Criminology BA (Hons) Add to your prospectus

Key information


  • Course length: 3 years
  • UCAS code: L311
  • Year of entry: 2018
  • Typical offer: A-level : BBB / IB : 30 / BTEC : DDM
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Criminology involves the study of complex issues of crime and criminal justice. Criminologists play an important role in the criminal justice system.

Study as part of joint-honours at 100:0 Choosing this subject as a Single Honours

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. 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. 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.

Programme in detail

Year One introduces you to Criminology and provides an introduction to exploring ‘crime’ in its social, historical and political context. During your second year you will explore the role of the criminologist in the world of policy and activism, gaining a deeper knowledge and understanding of particular controversies in criminal justice practice, and providing you with a broader coverage of criminological perspectives and criminal justice controversies.

By Year Three you will have the choice to study specialist subjects in-depth and develop your independent learning. You may wish to pursue your interest in a topic of your choice and opt for a dissertation. Alternatively, you can opt for our applied social research module or social policy project and carry out a piece of research commissioned by a local agency. This offers the opportunity for you to study in the ‘real world’ as well as an experience that will appeal to prospective employers.

Study as part of joint-honours at 75:25 Choosing this subject as a Major

Year One introduces you to Criminology and provides an introduction to exploring ‘crime’ in its social, historical and political context. During your second year you will explore the role of the criminologist in the world of policy and activism, gaining a deeper knowledge and understanding of particular controversies in criminal justice practice, and providing you with a broader coverage of criminological perspectives and criminal justice controversies.

By Year Three you will have the choice to study specialist subjects in-depth and develop your independent learning. You may wish to pursue your interest in a topic of your choice and opt for a dissertation. Alternatively, you can opt for our applied social research module or social policy project and carry out a piece of research commissioned by a local agency. This offers the opportunity for you to study in the ‘real world’ as well as an experience that will appeal to prospective employers.

Study as part of joint-honours at 50:50 Choosing this subject as a Joint

Studying Criminology as 50% of your degree gives you a thorough understanding of the role of criminology in society. Year One introduces you to criminology and serves as a foundation for the second and third years.

During your second year, you will study understanding crime, justice and punishment to provide you with a broader and deeper coverage of criminological perspectives and criminal justice controversies.

You can then choose 30 credits from the following options: Punishment, penalty and prisons; Policing; Crime and social control; Crime, deviance and culture; Domestic and international drug policy; Understanding non-profit organisations and Social exclusion. If you wish to study a dissertation in Year Three, you can opt to take research methods modules in preparation.

By Year Three, you will be able to study from a range of areas that include: Crimes of the powerful; Community and public involvement in crime and criminal justice; The risk society; Criminal victimisation; Youth crime, youth justice and social control. In Year Three you may wish to study for your dissertation if you have completed the research methods modules. Alternatively, you can take the applied social research module and carry out a piece of research commissioned by a local agency. This offers both a great opportunity for you to study in the ‘real world’ as well as an experience that will appeal to prospective employers.

Study as part of joint-honours at 25:75Choosing this subject as a Minor

Studying Criminology as 25% of your degree gives you an understanding of the role of criminology in society. Year One introduces you to the concepts, debates and controversies in criminology. You will study the modules Introduction to crime and society and Controlling crime.

In your second year, core modules provide you with a broader coverage of criminological perspectives and criminal justice problems within the 24-week module Understanding crime, justice and punishment. By Year Three, you will be able to study from a range of areas that enrich your interests.

Department Key Facts

Number of first year students

257 Year One undergraduates in 2016

Graduate prospects

79% are employed or in further study within six months of graduating (Destination of Leavers from Higher Education 2014/15)

National Student Survey

• 95% of our students feel staff here made the subject interesting and are enthusiastic about what they are teaching (National Student Survey 2016)
• 91% of our students feel the course is intellectually stimulating (National Student Survey 2016)

Research performance

30% of research activity deemed world-leading or internationally excellent, and a further 35% internationally recognised.

Why this subject?

Be part of a department inspiring the next generation of original social thinkers

As one of the world’s first social science departments and UK’s leading centres for sociology, social policy and criminology, we have been actively shaping society and inspiring the next generation of original social thinkers for over one hundred years.

Throughout our history we have continued to influence society with novel research insights in fields such as crime, health, welfare, housing, inequality and the operation of political power – at local, national and global levels. As a Centre of Excellence for sociological and criminological thinking we continue this proud tradition by ensuring that our programmes are relevant to a changing world and match the knowledge and skills required for the increasingly competitive job market.

Develop your expertise

The department is committed to using social science as a critical, evidence-based discipline that inspires constructive suggestions for social reform. We’ll guide you in developing your own expertise in particular areas. During your second and third year we’ll help you to choose modules to build your degree around the topics that interest and concern you the most. You may choose to keep your options open and take a variety of modules or you may for instance, choose to focus upon policing, urban regeneration, gender equality, or the role of corporations in democracies. This opportunity to specialise in certain areas will enable you to gain deeper capabilities and skills in particular areas of social science and prepare you for your professional career.

Strengthen your employability skills through our excellent employer links

To complement your academic studies our programmes offer you the opportunity to gain ‘hands-on’ experience in a relevant social field. This experience will not only develop your understanding of how social science is relevant to the process of work and real world issues but it will help you gain key employability skills to help you prepare for life after graduation. You’ll learn how to think independently, how to collect and analyse data, how to present and communicate information and develop advanced IT skills – all skills we know are highly valued by potential employers. You will also be encouraged to attend our regular Employability Workshops, to meet and network with employers and former students to discover and research possible careers. There is nobody better to ask about the reality of different jobs than the people performing them on a daily basis. It is also reassuring that our past students have been consistently successful in securing rewarding careers in a variety of settings, often in national and local government and, increasingly, in private and voluntary sector employment.

Learn from leading experts in a friendly and supportive environment

Internationally renowned for our research, we have a dynamic community of academic staff and students who work together in a shared spirit of discovery. You will be taught by lecturers who are actively engaged in research concerned with the role of social science in society. Through our research-led teaching we help our students develop as independent learners and researchers, gaining valuable skills for use in their subsequent careers. You will be assigned an Academic Adviser to support you with your personal academic development, who will guide and support you throughout your studies. A dedicated Student Support Officer will also provide you with one-to-one advice should you need it.