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Crime Science MSc

This MSc provides students with a thorough understanding of how science and scientifically based techniques can deliver immediate and sustainable reductions in crime. The programme focuses on how to better apply science to understand crime problems, develop strategies for preventing them, and increase the probability of detecting and arresting offenders.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2017

Modes and duration

Full time: 1 year
Flexible: 3-5 years
Distance learning: available

Tuition fees (2017/18)

£11,800 (FT) N/A (PT)
£24,610 (FT) N/A (PT)

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 3 October 2016
Close: 28 July 2017

Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Current Students website. Fees for flexible, modular study are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session.

Optional qualifications: This degree is also available as a PG Diploma with fees set accordingly.
Location: London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

Normally a minimum of a second-class Bachelor's degree in a relevant discipline from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Relevant disciplines include science subjects, for example engineering or computer science; or social science subjects, for example, psychology, criminology or geography. Alternatively candidates may qualify for entry if they can offer five or more years of relevant professional experience (for example in the police service, or as a crime prevention worker).

English language requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Good

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

International students

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.

Select your country:

Degree information

Students develop the ability to apply scientific principles to crime control, think more strategically in developing and implementing crime control policies, appreciate the complexity of implementation issues, critically assess the likely impact of planned crime reduction initiatives and generate more innovative proposals for reducing particular crime problems.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of four core modules (60 credits), four optional modules (60 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).

A Postgraduate Diploma comprising four core modules (60 credits) and four optional modules (60 credits) is offered.

Core modules

  • Foundations of Security and Crime Science
  • Designing and Doing Research
  • Preventing Crimes
  • Quantitative Methods

Optional modules

Students choose four of the following:

  • Perspectives on Organised Crime
  • Crime Mapping and Spatial Analysis
  • Investigation and Detection
  • Intelligence Gathering and Analysis
  • Qualitative Methods
  • Cybercrime
  • Introduction to Cybersecurity


All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of approximately 10,000 words.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through lectures, seminars, tutorials, projects, laboratory classes, and practical exercises. Practical work will involve the analysis and interpretation of data sets, and the development of new ideas for solving problems. Assessment is through lab and project reports, unseen written examination, coursework, presentations, and the dissertation.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Crime Science MSc


UCL Security and Crime Science is offering up to 14 bursary scholarships of between £2,500 and £10,000 to outstanding applicants who have been offered places in one of our MSc programmes

For further information, please visit our website.

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.


Many graduates now work in the field of crime prevention and detection for public sector employers such as the Home Office, Police and Ministry of Defence, or private sector companies with a crime prevention and community safety focus. Other graduates go on to further doctoral research.

Top career destinations for this degree

  • Supply Chain Analyst, Sainsbury's
  • MSc Forensic Psychology, University of Portsmouth
  • Security Co-Ordinator, Murphy
  • Forensic Associate, Deloitte
  • Detective Constable, Metropolitan Police Service


Each year we ask our graduates to tell us about their experience of the programme and their career after leaving UCL and we include some real-life graduate profiles on our website.

Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2012–2014 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The UCL Security & Crime Science is a world-first, devoted specifically to reducing crime through teaching, research, public policy analysis and by the dissemination of evidence-based information on crime reduction.

The Crime Science MSc is a multidisciplinary degree, drawing on expertise in psychology, social science, statistics, mathematics, architecture, forensic sciences, design, geography and computing.

Our graduate students come from varied backgrounds; many are practitioners and are encouraged to contribute their experience in and out of the classroom.

Department: Security & Crime Science

Student / staff numbers › 12 staff › 120 taught students › 62 research students

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Security & Crime Science
74% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.

What our students and staff say

Student view

"Given my academic interest in criminology, I am truly fascinated by the novel approach to crime and security problems that is adopted by UCL Security and Crime Science. More specifically, what excites me most in the field of crime science, is the multi-disciplinary nature of the research. Various disciplines (for example, statistics, law, geography, psychology) are brought together, producing effective responses to crime-related problems."

Fryni Kostara

Crime Science MSc

Application and next steps


Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

Who can apply?

The programme is particularly suitable for students with a background in science subjects such as engineering or computer science, or social science subjects such as psychology, criminology or geography, who wish to develop the skills necessary for a career or further doctoral research in this field.

Application deadlines

All applicants
28 July 2017

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • what particularly attracts you to this particular programme
  • why you want to study this subject in the Faculty of Engineering Sciences at UCL, rather than elsewhere
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this programme
  • if you are aware and comfortable with the fact that the programme includes courses on statistics and quantitative analysis, as well as a general emphasis on the scientific method and empirical research
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree
  • if you are aware and comfortable with the fact that the programme differs from a traditional criminology programme, and instead focuses practically on how to prevent and detect crimes by treating the crime rather than the offender as the subject of analysis

Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.

Contact information

Page last modified on 27 October 2016 at 11:10 by UCL Publications & Marketing Services. Please contact us for content updates.


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