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Master of Criminal Justice

This course is available


Level of Study

Master's Degree


1 year

Next start date

Expected Feb 2023


University of Canterbury


UC’s Master of Criminal Justice (MCJ) offers students an advanced working knowledge of the criminal justice system.

The MCJ is a cohesive degree with taught courses, a research dissertation, and real-world project or internship opportunities for first-hand practical experience in criminal justice.

It has a strong focus on developing the skills sought by the justice sector, including bicultural knowledge and competence, critical analysis of current and future policy, and professional understanding and theories behind crime and rehabilitation.

The Master of Criminal Justice involves 180 points of courses, including three taught courses (at 30 points each), a dissertation (60 points), and a choice of either an internship or a professional cultures project course (30 points).

Subjects and courses

Compulsory courses

  • CRJU 601 Research Methods in Criminal Justice
  • CRJU 602 Criminal Justice Systems
  • CRJU 603 Contemporary Issues in Criminal Justice
  • CRJU 680 Dissertation (60 points)

And one of either:

  • CRJU 604 Internship; or
  • CRJU 605 Professional Cultures

Further study

Graduates of the MCJ may choose to continue on to a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in related subjects, for example Law, Political Science and International Relations, Sociology, and Human Services.

Career Opportunities

The Master of Criminal Justice will give students a professional understanding of Aotearoa New Zealand policy within government and public sector, and of the criminal justice system. Their skills in research, statistical analysis, writing and presentation, and bicultural engagement within real-world contexts are solid foundations for a career in criminal justice.

Graduates will be particularly well suited for roles in New Zealand Police, Ministry of Justice, and Department of Corrections. They will also find work in Crown agencies, prisons, policy development and consultation, customs, private investigation and security, forensics, social services, and criminal justice research.

Start Date: Monthly by arrangement with supervisor

Entry criteria

Entry to the Master of Criminal Justice requires a Bachelor of Criminal Justice with a B Grade Point Average or better in 60 points of 300-level courses, or an approved equivalent degree.

Applicants must also satisfy our English language entry requirements:

  • IELTS (Academic): Minimum overall score of 6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 in reading, writing, listening and speaking.
  • TOEFL (IBT): Minimum overall score of 90, with a minimum score of 19 in Reading, Listening and Writing.
  • PTE (Pearson Test of English - Academic): Overall score of 58 and no communicative skills score below 50.

Application deadline: At least 6 months before the planned start date.

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