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Introducing… MSc Leadership in Criminal Justice & Policing

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In 2021, we developed an exciting new postgraduate course that focuses on leadership within the police and other criminal justice organisations. We’re proud to be offering this course because it’s highly unique and suitable for students in a wide range of careers. In this article we’re delving into just what makes it special.

Flashing blue lights on a police car

Topical issues

As the world of criminal justice is constantly evolving, we’ve developed a curriculum that studies some of the most topical criminological issues facing our society today. You’ll have the opportunity to choose from two optional modules during the course, examining a range of interesting topics such as: inequality and vulnerability in the criminal justice system, international criminality and criminological theory.

The core modules on this course will challenge your thinking about the criminal justice system and policing. You’ll look at different theories of punishment including how and why we apply punishment to offenders. Alongside this, you’ll study leadership theory in the modern era and how to apply this to develop your own approaches.

Suitable for everyone

We have purposely designed this course to be accessible to everyone who has a genuine interest in this field. Whether you have studied Sociology or Criminology before or not, our varied selection of modules will allow you to specialise in the areas you’re most interested in.

For entry onto this course, we’d usually ask for applicants to hold a 2:1 in their honours degree and we accept degrees in a range of subjects, including psychology, business, technology and social sciences.

"The first thing to understand about management in a criminal justice and policing context is that it requires a strong working knowledge of various sectors that, taken together, comprise what we often refer to as the criminal justice “system”. Whether you are a student progressing to postgraduate study or a professional working within one of the many sectors of the criminal justice system, this MSc has been designed from the ground up to provide the opportunity for applicants to develop their working knowledge of both criminological research and institutional practises in a diverse range of contexts. The uniqueness of this course is defined by the way in which it is intended to bridge the gap between academic research and practitioner. Here at Sunderland, we have the capacity to offer this, as we have a range of staff who have experience of both academic research and practitioner skills within sectors such as probation, policing, and offender management."

Dr Thomas Rodgers; Lecturer, MSc Leadership in Criminal Justice and Policing


We know that some of you who are interested in this course may already be actively practising in criminal justice organisations. To help facilitate a range of circumstances, we’ve designed this MSc to have flexible course hours. Online learning will be woven throughout the course and the taught elements will be delivered via intensive study days which will be both on-campus and online.

Enhancing your employability

We’re fortunate to have a faculty full of teaching staff who are at the forefront of their professions and are still actively involved in research within the field. Our academic team specialise in research in a range of areas including desistance from crime, the criminalisation of sex work and policing and disability and vulnerability. We continually develop close connections with local organisations and these connections are vital in allowing you to secure volunteering opportunities and work placements. These opportunities include positions within the Youth Justice Service, HM Prison Service and local police constabularies.

Further information

You can find out everything there is to know about the MSc Leadership in Criminal Justice and Policing course on the course page here:

MSc Leadership in Criminal Justice and Policing

You can also sign up for one of our Open Days or see our facilities through our Virtual Campus Tour.

Published: 18 May 2021