Criminology and Social Research MSc

Why choose this course

We’ve combined modules in academic criminology and the criminal justice system with training in qualitative and quantitative research methods.

Our world-renowned criminological expertise and unique emphasis on research methodology will sharpen your ability to think in a logical and informed manner about criminological problems, and to design, conduct and manage effective research and evaluation.

What you will study

The combination of analytic criminological knowledge and applied research skills on this programme will equip you with a sophisticated understanding of the key challenges and perspectives in contemporary criminology.

The Masters in Criminology and Social Research is aimed at graduates and practitioners with an appropriate first degree who seek advanced knowledge about issues connected with crime, deviance, control, the criminal justice system and social research.

The degree also has two new pathways – cybercrime and cybersecurity and corporate crime and corporate responsibility. These degrees also suit graduates and practitioners considering a PhD in this area; and practitioners in the criminal justice system and related government and security and voluntary agencies who wish to develop their understanding of the wider issues connected to crime.

Course facts

Qualification Study mode Course length Placement Start date
MSc Full-time 12 months October 2018
MSc Part-time 24 months October 2018

Study and work abroad

There may be opportunities to acquire valuable European experience by working or conducting research abroad during your degree or shortly afterwards. It is possible to do this in the summer period with an Erasmus+ grant working on your dissertation or as a recent graduate. In order to qualify your Erasmus+ traineeship must be a minimum of two months.


A distinctive component of the MSc is the opportunity to undertake a placement at a criminal justice agency or research institute for four weeks during the spring break. The practical experience and insights gained reinforce formal learning.


A residential weekend conference is attended by all programme members, PhD students and teaching staff in November. This provides a less formal atmosphere for discussions concerning criminology, research and related themes; it includes lectures from eminent guest speakers and members of staff, seminars and small group discussions.

The Department also organises a day conference for MSc students at the University, with student presentations and guest speakers.

Programme leader

MCGUIRE MR Dr (Sociology)

The structure of our programmes follows clear educational aims that are tailored to each programme. These are all outlined in the programme specifications which include further details such as the learning outcomes.

Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that modules may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.


Timetables are normally available one month before the start of the semester. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week (Monday–Friday). Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities. Part-time classes are normally scheduled on one or two days per week, details of which can be obtained from the course administrators.

Policies and regulations

Please refer to our academic regulations and student policies and regulations. These may be amended from time to time.

Learning and disability

We have two services, the Student Personal Learning and Study Hub (SPLASH) and Additional Learning Support (ALS) which can help develop your learning.

Student Personal Learning and Study Hub

SPLASH is a learning space in the Library where our learning development team is based. It comprises dedicated Student Learning Advisers and Information Skills Librarians who can help you develop your academic and research skills, including writing, presenting, revision and critical thinking.

Find out more about the study support available.

Additional Learning Support

ALS is the University’s disability and neurodiversity service which supports students with disabilities, long-term health conditions, specific learning differences (for example: dyslexia and dyspraxia) and other neurodiverse conditions (for example: autism spectrum and attention deficit disorder).

If you have a disability, we encourage you to disclose your condition and register with the service so you can be appropriately supported during your studies.

The ALS team can arrange exam and learning support adjustments, give advice on applications for the Disabled Students' Allowance and screen students for dyslexia and dyspraxia. Regular study skills and mentoring support is also available.

See the Additional Learning Support website for more information.

Entry requirements

Applications are welcomed from those who have an undergraduate degree (typically a UK 2:2) in criminology, social, behavioural or human sciences, law or a related discipline, or a professional qualification or experience relevant to the MSc degree.

View entry requirements by country

Credit transfer

The University of Surrey recognises that many students enter their higher education course with valuable knowledge and skills developed through a range of professional, vocational and community contexts. If this applies to you, a process called recognition of prior learning (RPL) may allow you to enter your course at a point appropriate to your previous learning and experience, or to join the start of a course without the formal entry requirements. This means that you may be exempt from certain elements of study in the course for which you have applied and be awarded credit based on your previous qualifications/experience. There are restrictions on RPL for some courses and fees may be payable for certain claims. 

Please see the Code of practice for recognition of prior learning and prior credit: taught programmes (PDF) for further information. Please email Admissions with any queries.


Study mode Start date Placement UK/EU fees Oversees fees
Full-time October 2018 £7,900 £18,200
Part-time October 2018 £4,000 £9,100

Please note these fees are for the academic year 2018/19 only. Annual fees will rise by four per cent (rounded up to the nearest £100) for each year of study.

View the list of fees for all postgraduate taught programmes.

Additional costs

There are associated costs with this programme:

UK-based activity: £60 approx. - Occasional optional trips to London or within Surrey will be organised by the School which may incur travel costs.

Grand total: £60

Admission information

Our postgraduate admissions policy provides the basis for admissions practice across the University and gives a framework for how we encourage, consider applications and admit students. You can also read our postgraduate applicant guidance.

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Find us

01SE01, Senate House
University of Surrey
Surrey GU2 7XH