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Course details

  • UCAS code: L311
  • Study mode: Full-time
  • Length: 3 years

Key dates

  • Starts:

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Bachelor of Arts

A Bachelor of Arts (BA Hons) is a bachelor’s degree awarded for an undergraduate programme in the arts.

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Course overview

Our Criminology degree tackles the problems of crime, deviance, victimisation and social harm in a high quality programme that makes the subject exciting and intellectually challenging.


Criminology involves the study of complex issues of crime and criminal justice.  Criminologists play an important role in the criminal justice system.

You will be taught by experts who help influence and develop policy; some of the world’s most influential and respected criminologists teach and research within our Department.  The degree draws on the Department’s expertise in crime prevention, surveillance, policing, sentencing, victimology, youth justice and corporate crime. Modules are continually updated and designed to provide you with a well-rounded criminology learning experience.

Our programmes are based on cutting edge research and are ideal preparation for careers or further study where clear, creative thinking is valued. From the historical foundations of crime and punishment to the implications of digitisation in social, political, economic and cultural life.

What you'll learn

  • Generating and evaluating evidence
  • Making reasoned arguments and ethical judgements
  • Critical thinking
  • Collecting, analysing and interpreting data
  • Report writing
  • Undertaking and producing research
  • Written and oral communication
  • Time management and planning


Teaching Excellence Framework 2023

We’re proud to announce we’ve been awarded a Gold rating for educational excellence.

Course content

Discover what you'll learn, what you'll study, and how you'll be taught and assessed.

Year one

The first year of the programme provides an introduction to exploring ‘crime’ in its social, historical and political context. Getting to grips with the key concepts in criminology and its wider social scientific roots is dealt with at year one to ensure easy transition to years two and three. Our Studying society module explores the use of social science research methods and ensures that by the second year all students are fully acquainted with all the skills they need to progress in their studies.

*Some modules may not be available depending on your selected programme of study.

Compulsory modules


Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

This module provides a critical introduction to the criminal justice system. With SOCI107, it provides an essential foundation for your studies in criminology at Liverpool. Key criminal justice concepts, institutions- including the police, the courts, prisons – and processes are introduced and their roles and functions are subject to critical appraisal.


Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module introduces you to the subject matter of sociological criminology. It provides an essential foundation for your studies in criminology at Liverpool. You will acquire an understanding of key issues and debates in the sociology of ‘crime’ and subject contemporary talk about ‘the crime problem’ to critical analysis.


Credits: 30 / Semester: semester 3

‘Studying Society’ is designed to provide students with a comprehensive introduction to the field of social enquiry. What is ‘the social’? Why would we study it? What would that involve? These are questions with which this module is concerned. It offers an introduction to the proper objects of social enquiry, relevant modes of thinking and questioning, strategies for finding, accessing, and evaluating sources of information, methods and techniques for generating and analysing data, as well as skills in communicating information and ideas effectively. In doing so, the module aims to equip students with a range of skills for the study of society at degree level and beyond. The module provides students with opportunities to both study and practice these skills.

Sociological Theory (SOCI101)

Credits: 30 / Semester: semester 3

This module provides a comprehensive introduction to classical and contemporary sociological theory. Tracing sociological analysis from its origins in the nineteenth century through to major present-day thinkers, the module addresses some of the discipline’s landmark studies and theories, in the process equipping you with understanding of the major frameworks for thinking sociologically.

Social Change and Social Policy in Contemporary Society 1 (SOCI102)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module examines continuity and change in social, cultural, political and economic life in Britain over the twentieth and into the twenty-first century, particularly in the period after 1945. The module will examine areas of British life like politics, the economy, the family, social and cultural relations, and the role of social policy in responding to and encouraging wider forms of change.


Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

This module examines some of the main social changes that have taken place in British society since 1945. It draws upon sociological studies to discuss the inter-relationship between ‘race’, ethnicity, class and gender to understand the influence of these on society.

Programme details and modules listed are illustrative only and subject to change.

Our curriculum

The Liverpool Curriculum framework sets out our distinctive approach to education. Our teaching staff support our students to develop academic knowledge, skills, and understanding alongside our graduate attributes:

  • Digital fluency
  • Confidence
  • Global citizenship

Our curriculum is characterised by the three Liverpool Hallmarks:

  • Research-connected teaching
  • Active learning
  • Authentic assessment

All this is underpinned by our core value of inclusivity and commitment to providing a curriculum that is accessible to all students.

Course options

Studying with us means you can tailor your degree to suit you. Here's what is available on this course.

Global Opportunities

University of Liverpool students can choose from an exciting range of study placements at partner universities worldwide. Choose to spend a year at XJTLU in China or a year or semester at an institution of your choice.

What's available on this course?

Year in China

Immerse yourself in Chinese culture on an optional additional year at Xi'an Jiaotong Liverpool University in stunning Suzhou.

  • Learn Chinese
  • Study in a bustling world heritage city
  • Improve employment prospects
  • Study Chinese culture
  • 30 minutes from Shanghai
  • Learn new skills

Read more about Year at XJTLU, China

Language study

Every student at The University of Liverpool can study a language as part of, or alongside their degree. You can choose:

  • A dedicated languages degree
  • A language as a joint or major/ minor degree
  • Language modules (selected degrees)
  • Language classes alongside your studies

Read more about studying a language

Combine this subject

With a combined degree, you can study two subjects as part of the same degree programme.

  • Choose from 30 subjects and over 300 combinations
  • Choose joint or major minor subjects
  • Adjust the weight of your subjects at the end of your first year
  • Same number of credits as single honours students
  • Same classes as single honours students
  • Appeal to a wide range of employers

Explore combined degrees for Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology courses

Your experience

Your course will be delivered by the Department of Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology, in the School of Law and Social Justice Building.  Students have access to state-of the-art facilities and are a short walk from the Sydney Jones Library. Based in the Knowledge Quarter, 10 minutes walk from the city-centre, students are surrounded by history and culture.

Virtual tour

Supporting your learning

From arrival to alumni, we’re with you all the way:

Careers and employability

We will enable you to develop a range of social scientific, analytic and communication skills and a variety of transferable skills valued by many employers in a range of industries (eg media organisations, local government and charitable organisations, the criminal justice system and commercial and financial service sectors).

Our graduates have gone on to successful careers in:

  • Public and private sectors
  • Social welfare and criminal justice agencies (the police and probation services)
  • Non-governmental organisations (NGOs)

Recent employers

  • Merseyside Police
  • HM Prison Service
  • National Probation Service
  • Legal Services Commission
  • IPSOS Mori
  • Shell
  • British Council
  • Mencap

Work experience opportunities

We encourage all our students to participate in SLSJ Extra, a series of talks and workshops featuring members from the legal, criminal, and voluntary sectors, as well as other leading professionals and reform advocates from the UK and beyond. SLSJ Extra demonstrates how the academic disciplines of law, sociology, social policy and criminology can open doors to a range of fulfilling professions. This foundation of extracurricular activity supports students in their future career aspirations.

We also help our students to take advantage of work experience opportunities. In your second year, you have the option to integrate work experience into your studies. By the third year, you can take advantage of work placements through our Interchange service, which connects you with various voluntary and charitable organisations within the region. You can also gain valuable volunteering experience with support from Employability & Interchange Coordinators or by participating in the Peer Mentoring Scheme.

Placements are available for Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology students, involving research projects that impact communities on both local and national levels. These opportunities are expanding each year, with this year’s research placements including collaborations with the National Youth Advocacy Service and The Heseltine Institute.

Postgraduate opportunities

We offer a series of specialist postgraduate programmes within Social Policy and Criminology:

    • MA Social Research Methods
    • MA Social Work
    • MRes Criminology Research
    • MRes Social Research
    • Legal Practice Course

79% of sociology, social policy and criminology students find their main activity after graduation meaningful.

Graduate Outcomes, 2018-19.

Fees and funding

Your tuition fees, funding your studies, and other costs to consider.

Tuition fees

UK fees (applies to Channel Islands, Isle of Man and Republic of Ireland)
Full-time place, per year £9,250
Year in industry fee £1,850
Year abroad fee £1,385
International fees
Full-time place, per year £22,400
Year abroad fee £11,200
Fees are correct for the academic year 2024/25. Please note that the Year Abroad fee also applies to the Year in China.

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching and assessment, operating facilities such as libraries, IT equipment, and access to academic and personal support. Learn more about paying for your studies..

Additional costs

We understand that budgeting for your time at university is important, and we want to make sure you understand any course-related costs that are not covered by your tuition fee. This could include buying a laptop, books, or stationery.

Find out more about the additional study costs that may apply to this course.

Additional study costs

We understand that budgeting for your time at university is important, and we want to make sure you understand any course-related costs that are not covered by your tuition fee. This could include buying a laptop, books, or stationery.

Find out more about additional study costs.

Scholarships and bursaries

We offer a range of scholarships and bursaries to provide tuition fee discounts and help with living expenses while at university.

Check out our Liverpool Bursary, worth up to £2,000 per year for eligible UK students. Or for international students, our Undergraduate Global Advancement Scholarship offers a tuition fee discount of up to £5,000 for eligible international students starting an undergraduate degree from September 2024.

Discover our full range of undergraduate scholarships and bursaries

Entry requirements

The qualifications and exam results you'll need to apply for this course.

We've set the country or region your qualifications are from as United Kingdom. Change it here

Clearing 2024

Please see our Clearing course information for details of the qualifications and exam results you'll need to apply for this course for 2024 entry.

View the Clearing entry requirements for this course.

English language requirements

You'll need to demonstrate competence in the use of English language, unless you’re from a majority English speaking country.

We accept a variety of international language tests and country-specific qualifications.

International applicants who do not meet the minimum required standard of English language can complete one of our Pre-Sessional English courses to achieve the required level.

English language qualification Requirements
IELTS 6.5 overall, with no component below 5.5
TOEFL iBT 88 overall, with minimum scores of listening 17, writing 17, reading 17 and speaking 19
Duolingo English Test 120 overall, with no component below 95
Pearson PTE Academic 61 overall, with no component below 59
LanguageCert Academic 70 overall, with no skill below 60
Cambridge IGCSE First Language English 0500 Grade C overall, with a minimum of grade 2 in speaking and listening. Speaking and listening must be separately endorsed on the certificate.
Cambridge IGCSE First Language English 0990 Grade 4 overall, with Merit in speaking and listening
Cambridge IGCSE Second Language English 0510/0511 0510: Grade B overall, with a minimum of grade 2 in speaking. Speaking must be separately endorsed on the certificate. 0511: Grade B overall.
Cambridge IGCSE Second Language English 0993/0991 0993: Grade 6 overall, with a minimum of grade 2 in speaking. Speaking must be separately endorsed on the certificate. 0991: Grade 6 overall.
International Baccalaureate Standard Level grade 5 or Higher Level grade 4 in English B, English Language and Literature, or English Language
Cambridge ESOL Level 2/3 Advanced 176 overall, with no paper below 162


Do you need to complete a Pre-Sessional English course to meet the English language requirements for this course?

The length of Pre-Sessional English course you’ll need to take depends on your current level of English language ability.

Find out the length of Pre-Sessional English course you may require for this degree.

Pre-sessional English

If you don’t meet our English language requirements, we can use your most recent IELTS score, or the equivalent score in selected other English language tests, to determine the length of Pre-Sessional English course you require.

Use the table below to check the course length you're likely to require for your current English language ability and see whether the course is available on campus or online.

Your most recent IELTS score Pre-Sessional English course length On campus or online
6.0 overall, with no component below 5.5 6 weeks On campus
5.5 overall, with no component below 5.5 10 weeks On campus and online options available
5.5 overall, with no more than one component below 5.5, and no component below 5.0 12 weeks On campus and online options available
5.5 overall, with no component below 4.5 20 weeks On campus
5.0 overall, with no component below 4.5 30 weeks On campus
4.5 overall, with no more than one component below 4.5, and no component below 4.0 40 weeks On campus

If you’ve completed an alternative English language test to IELTS, we may be able to use this to assess your English language ability and determine the Pre-Sessional English course length you require.

Please see our guide to Pre-Sessional English entry requirements for IELTS 6.5, with no component below 5.5, for further details.

Changes to Criminology BA (Hons)

See what updates we've made to this course since it was published. We document changes to information such as course content, entry requirements and how you'll be taught.

7 June 2022: New course pages

New course pages launched.

13 September 2022: Entry requirement changes

A level and equivalent entry requirements have increased from BBB to ABB for entry 2023.

5 January 2023: Optional modules updated

Year two and three optional module list updated.