Criminology and Criminal Justice


  • Entry year 2024
  • Duration Full time 1 year, Part time 2 years


Top reasons to study with us

  • 6th in the UK for Research Impact (REF2021), 88% rated "outstanding"

  • World top 100 Law School Times Higher Education 2023

  • Discover the latest specialist knowledge from our experts

Why Lancaster?

  • Pick from a wide selection of optional modules that cover a broad range of topics, from violence to human rights
  • Look at society’s biggest problems through a lens of social inclusion, disorder and justice
  • Be the first to hear about our research in policing, cybercrime, drugs and society, and more
  • Become confident with a range of research methods and carry out your own project on a topic that interests you
  • Join a lively community of students and staff who have a diverse range of interests within the field of criminology

The world is a live laboratory. As a criminologist, you can analyse different issues, investigate change as it happens and use theory to make sense of it. By joining us at Lancaster, well help you look at the motivations behind different crimes and assess potential solutions to key issues.

Understanding society

What are the implications of climate change for policing? Is it time to scale back on prisons? What do we need to know about cannabis cultivation? These are just a few examples of questions you might think about as a criminology student. We’ll cover the most current challenges and share the research we’re doing right now.

You’ll be part of a vibrant community. There’s always something going on within the department, whether that’s a guest lecture or a research group meeting. Our staff will talk to you about their latest work too, and share the issues they’ve faced in their own work around ethics, such as finding a safe way to explore cybercrime.

Discover your interests

Studying our MA Criminology and Criminal Justice is your chance to look at the broad issues around criminology. Our Criminological Research in Practice module will help you understand the entire process of research in this area, from carrying out fieldwork to making conclusions about your findings.

You’ll apply everything you’ve learnt to your dissertation. Because you’ve had the chance to look at a range of areas, it can be on anything that has sparked your interest. Past students have looked at the escalation of domestic violence, the rise of cybercrime and gender-neutral prisons.

Want to focus on law and crime? Take a look at our LLM Criminology and Criminal Justice.


By the time you finish this course, you’ll be confident carrying out different types of research and analysing data. We’ll also make sure you know how to write critically about complex social problems. Employers will value all of these skills, as well as your ability to present ideas confidently and clearly about a range of issues to different audiences.

Armed with a degree in this area, you can go in different directions. You might use your research skills to continue to PhD study or you could look for a role working with young offenders or victims of crime.

Your degree could lead to a job in:

  • The Home Office
  • Probation service
  • Social services
  • Non-profit-making organisations
  • The NHS
  • Educational institutions and charities

Whatever you decide to do next, you’ll understand the world through different perspectives and think about social issues in a new way.

Entry requirements

Academic Requirements

2:1 Hons degree (UK or equivalent) in any discipline.

We may also consider non-standard applicants, please contact us for information.

If you have studied outside of the UK, we would advise you to check our list of international qualifications before submitting your application.

English Language Requirements

We may ask you to provide a recognised English language qualification, dependent upon your nationality and where you have studied previously.

We normally require an IELTS (Academic) Test with an overall score of at least 6.5, and a minimum of 5.5 in each element of the test. We also consider other English language qualifications.

If your score is below our requirements, you may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language programmes.

Contact: Admissions Team +44 (0) 1524 592032 or email

Course structure

You will study a range of modules as part of your course, some examples of which are listed below.

Information contained on the website with respect to modules is correct at the time of publication, but changes may be necessary, for example as a result of student feedback, Professional Statutory and Regulatory Bodies' (PSRB) requirements, staff changes, and new research. Not all optional modules are available every year.


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Fees and funding

Location Full Time (per year) Part Time (per year)
Home £11,500 £5,750
International £23,875 £11,935

General fees and funding information

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Scholarships and bursaries

You may be eligible for the following funding opportunities, depending on your fee status and course. You will be automatically considered for our main scholarships and bursaries when you apply, so there's nothing extra that you need to do.

Unfortunately no scholarships and bursaries match your selection, but there are more listed on scholarships and bursaries page.

If you're considering postgraduate research you should look at our funded PhD opportunities.

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We also have other, more specialised scholarships and bursaries - such as those for students from specific countries.

Browse Lancaster University's scholarships and bursaries.

Important Information

The information on this site relates primarily to 2024/2025 entry to the University and every effort has been taken to ensure the information is correct at the time of publication.

The University will use all reasonable effort to deliver the courses as described, but the University reserves the right to make changes to advertised courses. In exceptional circumstances that are beyond the University’s reasonable control (Force Majeure Events), we may need to amend the programmes and provision advertised. In this event, the University will take reasonable steps to minimise the disruption to your studies. If a course is withdrawn or if there are any fundamental changes to your course, we will give you reasonable notice and you will be entitled to request that you are considered for an alternative course or withdraw your application. You are advised to revisit our website for up-to-date course information before you submit your application.

More information on limits to the University’s liability can be found in our legal information.

Our Students’ Charter

We believe in the importance of a strong and productive partnership between our students and staff. In order to ensure your time at Lancaster is a positive experience we have worked with the Students’ Union to articulate this relationship and the standards to which the University and its students aspire. View our Charter and other policies.