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MA Global Crime and Justice

Understand crime and policy in a global context

Year of entry: 2022 (September)


1 year full-time,
2 years part-time

Start date

September 2022 (term dates)

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The MA in Global Crime and Justice is designed for students and professionals seeking to develop a career in criminal justice, international organisations, the media and research.

You'll study an increasingly important feature of society: transnational crime and the responses taken by states and non-state actors.

You'll engage with the reality of global crime and criminal and related social policies from an interdisciplinary perspective. You will explore global policy analysis and criminal justice with an international approach. You'll also be trained in research methods.

This course is part of a group of social policy Masters degrees that draw on the research excellence of the Department to enable you to study social policy at an advanced level. These courses each offer a unique blend of modules to allow you to specialise in a particular area.

The injustices that victims experience at the hands of traffickers, drug networks, businesses, nation states and corrupt officials are hard to comprehend. The global social policy element of this course has acted as a cynosure: helping me to grasp how economic, social and political factors shape global crime and how the responses that follow help eradicate it.
Laura, MA Global Crime and Justice

University of the Year shortlisted

We're proud to announce that we've been shortlisted for two prestigious University of the Year awards.

  • Times Higher Education Awards 2021
  • The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022

Find out more about our nominations

Course content

The MA in Global Crime and Justice is based around a combination of criminology, social policy and research training modules. You'll start with an introduction to major theories, institutions and debates in global policy analysis and criminal justice. You'll also get a solid grounding in the core methods of social research. You'll progress to more advanced analysis of global crime and justice, exploring diverse global crimes ranging from drug and human trafficking to corporate and state crimes. You'll also spend time in workshops designed to help you gain the communication and presentation skills you need to disseminate your research in your own research project.

Most people study for full-time for 12 months, but part-time study over 24 months is also available.


You will take core modules which may include:

You will also take a selection of option modules, examples of which may include:

In the summer months you'll take part in the Graduate Research Workshop, Reflective Practice and work on your Independent Study Project.

Our modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.
Our course structures are changing in September 2023. Find out more about how this course may be affected.


You will design, develop and manage your own original research project. You'll be supervised by an individual member of staff. Our strong research focus means that there is an equal balance of time spent on taught courses and your own specialist research project.

Given the individual nature of dissertations, the topics studied by previous students are extremely varied. Recent projects include:

  • International policy transfer and criminal justice
  • A comparative analysis of drug policy typologies across OECD countries
  • The global sex trade and violence against women
  • Human trafficking: a criminal justice or social problem? ​

The York approach

Every course at York is built on a distinctive set of learning outcomes. These will give you a clear understanding of what you will be able to accomplish at the end of the course and help you explain what you can offer employers. Our academics identify the knowledge, skills, and experiences you'll need upon graduation and then design the course to get you there.

Students who complete this course will be able to:

  • Critically evaluate policy responses to local, national, cross-national and global crime problems using in-depth understanding of global crime and social policy theories. 
  • Effectively identify and investigate real world crime-related problems within their social and global context and apply problem-solving skills and critical thinking to those issues in order to contribute to imaginative, flexible and effective policy solutions. 
  • Gather, interpret and critically assess qualitative and quantitative data using innovative research methods, digital resources and policy-relevant analytical techniques to investigate crime-related questions in their social and global context, and produce reasoned written and oral accounts of crime policy enquiry. 
  • Authoritatively engage with and inform policy and crime-related debates at local, national and especially the global level, by synthesising complex material and communicating ideas effectively to peers, policy actors, practitioners and client groups across a range of professional settings, both in writing and verbally, using up-to-date visual presentation techniques. 
  • Reflect on your own independent learning experience by conducting and facilitating the management of a policy and research project that requires analysis of relevant policy context and the devising of policy strategies that take into account multiple and multilevel interests. 
  • Work effectively in multidisciplinary teams by acknowledging competing interpretations of crime-related issues in their social and global context, and by recognising the value of collaborative and participatory approaches to problem-solving and the shaping of policy solutions while being sensitive to the values and perspectives of others. 
  • Contribute to the pursuit of social progress and justice through the appreciation of the drivers of social inequalities taking into account factors such as class, race, gender, sexuality and the impact of criminal justice and social policy globally.

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees for 2022/23

Study modeUK (home)International and EU
Full-time (1 year) £9,290£19,950
Part-time (2 years)
This is the year 1 fee. Fees for future years are subject to confirmation.

Students on a Student Visa (formerly Tier 4 Visa) are not currently permitted to study part-time at York.

For courses which are longer than one year, the tuition fees quoted are for the first year of study. Fees for subsequent years are subject to increase (no more than 2% each year).

Fees information

UK (home) or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK (home) or international student. Check your fee status

Find out more information about tuition fees and how to pay them.

Additional costs

There are no mandatory additional fees but we do recommend that you set aside some money for photocopying. Course books will be available to you from the Library either in print or online format but you may wish to buy your own copies (book prices vary, with new books usually costing between £20 and £60). All other teaching resources will be available online.

Funding information

Discover your funding options to help with tuition fees and living costs.

We'll confirm more funding opportunities for students joining us in 2022/23 throughout the year.

If you've successfully completed an undergraduate degree at York you could be eligible for a 10% Masters fee discount.

Funding opportunities

Other funding opportunities

Living costs

You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers additional costs that are not included in your tuition fee such as expenses for accommodation and study materials.

Teaching and assessment

You’ll work with world‐leading academics who’ll challenge you to think independently and excel in all that you do. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace.

Teaching format

The modules for this MA have been specifically developed for postgraduate study, allowing you to study the themes and issues at an advanced level. You will be taught through a combination of hands-on workshops, lectures and seminars.

  • One-to-one supervision while undertaking an extended research project on a topic of your choosing
  • A friendly, supportive and intellectually stimulating environment in which to study
  • Small group teaching with lectures typically no larger than 30 people and often less than 15.

You'll also be able to attend the Department's lectures and University lectures from visiting speakers from across the world.

Teaching location

You'll be based in the Department of Social Policy and Social Work in the Church Lane Building on Campus West. Most of your teaching will take place in Alcuin College or other nearby locations on Campus West.

About our campus

Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.

Assessment and feedback

Your assessment will be continuous and based mainly on essays and reports. You will receive written feedback on all assessed work.

You'll complete a 15,000-20,000 word dissertation as part of your own specialist research project. You'll also have the opportunity to present your research as it progresses to a wider audience as part of our dissertation workshops.

Careers and skills

The MA in Global Crime and Justice develops the skills that employers need in a number of areas, especially criminal justice, crime policy analysis and research methods from a global perspective. You'll also find you develop transferable skills that will allow you to progress to different career areas or to continue your studies at PhD level.

Career opportunities

  • Policy officer
  • Higher education teaching and research
  • Associate for an NGO
  • Local government officer
  • Social researcher
  • Investigator for the National Crime Agency

Transferable skills

  • Data analysis
  • Critical appraisal
  • Independent research and analysis
  • Presentation and dissemination of research

Entry requirements

Typical offer
Undergraduate degree 2:1 or equivalent
International pre-masters programme Pre-masters from our International Pathway College
Other qualifications and experience You will also be considered if you have relevant work experience and academic potential
Other international qualifications Equivalent qualifications from your country

English language

If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:

Minimum requirement
IELTS 6.5, minimum 6.0 in each component
C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency 176, minimum 169 in each component
Duolingo 110, minimum 100 in all other components
LanguageCert B2 Communicator High Pass with 33/50 in each component
PTE Academic 61, minimum 55 in each component
TOEFL 87, minimum of 21 in each component
Trinity ISE III Merit in all requirements

For more information see our postgraduate English language requirements.

If you've not met our English language requirements

You may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language courses. These courses will provide you with the level of English needed to meet the conditions of your offer.

The length of course you need to take depends on your current English language test scores and how much you need to improve to reach our English language requirements.

After you've accepted your offer to study at York, we'll confirm which pre-sessional course you should apply to via You@York.


You can apply and send all your documentation electronically through our online system. You don’t need to complete your application all at once: you can start it, save it and finish it later.

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