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Postgraduate Taught Programmes

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Masters Programmes

MSc in Crime Science

This MSc is the UK’s first (and most successful) programme designed specifically to equip law enforcement and security practitioners, and graduate students, with the means to reduce crime through the use of scientific method.

MSc in Countering Organised Crime and Terrorism

This programme is aimed at security professionals whose role involves developing and implementing strategies to address the threat of extremism, against public, corporate and critical targets. 

MSc in Crime and Forensic Science

This programme trains graduates to think strategically and critically about crime and forensic science, equipping them with transferable skills suitable for a wide range of careers. 

Diploma and Certificate Programmes

(Click on course title for more details)

Diploma in Countering Organised Crime and Terrorism
The is aimed at security professionals whose rol involves developing and implementing strategies to address the threat of extremism, against public, corporate and critical targets.

Diploma in Crime Science
The Diploma in Crime Science is a modular programme which will cover the application of scientific principles and concepts to crime prevention and reduction, and the theoretical underpinnings of situational crime prevention theory and techniques.

Certificate in Security and Crime Science
The Certificate in Security and Crime Science is a modular programme giving a flexible introduction to some key crime science concepts. These include the application of scientific principles to the prevention and reduction of crime, the methods used to analyse crime problems and the theoretical underpinnings of situational crime prevention theory and techniques.

This is available as a campus-based course (where students attend lectures in London during the day) and as a distance-learning course using online delivery.

Certificate in Security Research
This certificate provides students about to enroll on a security-related PhD programme with a thorough understanding of the problem domain: threats to society, infrastructure and individuals. The programme focuses on how to apply science better to understand crime problems and develop effective risk reduction measures.

Undergraduate Modules

Forensic Psychology - SECU6002

[First Year Psychology Undergraduates]

This module lies at the intersection of psychology, criminology and the law. It will demonstrate how psychological theory and research can contribute toward a better understanding of the criminal justice process and efforts to punish, treat and rehabilitate offenders. The structure of the module approximates the journey through the criminal justice system with lectures organised around three core areas:

  • psychology and criminal investigations
  • psychology and the legal process
  • punishment, treatment and rehabilitation

Psychology and Crime - SECU6000

[Second Year Psychology Undergraduates]

This module examines psychological explanations for criminal behaviour. Theories are arranged in a temporal sequence from distal to proximal causes of crime, progressing from factors that are present at birth, to factors that influence individuals over their lifespan, and to factors that are present at the crime event. Specific topics are: evolution and human nature; genetics and heredity; brain structures and functions; personality theories; developmental theories; learning theory; cognition; and situational factors.   

Distance Learning Programme (online)

(Click on course title for more details)

Postgraduate Certificate in Security and Crime Science

This programme 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. 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.

Please note that students will need regular access to the internet in order to complete this course as it is all delivered online.

Guy Griffiths, MSc Countering Organised Crime and Terrorism (2010-2011)

Name: Guy Griffiths
Why did you choose to study Countering Organised Crime and Terrorism at UCL?

At the point I applied to study for an MSc in Countering Organised Crime and Terrorism at UCL in 2009 I was already involved in law enforcement and intelligence, having been an analyst in various parts of the MPS since 2004.  These roles were at the operational ‘coal-face’ of policing, assisting on a wide variety of pro-active investigations.  I found myself at something of a crossroads, keen to develop professionally but restricted in my ability to move anywhere but laterally within the organisation.  

In this context I chose to study in the Department of Security and Crime Science for two related reasons: because I was enjoying working in a crime/security and terrorism environment and wanted to gain a deeper and more strategic understanding of it to compliment the ‘practical’ (albeit desk-based) experience I already had, and more practically I hoped this would give me the added extra I needed to advance my career.

What kind of learning experience did you have (in terms of new skills, facilities, staff support, social aspects)?

I was impressed from the start by how the various different modules complimented one other and found myself spontaneously making links across different areas.  As the course progressed the various elements began to add together to a coherent whole and I came out feeling that I genuinely understood the subject and was equipped with new skills to help combat it.  I was able to bring together many of these elements in my final-year dissertation which I really enjoyed working on and was well supported by the department, particularly Shane and Kevin.
The calibre of in-house and guest lecturers was high throughout and signaled to me that I was studying at an exceptional university.  The staff from the department (on the admin as well as academic side) were very welcoming and accessible and their guidance and feedback was crucial throughout.  I found the online facilities really impressive (learning materials online, data-mining software available remotely, staff/student message boards etc.) - although as someone who when last at university twelve years previously was writing essays by hand, this may say more about me than UCL!  

Juggling a full time-job with part-time study was of course quite challenging at times - with essays to completed, lectures to attend and exams to revise for, it sometimes felt like a hurdles race where I cleared one only to find another one looming in front.   

Overall, it was an enjoyable, stimulating and very rewarding two years and I’m delighted I took the plunge!

What did you go on to do as a job and how do you feel your course aided you in securing this position? During my study I continued at the Metropolitan Police Service who supported me by allowing study leave days, and I feel I was able to pass some learning in both directions during this time.  Since finishing in November 2011 I have explored a small number of possible career moves within the same area of intelligence and security.  In April 2012, I was offered a position at Dstl as a Senior Strategic Analyst, specialising in Crime Science which I’ll be taking up later this year.  Whilst my professional experience was also important, I have absolutely no doubt that the skills and qualifications I gained at UCL meant the difference between me and other candidates.  
What are your future plans?
Having worked for several years in an operational role, I am greatly looking forward to taking up a more strategic role.  I want to continue to develop professionally, and hope that Dstl will take me into new areas away from law enforcement and allow me to collaborate (a key aspect of the Crime Science ethos) with lots more interesting people across business, academia and government.

Desmond Zephyr, Diploma in Crime Prevention and Community Safety (2010-2011)

Desmond Zephyr


Desmond Zephyr
My Background
My working background is one of community safety, crime prevention and crime reduction along with ASB for a local authority. To date I have been educated up to Masters level having completed my MBA in 2007. I have predominately lived in London but also up north in Manchester and in West Sussex.
Why I have taken the MSc in Crime Science

I chose this course as I felt it would be a valuable asset to my current work as well as give me a better understanding of the issues and dynamics involved in crime and ASB. I also chose it as a potential to ‘open more doors’ in other related fields of work with other employers. Possibly even options internationally. I am hoping that it will aid and assist me and others in my line of work, create promotional opportunities or at least make me more affective and knowledgeable in what I do and how I do it. Ultimately of course I hope to pass and then at least consider further learning. To date the course has helped me think more critically both inside and out of work.

The best bits......

The best bits of the course would be meeting and interacting with both professionals already in the field of crime and ASB as well as students covering the related subject areas. They all bring a wealth of knowledge and diversity to the classes as well as helping me to broaden my perspective on different situations. The lecturers are very helpful and supportive and I have enjoyed that aspect of studying again as they have made it less daunting. Most are very interactive and approachable which makes learning easier and far more enjoyable.

The challenges

For me personally the challenges are studying part time and working full time. It is hard to devote dedicated time to study away from the class room especially as a ‘mature’ student with a family and all the other commitments that come with age! Trying to strike that balance and of course re-entering the academic arena after a short break is a challenge for me. I want to go back to lazy in front of the tv on the sofa!

Sally Jackson, Distance Learning Certificate in Crime Analysis (2010-2011)


Sally Jackson
My Background
I graduated from Loughborough University in 2003 with an upper second in Sports Science & Mathematics BSc. I worked with young people and people with learning difficulties in an educational and multi-agency setting for a total of 4.5 years before moving to work as a partnership analyst based within Nottinghamshire Police and have been in post for 2.5 years.
Why I have taken the Distance Learning Certificate in Crime Analysis

I attended the ‘how to become a problem solving crime analyst’ course back in February 2009 so was aware of the JDI and saw this course advertised on the website. I was interested in the courses beforehand and particularly the masters but knew it wasn’t possible due to me working full time. This course was the first one that was offered through part time distance learning which appealed to me as I could combine working full time and study to gain a qualification. This course was job related and I thought that it would help me in my role as well as develop me professionally and learn new skills. There aren’t really any other courses out there that are relevant to the role of an analyst so this was ideal.

The best bits......

The flexibility around when the study can take place is great as I have been able to allocate myself certain evenings and weekends to get work done. I much prefer the practical elements but it is also important to understand the theory behind what you are doing. I have been able to use the moodle forums to clarify uncertainties and tutor response has always been good. I enjoyed researching and compiling my own COPS guide within the Synthesising evidence module and learnt a lot in the Research Methods module about questionnaire designs, sampling methods etc which I have been able to apply to my role as a partnership analyst. I am currently getting to grips with SPSS and would like to have it at work as it is really useful.

The challenges

The main challenges have been the research methods module, I found the group work challenging as other members were not as committed to the task as myself so I found this frustrating and would have preferred to do the task myself – in fact I actually asked if I could do it myself – perhaps even more frustrating through distance learning as there was no time when we could all be online together. There was a lot of reading in this module which I found very difficult to keep up with. Other challenges have sometimes been around ‘finding’ time to get the work done, especially when work is busy it is sometimes very difficult to home and sit at the computer all evening as well!

Simone Zimmerman, MSc Crime Science (2009-2010)

Simone Zimmerman, MSc Crime Science


Simone Zimmerman
My Background

I have over 16 years experience in forensic technology investigations using computer forensics, intelligence management, data analysis and eDiscovery techniques. I have predominantly worked in forensic accounting departments but have also completed a secondment to the Serious Fraud Office and worked on other criminal investigations for the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, the former Asset Recovery Agency (now SOCA) and Kent Police.

Why am I taking the MSc in Crime Science

As a special interest, I had been studying for a BSc in Psychology part-time for a number of years. I was looking for an opportunity to combine my psychology degree with my work experience in order to steer my career into a new direction. Having worked in investigations for so many years, I now want to focus on crime prevention and gain a better understanding of the research that drives this area. Undoubtedly the JDI is a centre of excellence packed with academic but also practitioner experience from which the course benefits greatly. It was important to me that the course focuses on scientific approaches to crime prevention because similarly to psychology, scientific methods have seen a new and significant revival in recent years. I am confident that I will be able to make the career changes I have in mind by completing this course as I believe that it does open many new doors.

The best bits......

The best bit about the course for me is the variety of visiting lecturers which gives students access to practitioners who are experts in their field. The course is excellent for those who would like to embark on a crime analyst/crime mapping career which is currently a very sought after skill in the market. I wish this kind of training would have been available when I first started working in investigations 16 years ago. I think also this course is an excellent starting point for those who wish to embark on an academic career. I particularly enjoy the ‘Investigation & Detection’ and ‘Situational Crime Prevention’ modules though if you enjoy philosophy like myself, you will enjoy the ‘Thinking Scientifically’ module too.

The challenges

For me the most challenging part is the dissertation. It is an excellent opportunity to carry out a supervised scientific research project but it is important to explore research interests well in advance and to identify suitable data sources, particularly if you are trying to change direction like myself or are new to this field. Due to the sensitive nature of data that you may require for a project, you may find it difficult to obtain such data. This may be less challenging for practitioners but it will be a balancing act between research interest and availability of data.

Carrie Li, MSc Crime Science (2009-2010)

Carrie Li, MSc Crime Science


Miss Carrie Li
My Background
I was born and grew up in Hong Kong. I came to England for A-Levels and have just finished my degree on experimental psychology at the University of Bristol. My main interest is to work in a psychology-related field, for example, I have been a summer research assistant in the department of psychology in the University of Hong Kong and have worked for a clinical psychologist in a hospital in Hong Kong. I have also been working as a volunteer in the Hong Kong Correctional Service Department for three consecutive summers.
Why I have taken the MSc in Crime Science

During my work in correctional institutes in Hong Kong, I had my first contact with offenders who have committed offences such as illegal immigration, prostitution, drugs abuse and crimes under mental-ill state. I was shocked to find that all offenders in my class committing drugs abuse were a similar age to me. A series of questions about what makes them commit crime immediately came to my mind. Through my time with them, I  understood that most of them were influenced by their peers. This, coupled with my studies in psychology, led to a further investigation of the reasons why certain types of people engage in certain types of behaviour that is identified as being criminal in nature. I chose the course to equip me with professional knowledge to participate in establishing government policies to reduce crime in future.

The best bits......

This course provided me with a broad, integrated understanding of the criminological theories. The opportunity to work alongside professionals from different disciplines specializing in crime science was a great experience and provided an insight into the ways in which professions can and help analyse offenders’ behaviours. Also, from an academic point of view, the chance to further my knowledge of this field and conduct my own research was an exciting opportunity. I especially like the module of ‘Presenting Evidence’ because this equipped students with the fundamental and essential skills needed for good academic writing and research to a professional standard.

The challenges

To me, as I did not possess any previous knowledge on criminological theories and crime-related studies, I found it really challenging to catch up at the start of the first term. However, this process is really fruitful because I had a science background and I realised crime science has a similar thinking logic as other science disciplines. Most of the theories and studies are easily integrated into my schema. And recently, I have had this opportunity to design my own dissertation.

Page last modified on 01 mar 13 15:49