Cardiff School of Education & Social Policy>Courses>Criminology & Criminal Investigations - Masters Degrees

Criminology & Criminal Investigations - Masters Degrees

The MSc Criminology & Criminal Investigations at Cardiff Met is an exciting degree that provides a detailed and critical understanding of key and contemporary issues within the study of crime and criminal justice. Criminology is an empirical subject that draws upon a range of methodological approaches, theoretical frameworks, and diverse perspectives both nationally and internationally. Criminal investigation is a fascinating area of study where you will explore case studies, develop key investigative competences, and gain experience in putting your skills into practice.

Throughout the postgraduate taught course, you will study a range of topics which include contemporary and classical criminological theories, criminal justice systems, international crime, and green criminology. You will have the opportunity to conduct your own research project on a topic of your choice, where you will be supported by an experienced supervisor. Additionally, there will be a significant focus upon criminal investigations where you will explore how to investigate violent and serious crimes such as homicide and serious sexual offences. You will also study investigative interviewing which draws upon the practical processes of conducting a suspect interview and the psychology behind this.

This Master’s degree in Criminology & Criminal Investigations will develop key and essential employability skills including presenting to an audience, critical thinking, reflective practice, and practical based skills such as interviewing, conducting investigations, and carrying out research. In addition to these attributes, you will build investigative skills in our gripping and challenging scenario-based role plays that are relevant to the criminal justice sector and can be applied in the workplace.

Course Content

Criminology & Criminal Investigations – MSc (180 credits)

During the MSc you will study the following modules:

  • Critical and Contemporary Issues in Criminology (20 credits) – This module aims to introduce students to crime and criminology and will serve as a refresher for students who have previously studied criminology. In particular, you will study criminological theory and interesting topics including green criminology and penology. You will also explore emerging trends and issues in the criminology field.
  • Investigating Global Crimes and Social Harms (20 credits) – This module will explore international and transnational crimes, such as war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, and the crime of aggression. Other critical issues that will be discussed include human rights and the criminal justice system, transnational crime such as organised crime, drug trafficking, human trafficking, drug production, and blue and green crime.
  • Conducting Criminological Research (20 credits) – This module will advance students’ knowledge of important aspects of criminological research, using both qualitative and quantitative approaches. The module will provide students with a clear understanding of the characteristics of scientifically rigorous and ethical research and advance students’ ability to design and construct criminological research in preparation for the dissertation.
  • Criminals, Victims and Vulnerability (20 credits) – This module aims to study vulnerabilities such as homelessness, drug and alcohol misuse; poverty; protected characteristics; as well as Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) and other factors that contribute to the vulnerabilities of both criminals and victims. The module will also explore the journey of vulnerable witnesses in the criminal justice system from initial report to court.
  • Investigating Violent and Serious Crimes (20 credits) – This module explores the various stages of a major crime investigation for homicide and other violent and serious crimes. The module will cover the various aspects of an investigation including forensic science, digital techniques, and psychological approaches. Students will investigate the effectiveness of different methods of investigation.
  • The Psychology and Application of Investigative Interviewing (20 credits) – This module explores the theory and application of investigative interviewing of suspects in England and Wales, and the application of psychology on this. The module will also draw upon investigative interviewing techniques used around the world and how these may compare.
  • Dissertation (60 credits) – This module provides students with the opportunity to conduct their own research project into a topic of their choice, with the support of a dissertation supervisor. Students will develop their knowledge in a particular area of interest and develop greater independence in their approach to research whilst following stringent ethical guidelines.

Exit Awards

Criminology & Criminal Investigations – PgD (120 credits)
During the Postgraduate Diploma you will study all six 20 credit modules listed above, minus the dissertation.

Criminology – PgC (60 credits)
A Criminology Postgraduate Certificate exit award is also available. During the PgC you will study the first three 20 credit modules (Critical and Contemporary Issues in Criminology, Investigating Global Crimes and Social Harms and Conducting Criminological Research).

Learning & Teaching

We use a variety of teaching approaches designed to accommodate a range of learning needs, including workshops, seminars, lectures, and virtual learning environments. Students will also be presented with simulated complex practical problems that they are required to analyse and synthesise an appropriate response for. These simulated exercises are designed to develop problem solving and decision-making skills.

Each 20-credit module has approximately 200 hours of study attached to it. Typically, 24 of these hours will be delivered in taught sessions such as lectures, seminars, and workshops, usually scheduled as 2 hours per week. Approximately 176 hours are independent guided learning where students undertake the reading required for the module and complete their assessment.


Every student is assigned a personal tutor when they begin the course, and this tutor supports them for the entirety of their degree. There are scheduled tutorial meetings that students attend, but tutors also operate an open-door policy which allows students to access them outside the scheduled meetings.

Technology and Facilities

The Master’s in Criminology & Criminal Investigations will be taught across both the Cyncoed and Llandaff campuses, where students will benefit from a range of facilities including our moot court room and crime scene house, to take part in our immersive, challenging scenarios designed to put students’ skills into practice.


The staff on this programme are from a variety of backgrounds, with both national and international experience within their specialisms. They are committed to providing a high quality, supportive learning environment. A range of contemporary pedagogical approaches will be incorporated in the delivery of each module. Our staff have a range of backgrounds including supporting alternative education, extensive policing backgrounds including operational and strategic level practice, crime scene investigation, advanced suspect interviewing, and working to combat cartel and international organised criminal activities.

Our staff have established links to organisations and professionals within the criminal justice and related sectors. Therefore, we offer a range of guest speakers who deliver fascinating and thought-provoking talks to students throughout the programme. Additionally, our links to industry enable fantastic opportunities for students to gain real-life experience with various criminal justice agencies, including with the police and prison service.


Each module will contain both formative and summative assessments.

Assessments are interesting and varied and are designed to provide authentic experiences for the students to demonstrate the real-world competencies they would be required to use in professional contexts.

The assessments are completed on either an individual or group basis. A diverse range of assessment opportunities are provided throughout, including variations of written, presentation, oral viva, practical, and multi-choice open book tests.

There are two assessment points per module, and these are designed to provide students with the best opportunities to demonstrate their own strengths and educational backgrounds.

Students are given the submission dates for assessments at the start of each module, as well as an assessment overview grid for the whole of the academic year to help them plan and manage their time effectively. Students receive individual feedback on their work that identifies strengths and areas for improvement.

Employability & Careers

What can I do with my degree?

The Cardiff Met Criminology & Criminal Investigations Master’s degree will prepare you for a variety of roles within the criminal justice sector and beyond. Traditional destinations might include employment in:

  • Police Service roles, such as police officer, detective, police staff, etc.
  • Probation Service
  • Prison Service
  • The UK courts, and a variety of other similar roles

Other opportunities could include, but are certainly not limited to, working with:

  • HM Revenue & Customs
  • Border Force
  • The National Crime Agency
  • Security Services
  • Social Services
  • Working as a teacher or lecturer
  • Central or Local Government roles
  • Charities

There is also the potential for further study, including:

  • Research Based Master’s degrees, such as an MRes
  • Doctoral Study, such as PhD or EdD

Entry Requirements & How to Apply

Applicants for the MSc Criminology & Criminal Investigations are expected to satisfy the following minimum requirements:

  • an initial degree from Cardiff Metropolitan University (usually a good Honours degree of 2:1 or above); or
  • an initial degree awarded by another approved degree awarding body, (usually a good Honours degree of 2:1 or above); or
  • those with relevant professional qualifications and relevant experience (considered on a case-by-case basis).

English Language Requirements:
Students whose first language is not English, a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 overall with no sub-score lower than 5.5 (or equivalent qualification).

How to Apply:
Applications for this course should be made direct to the University via our self-service facility. For further information please visit our How to Apply pages at

If you are interested in using credit from another institution, or have obtained qualifications and/or experience to study for a course at Cardiff Met, you can find further information on this as well as information on how to apply on the RPL page.

International Applicants:
Students whose first language is not English will need to provide evidence of fluency to at least an IELTS 6.5 standard or equivalent. For full details about how to apply and English Language qualifications please visit the International pages on the website.

Additional Information

Partner Employee Discount

There is a fee discount of 25% available to part-time students who are employed in one of Cardiff Metropolitan University’s partnership schools for Initial Teacher Education and Training or partnership employer community. Eligibility criteria and terms apply. For further information please contact Admissions.​​

Contact Us

For general enquiries please contact the Admissions Team on 029 2041 6044 or email

For course specific enquiries, please contact the Programme Directors below:

Name: Hannah Dastgir
Title: Joint Programme Director

Name: Nick Louis
Title: Joint Programme Director

We endeavour to deliver courses as described and will not normally make changes to courses, such as course title, content, delivery, and teaching provision. However, it may be necessary for the university to make changes in the course provision before or after enrolment. It reserves the right to make variations to content or delivery methods, including discontinuation or merging courses if such action is considered necessary. Please read our Terms and Conditions for the full information.

Key Course Information

Place of Study:
Cyncoed Campus

Cardiff School of Education & Social Policy

Course Length:
1 year full time; 2-3 years part time

Course Disclaimer
We endeavour to deliver courses as described and will not normally make changes to courses, such as course title, content, delivery, and teaching provision. However, it may be necessary for the university to make changes in the course provision before or after enrolment. It reserves the right to make variations to content or delivery methods, including discontinuation or merging courses if such action is considered necessary.

Please read our Terms and Conditions for the full information.