2 years part-time or 1 year full-time
1-2 evenings a week part-time or 2-3 evenings a week full-time, October to April
Security is a major contemporary preoccupation; criminal law and criminal justice are key responses. This postgraduate degree in criminal law and criminal justice offers an exciting, challenging and distinctive opportunity to undertake advanced study in these areas.
The central focus of the programme is the interface between criminal law and criminal justice. It offers a theoretically informed and multidisciplinary course of study. In addition to studying the now established critical and theoretical perspectives relevant to criminal law and criminal justice, the programme also has a humanities focus, which offers an opportunity to explore and engage with cutting-edge scholarship in criminal law and criminal justice studies.
The programme is delivered by staff from the School of Law, the Institute of Criminal Policy Research at Birkbeck, and a range of visiting international scholars and practitioners.
Find out more about studying law at Birkbeck.
Why study this course at Birkbeck?
- Designed for students who are passionate about criminal law and criminal justice, who want to face new challenges, and who are interested in exploring and developing new critical perspectives on major contemporary national and international debates.
- Flexible learning, studying in the evening, makes it particularly attractive to legal and criminal justice professionals and practitioners.
- The School of Law is an internationally recognised centre for critical and interdisciplinary legal research. It provides an exciting and innovative environment for a wide range of research with a strong theoretical and policy focus. The School is the home of Birkbeck Law Press and publishes Law and Critique: The International Journal of Critical Legal Thought.
- The School of Law is also the home of the Institute for Criminal Policy Research. Mike Hough and Paul Turnbull, its co-directors, lead a team of outstanding researchers. They bring a wealth of knowledge to the Master's programme, participating in core and specialist modules and providing dissertation supervision.
- We use technology, such as electronic learning environments, to enhance teaching and learning. Birkbeck Library has an extensive teaching collection of books, journals and electronic resources in law and related disciplines, such as economics, politics and sociology. For example, it provides access to over 17,000 electronic journals, which are available online 24 hours a day. Find out more about our teaching and learning resources.
- You can also take advantage of the rich research collections nearby, including those of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, Senate House Library, the British Library of Political and Economic Science (LSE Library) and the British Library.
- Applicants with a strong academic background may be eligible to apply for AHRC/ESRC awards (UK and EU-based applicants only). Candidates with an outstanding academic record who demonstrate high potential for strong performance on one of our Master's degrees can apply for School of Law Postgraduate Fee Awards.
- We are among the top 10 law schools in the UK and in the top three in London in the Times Higher Education 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) rankings, while our research environment was judged conducive to producing research of the highest quality.
- Watch our video and discover what our students have to say about studying law at Birkbeck.
- Watch videos of our postgraduate students discussing their experience of studying at Birkbeck.
You take three compulsory modules, one of which is a dissertation, and three option modules.
The dual stream award (either LLM or MA) allows you to choose a qualification that best suits your existing and future career. The final award will be determined prior to completion.
- Contemporary Issues in Criminal Justice
- Criminal Law Theory and History
- Research Project MA/LLM Criminal Law and Criminal Justice
Indicative option modules
- Advanced Intellectual Property Law
- Crime and Control
- Cultures of Human Rights
- Equality and the Law
- Film and Human Rights
- Futures: The Globalization of Human Rights
- Gender, Sexuality and Criminal Justice
- Hate Crime
- Healthcare and Human Rights
- Human Rights in Britain
- Land, Law and Dispossession
- Psychology of Law and Crime
- Slavery, slaveries, enslavement : the Western experience
- Social Justice
- The International Economic Constitution
- Youth Justice
Please note that the modules listed here are indicative; not all modules will be available every year.
We welcome a wide range of qualifications, from the UK and abroad, and we will also consider your non-academic achievements.
Good second-class honours degree in law or a related discipline in the humanities or social sciences.
Degrees from overseas institutions must be equivalent to a UK second-class degree.
Other relevant qualifications and appropriate professional experience and training welcome.
International entry requirements
If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, the requirement for this programme is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 7.0, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.
If you don't meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses, foundation programmes and language support services to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.
Visit the International section of our website to find out more about our English language entry requirements and relevant requirements by country.
Fees and finance
We offer advice on all the options for financing your studies. You can pay your fees interest-free by direct debit and postgraduate loans are available for all Home/EU students.
FeesPart-time home/EU students: £ 3975 pa
Full-time home/EU students: £ 7950 pa
Part-time overseas students: £ 7225 pa
Full-time overseas students: £ 14450 pa
Teaching and assessment
Our innovative, engaging teaching is designed to support students who are juggling evening study with work and other daytime commitments.
This programme includes both taught and research (a dissertation) components. Teaching and learning formats may vary: some modules follow a traditional programme of weekly meetings, others may take the form of intensive courses offered over one or two weekends.
Independent study and active participation are essential to all course provision. You should plan to spend at least 5 hours in private study for every hour spent in class.
Final assessment for most compulsory and option modules is based on a 4000-word essay. You will also submit a dissertation of 6000-8000 words on a topic of your choice, to be agreed with the programme director.
Careers and employability
To help you get ahead in your career, we offer free advice and training and our recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, can connect you with employers.
Careers and employability
Graduates can pursue a career in the legal professions, police, probation, research, or journalism. Possible professions include community development officer, police or prison officer, social or youth worker, or adult guidance worker. This degree can also be useful in a variety of local government positions, or in becoming a researcher or journalist.
Find more advice and information about law careers.
Read Joanna Perry, Hate Crimes Officer at the Organisation for Security and Co-Operation in Europe (OSCE), explaining how a Birkbeck Master's degree in law helped her build a successful career in criminal justice.
Find out more about the destinations of graduates in this subject.
We offer a comprehensive Careers and Employability Service to help you advance your career, while our in-house, professional recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, works with London’s top employers to help you gain work experience that fits in with your evening studies.
How to apply
Once you've found the course that's right for you, here's what to do next to get your place at Birkbeck.
How to apply
You apply directly to Birkbeck for this course, using the online application.
Need help with your application? Watch videos featuring our academic experts giving advice on applying to Birkbeck and answering some of the most frequently asked questions.
Birkbeck can give you all of the information and help you need to complete your application form, including our online personal statement tool, which will guide you through every step of writing your personal statement.
Application deadlines and interviews
You should apply as early as possible.
Applications open in October.
Life at Birkbeck
Birkbeck offers a unique combination of evening study and a matchless central London location, right in the geographic and academic centre of the city, giving you exceptional opportunities.
Most of our students live in private accommodation, but we also offer student accommodation and access to the professional services of the University of London Housing Services.
The Birkbeck experience
Birkbeck is different: our classes are held in the evening, so your days are free - to study, work, volunteer or just do your own thing.
Financial support and postgraduate loans
Birkbeck offers advice on all the options for financing your studies. You can pay loans by interest-free direct debit and postgraduate loans are available for all Home/EU students. Find out about the support we provide.
How to apply
Once you've found the course that's right for you, here's what to do next to get your place at Birkbeck. We can give you the advice and support you need.
Birkbeck is one of the world’s leading research universities. Discover more about our vibrant, intellectually challenging and exciting research culture.
Boost your career
Discover how Birkbeck's unique evening teaching, coupled with our comprehensive careers and employability services, can help you get ahead in a highly competitive job market.
Fees and payment
With government loans for undergraduate and postgraduate study, fantastic financial support packages and flexible payment options, there’s never been a better time to study at Birkbeck.
There are lots of ways to come and visit us and meet our staff and former students, including Open Evenings, Open Days and guided campus tours. Discover more here.
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