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Examine real-life case studies to piece together the inner workings of serious crime, and the methods used to police it. You’ll gain the skills and knowledge needed for many careers in criminal justice, such as the Police, youth justice, the Home Office or border agencies.
- Study with a school ranked 8th in the UK for Criminology (The Guardian University Guide 2018)
- Feel supported by our close community of students and staff, including dedicated social media groups
- Learn from professional criminal justice practitioners through lectures, workshops and other activities
- Take part in events including field trips, guest lectures and our end-of-year Criminology Conference
- Join forces with PIER, our Policing Institute for the Eastern Region, with links to local and regional forces and policing bodies and chief officers at local and national level
Focusing on serious crime, you’ll explore the practice and theory of criminal activities, including how crime is detected and policed, methods of social control, and sanctions.
By examining different theoretical standpoints, you’ll form an understanding of various Western legal and social traditions and how they compare to each other.
You’ll investigate issues such as organised illicit trade and criminal enterprise, using case studies of criminal activities including financial crime, human trafficking, and violence prevention.
Our modules will let you specialise in other areas of interest too, such as the nature of violence, terrorism, and policing transnational crime.
Most of your teaching will take place in research-seminar format to allow you to develop critical thinking, but your learning will also be supported by lectures, guest speakers and debates. You’ll have a chance to contribute to our research seminar series, and take part in our annual criminology study trips abroad.
And if you need advice, our experienced teaching staff will always be available to help you.
This course will prepare you for many criminal justice-related careers, such as the immigration and border agencies, the Police, the Prison Service, the National Probation Service, youth justice, the Home Office, the court system, violence prevention or social policy and research.
MODULES & ASSESSMENT
On this module, you will explore the structure and nature of organised illicit trade and discuss the concept of criminal networks, including criminal opportunity and routine activities, to analyse different case studies. These case studies will include financial crime, drug trafficking, human trafficking, child abuse, toxic waste and smuggling. You will measure and evaluate the scale of illicit trade in order to analyse the regulatory issues involved and potential preventative mechanisms. You will need to contribute significantly to the weekly seminars by researching and discussing different cases. You will be required to critically analyse the research in a specific area of organised crime and present your ideas. You will also produce a written portfolio including a variety of assessment methods.
Major ProjectThis module will support you in the preparation and submission of a Masters dissertation, allowing you to explore in-depth a particular topic that reflects your academic interest.
Terror as CrimeWords such as terror, terrorism, terrorist and the ‚war on terror’ are now a part of our everyday language, but what do these terms really mean? In this module, you will identify and critically examine terror-related issues through criminological and criminal justice perspectives. You will evaluate the effect of changing crime level and the contribution towards moral panics in contrast to the impact of more serious crime waves in societies. You will also evaluate the notion of mobilising a nation through terror-information in relation to the recent adoption of regular risk assessment and analysis measures, as well as propaganda. In addition, you will investigate the shift from ‚old’ terrorism to ‚new’ terrorism, as well as the role of domestic criminal justice systems in preventing, investigating and responding to acts of terror. The theme of peacemaking and peacekeeping will run throughout the module – you will explore and critically evaluate successful initiatives throughout the world. You will be assessed through a presentation, summary case study and an essay.
Violence in ContextThis module will present you with theoretical frameworks through which you can analyse why and how violence, as a construct, proliferates globally and locally. You will apply broad theoretical explanations to particular ‚violence scenarios’, and test more focused, recent research in broader settings. Owing to the multi-faceted nature of violence, literature has often sought to address specific forms of violence discretely, and its study in the Social Sciences has become somewhat fragmented. You will test a range of different theoretical models and apply them to a particular case study of violence. You will also critically evaluate policies and practitioner-based programmes that seek to address violent behaviour, and examine specific scenarios of violence from a range of academic and practitioner-based perspectives. Your assessment will comprise a presentation, four weekly literature reviews and a case study analysis of a violence ‚problem’.
International Institutions and PolicyOn this module, you will critically analyse the origins, evolution and role of international institutions in the global order over the course of the 20th and 21st century, in order to understand why these institutions have developed, and why states choose, or do not choose, to use these institutions as a means to achieve their objectives. You will examine the still-evolving structures of global governance, and the role of these organisations and institutions in contemporary politics and diplomacy, looking at the work of specific organisations including the UN, the EU, the IMF and World Bank etc. You will pay particular attention to the challenges inherent in attempting to foster international co-operation and consensus between sovereign nation states, including the limitations of international law, as well as examining possible future developments. Your assessment will comprise an initial report of 1,000 words, a 10-minute presentation, a brief data analysis and a longer essay of 3,500 words.
Policing Transnational CrimeThe globalisation of contemporary societies means that criminal activity that was once a primarily national concern is increasingly becoming transnational in nature. As a result, policing bodies now have to manage risk and security on a much wider and larger scale. On this module, you will critically examine the nature of risk and security in contemporary society, beginning with an exploration of the concept of the risk society. You will evaluate contemporary forms of policing and security in societies that are built on the notion of risk, its avoidance and quantification. You will also consider risk from the perspective of corruption within organisations tasked with managing cross border crime. In the second part of the module, you will focus on responses to transnational crime, exploring the nature of intelligence-led policing and the role of police as data patrollers and information gatherers. You will examine specific examples of cross border agency responses, such as INTERPOL and EUROPOL, as well as charting the growth of the power of transnational policing through mutual assistance and multinational agreements such as Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties and Memoranda of Understanding. You will be assessed through a portfolio, a presentation and a reflective commentary.
You’ll show your progress through a combination of essays, presentations, case studies and portfolio work.