Criminology and Criminal Justice BSc (Hons)

Overview

Do you have an interest in why people commit crimes and how society should deal with crime? Do you want to kick-start an interesting career that allows you to contribute positively to people's lives?

Criminology is the study of crime and criminals, while criminal justice relates to the agencies involved in the justice and penal systems – such as police, prisons, probation – and their responses to crime. 

On this BSc (Hons) Criminology and Criminal Justice degree, you'll learn about key issues in criminal justice, such as the sentencing of offenders and the reputation and responsibilities of police forces. You'll develop your knowledge of the bodies involved in law enforcement, government, the court system and international agencies and use scientific theories and principles to understand the causes of crime.

In years 2 and 3, you'll study topics that match your ambitions and interests, with a choice of more than 30 module options in areas such as hate crime, dangerous offenders and missing persons. You can also get credit towards the pre-entry qualifications for a career as a trainee probation officer and police officer.

Before your final year, you'll have the chance to apply your skills and knowledge in the field on an optional sandwich year. You can also enhance your CV and prepare yourself for your career on modules that allow you to convert work and volunteering experience into credit towards your degree. 

This course is ideal prep for a career working in police, probation, the prison service, community safety, and third sector roles such as victim support. You'll also set yourself up to do postgraduate study or research on crime prevention and criminology.

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

  • Examine the causes and consequences of crime from different perspectives
  • Learn from practitioners with criminal justice experience and academics whose research in areas such as missing persons and policing shapes the content of the course and Government policy
  • Join in lively debates in one of the country’s largest criminology departments and contribute ideas on how we should respond to crime as a society
  • Tailor your studies by choosing modules that match your interests and ambitions – topics you can choose include new approaches to policing,  terrorism, hate crime, victimology and wildlife crime
  • Interact with practitioners from criminal justice agencies, businesses and charitable organisations
  • Discuss your career options with a panel of graduates who are working in criminal justice

You can also:

  • Practise applying your skills and knowledge in facilities that replicate the environments you'll work in during your career, such as our Crime Scene Simulation Facility and Replica Court Room 
  • Study modules that provide credit towards the pre-entry qualifications for a career as a Trainee Probation Officer or Police Officer, reducing the amount of study you have to do after the course to join the police or probation service
  • Apply your knowledge in the field on an optional year-long work placement, boosting your professional network and employability prospects after the course
  • Spend a year abroad, studying with an international partner university
  • Learn a new language and get credits towards your degree on the University's language programme

What you'll experience

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

  • Examine the causes and consequences of crime from different perspectives
  • Learn from practitioners with criminal justice experience and academics whose research in areas such as missing persons and policing shapes the content of the course and Government policy
  • Join in lively debates in one of the country’s largest criminology departments and contribute ideas on how we should respond to crime as a society
  • Tailor your studies by choosing modules that match your interests and ambitions – topics you can choose include new approaches to policing,  terrorism, hate crime, victimology and wildlife crime
  • Interact with practitioners from criminal justice agencies, businesses and charitable organisations
  • Discuss your career options with a panel of graduates who are working in criminal justice

You can also:

  • Practise applying your skills and knowledge in facilities that replicate the environments you'll work in during your career, such as our Crime Scene Simulation Facility and Replica Court Room 
  • Study modules that provide credit towards the pre-entry qualifications for a career as a Trainee Probation Officer or Police Officer, reducing the amount of study you have to do after the course to join the police or probation service
  • Apply your knowledge in the field on an optional year-long work placement, boosting your professional network and employability prospects after the course
  • Spend a year abroad, studying with an international partner university
  • Learn a new language and get credits towards your degree on the University's language programme

Careers and opportunities

A degree in criminology and criminal justice sets you up for a career in the criminal justice sector and allows you to gain transferable skills you can use in a variety of related sectors, such as counter fraud. It also gives you multiple opportunities for further study or research at postgraduate level.

When you complete the course successfully, you'll have the skills and knowledge you need to work in the police, probation and prison services in areas such as:

  • Community safety
  • Crime prevention
  • Youth offending teams
  • The Home Office
  • Fraud investigation
  • Criminological research

Roles our previous graduates have gone onto include:

  • Investigative data analyst
  • Police officer
  • Probation officer
  • Youth offending support officer
  • Emergency planning officer
  • Offender case administrator
  • Detective

New technologies, emerging research and increasing political and public interest means the way authorities, society, victims and offenders identify and respond to crime is always changing. This results in good demand for jobs in the criminal justice and penal sector.

    Work experience and career planning

    To give you the best chance of securing a great job when you graduate, our Careers and Employability service can help you find relevant work experience during your course.

    We can help you identify placements, internships, voluntary roles and freelancing opportunities that will complement your studies and build your portfolio.

    We'll also be available to help, advise and support you for up to 5 years as you advance in your career.

    This course allows you to take the Learning From Experience (LiFE) option. This means you can earn credits towards your degree for work, volunteer and research placements that you do alongside your study.

    Placement year

    After your second year, you can do an optional work placement year to get valuable longer-term work experience in the industry.

    Previous students have done placements at organisations such as:

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

    We'll help you secure a work or study placement that fits your aspirations. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year.

    BSc (Hons) Award
    September Start
    Full-time, Sandwich Study Mode
    3 years Duration

    Entry Requirements For This Course

    112-128 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.

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