Courses | Mphil

Notice! Applications to the MPhil Programmes in Criminology and Criminological Research opened on 1 September 2015 for the 2016/17 course.

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The Institute offers two M.Phil. degrees lasting an academic year: the M.Phil. in Criminology and the M.Phil. in Criminological Research. The latter includes more comprehensive research methods training and is strongly recommended for all students considering a Ph.D. degree. Both programmes consist of core modules and option courses chosen on topics in four thematic areas, as described on the Course Structure page.

Course Aims

The formally stated aims of the M.Phil. course are:

  • To offer an up-to-date and high-quality course which introduces students to some of the most important theory and research in criminology.
  • To offer a sound foundation for more advanced work relevant to research and teaching careers in criminology.
  • To provide those who do not wish to proceed to academic or research careers in the subject with a sound framework which can be used effectively in relation to work in criminal justice agencies, the legal profession, or other professional or voluntary organisations.

Career Prospects

Graduate study or research in Criminology in Cambridge provides a useful preparation for a wide variety of careers, as the experience of past students illustrates. A substantial number of M.Phil. graduates are now engaged in University teaching and criminological research all over the world. Many of the remainder have embarked on careers in the legal profession, or in the probation, prison, police, or social services. A number of students who had begun a career in one of these fields before coming to Cambridge have returned to it subsequently. Other former students of the Institute now hold positions in the government and voluntary service organisations. The Institute organises a career seminar each year which includes representatives from many criminal justice agencies.

Further Information

The Institute of Criminology Graduate Prospectus can be downloaded here.

Prospective students may also wish to consult the University Graduate Studies Prospectus which contains, amongst other information, further details regarding the University, colleges, facilities, finances and the application procedure.

Those interested in any aspect of the M.Phil. degree, including admissions, are encouraged to contact the Graduate Administrator directly.


Applications for the M.Phil.s in Criminology must be made through the University's Board of Graduate Studies. Application packs can be downloaded from the Board of Graduate Studies' website or below in PDF format:

Applicants are strongly encouraged to read carefully the guidance notes on 'How to make your application for graduate study at Cambridge' which are included in the graduate application pack.


The Institute of Criminology is pleased to be able to offer a number of Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) 1+3 or +3 studentships. Each of the studentships covers the cost of fees (University composition fee and College fee) for four years, together with a maintenance stipend for each year. Where appropriate, the Institute can apply for an enhanced stipend for anyone wishing to pursue research which is likely to involve advanced quantitative research. The studentship enables each successful applicant to study for the M.Phil. in Criminological Research in the first year, followed by three years of doctoral research leading to the award of a Ph.D.

For further information on the ESRC studentships, and other possible sources of funding, please see our funding pages.