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BA (Hons) Criminology
BA (Hons) Criminology

BA (Hons) Criminology

  • ID:BU440069
  • Level:3-Year Bachelor's Degree
  • Duration:
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Admission Requirements

Entry Requirements

  • This course requires 104–120 UCAS tariff points including a minimum of 2 A-levels or equivalent. We are happy to consider a combination of qualifications and grades to meet the overall tariff, for example A-levels A*CC, ABC, BBB or BCC, BTECs DDM or DMM. You can use the UCAS calculator to see how your qualifications equate to UCAS tariff points.

English Requirements

  •  if English is not your first language, you will need IELTS (Academic) 6.0 with a minimum of 6.0 in reading or writing and 5.5 in all other components or equivalent.

Course Information

Why study BA (Hons) Criminology at BU?

  • Gain a wider view of the world of crime, including terrorism, global human trafficking and organised crime
  • Understand the impact of crime on society and the complexities of criminal and deviant behaviour
  • Learn from research-active social scientists in fields including society and social formation, social anthropology, criminology, cultural diversity and social welfare 
  • Choose from either a 30-week ‘sandwich’ placement, or a shorter four-week placement to provide you with important work experience
  • Develop your own piece of research based on a topic that interests you, or aligns itself with your future career or study plans, in your final year dissertation.

What can you achieve with a criminology degree?

This course will help to develop your critical and focused mind, providing you with debating, communication and analytical skills which can be applied to various topics and job roles. The BA (Hons) Criminology degree will provide the ideal platform for further specialisation in many careers, such as policing and probation services, that require the expertise and skills that this course will give you.

UCAS Code: L611

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Year 1

Core units

  • Introduction to Criminological Theory: An introduction to key sociological, psychological and criminological theory that has informed classical and contemporary criminology, engaging with key criminological thinkers and perspectives. You’ll evaluate theories within historical and contemporary social constructs and will consider the role of structure and agency with regards to criminality and deviance.

  • Understanding Communities: This unit provides a broad overview of the development of urban and rural communities where you’ll explore recent social and cultural issues, changes and conflicts in rural and urban Britain and elsewhere. You’ll consider the ways in which ‘rural’ and ‘urban’ are represented in contemporary society, and how this impacts upon both individual and community identity and participation.

  • Key Themes & Perspectives in Criminology: You’ll be introduced to the field of criminology and will be familiarised with the core concepts and leading terminology. From lectures coupled with insightful seminar discussions, you’ll address the key topics and concepts in a broader social ecological context. The unit will define the discipline of criminology as well as delving into the various social (e.g. poverty, neighbourhood, and peer/family influences), personal (e.g. intelligence, mental illness), and demographic (e.g. age, race, gender, and immigration) realities that cause, misperceive, and soften criminal behaviour.

  • Introduction to Social Research: Offering a broad introduction to the conceptual and theoretical framework of social scientific approaches to research, this unit will provide the opportunity for you to consider ethical, practical and methodological issues. You’ll explore the parameters and scope of social scientific enquiry, focusing on the relationship of individuals to society, and will gain the skills to develop your own social scientific research plan.

  • Crime & the Criminal Justice System: You’ll explore the concepts of crime, the discipline and study of criminology and the structure and responsibilities of the key agencies within the criminal justice system, especially in the United Kingdom (UK), but with scope for international comparison of approaches to crime, policing, criminal justice and penology in developed and less developed societies. Considering specific case studies will allow you to reflect on differing approaches to addressing these fields of crime through policing and punishment.

  • Social Inequality & Exclusion: Discover the nature, lived experience, impact and possible causes of discrimination, inequality and social exclusion, using sociological, criminological and anthropological approaches. You’ll apply relevant sociological, criminological and anthropological enquiry to explore social exclusion, community cohesion, inequality, discrimination, marginalisation and oppression, together with an understanding of how this might be addressed and tackled.

Year 2

Students are required to complete all 4 core units and also 2 option units of your choice. Option units will run if selected by a minimum of 10 students. Some combinations of optional units may not be available depending on the semester of delivery and timetable configurations.

Core units

  • Qualitative Research Skills: The unit will equip you with the knowledge and skills to be able to carry out and analyse qualitative research. You’ll gain the knowledge of the skills necessary for effective design, implementation, and data analysis in qualitative research.

  • The Impact of Crime: Examine the various forms of crime, particularly criminal acts within relationships, as well as sex offending and sex work. Alongside the established ‘legal’ definitions of crime, you’ll also explore the broader concept of social harm and related theoretical frameworks such as zemiology, environmental criminology and risk society. Consider the obvious and less obvious ‘costs’ and impact of crime and harm on individuals, on communities and on society at large, as well as the role and impact of the media on social attitudes and stereotypes, which might determine how we perceive crime and harm.

  • Quantitative Skills: Develop your understanding and evaluation of a range of quantitative methods and the underlying philosophical and ethical principles of their application within social science research. This unit will assist you in your preparation for your final year dissertation.

  • Human Trafficking and Criminality: You’ll consider the relationship between human trafficking, migration and criminality by looking at the different forms of trafficking across a number of countries. You’ll also explore human rights’ issues and develop critical skills in understanding migration, human trafficking, organised crime, as well as a series of emotions around trauma, violence and loss from criminological, sociological and anthropological perspectives.

Option units (choose two)

  • Ethnographies of Crime & policing: This unit introduces you to ethnographies of crime and policing. You’ll explore critically how crime and ‘policing’ may be understood and approached within society, and will read, critique and review ethnographies in these areas. You’ll also have the opportunity of studying neighbourhoods in Bournemouth through interactive observations and will make recommendations to reduce levels of crime.

  • Growing Up & Growing Old: This unit studies sociological and anthropological perspectives and theories of childhood, youth and aging.

  • Crime, Health and Society: Discover the rich and complex findings of social science in the sphere of health and how it relates to crime. You’ll also investigate the sophisticated inter-relation between these fundamental concepts, and how their relationship continues to change.

  • Understanding Globalisation: Globalisation is a concept that refers to economic, political and technological forms of global interdependence and alignment in today’s world. In this unit you’ll explore the debates about globalisation within sociology and associated social science disciplines.

  • Doing Ethnographic Research: Gain experience of designing and undertaking an ethnographic research project in the Bournemouth area. You’ll investigate sociological and anthropological research questions and will critically reflect on the benefits and challenges of qualitative research. The skills and experience developed from this unit will assist you in your preparation for the research you may wish to carry out as part of your final year dissertation. You’ll also have the opportunity to present your research findings at BU’s annual Student Undergraduate Research Conference.

  • Contemporary Social Theory: Introducing social theory that informs contemporary sociology, criminology and anthropology, you’ll explore theories embedded in the contemporary and philosophical context of Western society and its social forms.

  • Understanding Cultures: This unit considers classic and contemporary debates about how culture should be understood, theorised and studied; and what theoretical concepts lend themselves to a critical and sensitive approach to understanding cultures and cultural practices considered different from our own. You’ll also explore cultures which are considered controversial or ‘deviant’ such as gang culture.

  • 20-day Placement: You’ll have the opportunity to study an area of academic and professional interest in criminology and its relationship to wider society through participation in placement based learning.

Please note that option units require minimum numbers in order to run and may only be available on a semester-by-semester basis. They may also change from year to year.

Placement year

In year 2, you can choose either a 4-week placement on a three-year course, or an optional 30-week (minimum) placement on a four-year sandwich course. This gives you the chance to gain experience and make contacts for the future.

Whether you choose the three- or four-year option, you will complete the following units in your final year.

Final year

Core units

  • Dissertation: The dissertation provides you with an opportunity to demonstrate your intellectual, analytic and creative abilities through sustained independent work. Specifically, it aims to provide an opportunity for critical in-depth review of the research literature within the broad parameters of sociology and/or anthropology, and to enable students to apply this knowledge in the development of a research proposal.

  • Criminology of Organisations: This unit will introduce you to organisational crime and how this type of crime is currently being policed and regulated through means of law and social control. You’ll explore critically, the reasons why only a small percentage of this type of crime is prosecuted and adjudicated by the criminal justice system.

  • Crime and Criminal Justice in the 21st Century: Build on your understanding of how crime is defined, its possible causes, and how crime and criminal acts can impact on individuals, communities and societies.

Option units (choose two):

  • Anthropology of International Intervention: Following crises, conflict, war or regime change, many populations and states become subject to large-scale military or humanitarian interventions, global knowledge transfer and development projects, which has led to a recognition of the importance of understanding local knowledge and involving local stakeholders in order to ensure the success of projects intending peace and state-building. During this unit, you’ll be familiarised with critical anthropological and multi-disciplinary debates and insights on international intervention policies and practices in relation to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and you’ll also develop your critical and creative thinking for improving such projects.

  • Seekers, Believers and Iconoclasts:  Explore belief systems as a sociological phenomenon contextualised within a cultural and social analysis, as well as a philosophical and historical one. You’ll also consider belief systems as phenomena subjects to social change and transformation in terms of influencing social structures, interactions and shared or diverse social understandings, shaping changing societies.

  • Terrorism, Protection and Society: You’ll be introduced to many of the complex issues involved in conceptualising and responding to terrorism and protection in contemporary societies. You’ll explore protection and counter-terrorism as a form of social regulation and will consider ways in which society is ordered in an age of terrorist threat, and how this impacts on social life.

  • Intersectional Criminology: This unit will introduce you to the overlapping relations of crime between different social groups. You’ll critically explore crime by looking at the media and the creation and construction of images, identities and attitudes towards different social groups, social policies and laws relating to crime and victimisation, as well as considering the representation of marginalised communities within the criminal justice system.

  • Politics & Ideology:  To improve, change and transform the situations and lives of individuals and communities, it may be necessary to influence government and decision makers in order to seek positive change. Therefore, this unit will provide you with an understanding of politics, political processes and the ideologies that may be key drivers in the development of policy and governance at the local, societal and global level.

  • ‘Troubling’ Gender: This unit will explore gender as socially constructed and historically variable aspect of societies, past and present. It will examine the ways in which gender informs social structures, inequalities, and analyse the interrelationships between gender and other social categories (e.g., class, sexuality, race, ethnicity, religion, and nationality).

Please note that option units require minimum numbers in order to run and may only be available on a semester by semester basis. They may also change from year to year.

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Career Opportunity

Career Opportunity

The course will provide you with the ideal platform for further specialisation in many careers, such as policing and probation services that require the expertise that this course will give you. You’ll develop a range of analytical and communication skills during this course that will serve you well when you enter the workplace.

Ability to settle

Overseas Student Health Cover

OSHC: 624 ($) GBP per year

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