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Which pathway is right for you?

MSc Criminology

MSc Criminology has four pathways. A pathway is a course of study, which enables you to become a specialist in an area of criminological study.

If you opt for a pathway you will graduate with an MSc in Criminology with Criminal Justice; Criminology with Global Criminology; Criminology with Gender, Sexuality and Criminal Justice; or Criminology with Race, Crime and Justice.

Selecting a specialist pathway will:

  • guide your learning towards specialisation in a specialised area of criminology
  • signal your in-depth knowledge and interests to future employers or doctoral research programmes
  • eliminate the guess-work - pathways guide your module choices.

Please note, you do not have to follow a pathway. If you do not choose a pathway, you will still have access to our range of optional modules. Additionally, you can change or leave a pathway prior to graduation. 

Pathway structure

All students will take the following compulsory modules:

  • Research Methods in Criminology (30 credits)
  • Masters Research Project - Criminology (30 credits). Students must undertake a research project that reflects their chosen pathway.

Plus the following from your chosen pathway:

  • A compulsory theoretical core module designated from your chose pathway (30 credits)
  • One pathway-specific module from a list of designated options (30 credits)
  • Two optional modules (see list below) offered across the Departments of Law and Criminology (60 credits)

MSc Criminology with Criminal Justice

  • The Criminology with Criminal Justice pathway covers prevalent and influential criminological theories, concepts and approaches. The focus of study is criminal behaviour, crime control and criminal justice in the 21st century. 
  • The modules for this pathway are:
    • Contemporary Criminological Theory (theoretical core module)
    • Contemporary Issues in Criminal Justice 
    • Security, Risk and Governance 
    • Global Perspectives on Crime Control
    • Two optional modules (see 'Optional Modules' below)

MSc Criminology with Global Criminology

  • The Global Criminology pathway focuses on global, comparative and transnational perspectives on international and national trends in crime and crime control.
  • The modules for this pathway are:
    • International Criminological Theory (theoretical core module)
    • Global Perspectives on Crime Control
    • Southern Perspectives on Constitutional and Political Transformation
    • Issues in International Law and Human Rights
    • Two options modules (see 'Optional Modules' below)

MSc Criminology with Gender, Sexuality and Criminal Justice

  • The Gender, Sexuality and Criminal Justice pathway highlights the importance of gender and sexuality studies with criminology and criminal justice. It takes an interdisciplinary and intersectional perspective to explore the significance of gender and sexuality on violence, crime control and within the criminal justice system.
  • Students may also choose options from across Birkbeck’s interdisciplinary MSc in Gender and Sexuality.  
  • The modules for this pathway are:
    • Gender, Sexuality and Criminal Justice (theoretical core module)
    • Regulating Sex and Sexuality
    • Intersectionality and Criminal Justice
    • Influencing Public Policy
    • Selected modules from the MSc in Gender and Sexuality and Culture, such as Theorising Gender (TBC)
    • Two optional modules (see 'Optional Modules' below)
  • Watch Dr Tanya Serisier, Aviah Day and Dr Sarah Lamble discuss this pathway.

MSc Criminology with Race, Crime and Criminal Justice

  • The Race, Crime and Criminal Justice pathway offers a comprehensive analysis of how issues of race and ethnicity intersect with questions of crime and justice. It introduces key concepts and theories relating to race and crime, and examines social, political and economic processes that define, construct and respond to crime and victims in a racialised manner. 
  • The modules for this pathway are:
    • Race, Crime and Justice (theoretical core module)
    • Global Migration, Border Controls and Criminal Justice
    • Intersectionality and Criminal Justice
    • Policing, Race and Ethnicity
    • Two optional modules (see 'Optional Modules' below)
  • Watch Dr Megan McElhone and Dr Monish Bhatia discuss this pathway.

Students will select two further modules either from the pathways or from those offered in the Departments of Criminology and Law.

Optional modules

  • Child Law
  • Contemporary Issues in Medical Law and Ethics
  • Drugs, Crime and Criminal Justice
  • Housing, Justice and the Law
  • Imprisonment and Justice
  • International Law of Armed Conflict
  • Labour Law
  • Law, History and Political Violence
  • Mental Health Law and Criminal Justice
  • Political Violence and Terrorism
  • Principles of Medical Law and Ethics
  • Public International Law and the Use of Force
  • Social Welfare Law in Practice
  • The Criminalisation of Welfare