Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Law

MA Security and Justice

Hosted by the School of Law, this interdisciplinary programme is run in conjunction with the School of Politics and International Studies and the School of Sociology and Social Policy.

The programme offers an exciting opportunity to understand contemporary issues of security and justice from the perspectives of: Law, International Relations, Politics, Criminology and Sociology. It will allow you to select from a broad range of modules to critically evaluate contemporary issues of security and justice from an inter-disciplinary perspective, but also to specialise in topics that relate to your future career choice or academic interests.

MA Security and Justice enables you to learn from experts in the Building Sustainable Societies research framework, but particularly within the Security and Justice Research Group, with all the facilities that a leading research-led university offers.

MA Security and Justice provides a research methods pathway that is recognised by the White Rose Doctoral Training College as sufficient for the ‘+1’ component of students aiming to study for PhDs.

Building Sustainable Societies is a new, dynamic, interdisciplinary research project within Leeds Social Sciences Institute. The project aims to develop new knowledge, analysis and policy to address the major social and economic challenges facing contemporary societies across the globe.

The Security and Justice Research Group is one of three interdisciplinary research hubs within Building Sustainable Societies that aims to address these goals with respect to security and justice concerns. The hub draws upon the research strengths of a variety of participating Schools including Law, Politics and International Studies, and Sociology and Social Policy. Each School has centres of world class research in areas such as the ‘Responsibility to Protect’, Policing and Criminal Justice.

The programme will give you the opportunity to:

  • gain an understanding of security and justice in contemporary societies
  • analyse local and international conflicts
  • study transnational security concerns and international criminal justice
  • examine security and justice from the perspectives of Law, International Relations, Politics, Criminology and Sociology.

The compulsory modules will enable an analytical and empirical informed treatment of the links between security and justice issues at a national and international level, offer an opportunity for you to develop your quantitative and qualitative research skills, and give you the chance to hone your research and writing skills in your dissertation.

The wide-ranging list of optional modules means that you can explore a diverse range of related subjects of interest to you.

If you study with us, you’ll also benefit from our academic skills programme. This 10-week programme runs alongside your taught academic programme, and is specifically designed to meet the needs of home and international students in the School of Law. It allows you to refine and develop the academic and transferable skills to excel during your taught postgraduate programmes, as well as prepare for professional roles after graduation.

If you’re a part-time student, you’ll take two compulsory modules and choose two or three optional modules in your first year. You’ll then take the compulsory dissertation module and one or two optional modules in your second year to complete your programme.

Course structure

These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

As a full-time student you’ll study three compulsory modules, including your dissertation, across your first and second semesters, and choose several further optional modules across both semesters to complete your programme.

Compulsory modulesOptional modules
- Security and Justice
- Researching Security and Justice
- Security and Justice Dissertation
- Reclaiming the City
- Cities and Social Justice
- Criminal Justice Processes
- Contemporary Criminological Theory and Approaches
- Policing I: The Nature of Contemporary Policing
- Policing II: Accountability of Policing
- Cyberlaw: Regulation of Cyberspace
- Globalisation and Crime
- International Corporate Governance
- International Law of Credit and Security
- International Human Rights
- Global Governance through Law
- Conflict, Complex Emergencies and Global Governance
- Democracy and Development
- Gender, Globalisation and Development
- European Defence and Security Analysis
- Contemporary Politics of the Middle East
- The Politics of the Israel-Palestine Conflict
- Contemporary International Security
- Insurgency
- Policing Post-Conflict Cities
- International Relations and the Environment
- Terrorism
- Theoretical Approaches in International Relations
- Global Justice
- Research Strategy and Design
- Quantitative Research Methods
- Qualitative Research Methods
- Advanced Racism and Ethnicity Studies
- Contemporary Social Thought
- Globalization and International Social Change
- Critical Theory
- Business, Environment and Sustainability

Learning and teaching

Compulsory modules are taught in lectures and seminars. The taught components are delivered across two semesters. The remainder is spent focusing on your dissertation, conducted under the direct supervision of an individual staff member. Support for the dissertation is provided via two group sessions, one-to-one meetings and comments on draft work.

The course director will be your personal supervisor and will support you throughout the programme but you can take queries to any member of the teaching team.

Independent study is integral to this programme – not just to prepare for classes but to develop research and other critical skills.


You will be assessed by a variety of methods depending on your module choice, but primarily through coursework essays during each module. Your dissertation will be assessed through submission of an extended written piece of work. The exact criteria for assessment will reside with the School you choose to undertake your dissertation within.

Entry requirements

A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) in law, sociology, social policy, criminology, politics, international relations or related social science discipline.

We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. For more information contact the School of Law admissions team.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English

If English is not your first language, you may be able to take a pre-sessional course before you begin your studies. This can help if you:

  • don't meet the English language requirements for your course or
  • want to improve your understanding of academic language and practices in your area of study.

Our pre-sessional courses are designed with a progression route to the degree programme and are tailored to the subject area. For information and entry requirements, read Language for Law and Society (6 weeks) and Language for Social Science and Arts: Law and Society (10 weeks).

How to apply

Application deadlines

UK/EU students: 31 July

International students: 30 June

Documents and information you need

A copy of your degree certificate or equivalent, as well as a copy of the transcript of your grades (or partial transcript if you’re still studying) certified by the awarding institution

Two academic references

Evidence of your English language qualifications, if English isn’t your first language.


The School of Law doesn’t typically interview applicants. However, in certain circumstances programme leaders may require some form of written assignment from you to show that you have the necessary skills for Masters study. Additionally, you may also be invited for interview as part of the selection procedure. If invited to interview, you’ll receive an email invitation from the School to attend an interview or be interviewed by Skype on a specific date.

This link takes you to information on applying for taught programmes and to the University's online application system.
If you're unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Admissions policy

School of Law Taught Postgraduate Admissions Policy


UK/EU: £6,000

International: £15,000

Read more about paying fees and charges.

For fees information for international taught postgraduate students read Masters fees.

Scholarships and financial support

The School of Law is offering a number of Liberty Scholarships to UK/EU and international students of high academic quality starting a postgraduate taught programme in 2016. These scholarships will be awarded on the basis of academic performance in your undergraduate degree. A Liberty Scholarship will not be awarded in addition to any other scholarship except a University of Leeds Alumni Bursary.

Find out more on the Schools scholarships page.

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government.  Find out more at Masters funding overview.

Career opportunities

The Security and Justice MA is ideal if you plan to work in a range of professions that relate to governance, policing, social policy, international relations, academia and other areas pertinent to security and justice.

The programme will also equip you with the skills and knowledge to enter into further academic research and to pursue professional careers in the Civil Service, media and publishing, teaching and training, policy, international agencies and the fields of security and policing.

Vocational posts in organisations such as the United Nations, North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and the armed forces are also potential destinations for graduates.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. Thats one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.

The School of Law offers career and personal development support through the School of Law Careers Advisor. The School also arranges career development workshops, seminars and one-to-one sessions for students on all postgraduate programmes.

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