2025/26 entry Applications also open for 2024/25

MA Evidence Informed Practice PG Cert, PG Dip

Start date(s):
Study mode:
Course duration:
2 years

Tuition fees

Home part-time per credit
General enquiries:
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About this course

LJMU's Evidence-Informed Practice PgDip is designed for in-service criminal justice professionals who want to develop research skills.

  • Develop your research skills enabling you to generate research findings that contribute to the development of criminal justice policy and practice
  • Study over 2 years
  • Learn via LJMU-based study days, online learning and independent study
  • Undertake practice-relevant research to stimulate work-related learning for your employer
  • Follow this hybrid programme developed as a result of the successful delivery of the Police Knowledge Fund Project in partnership with Merseyside Police, the Home Office, College of Policing and HEFCE

The programme will enhance your awareness of, and engagement with, research and (good/best) practice-informed evidence in the development of operational criminal justice practice.

Building on the momentum of the successfully delivered Police Knowledge Fund, which developed participants' research skills and communication of often complex and sensitive findings, the programme draws on the fantastic wealth of interdisciplinary collaborations within the Faculty of Arts, Professional and Social Studies. The Liverpool Centre for Advanced Policing Studies has the capacity to source expertise beyond the immediate spheres of criminal justice and policing. Calling on partners specialising in STEM and Quantitative Social Sciences disciplines, the Centre will draw on their capacity to better understand and develop understandings of new and future challenges for criminal justice and offender management policies to engage with.

Through the work-based research module you will be supported in constructing individual research projects that have a clear focus on positively impacting your own professional practice. They will outline manifest policy change or enhance a critical understanding of the challenges to creating greater efficiencies and enhanced performance in service provision.

Applicants will need a clear ambition to develop, and commit to the development of, a work-based research project designed to positively impact the operational practice of criminal justice.


Fees and funding

There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students


The fees quoted at the top of this page cover registration, tuition, supervision, assessment and examinations as well as:

  • library membership with access to printed, multimedia and digital resources
  • access to programme-appropriate software
  • library and student IT support
  • free on-campus wifi via eduroam

Additional costs

Although not all of the following are compulsory/relevant, you should keep in mind the costs of:

  • accommodation and living expenditure
  • books (should you wish to have your own copies)
  • printing, photocopying and stationery
  • PC/laptop (should you prefer to purchase your own for independent study and online learning activities)
  • mobile phone/tablet (to access online services)
  • field trips (travel and activity costs)
  • placements (travel expenses and living costs)
  • student visas (international students only)
  • study abroad opportunities (travel costs, accommodation, visas and immunisations)
  • academic conferences (travel costs)
  • professional-body membership
  • graduation (gown hire etc)


There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students. From loans to International Scholarships and subject-specific funding, you’ll find all of the information you need on our specialist postgraduate funding pages.

Please be aware that the UK’s departure from the EU may affect your tuition fees. Learn more about your fee status and which tuition fees are relevant to you.

Apply for a College of Policing bursary

The 2024 College of Policing bursary scheme is now open for applications from serving police officers, closing on Thursday 4 April.

The College of Policing bursary offers a maximum of £4,000 towards two years of course fees at higher education level – for example, studying for a BSc/BA, masters degree or PhD.

Apply now


Further your career prospects

LJMU has an excellent employability record with 96% (HESA 2018) of our postgraduates in work or further study six months after graduation. Our applied learning techniques and strong industry connections ensure our students are fully prepared for the workplace on graduation and understand how to apply their knowledge in a real world context.

The PgDip is aimed at practitioners already working within or alongside policing or criminal justice agencies.

Through an improved knowledge of key issues and engagement in new research, you will better understand the landscape and challenges facing your role and employer. You will develop new key skills, including dissemination and communication of complex information, and the role of leaders in key public service organisations.

The student experience

Discover life as a postgraduate student at LJMU.

Course modules

Discover the building blocks of your programme

Your programme is made up of a number of core modules which are part of the course framework. Some programmes also have optional modules that can be selected to enhance your learning in certain areas and many feature a dissertation, extended report or research project to demonstrate your advanced learning.

Core modules

Dissertation - Policing
60 credits

The aim of the dissertation is to develop the ability of students to analyse and interpret an issue in their chosen field, drawing on the relevant body of knowledge, collecting data and completing a piece of writing in a manner conforming to the tenets of disciplined, lucid and critical scholarship. Supervision will be led by the most appropriate academic tutor with full support from the Policing Studies module team.

Evidence-Informed Policy and Practice
30 credits

This module aims to develop your critical appreciation and understanding of the capacity of evidence-based research to contribute to practice developments in criminal justice. It examines the contributions research informed knowledge has made, and continues to make, to the development of criminal justice practices and encourages you to think critically about the scope to further extend the role of evidence-based thinking in developing problem solving solutions in policing and criminal justice.

The module, designed with 'in-service' criminal justice professionals in mind, seeks to develop your knowledge, understanding and ability to critique available research and good/best practice guidance in respect of evidence-informed policy and practice. It seeks to give the officers the platform to critically reflect on their working practices, to examine the extent to which they utilise research-informed methods, and to critically consider the extent to which new ideas/modules can actually be implemented in practice.

Methods for Work-Based Research
30 credits

This module, designed with 'in-service' policing, probation and criminal justice professionals in mind, seeks to develop your knowledge and understanding of the research methods used in the design, conducting, and delivery of good quality social research. Through engaging with real world research case studies you will have the opportunity to develop your learning around the demands of constructing and operationalising research questions. These insights will help you consider, and plan for, the very real practical and methodological challenges of conducting work-based research.

Work-Based Research Project
30 credits

This module, designed with 'in-service' criminal justice professionals in mind, provides you with the knowledge and skills to plan, implement and critically evaluate your own work-based research projects. It will enable you to:

  • design, conduct and deliver a research project explicitly focused on an area of your working practice
  • plan and implement an agenda for research in an area of work-based practice
  • critically reflect the policy and practice development work that have taken place in the subject area
  • document and reflect on the challenges of conducting work-based research and, by its conclusion, produce critical commentary on how the understanding of practice may be meaningfully developed

Applied Research-Informed Evidence
10 credits

This course, designed with 'in-service' criminal justice professionals in mind, aims to develop your research data and direct key messages to academic and practitioner audiences. It aims to:

  • provide you with the knowledge, skills and confidence to identify and present the impact of your research activity
  • tailor your research findings to academic and practitioner audiences, a process that will involve working together to peer review and discuss generated research data

Optional Modules

Delivering Rehabilitation
20 credits

This module critically evaluates, at an advanced level, the role and function of the prison and probation services in relation to the delivery of state punishment and rehabilitation. It aims to:

  • critically reflect on the values and principles that underpin the delivery of contemporary penal policy through the creation of the National Offender Management Service (NOMS)
  • scrutinise the extent to which contemporary penal policy and practice actually delivers a more systematic approach to the management of offenders

Leadership and the Individual
20 credits

The aim of this module is to examine leadership as a theoretical concept and to interpret different perspectives in terms of personal leadership in various settings and environments within policing and law enforcement. It explores emerging debates relating to leadership and how this discourse impacts on practice within operational spheres in policing and law enforcement.

Contemporary Issues in Research-Informed Criminal Justice Practice
20 credits

The module aims to develop your ability to identify good and the best practice in the generation of evidence-informed policy and practice in criminal justice. You will be encouraged to explore the role of evidence-informed practice in fields across the criminal justice sector and propose new directions for practitioner-led research activity to take in the future.


An insight into teaching on your course

Study hours

You will be expected to attend study days, actively participate in workshops and engage with your project supervisors when conducting work-based research.

Teaching methods

The PgDip is a programme of learning that develops knowledge and skills with a clear building of momentum towards the completion of a 6000 word report and presentation in your bespoke area of interest. Projects will be the result of dialogue and discussion involving you, your employer and the teaching team to ensure the academic and practice and credibility of the research activity.


How learning is monitored on your programme

To cater for the wide-ranging content of our courses and the varied learning preferences of our students, we offer a range of assessment methods on each programme.

There are no examinations on this programme, instead the PgDip uses a range of coursework-based assessment formats, ranging in length from 1500 to 6000 words.

There are six pieces of coursework to submit and you will be expected to deliver a 20-minute assessed presentation on your work-based research project.

All assessment tasks will have guidance notes and marking criteria available online and all assessments will be submitted online.

Course tutors

Our staff are committed to the highest standards of teaching and learning

Given the climate of change within policing, it is essential to allow officers to gain valuable experience in gaining research skills and academic knowledge.

School facilities

What you can expect from your School

Based within the John Foster Building, in the Mount Pleasant Campus, the School of Humanities and Social Science has many outstanding facilities, including well-equipped IT Suites, a light-filled Student Common Room and dedicated postgraduate study areas. At the back of the John Foster Building is the Aldham Robarts Library, which gives access to an exceptional range of materials to support your studies.

Entry requirements

You will need:

Qualification requirements

Undergraduate degree

A minimum 2:2 in a criminal justice, policing studies or related social sciences discipline

Alternative qualifications considered

A strong portfolio demonstrating appropriate equivalent skills in the workplace

Additional requirements

  • Relevant work experience

    Applicants need to be employed within the Criminal Justice Sector to support the developing work-based research

International requirements


    IELTS 6.5 (minimum 5.5 in each component)

Further information

  • Extra Requirements
  • RPL

    RPL is recognised on the programme

Application and selection

Securing your place at LJMU

To apply for this programme, you are required to complete an LJMU online application form. You will need to provide details of previous qualifications and a personal statement outlining why you wish to study this programme.

Individual assessment of suitability for postgraduate level study will be overseen by the programme team and may require evidence to be submitted as part of an assessment process, e.g: portfolio of written work, reports, evidence practice development and presentations.

Demonstrable personal and professional interest in one of the defined project areas will enhance your application. The Programme Leader must also be confident that you have the potential to study successfully at Level 7 and that you will benefit from completing the course. 

The University reserves the right to withdraw or make alterations to a course and facilities if necessary; this may be because such changes are deemed to be beneficial to students, are minor in nature and unlikely to impact negatively upon students or become necessary due to circumstances beyond the control of the University. Where this does happen, the University operates a policy of consultation, advice and support to all enrolled students affected by the proposed change to their course or module.

Further information on the terms and conditions of any offer made, our admissions policy and the complaints and appeals process.