Crime is arguably the issue of the day, and graduates with an Honours or MPhil qualification in Criminal Justice and Criminology can opt for careers in research, policy and advocacy institutions, the public criminal justice sector or the non-governmental sector.
The honours and MPhil programme offered by the Department of Public Law introduces humanities graduates to the study of crime, crime patterns and crime policies. It also engages with thematic issues relevant to criminal justice, such as victims' rights, prisoners' rights, crime and social control in Africa, and police and policing, which looks at trends in the governance of security.
The course explores a wide range of issues ranging from the shape of crime to the experiences of criminal victimisation, the role of prisons in modern society, contemporary developments in sentencing and criminal justice policy.
Challenging stereotypical assumptions about crime offenders, victims and the role of the state, this degree option offers an excellent grounding for those students and practitioners aiming to acquire a deeper grasp of criminal justice issues. Recent research projects include environmental security, gangs, prisons and policing reform, youth justice and gender and crime.
The MPhil in Criminal Justice has a well-qualified academic and practitioner support team. Professor Clifford Shearing is an NRF A-rated scholar who holds the NRF Chair of African Security and Justice, and is a worldrecognised policing scholar.
Professor Elrena van der Spuy has a long history of scholarship on the question of crime and policing in Africa. Julie Berg specialises in the field of plural security governance, while Kelly Phelps concentrates on issues of punishment, prisons and sentencing. An exciting line-up of practitioners in the field also bring a practical context to the course.
The courses are enlivened by discussions, DVDs and digital seminars.
Students can enjoy the facilities of the Centre of Criminology, which has a Multi-media Electronic Resource Library (MERL), equipped with the latest technology and computers. MERL provides a very conducive environment for graduate research. Generous scholarships may be applied for, through the National Research Foundation South African Chair in African Security and Justice, for students intending to pursue research that supports the activities of the programme in physical and environmental governance.
Scholarships at the honours, master's and doctoral level may be supplemented through applications for research assistantship. Funding for research expenses may also be available.
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