This postgraduate programme is designed for committed professionals who are involved or aspire to participate in important debates around criminal behaviour, penal policy, public safety and human rights.
In an age of global insecurity there is increasing demand for professionals, practitioners and researchers who can work across disciplinary boundaries and engage with complex problems in crime causation and management.
This programme has two intake dates per year: April and October.
2021-2022 session dates
01 December 2021
07 March 2022
21 March 2022
04 April 2022
2021-2022 session dates
27 June 2022
12 September 2022
26 September 2022
10 Octoberl 2022
How you study
The programme is offered online and allows you to flexibly fit your studies around your schedule.
You can choose to study individual modules on a pay-as-you-go basis and build up your qualification at your own pace.
The programme explores a range of qualitative and quantitative strategies used to evaluate and solve complex problems, and make informed evidence-based decisions on criminological and criminal justice issues.
Each module will be taught over one 20-week session followed by an assessment submission window.
You study at a time and pace that suits you (subject to course-specific deadlines) using the study materials provided and developed by academics and with support available from academic staff at Royal Holloway. You will be able to access these through the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) on a range of devices.
When you register, we will give you access to your Student Portal. You can then access your University of London email account and other key resources:
The Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) enables access to course materials, resources, and forums to discuss course material and work collaboratively with other students around the world. Module leaders will introduce modules, answer queries and promote discussions during the study year.
The Online Library(Opens in new window) provides access to over 100 million academic electronic items comprising E-books, E-journals, conference proceedings, etc. In addition, you may request items not held in the library via the library's Inter-Library loans service with the British Library.
Senate House Library provides free reference access for all registered distance and flexible learning students.
We are committed to delivering an exceptional student experience for all of our students, regardless of which of our programmes you are studying and whether you are studying independently or with a Recognised Teaching Centre.
You will have access to support through:
The Student Advice Centre – provides support for application and Student Portal queries.
TalkCampus – a peer support service that offers a safe and confidential way to talk about whatever is on your mind at any time of day or night.
Over a 20-week session, plus the assessment submission window, we estimate that you will need to study for approximately 15 hours effort per week for a 30 credit module during the academic session.
The flexible approach to learning allows students to complete the MSc in a minimum of two years (subject to module availability) to a maximum of five years. You can study at your own pace, adjusting the intensity of learning to suit your needs.
Module leaders will provide guidance on assessments and the project module (MSc). Examinations are undertaken online.
What qualifications do you need?
We offer two entry routes into the programme, so if you do not meet the academic requirements you may still be eligible to apply through an alternative route.
Entry route 1 – Direct entry route
To qualify to register for direct entry to the MSc, PGDip or PGCert, you will need:
a bachelor’s degree which is considered at least comparable to a UK second class honours degree or
a postgraduate qualification from an institution acceptable to the University
Directly related professional work experience and/or directly related professional qualifications will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
If you have an appropriate professional experience qualification from a recognised professional body you will be considered on an individual basis.
Entry route 2 - Performance based admissions (PBA) route
If you do not meet the requirements for direct entry, you can apply for the MSc via the PBA route. To qualify for entrance via the PBA route, you will need:
a bachelor’s degree from an institution acceptable to the University or
an aegrotat (certificate) from an institution acceptable to the University.
Students on the PBA route may transfer to the MSc on successful completion of one module (30 credits).
Entrance to the individual modules (available April 2022)
To qualify to register for an individual module you will need a bachelor’s degree or aegrotat.
English language requirements
You must satisfy the English language requirements for the programme. If you do not meet the English language proficiency requirements but believe that you can demonstrate the requisite proficiency, the University may, at its discretion, consider your application.
You will meet our language requirements if you have achieved one of the following within the past three years:
IELTS: at least 6.5 overall with 6.0 in the written test.
Pearson Test (Academic): at least 59 overall, with 59+ in reading and writing and 54+ in speaking and listening.
Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English.
Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (grade C or above).
TOEFL iBT: at least 92 overall, with 22+ in reading and writing and 20+ in speaking and listening.
Duolingo: must achieve an overall score of at least 120.
We set minimum basic computer requirements because your study resources are accessed via the Student Portal and it is vital that you can access this regularly.
You will need regular access to a computer with an internet connection. You will also need a media player (such as VLC) to play video files.
If you have studied material as part of a previous qualification that is comparable in content and standard to our Crimminology and Criminal Justice modules, you might be exempted from the equivalent course of our degree. This process is known as Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) or Exemption. You will not need to study or be assessed in the module(s) to complete your award.
To be considered for RPL you should make a formal request within your application when applying online. Alternatively, this can be done through an online enquiry, once you have submitted your application.
Depending on which route you register for you can potentially apply for recognition of prior learning for up to 60 credits (two modules).
We will not recognise or accredit prior learning for a module later than 14 days after the module start date. You will be deemed to have started a module once you have been given access to the learning materials on the VLE.
All qualifications will need to be assessed by specialist academics on a case by case basis, before we can approve RPL. This is called discretionary RPL and involves a non-refundable application fee.
You will need to be eligible to study the programme and will need to provide the following for your RPL application to be considered: a completed RPL request form, the supporting documentary evidence (a transcript and syllabus of your previous studies) and the fee payable.
Note: All discretionary recognition of prior learning requests must be submitted by the dates specified for the April or October intake in the year that you apply. Once submitted, we must receive all required supporting evidence by the deadline stated.
April 2022 intake
Submit RPL request by
14 September 2022
Submit RPL supporting evidence by
16 September 2022
Please note: if you submit your application but are too late to be considered for RPL then we will still process your application to study the programme.
If you receive an offer, you can still register. You will be asked to contact us at a later date to be considered for RPL in the study session. So don't register on the modules you wish to be considered for RPL in the current study session.
Important: the table below does not include fees payable to a third party, such as tuition costs payable to a Recognised Teaching Centre or fees charged by your local examination centre, or local VAT, Goods and Services Tax (GST) or sales tax.
MSc full programme fee*
MSc indicative totals**
Pay per module (MSc, PGDip, PGCert, Individual modules) 2021-2022
Band A 30 credit module
Band B 30 credit module
Assessment resit fee
Recognition of Prior Learning (per module) (non-refundable)
Please note: all student fees shown are net of any local VAT, Goods and Services Tax (GST) or any other sales tax payable by the student in their country of residence. Where the University is required to add VAT, GST or any other sales tax at the local statutory rate, this will be added to the fees shown during the payment process. For students resident in the UK, our fees are exempt from VAT.
*The full MSc programme fee is payable when you first register on the programme and includes access to study materials and your first entry into the assessments. It does not include resit fees, the module fee when repeating a module, applications for recognition of prior learning and fees payable to a University of London Recognised Teaching Centres, if applicable. By paying in full at the beginning of your programme, you avoid any annual fee increases to module fees. With pay per module, you pay for each module as you register for it.
**The indicative totals given represent the amount you would expect to pay if you commence study in October 2021 and then complete the MSc degree in the minimum period of time (as per when modules become available), without resits, and paying per module with a year-on-year increase of 5%. These totals do not reflect the cost of any additional tuition support you may choose to take, resit fees or the fee when repeating a module, or applications for recognition of prior learning.
You will develop skills that are applicable across a range of roles in public sector organisations including, but not limited to, central government, the police, the courts, prison and probation services, charities that work with offenders or victims of crime and social welfare services.
In some countries, qualifications earned by distance and flexible learning may not be recognised by certain authorities or regulators for the purposes of public sector employment or further study. We advise you to explore the local recognition status before you register, even if you plan to receive support from a local teaching institution.
The programme has been developed with Royal Holloway, University of London, a UK top 25 University (The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021). As one of the UK’s leading research intensive universities Royal Holloway is home to some of the world’s foremost authorities in law, arts, business, economics and the sciences.
Dr Leah Moyle is a Senior Lecturer in Criminology and Sociology at Royal Holloway. Leah has taught at undergraduate and postgraduate levels across a range of subject areas including criminological theory, criminal justice, sociology, drugs, and youth justice. She is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA).
Leah’s research interests focus principally on illicit drug supply, and she has published widely in this area. Her recent work spans the policing of street-level drug markets, the sentencing and punishment of low-level drug dealers, and the use of social media in recreational drug markets.
Previously, Leah worked as a Research Fellow at the world leading Griffith Criminology Institute in Australia. Leah’s work is internationally recognised and her findings have informed policy reports by the Global Commission on Drug Policy, the UK Government, and the Advisory Council for Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) and Europol.
Funding your study
Without the cost of moving to London, studying for your University of London degree anywhere in the world represents excellent value for money. However, there are additional sources of support depending on where you live and how you choose to study.