Criminology and Criminal Justice BSc (Hons)


Why do people commit crimes? And what should we do about it? From offender to victim, punishment to rehabilitation, this BSc (Hons) Criminology and Criminal Justice degree asks questions about the causes and consequences of crime. The answers may surprise you. They’ll certainly help you choose the right career path.

As you become an expert on the criminal justice system in England and Wales, you’ll develop skills for a range of careers – from policing and prisons, to probation and rehabilitation, as well as roles fighting fraud in the private sector or influencing Government policy. And because crime doesn’t respect borders, this course also gives you a uniquely international perspective.

What you'll experience

On this Criminology and Criminal Justice degree course, you'll:

  • Explore the latest national and international debates and research in topics as varied as hate crime, state crime, terrorism, gang crime and victimology
  • Get career-ready with an emphasis on skills and employability, including volunteering opportunities with organisations such as Hampshire Constabulary and local charities like Aurora New Dawn (supporting victims of crime) and Read and Grow Society (helping ex-offenders learn to read)
  • Learn from an international team whose experience spans law and criminal justice, policing, probation and more – including a former private detective doing important research into missing persons and an expert in European responses to domestic violence
  • Join lively debates in one of the country’s largest criminology departments and contribute your own ideas on how we should respond to crime as a society
  • Build a professional network by meeting practitioners from criminal justice agencies, businesses and charities
  • Customise your degree to match your ambitions: some modules reduce the amount to time you’d need to train for a policing career or as a probation officer

Work experience and career planning

Get work experience while you study with support to find part-time jobs and volunteering opportunities. Towards the end of your degree and after graduation, you'll get 1-to-1 support from our Graduate Recruitment Consultancy to find your perfect role. On top of this you'll get bespoke careers support through our faculty 'career-ready' programme.

After your second year of study, you can choose to do a relevant, paid work placement year in the UK or overseas. This lets you put your new skills to work while developing valuable links with employers.

It’s fantastic for your CV and will really help you stand out when applying for jobs after graduation.

We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your aspirations. Mentoring and support throughout your placement will help you to get the most from the experience.

Previous placement destinations have included:

  • Aurora New Dawn – a charity offering support to survivors of domestic abuse, sexual violence and stalking
  • Why Me? – a charity supporting victims of crime
  • Answers Investigation – a private detective agency
  • Hampshire Constabulary
  • HMRC
  • the Office for National Statistics
  • Catch 22 – a social business building resilience and aspiration in communities

You can also spend this year studying overseas at one of our partner universities in Europe, South Asia, Australia or North America.

Module Details

Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits.

In each year, you need to study modules worth a total of 120 credits. For example, four modules worth 20 credits and one module worth 40 credits.

We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional modules may not run every year. If a module doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

Programme Assessment

Teaching methods on this course include:

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Group discussions
  • Practical workshops

Teaching staff include current and former practitioners who have worked in roles such as police officer, probation officer, private investigator and search and rescue worker.

You can access all teaching resources on Moodle, our virtual learning environment, from anywhere with a Web connection.

You’ll be assessed through:

  • Coursework
  • Examinations
  • Presentations
  • Group projects
  • A dissertation or major project

You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

The way you’re assessed will depend on the modules you select throughout your course. Here's an example from a previous year of how students on this course were typically assessed:

  • Year 1 students: 18% by written exams, 7% by practical exams and 75% by coursework
  • Year 2 students: 10% by practical exams and 90% by coursework
  • Year 3 students: 8% by written exams, 13% by practical exams and 79% by coursework

Student Destinations

Crime is a fact of life, which means there will always be career opportunities around preventing it and dealing with the fallout. As our graduates’ career paths show, you’ll complete this course with a range of different professional routes open to you in the public, private and charitable sectors.

There is good demand for jobs in the criminal justice and penal sector. For example, Her Majesty's Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) has developed a Probation Workforce Strategy to recruit skilled people to probation officer roles and invest in ongoing professional development.

You'll graduate with the skills and knowledge you need to work in the police, probation and prison services in areas such as:

  • community safety
  • crime prevention
  • fraud investigation
  • youth offending teams

You'll also have relevant skills or knowledge to progress into other areas such as:

  • counter fraud roles in banking, the NHS or the DWP
  • economic crime investigation
  • policy analysis and formulation for councils or the Government
  • community rehabilitation
  • postgraduate study and research

Our graduates have worked for organisations including:

  • Hampshire Constabulary, Avon and Somerset Constabulary, Metropolitan Police, Thames Valley Police, South Wales Police, Kent Police
  • National Probation Service
  • G4S and other community rehabilitation providers
  • Financial service companies

Roles our previous graduates have gone onto include:

  • investigative data analyst
  • police officer
  • probation service officer
  • youth offending support officer
  • offender case administrator
  • detective
  • personnel security analyst
  • private investigator
  • witness service team leader
BSc (Hons) Award
September Start
Full-time, Sandwich Study Mode
3 years Duration

Entry Requirements For This Course

120-128 points from 3 A levels or equivalent.

English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

University of Portsmouth in Pictures

Latest Updates from University of Portsmouth

Location of University of Portsmouth