Innovative and stimulating, this course combines academic rigour and practical experience to nurture high-calibre, confident and forward-thinking investigation professionals.
It has been designed to appeal to graduates from traditional academic backgrounds as well as serving investigation professionals from across the world. We welcome applicants with substantial and relevant professional experience who may not have an undergraduate degree or equivalent qualification.
At least a 2:2 from your first degree, or the equivalent. If your first degree is not in the Social Sciences or related subjects such as criminology, criminal justice, policing, sociology, psychology and economics, please contact the Programme Leader.
If your first language is not English, you will need to evidence a proficiency in English (IELTS 6.5).
We also welcome applicants who may not have an undergraduate degree (or equivalent) but who have substantial and relevant professional experience.
If you are unsure whether you meet the entry criteria, contact the Programme Leader who will be happy to supply further advice.
This course is made up of three stages - Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma and MSc.
You will study these three core modules:
Criminal Investigation 1: Principles of Investigation
Far-reaching scientific and technological developments have transformed criminal investigation practice and important steps are now being taken to professionalise the process. You will explore how practitioners carry out investigations with reference to intelligence and evidence gathering.
Criminal Investigation 2: Victims and Witnesses
Treatment of vulnerable victims and witnesses has changed greatly over the past 20 years. This module follows an investigation through to trial, with case studies outlining potential pitfalls and solutions. Topics include identifying and protecting vulnerable victims and witnesses, pre-interview contact, multi-agency working, interviewing and pre-trial preparation.
Applied Research in Criminal Justice Systems
You will develop the skills, knowledge and practical expertise to undertake advanced applied research at masters level. You will receive training in qualitative and quantitative research while considering the politics and ethics of research.
You will study this core module:
Criminal Investigation 3: Suspects
You will explore the process and context of criminal investigation, the underlying theories and the factors that influence approaches to it. This module delivers a real insight into how to question suspects and obtain a reliable account.
You will also choose two option modules from the list below:
Financial Investigation Models
This module critically analyses the possibilities and limitations of criminal and civil justice processes to detect, deter and resolve financial and related forms of crime within lawful and professional investigative practice models.
Financial Intelligence and Financial Crime Detection
You will critically assess effective and ethical approaches to the development, control and sharing of information, intelligence and evidence to support the detection of financial and related forms of crime.
Investigation and Prosecution of Cybercrime
You will address the legal, practical and theoretical challenges of investigating cybercrime committed by national and transnational organised crime groups.
Evidence and Digital Investigation
This module explores the challenges of investigating cybercrime, cloud crime and internet crime as well as the handling of digital evidence from forms such as social media and open source intelligence.
Investigating Serious Crime
Helping you develop a clear understanding of homicide and organised crime, this module critically analyses the impact of police investigative practices.
Investigating Sexual Offences
Examining the sociological history of sexual offences and the impact of the internet, you will consider how British society can protect citizens and the methods used by diverse agencies to investigate, monitor and manage sexual offences.
You will study this module:
During this triple module, you will use the knowledge and intellectual skills that you have gained to carry out an extensive inquiry and academically rigorous study of a significant topic of your choice relevant to the field of investigation. Under the supervision of one of our team of specialist researchers and drawing upon our considerable professional investigative experience, you will generate a masters-level dissertation that you can use to showcase your skills and interests in your current or future investigative role and organisation.
Career destinations for our graduates include law enforcement, finance, social services, health and safety, benefit offices, insurance companies, and many other public and private sector organisations.
If you are already a serving investigation professional, this course enhances your continuing professional development - building on your existing experience and skills – while providing your organisation with new insights into investigation procedures. You will also develop and apply research and analysis skills to the standards of UK higher education accreditation at masters level.
The course has been mapped to the national occupational standards for criminal investigation. This means that, on successful completion of your MSc, you may claim Accredited Prior Learning (APL), which paves the way for you to pursue civilian roles related to criminal investigation.
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