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MSc Applied Management of Offending Behaviour

Enhance your understanding of the management and rehabilitation of offenders, gaining the expertise required to conduct research across a range of contemporary community and custodial sentences.

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    Course Length: 1 Year Full-Time, 2 Years Part-Time
    Start Dates: September 2020, September 2021
    Subjects: Health and Social Care
    Location: Edge Hill University

    This taught Masters degree provides a distinctive programme for those who are currently working with offenders in probation, prison, youth justice, policing or community settings, as well as those who are aspiring to work in the criminal justice sector. The course will foster the application of critical and analytical skills to the theory, policy and practice of working with offenders. You will develop an in-depth knowledge and understanding of a core range of contemporary issues which are relevant to offenders and the professionals working with them. There is a focus on the processes, contexts, risks and protective factors underlying criminal behaviour. You will also evaluate the role of criminal justice agencies in offender management and rehabilitation, including scrutinising the intersectionality of power in the responses of these agencies to issues of crime, law and order.

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    In Depth

    What will I study?

    You will explore the role of both the individual and the state in offending and crime. Gaining an understanding of the risk factors associated with different categories of criminal behaviour, you will examine the complex links between the social and economic realities that shape criminality.

    Alongside a focus on the explanations of crime, you will also critically investigate the management of offenders by key agencies within the criminal justice system, exploring pathways to desistance to understand how and why people stop offending.

    The study of research methods will prepare you for writing a dissertation on a relevant aspect of the management of offending behaviour.

    How will I study?

    The course will be delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, workshops and independent study. This will typically require attendance on campus for two days per week for full-time study and one day per week for part-time study.

    Some modules include a field trip which may require additional attendance for a day.

    How will I be assessed?

    You will be assessed through a combination of report and essay writing, a presentation, literature review, preparing an article for a peer-reviewed journal, a written examination and dissertation.

    Who will be teaching me?

    The programme team consists of research-active specialists in psychology and criminology, all of whom have experience of working with and managing offenders, for example in prison, youth justice, probation, policing, or international courts.

    Current research projects include a focus on gangs, child sexual and criminal exploitation, police interrogation techniques, restorative justice, sexual crimes, terrorism, stalking, and procedural justice in the youth justice system.

    Guest lecturers will also contribute to programme delivery, providing specialist insights into specific fields of interest within the criminal justice system.

    A Great Study Environment

    Students sat in lecture theatre listening to tutor.The Faculty of Health, Social Care and Medicine is one of the leading providers of education and training for health and social care professionals in the North West of England.

    Offering some of the best facilities for health, social care and medicine students in the country, the outstanding teaching and learning resources include leading edge clinical skills facilities, an 860-seat lecture theatre, and a variety of teaching rooms and social learning spaces.

    The faculty is home to a thriving research culture which includes a series of staff and student conference programmes, guest lectures and seminars, as well as active research groups.


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    HEA4444Research Methods (20 credits)

    Research Methods introduces you to the research process including the philosophical fundamentals of both quantitative and qualitative traditions and a range of research methodologies. The module will enable you to demonstrate the ability to critically appraise a range of research methodologies and plan a small-scale empirical project in your chosen discipline, as well as gaining awareness of the theoretical and practical implications of undertaking such a study.

    Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

    HUG4007Dissertation (60 credits)

    Dissertation enables you to focus upon a significant piece of investigative enquiry in an area of interest, from conceptualisation through to completion. The module will develop your skills as an independent learner who is able to manage a project over an extended period of time. Critically evaluating existing research and theoretical perspectives to identify a gap in research knowledge, you will be expected to justify the choice of methodology and underpinning theory, analyse the impact of the research project and appraise the ethical considerations encountered during your research.

    Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

    HUG4029Offending and Risk (20 credits)

    Offending and Risk enables you to develop the theoretical knowledge and understanding of the processes underlying criminal behaviour. The module will examine risk and protective factors through a focus on individuals, families and peers, and neighbourhood and community domains. The individual domain will include psychological, psychosocial, biological and cognitive characteristics. You will also consider the impact of offending and offending programmes and gain the skills required to plan community projects to prevent re-offending and to promote individual and collective wellbeing.

    Assessment: Written Exam(s): 100%.

    HUG4030Crime Typologies (20 credits)

    Crime Typologies equips you with an understanding of the similarities and differences in offending behaviours. The module will consider historical explanations of crime before exploring current social, biological and individual explanations for deviant behaviour. Youth offending and the transition into adult offending will be subject to analysis as you differentiate between distinctive types of crime. You will also explore the relationship between groups and an individual who offends, for example gang membership. The purpose of this approach is to encourage you to view crime as a series of categories rather than as a single entity.

    Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

    HUG4031The Social and Economic Contexts of Crime (20 credits)

    The Social and Economic Contexts of Crime explores the complex links between the social and economic realities that shape crime. The module also examines how crime and offenders are defined and responded to. You will investigate the interplay between ideology, political agendas, religion, technological developments, media, economic status, and social and psychological factors. While the module’s primary focus will be on the UK, international comparators will occasionally be used to further illustrate how differing social and economic realities alter how countries respond to crime within their borders. The impact of countries’ actions and how they can influence responses beyond their jurisdiction, both within other nations and in a global context, will also be considered.

    Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

    HUG4032Management of Offenders (20 credits)

    Management of Offenders provides an opportunity to critically investigate the criminal justice system of England and Wales and assess how different aspects of this system impact on the effective management of offenders. The module will offer insights into criminal justice practice and its intersection with theory. You will critically appraise this theory and assess its rationale and effectiveness at various stages of the criminal justice system. The role of broader aspects of practice and intervention, such as how media, politics and policy impact on the effective management of offenders, will be examined. Various forms of bias and barriers within the criminal justice system will also be interrogated, with a focus on how they can impact upon the effective management of offenders.

    Assessment: Coursework: 50%, Practical(s): 50%.

    HUG4033Pathways to Desistance (20 credits)

    Pathways to Desistance recognises that although there are many theories relating to the causes of criminal activity, the routes out of offending (or processes of desistance) are not properly understood. The module equips you with a detailed contemporary understanding of how and why people stop offending. It will draw on patterns of desistance which are inherent in criminological and sociological understandings of offending behaviour. You will consider what constitutes desistance and critically explore the application of desistance theory to practice.

    Assessment: Coursework: 100%.


    You can expect to receive your timetable at enrolment. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day or evening of the week.


    Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of our published course information, however our programmes are subject to ongoing review and development. Changing circumstances may necessitate alteration to, or the cancellation of, courses.

    Changes may be necessary to comply with the requirements of accrediting bodies, revisions to subject benchmarks statements, to keep courses updated and contemporary, or as a result of student feedback. We reserve the right to make variations if we consider such action to be necessary or in the best interests of students.

    Entry Criteria

    Entry Requirements

    You should have a degree equivalent to UK first-class or upper second-class honours (2:1 or above) in a relevant subject such as criminology, psychology or social sciences.

    Applications from graduates with a 2:2 in a relevant subject, or a 2:1 in an unrelated subject, who have experience of working within the criminal justice system will also be considered.

    An interview will form part of the selection process.

    English Language Requirements

    International students require IELTS 6.5, with a score no lower than 6.0 in each individual component, or an equivalent English language qualification.

    If your current level of English is half a band lower, either overall or in one or two elements, you may want to consider our Pre-Sessional English course.

    Recognition of Prior Learning

    Edge Hill University recognises learning gained elsewhere, whether through academic credit and qualifications acquired from other relevant courses of study or through recognition of an individual’s professional and employment experience (also referred to as ‘experiential learning’). This may include credit or learning undertaken at another university.

    Previous learning that is recognised in this way may be used towards meeting the entry requirements for a programme and/or for exemption from part of a programme. It is your responsibility to make a claim for recognition of prior learning. For guidance, please consult the University’s academic regulations (sections C7 and F3.1) or contact the faculty in which you are interested in studying.

    Career Prospects

    What are my career prospects?

    The programme provides ideal preparation for a career in any of the key criminal justice agencies, including probation, youth justice, prisons and the police. It is particularly suitable if you are aspiring to a future management role within the criminal justice system.

    Equipped with detailed knowledge and understanding of offending, rehabilitation and desistance, you will also be well placed to pursue a career working with offenders outside of the criminal justice system, for example through community-based programmes, restorative justice, youth work and victim support.

    Alternatively, you may wish to undertake further applied research in the management of offenders.


    Tuition Fees

    Tuition fees for full-time study on this MSc are:

    • £6,120 for UK and EU students and £13,250 for international students enrolling on the programme in academic year 2020/21;
    • £6,300 for UK and EU students and £13,500 for international students enrolling on the programme in academic year 2021/22.

    Tuition fees for part-time study on this MSc are:

    • £34 per credit for UK and EU students enrolling on the programme in academic year 2020/21, i.e. £680 per 20 credit module;
    • £35 per credit for UK and EU students enrolling on the programme in academic year 2021/22, i.e. £700 per 20 credit module.

    180 credits are required to complete a Masters degree.

    The University may administer a small inflationary rise in part-time postgraduate tuition fees in subsequent academic years as you progress through the course.

    Financial Support

    For comprehensive information about the financial support available to eligible UK and EU students joining postgraduate courses at Edge Hill University in academic year 2020/21, together with details of how to apply for potential funding, please view our Money Matters 2020/21 guide at

    Financial support information for international students can be found at


    How to Apply

    There is an online application process for this programme.

    Please choose the application form for your preferred intake date and mode of study.

    Visit for more information about the application process.

    Visit to access the relevant online application form and to find out more about the application process.

    Further information for international students about how to apply is available at

    Should you accept an offer of a place to study with us and formally enrol as a student, you will be subject to the provisions of the regulations, rules, codes, conditions and policies which apply to our students. These are available at

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    Request a Prospectus

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    Get in Touch

    If you have any questions about this programme or what it’s like to study at Edge Hill University, please contact:

    If you would like to talk to the programme leader about the course in more detail, please contact:

    International students should visit or email with any queries about overseas study.

    Course Changes

    Expand All This page outlines any material changes to course content, programme structure, assessment methods, entry criteria, and modes of study or delivery, implemented in the past two years.

    This page outlines any material changes to course content, programme structure, assessment methods, entry criteria, and modes of study or delivery, implemented in the past two years. No material changes have been made to the information for this programme in that time. Any future amends will be tracked here.