Criminology: Transnational Crime
MAIntermediate award(s): PG Dip
Course overviewTransnational crime includes activities that violate the laws of more than one country; for example, money laundering, terrorist activities, illicit traffic in arms, environmental crimes and illicit drug and people trafficking. This course will enable you to explore practical and theoretical aspects of transnational criminal activities, including models and methods of detection, policing, social control and sanctions. A range of theoretical standpoints will enable you to understand Western legal and social traditions, in order to develop a comparative framework. You will also be encouraged to develop vocational and applied approaches.
Themes on our course include: the structure and nature of organised illicit trade and criminal enterprise; the concept of the risk society; responses to transnational crimes through policing initiatives, agreements and treaties; western legal practices and sentencing frameworks; and critical enquiries into the effects of changing serious crime levels; terror-news; moral panics; and the mobilisation of nations.
This course consists of four taught modules taken over one year. The Major Project is completed at the end of the taught part. Teaching runs over two semesters of 12 weeks each, from September to December and February to May.
Teaching mainly takes place in a research-seminar format, but may also include some lectures, guest speakers and debates. Our tutors are available for one-to-one support and advice.
Violent behaviour; justice and injustice through the courts; human trafficking; comparative criminology.
Dr Sam Lundrigan
Criminological geographic profiling systems; spatial behaviour of serial rapists; behaviour consistency of serial offenders.
Dr Anna Markovska
Transitional countries; serious crime; corruption; drug abuse.
Dr Natalie Mann
Ageing, crime, penology, sex offending.
Dr Liz Bradbury
Social theory; gender studies; psychoanalysis; the Frankfurt School.
Dr David Skinner
Race and racism, the social and political aspects of scientific and technological innovation; the relationship between the natural and social sciences; forensics, databases and surveillance; the changing management of public services.
Dr Shaun le Boutillier
Social theory; applied ethics; explanations of the relations between individual and society.
Public service; learning and education; equality and cultural diversity; barriers to learning.
Learning and teaching in the post-compulsory education sector; police training methods.
You will explore the structure and nature of organised illicit trade and facilitate discussions of the concept of criminal networks, including criminal opportunity and routine activities, to analyse different case studies. Case studies will include financial crime, drug trafficking, human trafficking, child abuse, toxic waste and smuggling. You will measure and evaluate the scale of illicit trade in order to analyse the regulatory issues involved and potential preventative mechanisms.
This module will provide you with the research skills and techniques needed both to critically evaluate the literature you will be using during the course and in your own dissertation. It will explore the methodologies and methods applied in contemporary social-science research to enable you to select an appropriate range for your own needs.
Here, you will demonstrate your ability to raise and investigate significant questions in relation to your specialist research area, either through empirical research or sustained theoretical investigation. Based on your initial project proposal you will be expected to negotiate a learning contract with your supervisor, which outlines title, research question, assessment weighting and criteria, and the forum of the project.
This module will explore the concept of the risk society in a global, abstract context, in relation to prevention and minimisation. Contemporary forms of policing and security will be evaluated against the backdrop of societies that are built on the notion of risk, its quantification and avoidance. Risk from the perspective of corruption within organisations tasked with managing cross border and transnational crime will also be considered.
This module aims to identify and explore convergences and divergences in sentencing policies for serious and organised crimes, and their rationales in western countries. The module will explore legal traditions and the application of a variety of styles of theoretical penal theories, as well as sentencing frameworks; the range and justification for particular punishments within a selected range of jurisdictions and co-operation agreements between states.
This module will explore and evaluate the effects of changing crime levels and their contribution towards moral panics in contrast to the impact of more serious crime waves in societies and their collective or individual reactions. The notion of mobilising a nation through terror-information will be evaluated in relation to the recent adoption and acceptance of regular risk assessment and analysis measures, as well as propaganda.
This module will engage with contemporary and enduring theories of crime and deviance that are of primary importance to the concept of late modernity. Starting with the claim that modernity is now characterised by globalization, a heightened sense of risk, and reflexivity, we will focus on two broad themes of contemporary criminology: 'governance, control, and risk' and 'cultural criminology'.
AssessmentAssessment varies from module to module, but typically might consist of a 5,000-word essay plus a presentation of approximately 20 minutes; a case study plus presentation; or a portfolio of activities to be submitted at the end of each module.
FacilitiesAll teaching takes place on our Cambridge campus, with excellent library facilities, bookshops and other facilities close at hand.
Our campus libraries offer a wide range of publications and a variety of study facilities, including open-access computers, areas for quiet or group study and bookable rooms. We also have an extensive Digital Library providing on and off-site access to e-books, e-journals and databases.
We endeavour to make our libraries as accessible as possible for all our students. During Semester time, they open 24 hours a day from Monday to Thursday, until midnight on Friday and Saturday and for 12 hours on Sunday.
Our open access computer facilities provide free access to the internet, email, messaging services and the full Microsoft Office suite. A high speed wireless service is also available in all key areas on campus. If you are away from campus or a distant learner, our student desktop and its many applications can be accessed remotely using the internet. Your personal student email account provides free document storage, calendar facilities and social networking opportunities.
Throughout your studies you will have access to our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), providing course notes, reading materials and multi-media content to support your learning, while our e-vision system gives you instant access to your academic record and your timetable.
Special featuresIn addition to the taught modules, we run a series of research seminars to which staff and postgraduate students are invited.
Course convenorDr Anna Markovska
Links with industry and professional recognitionThrough our research, consultancy and community engagement work we have links with professionals in the criminal justice system, prisons and other enforcement agencies.
Associated careersGraduates may pursue careers in many related fields, including national and international criminal justice systems, immigration and border agencies, the Police, the Prison Service, the National Probation Service, Youth Justice, the Home Office, scenes of crime work, the court system, or social policy and research.
|Entry Requirements:||Usually a good/ 2:1 honours degree (or equivalent) and/or relevant professional experience. Candidates for whom English is not a first language will be expected to demonstrate a certified level of proficiency of at least IELTS 6.5 or equivalent.|
We welcome applications from International and EU students. Please select one of the links below for English language and country-specific entry requirement information.
How to apply
Teaching times*Mon and Thurs
Available startsSeptember, January
Open DaySaturday 13 July
Postgraduate Open Day
Advice & supportEmployability
FacultyArts, Law & Social Sciences
DepartmentHumanities and Social Sciences
- Call 0845 271 3333
- Ask our University
*Teaching days and times are for guidance only and are subject to change each academic year. We advise all applicants to wait until they are in receipt of their timetable before making arrangements around their course times.