Courses | Mphil

Kings College

Students can take the traditional M.Phil. in Criminology or the M.Phil. in Criminological Research. However, students who wish to continue to do a Ph.D. in Criminology at the Institute must take the Criminological Research course. The differences between the two are outlined below.

Please choose from the following for more details:


M.Phil. in Criminology

This course comprises mainly four blocks, as follows:

  1. A compulsory core seminar course "Criminological Theories" (examined by a 3,000 word essay).
  2. A compulsory core seminar course "Criminological Research Methods" (examined by a 3,000 word methodological essay or through an exercise in critically evaluating a published piece of empirical research).
  3. Three further courses selected from approximately twelve optional seminar courses offered each year (each course is examined by a 3,000 word essay).
  4. A short thesis (not exceeding 18,000 words) on an approved criminological topic chosen by the student.

M.Phil. in Criminological Research

This course is structured similarly to the M.Phil. in Criminology but with additional research training:

  1. A compulsory core seminar course "Criminological Theories" (examined by a 3,000 word essay).
  2. A compulsory core seminar course "Criminological Research Methods" (examined by a 3,000 word methodological essay or through an exercise in critically evaluating a published piece of empirical research).
  3. Two further courses selected from approximately twelve optional seminar courses offered each year (each course is examined by a 3,000 word essay).
  4. The Social Sciences Research Methods Centre programme, examined by an exercise in designing a proposal for a project of empirical research (4,000 words), and other exercises.
  5. A short thesis (not exceeding 18,000 words) on an approved criminological topic chosen by the student.

Modules

In the Michaelmas term, students on both courses will take the "Criminological Theories" seminar course, one other seminar option and a research methods course. In the Lent Term, students taking the M.Phil. in Criminology will take two further seminar courses, and students taking the M.Phil. in Criminological Research will take one seminar course. Students taking the M.Phil. in Criminological Research will take a further course in research methods which extends across both terms.

The modules that are currently offered, grouped into their thematic areas, cover the following topics:

Core Modules:

The core modules include the following topics:

  • Criminological theory
  • Comprehensive methods training
  • Current criminological research
Optional Modules:

Causes of Crime

  • Developmental criminology
  • Social context and crime
  • Cross-cultural comparison
  • Types of crime

Criminal Justice

  • Penal theory
  • Prisons and penology
  • Courts and sentencing
  • Youth justice
  • Community penalties

Experimental Criminology & Prevention

  • Developmental prevention
  • Situational prevention
  • Evidence-based policy
  • Research

Forensic Mental Health

  • Mental health and crime
  • Risk assessment and management
  • Forensic treatment


Long Thesis

In exceptional circumstances, it is possible for suitably qualified students to take the M.Phil. entirely by thesis. This method of taking the M.Phil. is permitted only to exceptional students and with the special permission of the Faculty Degree Committee. A suitable candidate for the M.Phil. by long thesis would normally be one who had substantial prior qualifications in Criminology and/or substantial experience in the criminal justice system. The student must submit the following:

  1. A thesis no longer than 35,000 words (including footnotes and appendices) on a topic approved by the Degree Committee;
  2. A methodological essay or an exercise in critically evaluating a piece of empirical research (3,000 words); and
  3. An exercise in designing a proposal for a piece of empirical research (4,000 words).

All students taking the M.Phil. by long thesis will also have an oral examination at the end of June.
IMPORTANT: Candidature for the M.Phil. by long thesis is normally allowed only if this has been agreed at the admissions stage. Potential candidates interested in this possibility are encouraged to discuss the matter with the Institute prior to making a formal application.


Visits

A number of optional visits to criminal justice agencies, including local prisons, are arranged in the Michaelmas and Lent Terms. Visits are also arranged to police stations and headquarters when there is suitable demand.