BA (Hons)

Criminology

Crime scene tape
  • UCAS code(s): L330
  • Level(s) of study: Undergraduate
  • Study mode(s): Full-time
  • Location: City Campus
  • Starting: September 2018
  • Course duration: 3 year(s)
  • Entry requirements: More information

The BA (Hons) Criminology course offers an exciting combination of the theory, policy and practice of criminology and criminal justice studies. You'll have the opportunity to take a number of modules underpinned by cutting-edge research and strong relationships with the police, the probation service, and other criminal justice agencies.

Why choose this course?

  • You'll have the chance to specialise through choosing distinctive optional modules, delivered by experts in their subjects.
  • All modules draw on external practitioners' experiences and knowledge to provide additional real-world perspectives.
  • You can gain unique insights into the practical dimensions of criminology through accredited work experience opportunities in a number of organisations. There is also the opportunity to study abroad through our Erasmus+ programme, as well as the option to undertake a research project that will make a difference to a local organisation's work within the community.

Accredited by:

College of Policing Approved Provider 2017-18

What you'll study

*We are currently reviewing the content of our courses to ensure that they remain relevant and current to our students’ future ambitions and society. Please continue to check this course webpage for the latest developments.

This degree offers you the opportunity to specialise through choosing distinctive optional modules delivered by experts in their subjects. All modules draw on external practitioners' experiences and knowledge to provide additional real-world perspectives.

In Year Two of the course you can gain unique insights into the practical dimensions of criminology through accredited work experience opportunities in a number of organisations. There may also be the opportunity to study abroad through our Erasmus+ programme. The opportunities for work experience continue in Year Three with the chance to undertake a research project that will make a difference to a local organisation's work with the community.

  • Year One

    Core modules (all students)

    • Introduction to the Criminal Justice System
      This module aims to provide you with a clear introduction and overview of the UK criminal justice system (CJS), in terms of origins, structure and development, as well as examining the impact of social issues such as gender, age, ethnicity and social class upon and within the system.
    • Introduction to the Sociology and Psychology of Crime
      This module serves as the fundamental basis for you to explore key sociological and psychological concepts for the explanation of crime and deviancy, and the potential applicability of such models to real-world criminal justice issues.
    • Law, Sentencing and Punishment
      This module will facilitate a knowledge and understanding of the legal foundations of the criminal justice system, as well as the general principles of substantive criminal law and sentencing in England and Wales.
    • Developing a Criminological Imagination
      This module is the starting point of your journey in applying learning and criminological imagination to the discipline and to the wider community through the discovery, development and application of the research skills necessary to meet the academic challenges of the degree and beyond.
    • Explaining Criminal Behaviour
      This module provides you with an introduction to a range of theoretical explanations for crime and criminality, adopted by schools of thought from disciplines such as sociology, psychology, and criminology.
    • Understanding Crime and Society
      This module provides you with an introduction to a range of socio-economic, neighbourhood and community contextual factors that impact upon the nature and level of crime – and which also shape how crime is responded to, both by government organisations and wider society.
  • Year Two

    Core modules (all students)

    • Crime Reduction, Community Safety and Risk
      This module provides you with an overview of the evolution of crime reduction, community safety and the notion of ‘risk’, and how such factors have developed into a central tenet of contemporary criminal justice policy.
    • Policing
      This module provides you with an appreciation of three key areas of focus: the history and development of the British police; the core functions and powers of police officers; and the key issues for, and impacts on, British policing.
    • Diversity of Crimes and Prejudice
      This module explores the ways in which crime and legislative policy responses to it are shaped by prejudicial attitudes towards disability, race and ethnicity, gender, class, sexuality, and religion.
    • Penology
      This module provides you with an appreciation of the evolution, conditions and structure of the modern penal system (especially with regards to prisons and community sentences) whilst exploring the key debates in penology and the future of punishment delivery.
    • Criminology and Service Learning
      In our dedicated service learning placements within social, civic and criminal justice organisations, you will apply your criminological imagination to real-world issues and problems, and work with practitioners, academics and community members to propose and test solutions. Alternatively you may have the opportunity to study abroad as part of our Erasmus+ foreign exchange scheme.
  • Final year

    Core modules (all students)

    • Contemporary Criminological Theory and Research
      This module serves to advance your understanding of the major theoretical traditions that have informed criminology, while also applying such models to real-world issues and reflecting on the principles that underpin such a process.
    • Dissertation / Research Project
      The research project requires you to utilise a number of key skills gained in Years One and Two of the course, and apply them to a sustained piece of individual research on a specific criminological issue.

    Optional modules

    Pick three modules, one each from blocks A, B and C:

    A

    • Sex and Violent Crimes
      The module is essentially divided into two parts. The first part explores sexual and violent offending within a theoretical context, and the second part of the module focuses on responses to sexual and violent offending.
    • Young People, Crime and Justice
      This module provides an overview of the historical development of the juvenile justice system in Great Britain, together with an evaluation of the current criminal justice responses to juvenile justice.

    B

    • Drugs and Society
      This module provides a detailed understanding of the wider social context of drug use, together with an examination of the effects of drug consumption and addiction on individual users.
    • Miscarriages of Justice
      Explore the problems surrounding the delivery of justice in England and Wales through a comprehensive analysis of the nature, scale and impact of miscarriages of justice.

    C

    • Hi-tech Crime
      This module examines the evolution and dynamics of offending, and the implications for wider society of the main forms of crime and deviance taking place on the Internet.
    • International Crime
      This module develops your awareness of the problems associated with: transnational crime; crime issues of significance to the international community; the social, political, legal and policy difficulties associated with such crime types.

Course specification

View the full course specification
Please note that course specifications may be subject to change

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.

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.

Learning from expert staff
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.

Assessment methods

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

Contact hours

A full-time student on average can expect to spend 1200 hours a year learning which will typically be broken down as follows:

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

95% of BA (Hons) Criminology full-time students agree that staff are good at explaining things. (National Student Survey 2016)

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. You may also have the opportunity to study abroad through the Erasmus + foreign exchange scheme. Find out more about studying abroad.

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.

The job titles below give an indication of the careers our recent Criminology graduates are following:*

  • Border Force assistant officer
  • Police constable
  • Prison officer
  • Paralegal officer
  • Youth support worker
  • Investigative officer in the police
  • Crime prevention and alert administrator
  • Special constable
  • Executive officer immigration case owner
  • Researcher in the police
  • Probation officer
  • Court liaison officer
  • Data intelligence developer in the police
  • Police officer.

*Latest DLHE survey undergraduate results, 2011-12 and 2014-15.

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.

92% of BA (Hons) Criminology students go on to work or further study within six months. (Latest DLHE survey 2014-15)

95% of BA (Hons) Criminology full-time students agree that the library resources and services are good enough for their needs. (National Student Survey 2016)

Entry requirements

For September 2018 entry you will need:

  • A-levels – BBC; or
  • BTEC Extended Diploma – DMM; or
  • 112 UCAS Tariff points from three A-levels or equivalent qualifications; and
  • GCSEs – English and Maths or Science grade C / 4.

We also consider equivalent qualifications and combinations. Please see our website or UCAS Course Search for more details.

  • A Disclosure and Barring Service check (formerly known as a Criminal Records Bureau disclosure) will be necessary if you wish to become a Special Constable, but it is not required for admission onto the course.

The UCAS Tariff

We've created this calculator to help you work out how many UCAS points your qualifications relate to.

Getting in touch

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

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

For September 2018 entry you will need:

  • A-levels – BBC; or
  • BTEC Extended Diploma – DMM; or
  • 112 UCAS Tariff points from three A-levels or equivalent qualifications; and
  • GCSEs – English and Maths or Science grade C / 4.

We also consider equivalent qualifications and combinations.

  • A Disclosure and Barring Service check (formerly known as a Criminal Records Bureau disclosure) will be necessary if you wish to become a Special Constable, but it is not required for admission onto the course.

Foundation courses
If you need to do a foundation course to meet our course requirements, please visit Nottingham Trent International College (NTIC). If you’re already studying in the UK at a school or college and would like to know if we can accept your qualification, please visit our foundation courses page.

English language entry requirements
If English is not your first language, you need to show us that your language skills are strong enough for intensive academic study. We usually ask for an IELTS test, and we accept some alternative English language tests.

For a list of our language requirements, please visit our English language page.

If you need to do a pre-sessional English language course to meet the English requirements, please visit our pre-sessional English course page.

Help and support
If you have any questions about your qualifications, or about making an application to the University, please contact our international team for advice.

University preparation courses
If you do not meet the entry requirements, you may be interested in our Foundation courses at Nottingham Trent International College (NTIC), which lead onto this postgraduate or undergraduate degree if successfully completed. NTIC students are based on the City Campus and have access to all the University facilities.


Find out more about university preparation courses at NTIC.

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.

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

You can apply directly to NTU for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year. If you are applying to more than one UK university, you must apply through UCAS.


Apply as early as you can so that you have time to prepare for your studies. If you need a visa to study here, you need to plan this into your application.

Apply now

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.

Good luck with your application.

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Further information on how to apply

Need help with your application?
For admissions related enquiries please contact us:
Telephone: +44 (0)115 848 4200

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.

Getting in touch

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

Tel: +44 (0)115 848 2494

While we aim to keep any extra study costs to a minimum, please see our page on additional costs and optional extras to find out about any additional expenses you may incur on your course.

International fees and scholarships

For international and EU fees for all courses, together with advice on how to pay, please visit our international fees information.

We offer prestigious scholarships to our international students holding offers to study here. For details and an application form please visit our international scholarships information.

While we aim to keep any extra study costs to a minimum, please see our page on additional costs and optional extras to find out about any additional expenses you may incur on your course.

Still need help?

School of Social Sciences Enquiries
+44 (0)115 848 4460