skip to primary navigationskip to content

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.

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.