Where Will Postgraduate Study in Law Lead You?
The Master of Criminology (Research) enables you to further explore aspects involving criminal law, forensic psychiatry, drug policy and the law, gender and race relations, youth and crime, policing in society, and other social and cultural aspects of criminal justice.
The Master of Criminology is available full-time up to two years or part-time over four years and is awarded on the basis of a supervised thesis of 50,000 words.
The thesis must make a substantial contribution to the knowledge of the subject concerned. Students are also required to undertake the compulsory research-support coursework unit, LAWS6077 Legal Research 1.
For academic requirements check the ‘Admission requirements’ section on this page.
Please apply by 30 September for commencement on 1 March and 30 March for commencement on 1 July. If your application cannot be assessed in time for commencement, it will be considered for the next possible start date.
Research Period 2: 1 March and Research Period 3: 1 July
Master of Criminology researchers perform original research in an area of criminal law, justice and criminology under the supervision of a member of the University of Sydney Law School who is an expert in the subject matter.
Learn more about Sydney Law School research
The Master of Criminology (Research) is awarded on the basis of a supervised thesis of a maximum 50,000 words. The thesis must make a substantial contribution to the knowledge of the subject concerned. Students are also required to complete the compulsory research-support coursework unit, LAWS6077 Legal Research 1 within the first 12 months of their candidature.
Changes to higher degree research in 2021
From 2021, the University is introducing a new coursework curriculum to support research success. Masters students will complete 6 credit points of coursework and be able to choose from a pool of 270+ units from any faculty. The pool comprises a range of development opportunities that include specialist analytical methods, professional development units and discipline-specific subjects relevant for research students.
Refer to the Interdisciplinary Studies handbook
There is no separate tuition fee cost for the coursework units of study you will undertake, it is part of the tuition fee for the course.
See the ‘Your Fee’ section for fee information. Additional non-tuition course costs vary depending on the units of study.
You will be able to see and enrol in any of the units available, subject to capacity restraints and your own background. Note that your faculty may elect to make certain units compulsory for a given degree.
Expression of Interest (Optional)
While you are not required to submit an Expression of Interest before applying, Sydney Law School recommends that you do so before submitting a formal application, especially if:
· you are seeking funding assistance;
· have not identified a potential supervisor; or
· you are an international applicant.
Submitting an Expression of Interest will allow the School to support you in presenting a formal application and provide you with feedback on whether your application is likely to succeed.
The Expression of Interest form includes information about your intended research topic, academic and professional qualifications, and publications.
To allow the School to consider your information and provide you appropriate and timely guidance, applicants are encouraged to submit an Expression of Interest as early as possible and no later than:
Optional - Expression of Interest Submission Date
Formal Application Closing Date
Course Commencement Date
Formal Application for Admission
To apply for a Master of Criminology (Research) degree, you will submit a formal application through the University's Online Application portal.
You must ensure that all required supporting documents are submitted with your application, including the following documents requested by Sydney Law School:
. expression of interest acceptance (if submitted one), otherwise please include evidence of consultation/comments from potential supervisors. The nomination of supervisors is determined by the Law Postgraduate Research Education Committee.
· full research proposal (approximately 10 pages) which outlines:
- aims of the proposed research thesis
- background to the research, including a brief reference to the relevant literature and law (including case law where appropriate)
- a clear statement of the area to be researched
- rationale for the research and a statement of why it is significant
- working hypotheses or research questions
- research methodology including theoretical and empirical considerations for the research
- statement indicating how you will be able to sufficiently fund your proposed field work or overseas study/research. Explain why this work is essential for completion of your thesis.
· motivation statement
· time availability statement
· curriculum vitae
· list of publications (if available)
· timeline for completion of the thesis and the compulsory unit of study, LAWS6077 Legal Research 1
· two referee statements in support of your application (in addition to the referee forms)
Before you apply, please check the University of Sydney’s eligibility criteria for admission to a research program at Apply for Postgraduate Research.
To Apply now
To be considered for a scholarship, you must select “Yes” in the “Scholarship Details” field on your application form. To find out more, please visit Scholarships
To qualify for the award Master of Criminology, a student must:
(a) complete the unit of study LAWS6077 Legal Research 1 within the first 12 months of their candidature; and
(b) complete a thesis in the subject approved by the Associate Dean, having an upper limit of 50,000 words that may be exceeded only with the permission of the Associate Dean; and
(c) satisfy the examiners that the thesis is a substantial contribution to the subject concerned. Thesis submission requirements and examination procedure as set out in the Academic Board resolutions for this course and the Higher Degree (HDR) Rule 2011.
A successful applicant for admission to the Master of Criminology by research requires an Honours degree with first or upper second class honours. Applications for admission to candidature for the Master of Criminology are assessed on the basis of: suitability and sufficiency of merit of the applicant's prior qualification (Bachelor's degree or equivalent); suitability of proposed topic; and availability of appropriate supervision.
The Master of Criminology by research degree at the University of Sydney Law School provides strong foundations for a career in criminal justice. The Master of Criminology degree prepares students to enter research, policy, and practice-related vocations in government, non-government and private companies. Common career pathways into and following completion of the degree including youth justice, adult corrections, criminal justice policy and research, and victim support agencies.