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Criminology and Criminal Justice

Background to the Institute 
The Institute of Criminology and Criminal Justice was established at Queen's in 1994 after a general consensus had emerged amongst policy makers and academics that a centre for criminology and criminal justice was required to develop criminological and criminal justice research and teaching in Northern Ireland. In 1998 the Institute came under the rubric of the School of Law, formalising existing research and teaching relationships and broadening the Institute's membership and the range of courses at Masters level provided.

The Institute is based in the School of Law but membership is drawn from across the University involving scholars from a range of disciplines whose research involves the study of crime or other criminological related themes.

The Institute has a good working relationship with the PSNI and criminal justice agencies in Northern Ireland and also those third sector organisations that have an interest in crime and offending.

Members of the Institute are active scholars and are engaged in a wide range of research including:

  • Policing
  • International policing and Security Sector Reform  
  • Commercial sex, human trafficking
  • Youth justice, diversion and anti-social behaviour
  • Victimology
  • Drug misuse
  • Sex crime and sexual offending
  • Paramilitary prisoners, restorative justice
  • Criminology and conflict resolution
  • Critical criminology
  • The judiciary and legal profession in transition
  • Police powers and prosecution systems
  • Lay and professional adjudication
  • Criminal evidence

The Institute's Mission is to:

  • Carry out high quality criminological and criminal justice research.
  • Provide a high quality postgraduate teaching programme within the fields of criminology and criminal justice.
  • Use criminological knowledge and evidence to inform criminal justice policy in Northern Ireland.

The Institute is also closely involved with the British Society of Criminology (Regional Group) and two members (Dr Graham Ellison and Dr Michelle Butler are the regional conveners of the Society.  The BSC Regional Group hosts regular events of a criminological nature that are of interest to its membership.

The Institute also has close links with the Irish Criminology Research Network with Queen’s hosting the annual North-South Criminology Conference in the past.

Recently the Institute together with the BSC (Regional Group) sponsored the first ever conference exploring the policing and regulation of commercial sex in Northern Ireland. One member of the Institute, Professor Phil Scraton, has also been heavily involved in the Hillsborough Independent Panel.   

Courses Offered

The Institute offers several programmes that have a criminal justice and criminology focus: the LLM in Criminal Justice, the LLM in Criminal Justice with Criminology, and the LLM in Human Rights and Criminal Justice.

There are also a number of funded PhD places offered each year to those students who want to research a criminology or criminal justice related area. 

PhD graduates from the Institute within the School of Law have enjoyed considerable success in obtaining academic posts across the globe. Recently graduated doctoral students have obtained academic employment at the Universities of Kent, Oxford, Monash, Keele, Ulster, Durham, Aberystwyth, Nottingham Trent, Liverpool, Dubai and City University London.