How do we understand crime? How can it be prevented? Why should crime be punished, and how should we go about it? Criminologists engage with some of the most pressing issues, decisions and dilemmas facing societies today. Our MSoc Criminology course explores the nature of crime, criminal justice and punishment within wider social contexts, starting from an undergraduate level, taking you through to postgraduate level study.
As a student of criminology, you experience a lively, informal environment with many possibilities to pursue your own interests. Our flexible course means that you can study an exciting range of topics, from the impact of computer games on crime, to terrorism and illegal migration, to policing and controlling society.
We are a large and friendly department, offering a range and diversity of research interests, with staff members who are committed to teaching, research and publication. We have leading international experts in the areas of:
- Organised crime, surveillance and counter-terrorism
- Environmental harm
- Visual criminology
- Social history and crime
You’ll receive training in criminological methods – how to design a survey, conduct an interview, and use quantitative analysis from basic statistic to big data – in order to ask the difficult questions, and will also have the opportunity to complete a supervised dissertation on a topic that inspires you.
Your education extends beyond the university campus. We support you in expanding your education through offering the opportunity to spend a year or a term studying abroad at one of our partner universities. The five-year version of our degree allows you to spend the third year abroad or employed on a placement abroad, while otherwise remaining identical to the four-year course.
Studying abroad allows you to experience other cultures and languages, to broaden your degree socially and academically, and to demonstrate to employers that you are mature, adaptable, and organised.
If you spend a full year abroad you’ll only pay 15% of your usual tuition fee to Essex for that year. You won’t pay any tuition fees to your host university.
You can also undertake a placement year in which you gain relevant work experience within an external business, giving you a competitive edge in the graduate job market and providing you with key contacts within the industry. You will be responsible for finding your placement, but with support and guidance provided by both your department and our Employability and Careers Centre.
Why we’re great
- 16th for criminology (The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021)
- We’re ranked 6th in the UK for criminology (Guardian University Guide 2021)
- Our staff have worked with bodies including the Home Office, Amnesty International and the United Nations
We offer a flexible course structure with a mixture of core/compulsory modules, and optional modules chosen from lists. Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field. The course content is therefore reviewed on an annual basis to ensure our courses remain up-to-date so modules listed are subject to change.
Teaching and learning disclaimer
Following the impact of the pandemic, we made changes to our teaching and assessment to ensure our current students could continue with their studies uninterrupted and safely. These changes included courses being taught through blended delivery, normally including some face-to-face teaching, online provision, or a combination of both across the year.
The teaching and assessment methods listed show what is currently approved for 2022 entry; changes may be necessary if, by the beginning of this course, we need to adapt the way we’re delivering them due to the external environment, and to allow you to continue to receive the best education possible safely and seamlessly.