Undergraduate course

Criminology BA (Hons)

Study issues of criminal justice, prevention and rehabilitation in this fascinating subject with real-world consequences.

Our Criminology programme offers you the opportunity to study issues relating to crime and deviance and understand how the justice system responds to these factors. You will acquire proficiency in using criminological theories to analyse complex social problems related to crime, diversity and equity, criminal justice, crime prevention, punishment, rehabilitation and victimology.

  • Available in Clearing

98% of Graduates from the School of Psychological & Social Sciences were in employment or further study within six months. DLHE 2017

  • UCAS Code – L6L1
  • Location – York campus
  • Duration – 3 years full-time | 6 years part-time
  • Start date – September 2019, September 2020
  • School – Psychological & Social Sciences

Minimum Entry Requirements

    96 UCAS Tariff points

    3 GCSEs at grade C/4 or above (or equivalent) including English Language

Tuition Fees

    UK and EU 2019-20 £9,250 per year

    International 2019-20 £12,750 per year

The York St John Experience

Course overview

The programme provides ample scope to pursue your own interests through assignments and opportunities to contribute to criminological debates. Students will gain a sound understanding of various theoretical perspectives and be trained in the qualitative and quantitative research methods used by criminologists.

We will work with you to develop a critical knowledge of the relationship between theory and empiricism and help you to initiate, design, planand execute research that supports your personal interests. On this course there is an emphasis on the development of reasoned thought and action and transferable critical thinking skills.

Our students develop the skills required of practitioners working with crime and deviance in the criminal justice system. Graduates find employment in professional areas including criminal justice, law enforcement, government organisations, educational institutions and agencies that work alongside policing.
They may also engage in youth work, work with vulnerable groups and undertake research. This degree also provides an excellent basis for further studies.

Course structure

Level 1


Compulsory modules

  • Introduction to Researching and Writing for Criminologists: This module deals with the basics of being an undergraduate sociology such as referencing and evaluating sources.
  • Fundamentals of Criminological Theory: An introduction to criminological theories that you will draw on through your three years studying criminology
  • Key Concepts for Criminologists: This module introduces you to a range of key issues and concepts that will underpin the three years of your course.
  • Victimology: This module the role of the victim is relatively new. Why are some individuals or groups seen as being more vulnerable, and how are they dealt with by society.
  • Crime and Deviance in a Contemporary World: This module introduces you to a range of behaviours and considers that have become seen as criminal or deviant.
  • Preventing and Punishing: This module considers the changing ways in which society seeks to stop crime happening or punishes it when it does.

All modules are worth 20 credits unless otherwise stated.

Level 2


Compulsory modules

  • Qualitative Approaches to Research: This module gives you the skills to carry out qualitative research, something that is relevant to the level 3 investigation and to work.
  • Quantitative Approaches to Research: Many jobs involve making sense of data, this module gives you the skills to use software packages and to offer analysis.
  • Working with Criminology: This module provides an opportunity to consider careers that reflect criminology through guest speakers and work to plan your future.
  • Gender, Sexuality and Crime: This module explores how gender and sexuality shape our understanding of crime and leads to different behaviours and punishments
  • Ethnicity, Crime and the Criminal Justice System: This module considers the ways in which ethnicity has an impact upon the involvement in crime and how crime is punished
  • Crime and the Economy: This module will help you to develop a critical understanding of the links between the economy and the incidence of crime

All modules are worth 20 credits unless otherwise stated.

Level 3


Compulsory modules

  • Independent study: This is your opportunity to plan, and carry out your own research then to write it up in the form of a journal article with a view to having it published. (40 credits)

Optional modules

  • Philosophical Aspects of Criminological Theory: an opportunity to develop your understanding of theory in relation to the study of crime, deviance, and harm.
  • Terrorism, State Crime and Political Violence: a general introduction into terrorism, its cause and motivations; drawing on social, cultural, and political dimensions
  • Exploring Murder: This is always a popular module. Murder is not just an individual act or tragedy. In this module we apply sociology to make sense of what we call murder.
  • Crime and Popular Culture: Crime is very popular in popular culture such as films and books but not always in accurate or realistic ways.
  • Sex Work: This module examines sex work and Criminal Justice Systems’ responses to it in a variety of societies at different points in history.
  • Youth, Crime and Justice: This module explores how children and young people are often considered within a discourse which frames them as deviant, anti-social or criminal.
  • Prisons and Penology: Introducing debates about the value of prison ranging from prison as punishment and deterrent to the need for rehabilitation.
  • Animal Abuse and Wildlife Crime: This module introduces issues relating to harm, victimisation, perpetration, and control in relation to animals and wildlife.
  • White Collar & Corportae Crime: considers contemporary economic and cultural conditions in relation to morals, ethics and criminality in relation to corporations.
  • Death and Mortality: Death is inevitable but how and why we die, and how we deal with death is not. This module considers a sociology of practices around death.

All modules are worth 20 credits, unless otherwise stated.

Teaching & Assessment

You will experience a range of teaching approaches as a student on this course. Some modules will have lectures followed by seminars. Other modules adopt a workshop style approach. You will have options with respect to the modules that you take but these are always subject to sufficient numbers. Lectures are used to provide an introduction to particular issues relevant to the module and often incorporate opportunities for asking questions via software which uses mobile phone technology. This means that you can ask questions anonymously. Seminars are smaller classes and require students to contribute. This is the opportunity to make sense of issues and concepts, to clarify how you understand things. They allow you to challenge and provide opportunities where you can be challenged.

To make the most of seminars and workshops you will be provided with guided reading and required to complete work before the class. This might be in the form of readings that are provided or it may be that you are expected to find a suitable reading that reflects that week’s class. 

In year 1 a full-time student should expect to have 10 -12 hours of timetabled classes but you should always expect to spend double this amount of time doing other work. If you are full-time expect to have 35 – 40 hours study in any week. We will support you in this. All academic staff schedule “office hours”. These are times during each week when they are available for you to call in with any queries. You will also have an Academic Tutor. Your academic tutor will arrange to see you twice a year as a minimum. During this meeting he or she will ask you about the things that are holding your grades back and provide advice and guidance to improve in the future. One way of improving may be to take advantage of the range of ways that the University can help. The York St John University Academic Support Team provides help in areas such as: study skills, written English, research skills etc. We all benefit from help at some stage and York St John has an excellent structure to make sure that you can always improve.

You can’t get a degree without taking part in assessment. You will encounter a range of assessment methods, though not exams. You may have to produce reports or essays, or be required to undertake presentations. Essays are very good for assessing understanding of theoretical issues and developing your writing skills. Reports and presentations are very good for developing the sort of skills that you need for work. Most graduate jobs will see you producing some written reports so practicing this skill here will be very helpful. Similarly, it is typical for applicants to have to make a presentation when going for a job, at all levels. We will provide you with opportunities to practice this so that you are in a better position to secure the job that you want.

You will always get feedback on your work, often in ways that will help you polish up your work before submission. Some classes will focus on how to make your work more effective to help you do your best. You will also receive feedback on assignments after submission. We aim to return marked work in three working weeks. Feedback will be aimed at showing you what is weak and how to improve so as to put you in a stronger position for the future. Your academic tutor will talk to you about how.


Entry Requirements


The minimum entry requirements for this course are:

96 UCAS Tariff points

3 GCSEs at grade C/4 or above (or equivalent) including English Language

Terms and conditions

Our terms and conditions, policies and procedures contain important information about studying at York St John University. These can be accessed through our Admissions webpages.

Fees and funding

To study for an undergraduate degree with us, you will need to pay tuition fees for your course. How much you pay will depend on whether you're a UK & EU student or an international (non-EU) student. Tuition fees are charged for each year of your course.

Find out more about funding for Foundation Year and/or Placement Year by visiting the Funding Advice pages of our website. York St John offer special reductions to students graduating from York St John University Undergraduate degrees in 2019 and continuing directly onto Postgraduate study. Find out more about discounts and scholarships. There may also be some additional costs to take into account throughout your studies, including the cost of accommodation

Tuition fees

Home / EU students

The York St John University tuition fee for the 2019 entry to Foundation Degree, BA and BSc, PGCE Primary and Secondary and UG Health Programme degrees is £9,250 per year for UK/EU, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students.

Tuition fees may be subject to inflation in future years.

Overseas students

The York St John University tuition fee for the 2019 entry to Foundation Degree, BA and BSc, PGCE degrees is £12,750 per year for international students.

Tuition fees may be subject to inflation in future years.

Funding your course

Additional costs and financial support


Whilst studying for your degree, there may be additional costs related to your course. This may include purchasing personal equipment and stationery, books and optional field trips.


For more information on tuition fee reductions and additional costs for studying abroad, please visit our study abroad webpages.



View our accommodation webpages for detailed information on accommodation and living costs.


Help and advice on funding your studies at York St John is available through our Money Advice service.

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