MSc Criminology Communities and Disorder

  • Study Mode: Part Time
  • Location: High Wycombe
  • Duration: Two Years
  • Start Date: September 2022
At Buckinghamshire New University, we have a long history of education in policing and courses designed to help manage crime in society. Our wide range of courses give real depth to our knowledge and our academic team continue to push the boundaries with new research.
Our MSc in Criminology, Communities and Disorder combines sociology with criminology, enabling you to gain a broad but in-depth understanding of many contemporary social issues. You can apply this outlook more specifically to social disorder and community issues, giving you the grounding you need to improve your career prospects.
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Application guide

For information on how you can boost your career-prospects and apply for our postgraduate courses, follow our application guide.

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Postgraduate Open Days

Join us for a Postgraduate Open Day where you can discuss your options and chosen course with our course leaders.

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Fees and Funding

There’s a range of ways you can secure funding for your course, including sponsorship, scholarships and loans. And if you recently graduated from BNU, you may be eligible for a fee discount.

Why study this subject?

Are you naturally curious and analytically minded? Studying Criminology, Communities and Disorder master’s degree will open your eyes to the problems we need to solve for society to be safer. You'll find out how you can use research methods to answer important questions and understand the criminal mind.

Why study at Buckinghamshire New University?

Our Criminology, Communities and Disorder master’s programme will help you gain a greater understanding of the many social issues which exist in our contemporary communities. It covers those issues which are specifically crime and social disorder related and widens the scope of the role of the community.

If you have previously studied criminology and policing and other social sciences, you will be able to widen the depth of your undergraduate knowledge to include a specific community perspective.

A stronger understanding of Criminology is particularly useful if you work within the criminal justice system, local council or government. Examining research and theory will deal with day-to-day problems in the workplace in a more effective way.

The application of knowledge to real and contemporary social and community issues is a key aspect of this programme, and so it will suit students who wish to follow career pathways in a wide variety of related (and unrelated) areas or to study further at Doctoral level.

If you’re looking to work in an applied community area, or enhance your career prospects in this area, you will benefit from the community focus to gather real world skills.

As a part-time course you can fit your studies around your current employment and enjoy flexible learning. You'll immediately be able to apply your knowledge to your surroundings and see the world from a new perspective.

What facilities can I use?

We’ve invested in a range of state-of-the-art facilities across our campuses to support your learning.

We think it's important for you to develop your skills in a realistic setting. Our criminal investigative suite includes a custody desk, interview room, cell and crime scene investigation room. There are also seminar rooms with live and recorded video feed.

Criminology, police studies and law students use these facilities, but the criminal investigative suite is also used by Thames Valley Police and their scene of crime officers for training.

Our library is the perfect place to find the resources you need and a quiet place to study, filled with four floors of books, journals, computer suites and study rooms. Or, if you’d rather work off campus, e-Journals and resources are only a few clicks away using our Virtual Learning Environment.

What will I study?

Our MSc in Criminology, Communities and Disorder will help develop your analytical understanding of the relationship between crime and community. Progressing to more complex issues such as social disorder and social tension, you'll see society from a range of perspectives. You will gain an understanding of the social causes of crime and how these issues can be effectively managed in society.

As you learn about the key concepts of Criminology, you'll also examine the sociological, legal and criminal justice theories used to interpret the actions of criminals and the impact on society.

You will study the events of the last 30 years to determine how social, political and cultural motions have shaped our response to recent events.

The course reflects the latest policies and methods used within the criminal justice system. This course also focuses on social research methods and the ethical and methodological elements of conducting research.

How will I be taught and assessed?

Staff use their varied and relevant expertise throughout this programme to enhance your learning. With smaller class sizes, we can give you the support and dedicated teaching that you need.

As researchers themselves, your lecturers are experts in research process and methodology. They will use their expertise and experience to help guide your studies. You'll be kept up-to-date with the latest theories and findings that influence our perspective on current events.

The programme offers an innovative and challenging array of assessments from evidence-based workshops, reports and presentations to traditional essays and case study analysis, which will allow you to develop your academic expertise and gain empirical research skills which will enhance both their personal development and your employability in a wide range of careers.

You will also benefit from using our virtual learning environment and typical assessments may include blogs, discussion boards, online questionnaires and posts where students convey and apply their academic understanding, creative and critical thinking around relevant topics.

You will also need to complete a dissertation, which represents a major piece of independent research activity chosen by you and undertaken with supervision. This is empirically based. You will also complete a research proposal, helping to prepare you to examine the ethical and research design implication and strategies for your dissertation

Useful Information

MSC Criminology Communities and Disorder Programme Specification

What are the course entry requirements?

Students on this course have typically achieved a 2:2 or higher from one of the following areas: Criminology, Sociology, Social Work, Psychology, Police Studies or Criminal Justice. However, we're also interested in hearing from anyone working in a related field.


This provides a guide of the modules that make up your course. You can find more information about how your course is structured on our Academic Advice section.

Year 1 Modules

Advanced Quantitative Research Methods

Qualitative Research Methods and Analysis

Risk, Communities and Crime

Theorising Disorder in Contemporary Society

Year 2 Modules

Public International Law (optional)

Case Studies: Working with Communities

Communication, Interaction and the Criminal Justice System (optional)

Communities, Individuals and Disorder (optional)


What are the tuition fees


Home, Academic Year 2022 - 2023

£5,300 per year

The University is unable to accept any new applications from students who require sponsorship for a student visa to start in September 2022. This is due to the overwhelming popularity of our courses and visa processing timeframes.  Applications are still being taken from students who are already in the UK and hold the right to study.

From September 2022, those students living in the UK or Republic of Ireland, and EU nationals with settled status in the UK, will be considered Home students.

Most courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees.

You could benefit from financial support through a bursary or scholarship during your time as a student. For more details visit our financial support, bursaries and scholarships section.

Questions about fees?

Contact our Enquiries Team:

0330 123 2023

What are my career prospects?

Criminology offers many different career paths. Jobs often involve managing members of the community in roles such as police officers, community development workers and prison governors.

Some typical examples of employment opportunities and careers of former graduates include a wide variety of roles within the following:

  • the prison service (e.g. Project Worker/ manager)
  • the probation service
  • civilian roles within the police service (e.g. Hate Crime Unit)
  • victim services
  • youth and community services
  • substance misuse organisations
  • charities
  • local government
  • social housing
  • social science research (e.g. within the Home Office or for charities).

There are also opportunities for graduates within social welfare roles supporting vulnerable members of society. You may also wish to work in areas such as mental health support and drug rehabilitation.

Other graduates continue their academic career and conduct social research to expand their knowledge in the area. This could involve working as a research assistant or completing a PhD.

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Dr David Black
  • Lecturer
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