Criminology BA (Hons)

Key information


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. 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 Options Available

You can also study Criminology with a combination of other subjects, which account for 25% of the overall degree. 

25% - Criminology with a Minor SubjectUCAS code
Criminology with Sociology T958
Criminology with Social Policy T959

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

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 nonprofit 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.

Department Key Facts

Number of first year students

343 Year One undergraduates in 2018

Graduate prospects

95% are employed or in further study within six months of graduating (Destination of Leavers from Higher Education 2016/17)

Facts and figures

We offer work experience oppportunities in Year Three through our "Interchange" scheme.

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.

We continue 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.

Develop your expertise

We are 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

You’ll have 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.

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.