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Criminal Justice - Mansfield FdA

  • Level(s) of Study: Foundation degree
  • UCAS Code(s): L311
  • Start Date(s): September 2023
  • Duration: Two years full-time
  • Study Mode(s): Full-time
  • Campus: NTU at Mansfield
  • Entry Requirements:
    More information


Taught in Mansfield, this course draws on sociological, political, legal and cultural approaches to the study of the criminal justice sector – enabling students to develop a range of relevant and appropriate transferable skills in preparation for employment. The course is focused on current issues with local, national and international perspectives, and is firmly rooted in practice with real world learning.

On completion of the foundation degree you will be eligible to top-up to degree level study in:
  • Criminal Justice level 6 (year three) Or
  • BA Professional Policing / BA Youth Justice level 5 (year two).

What you’ll study

This course provides a multi-disciplinary approach – drawing on a range of approaches to the study of Criminal Justice – while incorporating a focus on current issues with local, national and international perspectives.

Core modules

Criminology, Crime and Crime Prevention

An introduction to crime, crime reduction, criminological theory and how such facets have developed into a central tenet of contemporary criminal justice policy are explored. You will gain an understanding of community safety approaches, including multi-agency partnership working, the assessment and management of risk and the growth of restorative justice interventions within the police and youth justice.

Preparing for Professional Practice

Gain an understanding of the world of work by undertaking work experience with an organisation that provides a service within the criminal justice system. Through the context of work and work-based learning, you will become familiar with key concepts associated with service delivery, explore the interrelationship between theoretical perspectives and practice, contextualise learning from other modules on the course, and engage in personal professional development planning.

Child and Adolescent Development

Study the theoretical underpinning to various factors within the psychological, physiological, and sociological development of a young person that may contribute to their offending behaviour. The module will equip you with the essential knowledge and understanding to become effective practitioners working with young people within the criminal justice system.

Rights, Ethics and Safeguarding

Gain an understanding of rights, ethics and safeguarding is essential for employment in the criminal justice system. This module will provide you with the knowledge and understanding of the legislative framework underpinning work in the criminal justice sector with a focus upon child and adult safeguarding, offender rights and the potential conflict this may have with public protection.

The Criminal Justice Sector and the Role of the Police

This module will provide you with a broad understanding of the structure and operation of the UK criminal justice system and the role of the police within it. You will be taught to identify the roles of agencies that comprise the Criminal Justice System (CJS) and non CJS collaborative partners, assess legal and organisational requirements in relation to the ‘processing’ of persons through the CJS and outline aspects of policing in the UK and the challenges that this can present.

Evolution of the Youth Justice System

Examine the youth justice system in England and Wales within its historical, political and theoretical context and the challenges it faces in terms of reducing youth crime. You will explore the idea of youth crime as a social construct and analyse the contemporary and established theoretical perspectives as well as the structure of the current youth justice system in England and Wales and how it operates on a national, regional, and local level.  Finally, you will compare the youth justice system in England and Wales with those of other countries in order to give an international perspective.

Core modules

Crime & Social Inclusion

Gain knowledge on social policy, criminology and criminal justice relating to marginalised groups of people investigated at level 4; this includes, but is not limited to young offenders, BAME, disabled and people experiencing mental ill-health. You will also evaluate and analyse various explanations of social exclusion: the moral underclass, social fragmentation, structural inequality, and patterns of social diversity such as poverty, race, gender, age, and disability in relation to government policy.

Skills Development for Professional Practice

Building on your work experience this module will provide you with a more in-depth work-based experience, in an area of the criminal justice system that you would like work in the future.  You will develop your knowledge of how organisations operate, enhance your skills as a reflective practitioner and support the planning for your future career.

Crime Investigation

This module will provide you with an introduction to crime investigation techniques such as statement taking for victim and witnesses, evidence gathering at crime scenes and the subsequent management of evidence. It will also include an introduction to investigative interviewing techniques for suspects utilising police models.

Police Powers and the Law

You will gain an understanding of basic criminal law and the court processes, including the core legislative elements, police powers, policy, and procedures.  You will describe how to exercise common police powers and procedures fairly and without bias, consider use of force, explain the legislation and functions associated with offences and the police response, examine ethical crime and incident recording standards developing your ability to apply police powers and legislation to policing incidents and develop your knowledge around Proportionality, Legality, Accountability and Necessity (PLAN).

Penology, the Secure Estate and Probation Work

Evaluate internal cultures and organisation of prisons, young offender institutions, secure units and release from secure conditions on community licenses. You will understand the secure estate, how prisons are populated, managed, and inspected, and how news about the state of prisons is communicated to the ‘outside’ world. This module will compare the UK prison system with that of international examples including looking at Nordic exceptionalism, the ‘Americanisation’ of the penal system, and the impact of privatisation on prisons and punishment.

Interventions and Offender Management

Examine contemporary offender management and the modernisation and changing structures of offender management. You will explore the need to respect rights, diversity, recidivism rates and partnership working. This module will assist you in examining key legislation and policy developments to incorporate the assessment and management of risk. Finally, you will evaluate and analyse community and custodial sentencing and its levels of engagement, desistance, and enforcement.

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How you’re taught

Teaching learning and assessment will be varied, appealing to a diverse range of learners, and make use of technology in the form of electronic portfolios, blogs, and simulation suites.

You will develop essential transferable skills such as effective communication skills; analysing information; problem solving and decision making. You will have the opportunity to apply acquired knowledge through a variety of activities including classroom based, simulated and work related activities.

You will also undertake valuable work experience in both years of study and plan for your own personal career development including a minimum 30 hours/1-week shadowing or work placement opportunity at Level 4 in pursuance of youth / community project. Plus 150 hours minimum at Level 5 - paid or voluntary work placement with police / youth sector.

Staff Profiles

Phil Rudkin

Principal Lecturer

School of Social Sciences

Phil was a Police Officer for nearly 15 years with Leicestershire Police working in a variety of roles both front line and the training of new recruits in Law and…

Gary Markham

Senior Lecturer

School of Social Sciences

Gary Markham

Martyn Magill


School of Social Sciences

Careers and employability

Your future career

With an FdA in Criminal Justice, study for an extra year and you’ll get your BA (Hons) Criminal Justice at NTU.

Graduates from this course are well-placed to take up a variety of careers within the Criminal Justice industry and students can go straight into work after their foundation degree.

With an FdA in Criminal Justice you can start your career path towards roles such as Welfare Rights Advisor, Prison Officer and Police Officer.

Excellent placement opportunities

The course includes a placement alongside your studies. You can develop your skills and experience in a working environment which is highly valued by future employers.

Students could undertake placement opportunities in areas such as policing, youth justice agencies, charities and local youth groups in the Mansfield area and the Citizens Advice Bureau.

Why undertake a placement?

  • You will gain vital experience in a vocational position.
  • It will boost your CV and build useful contacts for your future career.
  • There are some exciting and challenging opportunities available

Careers Team

At NTU in Mansfield, our award-winning Employability team is here to inspire and enhance your career planning, whichever path you choose. Whether you wish to go on to further study or to look for job opportunities, we can guide you to be a successful candidate.

Campus and facilities

We are continually investing in our facilities and transforming our learning and teaching environment to create an inspiring and innovative atmosphere. Nottingham Trent University (NTU) has announced an exciting new partnership with West Nottinghamshire College, which will see its higher education (HE) provision delivered from the College’s main campus in Mansfield. Teaching will take place at the College’s £6.5 million University Centre, which opened in 2016 and which is equipped with the latest facilities and state-of-the-art technology. Facilities include:

  • Diner and Courtyard Café
  • Learning resource centre
  • Social spaces
  • Sports hall
  • Student support services
  • Students' Union
  • Dedicated study zones including PC suites

Entry requirements

What are we looking for?

  • A-levels – DDE; or
  • BTEC Extended Diploma – MPP; or
  • 64 UCAS Tariff points from three A-levels or equivalent qualifications; and
  • GCSEs – English and Maths grade C/4.

Other requirements:

You may also need to complete:

  • an enhanced level Disclosure and Barring Service check; and
  • a Prohibition Order check; and
  • a satisfactory placement suitability check.

Other qualifications and experience

We consider equivalent qualifications and combinations, please see UCAS course search for details and use our calculator to help you work out how many UCAS points your qualifications relate to.

We may also consider credits achieved at other universities and your work/life experience through an assessment of prior learning. This may be for year one entry, or beyond the beginning of a course where applicable, for example, into year 2. Our Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfer Policy outlines the process and options available for this route.

Contextual offers

As well as assessing your application and qualifications, we use contextual data and information to make offers for this course. Depending on your circumstances, we may make you an offer up to two grades below the standard entry criteria. Find out how we assess your application.

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please email our Admissions and Enquiries Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200.

This course is not suitable for tier 4 visa applicants.

We accept qualifications from schools, colleges and universities all over the world for entry onto our undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. If you’re not sure how your international qualification matches our course requirements please visit our international qualifications page.

Fees and funding

Preparing for the financial side of student life is important, but there’s no need to feel anxious and confused about it. We hope that our fees and funding pages will answer all your questions.

Additional costs

Your course fees cover the cost of studies, and include loads of great benefits, such as the use of our brand-new library, industry-standard workshops and study spaces, support from our expert Employability team, and free use of the IT equipment across our campuses.

Library books

You’ll need to cover the cost of your own books, standard drawing and writing equipment and consumables. However, our NTU in Mansfield library is home to a wide range of books, journals and materials (many of which you can access online) – meaning you may not need to purchase as many books as you might think! Our library team work closely with our academics to ensure that our library collection closely matches the topics you’ll be studying, to provide relevant resources for you to use, free of charge.

Printing and materials costs

Students should also budget approximately £100 per year to cover any printing that they may require to support their studies.


If you're undertaking a placement year, you'll need to budget for accommodation and any travel costs you may incur whilst on placement. Many of our placement students do earn a salary whilst on placement which can help to cover these living costs.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service.

Tel: +44 (0)115 848 2494

This course is not suitable for tier 4 visa applicants.

We accept qualifications from schools, colleges and universities all over the world for entry onto our undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. If you’re not sure how your international qualification matches our course requirements please visit our international qualifications page.

How to apply

Ready to join us? Then apply as soon as you can. Just click the Apply button at the top of the page and follow the instructions for applying. Make sure you check the entry requirements above carefully before you do.

Keeping up to date

After you’ve applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

You can get more information and advice about applying to NTU on our Your Application page. Good luck with your application!

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please call us on +44 (0)115 848 4200 or complete our enquiry form.