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Criminology and Evidence-Based Policing MSc

2022-23 (also available for 2023-24)

This course is eligible for Master's loan funding. Find out more.

Start date

19 September 2022


1 year full-time block delivery
2 years part-time block delivery

About the course

This course is suitable for recent graduates interested in a career in policing, analysis or research, as well as for practitioners currently working in policing or investigation who seek to progress into leadership or specialist roles. You will explore contemporary policing issues and how evidence and research findings can be used to develop the most effective policing strategies and on-the-ground approaches. You will learn about current challenges as well as analytical and policing practices, while also gaining the necessary research skills to evaluate and develop the most appropriate responses.

  • This global course is relevant not just for those working, or hoping to work, in the UK but also for students and practitioners from other countries and international organisations. Though situated within the policing framework of England and Wales, you will explore approaches and evidence from multiple countries, and can tailor some of your assessments, including your research project, to the needs or approaches in your country of origin.
  • This unique, contemporary course enables you to focus on evidence-based policing as a key way to develop and transform modern policing with a view to meeting emerging and future challenges.
  • Explore issues relevant to your interests and operational needs through your independent evidence-based policing research project.
  • Learn about the importance of evidence-based policing approaches, practice hands-on analytical techniques used in policing and investigation, and gain advanced research skills to support your future work and career.
  • Delivered by experts in researching policing and investigation as well as practitioners who have, or continue to work in the field. Our staff have a wealth of experience, including operational policing, crime analysis and serious crime investigation. We pride ourselves on the policy and practice focus of the research we undertake, be it exploring crime patterns (such as crime hotspots), investigative practice (including child homicide and ‘cold cases’), street-craft (for example self-selection policing and false-detail giving) and even more unusual topics such as wildlife crime or necrophilia.

This course will assist you in developing your career in respect to evidence-based policing, crime analysis and leadership skills in policing, as well as enabling you to tailor the course around your particular areas of crime interest.

** Successful students gain a Masters award. However, this course is not accredited by the College of Policing and it is not a direct entry route into work as a police officer.

Course detail

Contemporary Policing Challenges

In this module you will explore a range of challenges that characterise contemporary policing that will provide you with the basis for exploring issues in more detail within subsequent modules of the course. You will consider the context of modern policing and how this impacts on the nature of policing. For example, you will explore the transformative impact of digital technologies on crime and criminality as well as other continuing and emerging threats and challenges to policing. The module will also encompass current policing responses to these, offering an overview of action by state, sub-state, and supra-national bodies, as well as the challenges this poses for effective policing. Specific attention will be paid to operational questions, and to the development of new thinking in respect of potential responses.

Crime Analysis and Evidence-Based Policing

In this module you will explore a range of research and analysis techniques that help inform evidence-based practice in policing. You will explore the relative effectiveness of a range of policing and intervention approaches and the research and evaluation evidence that underpins these. In doing so, you will also explore important approaches to research, such as systematic reviews and action-research. In addition, you will also learn about the use of analysis within policing, to inform appropriate targeting of individuals, locations and multi-agency crime reduction. This will include hands-on-practice of methods such as crime pattern analysis, hotspotting and association charting.

Conducting Social Research

You will be introduced to the design of social research and examine the approaches used to collect social research data. You will explore issues that affect the quality of research and the three design strategies: experiment, survey and case study. You will also study key techniques including questionnaire design, interviewing, ethnography and the use of documents.

Leadership and Management in Policing

Within this module you will explore a range of strategic challenges faced by police managers. Through lectures and seminars, you will critically consider issues surrounding leadership, accountability, police effectiveness, and the impact of reforms to modern policing. The module is interdisciplinary supporting you to draw on knowledge and literatures from criminology and the social sciences as well as management and political science.


This module enables you to undertake an extended piece of research on a Criminology and International Security related topic of your choice. It will allow you to investigate in-depth an area of interest alongside a supervisor who is an expert at the forefront of the discipline. You will design and manage your research project, incorporate appropriate research methods, synthesise and analyse a range of sources and demonstrate a depth and breadth of knowledge about your chosen topic.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for this course are normally:

  • An honours degree (2:2 or above) in a related subject. Applications are reviewed on merit and you may be invited for an interview.

If your first language is not English, you will need to meet the minimum requirements of an English Language qualification. The minimum for IELTS is 6.5 overall with no element lower than 6.0, or equivalent will be considered acceptable. Read more about the University’s entry requirements for students outside of the UK on our Where are you from information pages.


The course does not have a formal work placement, but you are encouraged to utilise relevantpractice experience (paid or voluntary) within the course. You can do this through designing your choice of assessments, for example, based on particular policing or analysis challenges you face in your work, or designing an evaluation or action-based research project.

Student support

At the University of Huddersfield, you'll find support networks and services to help you get ahead in your studies and social life. Whether you study at undergraduate or postgraduate level, you'll soon discover that you're never far away from our dedicated staff and resources to help you to navigate through your personal student journey. Find out more about all our support services.

A wide range of resources are also offered within the School of Human and Health Sciences, which provides you with support in a variety of areas. These include:

Student Hub: a one stop shop for students, studying within the School. Their services include offering advice on extenuating circumstances, extension requests, attendance and welfare support, organising appointments with academic staff, signposting to other support networks and loan of MP3 recorders.

Academic Skills Development Team: provides guidance about how students can develop their academic skills in order to improve their grades. The team provide support with general academic skills including essay writing, time management, presentations and group work skills; information technology and numeracy; research skills, as well as personal development for example confidence building and assertiveness.

Learning Technology Support Unit: helps students with any problems they experience with the University’s Virtual Learning Environment, Brightspace, including logging on or difficulties experienced when accessing modules.

Important information

We will always try to deliver your course as described on this web page. However, sometimes we may have to make changes as set out below.

Changes to a course you have applied for

If we propose to make a major change to a course that you are holding an offer for, then we will tell you as soon as possible so that you can decide whether to withdraw your application prior to enrolment.

Changes to your course after you enrol as a student

We will always try to deliver your course and other services as described. However, sometimes we may have to make changes as set out below:

Changes to option modules

Where your course allows you to choose modules from a range of options, we will review these each year and change them to reflect the expertise of our staff, current trends in research and as a result of student feedback or demand for certain modules. We will always ensure that you have a range of options to choose from and we will let you know in good time the options available for you to choose for the following year.

Major changes

We will only make major changes to the core curriculum of a course or to our services if it is necessary for us to do so and provided such changes are reasonable. A major change in this context is a change that materially changes the services available to you; or the outcomes, or a significant part, of your course, such as the nature of the award or a substantial change to module content, teaching days (part time provision), classes, type of delivery or assessment of the core curriculum.

For example, it may be necessary to make a major change to reflect changes in the law or the requirements of the University’s regulators; to meet the latest requirements of a commissioning or accrediting body; to improve the quality of educational provision; in response to student, examiners’ or other course evaluators’ feedback; and/or to reflect academic or professional changes within subject areas. Major changes may also be necessary because of circumstances outside our reasonable control, such as a key member of staff leaving the University or being unable to teach, where they have a particular specialism that can’t be adequately covered by other members of staff; or due to damage or interruption to buildings, facilities or equipment.

Major changes would usually be made with effect from the next academic year, but this may not always be the case. We will notify you as soon as possible should we need to make a major change and will carry out suitable consultation with affected students. If you reasonably believe that the proposed change will cause you detriment or hardship we will, if appropriate, work with you to try to reduce the adverse effect on you or find an appropriate solution. Where an appropriate solution cannot be found and you contact us in writing before the change takes effect you can cancel your registration and withdraw from the University without liability to the University for future tuition fees. We will provide reasonable support to assist you with transferring to another university if you wish to do so.

Termination of course

In exceptional circumstances, we may, for reasons outside of our control, be forced to discontinue or suspend your course. Where this is the case, a formal exit strategy will be followed and we will notify you as soon as possible about what your options are, which may include transferring to a suitable replacement course for which you are qualified, being provided with individual teaching to complete the award for which you were registered, or claiming an interim award and exiting the University. If you do not wish to take up any of the options that are made available to you, then you can cancel your registration and withdraw from the course without liability to the University for future tuition fees and you will be entitled to a refund of all course fees paid to date. We will provide reasonable support to assist you with transferring to another university if you wish to do so.

When you enrol as a student of the University, your study and time with us will be governed by a framework of regulations, policies and procedures, which form the basis of your agreement with us. These include regulations regarding the assessment of your course, academic integrity, your conduct (including attendance) and disciplinary procedure, fees and finance and compliance with visa requirements (where relevant). It is important that you familiarise yourself with these as you will be asked to agree to abide by them when you join us as a student. You will find a guide to the key terms here, along with the Student Protection Plan, where you will also find links to the full text of each of the regulations, policies and procedures referred to.

The Office for Students (OfS) is the principal regulator for the University.