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Criminologists look at the reasons people commit crime and find ways to reduce re-offending, exploring the impact crime has on individuals and society.

On this course you not only get to explore a range of subjects - including criminal profiling, law, victimology and cybercrime - you also get to meet people working in these areas. Guest speaks come in from the police, price and probation services, and employers from around the country join us for our criminology careers fair.

With volunteering opportunities, work placements and strong employer connections, you'll gain practical experience alongside your academic studies.

Overview

Overview

  • 100% of final year students said this course developed the knowledge and skills they need for their future (NSS 2024)
  • Top 10 for student satisfaction for our sociology courses, which include criminology (Complete University Guide 2024)

Study abroad: You can choose to study abroad for a semester or a whole year. We have fantastic connections with criminology programmes in Malta, Scandinavia and the USA, giving you the opportunity to travel and see how different countries approach criminal justice and rehabilitation.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

112
UCAS tariff points

Entry requirements

112 UCAS tariff points (for example, BBC at A Level)

Other information

If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the Admissions Office on 01905 855111 or email admissions@worc.ac.uk for advice.

Further information about the UCAS Tariff can be obtained from the UCAS website.

Course content

Course content

Each year you will study a mix of mandatory and optional modules. This flexible course lets you explore different subjects and career paths in criminology before choosing to specialise in your final year.

The modules for this course are currently being reviewed and updated for 2024 entry; for the latest information please contact the course leader.

Year 1

Mandatory modules


Introduction to Criminology and Criminal Justice

This module introduces you to criminology, with key concepts of the discipline being identified and discussed to frame later studies. You will be introduced to crime statistics, how these are obtained, and how they should be viewed, as well as analyse the usefulness of different theoretical explanations for crime. This module will explore the criminal justice system and process, including the key agencies.

Professional Skills, Practice and Research in Criminology

This module explores your specific learning and study skills, transferable employability skills, and academic identity and wellbeing. Adopting a contemporary perspective, you’ll be introduced to the evolution of the role of criminologists in recent history, as well as exploring some of the unique contributions they have made to society. You’ll evaluate a range of possible career routes and the transferrable and professional specialist skills required for those roles.

Social Justice

This module covers two semesters and focuses on ‘democracy’, social justice ideals, social policy, and wellbeing. You will explore the ways people exercise influence through different approaches and mediums, and the power of words and names to include or oppress. The module examines welfare provision and ideologies in Britian in Victorian times, then the development of the welfare state and the criminal justice system, and finally the recent ‘neo-liberal’ approaches to welfare. You will also cover how social culture and campaigns helped shape social policy changes.

Optional modules

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


Introduction to criminal legislation policy

This module will introduce you to the legislative context and frameworks of the criminal justice system. Focusing on the key approaches that underpin the primary legislative process and criminology legislation, you will learn how to identify the who, why, and how of criminal justice legislation formation. You will be encouraged to reflect on how criminal justice legislation affects you directly, with a particular emphasis on the social policy outcomes of criminology legislation for the individual, community, and society in which you live.

Introduction to Criminal Law

This module will provide you with knowledge and understanding of the fundamental principles of criminal law and liability and the relationship between statue and case law in the development of criminal law. Focus will be placed on the general principles of law underpinning criminal liability, followed by a study of specific offences. You will be introduced to legal writing and problem solving, statutory interpretation, and legal knowledge.

Option modules from the Centre for Academic English and Skills

Option modules from the Centre for Academic English and Skills

Year 2

Mandatory modules


Building on Theory and Research in Criminology

This module focuses on the relationship between theory and research. You will analyse competing theories on criminal behaviour, deviance and harm to develop a knowledge of how theory has advanced over time, as well as identify and critically evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of each theoretical explanation. You will explore a variety of research methods to understand the significance and viability of quantitative and qualitative research in criminology.

Penology, Punishment and Rehabilitation

This module will familiarise you with His Majesty’s Prisons and Probations Service (HMPPS), contestability, and privatisation. You will be encouraged to explore the purposes of prison and offender behaviour programmes in prison and the community. The module explores a range of criminological and psychological theories behind measures that can be taken to address offending behaviours, with focus being placed on practical skills for working with offenders.

Contemporary and Global Issues in Criminology

This module engages with a range of issues, debates, and perspectives in relation to global criminology, allowing for introductory insights into new and specialised fields of criminology. You will have the opportunity to evaluate criminological theory and evidence, political and cultural influences, and criminal justice processes and policies, and formulate an understanding and critical appreciation for a diverse range of marginalised areas and their global significance within criminology. The module considers a range of issues through application of criminological theory and understanding in relation to crime.

Optional modules

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


Constructing Crime – Criminology and Media

Modern life is full of media takes on any given issue and crime is no exception, with the volume of dedicated crime coverage significantly impacting the public’s perception of crime issues, victims, and offenders. This module will explore a variety of media and their consequences on the criminal justice process. You will discover a range of theoretical media criminology concepts used as tools to support the investigation of central societal debates surrounding crime and criminality, as well as understand the impact of media coverage on crime. You will develop your skills in communication, critical analysis, and digital literacy whilst evaluating the credibility and reliability of media resources.

Victimology

This module focuses on victims’ experiences of crime, exploring the nature and extend of victimisation within society, victim policy and practice, and the impact of the criminal justice system on victims. You will critically discuss the recognition of victimhood, deserving and undeserving victims of crime, national and international policy development, and the nature and impact of public perceptions. This module examines new and changing approaches to responding to victimisation, including restorative justice.

Policing in England and Wales

This module is designed for those who wish to incorporate policing within their study of Criminology. The module considers policing within England and Wales, with specific reference to policing structures and functions, strategies, contemporary issues in policing, and a start in considering ethical policing. You’ll have the opportunity to explore and critically analyse policing issues in the UK as part of their development of their understanding of the criminal justice system in England and Wales. The module evaluates the concept of policing, including the origins of policing, the role of police in society, the principles that underpin policing, and the types of functions carried out by police organisations.

Option modules from the Centre for Academic English and Skills

Option modules from the Centre for Academic English and Skills

Year 3

Mandatory module


Criminology Dissertation

The criminology research project provides you with an opportunity to apply your knowledge and understanding of the methodologies and materials within criminology to analysing a particular theoretical or practical problem of your own choice.

Optional modules

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


Understanding Youth Justice and Crime

This module introduces you to the histories and experiences of those who encounter the Youth Justice System in England and Wales. You will critically analyse the history, politics, design, and impacts of the Youth Justice System, and evaluate individuals aged between 10-17 who commit, or are at risk of committing crime.

Intimate Partner Abuse: Impact and Response

This module explores the complex issue of intimate partner abuse, including defining the issue, the impact of it on those who experience it and their significant others, and issues around leaving abusive relationships. You will look at the growth of intimate partner abuse services, policy in relation to it, and how policy informs professional practice. As this is an emotive subject area students should be aware that they may find some of the material upsetting.

Organised Crime, Terrorism and Gangs

This module examines the emergence of contemporary organised crime through exploration of historical precedents, criminal justice responses, and societal impacts. You will examine organised crime through a critical and theoretical lens, investigating definitions, dimensions, and debates to central issues surrounding global security issues and transnational criminal activity. The module will look at different countries, a variety of group movements, and the locality of criminal networks within societies and communities with additional consideration of existing and potential security solutions.

Cybercrime and Internet Security

This module engages with a range of issues in relation to criminal activity in online environments, considering the complexities associated with policing the internet. You will explore in-depth a range of offences that are based within and enabled by the internet and cyber environment. The module allows you to employ and develop your skills of communication, critical analysis, and project management.

Work Based Learning

This module encourages you to apply what you’ve learnt throughout your degree to an area of criminology. You will have an opportunity to apply and critically analyse theories and strategies and develop in-depth knowledge of aspects of criminology during a 6-week placement. Professional practice and skills development will be explored and analysed through critical reflection of practice.

Criminal Profiling

This module introduces you to the concept, theory, and practice of offender profiling. You will look at offender profiling procedures and their capacity to inform criminal investigations. As part of this, the module will explore the history and development of this investigative technique, as well as the theories that underpin the practice of offender profilers. The various techniques employed by offender profilers will be examined and you’ll develop the skills necessary to construct a profile of an offender.

Psychology and the Law

This module introduces you to a variety of topics regarding the interactions between psychology and the law. You will have an opportunity to develop critical thinking skills and apply psychological research to the criminal justice system.

Understanding Trauma and Violence

Drawing on contributions from forensic, clinical, and counselling psychology and neuroscience, this module examines approaches to violence prevention and responses to trauma. You will engage with key theories, concepts, and empirical work spanning multiple fields of psychology to debate current issues and scrutinise and apply the latest research around preventing and responding to trauma and violence.

Law and Order

This module will cover the behind-the-scenes processes within forensic science. You will learn how to interpret forensic evidence, including quality management systems, development of procedures, and ways of practice such as validation and developments due to case work and legal rulings.

Mental Health and Substance Use in the Context of the Criminal Justice System

This module will develop your knowledge and understanding of some of the main mental health and substance use issues encountered within the criminal justice system. You will also consider the legal context and the criminal justice response to offenders with mental health needs.

Why Criminology at Worcester?

Current students talk about their experiences on our Criminology courses.
Teaching and assessment

Teaching and assessment

Our curriculum is designed so you'll study the theories and then applying them in practical sessions. You’ll engage in a variety of learning methods, from interactive lectures, workshops and seminars, to practical experiences in courts and prisons.

You’ll never have an exam on this course. Instead, you’ll be assessed through a mix of case reports, presentations, and consultancy projects – catering to different learning styles and preferences.

Teaching

You are taught through a combination of interactive lectures, workshops and seminars. As part of your learning you will also be asked to attend areas of the criminal justice system such as the Court, to observe the sector in an operational setting. There is also some online learning activities and group activities where you will be provided with a structure of independent learning through which you will learn to organise and prioritise your research and design and develop your learning strategy. This will be supported through formative feedback and personal academic tutoring. Personal Academic Tutors are scheduled on at least 4 occasions in the first year and three occasions in each of the other years of a course.

You will also have an opportunity to apply to study at the University of Malta for a semester of the second year. This opportunity will offer you a chance to study with students from many different countries and experience modular learning from a different institution. It will expose you to a very different way of life, culture and practices that will enhance your personal and academic development and your future employability.

Contact time

In a typical week, students will have around 10-12 contact hours of teaching. The precise contact hours will depend on the optional modules selected and in the final year there is normally slightly less contact time to do more independent study. In each semester, students will be studying four modules. Each module will have 2-3 hours of weekly classes on campus, typically including a lecture and a smaller seminar or workshop. The final year dissertation has more flexibility in terms of teaching as this consists of small group seminars and individual supervision tailored to the progress of each student.

Typically, on campus classes will be structured around:

  • Lectures
    • First year lectures can be large (70-80 typically)
    • Second and third year lectures are smaller (40-50 typically)
  • Seminars and workshops
    • Groups are smaller ranging from 25-40
    • Seminars encourage students to work in groups of 6-8
  • Tutorials
    • Staff have weekly 20 minute 1:1 tutorial slot’s available to book
  • Use of course Virtual Learning Environment (Blackboard) for online activities.
    • Each module will include a range of online activities including recorded talks, discussion boards, padlets, quizzes and directed reading.

Independent self-study

In addition to the contact time, you are expected to undertake around 24 hours of personal self-study per week. Typically, this will involve researching, reading, planning and designing projects, completing formative and summative assignments, working with other students in group activities and meeting with your PAT or Supervisor, writers in residence or librarian.

Independent learning is supported by a range of excellent learning facilities, including the Hive and library resources, the virtual learning environment, and extensive electronic learning resources.

Assessment

A range of assessment methods are used to enable students to achieve and demonstrate the learning outcomes. Literacy and critical thinking around criminology is developed and assessed through assignments such as essays, literature reviews and critical reviews of journal papers. Such assessments aim to develop skills such as problem solving, research, organisation, planning, and effective communication. Effective and fluent written, oral, and visual communication is enhanced further through assessments that use posters and PowerPoint presentations, video, and webpage design; whilst the use of group work for assessment enables better team working and the development of leadership skills. Finally, several modules use weblogs, e-portfolios, and case studies to develop and assess a range of skills including reflection and independent learning.

Furthermore, the course provides opportunities to test understanding and learning informally through the completion of practice or ‘formative’ assignments. Each module has one or more formal or ‘summative’ assessments which are graded and count towards the overall module grade. Assessment methods will vary but could include Essay, Reflective Log, Personal Development Plan, Public Communication, Literature Review, Research Proposal, Presentation (group and individual), Research Project, Poster Presentation, Case Study, Portfolio, Policy Briefing, Extended Essay, and Vlog.

The precise assessment requirements for an individual student in an academic year will vary according to the mandatory and optional modules taken, but a typical formal summative assessment pattern for each year of the course is:

Year 1
  • 3 case studies
  • 1 report
  • 1 personal development plan
  • 1 research methods report
  • 2 portfolios
Year 2
  • 2 reports
  • 1 research proposal
  • 1 risk evaluation
  • 1 presentation
  • 1 podcast
  • 1 reflective journal
  • 1 literature review
  • 1 essay
Year 3
  • 1 dissertation
  • 1 poster conference presentation
  • 1 digital presentation
  • 1 vlog
  • 2 essays
  • 1 portfolio
  • 1 CV and interview
  • 1 reflective journal

Feedback

You will receive feedback on practice assessments and on formal assessments undertaken by coursework. Feedback on examination performance is available upon request from the module leader.

Feedback is intended to support learning and you are encouraged to discuss it with personal academic tutors and module tutors as appropriate.

We aim to provide you with feedback on formal course work assessments within 20 working days of hand-in.

Programme specification

For comprehensive details on the aims and intended learning outcomes of the course, and the means by which these are achieved through learning, teaching and assessment, please download the latest programme specification document.

Course highlights

Students in a team building exercise

Join a course community

Before you start, course staff help you connect with other applicants, then in the first weeks we dedicate plenty of time to meeting new people and making friends. In the last few years, we’ve done team building activities at our Lakeside campus, pizza and darts evenings, quiz nights and treasure hunts.

Student in a frozen meadow with the sun in the background

Study abroad

You can choose to study abroad for a semester or a whole year. We have fantastic connections with criminology programmes in Malta, Scandinavia and the USA, giving you the opportunity to travel and see how different countries approach criminal justice and rehabilitation.

Students volunteering in a community project

Make a Difference

On this course students and staff regularly join forces to volunteer in the local community. This is a great way to bond with your course mates while making a positive impact in the world.

Student in a seminar room with a lecturer

No exams

You’ll be assessed by a flexible range of methods designed to suit a range of learning styles. Assessment methods include case reports, policy briefings, presentations, portfolios, essays and podcasts.

Student and a member of staff talking

Personal support

You’ll meet your friendly personal academic tutor in the first weeks at university and they typically remain with you throughout your degree. They will get to know your strengths and where you can develop, offering personalised support and feedback throughout your course.

Careers

Careers

You don't study Criminology to get a job, you study Criminology so you can build a successful and meaningful career. Throughout the degree you’ll gain the knowledge, skills and experience needed to put you on track for leadership positions within the police, the prison and probation service, or elsewhere in the criminal justice system.”

Criminal justice and policing careers

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

  • Prison caseworker
  • Victim liaison officer
  • Rehabilitation worker
  • Police detective
  • Crime analyst
  • Crime scene investigator
  • Probation officer
  • Prison offender manager
  • Youth justice worker

Other options

You’ll gain research, analytical and presentation skills, helping you towards a range of careers, including:

  • Solicitor
  • Social worker
  • Policy officer in the civil service
  • Intelligence officer
  • Forensic scientist
  • Social researcher
  • Psychologist

At Worcester you can also specialise further with our Applied Criminology MA.

Costs

Fees and funding

Full-time tuition fees - UK and EU students

The standard fee for full-time home and EU undergraduate students enrolling on BA/BSc/LLB degrees and FdA/FdSc degrees in the 2024/25 academic year is £9,250 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

Full-time tuition fees - International students

The standard tuition fee for full-time international students enrolling on BA/BSc/LLB degrees and FdA/FdSc degrees in the 2024/25 academic year is £16,200 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

Part-time tuition fees

UK and EU students

The standard tuition fees for part-time UK and EU students enrolling on BA/BSc/LLB degrees and FdA/FdSc degrees in the academic year 2024/25 are £1,156 per 15-credit module, £1,542 per 20-credit module, £2,312 per 30-credit module, £3,083 per 40-credit module, £3,469 per 45-credit module and £4,625 per 60 credit module.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

Additional costs

Every course has day-to-day costs for basic books, stationery, printing and photocopying. The amounts vary between courses.

If your course offers a placement opportunity, you may need to pay for an Enhanced Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) check.

Accommodation

Finding the right accommodation is paramount to your university experience. Our halls of residence are home to friendly student communities, making them great places to live and study.

We have over 1,000 rooms across our range of student halls. With rooms to suit every budget and need, from our 'Traditional Hall' at £131 per week to 'En-suite Premium' at £221 per week (2024/25 prices).

For full details visit our accommodation page.

Register your interest

Enter your details below and we will keep you up to date with useful information about studying at the University of Worcester.


How to apply

How to apply

Applying through UCAS

Single Honours:

  • Criminology BA (Hons) - L311

Joint Honours:

Please visit the individual joint honours course pages for UCAS links.

UCAS is the central organisation through which applications are processed for entry onto full-time undergraduate courses in Higher Education in the UK.

Read our How to apply pages for more information on applying and to find out what happens to your application.

UCAS Code

L311

Get in touch

If you have any questions, please get in touch. We're here to help you every step of the way.

Amy Johnson

Course leader