Master of Criminology (MCrim) & Graduate Diploma in Criminology (GradDipCrim)

The postgraduate criminology program at Sydney Law School is among the largest and most respected in Australia. Students are offered a broad range of inter-disciplinary courses and the opportunity to study with some of Australia's leading criminologists. Postgraduate criminology has a long history at the University of Sydney. While this means that the programs are well established, they are also innovative and include units of study not on offer in any other Australian universities.

The criminology program is of immediate relevance to a wide range of professional and occupational groups (lawyers, social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, probation and parole officers, police, youth workers, correctional officers, those engaged in research and policy work in the public sector), and for anyone with an interest in crime, criminalisation and the criminal justice system. It is not necessary to have a law degree in order to be admitted to the program.

The curriculum has been designed to offer a comprehensive, inter-disciplinary and critical coverage of contemporary criminology and criminal justice issues.

The Sydney Institute of Criminology is located within the Sydney Law School and students are encouraged to participate in the Institute's activities which include: public seminars and specialist training; research; the provision of information to key agencies and the media, and the publication of a monograph series as well as the respected journal Current Issues in Criminal Justice. For further information visit the website.

Applications are still open. However, some units may have restricted class size and compulsory units may run early in the semester. It is strongly recommended that applicants submit their application on time to avoid disappointment. Please contact the Postgraduate Team for further details.

Please read through How to apply and ensure all relevant application documents are available to upload before applying online:

Master of Criminology (MCrim)

Graduate Diploma in Criminology (GradDipCrim)

Program Co-ordinator

Associate Professor Gail Mason

Meet the Program Coordinator

Sydney Law School Staff Spotlight Video Series - Associate Professor Gail Mason, Criminology

Student Administration Enquiries

Postgraduate Team

Admission requirements

Applicants require an undergraduate degree for the Master's of Criminology and enrolment is open to both lawyers and those without a legal background.

For the Graduate Diploma, equivalent experience may be considered sufficient. This experience may include employment experience, training and professional courses.

Program structure

Coursework in the MCrim is assessed in a range of ways including research essays, problems, seminars and class presentations, take home exams, and formal exams.

Each unit of study is equivalent to six credit points. A total of 48 credit points, equivalent to eight units of study is required for award of the Master of Criminology (MCrim). For the Graduate Diploma, you will need to complete 24 credit points, equivalent to four units of study.

Attendance Pattern

Each unit of study entails 26 contact hours. Units are offered on a semester length basis or intensive basis. Semester length units are taught once a week over 13 weeks on either a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday evening between 6pm and 8pm. Intensive units of study condense the 26 hours over a period of four to five days. The units are then taught between 9am and 5pm over a block period. For example, an intensive unit may be taught two consecutive days one week and then two consecutive days in a fortnight's time. All classes are held in the Law School or another Sydney CBD location.


(from first enrolment)
Master's Coursework FULL-TIME 18-24 CP 6 YEARS*
Graduate diploma FULL-TIME 18-24 CP 3 YEARS*
*Periods of suspension, exclusion or lapsed candidature will be added to the maximum completion times except that no completion time will exceed 10 years from first enrolment. Credit will not be granted for previous studies older than 10 years at the time of first enrolment. If a student is admitted with credit, the Faculty will determine a reduced time limit for completion of the award course.

Units of study

Please note: some units of study may have pre-requisite requirements or prohibition guidelines and may not be available to those without a law degree. Please check with the Sydney Law School directly if in doubt.

Compulsory Units of Study (2014)

Crime Research and Policy
Criminal Liability* (MCrim only)
Explaining Crime

*For students without a law degree

Elective Units of Study (2014)
Anti-Terrorism Law
Child Sexual Abuse: Diverse Perspectives
Criminal Justice Internship
Criminal Justice: Prevention and Control
Criminal Procedures
Criminology Research Project
Discretion in Criminal Justice
Explaining Punishment
Forensic Psychology
International and Comparative Criminal Justice
Mental Illness: Law and Policy
Risk, Fear and Insecurity
White Collar and Corporate Crime


Staff have a wide level of experience in teaching and research in criminology and related disciplines. They include senior members of the academic staff, and others working at the highest level in policy and practice in the community. For further information please visit the Our People section of the website.