youth justice

MA in Youth Justice (subject to validation)

  • Looking to move into a senior management role within the Youth Custody Service, youth justice system or allied area?
  • Already completed the BA (Hons) in Youth Justice and want to progress to more in-depth Master’s level study?

Awarded by the University of Suffolk, the MA Youth Justice draws upon a broad range of disciplines such as Criminology, Sociology, Psychology, Law, Social Policy and Philosophy to help you develop good analytical, reasoning and reflective skills while engaging with academic literature and debates and evaluating research and evidence.

You will critically examine academic research and make informed decisions based on the available evidence, applying this, where appropriate, to your own practice. You will be introduced to a variety of research methods and ethical considerations, so that you can challenge and understand the limitations and ambiguities of empirical research, whilst assessing its value. This will provide you with valuable skills relating directly to your own professional practice and will also provide a practical platform should you wish to progress onto doctoral study or senior management.

What level is the course?

  • FHEQ L7

How will you be assessed?

Computer Marked Assignments (CMAs)
A range of Tutor Marked Assignments (TMAs), including:

  • Essays
  • Case studies
  • Briefing papers
  • Short answer questions

An Independent Research Project report


Who accredits the course?

  • University of Suffolk

How long will it take to complete?

  • 90 weeks (under two years part-time)

What are the entry requirements?

Applicants will need to have a minimum of a 2.2 BA (Hons) degree, ideally in a social science subject but other disciplines will also be considered. Students with relevant experience will also be considered.

As this is a practice-based course, you must also be employed or volunteering within the Youth Custody Service, youth justice system or allied area for the equivalent of at least one day a week.


What does it cost?

  • The total cost of the MA for 2022 is £3600

All prices are inclusive of VAT

Payment plans are available to help you spread out the cost – please see Fees and Funding for more information. If you are being sponsored on this course, please have your sponsor details ready when you register.


When can you start?

  • 2022 (dates tbc subject to validation)

You will study three modules, each lasting 30 weeks. In the first two modules you will explore contemporary theory, policy and practice in youth justice and then critically evaluate that policy and practice in relation to ‘what works’ evidence. You will also examine contemporary developments in the provision of youth justice services both nationally and internationally.  The final, Independent Research Module, will give you with the opportunity to carry out an in-depth investigation on a real-life topic in youth justice, and will equip you with the skills of detailed project planning, design, fieldwork, data analysis and critical evaluation.

Using our unique digital platform, you will learn through video case studies, extracts, reflective activities and interactive quizzes.

You will be able to study anywhere and at any time; either online or on the app, which you can use even without an internet connection.  You will also have a dedicated Learning Coach who will support you on your learning journey and assess your work.

Click on the modules below to see more.

Explore contemporary theory, policy and practice in youth justice and examine comparative international youth justice approaches. There are six blocks of learning:

  • Criminal Justice: theory & practice
  • Contemporary Criminological Theory
  • Community justice for children
  • Use of custody for children
  • International Youth Justice
  • Desistance

Critically evaluate youth justice policy and practice in relation to ‘what works’ evidence and explore contemporary developments in the provision of youth justice services. There are five blocks of learning:

  • Child First
  • Diversion
  • Mental health and trauma
  • Research Methods & Ethics
  • Innovation and implementation in youth justice management

The research project provides an opportunity for you to extend your learning and develop your knowledge on a particular topic and consider how to apply ‘what works’ to an area of professional practice. With the support of a learning coach, you will conduct your own in depth research in an area of youth justice that interests you and write up the results in a project report and dissemination artefact to share with colleagues and other interested audiences.

Your Career

The MA Youth Justice is designed to develop graduates who have the academic knowledge, analytical confidence and relevant skills to progress in a range of organisations and roles, in both the private and public sectors.

Jobs directly related to this degree include management roles within the youth justice sector, police officer, intelligence officer, civil nuclear police, MOD police, civil service fast streamer, government social research officer, public affairs consultant, public relations account executive and social researcher.

Other possible careers would include human resources officer, local government officer, market researcher, marketing executive, newspaper journalist or public relations officer. Some further possible destinations include international and national NGOs, the third sector and charitable organisations, and aid and international development.

Further Study

Why not consider developing your research skills further by undertaking a PhD? A master’s degree provides an excellent platform should you wish to continue with your studies.

FREE Taster Course

If you’re interested in finding out more about Youth Justice, why not register for our free Exploring Youth Justice short course

Register now