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MSc Crime and Community Safety: Evidence Based Practice

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Call our application hotline on 01473 338352 or fill in our quick online form and see if we can make you an offer to start from September 2019.

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Institution code: 

Part-time: Two years

Typical Offer: 

Qualifications and management experience will be considered on an individual basis.

Please see Entry Requirements below.



Criminal justice practitioners and professionals working the law enforcement arena today increasingly require the skills and understanding at an advanced level in order to embed an evidence-based approach into their professional practice and beyond that into their working environment. This Master s course will provide graduates with an advanced understanding of crime, criminological theory and criminal justice and will upgrade the skills of senior professionals to enable them to drive an evidence-based approach to policing and to decision-making. It will embed the theories, principles and practices of an evidence-based approach and will equip students with analytical, problem solving and leadership skills necessary to address the challenges they encounter in the twenty-first century. This two year, interdisciplinary part-time programme will introduce students to the principles and practices of systematic review; advanced literature searching; critical appraisal; the role of evidence in forming judgments and effective evaluation that will enable them to accomplish this.

The programme explores key themes and issues in criminal justice; the application of criminological theory and approaches to understanding crime and conducting comparative police and criminological research. It will equip them with the research skills they require to understand crime problems; to design and effectively evaluate pioneering evidence driven solutions and to systematically evaluate performance in order to develop and sustain a culture of innovation in public sector management and interprofessional practice.  At the conclusion of the course students will understand crime in its contemporary global context and will be able to understand what works in relation to addressing it.

This is a challenging academic programme which encourages graduates to transform service delivery based on evidence-based principles and practice and the multidisciplinary approach it adopts is essential to go beyond merely generating new insights from research data. It will systematically enhance individual s judgment in real crime contexts and in doing so will make a significant contribution to strengthening the global evidence base on how evidence-informed policing and crime prevention and reduction strategies can be delivered cost effectively and how it can be implemented to achieve the greatest impacts.

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Course modules

Crime and its control in the 21st century 40 credits

Through the Crime and Evidence-Based Practice module students will be initially introduced to the changing face of crime in late modern societies; exploring the way technology and globalisation has transformed criminal enterprise.  It will explore the theories that have been developed to explain contemporary crime and will explore how criminal justice agencies across the world are themselves being reshaped in order to confront it. The module will also show how applying sound research to professional practice can deliver immediate and sustainable reductions in crime; effectively establish policing priorities and facilitate the effective allocation of resources.  The assessment of the module At the conclusion of the module students undertake a systematic review of an identified real-life problem or issue and in doing so will have a clear understanding about what works , how it might be applied within their professional practice.

Innovation in Public Sector Management 20 credits

The Innovation in Public Sector Management module examines how in a world where professionals are now expected to do more with less, more effectively, they need to be equipped with the skills necessary to develop and sustain a culture characterised by innovation and evidence driven policy.  This module will enable students to present and communicate effectively; manage the expectations of stakeholders; innovate in their business practice; manage resources effectively and engage in effective business planning. At Master s level students will develop their cognitive abilities to advance their scholarship in two ways: firstly by extending and refining understandings of theories, methods and research through critical evaluation and analysis, and secondly, by becoming exposed to a broad range of subjects and issues pertinent to advanced scholarship at this level.

Research and Evaluation Methodology 40 credits

The Research and Evaluation Methodology module is viewed as pivotal in this process and the development of abilities critically appraising previous and current research findings is encouraged. The module also draws on the concepts and theoretical constructs explored in the Crime and Evidence Based Practice module to analyse how methodological approaches to research are themselves influenced by the changing constructions of crime and the assessment of this module, a detailed research proposal will build on the systematic review undertaken in the previous module. The Research and Evaluation Methodology module also provides an introduction to quantitative and qualitative research methods with a specific focus on their application to developing an effective evidence-based approach to policing.  It examines crime trends and examines how crime geographically and temporally clusters and explores how officers can use this data to develop effective long term interventions to reduce crime in a systematic way.  The module explores how effective problem identification can be used to identify service priorities including, priority crime, under-reported crime, preventative policing and volume crime. Officers will also be taught how to undertake realistic evaluation including RCTs in order to assess the effectiveness of policing interventions.

This module also introduces students to the principles and practices of evidence-based policing.  The module examines the development of evidence-based policing, and explores the challenge the approach poses to more traditional form of policing.

Interprofessional Practice 20 credits

In the Interprofessional Practice module students consider how professionals working in the field of criminal justice can work more effectively in an interdisciplinary and intra-professional way.  They will be able to develop a sound understanding of the importance of working collaboratively with professionals from different disciplines, for example, Mental Health teams and those working within the voluntary sector. The module examines what is required to get relationships right in crime work; working with stakeholders, the general public, with offenders or suspects, other professionals and other criminal justice agencies. The module interrogates the concept of legitimacy and the authority of statutory agencies; the police as a peacekeeping and public service and examines community policing and the concept of procedural justice and its role in shaping public attitudes.

The Dissertation 60 credits

Throughout the MSc 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 MSc 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 systematic review and the research proposal into research project, designed, carried out and evaluated by the student themselves.

Course aims:

The aims of the MSc Crime and Community Safety: EBP are to offer an innovative, dynamic and flexible programme:

  • to enable students to develop and refine their in-depth knowledge of criminological theory; explanations of crime and the criminal justice system in order that they develop a systematic understanding and a critical awareness of current problems in an international comparative context.
  • to provide students with opportunities to foster and develop a core set of analytical problem solving skills that can be translated into effective professional practice within a range of different contexts
  • to enable students to deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively and make sound judgements.
  • to provide students with a conceptual understanding of research and the skills necessary to interrogate, analyse and evaluate crime data and other primary resources (managing data), to be able to critically evaluate current research and have a practical understanding of how established research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge.
  • to enhance the ability of students to effectively communicate to specialist and non-specialist audiences, plan strategically and manage and lead in transformational change.
  • to provide students with the skills necessary to apply the lessons of 'what works' literature into confronting regional crime and anti-social priorities and make decisions in complex and unpredictable situations.
  • to enable students to develop an understanding of the significance of community engagement, procedural justice and interprofessional practice and be able to apply this within an operational context.
  • to develop in students a range of intellectual skills reflecting both the ethos of lifelong learning and the rigour required at M level, a high level of student autonomy and self-direction in order to facilitate the student to demonstrate initiative, originality alongside integrity and ethical judgement in their advanced scholarship and to become influential and effective specialists in their field of  practice.

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.

Fees and finance


  • Part-time tuition fee: £870 per 20 credits (please contact the Infozone for further information).

Further Information

  • 20% reduction in fees for University of Suffolk graduates
  • Also see Postgraduate Study within Student Finance

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

Academic Requirements

In order to satisfy the minimum general requirements for admission, candidates should

  • have background in criminology or related social science subject area through previous study (minimum Bachelors honours degree 2:2 or equivalent), or
  • have acquired qualified experience through professional employment that enables the candidate to study successfully at master’s level.

Also see How to Apply.

International Requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall (minimum 5.5 in all components) where English is not the students' first language.

Also see International and EU.             

Transferring Credit

If you have previously studied at higher education level before you may be able to transfer credits to a related course at the University of Suffolk and reduce the period of study time necessary to achieve your degree.


Course Leader in MSc Crime and Community Safety and Senior Lecturer

Senior Lecturer in Criminology

Senior Lecturer in Early Childhood Studies

Course Leader in MBA and Senior Lecturer in Economics

Associate Professor in Diagnostic Radiography

Senior Lecturer in Social Work

Associate Professor and MBM Programme Leader

Dean of School of Engineering, Arts, Science and Technology

Professor of Information Systems Engineering