MA / LLM International Criminal Justice

Course summary

mock courtroom

This course offers you the opportunity to gain a postgraduate qualification in a field which is both academically rigorous but will also provide you with skills to help you pursue a career in the growing fields of justice, financial crime and cybercrime. 

It encompasses both the transferable skills of a postgraduate degree with the specialist knowledge in the field of global crime.

The MA International Criminal Justice caters for those who wish to graduate with a specialist MA in a growing sector. 

N.B Students will be able to choose whether they wish to graduate with an LLM or an MA in consultation with the Course Leader. Generally, students with a background in Law will graduate with an LLM and those with a background in Criminology will graduate with an MA.

Why choose this course?
As well as providing you with subject specific knowledge and understanding, we aim to produce graduates with strong transferable skills in:
  • research
  • communication
  • analysis
  • creative problem solving

This ensures you are well-placed to seek employment with in relevant sectors.

police friskYou will benefit from teaching delivered by highly qualified and supportive staff with backgrounds in both Criminology research and practice. 

Learning and teaching methods in the School are innovative and varied, and you'll benefit from the use of the latest learning technology to enhance interactive learning.

Career and study progression
This course will particularly suit students who are interested in careers in the following areas:
  • Policing and police research
  • National Offender Management Service
  • Crown Prosecution Service
  • Home Office
  • Intelligence Services
  • Policy development
  • Digital / global security
  • Further study on an MPhil / PhD programme

Course detail

Students will study the following modules: 

Semester 1:
Criminological Theory
Research Methods
International and European Criminal Law

Semester 2:
Contemporary Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice
Transitional Justice

Module Summaries

Criminological Theory
This module looks at the philosophical ideas that underpin much criminological theoretical thought. It introduces you to the main theoretical debates occurring within the discipline of criminology. It examines the three broad levels of criminological explanation: the individual, the situational, and the structural. Thus, the different theories within criminology that locate their main explanation for criminal behaviour at one (or more) of these levels are explored. 

Research Methods 
The module will equip you with a grounding in research at Masters Level. It focuses on the core content areas appropriate to research in a Postgraduate dissertation. You will build on your existing research skills and understanding of legal, economic and finance related research.  

The module enables you to construct a research proposal in stages and will lead to your dissertation.

International and European Criminal Law
This module aims to provide you with an introduction to the development, organisation and practice of international criminal process. This includes proceedings at the inter-state and European regional level.

It also introduces you to the scope of criminal activity covered by international criminal law and EU provisions in the area of justice respectively.

Contemporary Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice 
The module exposes you to a range of substantive criminology and criminal justice issues at the forefront of the disciplines and aims to engage you with contemporary debates surrounding criminal behaviour and responses to it. The module also provides the opportunity to further your critical thinking and research skills developed during your undergraduate studies.

This module aims to provide an opportunity to undertake an autonomous piece of research on a topic of your choice. You will be able to decide on the methodology and approach building on the Research Methods module. This will enable you to learn independently, tackle research tasks with minimal supervision and contribute to the transfer of knowledge. The Dissertation can focus on any relevant area of Criminology and / or the course specialism, and does not need to relate specifically to the Masters pathway chosen (although it is anticipated that in most cases it will).

Transitional Justice
This module aims to provide you with an introduction to the nature, development and reality of measures to address the wrongs of the past in societies in transition. It also introduces the various dimensions of international law which inform the transitional justice debate.

Entry requirements

A good undergraduate degree (2:1 or above) or equivalent professional qualification with appropriate criminological or legal content.

Applicants who have reached a high level of progression (e.g. at least police inspector level or equivalent in other criminal justice related fields), or who are specialists in a criminal justice related occupation with extensive work experience, will be considered on a case by case basis.

International students need to meet our English language requirement at either IELTS at 6.5 or above, and a minimum of 5.5 for each of the 4 individual components (Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening).

In some countries where teaching is in English, we may accept local qualifications. Please visit to check for local equivalencies.

We offer pre-sessional English language courses if you do not meet these requirements. Find out more about our English Language courses


Fees for home and EU students

Main fee

Fees for overseas students

Main fee
Find out if you are a home or overseas student.


A range of loans, bursaries and scholarships are available to help you fund your studies.

Students on some Masters courses may be eligible to apply for a Postgraduate Loan of up to £10,609 as a contribution towards their course and living costs. Find out how to apply for a Postgraduate Loan on GOV.UK

Other loans available to postgraduate students include Professional and Career Development Loans, which also allow you to borrow up to £10,000.  Find out more about Loans on GOV.UK

Additional funding is available to some types of students, such as disabled students. Find out more about funding opportunities

Within the university, we offer a range of scholarships and bursaries. In the 2017 - 18 academic year, they included:

  • The William Brake Bursary: a £1,000 award for candidates on undergraduate or postgraduate degree courses
  • The Mollie Clay Scholarship: a £2,500 scholarship awarded to an outstanding student
  • Exclusive alumni discounts: a £1,000 discount on taught postgraduate courses or a 10% discount on research courses, exclusive to students who graduated from the University of West London.

Other scholarships are also available, including awards for specific subjects. Find out more and check your eligibility.

Please note fees are paid for each year of study unless otherwise stated. You will be required to re-enrol and pay fees at the beginning of each academic year. Fees may be subject to government regulations on fee increases. Future inflationary increases will be applied to each subsequent year of the course, subject to government regulations on fee increases.

How to apply

Apply for this course

UK and EU students

You can apply for most of our Postgraduate Certificates, Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters’ Degree courses using our online application system.  Simply click the red ‘apply now’ button above.

Your application will be dealt with by our Admissions team who will be in touch with you.

If you are applying for a research degree (MPhil or PhD), you will need to submit: a CV, research proposal, transcript of academic qualifications and online application form.  Full details of how to apply for research degrees

Please also read our student terms and conditions.

International students

To apply for a Masters’ Degree course, please complete our online application form for international students or you can download the print version (Word, 186kb).

You can also review the relevant information about the qualifications we accept from your country and our English language requirements, as well as details about your visa application.

If you are applying for a research degree (MPhil or PhD), you will need to submit: a CV, research proposal, transcript of academic qualifications and online application form.  Full details of how to apply for research degrees

More about the application process for international students.

More about how to apply for postgraduate courses.

Please also read our student terms and conditions.


During the course



You will be assessed summatively by a combination of essays, unseen examinations, reports, oral presentations and annotated bibliographies. Formative assessments will include short essays and oral presentations.

Most modules will be assessed by two summative assessments, one part way through the module and one at the end of the semester. You will be guaranteed feedback on the first assessment well in advance of the second. Feedback is designed to be developmental and assist you in reflecting on your performance and improving it.

Student support

As well as academic support from individual tutors and the course leader, you will be allocated a personal tutor who will be able to advise on your academic progress, transferable skills and any personal or academic problems which arise.

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