MSc Criminology & Criminal Justice or Transnational Crime, Justice & Security

1-year taught masters programmes in criminology with an ability to specialise in antiquities trafficking, art crime, and related topics


The University of Glasgow offers several 1-year taught masters degree programmes in Criminology and Sociology which may be of interests to students wishing to study the criminological aspects of art and antiquities. In particular we think that two are the most relevant:

MSc Transnational Crime, Justice & Security

This programme considers pressing contemporary global issues from a criminological perspective, including organised crime, trafficking, terrorism and environmental crime.

Through a combination of lectures, seminars and project work you will: enhance your understanding of relevant theoretical approaches, concepts, debates and techniques of criminological enquiry as they relate to the study of transnational crime and security in a globalised context. Develop your appreciation of the routines and structures of the global criminal economy, including contemporary developments in transnational organised crime and the illicit global economic activities of states, corporations and white-collar criminals. Apply criminological knowledge to critically analyse contemporary social, legal, political and policy issues in transnational crime and security. Develop the analytical skills to contribute to public debate on crime and security issues. Gain an advanced understanding of criminological perspectives on transnational crime and justice, relevant to your further careers or academic studies.

Core courses

  • Understanding and explaining crime and social harm
  • Criminological perspectives on security and globalisation
  • Research and enquiry in criminology and criminal justice
  • The global criminal economy: white-collar crime and organised crime.

Optional courses

  • Crime, media and popular culture
  • Criminal justice: global challenges
  • Crime and community safety
  • Rehabilitation and desistance from crime
  • Punishment and penalty
  • Antiquities Trafficking (online)
  • Art Crime (online)

MSc Criminology & Criminal Justice

Recognising the huge challenge for politicians, policy makers and practitioners in the criminal justice, and criminal law fields, the taught MSc programme addresses the complex problems that crime poses for contemporary societies. Whether looking at recent cases involving offenders under supervision who have committed serious crimes, or the ongoing issues around developing better systems to tackle youth justice and anti-social behaviour, or to the problems of tackling corporate crime, state crime and terrorism – the need for fresh thinking, informed by the best available research, is apparent.

You will take core courses in criminological theory; criminal justice systems and processes; and research design and methodology. You also have the opportunity to take optional courses from a range of subject areas. In addition, the MSc programme requires you to produce a dissertation on a subject of your choice.

Core courses

  • Understanding and explaining crime
  • Research and enquiry in crime and criminal justice.

Optional courses include

  • Punishment and penology
  • Crime, media and popular culture
  • Rehabilitation and desistance from crime
  • The global criminal economy
  • Managing and controlling crime
  • Women and girls in crime and justice
  • Antiquities Trafficking (online)
  • Art Crime (online)

MSc Criminology & Criminal Justice:

MSc Transnational Crime, Justice & Security:

Is it right for me?

This Masters programme is intended to provide you with a strong foundation from which to embark upon a career in criminology, social justice, policing, law and related topics…and with the correct focus to work in those fields related to the visual arts, the art market, museums and galleries, heritage and historic properties. This programme is also a good foundation for students seeking to embark on PhD-level research in topics related to art crime, provenance research, repatriation, illicit antiquities, and other cultural property topics.

Entry requirements for postgraduate taught programmes are a 2.1 Honours degree or equivalent qualification (for example, GPA 3.0 or above) in a relevant subject, or suitable practical experience.

Dates and Workload

The programme starts the second week of September with orientation week and lectures start the third week of September.

Students take classes (modules) during the autumn and spring terms. These modules typically each consist of two hours of lecture and several readings each week, and are assessed via presentations and practicals and with a 4,500 word essay. Students typically take three modules per term. With the successful completion of these courses, the students then work full-time on a 15,000 word master’s dissertation for submission at the end of August. Full-time, this is a one year programme.

Teaching Team

The modules on these master’s programmes are taught by lecturers within the University of Glasgow’s Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research.


Students interested in Criminology master’s programmes at Glasgow are encouraged to contact the course convener Dr Alistair Fraser.


1. Can I take the master’s level Antiquities Trafficking and Art Crime modules on this programme?

Yes! Although the Art/Antiquities modules are based in Sociology and are considered part of the MSc programme. While these are online, even to in-person students, you are offered in-person tuition time with the instructor. About half of the students on these online modules are in-person students.

2. Am I able to write a dissertation related to Antiquities or Art Crime?

Of course. These are core topics in the MSc programme and we gladly supervise dissertation on topic related to illicit antiquities research or crimes concerning art. Donna Yates is able to supervise masters dissertations within Criminology and Sociology.

3. I’m an international student, can I take this programme part time?

Unfortunately no. Unless you have an alternative visa to say in the UK, only Home and EU students have this option as the UK does not grant student visas for part time study. However, under the normal UK Tier 4 student visa, students are able to engage in paid work for up to 20 hours per week.

4. I don’t have a criminology or sociology background, can I still apply?

We take a student’s whole application into account and it is not uncommon for a strong student with a different disciplinary background to switch over to criminology or sociology. If you have any questions about this, please contact the course convener, Dr Alistair Fraser.

5. Are there scholarships available for this programme?

All students who apply to this programme will be automatically considered for the University of Glasgow’s merit-based scholarships, for example the University of Glasgow’s Chancellor’s Award, and past students on this programme have been awarded such studentships.

We very much encourage prospective students to  conduct their own research into funding opportunities. One place to start is the University of Glasgow’s scholarship database: Note that this database is not exhaustive, and you should explore your local funding options as well.

The convenors of this programme are happy to support scholarship applications but cannot advise you on financial matters. Please contact the University of Glasgow’s Postgraduate admissions office for queries related to scholarships, fees, and funding.

6. What are the English Language requirements
Rather high. Just as high or higher than some of our in-person programmes. See here for specifics. You’re expected to engage in very high level reading, discussion, and writing on this course, like on any other postgraduate programme, and your language needs to be up to scratch to succeed.

7. I don’t quite fit the entry requirement regarding degree subject/marks, can I still apply?

Your whole application package will be taken into account when you apply for this programme. Students with first degrees outside of art history, law, criminology, and related topics or with marks slightly below the entry requirements may be admitted based on the merit of their experience. If you have any questions about the equivalency of your qualifications, please contact the University of Glasgow’s Postgraduate admissions office.

8. I’m having trouble deciding between the MSc and the Online PGCert, which should I choose?

If you would like a full master’s degree and you are able to come to Glasgow for a year, you should choose this programme over the PGCert as you are able to take the PGCert modules as part of your programme.

If you are unable to come to Glasgow, need to work full-time, or want to purely focus on Antiquities Trafficking and Art Crime for personal, professional, or academic reasons, the PGCert is probably the right programme for you.

Note that Home/EU students who complete the PGCert are able to come to Glasgow to complete a full master’s degree as a part time student. Three more modules (all taught in person at Glasgow) and a written dissertation are required to convert to a full MSc. This pathway does not work for International students as the UK will not issue a visa for part time study.