Global Criminology (MSc)

This innovative course offers a unique insight into the global dimensions of crime and punishment in today's world. Exploring both cutting-edge criminological theory and current real-world phenomena, the programme provides a multidisciplinary platform for you to engage with the complexity of contemporary criminological challenges.

You will be introduced to theoretical debates about the relationship between global, national and local questions of crime and punishment. You will also learn about the range of research methods that are used to explore such questions. An internship option will give you first-hand experience of the reality and importance of the idea of 'the global' for organisations engaged in criminal justice and related work.

By insisting on a genuinely international perspective that looks at, but also beyond, the experiences of affluent societies that have characteristically dominated criminological scholarship to date, the programme encourages you to think broadly and innovatively about this dynamic, burgeoning field of study.

The course will appeal to those seeking to develop a deeper appreciation and understanding of the key theoretical and practical issues that have shaped and currently play a major role in influencing matters of crime and punishment from a global perspective. 

Highlights

  • Our School of Law is an internationally recognised centre for critical and interdisciplinary research in law and is home to the Birkbeck Criminology Seminar Series, which provides a platform for leading and cutting-edge research and features guest speakers from around the world.
  • 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.
  • Teaching on the programme is provided by experts in respective subjects, including members of the renowned Institute for Criminal Policy Research, which has long contributed to policy-making, scholarship and public debate about crime and criminal justice. The School's Birkbeck Law Press publishes Law and Critique: The International Journal of Critical Legal Thought.
  • IT resources, such as electronic learning environments, are used at Birkbeck 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. 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.
  • Find out more about why you should study law at Birkbeck.

Course structure

You take three compulsory modules, one of which is a dissertation, and choose three option modules.

On the part-time programme, you take International Criminological Theory and three option modules in your first year, while in your second year, you take Research Methods in Criminology, two option modules and write your dissertation.

Module groups

Please note: the list of option modules is indicative and not all options will be available every year.

Sample timetable

PDF document icon Preliminary PGT Timetable 2018-19.pdf — PDF document, 28 KB (28943 bytes)
  • Entry Requirements

    Entry requirements

    A 2:2 honours degree in law or a related discipline in the humanities or social sciences.

    Other relevant qualifications and appropriate professional experience and training are 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 6.5 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.

    Visa requirements

    If you are not from the European Economic Area (EEA) and/or Switzerland and you are coming to study in the UK, you may need to apply for a visa.

    The visa you apply for varies according to the length of your course:

    • Courses of more than six months’ duration.
    • Courses of less than six months’ duration.
    • Pre-sessional English language courses.

    International students who require a Tier 4 visa should apply for our three-year evening study BA/BSc/LLB degrees, as these are classified as full-time study and qualify for student visa status. If you are living in the UK on a Tier 4 visa, you will not be eligible to enrol as a student on Birkbeck’s part-time evening study degrees.

    For full information, read our visa information for international students page.

    Credits and Accredited Prior Learning (APL)

    If you have studied at university previously, you may have accumulated credits through the modules you studied. It may be possible to transfer these credits from your previous study to Birkbeck or another institution. You should discuss this with the Programme Director when you are making your application.

    Find out more about credits and Accredited Prior Learning (APL).

  • Fees

    Fees

    Part-time home/EU students: £5375 pa
    Full-time home/EU students: £10725 pa
    Part-time international students: £8200 pa
    Full-time international students: £16400 pa

    Students are charged a tuition fee in each year of their programme. Tuition fees for students continuing on their programme in following years may be subject to annual inflationary increases. For more information, please see the College Fees Policy.

  • Teaching and assessment

    Teaching

    At Birkbeck, almost all of our courses are taught in the evening and our teaching is designed to support students who are juggling evening study with work and other daytime commitments. We actively encourage innovative and engaging ways of teaching, to ensure our students have the best learning experience. In the 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), the government’s system for rating university teaching, Birkbeck was allocated a Silver award.

    Teaching may include formal lectures, seminars, and practical classes and tutorials. Formal lectures are used in most degree programmes to give an overview of a particular field of study. They aim to provide the stimulus and the starting point for deeper exploration of the subject during your own personal reading. Seminars give you the chance to explore a specific aspect of your subject in depth and to discuss and exchange ideas with fellow students. They typically require preparatory study.

    Our distance-learning and blended-learning courses and modules are self-directed and we will provide you with interactive learning opportunities and encourage you to collaborate and engage via various learning technologies. These courses involve limited or no face-to-face contact between students and module tutors.

    In addition, you will have access to pastoral support via a named Personal Tutor.

    Methods of teaching on this course

    Teaching is primarily through seminars, with supplementary materials, publications and discussions available within our online teaching environment.

    Contact hours

    On our taught courses, you will have scheduled teaching and study sessions each year. Alongside this, you will also undertake assessment activities and independent learning outside of class. Depending on the modules you take, you may also have additional scheduled academic activities, such as tutorials, dissertation supervision, practical classes, visits and fieldtrips.

    On our taught courses, the actual amount of time you spend in the classroom and in contact with your lecturers will depend on your course, the option modules you select and when you undertake your final-year project.

    On our distance-learning and blended-learning courses, discussion, collaboration and interaction with your lecturers and fellow students are encouraged and enabled through various learning technologies, but you may have limited or no face-to-face contact with your module tutors.

    Timetables

    Timetables are usually available from September onwards and you can access your personalised timetable via your My Birkbeck Profile online (if you have been invited to enrol).

    Indicative class size

    Class sizes vary, depending on your course, the module you are undertaking, and the method of teaching. For example, lectures are presented to larger groups, whereas seminars usually consist of small, interactive groups led by a tutor.

    Independent learning

    On our taught courses, much of your time outside of class will be spent on self-directed, independent learning, including preparing for classes and following up afterwards. This will usually include, but is not limited to, reading books and journal articles, undertaking research, working on coursework and assignments, and preparing for presentations and assessments.

    Independent learning is absolutely vital to your success as a student. Everyone is different, and the study time required varies topic by topic, but, as a guide, expect to schedule up to five hours of self-study for each hour of teaching.

    On our distance-learning and blended-learning courses, the emphasis is very much on independent, self-directed learning and you will be expected to manage your own learning, with the support of your module tutors and various learning technologies.

    Study skills and additional support

    Birkbeck offers study and learning support to undergraduate and postgraduate students to help them succeed. Our Learning Development Service can help you in the following areas:

    • academic skills (including planning your workload, research, writing, exam preparation and writing a dissertation)
    • written English (including structure, punctuation and grammar)
    • numerical skills (basic mathematics and statistics).

    Our Disability and Dyslexia Service can support you if you have additional learning needs resulting from a disability or from dyslexia.

    Our Counselling Service can support you if you are struggling with emotional or psychological difficulties during your studies.

    Our Mental Health Advisory Service can support you if you are experiencing short- or long-term mental health difficulties during your studies.

    Assessment

    Assessment is an integral part of your university studies and usually consists of a combination of coursework and examinations, although this will vary from course to course - on some of our courses, assessment is entirely by coursework. The methods of assessment on this course are specified below under 'Methods of assessment on this course'. You will need to allow time to complete coursework and prepare for exams.

    Where a course has unseen written examinations, these may be held termly, but, on the majority of our courses, exams are usually taken in the Summer term, during May to June. Exams may be held at other times of the year as well. In most cases, exams are held during the day on a weekday - if you have daytime commitments, you will need to make arrangements for daytime attendance - but some exams are held in the evening. Exam timetables are published online.

    Find out more about assessment at Birkbeck, including guidance on assessment, feedback and our assessment offences policy.

    Methods of assessment on this course

    Each module is assessed via a 4000-word essay; you also write an 8000-word dissertation.

  • Careers and employability

    Careers and employability

    Graduates can pursue a career in law enforcement, education, the media and criminal justice. Possible professions include law enforcement, criminal justice policy development, or local government officer. This degree can also be useful in a variety of positions within law enforcement and criminal justice agencies, and think tanks.

    Find more advice and information about law careers.

    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

    How to apply

    You apply directly to Birkbeck for this course, using the online application.

    Birkbeck can give you all of the information and help you need to complete your application form.

    Application deadlines and interviews

    Early applications are advised.