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Undergraduate course

Criminology with Police Studies BA (Hons)

Study crime and modern policing to gain the critical thinking skills used in our criminal justice system.

This Criminology with Police Studies programme combines the academic study of issues relating to crime and deviance with modules covering aspects of modern policing. You will gain an understanding of crime and deviance and how the policing system responds these factors.

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

York campus

  • UCAS Code – L3N2
  • Duration – 3 years full-time | 6 years part-time
  • Start date – September 2020, September 2021
  • 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 2020-21 £9,250 per year

    International 2020-21 £12,750 per year

The York St John Experience

Course overview

The programme provides you with excellent foundational knowledge of criminology and policing. We will work with you to develop a critical understanding of the relationship between theory and empiricism and help you to initiate, design, plan and execute research that supports your personal interests. There is an emphasis on the development of reasoned thought and action and transferable critical thinking skills.

You will develop proficiency in using criminological theories and methods to analyse complex social problems related to policing, such as domestic violence,  mental health and community policing. Students also gain a sound understanding of various theoretical perspectives and are trained in the qualitative and  quantitative research methods used by criminologists and police.

Graduates find employment in professional areas such as law enforcement, policing, criminal justice, youth work, working with vulnerable groups and research.
This degree also provides an excellent basis for further studies.

Course structure

Level 1


Researching and Presenting (20 credits)

This module will introduce you to the core skills for Undergraduate study such as referencing, evaluating sources and how to present your work in a range of ways.

Fundamentals of Criminological Theory (20 credits)

This module introduces you to a range of key issues and concepts that will underpin the three years of your course.

Police and Policing 

20 credits | Compulsory 

Preventing and Punishing

20 credits | Compulsory

This module considers the changing ways in which society seeks to stop crime happening or punishes it when it does.

Introduction to Criminal Justice (20 credits)

An introduction to how the criminal justice system operates and what it means for criminology.

Victimology (20 credits)

The role of the victim is relatively new. This module will encourage you to question why some individuals or groups perceived as more vulnerable, and explore how are they dealt with by society.

Community Policing (20 credits)

This module explores the changing nature of community policing in a social and political context. You will be introduced to signal crimes, signal disorder and the development of problem-oriented policing (POP) and partnership working. You'll also engage with underpinning theories. · Preventing and Punishing: This module considers the changing ways in which society seeks to stop crime happening or punishes it when it does.

Level 2


Social Research Methods 2

20 credits | Compulsory

Many jobs involve making sense of data, this module gives you the skills to use software packages to provide an analysis of data.

Working with Criminology

20 credits | Compulsory

This module provides the opportunity to consider careers that reflect criminology.

Issues in Criminal Justice

20 credits | Optional

This module explores how the criminal justice system deals with crimes and those accused of crime. It considers miscarriages of justice and questions what justice is.

Crime and the Economy

20 credits | Optional

This module will help you to develop a critical understanding of the links between the economy and the incidence of crime.

Ethnicity, Nationality and Social Control

20 credits | Optional

This module considers the ways ethnicity and nationality has an impact upon the involvement in crime and how crime is punished.

Public Safety

20 credits | Optional

A module which focuses on the elements of policing which involve keeping the public safe and what this can meas in practice.

Evidence-based Policing 

20 credits | Optional

Examine how research informs policing styles and strategies by analysing research from 1970s to the present day. You'll compare the Standard Style of Policing with developments such as Problem Solving, Community Policing and an Intelligence approach to question traditional reactive methods.

Social Research Methods 1

20 credits | Compulsory

This module gives you the skills to carry out qualitative research, something that is relevant to the level 3 investigation and to work.

Level 3


Criminological Investigation

40 credits | Compulsory

This is your opportunity to plan, carry out and write up your own research as a journal article which reflects those that are published.

Sex Work

20 credits | Optional

This module examines sex work and the Criminal Justice Systems’ response to it in a variety of societies at different points in history.

Critical Criminology

20 credits | Optional

This module studies the complex relationships between crime, control and power within the context of globalisation and with a consideration of how the local and the global are linked.


20 credits | Optional

In this module you'll apply sociological theories to make sense of murder, the motives and the

Professional Organised Crime

20 credits | Optional

On this module, you will examine Professional and Organised crime in Britain from both a comparative and historical perspective. You will consider the evolution and history of organised crime within working class communities and explore how it was seen as a craft requiring apprenticeship and the development of specific skills. You will look at the evolution of the Mafia, the drugs market and explore methodological approaches to understanding these organised crime networks.

Solving Social Problems

20 credits | Optional

This module considers how social problem develop and how we may tackle these issues. You'll explore issues such as migration, employment, housing, health, and criminal justice particularly in the local area.

Crime and Media

20 credits | Optional

Crime is not always represented in an accurate or realistic way in popular culture. This module considers crime within the media in a broad sense.

Prisons and Penology

20 credits | Optional

This module will introduce debates about the value of prisons ranging from prison as punishment and deterrent to the need for rehabilitation.

Urban criminology

20 credits | Optional

Studies how forms of social control are unequally distributed, particularly in cities.

Youth and Resistance

20 credits | Optional

Young people inhabit a social world shaped by others. How can they, how do they, resist and how is resistance dealt with?

Managing Demand for Policing

20 credits | Optional

Although crime is falling some offences are increasing, such as sexual offences, certain types of assaults, murder and child sex exploitation, domestic abuse and incidents involving mental health issues are also rising. In the context of falling police numbers this raises significant questions around organization structures, leadership and neoliberal discourse.

Safeguarding (Sex and Exploitation) 

20 credits | Optional

This module examines the National Crime Agency’s and police’s role in the safeguarding of vulnerable adults and children, including domestic abuse, sex exploitation, forced labour and modern day slavery.

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. 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. Policing modules are taught by staff with significant experience of police work at different levels. They bring a unique insight into the course and draw on real police work alongside academic work.

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

Foundation Year

This course is available with a foundation year. This option is ideal if you do not yet meet the minimum requirements for entry straight onto a degree course, or feel you are not quite ready for the transition to Higher Education. A foundation year prepares you for degree level study, giving you the confidence and skills needed to make the most of your course. Passing it guarantees you a place on this degree course the following academic year.

Foundation courses

Personal Statement

Essential criteria

As well as a strong standard of written English, we also look for the ability to demonstrate commitment to the subject. This can be done in a variety of ways, for example, through previous study, wider reading and a personal interest in the field of Criminology and/or Policing.

Valued criteria

Candidates can demonstrate a real enthusiasm for the subject that goes beyond achieving good grades in exams. Examples of this include

  • Completing volunteer work
  • Subscribing/reading relevant journals/magazines
  • Doing further relevant study
  • Discussion of future career plans
  • Evidencing transferrable skills e.g. team work, independence, initiative

Candidates should use the personal statement to talk about what they have learnt from their experiences and how this will support their studies. Tell us why you have chosen to study Criminology and Policing Studies what you want to get from taking this course. Use it to reveal what interests you.

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.

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