From organised crime, terrorism and corporate crime through to local incidents, crime is constantly in the public eye. Concerns for public safety, increases in identity theft, fraud and a need for national and international co-operation in tackling crime have made the study of criminology a popular choice. We’re the only university in the UK to offer a joint honours degree in Criminology and Security Studies.
You’ll develop an understanding of the relationship between the individual and social aspects of crime and victimisation. We’ll offer you a choice of routes and the opportunity to gain invaluable experience through regular voluntary work and joint projects with organisations such as the West Midlands Police Force and The Department for Communities and Local Government.
If you’re looking to start this course in 2017, it's important to know that the content and structure are undergoing a substantial review and are likely to be different to what is outlined here. We’ll publish more detailed information about the changes over the next few months. If you’re starting in 2016, the course content/structure won’t be affected by the review.
Summary of our new course
The roots of this degree are in criminology and its quest to develop knowledge and understanding of the core schools of criminological thought along with their historical and political foundations and practical application.
Combined with criminology is the study of security which allow you to examine, in your introductory first year, a range of subjects such as terrorism, nationalism, modern day conflict, Weapons of Mass Destruction, and the role of the United Nations in modern day international security.
In the second and third years, you are able to develop your understanding of these subject areas through more specific modules examining, amongst other areas, Britain and terrorism, terrorism theory, the intelligence services, American security policy after 9/11, and war and conflict.
You will have an opportunity to produce a dissertation in your final year. Previous field trips have included the wartime code and cypher school at Bletchley Park, and Dublin (as part of the events commemorating the 1916 Easter Rising)
Criminology and Security Studies offers an in-depth look at crime, punishment and security studies. You’ll examine the relationship between law breaking and the social conditions within which laws are constructed and crime takes place.
Based in the new City Centre Campus, at the purpose-built Curzon building, your first year will be an introduction to criminology, security studies, policing and investigation. This will allow you to explore criminological theory, penal theory and other introductory modules of the subject before deciding on a career/further study route. By choosing this degree you’re giving yourself the freedom to choose your own modules based on personal interest.
The second and third years look at areas such as crime prevention; gender and crime; and transnational, corporate and organised crime. There is also a Working in Criminal Justice module which brings real-life situations to your study, giving you the chance to undertake regular voluntary work with organisations such as the Probation Service, Youth Offending Teams and local solicitors. This is invaluable as it will help develop your skills in a real-life working situation.
“What attracted me to the BA (Hons) Criminology and Security Studies course was its relevance to current affairs, both domestically and internationally, and additionally the opportunities to take part in practical elements such as a trip to Chicago, a Counter-Terrorism workshop and a visit to HMP Grendon.” Ruth Sim Mutch
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We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.
|At the point of enrolment you must have GCSE English Language at Grade C or above. Equivalent qualification will be considered, however Adult Literacy is not accepted.|
280 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels
|UK Qualification||Requirements 2016/17|
|GCE A Level/ AS Level||280 UCAS Tariff points from a maximum of 4 subjects (minimum of 2 at A2 Level or equivalent), excluding General Studies. Remaining points can be made up with a maximum of 2 AS Levels in different subjects. Preference will be given to students who have taken humanities or social science based A Levels. This includes at least one of the following subjects at A2: English, Government and Politics, History, Humanities, Law, Philosophy, Psychology, Religious Studies and Sociology. Citizenship and Critical Thinking will be considered|
|Access to Higher Education Diploma||60 credits including 45 at Level 3, of which 18 Level 3 credits are at merit / distinction on a Social Sciences/Humanities pathway (Criminology / Politics / Sociology / Psychology / Social Policy). If you do not hold GCSE English at grade C or above, then credits must also include English at Level 2|
|BTEC National Diploma (12-units not including early years)||D*D* or combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 280 UCAS points|
|BTEC Extended Diploma (18-units not including early years)||DMM - 280 UCAS points|
|BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/ National Award (6-units not including early years)||Accepted in combination with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 280 UCAS points.|
|BTEC Diploma in Foundation Studies in Art and Design||Distinction|
|International Baccalaureate Diploma||28 points overall|
|Irish Leaving Certificate||280 UCAS points - Higher Levels|
|Scottish Higher/ Advanced Higher||280 UCAS points from a maximum of four subjects|
|Welsh Baccalaureate (core plus options)||120 tariff points combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 280 UCAS points|
|If you have a qualification that is not listed in the table please refer to our full entry requirements on UCAS.
Further guidance on tariff points can be found on the UCAS website.
|EU/Non-EU (International) Qualifications||Requirements 2016/17|
|IELTS||6.0 overall with 5.5 minimum in all bands|
|International Baccalaureate Diploma (or equivalent, including internationally accredited Foundation courses).||28 points overall
Country-specific entry requirements and qualifications.
International students who cannot meet the direct entry requirements can begin their degree studies at Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC).
If you're considering applying for this course to start in September 2017 onwards, it's important to know that the UCAS tariff system is changing.
UCAS tariff points – the points system most universities use to compare different qualifications – will be introducing a new system on how points are calculated.
From A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels
If you are a full-time undergraduate applicant for 2016/17, and show particular potential, we may be able to make you an unconditional offer if you make us first choice and satisfy certain criteria.
To be considered you must hold, or be predicted to achieve:
280 points or above from three A levels (equivalent to grades BBC or above)
predicted DMM at BTEC level
You will also be required to attend an interview.
We’ve created a range of advice from experts and our students, including next steps if your exams don't go that well.
|BA (Hons)||Sep 2016||FT||3 years||£9,000 per year||Apply via UCAS|
|BA (Hons)||Sep 2016||PT||5 years||£2,250 per 30-credit module|
|BA (Hons)||Sep 2017||FT||3 years||£9,250 per year||Apply via UCAS|
|BA (Hons)||Sep 2017||PT||5 years||TBC|
If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form instead.
|BA (Hons)||Sep 2016||FT||3 years||£12,000 per year|
|BA (Hons)||Sep 2017||FT||3 years||£12,000 per year||Apply via UCAS|
If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form instead.
The University reserves the right to increase fees broadly in line with increases in inflation, or to reflect changes in government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.
There are no compulsory additional costs or charges associated with studying on this course. While you may choose to purchase personal copies of text books, all our key text books are available from our library or online (subject to normal library loan and online access arrangements).
Based on the past experience of our students, you might find it helpful to set aside about £50 for each year of your studies for your personal stationery and study materials. All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.
UK and EU students applying for most undergraduate degree courses in the UK will need to apply through UCAS.
The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.
There are three ways to apply:
You will need to complete our International Application Form and submit it together with scan copies of your original academic transcripts and certificates.
Our in-country representatives can help you make your application and apply for a visa. They can also offer advice on travel, living in the UK and studying abroad.
If you are applying for an undergraduate degree or a Higher National Diploma (HND), you can apply through the UK’s Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).
You can request a printed form from your school or nearest British Council office. You will be charged for applying through UCAS. Birmingham City University’s UCAS code is B25 BCITY.
Your personal statement is a highly important part of your application. It gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.
Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:
Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?
If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.
Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.
Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.
eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.
You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.
Get more information on writing personal statements.
Search our Frequently Asked Questions for a range of information about our courses and studying here.
We offer further information on possible undergraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.
Your first year provides a brief introduction to all subject areas: criminal justice, security studies, introduction to psychology and social control. This gives you the chance to explore the area that best fits your interests and skills. With each subject area you study, you’ll develop a broader understanding of criminology.
Throughout the year you’ll also explore theories and real-life case studies, explaining and discussing your ideas with your fellow students.
Introduction to Policing and Investigation
You’ll get a broad introduction to policing; including its history, organisation and structure, powers, models and diversity. It allows you to examine some of the key debates around crime and policy such as the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner’s crime plan – How will it impact on communities? Can it prevent crime?
Introduction to Criminology and Criminal Justice
You’ll explore the origin of criminology, some of the historical debates such as, “Are offenders born or made, and what impact does punishment have on changing the level of crime in society”. It will outline what are considered to be core perspectives and theories related to crime and criminality.
Introduction to Security Studies
This module contributes to your study of criminology by introducing you to areas of common concern such as global politics, research on genocide, state crime, terrorism and human rights abuse.
Psychology for Criminologists
You’ll gain an insight into the key areas of psychology: biological, cognitive, social, developmental and individual differences, which will then be discussed in relation to criminality, investigative and legal processes.
Social Construction of 'Deviance' and Social Control
This module encourages you to reflect on the understanding of the social, historical, cultural and political contexts of which ‘deviant’ individuals are socially controlled, ‘labelled’, criminalised and excluded from mainstream society.
After your first year you’ll focus on security and many of the issues we face in the modern world.
The security studies aspect of the degree aims to examine these key elements of insecurity in the contemporary world, be it from visible, radical, religious groups and terrorist campaigns through to longer term issues of insecurity created by declining resources or a changing environment.
The focus is not solely on Britain and the security threats it faces but includes wider study of the underlying causes of insecurity and various governmental and group responses to it.
With questions in security so prevalent – from radical religious groups and terrorist campaigns, or created by declining resources or a changing environment – this route investigates their underlying causes and governmental/group responses to it.
Prisons and Punishment
This module will focus on exploring areas such as justifying and explaining punishment as well as giving an insight into how young people and women in particular have had varying experiences of prison. You’ll also look at areas such as mental health and treating sex offenders in prison.
Advanced Criminological Research
You’ll gain a more in-depth knowledge and understanding of the different procedures used for data collection, analysis, interpretation and presentation. Building on previous research modules, you’ll be presented with a much deeper examination of the processes behind criminological research.
This module will debate the definition of terrorism and then consider its causes and changing nature. It engages with debates over the justification and condemnation of terrorism.
Intelligence and Security since 1945
You’ll examine the structure and methods of the Intelligence and Security Services, recruitment and roles. It traces the nature of changing threats and the manner in which the Services have adjusted to them. In doing so, the module will cover the key concepts of: secrecy and openness in a democratic society, accountability, threat assessment, surveillance and security.
War and Conflict in the Modern World
This module aims to examine the changing nature of power in global politics since the end of the Cold War by examining the phenomenon of ‘war’ and conflict.
You’ll study the contemporary debates that surround the practice of crime prevention, with a particular focus on England and Wales. It explores the way in which crime prevention has advanced in the wake of advances in technology and explores both the practical application of these developments.
Transnational Corporate and Organised Crime
You’ll explore issues including drug trade, arms trade and trafficking in human body parts. The module will also examine issues of corporate fraud, corruption, health and safety violations on a global scale. You’ll be asked to challenge official narratives that imply the separation of organised crime and criminals from legitimate markets and corporations.
Gender and Crime
You’ll study the gendered nature of crime and criminal justice. You’ll consider the gendered perspective of victims, perpetrators and those working within the Criminal Justice System. This module will also consider both the traditional and contemporary knowledge of the gendered nature of crime.
Terrorism and Extremism in the UK
This module examines the range of terrorist threats from those associated with the conflict in Northern Ireland to those driven by Islamic extremism. Paying particular attention to the different methods employed in the battle against terrorism from negotiation through to overt and covert military operations.
The War on Terror
You’ll look at the 9/11 attacks and the role of al-Qaida, the US response in Afghanistan and the overthrow of the Taleban; the war in Iraq and the effect on the ‘Axis of Evil’ and the broad campaign against global terrorism; political, economic and ideological factors in the American response; the campaign against the Iranian and North Korean nuclear weapons programmes.
If you have a prior interest in politics, the Criminology and Security Studies route is a unique course, currently not offered by any other UK higher education institution.
|37||Time in lectures, seminars and similar||MidnightBlue|
|63||Time in independent study||RoyalBlue|
I was very indecisive before I came to university and had originally applied to do a different course at Birmingham City University. I had always had an interest in issues surrounding security, crime and punishment and as a result I was drawn to Criminology and Security Studies. I decided to go for it and contacted the University on clearing day, which led me to where I am now.
You can gain international insight and experience a new culture with our Erasmus exchange programme. Students have spent a term at a number of incredible institutions, including the University of San Diego in the USA, as well as destinations in Cyprus and Denmark.
If you’re looking to continue your study following the completion of your course some of our students have gone on to complete an MA in Criminology.
You’ll have the opportunity to gain a practical insight into the processes of the criminal justice system through visits to prisons, courts and police establishments.
We’re the only university in the country to hold an annual debate at high-security prison HMP Grendon. This unique opportunity offers criminology students the chance to gain an exceptional insight into how criminological theory and practice combine, through direct interaction with inmates.
"I took part in a life-changing outing to HMP Grendon, which was an especially memorable experience for me as firstly I took part in the debate itself, and secondly, as a result of my performance, I was then recruited to take part in a prison management scheme, which will officially train me to one day become a prison governor."
He would like to work in a role where he can help people
Suleman Amad is in his third year studying BA (Hons) Criminology and Security Studies. Upon graduation, he would like to work in a role where he can help people, primarily in penal reform within the charity sector.
At BCU it is very diverse and people come from all over the world. I love the fact that tutors and fellow students remember your name; it's like one family.
Crime is changing and social media is altering how killers operate. Our academics, Professor David Wilson and Dr Elizabeth Yardley, debated what murder looks like in the 21st Century during our free Future of Murder talk. They were joined by columnist Erwin James, a convicted murderer, and prison governor Jamie Bennett.
This course is suitable if you wish to embark on a criminal justice-related career, including jobs in the Police, Revenue and Customs, probation, youth justice, community safety and the Prison Service as well as the voluntary sector. Choosing the security studies joint honours may also widen your employment opportunities to include government employment such as the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, security agencies, international charities such as UNICEF and NGOs.
We have partnered with the national charity New Bridge to offer undergraduate students the unique opportunity to gain experience in a variety of voluntary roles. You’ll be given an insight in to prison systems and the realities of life in prison, while at the same time enhancing your skills and experience ready for future employment.
You’ll also gain valuable experience through our Employability Challenge Weeks, as well as our Leadership Challenge programme. Both give you the chance to apply your skills to innovative and exciting projects, industry talks and workshops. You’ll also receive guidance on how to complete application forms and write effective CVs.
These courses are especially suitable for serving police officers and civilian support staff, customs officers, prison officers and those working in the Immigration and Nationality Service.
You’ll have the opportunity throughout your studies to work with a number of organisations such as Centro Safetravel, Citizens Advice Bureau and Victim Support.
Criminology student Leonie Folan is currently working on The Priority and Prolific Offender (PPO) Scheme, which is available to students who choose to take the third year Working in Criminal Justice module.
“I am gaining valuable experience in multi-agency working which is something the government are increasingly investing in in terms of offender management and rehabilitation,” Leonie says. “Once the employment with the PPO Scheme ends, I hope to continue working in offender rehabilitation, most likely with a third-sector organisation.”
OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.
It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.
Through our courses we give you the skills and experience needed to get a head start when applying for jobs. But we offer something extra too – Graduate+.
Our unique programme gives you the chance to develop valuable skills outside of the more formal classroom learning. We award points for Graduate+ activities (including firewalking!) and these can be put towards a final Graduate+ award.
The main sectors employing leavers are public administration and defence, and compulsory social security, with employers including Birmingham City Council and Sandwell Homes, in positions such as Family Support Worker and Antisocial Behaviour Officer.
Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.
The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.
Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:
Birmingham City University is a professional university, which provides vocational programmes taught using applied teaching methods.
We welcome international students who wish to enhance their career prospects and provide a full range of support and guidance services to enable you to optimise your potential.
International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.
BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.
We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities.
This course is based at our City Centre Campus – and specifically The Curzon Building, alongside other social sciences, law, business and English students.
The £63m building offers students a unique social learning space, including a dedicated student hub incorporating student support services, in the heart of Birmingham’s Eastside development.
Realistic, simulated environments include two mock court rooms, a Magistrates' and Crown Court, and an interviewing suite. We’ are also exploring the use of virtual environments as a way to develop case study analysis.
For those studying the routeway BA (Hons) Criminology, Policing and Investigation, you’ will experience simulations of police interviewing environments for both suspects and witnesses, with access to tape recording and video playback analysis.
Crime investigation files are prepared using computer-based technology, and the crime data analysis requirements of the degree are supported by appropriate statistical and analytical software.
You’ will have access to the University's computer laboratories, while oral presentation of evidence will be set in one of two mock court rooms, and also supported by video recording and playback analysis.
The emerging computer-generated University virtual world development known as 'Shareville', will support case study/crime scene environment scenarios.
Edward Johnson, a reader in public policy, has written extensively on British foreign policy and on the role of the UN in international affairs. He has taught at Birmingham City University for more than 25 years in the fields of politics and, most recently, security studies.