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MA Criminology: Crime & Victimisation

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Institution code: 

One year full-time

Two years part-time

Typical Offer: 

Minimum 2:2 degree or equivalent. 

Applicants who do not hold this qualification may be considered on an individual basis, based upon their overall application.



The MA Criminology: Crime and Victimisation addresses contemporary issues within the study of crime, community safety and criminal justice.

It will enable you to develop specialist knowledge of the current trends and historical debates surrounding crime causation, crime control and regulation in the UK and internationally.

The course will offer you an exciting opportunity to study criminology at postgraduate level. A distinguishing feature of criminology at the University of Suffolk is the interplay of theory, policy and practice as the course is led and taught by professionals with crime and community safety backgrounds who apply criminological theory in the real world.

By studying at the University of Suffolk, you will attain comprehensive critical knowledge of explanations of crime and responses to them. You will actively engage in critical evaluation of the many theoretical, policy and organisational drivers shaping and informing responses to crime.

You will also have the opportunity to undertake detailed thinking about theoretical and policy issues relevant to your areas of interest and apply different methods and approaches to investigate them further.

This course is designed to enable progression in research, policy and practice roles within the crime and justice field. You will study and discuss issues pertaining to criminology in a dynamic, progressive environment and be encouraged to think beyond the obvious.

Course modules

Each of these modules include aspects of independent learning that foster student autonomy, allowing students to access materials at a time and pace that best suits them, and more synchronous collaborative learning experiences based on a shared time learning experience with other students and module tutors employing debates and discussion, problem solving activities and case studies and scenarios during the classroom sessions and using discussion boards, blogs and other interactive learning tools.

Full downloadable information regarding all University of Suffolk courses, including Key Facts, Course Aims, Course Structure and Assessment, is available in the Definitive Course Record.

Theories of Crime and Social Deviance (M-level, Mandatory 20 Credits)

Theories of Crime and Social Deviance introduces students to the historical origins of the theoretical perspectives on crime and social deviance currently informing criminal justice policies in general and policy and practice. It involves an analysis of the scope, explanatory power and criticisms of these perspectives and the social and political conditions under which particular ways of thinking about crime and deviance come to the fore. It moves on to involve students in a critical consideration of the conceptual underpinnings of contemporary debates and controversies in the areas of crime and victimisation.

Principles of Research (M-level, Mandatory 20 Credits)

Principles of Research is introductory module into concepts, principles, and methodologies/designs for research within humanities and social. This module is designed to provide a fundamental grounding in a range of appropriate research methods and research skills to postgraduate students, both quantitative and qualitative research, ethical frameworks and in practical applications of research techniques more specific to students’ areas of study.

Young People, Group Offending & Violent Crime (M-level, Mandatory 20 Credits )

Young People, Group Offending & Violent Crime critically examines theory and research on group offending by young people, primarily in the UK, Mainland Europe and North America. It analyses gang policy in the UK, Mainland Europe and North America and identifies effective and potentially transferable modes of intervention. The module explores the origins and development of the gang phenomenon in the UK, Mainland Europe and North America; the social, economic, political and cultural forces that have shaped violent group offending; the volume, nature and impact of violent group offending by young people in the UK; the history of attempts to combat gang crime in the UK, Mainland Europe and North America; the evidence base of current policy, strategy and intervention informing current gang intervention initiatives in the UK and elsewhere; gang intervention and violence reduction programmes in the UK, Mainland Europe and North America.

Criminal Justice: Ideology, Policy and Practice (M-level, Optional 20 Credits)

Criminal Justice: Ideology, Policy and Practice critically examines the development of theory, policy and practice in the UK justice systems from the 18th Century to the present day. It introduces students to the historical origins of the theories, ideas, policies and practices operationalised within criminal justice in the UK; it involves an analysis of the effects of policies and practices in terms of the stated aims and objectives of justice systems; it interrogates the social, economic and political conditions under which particular ideas have been incorporated into policy.

Collaborative Working and Partnership (M-level, Optional 20 Credits)

Collaborative Working and Partnership considers the legislative origins of collaborative working in the areas of crime and victimisation in the UK with some comparisons to Mainland Europe and North America. The theories, ideas, policies and practices thus developed. In doing so, it draws upon extensive international case study material. It offers an analysis of the effects of policies and practices bearing upon collaborative working in terms of their stated aims and objectives. It interrogates the social, economic and political conditions under which collaborative approaches to the problems of crime, violence and victimisation have succeeded and where they have failed.

Victimisation and Vulnerability (M-level, Optional 20 Credits)

Victimisation and Vulnerability considers why, and in what ways, some groups are disproportionately victimised and will include an examination of domestic abuse, on-line abuse, crimes of the powerful and genocide. Victimology has often been referred to as a sub-discipline of criminology that has its own theoretical and conceptual strands and is increasingly recognised as an area of study in its own right. In politics, policy and practice, there is an increasing emphasis on the needs and rights of victims of crime. Recognising the extent, patterns and impacts of victimisation are fundamental to enable informed discussion regarding crime and deviance. This module seeks to broaden students’ understanding of contemporary crime and criminal justice issues, by exploring the concept of victimisation, the experiences of crime victims and developments in response to them both within and outside of the state. For example, the module will provide a focuses on what has come to be called Contextual Safeguarding, an approach to understanding and responding to young people’s experiences of significant harm beyond their families. The module analyses case study material from the UK, other Anglophone nations and Mainland Europe, to assess the impact of policies and practices developed in the areas of child protection and adolescent safeguarding and an examines the factors making for success and failure. It identifies the social, economic and technological circumstances that have rendered some children and young people vulnerable and the political conditions under which child and adolescent victimisation and abuse have come to the fore as issues within social and criminal justice policy.

Dissertation (M-level, Mandatory, 60 Credits)

Throughout the MA course students are encouraged to distinguish between and critically evaluate different theoretical, technical, normative, moral and political approaches. Having completed the taught modules of the MA course students will continue to develop their understanding in more specialised areas and, building upon knowledge gained previously, will carry out in-depth examinations of theories and research with an emphasis upon critical evaluation of both theory and methods through their Dissertation which will provide the opportunity for students to demonstrate their advanced scholarship and academic abilities in an original, creative and ethical way to find an effective solution to a real life problem or issue. The dissertation brings together the work undertaken in the previous modules, especially developing the rapid evidence assessment and the research proposal into research project, designed, carried out and evaluated by the students themselves.

Career opportunities

Whether you are a recent graduate, or a professional working with young people, the MA Criminology: Crime and Victimisation will enable you to gain both a critical understanding of contemporary criminological theory as it relates to young people, and the tools to conduct research in this, high profile and often contentious, field.

We aim to ensure that you develop the skills and competences that employers are looking for including: research and analysis; policy development and interpretation; independent thought; writing and presentation as well as time management and leadership skills.

This is facilitated by the fact that while you are here you will become fully involved in the professional research culture of the School.

Fees and finance


  • UK full-time tuition fee: £8,748 p.a
  • UK part-time tuition fee: £972 per 20 credits (please contact the Student Centre for further information)
  • International full-time tuition fee: £13,995 p.a

Further Information

At the University of Suffolk, your tuition fees provide access to all the usual teaching and learning facilities that you would expect. However, there may be additional costs associated with your course that you will need to budget for.

Entry requirements


Course Leader, Politics, Sociology and Criminology

Associate Professor in Criminology

Senior Lecturer in MSc Leadership and Custodial Environments (LaCE)

Course Leader, MRes Social Sciences and Humanities

Facilities and Resources

The University of Suffolk is located along the picturesque Ipswich Waterfront, providing an excellent and inspiring academic environment.

This course will benefit from modern teaching facilities and equipment, as well as access to our library, computers, shared study spaces and resources. 

Ipswich Waterfront is home to several independent cafes and restaurants, making for a friendly and relaxing atmosphere in which to study.