School of Law and Government

LLM in Policing, Crime and Security

Course Code:
Course Type:
NFQ Level
Delivery Modes
(FT - 1 Year), (PT - 2 years)
call programme contact
+353 (0) 1
700 6403
NEW - Open for applications

The LLM in Policing, Crime and Security is a one year full-time and two year part-time Masters programme offered by DCU’s School of Law and Government. We welcome applicants from Ireland, the EU and the wider world who are interested in both the theory and practice of policing; criminology, crime analysis and criminal procedure; and contemporary national, regional and global security issues. The programme is the first of its kind in Ireland and will draw on the research expertise of staff within the School of Law and Government to create a vibrant, engaging and transformative learning experience for students. 

DCU is committed to preparing students for an unscripted future in the 21st century and this programme is designed to enable students to become adaptable and outward-looking critical thinkers. The LLM in Policing, Crime and Security has been carefully devised to give students both significant breadth and depth of knowledge on matters relating to policing, criminal behaviour, security studies and responses to terrorism (see section below for programme structure and module choice).

Programme Structure and Content

  • Students will be on-site for timetabled classes for two or three days a week in each semester (depending on the module choices).
  • Each semester runs for 12 weeks, semester one running from September to December and semester two running from January to April.
  • Students will undertake a research dissertation on a subject related to Policing, Crime or Security (subject to approval from the programme chair) which is usually completed during the summer.
  • Students will be supervised in their dissertation work by a member of staff and there will be a collective dissertation workshop after semester two. 
  • Students must take Legal and Socio-Legal Research Skills (Semester 1) and Preventing and Analysing Crime (Semester 2) plus the independent research Dissertation (15,000 words).
  • Along with these compulsory courses, full time students choose four modules; two in the first semester, and two in the second semester. In year one, part-time students take both compulsory taught modules, plus one optional module in each semester. In year two, part-time students take one optional module in each semester plus the independent research Dissertation.

Mandatory Modules

Semester 1: Legal and Socio-Legal Research Skills 

Semester 2: Preventing and Analysing Crime 

Plus: Dissertation

Optional Modules:

Semester 1

  • Policing and Society 
  • Comparative Criminal Procedure 
  • Judges and Judging 
  • Law, Ethics and the Person
  • Principles of Public International Law 
  • International Law and Conflict 

Semester 2

  • Criminology
  • European and International Human Rights Law
  • Counter-terrorism in Europe
  • Political Terrorism 
  • Public Policy Evaluation
  • Crime and Psychology 

All optional modules will be offered subject to staff availability and student demand in any year.

Programme Aims and Objectives

  • To facilitate students analysing key issues in policing, crime and security
  • To create an authentically postgraduate and scholarly orientation with genuine intellectual depth through a small-group seminar model that promotes more intensive lecturer-student interaction
  • To make graduates better problem-solvers, critical thinkers, and more confident advocates, thus preparing them for careers in policing, law and public policy 

Why Choose DCU?

  • a young and innovative university with a reputation for excellence in teaching and research (consistently rated in the ‘Top 50 under 50’ by the QS World University Rankings)
  • an English-speaking, European university engaged with Europe and the broader world, in an English-speaking country similarly engaged and committed 

Why Do This Programme?

  • A School with a strong research and teaching focus in policing, criminal law, evidence and criminal procedure, human rights, security and counter-terrorism
  • a programme designed to develop the student’s critical, analytical and interdisciplinary thinking skills so that they are better positioned for access to, and advancement within, higher-end careers in policing, law, public policy, politics and beyond 
  • a School with active links to national and international police and security studies researchers and practitioners; major law firms; international and European institutions; NGOs; and other potential employers
  • an environment that facilitates students interested in preparing for careers in academia or research
  • runs in conjunction with postgraduate programmes in international relations, international human rights law, public policy, public law, privacy, climate change, international development.

The LLM in Policing, Crime and Security caters well for those interested beginning their careers, or seeking to advance further, within operational policing, public policy, criminal law, international security agencies, human rights organisations, European and international institutions, politics, and more.

Law postgraduates from DCU have established careers in the legal professions (including the Bar), in business, in academia and research (including a high proportion in funded PhD programmes and research positions), as well as in public institutions and NGOs.

Potential Careers

  • Policing
  • International security agencies
  • The legal professions
  • Academia or research careers 
  • NGOs and advocacy
  • Civil service and public administration
  • European and international organisations
  • Politics
  • Journalism


For admission to the LLM programme, successful applicants will have:

• Normally have achieved a Second Class Honours Grade One (H2.1) in a primary degree (level 8) in law or an interdisciplinary degree which includes law as a significant component.

• Applicants who have not achieved a H2.1 may apply but applications will be assessed on a competitive basis.

• If an applicant has not yet completed their degree, then a conditional offer may be made on the basis of most recent grades and pending the achievement of no less than a H2.2 degree.

• Applicants with appropriate combinations of professional qualifications and experience may also be considered. This includes discipline-specific knowledge and know-how; transferable skills; basic research competency; personal effectiveness.

• International candidates who are non-native speakers of English must satisfy the University of their competency in the English language.


Full time

EU Status Fee
Non EU Fee.

Part time

EU Status Fee Part-time
Non EU Fee Part time

Next Steps

All Applicants must apply through DCU's Student Application Portal which is available here. Here's a quick step by step guide if you need help with your application:

• Provide Academic Transcripts for each and every year of study with English translation if applicable.

• If applicable, provide evidence of competence in the English language as per DCU entry requirements. Please see link

Please note if you are a non EU student and require a study visa, you are not eligible to apply for part-time programmes as study visas are only granted for full-time programmes.

Application deadlines

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the programme is full or until the following dates:

  • Closing date for non EU applicants is 1st July 2024
  • Closing date for EU applicants is 31st July 2024

Note applicants who require a study visa for the purposes of studying at DCU, are advised to apply as early as possible.
All entry requirements should be met before the commencement of the programme.

Application Queries

For EU applicant queries, please visit or email

For non EU applicant queries, please visit or email

Commencement of Programme

The programme commences in September 2024