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Criminology BA (Hons)

  • Level(s) of Study: Undergraduate
  • UCAS Code(s): L330
  • Start Date(s): September 2023
  • Duration: Three years full-time
  • Study Mode(s): Full-time
  • Campus: City Campus
  • Entry Requirements:
    More information


Through an exciting combination of theory and practice, our BA (Hons) Criminology course will give you a unique opportunity to understand how crime relates to the real-world and how criminology can enable meaningful change.

Supported by a diverse team of expert staff with industry experience across different areas of criminology and policing, you’ll undertake a range of modules underpinned by cutting-edge research and strong relationships with the police, probation service and other criminal justice agencies.

  • As well as opportunities to undertake work experience at a number of organisations, students on the course can apply for a year-long paid placement as a Prison Officer*. Successful students will be changed onto the BA (Hons) Criminology (Prison Sandwich) four-year course.
  • Tailor your learning. In your final year, you’ll have the chance to specialise through choosing distinctive optional modules related to your interests and chosen future career path.
  • Experiences beyond the classroom. Explore how crime relates to the real-world through exciting field trips to courts, the National Justice Museum and more. Students also have the opportunity to study abroad.
  • Our students have gone on to develop their careers in a range of areas including roles in the Police, Probation Officer, roles in the Ministry of Justice and Home Office, UN Case Worker, Independent Domestic Violence Advisor, Intelligence Analyst, Community Safety roles and more.

*The Prison Officer placement opportunity is via a competitive application and vetting process.

What you’ll study

Over three years (or four on the Prison Sandwich route), you’ll experience a range of modules that combine theory and practice. You’ll explore the justice process, establish how data can be utilised to understand crime, learn from a programme of guest speakers and work with practitioners, academics and community members to find potential solutions to real-world live projects.

In your final year, you’ll have the opportunity to specialise through optional modules delivered by experts in their field.

Core modules

The Criminal Justice Process

In this module, you’ll be introduced to the systems, processes and agencies that have evolved to deliver justice to offenders, victims and wider society. You’ll consider how competing philosophies and models of justice have helped to shape the modern Criminal Justice System in England and Wales (and beyond), whilst applying your knowledge to real world practice through case-studies, probation reviews, court visits and practitioner insights.

Current Issues In Criminology

Through a programme of invited speakers, you’ll be introduced to a range of current issues influencing theory, policy and practice in the Criminal Justice System and beyond. You’ll begin to examine a range of contemporary crime types and issues and consider the challenges associated with understanding and responding to crime and criminality.

Constructing Crime

In this module, you’ll understand how crime, deviance and victimisation are legally and socially constructed. Looking at the bigger picture, you’ll explore the answers to questions such as: what is crime? Who determines this? What is the role for morals and ethics? How do different stakeholders shape the conversation about crime and why does it matter?

Crime Research

This module provides the framework needed to establish what sort of data we can use to understand and interpret crime, deviance and victimisation, and how it can be recorded. You’ll gain key research design skills, tools and techniques and learn how to use real-world crime research as the basis for developing and applying your understanding.

Crime, Place and Justice

Learn how to identify how different types of crime and deviance can be affected by location, space and place. In this module, you’ll explore the heterogeneous nature of crime, where it is commissioned and those that commit it. You’ll utilise these skills and apply them directly to crime and justice issues within Nottingham as a mode of understanding crime in the real world.

Core modules

Managing Justice

Building on the justice process foundations developed in Year 1, this module explores the way in which ‘offenders’ and ‘victims’ are constructed and managed within the contemporary Criminal Justice System. You’ll learn about issues relating to governance and accountability, diversity and discrimination in the Criminal Justice System, how we assess and manage risk and dangerousness, media narratives and the impact of populist discourse, implementing effective multi-agency and joined-up criminal justice, and future directions in managing justice (e.g., restorative justice).

Explaining Crime

By assessing the merits of competing theories relevant to crime, victimisation and responses to crime together with the role of criminology in society, you’ll explore the developments in criminological thought through the lens of disciplines such as sociology, psychology and criminology.

Applied Criminology

Using action research, you will work with practitioners, academics and community members to explore potential solutions to ‘real world’ live projects. Through the process of reflective practice, this module seeks to better understand how we might align the ‘doing’ of criminology with concepts such as active citizenship, identity, human rights and ultimately, ‘justice’.

Advanced Crime Research

In this module, you’ll develop your understanding of the practicalities and issues related to real-world research. You’ll explore the ethical and philosophical questions underpinning criminological research, incorporating concepts such as writing research proposals, project planning and the design of research tools and data analysis – further developing your qualitative and quantitative research skills.

Crime Reduction and Community Safety

Through exploring the nature, history and social context of crime prevention, you’ll evaluate the different approaches and models that have been developed to reduce crime and promote community safety.

Core modules

Future Directions in Criminology

By exploring prevalent and emergent crime types, you’ll develop a critical understanding of how the implementation and evaluation of policy responses to crime and wider social problems translate for practitioners, service users and those researching within this context. You’ll also be asked to critically evaluate the alignment between social and criminal justice, and the role that critical criminology plays in this.

Dissertation / Research Project

Utilising the skills that you have developed as a researcher, you will have the opportunity to undertake a substantial piece of self-directed work in an area of criminology that interests you – further building on your employability skill set. Your Research Project can be entirely theoretical or draw upon empirical work (including working with a local organisation).

Optional Modules

Media and Crime

This module will help you develop a critical understanding of theories that shape the connections between criminology and media studies and discover distinct approaches and representations of crime by mass and new media. You’ll explore current issues faced by the media, such as discussions about fake news and how the media approach criminal and antisocial behaviours.

Cultural Criminology

On this module, you’ll explore the limitations of existing orthodox explanations of crime, deviance and transgression and understand the relationship of cultural criminology within a broader criminological theoretical landscape.

Crime, Race and Empire

Develop an understanding of the relationship between punishment and society in colonial contexts and a familiarity of non-westernised perspectives of justice and punishment. This module will help you develop a critical awareness of historical resistance to punishment and understand and critically apply post and decolonial critiques of crime and punishment.

Gender and Crime

Explore the theoretical links between gender, crime, justice and the socio-historical context in which these theories emerged.  You will critically assess classical and contemporary feminist criminological perspectives and critically evaluate the debates surrounding the differential treatment of women and men in the Criminal Justice System as victims, offenders and/or professionals.

Hate Crime, Identity and Citizenship

As criminologists, we are aware that human societies are characterised by diversity yet some minority groups have radically different experiences of offences that are motivated by bias, prejudice and ‘hate’. It is also the case that criminal justice responses to tackling hate crimes sometimes fail to meet their stated outcomes and in some cases, worsen the experiences of victims. As such, this module aims to explore the ways in which crime and responses to it are shaped by prejudicial attitudes towards disability, race/ethnicity, gender, class, sexuality and religion. The module will explore the nature of hate crimes, and legislative and policy responses to such behaviours, whilst also assessing the impact of the intersectionality, which exists between social divisions within the UK.

Drugs, Crime and Justice

On this module you will critically assess the local, national and international significance, prevalence and nature of drug use, misuse and harm. You will explore the complexities and impacts of drugs on society and gain a critical understanding of the political, legislative and criminal justice responses to drug-related activity in England and Wales.

Young People, Crime and Justice

On this module you will critically assess the local, national and international significance, prevalence and nature of drug use, misuse and harm. You will explore the complexities and impacts of drugs on society and gain a critical understanding of the political, legislative and criminal justice responses to drug-related activity in England and Wales.

Inequalities and Crime

This module will build your understanding of the roles that inequalities can play in crime and our responses. You’ll evaluate complex social problems in terms of criminological theories of crime, class, victimisation and responses to crime and deviance and explore the ways which crime control strategies can help both alleviate and compound wider inequalities in experiences of crime and victimisation.

Serious and Organised Crime

Look back at the development, typologies and evolution of ‘Organised Crime Groups’ over time and build an understanding of the UK’s Organised Crime issues and how they are seated in an international context. You’ll explore the complexities of involvement in and impacts of serious and organised crime, as well as the impact developing technologies have on this issue.

Green Criminology

On this module, you’ll explore issues of green criminology and how they are seated within both a local and international context. You’ll critically appraise the effectiveness or green criminological issues and human rights issues in relation to preventive and pre-emptive measures. You’ll also look at future trajectories and challenges for green crim control within local and international communities.


Develop an understanding of theoretical debates surrounding contemporary cyber threats across the globe. You’ll demonstrate a critical appreciation of the complexities of involvement in, and impacts of, Cybercrime and its threats to victims and analyse the effectiveness of responses from criminal justice systems, police forces and the state.

Don’t just take our word for it, hear from our students themselves

Student Profiles

Joao Paulo Garrido


Staff at NTU always go that extra mile and that is what makes this university and community unique.

Hannah Murfitt


Studying at Nottingham has been the stepping stone I needed to realise what I wanted to do for my future prospects, as well as providing me with the best three years ever!

Sam Phillips


It has been the best experience of my life and would not change any of it. There are so many different opportunities and things to enjoy!

Zac Hughes


There are loads of useful opportunities to gain real life experience during your studies.

Joanne Webster


Studying at NTU and having the support of the team has allowed me to develop and grow both professionally and personally and recognise that I am capable of achieving things I hadn’t dreamed of.

How you’re taught

To provide you with a first-class learning experience and to guarantee you have an opportunity to make the most of your time at university, you'll receive contact time through a diverse range of delivery methods. Structured teaching will be delivered through a combination of traditional lectures, seminars and workshops. The smaller group seminars and workshops provide opportunities to develop your skills in problem-solving, group working, analysis, debating, and presentation. They also give you the chance to get involved in discussions about a wide range of views.

Tutorials with staff

As the relationship between students and tutors is an important one, you can expect to have lots of direct contact and support through seminars and one-to-one tutorials. At these sessions you'll have the opportunity to discuss and gain feedback about your work, ask questions about the projects you're working on, and raise any difficulties you are experiencing relating to your work, personal circumstances or your university experience.

Independent study

Independent study is an important part of this course. Throughout your three years of study, the scheduled contact hours you receive will gradually decrease as you develop the skills required to undertake an independent study or write a dissertation in your final year. You'll still have regular contact with your tutors and, if necessary, ad hoc tutorials can be arranged.

Virtual learning environment

You'll use our virtual learning environment, NOW, which is a flexible web-based system that allows you to have 24-hour access to module learning materials and reading lists. It allows you to discuss work with tutors and other students, and submit coursework electronically from anywhere in the world.

Learning from experts

You'll be taught by enthusiastic, engaged and expert staff. The course draws upon the multidisciplinary nature of the team through their expertise, research interests and experience. Many have also published textbooks in their specialist area of interest.

Learn a new language

Alongside your study you also have the opportunity to learn a new language. The University Language Programme (ULP) is available to all students and gives you the option of learning a totally new language or improving the skills you already have.

Learning a new language can:

  • enhance your communication skills
  • enrich your experience when travelling abroad
  • boost your career prospects.

Find out more about the University Language Programme.

Prison Officer experience

You may have the opportunity to extend you degree and undertake a year-long placement in a Prison between Year Two and your final year of study. Places will be confirmed in Year One when you can find out more about what the placement will involve and how to apply. Places are subject to change and are in agreement with HM Prison Service on a yearly basis.

How will I be assessed?

In your first year the majority of your work will be assessed through formal examinations with some coursework-based assignments. In your second year you'll be assessed by a combination of exams, coursework-based essays and reports, as well as policy papers. Assessments in your final year will focus around your dissertation or independent study as well as coursework and exams. In response to student feedback, the University have introduced a policy ensuring marked work is returned to you electronically within three weeks of submission.

Contact hours

  • Year 1 lectures/seminars/workshops (25%), independent study (75%)
  • Year 2 lectures/seminars/workshops (21%), independent study (71%) and placement (8%)
  • Year 3 lectures/seminars/workshops (19%), independent study (81%)

Staff Profiles

Kristan Hopkins

Senior Lecturer

School of Social Sciences

Kristan Hopkins

Christopher Crowther-Dowey

Senior Lecturer

School of Social Sciences

Christopher Crowther-Dowey

Claire Cohen

Senior Lecturer

School of Social Sciences

Claire Cohen

Dr Irene Zempi

Associate Professor

School of Social Sciences

Dr Irene Zempi is an Associate Professor in Criminology in the School of Social Sciences at Nottingham Trent University.

How you’re assessed

  • Year 1 coursework (67%) and written (33%)
  • Year 2 coursework (56%), written (17%) and practical (27%)
  • Year 3 coursework (50%), written (43%) and practical (7%)

Careers and employability

Excellent work experience opportunities

If you choose to complete the BA (Hons) Criminology course you'll study a Service Learning Placement module you'll get the opportunity to complete a focused piece of research or undertake a period of voluntary work for an external organisation.

Alternatively, there may be the opportunity to take a year-long placement in a prison, giving you a unique insight into the work of HM Prison Service and providing an excellent start to your career. Places are subject to approval by HM Prison Service and will be announced during Year One of your course.

Your career development

When you graduate you'll be eligible for graduate membership of the British Criminological Society, and you'll be well placed to embark on a successful career in the police, prison and probation services. You'll have developed a range of knowledge-specific and transferable skills including communication, presentation, and problem-solving. You'll be able to use a selection of forms of information technology to gather, analyse and present criminological data.

On completion of the course, you may also be interested in a career working in local community safety initiatives, drug projects, or other welfare contexts. Others continue studying on a postgraduate criminology course.

Our Employability team

We have a dedicated Employability team located on the City Campus. The team are well placed to give you specialist guidance and practical help that will really make a difference to your prospects once you do graduate.

Campus and facilities

As a Social Sciences student you will have easy access to the fantastic facilities in the Chaucer and Taylor buildings, including:

  • lecture theatres and teaching classrooms
  • open access PCs and secure wireless points
  • study areas and social spaces
  • Chaucer café, serving drinks and light snacks
  • our School of Social Sciences reception, providing you with easy access to our helpful and friendly support staff.

IT resources

Our IT resource rooms and PC clusters are distributed across the City Campus, with PCs providing access to:

  • Microsoft Office
  • email
  • web browsing
  • networked file storage
  • high-speed online printing services

The University’s main resource room in the library is available 24 hours a day.

Book and library resources

In our library you will have access to an extensive and diverse range of books and periodicals that focus on specialist areas within Criminology. The library's OneSearch system provides access to all our:

  • electronic resources
  • journals
  • books.

We have a liaison librarian who is available to give you detailed help in finding and using print and electronic resources. They can also help you with things such as Harvard referencing and research skills.

City location

The location of the City Campus also means that you have easy access to:

  • sports facilities
  • shops
  • student accommodation
  • music venues
  • cafés.

Entry requirements

    What are we looking for?

    • 112 – 120 UCAS Tariff points from up to four qualifications
    • GCSE English and Maths grade C / 4.

    To find out what qualifications have tariff points, please use our tariff calculator.

    Other requirements

    A Disclosure and Barring Service check will be necessary if you wish to become a Special Constable, but it is not required for admission onto the course.

    Other qualifications and experience

    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

    A lower offer may be made based on a range of factors, including your background (such as where you live and the school or college you attended), your experiences and individual circumstances (you may have been in care, for example). This is called a contextual offer and we get data from UCAS to make these decisions. NTU offers a student experience like no other and this approach helps us to find students who have the potential to succeed here but who may have faced barriers that make it more difficult to access university. Find out how we assess your application.

    Getting in touch

    If you need more help or information, get in touch through our enquiry form.

For this course, you need one of the following:

  • 120 UCAS Tariff points from up to four qualifications.
  • GCSE English and Maths grade C / 4.

Other requirements:

A Disclosure and Barring Service check will be necessary if you wish to become a Special Constable, but it is not required for admission onto the course.

International qualifications

We accept qualifications from all over the world – check yours here:

Undergraduate preparation courses (Foundation)

If you don’t yet meet our entry requirements, we offer Foundation courses through our partner Nottingham Trent International College (NTIC), based on our City Campus:

English language entry requirements

You can meet our language requirements by successfully completing our pre-sessional English course for an agreed length of time, or by submitting the required grade in one of our accepted English language tests, such as IELTS:

Advanced standing (starting your undergraduate degree in year 2 or 3)

You may be able to start your undergraduate course in year 2 or 3 based on what you have studied before.  This decision would be made in accordance with our Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfer Policy.

Would you like some advice on your study plans?

Our international teams are highly experienced in answering queries from students all over the world. We also have members of staff based in Vietnam, China, India and Nigeria and work with a worldwide network of education counsellors.

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 library, support from our expert Employability team, and free use of the IT equipment across our campuses.

Library books

Most study modules will recommend one or more core text books, which most students choose to purchase. Book costs vary and further information is available in the University’s bookshop. Our libraries provide a good supply of essential text 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! There may also be a supply of second-hand books available for purchase from previous year students.

Field trips

All essential field trip costs will be included in your course fees. There may be the opportunity to take part in optional field trips, which do incur additional costs.


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.

Print and copy costs

The University allocates an annual printing and copying allowance of £20 depending on the course you are studying. For more details about costs for additional print and copying required over and above the annual allowance please see the Printing, photocopying and scanning information on the Library website.

Getting in touch

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

Tel: +44 (0)115 848 2494

Tuition fees

Mode of study

International tuition fee



Please note the fees shown are for 2023 entry.

Tuition fees are payable for each year that you are at the University. The level of tuition fees for the second and subsequent years of your undergraduate course may increase in line with inflation and as specified by the UK government.


We offer scholarships of up to 50% of your tuition fee. You can apply for your scholarship when you have an offer to study at NTU.

Living costs

Get advice on the cost of living as an international student in Nottingham and how to budget:

Paying fees

Find out about advanced payments, instalment plan options and how to make payments securely to the University:

Would you like some advice on your study plans?

Our international teams are highly experienced in answering queries from students all over the world. We also have members of staff based in Vietnam, China, India and Nigeria and work with a worldwide network of education counsellors.

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.

Writing your application and personal statement

Be honest, thorough and persuasive in your application. Remember that we can only make a decision based on what you tell us, so include all of your qualifications and grades, including resits or predicted grades.

Your personal statement is a really important part of your application – it’s your chance to convince us why we should offer you a place. You’ve got 4,000 characters to impress us. Make sure you use them to show how your skills and qualities are relevant to the course(s) you’re applying for. For more hints and tips, take a look at our page on how to write a good personal statement.

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!

You can apply for this course through UCAS. If you are not applying to any other UK universities, you can apply directly to us on our NTU applicant portal.

Application advice

Apply early so that you have enough time to prepare – processing times for Student visas can vary, for example.  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.

Writing your personal statement

Be honest, thorough, and persuasive – we can only make a decision about your application based on what you tell us:

Would you like some advice on your study plans?

Our international teams are highly experienced in answering queries from students all over the world. We also have members of staff based in Vietnam, China, India and Nigeria and work with a worldwide network of education counsellors.

The University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.