Crime Science with Serious Organised Crime MSc

This MSc programme provides students with a thorough understanding of how science and scientifically-based techniques can tackle challenges in serious and organised crime. This ranges from disrupting the networks within which crime groups operate, gaining insights into their structure, and developing techniques for detecting and mitigating immediate and sustainable reductions in crime.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2024/25)
Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.
Overseas tuition fees (2024/25)
Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.
1 calendar year
5 calendar years
Programme starts
September 2024
Applications accepted
Applicants who require a visa: 16 Oct 2023 – 28 Jun 2024

Applications closed

Applicants who do not require a visa: 16 Oct 2023 – 30 Aug 2024
Applications close at 5pm UK time

Applications open

Completed applications (those submitted successfully and application fee payment received) will be assessed in batches and you should receive a decision according to the following dates:
Application complete by 5 January 2024 – Decision by 11 March 2024
Application complete by 29 March 2024 – Decision by 28 May 2024
Application complete by 28 June 2024 – Decision by 31 July 2024

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).

The English language level for this programme is: Level 3

UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level.

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

Equivalent qualifications

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. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

About this degree

Crime Science with Serious and Organised Crime MSc is aninternationally renowned degree, which focuses on applying science to serious and organised crime issues. The programme produces graduates with the skills to develop strategies for preventing organised crime and increasing the probability of detecting and disrupting organised crime networks.

Who this course is for

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, wishing to develop the skills necessary for a career or further doctoral research in this field.

We also accept applications from candidates without a first degree if they have five or more years of relevant experience (e.g., in the police, or as a crime prevention officer).

What this course will give you

Crime Science with Serious and Organised Crime MSc is a multidisciplinary degree programme, drawing on expertise in psychology, political and social science, statistics, mathematics, policy, forensic sciences, design, geography and computing. 

Over the course of this programme, students develop the ability to apply scientific principles to gain insights into the structure and operations of organised crime groups, think strategically in developing and implementing crime control policies, appreciate the complexity of implementation issues, critically assess the impact of planned interventions, and generate innovative ideas proposals for tackling serious crime. 

The foundation of your career

Many graduates have built successful careers 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.


The interdisciplinary nature of the programme equips its graduates with transferable skills such as problem solving, quantitative and qualitative analysis, research methods and critical thinking. These skills open the doors to a wide range of career paths. 

Examples include front-line careers in crime prevention, such as intelligence and crime prevention analysts; jobs in research and policy, ranging from the civil service and academia to NGOs and think-tanks; and careers in the private sector, covering areas such as data science, risk management, fraud and security analysis.


The programme offers an array of networking opportunities such as careers events, seminars and the annual departmental conference, all of which aim to enrich students’ academic experience and professional growth.

These events also provide a platform for students to connect with crime science practitioners and researchers across academia, government and industry, offering a chance to learn from their expertise and establish valuable contacts.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through lectures, seminars, tutorials, projects 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 project reports, unseen written examination, coursework, presentations, and the dissertation.

Each taught module consists of 150 hours of content, which is a mixture of lectures, seminars, tutorials and self-directed study.

A full-time student can expect to have around 15-20 hours of contact time per week during terms one and two, as well as self-directed study and time spent preparing for assessments.


Students undertake eight taught modules plus the dissertation. The programme consists of four compulsory modules, one module choice between three research methods modules, one module choice between a prevent module, two optional modules and a research dissertation. 

Full-time students will undertake taught modules in terms one and two, with the dissertation commencing in term two and being completed in the summer term.

Students undertake eight taught modules plus the dissertation. The programme consists of four compulsory modules, one module choice between three research methods modules, one module choice between a prevent module, two optional modules and a research dissertation.  

Modular-flexible students should take the module SECU0031 (Foundations of Security and Crime Science) first and their dissertation as their final module, however other modules in the diet can be taken in any configuration in up to five years. 

The dissertation will commence in term 2 and will be completed in the summer term. Students cannot start the dissertation during the first year of registration. 

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 are subject to change. Modules that are in use for the current academic year are linked for further information. Where no link is present, further information is not yet available.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded an MSc in Crime Science with Serious Organised Crime.


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support and Wellbeing team.

Online - Open day

Graduate Open Events: Security and Crime Science MSc

Join our open event series to learn more about our MSc courses, future career opportunities and what it's like to be part of our fantastic community. There are also questions for our programme convenors, admission tutors and current students.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time
Tuition fees (2024/25) £17,300
Tuition fees (2024/25) £34,400

Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.

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

Additional costs

There are no additional costs associated with this programme.

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Funding your studies

UCL Security & Crime Science is offering a number of scholarships of up to £10,000 to outstanding applicants who have been offered places on one of our MSc programmes.

For further information, please visit our departmental 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.

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 £90 for online applications and £115 for paper applications. Further information can be found at Application fees.

You will need to complete our application, making sure to address the below points in your personal statement.

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • what 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 on completion of 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 part of all of our postgraduate courses. Whilst we do not require students to have a background in mathematics or statistics, it is vital for our students to show an understanding and willingness to learn the concepts of statistics and quantitative research methods.  

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes (or one application for the Law LLM) in any application cycle.

Choose your programme

Please read the Application Guidance before proceeding with your application.

Year of entry: 2024-2025

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