Master of Arts in Contemporary Criminology

  • Overview
  • Course Content
  • Structure
  • Career Opportunities
  • Fees
  • Next Steps




The Master of Arts in Contemporary Criminology is a one year full-time or two years part-time programme that provides learners with the theoretical background and practical skills to apply their criminological knowledge efficiently and productively to evaluate crime and criminal actors in a range of contexts and to develop preventative measures and interventions to crime. The programme covers a wide range of specialist topics that provides learners with the knowledge of theories and concepts relating to the contribution of those who study criminology to develop skills in order to create, implement and evaluate community criminological interventions and processes that can be applied in a variety of contemporary settings at individual, community and global levels. 

Learners will explore criminal behaviour from individual, social and biological perspectives and through a detailed understanding of the discipline, both theoretically and methodologically, and will be enabled to assess appropriate interventions and design appropriate solutions for community safety and at higher level policy intervention both locally and nationally. Modules focus on the applied nature of professional and ethical issues and pertinent research methods, while others have a specific focus upon the application of theory to the ‘real world’ allowing learners to further develop and apply competencies and knowledge in the study of crime. 

Learners who complete the full programme will therefore also develop and enhance their research capability through critical enquiry and detailed analytical problem solving. The programme contains an embedded exit award, the Postgraduate Diploma in Arts in Contemporary Criminology (60 ECTS, NFQ Level 9) which is available for those who cannot complete the research component of this programme for personal or professional reasons.


Aims & Objectives

  • Enable learners to explore the various theories, concepts and processes of criminology. 

  • Facilitate critical evaluation of competing criminological theories through critical analysis and appraisal of studies and projects. 

  • Enable learners to understand how these theories can be applied to understanding human behaviour from individual, social and biological perspectives.

  • Relate criminological concepts, theories and processes to a variety of individual and group settings and situations.

  • Develop in learners an understanding of contemporary local and global issues using a criminological perspective. 

  • Enable learners to assess appropriate interventions and design appropriate solutions for real world issues and problems.

  • Enable learners to explore research methods and demonstrate a detailed understanding of the theoretical and methodological considerations, evidencing these skills in a research project and dissertation.

  • Provide graduates with the underpinning academic knowledge to enhance their employment and educational opportunities and achieve the award of a Master of Arts in Contemporary Criminology.


The modules for the MA in Contemporary Criminology will be delivered through a blend of face-to-face workshops, practical lab sessions,face-to-face and synchronous online lectures with discussion forums and synchronous tutorials.

Entry Requirements

The minimum entry requirements for the MA in Contemporary Criminology are:

•  Applicants are required to hold a minimum of an upper Second Class Honours degree (or above) at NFQ Level 8 award from a recognised University course. 

• In exceptional cases, the college may accept a lower Second Class Honours degree at NFQ Level 8 award from a recognised University course, on the basis of an interview. 

All applicants should have a minimum of ordinary-level Leaving Certificate maths, or be able to demonstrate equivalent competency in maths at this level.


Teaching and Assessment

The MA in Contemporary Criminology provides students with a flexible, multimodal, active, peer-led and reflective learning environment.

Assessments for this programme will take the form of continuous assessments - including, but not limited to, presentations, proposals, essays and reports. 




Course Content 

Stage one:

Module No.

Module Name


Research Methods


Criminological Theory


The Criminal Justice System


Contemporary Society and Issues in Criminology


Psychology of Crime


Policing, Social Actions and Conflict


Compliance & Corporate Crime


Capstone Dissertation



The Master of Arts in Contemporary Criminology is a 1-year full-time/2-year part-time programme consisting of seven taught modules and a 30 ECTS Capstone Dissertation. 

For full-time learners, Semester 1 will begin with five 10 ECTS modules; Research Methods, Criminological Theory, The Criminal Justice System, Contemporary Society and Issues in Criminology and Psychology of Crime. These 10 ECTS modules, aside from Research Methods, are delivered as linear modules over the course of the 24-week academic year. 

In Semester 2 learners will continue with the linear modules while taking an additional two, 5 ECTS modules in Policing, Social Action and Conflict and Compliance and Corporate Crime. The programme offers a Capstone Dissertation (30 ECTS), commencing in Semester 2, that provides an opportunity for the learner to integrate accumulated learning and make the necessary connections in the context of the discipline.

For part-time learners, Semester 1 will begin with Research Methods, Criminological Theory, The Criminal Justice System and Contemporary Society and Issues in Criminology. In the part-time delivery, Research Methods is delivered linear across the 24-week academic year. As such, these modules also make up Semester 2. The timetable for part-time learners follows a two-evening structure in Semester 1 and Semester 2.

The part-time programme continues into a second year of delivery in which learners in Semester 3 take Psychology of Crime with double contact hours over 12-weeks in addition to two, 5 ECTS modules; Policing, Social Action and Conflict and  Compliance and Corporate Crime. An additional half evening in Semester 3 is included due to the introduction of the Capstone Dissertation module contact hours.

Semester 4 of the part-time programme has no taught modular component and allows the learner to fully engage solely in the Capstone Dissertation module, culminating in the submission of assessment requirements by the end of the semester.

Career Opportunities

There is a wide range of destinations available to graduates from the MA in Contemporary Criminology. For those wishing to further their studies, progression to a programme leading to a PhD (Level 10) is possible. Examples of vacancies suitable for typical graduates are:

• Data Scientist

• Policy Officer

• Researcher 

• University Lecturer

• Youth Worker


The course fees for the next academic year are €8,900 full-time and €5,550 (per annum) part-time for EU students.

You can also contact our admissions team who would be happy to discuss the options available for you.

All QQI accredited programmes of education and training of 3 months or longer duration offered by Dublin Business School (DBS) are covered by arrangements under section 65 (4) (b) of the Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Act 2012 whereby in the event that DBS ceases to provide the programme, for any reason, after learners have started on that programme, Kaplan Inc., as guarantor, will refund the moneys most recently paid by or for the learner.   More details are included in the terms and conditions of learner admission to DBS ( and on programme handbooks provided at induction.

Improve your employability

All of our postgraduate courses offer strong links with industry and the professional world and often carry accreditation from professional bodies. By choosing to study at postgraduate level, not only do you gain valuable skills and experience but you also demonstrate your determination to succeed in a chosen career. Far from being a postponement to employment, postgraduate study can help you progress further and faster in your chosen career. And, if you're not certain what direction you would like your future to take, further study can provide a secure and structured space to help you find out through exploring your strengths and interests.

Get your foot on the career ladder

A large number of our postgraduate programmes include a work placement option, giving you the opportunity to gain vocational experience, make valuable contacts and gain transferable skills. It is also worth considering that some postgraduate qualifications are essential requirements to getting on the career ladder.

Gain skills for success

During your undergraduate degree you will have developed a strong foundation of transferable skills. Postgraduate study will build on this base, giving you the opportunity to put these highly valuable skills in to practice. You will also gain invaluable practical working examples that you can go on to use at interview to set you apart from other candidates.

Next Steps

Visit Us

Open days are a great way to help you make your decision about DBS and learn more about the Master of Arts (MA) in Contemporary Criminology. As well as experiencing our outstanding facilities, you'll have the opportunity to receive personalised advice from academics from your subject area, meet current postgraduate students and also have your questions answered on general subjects such as entry requirements, student support and the admissions process.

EU Applicants

Applicants should complete the appropriate application form and return it to the Postgraduate Admissions Office along with the following documentation: 

  • Academic Transcripts (Original & Official English Translation where issued in another language). Applicants who have previously attended DBS need not provide this documentation. 

  • Proof of Identification (Birth Certificate, Drivers Licence or Passport) 

  • Detailed Curriculum Vitae 

  • Proof of English (i.e. IELTS, TOEFL or equivalent) where full time study has been conducted in a language other than English or applicants whose first language is not English 

  • Academic/Business References - Ideally one Academic & one Business 

Please see programme content for any course-specific additional application procedures.

In addition to the above, in the instance of Non-EU applicants who have residency in Ireland:

  • A copy of your GNIB (Garda National Immigration Bureau) Card, Work permit (if applicable) & Passport 

  • The letter that was issued to you by the Department of Justice, Equality & Law Reform stating why you were provided with the above documentation 

International Students/ Non EU Applicants

Applicants should complete the appropriate application form and return it to the Postgraduate Admissions Office along with the following documentation: 

  • Academic documents   

  • Academic transcripts  

  • Proof of English (i.e. IELTS, TOEFL or equivalent)  

  • A Curriculum Vitae  

  • A copy of your passport

Please note that copies of all documentation must be submitted, and that it must be translated into English where issued in another language. Please do not send original documents as these will not be returned.

Dublin Business School has a number of overseas offices and representatives worldwide. Please contact us if you wish to receive further details on your closest DBS representative.

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Course overview


Awarding Body: 
Quality & Qualifications Ireland (QQI)
Award: Masters Degree
NFQ Level: 
Level 9
Award Title: 
Master of Arts in Contemporary Criminology
Award Type:
Full-time: 1 Year
Part-time: 2 Years
Next Intake:
September 2024

Contact Us

We are now accepting applications for programmes taking place in 2024. Contact our admissions team for more information

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 01 417 7500
Opening times:
Monday to Friday
8:45am to 5:15pm