School of Social, Historical and Political Studies

Comparative Criminology

MA Full-time 12 months, Part-time 2 years

This Masters course allows you to explore many of the rich and varied components of comparative criminology through the focusing in turn on aspects of contemporary justice, social harms, violence, oppression, the penal system and its reform, transnational policing, and past and current controversies in the criminal justice system.

This Masters course allows you to explore many of the rich and varied components of comparative criminology through the focusing in turn on aspects of contemporary justice, social harms, violence, oppression, the penal system and its reform, transnational policing, and past and current controversies in the criminal justice system.

Why choose this course?

This Masters course allows you to explore many of the rich and varied components of comparative criminology through the focusing in turn on aspects of contemporary justice, social harms, violence, oppression, the penal system and its reform, transnational policing, and past and current controversies in the criminal justice system. You will study these themes in depth under the care of tutors who have a keen interest in and expert knowledge of these fields.

As the culmination of the course, you will undertake a piece of independent research in the form of a 15,000 word dissertation on a topic based on one or more of the taught components of the course. Guidance in this undertaking will come from your appointed dissertation supervisor but also from the Research Methods core module, which will be studied prior to you commencing your research.

The MA draws on a vast range of expertise and will prepare you for future research at doctoral level, as well as further developing your interpersonal and professional skills

 Its especial strength resides in the sustained combination of criminological, historical, policing and social science approaches and expertise made available to you by the course team. The sound grounding that you will have acquired by the time of completion will provide the skills and the confidence to consider and seek opportunities in public and private sector research-based employment, as well as a wide range of jobs within academia, customs and excise, border control, policing etc. to name but a few examples. 

In preparation for future employment, an optional Work Placement module is available in which you will have the opportunity to undertake accredited work-based activities and experiences which will give you the opportunity to reflect on and apply the skills and knowledge learned on the course in a practical situation.

Course Modules

Potential Career Paths

An optional Work Placement module will allow students to experience work-based employment and activities. This module allows for both a practical application of many of the transferable skills gained during the course and a reflexive opportunity of seeing how the academic issues addressed on the course can be related to ‘real-life’ applications and processes.

A key component of the course will be the regular use of guest speakers from both public and private sector organisations. These will give students the unique opportunity to learn about and discuss a variety of future employment and volunteering opportunities.

Additional Information

Everything you need to know about this course!

The course draws on the expertise of internationally established researchers based at the University of Wolverhampton. Each module is led by scholars who have published widely in many aspects of comparative criminology.

Each module is informed by books, articles and cutting-edge research authored by University of Wolverhampton academics that have made new knowledge available to practitioners as well as significant interventions into key debates on the past, present and future of criminology and criminal justice. The inter-disciplinary nature of the MA gives it a unique and broader focus and content that that offered on programmes at many other institutions, which tend to focus largely on either research or law.

The MA in Comparative Criminology provides students with a pathway into various careers. The range of skills developed throughout the course ensures that graduates will be well equipped to work in a range of crime and criminal justice fields, and further afield: for example the Crown Prosecution Service, Charitable organisations, think-tanks, the National Office for Statistics, the Home Office, fraud investigators, immigration officers, and crime prevention/law enforcement areas. Students will also be able to draw on the wider research culture of the Faculty; the team have, over the past two years developed significant links with outside agencies such as the Parole Board, the Independent Monitoring Board, representatives of the English Collective of Prostitutes, the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, HMP YOI Brinsford, the ShannonTrust, the Magistrates’ Association and many other organisations and charitable bodies.  These links enable the team to ensure that students are given the opportunity to receive guest lectures and seminars from representatives of these bodies that greatly enhance their learning experience.

  • Demonstrate self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems, and act autonomously in planning and implementing tasks at a professional or equivalent level.
  • Demonstrate originality in the application of knowledge, together with a practical understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in the discipline.
  • Deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively, make sound judgements in the absence of complete data, and communicate your conclusions clearly to specialist and non-specialist audiences.
  • Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of techniques applicable to your own research or advanced scholarship and ability to continue to advance your knowledge and understanding, and to develop new skills to a high level.
  • Demonstrate a systematic understanding of knowledge, and a critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights, much of which is at, or informed by, the forefront of your academic discipline, field of study or area of professional practice with a conceptual understanding that enables the student

    • to evaluate critically current research and advanced scholarship in the discipline
    • to evaluate methodologies and develop critiques of them and, where appropriate, to propose new hypotheses
  • Demonstrate the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring:

    • the exercise of initiative and personal responsibility
    • decision-making in complex and unpredictable situations
    • the independent learning ability required for continuing professional development.

Location Mode Fee Year
Home Full-time £9050 per year 2021-22
Home Full-time £7995 per year 2022-23
Home Part-time £3275 per year 2021-22
Home Part-time £3998 per year 2022-23
International Full-time £13950 per year 2021-22
International Full-time £14450 per year 2022-23

These fees relate to new entrants only for the academic year indicated for entry onto the course, any subsequent years study may be subject to an annual increase, usually in line with inflation.

  • A Bachelor of Arts Honours degree (2:2 or above) in a Humanities-based subject from a UK University or overseas equivalent, or a professional qualification and/or experience considered to be equivalent; to be verified by the Course Leader.
  • You should also have a good standard of written and spoken English (IELTS 6.5 or equivalent).

Postgraduate Loan (Home Fee Status):

You may be able to get a postgraduate student loan from Student Finance England of up to £11,570 to help pay for a Master’s degree. Applications are made through Student Finance England and more information on the regulations and eligibility criteria can be found at Masters Loans

* Any RPL will invalidate your eligibility as you must study a minimum of 180 credits

Changes for EU students:

The UK government has confirmed that EU students starting courses from 1 August 2021 will normally be classified as Overseas (International) students for fee purposes. More information about the change is available at UKCISA:

EU citizens living in the UK with 'settled' status, and Irish nationals living in the UK or Ireland, will still be classified as Home students, providing they meet the usual residency requirements, for more information about EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) click here.

Postgraduate Loyalty Discount:

You can get 20% discount on a taught on-site postgraduate course if you’re a University of Wolverhampton Graduate.

The University offers a generous 20% Loyalty Discount to students progressing from an undergraduate programme to a taught postgraduate programme, where both courses are University of Wolverhampton Awards.

There is no time limit on how long ago you completed your degree as long as this is your first Masters level qualification.

The discount applies to the first year of enrolment only. Students who receive a loyalty discount are not entitled to any further tuition discount or bursary. For full terms and conditions click here.


If you are paying for the fees yourself then the fees can be paid in 3 instalments: November, January and April. More information can be found by clicking here.

Sponsored - Your employer, embassy or organisation can pay for your Tuition fees:

Your employer, embassy or organisation agrees to pay all or part of your tuition fees; the University will refer to them as your sponsor and will invoice them for the appropriate amount.

We must receive notification of sponsorship in writing as soon as possible, and before enrolment, confirming that the sponsor will pay your tuition fees.

Financial Hardship:

Students can apply to the Dennis Turner Opportunity Fund for help with course related costs however this cannot be used for fees or to cover general living costs.

Charitable Funding:

You might also want to explore the possibility of funding from charitable trusts; please see the following websites Association of Charitable Foundations, Directory of Social Change or Family Action. Most charities and trust funds offer limited bursaries targeted to specific groups of students so you will need to research whether any of them are relevant to your situation.

You can find more information on the University’s Funding, cost, fee and support pages.


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