Postgraduate Course

MA Sociology and Criminology

MA Sociology and Criminology

Overview

The details
Sociology and Criminology
October 2021
Full-time
1 year
Colchester Campus
Sociology

There can be no crime without society. Combining the specialist study of criminology with a broad approach to sociological questions, our course emboldens you to study crime, criminals, and criminal justice within wider social contexts. Understanding society is key to understand every other phenomenon within it, including crime.

How do we understand crime? How can it be prevented? Why should crime be punished, and how should we go about it? This course also allows you to apply sociological theories to criminology asking questions like these. Criminologists and sociologists engage with some of the most pressing issues, decisions and dilemmas facing societies today. On our course you explore the nature of crime, criminal justice and punishment within wider social contexts. You will also explore how society deals with the past and the present, with issues such as colonialism and post-colonialism and the future of human rights as the backbone of every analysis.

Guided by our expert staff who specialise in social theory, colonial history, terrorism, organised crime, prisons, drug abuse, and crime in the media, you explore how criminal activity interlinks with age, gender, and social concepts such as power and identity.

You will study areas including:

  • Social divisions, inequality, the nature of work and commercial culture
  • Culture, identity and subjectivity
  • Gender and sexuality
  • Media and criminology
  • The analysis, politics and prevention of crime
  • Globalisation and various forms of crime
  • Security and the state
  • New criminological theory
  • Terrorism, counter-terrorism, surveillance and human rights

You explore some of the most important and significant debates in contemporary social theory, learning to think analytically about theoretical questions. You discover the importance of social theory in developing a politically engaged understanding of concepts such as post-structuralism, feminism and actor-network theory.

Why we're great.
  • We’re top 10 in the UK for research quality and ranked 9th in the UK for Sociology in the QS World University Rankings by Subject (2021)
  • Our staff have worked with bodies including the Home Office, Amnesty International and the United Nations
  • We pioneered sociologically informed approaches to criminology
THE Awards 2018 - Winner University of the Year

Our expert staff

You are taught by a team of award-winning internationally renowned scholars widely regarded as leading experts in their fields.

Criminology at Essex is led by Professor Eamonn Carrabine, Professor Pamela Cox, Dr Isabel Crowhurst, Professor Pete Fussey, Dr Anna Sergi, Professor Nigel South, Dr Darren Thiel and Dr Jackie Turton.

All staff are actively engaged in research at the cutting edge of their respective fields of interest and specialism and bring the very latest developments and findings into the classroom. All are prominent writers and the criminology team collectively author the best-selling criminology textbook, Criminology: A Sociological Introduction (now in its 3rd edition), used on undergraduate courses across the country.

Our staff have worked at local, national and international level with bodies from local councils and the Home Office, to Amnesty International and the United Nations.

Specialist facilities

  • Our Centre for Criminology hosts expert speakers and practitioners
  • Dedicated postgraduate support facilities through a unique Student Resource Centre where you can get help with your studies, access examples of previous students’ work, and attend workshops on research skills
  • Our renowned off-campus Graduate Conference takes place every February
  • The Sociology common room is open all day Monday-Friday, is stocked with daily newspapers, magazines and journals
  • Links with the Institute of Social and Economic Research, which conducts large-scale survey projects and has its own library, and the UK Data Archive, which stores national research data like the British Crime Survey
  • Our students’ Sociology Society is a forum for the exchange of ideas, arranging talks by visiting speakers, introducing you to various career pathways, and organising debates

Your future

This course provides excellent preparation for further academic study, and many of our postgraduates go on to successful academic careers, both in the UK and overseas.

Others have established careers in non-governmental organisations, local authorities, specialist think tanks, government departments, charities, media production, and research organisations.

We work with the University’s Careers Services to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.

Entry requirements

UK entry requirements

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A 2:2 degree, or international equivalent, in a social science or Humanities subject or, another discipline which must include at least two humanities or social science modules which can include the research project/dissertation).

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Applications from students with a degree below a 2:2 or equivalent or a non-social sciences degree will be considered dependent on any relevant professional or voluntary experience, previous modules studied and/or personal statement.

International & EU entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Get in touch with any questions you may have about the qualifications we accept. Remember to tell us about the qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.

Sorry, the entry requirements for the country that you have selected are not available here. Please select your country page where you'll find this information.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, we require IELTS 6.5 overall with a minimum component score of 6.0

Structure

Course structure

We offer a flexible course structure with a mixture of core/compulsory modules, and optional modules chosen from lists.

Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field. The course content is therefore reviewed on an annual basis to ensure our courses remain up-to-date so modules listed are subject to change.

Teaching and learning disclaimer

Following the impact of the pandemic, we made changes to our teaching and assessment to ensure our current students could continue with their studies uninterrupted and safely. These changes included courses being taught through blended delivery, normally including some face-to-face teaching, online provision, or a combination of both across the year.

The teaching and assessment methods listed show what is currently planned for 2021 entry; changes may be necessary if, by the beginning of this course, we need to adapt the way we’re delivering them due to the external environment, and to allow you to continue to receive the best education possible safely and seamlessly.

Components and modules explained

Components

Components are the blocks of study that make up your course. A component may have a set module which you must study, or a number of modules from which you can choose.

Each component has a status and carries a certain number of credits towards your qualification.

Status What this means
Core
You must take the set module for this component and you must pass. No failure can be permitted.
Core with Options
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component but you must pass. No failure can be permitted.
Compulsory
You must take the set module for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
Compulsory with Options
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
Optional
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.

The modules that are available for you to choose for each component will depend on several factors, including which modules you have chosen for other components, which modules you have completed in previous years of your course, and which term the module is taught in.

Modules

Modules are the individual units of study for your course. Each module has its own set of learning outcomes and assessment criteria and also carries a certain number of credits.

In most cases you will study one module per component, but in some cases you may need to study more than one module. For example, a 30-credit component may comprise of either one 30-credit module, or two 15-credit modules, depending on the options available.

Modules may be taught at different times of the year and by a different department or school to the one your course is primarily based in. You can find this information from the module code. For example, the module code HR100-4-FY means:

HR 100  4  FY

The department or school the module will be taught by.

In this example, the module would be taught by the Department of History.

The module number. 

The UK academic level of the module.

A standard undergraduate course will comprise of level 4, 5 and 6 modules - increasing as you progress through the course.

A standard postgraduate taught course will comprise of level 7 modules.

A postgraduate research degree is a level 8 qualification.

The term the module will be taught in.

  • AU: Autumn term
  • SP: Spring term
  • SU: Summer term
  • FY: Full year 
  • AP: Autumn and Spring terms
  • PS: Spring and Summer terms
  • AS: Autumn and Summer terms

COMPONENT 01: CORE

Postgraduate Taught Project and Academic Skills
(60 CREDITS)

What interests you? Do you want to deepen your knowledge, build invaluable research skills and develop your academic freedom? Your dissertation lets you study a topic of your choosing, in depth, with supervision and guidance from our world-leading academics.

View Postgraduate Taught Project and Academic Skills on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 02: CORE

Sociological Research Design
(20 CREDITS)

How do you design social research for projects? Examine the research process, from forming initial research questions through to writing up your findings. Develop your own research ideas via the approaches discussed, building a critical perspective on empirical research that will help you with future research goals.

View Sociological Research Design on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 03: CORE

Formative Debates in Criminology
(20 CREDITS)

How do we challenge our conventional understanding of crime? And what can we do about this? Examine the history of criminology and learn about the contemporary debates. Study topics like criminalisation, social deviance, and surveillance and punishment. Look ahead with analysis of new work by leading authors in the field.

View Formative Debates in Criminology on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 04: CORE

Topics in Contemporary Social Theory
(20 CREDITS)

What is the significance of 'the de-centring of the subject'? What problems does the materiality of the body pose for sociology? Do claims for objectivity now make any sense at all? Gain an understanding of the significant debates in contemporary social theory, while learning to think analytically about theoretical questions.

View Topics in Contemporary Social Theory on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 05: OPTIONAL

Sociology option from list
(20 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 06: OPTIONAL

Criminology option from list
(20 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 07: OPTIONAL

Option from list
(20 CREDITS)

Teaching

  • We have a strong research group culture
  • Graduate students are encouraged to take part in our various Departmental Seminars which regularly feature eminent outside speakers

Assessment

  • Your modules are assessed by coursework and your dissertation

Dissertation

  • Your 15,000-word dissertation allows you to focus in-depth on your chosen topic from April onwards
  • You work with close supervision from academic staff

Fees and funding

Home/UK fee

£8,760

International fee

£18,800

EU students commencing their course in the 2021-22 academic year will be liable for the International fee.

Fees will increase for each academic year of study.

What's next

Open Days

We hold Open Days for all our applicants throughout the year. Our Colchester Campus events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex, and give you the chance to:

  • tour our campus and accommodation
  • find out answers to your questions about our courses, student finance, graduate employability, student support and more
  • meet our students and staff

If the dates of our organised events aren’t suitable for you, feel free to get in touch by emailing tours@essex.ac.uk and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.

2021 Open Days (Colchester Campus)

  • Saturday, September 18, 2021
  • Saturday, October 23, 2021

Applying

You can apply for this postgraduate course online. Before you apply, please check our information about necessary documents that we’ll ask you to provide as part of your application.

We aim to respond to applications within two weeks. If we are able to offer you a place, you will be contacted via email.

For information on our deadline to apply for this course, please see our ‘how to apply’ information.

Colchester Campus

Visit Colchester Campus

Home to 15,000 students from more than 130 countries, our Colchester Campus is the largest of our three sites, making us one of the most internationally diverse campuses on the planet - we like to think of ourselves as the world in one place.

The Campus is set within 200 acres of beautiful parkland, located two miles from the historic town centre of Colchester – England's oldest recorded town. Our Colchester Campus is also easily reached from London and Stansted Airport in under one hour.

 

Virtual tours

If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tour allows you to explore the Colchester Campus from the comfort of your home. Check out our accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.

Exhibitions

Our staff travel the world to speak to people about the courses on offer at Essex. Take a look at our list of exhibition dates to see if we’ll be near you in the future.

At Essex we pride ourselves on being a welcoming and inclusive student community. We offer a wide range of support to individuals and groups of student members who may have specific requirements, interests or responsibilities.


Find out more

The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include, but are not limited to: strikes, other industrial action, staff illness, severe weather, fire, civil commotion, riot, invasion, terrorist attack or threat of terrorist attack (whether declared or not), natural disaster, restrictions imposed by government or public authorities, epidemic or pandemic disease, failure of public utilities or transport systems or the withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.

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