This MSc, designed by a panel of academic departments, industrial partners and law enforcement and security agencies, introduces students to the fundamental knowledge, core expertise and advanced, evidence-driven methodological tools and approaches required to understand, analyse, prevent, disrupt and detect organised crime and terrorism.
Covid-19 programme updates
Due to COVID-19, there may have been updates to this programme for the 2020 academic year. Where there has been an update, these are indicated with a red alert and a link which will provide further information.
Modes and duration
Modular-flexible students will usually attend one day a week.
Tuition fees (2020/21)
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 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 an upper 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 (e.g. engineering or computer science) or social science subjects (e.g. 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 an understanding of how science, engineering and a variety of professional disciplines can contribute to tackling organised crime and terrorism. By the end of the programme, they will be able to apply appropriate scientific principles and methods to security problems, think strategically to develop and implement countermeasures, and appreciate the complexity involved in the design and implementation of organised crime and terrorism threat-reduction technologies.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
Students are required to complete five core modules (75 credits), three optional modules (45 credits), and a dissertation (60 credits).
A Postgraduate Diploma comprising five core modules (75 credits) and three optional modules (45 credits), and which may lead to the MSc (subject to approval by the programme convenor), is offered.
Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a MSc in Countering Organised Crime and Terrorism. Upon successful completion of 120 credits, you will be awarded a PG Dip in Countering Organised Crime and Terrorism.
Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.
- Designing and Doing Research
- Foundations of Security and Crime Science
- Perspectives on Organised Crime
- Perspectives on Terrorism
- Quantitative Methods
Students choose three of the following:
- Crime Mapping and Spatial Analysis
- Horizon Scanning and the Changing Nature of Crime
- Intelligence Gathering and Analysis
- Introduction to Cybersecurity
- Investigation and Detection
- Prevention and Disruption
- Terrorism (taught by UCL Political Science and not available for distance learning students)
NB: places for optional modules are awarded on a first-come first-served basis.
Further module information.
- Further information about these modules is available on the department website.
All MSc students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000 words.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, projects and laboratory classes. Student performance is assessed through laboratory and project reports, unseen written examination, coursework, presentations, and the research project and 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 departmental website.
Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.
- This scheme is now closed for 2020/21
- £15,000 (1 year)
- Based on both academic merit and financial need
- Deadline: 30 June 2020
- £2,500 - £10,000 towards fees (1 year)
- UK, EU, Overseas
- 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.
This unique linking of organised crime and terrorism, and the study of methodologies that can practically tackle both of these areas, means that this MSc holds appeal for employers across a broad range of industries.
This programme equips students with the knowledge to develop operational strategies to counter organised crime and terrorism. This unique linking of organised crime and terrorism, and the study of methodologies that can practically tackle both of these areas, means that this MSc holds appeal for employers across a broad range of industries.
Why study this degree at UCL?
The UCL Jill Dando Institute, of which UCL Department of Security & Crime Science is the core component, is the first research institution in the world devoted specifically to reducing crime through teaching, research, public policy analysis and by the dissemination of evidence-based information on crime reduction.
This MSc programme is delivered by experienced practitioners and researchers working in counter-terrorism, intelligence, law enforcement, risk assessment and security technology. It boasts a unique multidisciplinary platform, being the only postgraduate programme of its kind in the world taught in a faculty of engineering sciences, integrating the cutting-edge of the social and engineering sciences in the security domain.
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
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.
There is an application processing fee for this programme of £80 for online applications and £105 for paper applications. Further information can be found at: www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.
Who can apply?
The 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. It is also suitable for students with a relevant background wishing to pursue a career in these areas.
- All applicants
- 11 August 2020
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
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 programmes. 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.
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