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Study a graduate program in criminology

What will I study graduate program in criminology?

A graduate program in criminology will develop you knowledge in areas such as criminal law or the justice system. You will develop a deeper understanding of the social and personal aspects of crime and our response to crime as a society, while also examining how we make and enforce our laws and how we respond to victims of crime.

Depending on your particular course you may become increasingly qualified for a role within the community or probation service, or, if your MA is more research focused, for further study in the form of a PHD. Many graduate programs in criminology also feature elements of sociology and psychology.

Length of program

Graduate programs in criminology last the following duration in each country, although this may change depending on the options you choose:

  • UK – 1-3 years
  • US – 1-3 years
  • China – 2-3 years
  • Canada – 1-2 years

Entry requirements

The entry requirements for your postgraduate course in criminology depend on how specialised your graduate program is. Many students will already have studied criminology at undergraduate level, but sociology and psychology degrees are also relevant and popular.

However, many graduate programs in criminology will be open to students from all disciplines.  

If you choose to study somewhere with a different first language from your own, you may have to take a language test before you are admitted.

Career development

Criminology postgraduates typically look to enter jobs within the criminal justice system, with the police, local government, solicitors and prison services all typical employers. However, the skills you gain from a criminology degree such as decision making, evaluating evidence, communication skills and data analysis will set you up for careers in a number of different sectors.

Some typical jobs that you may do after a graduate program in criminology include:

  • Police officer
  • Prison services officer
  • Probation officer
  • Social worker
  • Solicitor

Fees and funding

The cost of a graduate program in criminology varies widely from country to country and university to university. Fees will also depend on whether you are a home, EU or international student and the level of funding you can get. As a guide, expect to pay the following in these countries per year:

  • UK - £4,500 - £17,000
  • USA - $5,000 - $30,000
  • Germany  €2,000 - €5,000
  • Canada - $4,000-8,000
  • China – RMB 21,000-24,000

What to do next

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