Technological University Dublin: Shaping a future where justice prevails

Crime is a complex and ever-evolving issue that profoundly impacts our society. From the smallest act of vandalism to the most heinous acts of violence, it has a devastating effect on individuals, families, and communities. In the midst of this turbulent landscape, criminology emerges as a captivating field to explore, sure to satiate our curiosity to comprehend crime and unravel its enigmatic roots. 

This is precisely what a handful of students are learning to do at Technological University (TU) Dublin. Here, the study of criminology is rooted in the fusion of theory and practice. In fact, this guiding principle permeates throughout its School of Social Sciences, Law, and Education. It underscores the university’s unwavering commitment to providing students with a comprehensive understanding of the subject within the context of real-life scenarios, challenges, and human behaviour.

Central to its approach is the recognition of sound theoretical frameworks, bolstered by robust empirical evidence, in shaping and informing every facet of professional practice within the realm of the justice system — from social workers to law enforcement personnel and members of the judiciary.

TU Dublin offers two programmes that unlock access to a suite of rewarding professions: the MA in Criminology and the Postgraduate Diploma in Criminology. Both are suitable for students with degrees in sociology, psychology, social policy, law or cognate discipline who wish to advance careers in the criminal justice professions, policy work in government and non-governmental organisations and further research in criminology, criminal justice and related sectors. They are also apt choices for those already thriving as lawyers, court officers, gardaí, social workers, social care workers, psychologists, youth and community workers, or other related professionals; considering both programmes can be pursued part-time. 

#RevealingGrangegorman, our programme of events in June to celebrate our campus and its infrastructural growth during the Pandemic.

#RevealingGrangegorman, our programme of events in June to celebrate our campus and its infrastructural growth during the Pandemic, Source: TU Dublin

Established in 2006 as the first specialised criminology programme in Ireland, the MA in Criminology provides a solid foundation in research methods, theoretical principles and contemporary debates as a prelude to a career in research, policy-making, academia or doctoral studies. The PgDip in Criminology focuses more on helping students understand contemporary criminological issues and gain advanced training in research skills. Career-changers can benefit from either. 

Bronagh Fagan was a qualified primary school teacher with a longstanding interest in the inequities in education and how education could serve as a pathway out of crime. The interdisciplinary nature of the MA in Criminology drew her, as it explored the intricacies of sociology, psychology, and law. Her peers came from various walks of life — think dedicated Gardaí, esteemed lawyers, insightful psychologists, and compassionate social workers. 

“The variety of perspectives and experiences that were expressed meant that we learned from one another as well as the lecturers,” she says. “The level of expertise among staff was incredible, and they were passionate about the course content, and small class sizes meant that students received individual attention.” 

Immersed and engaged, Fagan mastered critical theoretical policy and a practical understanding of crime and criminal justice matters. Today, she works for the School Completion Programme and volunteers with adult offenders in Irish prisons for the Alternatives to Violence Project and Release Prison Partnership Programme. One day, she hopes to pursue a PhD.

Fellow graduate, Brian Moss, on the other hand, has already achieved doctoral status — an achievement he credits to TU Dublin’s MA in Criminology. “I applied initially attracted by the range of modules and degree structure, sure that it would enhance my career within criminal justice, but uncertain as to whether I had what it took,” he explains. “As I was to find out, there was more reason to enjoy than to worry at TU Dublin.”

LIFT Ireland is a social enterprise initiative aimed at increasing the level of positive leadership in Ireland. Leadership is not limited to a select few, and everyone can be a leader in their own way

LIFT Ireland is a social enterprise initiative aimed at increasing the level of positive leadership in Ireland. Leadership is not limited to a select few, and everyone can be a leader in their own way, Source: TU Dublin

He admired the rich tapestry of students that made up his cohort. His professors never failed to deliver courses that were not only clear and informative but also thought-provoking. However, what truly stood out was the unwavering support his lecturers provided to him, particularly during his dissertation phase, where their guidance and encouragement were instrumental in his success. 

Today, Moss is a Course Director of Criminology at Coventry University. “My positive experience on the TU Dublin Criminology programme was the primary reason I later pursued a PhD,” he says. “It gave me the confidence to challenge ideas in subsequent jobs and set me up in turn for designing and leading my own modules on theory and practice to undergraduates. The programme was not the end of my learning, it had nurtured it again.” 

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