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Course Structure

Outline of the Courses

Year 1 comprises three formal teaching blocks, each of two weeks duration. The first block is held around Easter with the second and third blocks usually in July and September. Year 2 is designed for students who have completed year 1 to the required standard. Year 2 comprises three further blocks in Cambridge (normally around Easter and in July and September), and the submission of a supervised thesis.

A variety of teaching methods are used - all of which require active student participation - including lectures and seminars, case studies and practical exercises. Individual study is also necessary. All students have individual supervisions with Cambridge supervisors to discuss their work as it progresses. Students can discuss their academic work with their supervisor, and their supervisor will provide feedback on assessed essays, as well as support during the residential blocks and throughout the course. The Institute of Criminology has one of the world's finest criminological research libraries.

Year One

The first year is based on a structured timetable of seminars that are based around the strands below:

  • Prisons and Imprisonment
  • Criminal Justice and the Community
  • Management & Criminal Justice
  • Criminological Theory & Research
  • Sentencing, the Legal Context & Court Issues

A key feature of the course involves a weekly guest lecture during the residential blocks  given by distinguished external speakers on a variety of criminal justice aspects.

Year Two

The second year builds on work completed in the first year. The first study block provides a comprehensive introduction to research design and research methodologies, including both quantitative and qualitative methods. This teaching will provide the basis to complete the thesis. The thesis is usually based on empirical research and is chosen and designed in close consultation with a supervisor. Often, the topic is directly relevant to the student's own area of responsibility or to organisational priorities, so that it closely links into career development or has some benefit for the sponsoring organisation. In the July and September blocks, students are expected to give presentations on the progress of their dissertations, and are offered research workshops alongside meetings with supervisors and thesis advisors to help them with aspects of research design and analysis.

How are the Courses Assessed?

Year One

Students are required to write three essays of 3,000 words each from three of four assessed subject areas. The four assessed areas are :

  • Criminological Theory and Criminological Research
  • Management in Criminal Justice
  • Prisons & Imprisonment
  • Issues & Developments in Contemporary Criminal Justice

Year Two

Students are required to write one further essay of 3,000 words, a research proposal, and an 18,000 word thesis.

Upcoming events

The Families and Imprisonment Research Conference 2019

Jun 25, 2019

Institute of Criminology

Upcoming events

RSS Feed Latest news

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.

Dr Heather Strang Appointed As AEC President

Mar 07, 2019

Dr Heather Strang has been chosen to serve in 2019-2021 as the President of the Academy of Experimental Criminology, the international learned society founded in 1998 that sponsors the JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL CRIMINOLOGY as its official journal.

Date Confirmed for the Families and Imprisonment Research Conference 2019

Feb 25, 2019

The Families and Imprisonment Research Conference 2019 will take place on Tuesday 25th June. The conference will present key findings from the FAIR Study, alongside a range of expert contributors to the field of families and imprisonment.

'Murder map’ reveals medieval London’s meanest streets

Nov 28, 2018

University of Cambridge criminologist Professor Manuel Eisner has plotted all cases of murder from the surviving rolls – covering the years 1300 to 1340 – onto a digital map of the old city to show for the first time the ‘hot spots’ of lethal violence in medieval London. First digital map of 142 murders recorded by city coroner in early 1300s shows Cheapside and Cornhill were homicide ‘hot spots’, and Sundays held highest risk of violent death for medieval Londoners.

safeguarding children in the secure estate

Oct 18, 2018

History shows abuse of children in custody will remain an ‘inherent risk’ – report