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

Patrick Stephenson, Master of Criminology (MCrim)

“I enrolled in the Master of Criminology after years of working in criminal justice and crime prevention. It was very refreshing to step back, explore emerging research and consider new approaches. The work I invested in this course really improved my practice, and enabled me to embark on a new career path with confidence.”

Patrick Stephenson, Master of Criminology (MCrim)

The program

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 Master of Criminology provides an interdisciplinary post-graduate education in the field of criminology to equip graduates with expertise for professional employment in the criminal justice and related professions. Candidates in the degree who work in the criminal justice field include lawyers, social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, probation and parole officers, police officers, youth workers, correctional officers, those engaged in research, and policy officers working in the public sector.

Through compulsory units in the program (Explaining Crime, Crime Research and Policy, and Criminal Liability) students will gain an historical and theoretical understanding of the study of criminology, the extent and nature of crime in society, the analytical and policy development skills required by employers in the criminal justice professions, and a knowledge of the legal processes around criminal law. The elective curriculum permits students to explore in depth a wide range of more specific issues and problems in criminal justice, including the challenges posed by particular kinds of offenders (eg child sexual abuse, white collar crime, and anti-terrorism law).

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.

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)
Masters 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 School 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.

Please select from the dropdown box for the units of study list:

Criminology Research Project

Candidates for the Master of Criminology (MCrim) may complete a Criminology Research Project (12 credit points), over one or two semesters. The research project requires submission of a substantial research paper of 15,000 to 20,000 words.

 Independent Research Project Closing Dates  Semester 1  Semester 2
Application to undertake Criminology Research Project  (doc)
  30 September
30 April

Enrolment enquiries

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.

Current students

Future students

Please refer to the Admission to candidature - School Handbook

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)

Please note: There is no mid-year intake of International students for the Graduate Diploma in Criminology.

Program Co-ordinator

Professor Gail Mason


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.