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COURSE TITLE Master in Probation Services








M. Prob. Serv.(Melit.)

Second Cycle

Level 7

3 Semesters



Sandra Scicluna

The MA in Probation Services aims:

• To provide students with a detailed knowledge and understanding of what effective probation entails,

• To enable students to understand and define what the role of probation officer is in the criminal justice system and in society,

• To provide students with the skills required for independent learning and develop the capacity to work both with others and autonomously,

• To enable students to develop a critical awareness of the social world and issues of social justice, particularly crime prevention and victimization and research-based interventions,

• To teach students how to apply criminological theories to professional probation practice and gain the ability to engage in critical thinking/analysis,

• To provide students with a knowledge and understanding, and capacity to use qualitative and quantitative research techniques for probation assessment and interventions,

• To further prepare students for progression to Continuous Professional Development (CPD) courses and Ph.D. programmes.
LEARNING OUTCOMES On completion of the MA in Probation Services students will have:

• An understanding of the probation process and its core objectives,

• An ability to relate criminological analysis to current debates and policy issues in corrections and penal policy,

• An ability to present and critically analyze data of various kinds clearly and concisely,

• An ability to apply analytical tools to identify social needs for probation and parole offenders in the context of reconviction risk assessments, so as to ensure they are meeting the requirements of their sentence or conditional release,

• An understanding of the techniques and application of criminal justice decision-making across criminal justice, particularly in corrections,

• An appreciation and evaluation of the organizations in the criminal justice system and their management strategies,

• An ability to present ideas, arguments and data effectively, including pre-sentence information for the courts,

• A capacity for time management,

• An ability to synthesize and operationalise a critical review of literature, appropriate methodology and the presentation and analysis of data for the purposes of the dissertation,

• An ability to carry out information search, retrieval and analysis,

• Capacity for independent study, self-organization, and self-appraisal,

• An ability to work with others.
CAREER OPPORTUNITIES AND ACCESS TO FURTHER STUDY The main aim of the MA in Probation Services is to prepare students to work within the criminal justice system as probation officers.

Besides providing students with required knowledge (with emphasis on probation and parole legislation, risk management, report writing and work ethics) the course attempts to strengthen students’ communication, leadership and team-building skills. Students are also instructed on how to manage work-related stress.

Probation / parole officers are court officials. They seek to rehabilitate sentenced offenders by enforcing the conditions of court orders, conduct offender risk assessments and advise the courts, managing and enforcing community orders as well as working with offenders during and after sentence. Thus probation / parole officers collaborate and work with various officers within as well as outside the criminal justice system (such as drug rehabilitation centres and employment training centres).

Students aiming to work as probation officers need not be afraid to work with people having a criminal background. Moreover, the profession requires probation officers to be able to cope with stress, work on their own initiative, be capable of handling emergencies, and be able to respect confidentiality and ensure integrity in their work.
COURSE INTENDED FOR Individuals aspiring to become probation or parole officers would be particularly interested in this course.
The Course shall be open to applicants in possession of:

(a) a Bachelor degree with at least Second Class Honours from this University in an area of study deemed relevant by the Board or

(b) a Bachelor degree obtained with at least Category II from this University in an area of study deemed relevant by the Board or

(c) a Bachelor degree from another university recognized by Senate comparable to the qualifications indicated in paragraphs (a) and (b) above.

The admission of applicants under the above paragraphs shall be made conditional on the result of an interview conducted by an interviewing board appointed for the purpose.

Applicants in possession of the Diploma in Probation Services or the Postgraduate Diploma in Probation Services may be allowed to join Part Two of the Course, if they have completed successfully the Diploma or Postgraduate Diploma programmes with a minimum average mark of 50%,
provided that such applicants shall satisfy the Board of Studies that they have reached the academic standard required to follow the Course with profit. The eligibility of such applicants shall be decided by the Board of Studies following an interview conducted by an interviewing board appointed for the purpose.

The interviewing board appointed by the Board shall be composed of at least three members.

The admission requirements are applicable for courses commencing in October 2017.

For more detailed information pertaining to admission and progression requirements please refer to the bye-laws for the course available here.




Last Updated: 26 April 2017
The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
Unless for exceptional approved reasons, no changes to the programme of study for a particular academic year will be made once the students' registration period for that academic year begins.

For applicable fees please check the link on the Finance Office webpage.

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