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.
How to apply
Application deadlines and interviews
You should apply as early as possible.
Applications open in October.
Criminal Law and Criminal Justice (MA / LLM) (Part-time)
Criminal Law and Criminal Justice (MA / LLM) (Full-time)
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.
Indicative option modules
Please note that the modules listed here are indicative; not all modules will be available every year.
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.
Part-time home/EU students: £
paFull-time home/EU students: £
paPart-time overseas students: £
paFull-time overseas students: £
Payment and Fees Discounts
Funding and Financial Support
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 out more about these professions.
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.
Teaching and assessment
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.
Find out more about what you can expect from classes and the help and support we offer students.
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.