate Sentence prisoners. Beverley has been a sessional Expert Domestic Violence Risk Assessor for London based DViP and the Family Courts in the London and Greater London areas.


Mikahil Sulaiman Azad

Mikahil Azad is a Lecturer in Criminology at the University Worcester. He joined the team in September 2023 and has previously taught at Birmingham City University and Arden University in Criminology. Mikahil is toward the end of his doctoral research which focuses upon safety in and around the space of mosques using ethnographic methodologies.



You will develop a range of skills on this course that should have an immediate and positive impact on your professional role.

For those who would like to start working in the areas of criminal justice, your increased knowledge and skill set should prepare you for future job applications in the arena.

For those already working in this sector, you will enhance your ability to critically reflect on your professional practice and make valuable contributions to service improvement.


Fees and funding

Full-time tuition fees

UK and EU students

The standard tuition fee for full-time home and EU students enrolling on MA/MSc/MBA/MRes courses in the academic year 2024/25 is £9,000 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

International students

The standard tuition fee for full-time international students enrolling on MA/MSc/MBA/MRes courses in the academic year 2024/25 is £17,400 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

Additional costs

Every course has day-to-day costs for essential books, stationery, printing and photocopying. As part of the course you will need to travel to placements and will therefore need to pay any associated costs. You may be able to reclaim these travel expenses depending on your individual circumstances.


Finding the right accommodation is paramount to your university experience. Our halls of residence are home to friendly student communities, making them great places to live and study.

We have over 1,000 rooms across our range of student halls. With rooms to suit every budget and need, from our 'Chestnut Halls' at £131 per week to 'Oak Halls' at £221 per week (2024/25 prices).

For full details visit our accommodation page.

Postgraduate loans

The Government will provide a loan of up to £11,836 if your course starts on or after 1 August 2022 per eligible student for postgraduate Masters study. It will be at your own discretion whether the loan is used towards fees, maintenance or other costs.

For more details visit our postgraduate loans page.

How to apply

How to apply

Apply for enrolment

Please make your application via our online application form. If you have any questions, please contact the Admissions office on 01905 855111 or

International applicants

If you are an international student, please visit our international applicant pages.

If you have any questions about the application process please contact our international team via  or +44 (0)1905 542640. 

If you are interested in applying for this course please begin by making an application below:

Full Time - September - 2024

Get in touch

If you have any questions, please get in touch. We're here to help you every step of the way.

Amy Johnson

Course leader

Postgraduate Admissions Office