The Master programme in Criminology and Criminal Justice has been a vibrant postgraduate programme since its inception in the Fall of 2009. It has made significant progress that has positioned it as a leading programme and one of the largest in Asia. The Asian Journal of Criminology and the headquarters of the Asian Criminological Society are anchored here in our department. The Journal has been included in the Web of Science and the Social Science Citation Index since 2017. The first Asian Association for Substance Abuse Research and the Chinese Society for Research in Child Development were also headquartered here as well.
The programme takes a balanced approach combining basic academic training with a policy-oriented, applied teaching and research agenda. In the past few years, we have attracted college graduates from Macau, the Greater China region, and abroad. Our students come from diverse backgrounds, including criminal justice, law, sociology, psychology, public administration, social work, business, and other disciplines.
Programme Intended Learning Outcomes
- Develop comprehensive knowledge of theories, perspectives, and substantial issues related to criminology and criminal justice, and thereby acquire the ability to identify causes of crime and predict crime trends.
- Integrate interdisciplinary knowledge (such as sociology, psychology, political science. economics, and public health) from relevant academic disciplines into criminology and criminal justice; achieve professional competencies in communicating with stakeholders from diverse background in criminal justice.
- Develop intermediate methodological and statistical skills in social sciences and apply them to the study of crime and juvenile delinquency; have the ability of designing high-quality studies to collect and analyze empirical data and writing research report.
- Achieve a comprehensive understanding of the structure and functions of the criminal justice system; be able to advise governmental and nongovernmental organizations on policy and administrative issues relating to criminal justice.
- Identify and describe major strategies in crime prevention and control; acquire the ability to help criminal justice agencies develop effective crime prevention and control policies and programs.
Aims and Objectives
The Master Programme in Criminology and Criminal Justice aims to achieve academic excellence, serve the needs of the local criminal justice community, and contribute to a safer and more just society in Macau and beyond. It offers a rigorous curriculum that combines basic academic training with an applied focus on criminal justice policy.
The programme provides an advanced education for qualified college graduates and professionals who work in governmental and non-governmental agencies and related institutions. It is designed to increase students’ academic knowledge, critical thinking ability, problem-solving skills, and research competence that will prepare them for future roles as capable administrators, practitioners, educators, researchers, and service providers. It also prepares students for more advanced study leading to a doctoral degree in criminology or a related field.
General Course Description and Requirements
The period of study of the MSocSc programme is normally two academic years. The medium of instruction is English and is supplemented with Chinese. Students must complete at least 24 (plus academic thesis) or 27 (plus applied thesis) credits of coursework, achieve a cumulative GPA of 2.7 or above and pass the oral defense of their theses in order to graduate.
- Year 1
Students are expected to complete all the coursework in the first year of their study. The coursework includes four compulsory courses that provide students with a broad picture of criminology and criminal justice, and basic training in research methods and quantitative/qualitative analyses. Students will also need to take four to five required elective courses according to their interests, to prepare them for thesis writing and future careers.
- Year 2
In the second year, students are expected to work on their thesis toward graduation. Those who have not completed the required coursework in the first year may continue in the second year.
There are two types of thesis for students to choose from. Students with clear career goals after graduation are encouraged to take Applied Thesis and those with potential for research and wish to apply for more advanced study are advised to enroll in Academic Thesis. All students have to pass the oral defense of their theses in order to graduate.
Academic thesis is normally an empirical study that consists of the following integral parts: introduction, literature review, research methods, analysis/interpretation, and conclusion.
Applied thesis can be a literature review, a research report, a policy analysis, or any other scholarly writing that conforms to the standard set by the academic programme.
Applicants from all academic disciplines are welcome to apply, but preference is given to applicants with a Bachelor’s degree in criminology/criminal justice, law, sociology, psychology, social work, public health, political science, public administration, and economics. The applicants must meet the requirements of the Admission Regulations for Master’s Degree published annually by the Graduate School at University of Macau.
Period Of Study
The period of study is normally two academic years.
Medium Of Instruction
The medium of instruction is English and is supplemented with Chinese.
TA And RA Opportunties
We offer competitive teaching and research assistantships. Students may apply for a teaching assistantship after they are admitted to the program. They may also apply for a research assistantship to work closely with faculty members on their research projects and gain valuable research experience.
Our graduates are well trained and are competitive in the job market. Some of our graduates are currently working in the criminal justice system in Macau including both the Judiciary Police and the Public Security Police, and Macau Prison. In mainland China, several students found a job in the People’s Court and the People’s Procuratorate in Guangdong, Guangxi, and Hainan provinces.
Our graduates also work in the areas of social services and relevant research institutions such as the Department of Social Rehabilitation under the Social Affairs Bureau in Macau; the Macau Anglican Social Service Sector; Galaxy Macau; the UM Gaming Research Institute; the Global Times in Beijing; the Horizon Research Consultancy Group; a non-government drug rehabilitation center in Zhongshan; and the China Mobile Shenzhen Branch.
In addition, several outstanding master’s students were admitted to our own doctoral program through either accelerated admission or regular admission. Our students were also successful in applying for doctoral study abroad. The programs that admitted our graduates include University of Florida; University of South Carolina; Arizona State University; the Erasmus Mondus Program of European Union; and Australia National University. Most students received full scholarships/assistantships to study criminology or a related discipline.
The graduates commented that the training they received from the criminology and criminal justice programmes enhanced their competitiveness on the job market as well as their chances of being admitted to doctoral programmes.
* For more information please visit the Graduate School