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BSc (Hons)

Undergraduate degree - single or combined honours

BSc (Hons) Criminology
School of Sciences
Campus or location
Newton Park
Course length
Three years full time, or four years full time with professional placement year. Part time available.
UCAS codes
Institution Code: B20
Course Code: 382M or 383M
Campus Code: A,BSU

Entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our undergraduate programmes. The main ones are listed under 'Typical offers' in the main column below. For combined courses, please check both subjects. If your qualification is not listed, please email with your specific details.

Investigate, scrutinise and understand the causes, consequences and responses to crime with our Criminology degree at Bath Spa University.

  • A programme of study which focuses on criminological, sociological and psychological perspectives of crime.
  • Examines crime, justice and punishment at local, national and transnational levels of society.
  • A theoretical and applied approach to criminology to develop your knowledge and skills.

Criminology explores the causes, motivations and patterns of crime. In addition to improving our knowledge and understanding of crime, criminology also considers responses to crime and informs policies and practices in policing, law, criminal justice and punishment. 

With our Criminology degree, you'll study crime from a variety of approaches, gain practical and relevant experience, and develop transferable skills that you can take into a range of careers and employment sectors.

What you'll learn


Criminologists study crime from a variety of approaches, making this a diverse field of study. Core modules focus on the main theories, debates, issues and research in criminology and criminal justice, while optional modules enable you to develop your particular interests in areas such as violent crime, victimisation, prisons and terrorism.

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.

Course structure

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 and you’ll also learn about criminal law and criminal justice agencies and institutions.

Year two

You'll study contemporary debates in criminology and criminal justice and the history and development of policing, crime control and prevention.

You can also choose from a number of optional modules to create a programme tailored to your personal interests. You can investigate the criminological imagination by exploring differing perspectives and theories within criminology. You can also study violent crimes such as homicide and robbery.

Year three
You’ll undertake an original piece of criminological research in an area that interests you and you’ll also be able to examine terrorism, punishment and penology and victimisation with our optional modules. You’ll have the choice to take our optional module in criminology which involves working with prison learners through a partnership with HMP Erlestoke.

There will also be opportunities to undertake a voluntary placement in an organisation relevant to the criminal justice sector with our optional community engagement module.

How will I be assessed?

We use a range of assessments to gain a comprehensive measure of your performance. Assignments may include essays, book reviews, examinations, portfolios, crime scene investigation reports, presentations, design of a non-custodial punishment, reflective writing, briefing papers and individual and group projects.

How will I be taught?

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

We’ll guide you through your studies, support you, 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.

To find out more about how we teach and how you'll learn, please read our Learning and Teaching Delivery Statement.

A group of nine Criminology students stand outside the boundary of HMP Erlestoke prison

Third-year BSc (Hons) Criminology students visiting HMP Erlestoke as part of a unique module where students learn criminology alongside prison learners.

Course modules

This course offers or includes the following modules. The modules you take will depend on your pathway or course combination (if applicable) as well as any optional or open modules chosen. Please check the programme document for more information.

Year one (Level 4) modules
  • Crime and Disorder in Everyday Life
  • Crime, Violence and Harm
  • Crime: Representation and Reality
  • Sociology of Deviance and Social Control
  • Introduction to Social Science Research
  • Questioning Society
Year two (Level 5) modules

The modules available to you will depend on the pathway you are studying (e.g. single/combined honours) and core requirements.

Core and required modules include:

  • Policing, Crime Control and Prevention
  • Criminal Justice: Theory, Policy and Practice
  • Social Science Research Methods

Optional modules include:

  • Crime, Law and Society
  • The Criminological Imagination
  • Exploring Violence
  • Forensic and Investigative Psychology
  • Geotechnologies for Society and Environment
  • Migration: Identity, Belonging, Citizenship and Security
  • Youth in Society: Power, Politics and Participation
  • Crime Fiction
  • The Life Course: Ageing and Generation
  • Social Problems, Social Divisions, Social Justice
  • Law for Business Enterprise
  • Work Placement
  • The Psychology of Criminal Investigations
  • Professional Placement Year
Year three (Level 6) modules

Required modules include:

  • Dissertation in Criminology

Optional modules include:

  • Victims and Victimisation
  • Terrorism Studies
  • Punishment and Penology in Contemporary Society
  • Narratives of Crime
  • Unlocking Criminology
  • Media, Sociality and Everyday Life
  • Young People, Identities and Subcultures
  • Gender in Society: Critical Perspectives
  • Community Engagement
  • Exploring Law in Business
  • Culture, Risk and Environmental Justice
  • Ethnicity and Society
  • Cyber Security


Study abroad

As part of your degree, you could study abroad on a placement at one of Bath Spa’s partner universities.

Work placements and fieldwork

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.

Fieldwork opportunities, such as trips 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. 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.


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 (following further study)
  • 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.

Global Citizenship

If you’re a full-time undergraduate student starting your first year at Bath Spa University, you can apply for the Certificate in Global Citizenship, which you’ll study alongside your degree.

You’ll gain global awareness and add an international dimension to your student experience, and funding is available. On successful completion of the programme, you’ll be awarded a Certificate in Global Citizenship. This is in addition to your degree; it doesn’t change your degree title or results.

Adobe Creative Campus

Develop a wealth of indispensable digital skills that you can take into your future career. One of only three Adobe Creative Campuses in the UK, we provide all Bath Spa students with access to the full Adobe Creative Suite, giving you the tools to communicate creatively, whatever your course or chosen professional field.   

Combined courses

If you'd prefer, you can choose to study Criminology alongside another subject. This is known as a combined course, or a combined honours degree.

BSU offers five Criminology combinations:

*This combination is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS).

Professional placement year


This optional placement year provides you with the opportunity to identify, apply for and secure professional experience, normally comprising one to three placements over a minimum of nine months. Successful completion of this module will demonstrate your ability to secure and sustain graduate-level employment.

By completing the module, you'll be entitled to the addition of 'with Professional Placement Year' to your degree title.


Before your Professional Placement Year, you'll work to secure your placement, constructing a development plan with your module leader and your placement coordinator from our Careers and Employability team.

How will I be assessed?

On your return to University for your final year, you'll submit your Placement Portfolio, detailing your development on your placement.

"The chance to take part in various field trips in the final year was amazing and really solidified all that we learned in the three years preceding the trips. Additionally, a placement year enabled me to secure postgraduate employment ahead of finishing university."

Jasmine Henry, BSc (Hons) Criminology with Professional Placement Year
A student with blonde hair and glasses smiles at the camera

Where have students completed placements?

Our Criminology students have completed placements with many different organisations, including:

  • Circles of Support and Accountability
  • Penal Reforms Solutions
  • Pact – Prison Advice Care and Trust
  • Mental Health Innovations (SHOUT)
  • DWRM
  • STARS Dorset
  • Footprints Project
  • Hoo St Werburgh Primary School and The Marlborough
  • Genesis Trust
  • No Limits
  • York Road Project 
  • Tutor In A Box
  • Prior's Court
  • Direct Line
  • Dimensions
  • Young People Cornwall
  • Hampshire Cricket Company LTD
  • Knorr-Bremse Rail Systems (UK) Ltd
  • Kings Court Trust
  • Net Zero Heroes.

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Where the subject is taught

Criminology is taught at our Newton Park campus.


All modules can be found on our Virtual Learning Environment, Ultra, 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.


2024 entry
Student Annual tuition fee
UK full time £9,250
UK part time £4,625
International full time £16,905

Professional Placement Year

During the placement year, the fee is reduced to 20% of the full time fee. This applies to UK and EU/International students.

  • UK: £1,850
  • International: £3,381

Interested in applying?

What we look for in potential students

We’re looking for individuals who are interested in all aspects of crime, justice and punishment.

You’ll be looking to study these issues from varying perspectives including psychological and sociological, that challenges conventional or ‘common sense’ notions of criminality.

Typical offers

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

  • A Level – grades BBB-BCC preferred.
  • BTEC – Extended Diploma grades from Distinction Distinction Merit (DDM) to Distinction Merit Merit (DMM) accepted in any subject.
  • T Levels – grade Merit preferred.
  • International Baccalaureate – a minimum of 32 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, at Merit or higher).

If you don’t meet the entry requirements above, we may be able to accept your prior learning or experience from outside of formal education. See our Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) page to learn more.

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.

Course enquiries

For further information about the programme or entry requirements, please email us at

How do I apply?

Ready to apply? Click the 'apply now' button in the centre of this page. Need more guidance? Head to our how to apply pages.

Programme leader: Faye Vanstone
Email address:

Three year course
With placement year

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