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Course Overview

Who are the Courses for?

The Master's in Applied Criminology, Penology and Management has traditionally been intended for prison and probation practitioners. In addition to such applicants, we welcome candidates working elsewhere in the Criminal Justice System, both in the UK and overseas.


The Aims of the Applied Criminology, Penology and Management Course

The Applied Criminology, Penology and Management programme aims to:

  • offer a high-quality course which introduces senior prison and probation service managers, and other criminal justice professionals, to some of the most important theory and research in management, penology, and criminology
  • enhance the capacity of course participants to apply up-to-date research in their professional practice
  • give students the tools and stimuli to reflect theoretically on their practice and think about wider criminal justice issues
  • provide high-quality instruction enabling candidates to gain a University of Cambridge Postgraduate Certificate or Master's degree in Applied Criminology, Penology and Management

What Qualification Will I Gain?

Upon successful completion of the master's year, students will graduate with a Master of Studies (M.St.) (Cantab) degree from the University of Cambridge. Students who complete year 1 successfully but who do not proceed to or do not complete year 2, will be awarded a Postgraduate Certificate in Applied Criminology, Penology and Management.

Should I Consider This Course if I Already Have a Master's Degree?

A number of our students already have Master's degrees, including some in Criminology. This course is tailor-made for senior criminal justice practitioners, and the knowledge gained from the course will enhance your professional practice and develop strategic thinking. For those considering the highest levels in their services, the courses link directly with many of the competencies required for chief officers.

Should I Consider This Course if I Have Never Done a Degree Before?

Potential applicants from non-academic backgrounds should not be discouraged from applying, providing that they have relevant professional experience and strong references. Experienced and talented practitioners will be able to complete the course successfully. Motivation and commitment are as vital as formal academic qualifications, and we offer support to students who may feel nervous about returning to an academic environment.

Can I Do This Course Alongside a Busy Operational Job?

Although all part-time study is hard work, we aim to make the experience as pleasant and feasible as possible. We appreciate the pressures which practitioners experience and the course, in terms of both structure and pace, reflects this.


Cambridge provides a wonderful venue for the courses. Students benefit from the city's location (close to London and airports), and enjoy its history, atmosphere, and culture as a backdrop to their studies.

Most formal teaching takes place at the Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge. The Institute's building was completed in autumn 2004 and houses comfortable, modern facilities and the foremost criminology library in the UK.

College Membership

Students on the M.St. programmes matriculate as full members of the University of Cambridge and one of its colleges. Currently students on the M.St. in Applied Criminology, Penology and Management course matriculate as members of Homerton College.

RSS Feed Latest news

IoC Sunken Garden Mural

Jul 26, 2019

The Mural was commissioned to mark the Institute Of Criminology’s 60th Anniversary since it was established by Professor Radzinowicz in 1959.

UN Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty

Jul 11, 2019

We were delighted to welcome Professor Ann Skelton to the Institute on Wednesday July 10th. Ann holds the UNESCO Chair in Education Law in Africa at the University of Pretoria and is a member of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.

'Can Computer Files Cut Crime?'

Jun 24, 2019

David Edmonds examines how algorithms are used in our criminal justice system, from predicting future crime to helping decide who does and doesn’t go to prison.

Merete Konnerup Awarded the 2019 Sir Robert Peel Medal

Jun 24, 2019

The 2019 Sir Robert Peel Medal will be awarded by Cambridge University’s Police Executive Programme to Merete Konnerup of the University College of Copenhagen. The Sir Robert Peel Medal is awarded annually for Outstanding Leadership in Evidence-Based Policing.

The Institute of Criminology Features In Research Horizons

Mar 11, 2019

The latest issue of Research Horizons focuses on research linked with our local region, the East of England. It introduces many of outstanding research and outreach activities carried out by our very own Institute of Criminology’s academics. We hope you will particularly enjoy this edition of Research Horizons.