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Undergraduate Course

Criminology BA (Hons)

Explore what motivates offenders, how justice is delivered and how crime affects the society we live in.

Students in lecture

The study of Criminology is about more than just crime. It's an exploration of how crime impacts the world. On this course you will explore victimology and the social responses to different crimes. We will consider crime prevention, punishment, rehabilitation and the role of the criminal justice system. We will challenge you to think about how crime is shaped by society and represented in the media.

92% of Criminology students felt that their lecturers were good at explaining things. (National Student Survey 2021)

88% of Criminology students felt that they were challenged to achieve their best work. (National Student Survey 2021)

York campus

  • UCAS Code – L6L1
  • Duration – 3 years full time, 6 years part time
  • Start date – September 2022
  • School – York Business School

Minimum Entry Requirements

    104 UCAS Tariff points

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

Tuition Fees

    UK and EU 2021 entry £9,250 per year full time

    International 2021 entry £12,750 per year full time

Discover why York St John is The One

Course overview

As society evolves, crime changes too. From your first day on our course you will consider how criminological theory, and crime itself, changes. We will start by looking at the history of criminological thought. This will help you understand different types of deviance and how they are shaped by developments in society.

As you progress you can choose from a range of modules covering varied topics. This allows you to tailor your degree to your interests and future career ambitions.

On specialist modules you will learn the qualitative and quantitative research methods used by criminologists and apply them to your own research. We will introduce you to the different theoretical perspectives you will use to analyse topics such as:

  • Victimology, the study of victims of crime
  • Deviance
  • Terrorism
  • Murder.

Because we care about your ambitions we give you the chance to engage with professionals working in different sectors. You can learn from their experiences and ask advice to help you prepare for the future. 

We will help you develop your critical thinking skills so you can back up your ideas with evidence and reason. Our team of academic staff will support you throughout your studies. They are all active in social research, meaning the material you cover is the most relevant it can be. Work with them in seminars, workshops and 1 to 1 tutorials and let their expertise become your own. 

Course structure

Year 1

Our academic year is split into 2 semesters. How many modules you take each semester will depend on whether you are studying full time or part time. 

In your first year, if you are a full time student, you will study: 

  • 3 compulsory modules in semester 1
  • 3 compulsory modules in semester 2.

If you are a part time student, the modules above will be split over 2 years.

You can find out which modules are available in each semester on the Course Specifications.

Modules

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

Gain the knowledge and skills you need for successful study at university. We will introduce you to different approaches in social science research and support you to develop an awareness of the philosophical, practical and ethical debates that inform them. You will gain skills in academic reading, researching, writing and presenting. By learning these now you will be equipped to make the most of your course and succeed in the field of social science.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

This module is your introduction to theories of crime, deviance and transgression. You will study the history of criminological thought from the Enlightenment to the present day and consider how it has developed. We will start by looking at classicism and move on to study positivistic theories and later critical forms of criminological theory. You will consider all of the theories alongside the social contexts in which crime and deviance occur today. This will give you the chance to think about the nature, cause and treatment of crime.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module you will develop your understanding of contemporary social issues that have an impact on crime and deviance. You will become familiar with new forms of deviance and how developments in contemporary societies make the evolution of crime possible. Topics you will cover include:

  • Cyber crime and the internet
  • Social media
  • Environmental crime
  • Drug related deviance.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module you will explore the idea that criminal behaviour can be prevented and, where that is not possible, it can be justifiably punished. You will study the social construction of punishment, the purpose of punishment and how successful it can be. You will also consider different approaches to crime prevention, paying attention to both formal and societal approaches to policing. As part of your exploration of prevention, you will also consider rehabilitation techniques and how this can prevent reoffending.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module you will consider how some people are socially and culturally constructed as more vulnerable. You will also think about how society and the justice system interacts with these victims. This will allow you to recognise and evaluate the factors, such as age and gender, that can contribute to experiencing crime. Together we will investigate how ignoring the victim can weaken attempts to handle crime.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

This module is your chance to explore the delivery of justice in England and Wales. You will examine the main agencies and processes involved, such as:

  • The police
  • Prisons
  • Probation
  • Courts
  • Community justice.

As you explore these institutions we will introduce you to issues, questions and debates about their operation and success. We will encourage you to think critically about criminal justice and injustice and to identify problems and controversies in these institutions.

Year 2

In your second year, if you are a full time student, you will study:

  • 2 compulsory modules and 1 optional module in semester 1
  • 1 compulsory module and 2 optional modules in semester 2.

If you are a part time student, the modules above will be split over 2 years.

You can find out which modules are available in each semester on the Course Specifications.

Optional modules will run if they receive enough interest. It is not guaranteed that all modules will run every year.

Modules

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module you will study quantitative research. You will look at the different sources relevant to sociological study, the quantitative research process and identify the most commonly used methods. We will support you to obtain your own primary data through surveys and to access and evaluate secondary data. You will also perform basic descriptive statistics on the data you gather and write up your findings.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module you will focus on your employability. You will consider career opportunities that interest you and plan how to gain the experience you need to secure employment after graduation. Not only will you consider your future in the workplace, you will apply your knowledge to discuss the changing nature of work and employment and how power and inequality affect it. Guest lectures from experts in different professions will give you the chance to learn from their experiences and explore careers you may not have considered before.

Credits: 20

Optional module

On this module you will build on your knowledge of the criminal justice system as you study ethical issues and controversies facing the institution. You will discuss claims that suspects' rights have been eroded over time. Together we will address victimisation and how victims are treated by the criminal justice system. You will discuss competing theories of punishment and social control and consider how crime is becoming increasingly political.

Credits: 20

Optional module

On this module you will explore the relationship between crime and the economy. We will introduce you to the key themes in economic thought and the practices that are used to explain crime. Topics covered in the module include:

  • Social class, poverty, and crime
  • Crime and economic recession
  • Economic theory and crime
  • Austerity and crime
  • Environmental crimes
  • International finance and crime.

Credits: 20

Optional module

On this module you will explore the issues of race, ethnicity and structural inequality in society and criminal justice systems. We will introduce you to different theoretical perspectives on ethnicity, crime, victimisation and patterns of punishment. This will allow you to reflect on the policing and social control of minority groups across the world. You will study historical and contemporary accounts of minority groups' exposure to social control practices and experiences of criminal justice systems across Europe, the UK and the USA.

Credits: 20

Optional module

This module will give you an introduction to the study of terrorism, including its definition, causes and motivations. You will analyse the cultural representations and reactions to the threat and incidences of terrorism. The topics you will study include:

  • Domestic and international terrorism
  • State and corporate terror
  • The relationship between terrorism and religion
  • Emotive and subcultural motives
  • Tackling terrorism effectively
  • Terrorism and political violence in the information age.

Credits: 20

Optional module

On this module you will explore the culture of contemporary policing through a series of case studies addressing key issues in modern police practice. It offers an insight into the culture of the Police as an organisation, both locally and nationally within England and Wales. You will consider:

  • Issues such as language, misogyny and racial bias
  • The importance of subcultures within Policing
  • How cultures are researched
  • Multi Agency working
  • Policing by consent or by legislation
  • How to implement change.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module you will build on the skills you gained in your first year module, Research and Presenting. You will develop your knowledge, skills and techniques in qualitative research. You will examine and evaluate a range of qualitative methods, considering their strengths and weaknesses. Throughout the module we will encourage you to reflect on the ethical issues involved in qualitative research.

Year 3

In your third year, if you are a full time student, you will study:

  • Your Criminal Investigation module across semesters 1 and 2
  • 2 optional module in semester 1
  • 2 optional modules in semester 2.

If you are a part time student, the modules above will be split over 2 years.

You can find out which modules are available in each semester on the Course Specifications.

Optional modules will run if they receive enough interest. It is not guaranteed that all modules will run every year.

Modules

Credits: 40

Compulsory module

This module is your opportunity to apply your knowledge and focus your studies on the topic that interests you the most. You will choose an issue that is of sociological importance and conduct detailed social research as you follow your line of enquiry. Your research will need to be conducted in a systematic and ethical way, drawing on the skills learnt in previous modules. You will have the support of an academic tutor throughout the module who will give 1 to 1 advice and guidance on your research.

Credits: 20

Optional module

On this module you will examine the historical, legal, social and cultural elements of the sex industry. You will develop an understanding of the current politics of prostitution reform, both locally and globally. Together we will evaluate research studies on crime, justice and the sex industry. In seminar groups you will investigate and debate the major criminological approaches to sex work, including feminist and queer theories.

Credits: 20

Optional module

On this module you will gain an understanding of the theoretical foundations of critical criminology. You will examine new views of crime, power and control and consider how you can use these to understand local and global crimes. You will analyse power structures, inequalities and surveillance systems through the perspectives of feminism, Marxism and abolitionism.

Credits: 20

Optional module

On this module you will investigate professional and organised crime in Britain. You will consider its evolution and history, focusing on how organised crime was perceived as a craft requiring apprenticeship by working class communities. You will examine concepts of entrepreneurship, consumption and overt narcissism as primary features of organised crime. Finally, we will look at the drugs market and consider how it has transformed the criminal landscape.

Credits: 20

Optional module

On this module you will critically examine the most serious crime: murder. The module will see you discussing different types of murder and the explanations given for committing it. You will also analyse how different societies around the world respond to murder and those who commit it. Topics covered include:

  • The historical landscape of murder
  • Domestic murder
  • Infanticide
  • Murderabilia and serial murder
  • Murder at war and sanctioned killing
  • Punishment.

Credits: 20

Optional module

This module will give you the skills needed to analyse the relationship between the social and the spatial. You will consider different theoretical positions on the value, issues and ideas of space. Together we will explore how space is connected to other social concerns such as power, culture, the everyday and deviance.

Credits: 20

Optional module

On this module you will apply your knowledge of social theory to technology. Electronic devices, social media and data are a huge part of everyday life, and you will assess why they are so important to society. You will examine our digital society by exploring:

  • The digital economy
  • Data and surveillance
  • Technology and the environment
  • Digital health.

Credits: 20

Optional module

On this module you will examine the emergence of social problems and explore how social policies attempt to tackle them. You will explore different perspectives of what a social problem is, focusing on contemporary issues in Yorkshire and the North East, such as:

  • Migration
  • Employment
  • Housing
  • Health.

Credits: 20

Optional module

On this module you will study crime in the media in a way that goes beyond the traditional topics studied. You will draw on new developments in criminology to explore how crime is presented in video games, wound culture and the aesthetics of crime. You will not stop there though. You will also think about the role crime plays in stories, about voyeurism and the impact the media has on policymaking.

Credits: 20

Optional module

On this module you will focus on imprisonment and penal policy. You will engage with debates about the value of prison as you critique arguments on prison as punishment, as a deterrent, and as rehabilitation. By engaging with the theory, practice and history of imprisonment you will evaluate the development and use of prisons within the justice system. You will also examine the philosophy of punishment and explore how social control is fundamental to aspects of social relations.

Credits: 20

Optional module

Understanding youth is an essential part of understanding societal vulnerabilities, policies, cultures and inequalities. This module gives you the opportunity to build that understanding. You will engage in discussion about the nature and construction of youth and explore the cultural aspects of young peoples' lives. Focusing on youth justice, you will also analyse aspects of contemporary youth policy and different sociological perspectives regarding young people's resistance.

Credits: 20

Optional module

On this module we will introduce you to the sociological understanding of migration through the ages. You will consider migration alongside political and economic processes. This will allow you to understand how migration has shaped and challenged the formation of states and the concept of nationhood. You will also consider how it impacts national and local economies.

Credits: 20

Optional module

This module gives you the chance to study the sociology of health and illness, a key area of sociological study. You will apply your knowledge of sociological concepts to discuss topics like:

  • Illness and self identity
  • The doctor-patient relationship
  • Therapy cultures
  • Power and privilege in healthcare
  • The placebo effect
  • Heath inequalities.

Credits: 20

Optional module

On this module we will introduce you to key discussions in economic and digital sociology. From health and self-tracking to forming relationships on apps like Tinder and using Bitcoins on cryptomarkets, the rise of digital media and technologies present important sociological questions. You will examine these questions and discuss the impact of technology on society. You will examine case studies from services and enterprises that have changed the way we live.

Credits: 20

Optional module

On this module you will explore the social context of death by analysing how societies define, interact with and portray death. You will develop an understanding of the role death plays in contemporary cultures and societies, examining how attitudes to death are changing. You will cover a range of themes including:

  • Death tourism and death in museums
  • Consuming death, murder, and murderabilia
  • How death is managed on social media
  • Obituaries and the cultural dissemination of death
  • Corpses, cremation, burial and disposal.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching and learning

We deliver your modules through:

  • Lectures - explore different Criminology themes and issues
  • Seminars - discuss, debate and analyse material from your lectures
  • Workshops - discuss a topic with your peers.

You will usually take 3 modules per semester. Each has 2 to 4 hours of contact time a week. We schedule our taught sessions between 9:00am and 8:00pm, Monday to Friday.

You will be expected to conduct independent study outside of this time. This might include reading, writing tasks and research. You can also arrange academic tutorials with your module tutors throughout the year to receive feedback on your work and discuss the course content.

Our teaching draws on both our research and professional experience. This means your learning is informed by the most current thinking in the subject area. You can find out more about our research and backgrounds by visiting our staff pages.

Assessment

Assessment types vary from module to module. Some of your assessments might include:

  • Annotated bibliography
  • Essay
  • Online portfolio
  • Open exam - where you can take in research materials.
  • Podcast
  • Presentations
  • Research proposal.

For each assessment you will have the chance to talk to a tutor about your work before submission. Each assessment will be marked and returned with feedback so you can improve your academic writing.

Career outcomes

Your future with a degree in Criminology

On this course you will gain valuable skills which can lead to a variety of different career paths, some of which are directly related to criminology and some allow you to apply your skills more broadly. You will gain research, analytical and presentation skills that are in high demand in a range of careers.

This degree could be the first step toward your career as a:

  • Civil service administrator 
  • Community development worker 
  • Crime scene investigator 
  • Prison officer
  • Probation officer 
  • Youth worker.

Discover more career options on Prospects careers advice pages.

You could also progress onto a postgraduate degree and take your learning even further.

Whatever your ambitions, we can help you get there.

Our careers service, LaunchPad provides career support tailored to your ambitions. Through this service you can access:

  • Employer events
  • LinkedIn, CV and cover letter sessions
  • Workshops on application writing and interview skills
  • Work experience and volunteering opportunities
  • Personalised career advice.

This support doesn't end when you graduate. You can access our expert career advice for the rest of your life. We will help you gain experience and confidence to succeed. It's your career, your way.

Entry requirements

Qualifications

Minimum Entry Requirements

    104 UCAS Tariff points

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

Calculate your UCAS Tariff points

International Students

If you are an international student you will need to show that your qualifications match our entry requirements.

Information about international qualifications and entry requirements can be found on our international pages.

If English is not your first language you will need to show that you have English Language competence at IELTS level 6.0 (with no skill below 5.5) or equivalent.

International entry requirements

Mature Learners Entry Scheme

If you have been out of education for 3 years or more and have a grade C GCSE in English Language or equivalent, you are eligible for our entry scheme for mature learners. It's a scheme that recognises non-traditional entry qualifications and experience for entry onto this course. Information on how to apply can be found on our dedicated page.

Mature entry offer scheme

This course is available with a foundation year.

If you do not yet meet the minimum requirements for entry straight onto this degree course, or feel you are not quite ready for the transition to Higher Education, this is a great option for you. Passing a foundation year guarantees you a place on this degree course the following academic year. 

Law, Policing and Social Sciences foundation year

Terms and conditions

Our terms and conditions, policies and procedures contain important information about studying at York St John University. You can read them on our Admissions page.

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 depends on whether you live inside the UK or EU, or internationally (outside the UK/EU). Tuition fees may be subject to inflation in future years.

UK and EU 2022 entry

The tuition fee for 2022 entry onto this course is

  • £9,250 per year for full time study
  • £6,935 per year for the first 4 years if you study part time.

These prices apply to all UK/EU, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students.

You can find out more about funding your degree by visiting our funding opportunities page.

Funding Opportunities

Placement year funding

If you choose to take a placement year, and your course offers it, you can apply for the Tuition Fee and Maintenance Loan for your placement year. How much you are awarded is based on the type of placement being undertaken and whether it is a paid or unpaid placement. The tuition fee for your placement year will be reduced.

Tuition Fees

    UK and EU 2021 entry £9,250 per year full time

    International 2021 entry £12,750 per year full time

International 2022 entry

The tuition fee for 2022 entry to this course is £12,750 per year for full time study.

This price applies to all students living outside the UK/EU.

Due to immigration laws, if you are an international student on a Student Visa, you must study full time. For more information about visa requirements and short-term study visas, please visit the International Visa and Immigration pages.

Find out more about funding your degree.

International Fees and Funding

Additional costs and financial support

There may also be some additional costs to take into account throughout your studies, including the cost of accommodation.

Course-related costs

While 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.

Study Abroad

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

Accommodation and living costs

For detailed information on accommodation and living costs, visit our Accommodation pages.

Financial help and support

Our Funding Advice team are here to help you with your finances throughout your degree. They offer a personal service that can help you with funding your studies and budgeting for living expenses. 

For advice on everything from applying for scholarships to finding additional financial support email fundingadvice@yorksj.ac.uk

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