Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Law

MSc 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: Criminology; International relations; Law; Politics; and Sociology. It will allow you to select from a broad range of modules to critically evaluate some of the most pressing contemporary issues of security and justice from an interdisciplinary perspective, as well as offering the opportunity to specialise in topics that relate to your future career choice or academic interests.

You will gain in-depth understanding of how security and justice intersect, and how they are experienced at the local, national and transnational levels. You will gain skills and knowledge that inform a wide appreciation of security and justice, as well as receiving training in research methods drawn from across a range of disciplines.

MSc Security and Justice enables you to learn from experts from within the Security and Justice Research Group, with all the facilities that a leading research-led university offers. The Security and Justice Research Group is an interdisciplinary research hub that aims to develop new knowledge, analysis and policy to address the major social and economic challenges facing contemporary societies across the globe. 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 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.

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 Criminology, Law, International Relations, Politics, 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.

Year 1

Compulsory modules

  • Security and Justice 30 credits
  • Researching Security and Justice 15 credits
  • Dissertation 60 credits

Optional modules

  • Cyberspace Law: Contemporary Issues 15 credits
  • Globalisation and Crime 15 credits
  • International Human Rights 30 credits
  • Global Governance through Law 30 credits
  • Gender, Globalisation and Development 30 credits
  • The Politics of the Israel-Palestine Conflict 30 credits
  • Contemporary International Security 15 credits
  • Global Justice 30 credits
  • Globalisation and International Social Change 30 credits
  • Critical Theory 30 credits

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 criminology, international relations, law, politics, sociology, social policy, 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 completed application form
  • 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 an interview as part of the selection procedure. If invited to an interview, you’ll receive an email invitation from the School to attend 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: £7,000 (total)

International: £16,000 (total)

Read more about paying fees and charges.

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

Additional cost information

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs

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 2017. 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 may be 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 truly interdisciplinary nature of the MSc syllabus will provide you with valuable tools to pursue a wide range of career paths relevant to security and justice. The MSc programme is ideal if you plan to work in professions that relate to criminal justice, global governance, policing, social policy, international relations, international security, and academia. By developing the ability to think broadly and to connect complex issues, you will be well equipped for the future. This degree programme will provide you with the skills and knowledge to enter into further academic research or to pursue a professional career in areas such as, civil service, media and publishing, teaching and training, policy, or international agencies and NGOs.

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

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