Course Details

Full Course Name:
Diploma in Penology & Prison Studies

Course Dates

Next Course Commencing:
27th April 2020
10 weeks, Thursday evenings from 6.30 to 9.30 pm

Course Award

City Colleges Diploma
Not Applicable

Course Fee

€995 (€1,095 if paying in instalments)
€895 (€995 if paying in instalments)
Call +353 1 4160034

Gain a detailed understanding of how a modern prison system operates and survives from a theoretical & practical perspective.

Delivered by leading academics and prison experts, the purpose of the Diploma in Penology & Prison studies is to equip learners (from a variety of professional or interested backgrounds) with an understanding of the origins of punishment and sentencing in Ireland. Students will consider, sentencing, criminology and “What Works” when it comes to best prison practice. All lectures will be related to various theories of crime and offending. At the end of the course, learners will have a detailed understanding of how a modern prison system operates and indeed survives from both a theoretical and practical perspective.

During this course the student will learn how to identify certain types of criminals and their likely behaviours within the prison environment. In particular they will look at how both prisoner and prison officer exist both together and separately in a modern prison environment. They will also learn about the context in which the prison system currently sits in Ireland including sentencing policies and the likely direction of the Irish Prison Service into the future.

Who Should Apply?

Those working in the Prison Service in Ireland. Those working in the criminal justice system in Ireland who have a special interest in penology matters. Those in other careers, with an interest in prison studies and how it can affect society as a whole.

Course Content

Week 1 – Prisons and Imprisonment in Ireland

Week 2 – 
The Legal Context: The Criminal Justice System in Ireland

Week 3
 – Punishment: historical and modern perspectives

Week 4 – Nature or nurture? The perennial debate

Week 5 – Bad men in good jails – the psychopaths amongst you

Week 6 – Sex Offenders: a special category?

Week 7 – Life on the Inside – The Inmate Code

Week 8 – Justice for the Forgotten – The Modern Prison Officer

Week 9 – Sentencing and Sentencing Policy

Week 10– Non-custodial options – the future?

Course Fee

Classroom-based: €995
(€1,095 if paying  in instalments)

Online course: €895
(€995 if paying in instalments)

Non-EU students: Call +353 1 4160034


A pass grade on the written assignment will be required for awarding of the Diploma in Penology & Prison Studies. A fail grade will result in a Certificate of Attendance for the course but without the Diploma being awarded. Students must attend at least 8 of the 10 evenings to graduate with either the Diploma or Certificate of Attendance unless a serious and verifiable reason for further absence is provided. Similarly, the assignment must be submitted on the due date unless a sound reason for lateness is provided. In such instances, an extension may be awarded at the discretion of the lecturer.

Why City Colleges?

  • Courses for students who are passionate about their subject, delivered by leaders in their field.
  • Live lectures which are also streamed live on Moodle and recorded for review
  • City centre location in South Great George’s Street, convenient for bus, LUAS, DART
  • Southside Dublin location in Dundrum
  • Study rooms and library in our City Centre location
  • Limited class size
  • Parking

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Diploma in Penology & Prison Studies (Classroom)

Classroom Diploma in Penology & Prison Studies


6:30 PM - 9:30 PM

John O’Keeffe


Diploma in Penology & Prison Studies (Online)

Online Diploma in Penology & Prison Studies


6:30 PM - 9:30 PM

John O’Keeffe