Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology
School of Law and Social Justice
As a Centre of Excellence for sociological and criminological thinking, studying Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology at Liverpool means being taught by recognised experts in their field. As one of the first social science institutes in the UK, we are committed to using social science research to inspire ideas for social reform. Our choice of degrees reflect this; drawing upon the most controversial and talked about issues of our times.
Innovation in teaching and research
Eleanor Rathbone, a renowned social campaigner who fought for a system of family allowances and championed women’s rights, helped to establish our School of Social Science in 1905. Today, our Department of Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology continues to strive for social justice and progressive social change.
Staff research specialisms central to our teaching
Our academics are internationally renowned for their research and share their expertise with international, national and local organisations, including Government and criminal justice agencies, health professionals and a diverse range of cultural industries to assist in influencing and developing policy. As critically engaged social scientists we are constantly looking for ways to innovate our teaching across the range of our undergraduate programmes. Our modules reflect this and look to establish new theoretical ground by drawing on the research strengths of our staff.
Criminology and Security BA (Hons) in Singapore
We partnered with the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) in 2013 to offer Criminology and Security BA (Hons) to students who are interested in a career as a criminologist. Since then, over three hundred students have embarked on the programme which supports the level of professionalism of the safety and security industry in Singapore.
Criminology. One of the founders of sociology, Emile Durkheim made an observation that is still relevant today. He wrote, “There is no society known where a more or less developed criminality is not found under different forms...we must therefore call crime necessary and declare that it cannot be non-existent, that the fundamental conditions of social organization, as they are understood, logically imply it”. Crime is one of the most talked about and governed problems of the contemporary age but what is ‘crime’? Is it on the increase? Is it a social problem that has a ‘solution’? Are criminals easily identifiable? Are victims a readily apparent group? What is the purpose of justice and punishment in the criminal justice system? Such questions provide the focus for the study of Criminology. Our Department has great expertise in exploring the links between how societies come to codify and respond to ‘crime’ – out of which we can explore aspects of social harm, power and powerlessness. Our approach to Criminology investigates these issues in relation to theoretical perspectives and the workings of criminal justice institutions.
Sociology. If you are looking for an exciting and challenging grounding in approaches to understanding social institutions, social change and conflict as well as the factors shaping social, public and civic policy then Sociology is for you. Sociology also offers you the opportunity to explore the diversity of perspectives and research methods with which to grasp the social world. To what extent are societies diverse? To what extent are they unequal? The knowledge that sociology brings is often contentious and reflects current social, public and civic disputes. Consequently, our sociology students are encouraged to develop awareness of their own values and an appreciation of how alternative values impact upon rival interpretations of evidence.
Social Policy. How societies care for particular vulnerable groups, and how we manage issues like poverty and unemployment are among a long list of matters of national concern. Studying social policy is all about how we as a society decide who receives support, what shape it takes, and who provides it to those who are deemed in need. Who should provide services and support: the state, the market, charities or families? These kinds of questions inform the study of the distribution and organisation of welfare and well-being within societies, and provide an exciting in-road into studying Social Policy with us. Social Policy focuses on the ways in which different societies understand and meet the needs of their populations. Studying within our Department provides a readiness to engage with the nature of social problems through a range of intellectual traditions and social perspectives, and the opportunity to work directly with organisations involved in this field.
Criminology and Sociology BA (Hons)
I was very interested in crime and punishment in society and I thought this was something I could study for three years and not lose interest. My expectations were met and exceeded. One of the great things about the department is that you are being taught by leaders in their fields – reading books by the people that teach you. It’s very much an open door policy in the department and there is a very strong connection between lecturer and student.
Department map reference
Department Home Page