Criminology

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Investigate, scrutinise and understand the causes and consequences of crime.

  • An interdisciplinary programme of study and a broad range of staff expertise.
  • Examines crime, justice and punishment at local, national and transnational levels of society.
  • A theoretical, empirical and applied education in Criminology to develop your knowledge and skills.

Why study Criminology?

'Crime scene, do not cross' tape

Turn on the television, open a newspaper or web browser and you’re very likely to encounter images, reports and programmes about crime, justice and punishment. Crime saturates media and popular culture, suggesting an enduring public fascination with wrongdoing and its consequences as well as being an ongoing social problem.

But what is the background story to these representations of crime? Criminology tells it through exploring causes, motivation and patterns of criminal conduct. In addition to improving our knowledge and understanding of crime, criminology also informs policies and practices of policing, law, criminal justice and punishment.

Course structure

Criminologists study crime from a variety of approaches making this a diverse field of study – you’ll look at the problem of crime from different angles and perspectives. Core modules will provide you with knowledge of the main theories, debates, issues and research problems in criminology and criminal justice; while optional modules enable you to develop particular interests.

We’ll support and encourage you to gain practical experience in relevant fields through voluntary work and placements. You’ll develop practical and analytical skills as well as subject knowledge in crime and criminal justice.

Modules

YEAR 1

You’ll learn about the research traditions of criminology and be introduced to key concepts, theories and issues. You’ll investigate different types of crime such as property crime, sexual and violent crime, homicide, corporate crime, anti-social behaviour and drug use. You’ll also learn about criminal law and criminal justice agencies and institutions.

Optional modules will increase your understanding of psychological and social dimensions of crime. You’ll study models of individual personality and behaviour, and visualise and analyse key sources of social science data. You’ll also study a complementary subject.

  • Criminology: An introduction * **
  • Visualising Society
  • Global development

YEAR 2

You’ll study contemporary debates in criminology and criminal justice, and the psychology of crime, as well as training in research methods and crime mapping techniques.

You can select from a number of optional modules, to create a programme tailored to your personal interests. You can investigate the ecology of crime, delve more deeply into the social divisions associated with crime, justice and punishment or explore crime in the media and popular culture.

  • Contemporary and critical issues in crime and justice * **
  • Researching People and Organisations*
  • Criminological and Investigative Psychology*
  • Social Diversity and Divisions
  • Crime Fiction
  • Film Noir
  • Growing up and Living in Communities
  • Climate Change and Sustainability
  • Work Placement

YEAR 3

You’ll undertake an original piece of criminological research in an area which interests you along with comparative study of criminal justice and penality in a global context.

Again, you can select from a range of modules, a number of which highlight the global dimensions of crime and justice. There will be opportunities to undertake a voluntary placement in an organisation relevant to the criminal justice sector.

  • Criminology dissertation* **
  • Punishment and Penology in Global Context*
  • Young people, Identity and Subcultures
  • Identities and Inequality
  • Crime Fiction in the Contemporary World
  • Gender: Mind, Body and Cultures
  • Community Engagement
  • Migration, Diversity and Racism
  • Mobility, Risks and Environmental Justice

* Compulsory modules for Single Honours Awards

** Compulsory modules for Combined Honours Awards

Course assessment

We use a range of assessments to gain a comprehensive measure of your performance. Assignments may include essays, book reviews, examinations, portfolios, creative work, contributions to online resources, presentations, reports, in-class tests, reflective writing and individual and group projects.

Work placements, industry links and internships

We’ll strongly encourage you to take advantage of placement opportunities in your second and third year, so you can apply your learning in the real world contexts of criminal justice. Practitioners contribute to teaching in some modules and you can find out more from them about working in fields related to criminal justice. Field trips, such as to local courts, will also
+provide opportunities to observe the legal system in action and learn more about potential careers. We also have links with local criminal justice organisations including local police services and prisons.

Projects

Project work enables you to focus on your particular interests and is built into all three years of the programme. Through individual and group projects you’ll develop employment-related skills in research, analysis, time management, leadership, problem-solving and planning.

Your first year involves a project with creative, critical and reflective elements. Moving into your second year, you’ll undertake in-depth study of the spatial dimensions of crime and learn digital crime-mapping using ARC-GIS software. A module in research methods will give you experience of research design and data collection and analysis to support project work. In the dissertation core module in your third year, you can apply the knowledge and skills you’ve developed to an independent research project on any criminological or criminal justice topic that interests you.

List of current alumni careers

A qualification in Criminology will prepare you for a career in a variety of relevant fields in criminal justice and associated social and welfare professions including:

  • Policing
  • Crime prevention and security
  • Crime reduction initiatives
  • Law
  • Offender management and interventions
  • Prisons
  • Probation
  • Youth justice
  • Social work
  • Community development

As a social sciences degree, the course will give you with a range of transferable skills which you can take into a career in a number of others sectors such as health and social care, marketing, HR, teaching or the media.

Resources 

All modules can be found on our Virtual Learning Environment, Minerva, providing unlimited online access to learning materials such as handbooks, lecture slides, assessment information, discussion boards and other resources.

Our library gives you access to books, academic journals and DVDs and an extensive range of electronic services. It also provides a place for individual study and collaborative work.

Teaching methods

We take pride in our innovative and engaging modules that inspire and challenge, as well as encourage you to reflect critically on your subject.

We’ll guide you through your studies, give you support and help you make the most of your academic studies. Your personal timetable will comprise all the modules for which you have been registered and these incorporate different modes of teaching.

You’ll participate in a wide variety of activities including lectures, seminars, workshops, one-to-one tutorials, and sessions with visiting speakers.

Application method

Applications are via UCAS.

International students should visit our international pages for more information about our entry requirements, fees and scholarships, and student support.

Course enquiries

Please email enquiries@bathspa.ac.uk.

Typical offer range for UK / EU applicants

We’re looking for individuals who are interested in all aspects of crime, justice and punishment. You’ll be looking to study these issues in a multidisciplinary way, that challenges conventional or ‘common sense’ notions of criminality. Typical offers are 260–300 UCAS Tariff points.

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our undergraduate programmes. The main ones are listed below:

  • A Level - Grades BCC - CCC accepted
  • BTEC - Extended Diploma grades Merit,. Merit, Merit (MMM) accepted.
  • International Baccalaureate - A minimum of 26 points are required
  • Access to HE courses - Typical offers for applicants with Access to HE will be the Access to HE Diploma or Access to HE Certificate (60 credits, 45 of which must be Level 3, including 30 at merit or higher).

English Language Requirements for International and EU Applicants

IELTS 6.0 - for visa nationals, with a minimum score of IELTS 5.5 in each element.

Career opportunities

A qualification in Criminology will prepare you for working towards a career in a variety of relevant fields in criminal justice and associated social and welfare professions including:

  • Policing
  • Crime prevention and security
  • Crime reduction initiatives
  • Law
  • Offender management and interventions
  • Prisons
  • Probation
  • Youth justice
  • Social work
  • Community development

As  a social sciences degree, it will also furnish you with a range of transferable skills which you can take into a career in a number of others sectors such as health and social care, marketing, HR, teaching or the media.

The Criminology programme emphasises the development of practical and analytical skills that are relevant to working in this field, with opportunities to learn digital crime mapping, risk evaluation, write reports, develop proposals and scrutinise case studies. The programme also provides opportunities for work experience and placements to apply your learning in the real world contexts of criminal justice, whilst visiting speakers and field trips such as to local courts will also provide opportunities to learn more about potential careers.

What students say...

Students have said the following about studying Criminology at Bath Spa:

"Fantastic, interesting and engaging"

"Definitely challenging"

"Fab teaching!"

"[Staff have been] so supportive, if I ever need help and guidance"

"The field trip to Court was valuable to understand the criminal justice system" 

"Varied seminars, always interesting, lots of group discussion"

"Learnt a lot more about crime, in much more depth than I knew"