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.
Modes and duration
Tuition fees (2018/19)
- £12,150 (FT)
- £25,880 (FT)
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.
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.
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:
About this degree
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.
- Foundations of Security and Crime Science
- Designing and Doing Research
- Preventing Crimes
- Quantitative Methods
Students choose four of the following:
- Perspectives on Organised Crime
- Crime Mapping and Spatial Analysis
- Investigation and Detection
- Intelligence Gathering and Analysis
- Qualitative Methods
- 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 datasets, and the development of new ideas for solving problems. Assessment is through lab and project reports, unseen written examination, coursework, presentations, and the dissertation.
UCL Security & Crime Science is offering up to 14 bursary scholarships of between £2,500 and £10,000 to outstanding applicants who have been offered places on one of our MSc programmes
For further information, please visit our website.
Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.
- £15,000 (1 year)
- Based on both academic merit and financial need
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.
Recent career destinations for this degree
- Intern, OSCE: Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe
- Detective Constable, Metropolitan Police Service
- Forensic Associate, Deloitte
- Research Assistant, Universiti Brunei Darussalam
- Client Service Representative, Ministry of the Attorney General
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 2013–2015 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
› 30 staff
› 120 taught students
› 62 research students
Staff/student numbers information correct as of 1 August 2017.
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.
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.
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.
Application fee: There is an application processing fee for this programme of £75 for online applications and £100 for paper applications. More details about the application fee can be found at www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.
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.
- All applicants
- 27 July 2018
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.
It is important to note that statistical analysis of crime data is an integral component of all of our postgraduate courses. While we do not require students to have a background in mathematics or statistics, in order to get the best out of studying with our department it is vital for our students to show an understanding and willingness to learn the concepts of statistics and quantitative research methods.