Birkbeck, University of London
Criminal Law and Criminal Justice MA
Birkbeck, University of London

Course modalities offered

Key Course Facts

Course Description

Security is a major contemporary preoccupation; criminal law and criminal justice are key responses. Our MA/LLM Criminal Law and Criminal Justice offers you an exciting, challenging and distinctive opportunity to explore and develop new critical perspectives on major contemporary national and international debates. It is ideal for legal and criminal justice professionals and practitioners.

The central focus of this multidisciplinary course is the interface between criminal law and criminal justice. In addition to studying established critical and theoretical perspectives, the course also has a humanities focus, which offers an opportunity for you to explore and engage with cutting-edge scholarship in the subject.

The MA/LLM Criminal Law and Criminal Justice is delivered by staff from the School of Law and its Institute for Crime and Justice Policy Research, and a range of visiting international scholars and practitioners.


  • The School of Law is an internationally recognised centre for critical and interdisciplinary legal research with a strong theoretical and policy focus. It is the home of Birkbeck Law Press and publishes Law and Critique: The International Journal of Critical Legal Thought.

  • In the most recent Research Excellence Framework we were ranked in the top 10 for research intensity in the UK and top three in London, while our research environment was judged conducive to producing research of the highest quality.

  • The School is the home of the Institute for Crime and Justice Policy Research. Jessica Jacobson, its director, leads a team of outstanding researchers. She brings a wealth of knowledge to this Master's course, participating in compulsory and specialist modules and providing research project supervision.

  • We use technology, such as electronic learning environments, to enhance teaching and learning. Birkbeck Library has an extensive teaching collection of books, journals and electronic resources in law and related disciplines, such as economics, politics and sociology. For example, it provides access to over 17,000 electronic journals, which are available online 24 hours a day.

  • You can also take advantage of the rich research collections nearby, including those of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, Senate House Library, the British Library of Political and Economic Science (LSE Library) and the British Library.

  • Candidates with an outstanding academic record who demonstrate high potential for strong performance on one of our master's degrees can apply for School of Law Postgraduate Fee Awards.

Final assessment for most compulsory and option modules is based on a 4000-word essay. You will also submit a research project of 8000 words on a topic of your choice, to be agreed with the module convenor.

Entry Requirements / Admissions

Requirements for international students / English requirements

IELTS academic test score (similar tests may be accepted as well)

    • 6.5
    • Mphil / PhD

If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, the requirement for this programme is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 7.0, with not less than 6.5 in eac
Do you not fulfill the minimum requirements in terms of UCAS score, A levels, or English language requirements?
Get advice on which foundation courses are best for you to still be able to join Criminal Law and Criminal Justice, MA.

A second-class honours degree (2:2) or above in law, the humanities or social sciences; other honours degrees will be considered. Applications are reviewed on their individual merits and your professional qualifications and/or relevant work experience will be taken into consideration positively. We actively support and encourage applications from mature learners.


Tuition Fees Criminal Law and Criminal Justice MA

England UK £5925 year 1
Northern Ireland £5925 year 1
Scotland £5925 year 1
Wales £5925 year 1
International £9045 year 1

Additional fee information

Students are charged a tuition fee in each year of their programme. Tuition fees for students continuing on their programme in following years may be subject to annual inflationary increases.

Average student cost of living in London

Rent £518
Water, gas electricity, internet (at home) £50
Supermarket shopping £81
Clothing £35
Eating out £33
Alcohol £27
Takeaways / food deliveries £30
Going out / entertainment (excl.alcohol, food) £24
Holidays and weekend trips £78
Transport within city £17
Self-care / sports £20
Stationary / books £13
Mobile phone / internet £13
Cable TV / streaming £7
Insurance £51
Other £95
Average student cost of living £1092

London costs approx 34% more than average, mainly due to rent being 67% higher than average of other cities. For students staying in student halls, costs of water, gas, electricity, wifi are generally included in the rental. Students in smaller cities where accommodation is in walking/biking distance transport costs tend to be significantly smaller.

University Rankings

Positions of Birkbeck, University of London in top UK and global rankings.

See all university rankings of Birkbeck, University of London

What students say about studying Criminal Justice in the UK?

  • A Day In The Life Of A Criminal Justice Major| Cadaver Lab
  • CRIMINAL JUSTICE MAJOR: Lecture classes + traveling for work
  • A Day In The Life Of A Criminal Justice Student
  • CRIMINAL JUSTICE BACHELOR'S DEGREE: broken down completely, class by class
  • COLLEGE DAY IN MY LIFE AS A DOUBLE MAJOR | criminal justice midterm + exam prep & more!

About Birkbeck, University of London

Birkbeck, University of London (BBK) was established in 1823, and takes a different stance towards admissions than many other universities. Applicants are encouraged by BKK to apply even if they don’t possess the traditional qualifications normally required, as applications here are also considered based on an assessment of your knowledge on the subject, and any work experience you might have. Being located in the very centre of London, students will have all the advantages of the city’s public transport connections, as well as the chance to live in such a diverse and vibrant city with all that it offers.

  • Stella’s Starting Study Vlog
  • “How has the Birkbeck experience been for you?”
  • Birkbeck's Student Experience
  • Studying for a PhD at Birkbeck - Veronika Akhmadieva
  • Top reasons why students choose Birkbeck, University of London

Where is this programme taught

Main Site - Malet Street
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