MA in Restorative Justice

How to applySociology and Social Sciences

About the course

Restorative justice is a distinctive approach to crime and conflict which has a quite different focus from conventional Court-based models of proving guilt. Its proponents argue that punishment, society's customary response to crime, neither meets the needs of crime victims nor prevents reoffending.

Around the world, restorative justice is increasingly being used within criminal justice systems, schools, workplaces and other settings where conflict occurs. The MA was developed and is taught by scholars in the Law School and the School of Social Sciences who work at the forefront of research in this area.

The programme is suitable for:

  • those involved in the practice of restorative justice in a professional or voluntary capacity
  • professionals and managers in criminal justice agencies, educational institutions, the health sector, business and international conflict resolution, who are interested in the potential of restorative justice
  • anybody with an interest in the future of criminal justice and conflict resolution
  • graduates looking to specialise after their first degreeĀ 

Key Facts

Tuition Fees

Part time: £720 (20 credits) £2,165 (60 credits) £3,250 (90 credits)

A new system of postgraduate loans for Masters degrees in the UK are now available. They provide up to £10,000 a year for full-time and part-time taught and research Masters courses in all subject areas. For more information, visit our Postgraduate Loans page.

Overseas: £6,400 part-time

More information on fees can be found in the funding information section of this page.

Application deadlines

All applicants: TBC

Entry requirements


Applicants are normally expected to have either (a) a 2.1 degree or equivalent in a social sciences or a cognate discipline and/or (b) relevant professional/practical experience accompanied by evidence of a an ability to cope with the academic demands of the course and to benefit from it.

International students

If you require a Tier 4 student visa to study or if your first language is not English you will be required to provide acceptable evidence of your English language proficiency level.

This course requires IELTS 6.0 overall, with 5.5 in each skill.

For other English language proficiency qualifications acceptable by this University, please click here.

If your English currently does not reach the University's required standard for this programme, you may be interested in one of our English language courses.

Study information

The MA in Restorative Justice is a distance-learning programme that can be studied off campus where and when it suits you best. It can be studied alongside full-time employment and without visiting the UK.

However, students have the opportunity to visit the UK and the University for one residential event during the programme if they wish (accommodation and food are provided, but we do not pay your travel costs).

Part-time students can expect to study approximately 15-18 hours a week. This is a rough estimate, and can vary during the course depending on the student and the module(s) being studied.

The programme will encompass all of the following:

  • the key ideas and values of restorative justice
  • the historical development of restorative justice and its range of contemporary applications
  • the relationship of restorative justice to traditional conceptions of criminal justice
  • the nature of the key practices of restorative justice, such as conferencing, victim-offender mediation and circle processes
  • the knowledge and skills required to evaluate critically the ideas and practices of restorative justice
  • the aims and methods of research into restorative justice
  • what we know about the effects of restorative justice

Core modules:

Delivered by the Law School:

  • The Principles of Restorative Justice
  • Crime, Justice and Punishment

Delivered by the Department of Social Sciences:

  • Research Skills
  • Victims, Rights and Justice
  • Peacemaking Criminology
  • International Restorative Processes

Assessment: A 15,000-word dissertation and a range of assignments relating to modules.

* All modules are subject to availability.

Funding information

Future prospects

Most students embarking on this course are already employed and studying the course will strengthen their ability to carry out their work and make a difference in their chosen field. People completing the course are also well placed to undertake further academic study, to move into an academic career, or to carry out police, probation or prison service work. In addition there are an increasing number of opportunities to work within education and policy development.

What are they doing now?

Marcus Czarnecki (2010-2012) is now a Restorative Practices Champion for Vanel, and an Expert Advisor for the Ministry of Justice "The course is tremendous and brilliantly put together, well supported by very capable tutors with uncomplicated guidance, unpatronising support and no-nonsense expertise."

Lisa Marqua (2010-2012) is a Restorative Justice Facilitator in Capetown, South Africa. She set up Restore, a non-profit organisation, in the same year she graduated from the MA.

Carolyn Leary (2011-2013) is now a Training and Development Manager for CRESST Conflict Resolution Education in Sheffield.

Mandy Thompson (2009-2011) now works with Prison Fellowship, writing a course on Restorative Justice for volunteers working with prisoners. "The depth and challenge of this course proved stimulating and really enjoyable. I would advise anyone thinking of doing this Masters in Restorative Justice to go for it!"