Find out more

Send me updates

Simply enter your details to receive information from Bath Spa University.
Your Information

The information you provide may be used by Bath Spa University to contact you about the University, courses and events which may be of interest to you. Please note your information will not be shared with other organisations apart from those acting as agents on behalf of Bath Spa University. Bath Spa University complies with the Data Protection Act 1998.

Bath Spa University’s Privacy Policy.

If you have any queries relating to Bath Spa University’s data protection practices please contact our Data Protection Officer:

How to Apply

Apply on UCAS's site

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.

'Crime scene, do not cross' tape

Why study Criminology?

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.


  • Year one
    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.
  • Year two
    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.
  • Year three
    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.

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.


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.

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

Typical offer range for UK / EU applicants

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

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.

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.

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

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"