This degree offers in-depth study of crime, punishment and victimisation. It aims to develop knowledge and understanding of the core schools of criminological thought, their history, contemporary relevance and application as well as their relationship to other key social science disciplines The curriculum offers a varied, yet focused, choice of subjects through which students will be able to develop their interests within the specialised field of criminology and related social science disciplines.
The overall approach of the degree is to develop critical appreciation of the relationship between the individual and social aspects of crime and victimisation. The course will utilise a variety of teaching and learning techniques in order to develop a range of transferable academic and practical skills, which will be attractive to employers in the public and private sectors.
- One of the first modern universities to recognise the academic importance of criminal justice, our courses have been respected for their rigour and practical application since the 1980s
- After a fascinating first year insight into a range of subjects from the joint programmes which include: Criminology and Policing; Criminology and Psychology; and Criminology and Security Studies, you confirm or change your original choice of degree to suit your future aims
- Opportunities to get invaluable experience through regular voluntary work - current students are working in areas including the Special Constabulary, prison visiting, drug treatment schemes, victim support and bail/youth hostels for young offenders
- Our Centre for Applied Criminology - founded by David Wilson, one of the UK's leading criminologists - is a University research Centre of Excellence
- Our pioneering research within Social Work and Social Policy Administration has been recognised internationally in the Research Assessment Exercise 2008.
Why Choose Us?
- Chance to gain a practical insight into criminal justice processes through visits
- Guest speakers have included Sir Peter Lloyd, TV presenters Jon Silverman and Visiting Professor Donal McIntyre, and ex-offenders such as Noel 'Razor' Smith, Allan Weaver, Trevor Hercules and Norman Parker, as well as serving prison governors and police officers
- Strong links with criminal rehabilitation charities, local police forces, probation service and prisons - we are the only university to hold an annual debate with HMP Grendon, whose Dr Michael Brookes is a visiting professor.
280 UCAS tariff points made up of:
- From a maximum of 4 subjects (minimum 2 at A2-level or equivalent).
- 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.
- A minimum of 4 GCSEs or equivalent at grade C or above, at the point of application. These must include English language and/or literature. BTEC First Diplomas and OCR Nationals Level 2 (certificate) are accepted together with English. We will accept Key Skills Communications Level 2 / Functional Skills Level 2. However Adult Numeracy and Adult Literacy are NOT accepted.
- General Studies, Certificate of Personal Effectiveness (CoPE) and the Level 3 CACHE Diploma are not accepted as part of the points.
- Citizenship, Critical Thinking and the Extended Project will be considered.
Unconditional Offers 2014/15
If you are a full-time undergraduate applicant for the 2014/15 year, and show particular potential, we may be able to make you an unconditional offer if you make us first choice and satisfy certain criteria.
We recognise a range of qualifications which are detailed below. If you have a query about a qualification which is not listed here – our dedicated Course Information and Guidance staff will happily advise you.
Find out more about country-specific entry requirements and qualifications
Many offers will be expressed using the UCAS tariff point score, but some will be expressed as grades.
|BTEC Extended Diploma/ BTEC National Diploma||DMM|
|BTEC Diploma/ BTEC National Certificate||DD together with another qualification|
|International Baccalaureate||26 points|
60 credits including 45 at Level 3, of which 18 credits are at merit / distinction on a Social Sciences pathway Criminology / Politics / Sociology / Psychology / Social Policy). If you do not have GCSE English, then credits must also include English at Level 2.
|Foundation||Pass in a related subject.|
|NVQ Level 3||Pass in a related subject.|
|AVCE||Two 6-unit or one 12-unit.|
|IELTS||6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any band.|
|TOEFL||550 (paper) 213 (computer)|
|ESOL||Grade C at Level 2 (Certificate in English)|
Advanced Diplomas and Progression Diplomas are accepted as all or part of the required tariff points.
Entry at an advanced stage of the course with credit to prior learning or experience may be considered on an individual basis.
Full Time: Apply through UCAS.
UCAS Code: M900.
Apply via UCAS
Part-time: Applications for part-time undergraduate courses should be made direct to the faculty.
Application form for part-time undergraduate courses
Non-EU (International) students:. There are three ways for international students to apply: direct to the University, through a country representative or through UCAS. Please read our guidance on how to apply.
The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.
UK, EU and international students applying for most undergraduate degree courses in the UK will need to apply through UCAS.
You submit an application via the UCAS website with a list of up to five courses. All choices are confidential during the application process so universities and colleges considering an application cannot see your other choices. Applications must be completed by mid-January of the year that you wish to start university.
You can monitor the progress of your application using the UCAS Apply system.
Fees and Finance
Fees for students from the UK or EU countries?
|Sep 2014||FT||3 years||BA (Hons)||£8,200 per year|
|Sep 2014||PT||5 years||BA (Hons)||£1,025 per 15-credit module|
Fees for students from non-EU countries (International)?
|Sep 2014||FT||3 years||BA (Hons)||£10,100 per year|
Most of our undergraduate and postgraduate courses start in September/October, at the beginning of the academic year. However, some courses also have January/February or April start options. Short courses take place throughout the year.
Many of our courses can be studied on a Full-Time (FT) or Part-Time (PT) basis.
We also offer a Sandwich (SW) option for some courses – this usually involves two periods of Full Time study separated by a 'sandwich' placement spent working in an occupation related your course.
Online Learning (OL) courses can be studied remotely, usually using online learning tools.
Fees quoted are only for the academic year or start date stated. Fees may change in future years.
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.
Any educational visits undertaken as part of the course will be at your expense. Approximately £250 in books (purchasing essential reading for the course). You may wish to undertake additional volunteering courses, run in partnership with NewBridge at a discounted rate of approximately £75.00.
Financial Options and Advice
We have deliberately tried to set fees that reflect the cost of course delivery in order to help our students avoid debt.
Full-time students won't have to pay for tuition fees until after their studies - there are government tuition fee loans available. If you are a full-time student, after leaving university you will start to pay back your loan once you are earning over £21,000 a year, at a rate of nine per cent on any income above £21,000. So if you were earning £25,000, you would pay back nine per cent of £4,000, or £30 per month.
Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis offers key facts on fees, loans and grants:
We offer further information on possible financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.
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 reputation for excellence is soaring globally, thanks to the superb links we forge with industry, our international alliances, and our focus on practical, vocational learning.
Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:
- Explore some of the good reasons why you should study here.
- Find out how to improve your language skills before starting your studies.
- Find all the information relevant to applicants from your country.
- Learn where to find financial support for your studies.
- Discover what current and former international students have to say.
Saturday 14 June 2014 (9am - 3pm)
Our Open Day provides you with the perfect opportunity to visit the University and discover just what we have to offer.
You can learn more about our courses, great teaching and links with leading employers – as well as our £238 million investment in facilities.
There is a non-stop programme of events and activities running throughout the day, so we recommend that you arrive at 9am to ensure you get the most out of the day.
Who is it for?
The day will cover all levels of study but is predominantly for undergraduate courses.
University Approach to Employability
Expertly woven into our curriculum and work experience opportunities, and underpinned by a diligent approach to career preparation and the close involvement of professional bodies, the University views employment as one of the principal rewards for a student's ambition, application and academic achievement. It's why the University is one of the country's top 30 universities* for placing students in graduate-level employment.
Our close links with business and the professions mean that our courses are always relevant, up-to-date and meet the exact needs of the current marketplace. Wherever possible, we involve employers in planning the curriculum, while many of our lecturers come from and maintain their links with industry, ensuring they are up to speed with the latest developments.
Employability will be an integral outcome of your studies.
* Sunday Times University Guide 2012
These courses are 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. They are also suitable for serving police officers and civilian support staff, customs officers, prison officers and those working in the Immigration and Nationality service.
Part-time study in Criminology is often followed by people who are already employed within the CJS and who are intending to improve their career prospects.
Applied Social Science degrees also develop transferable skills such as analysis and decision making, commercial awareness, accessing information, problem solving, and cultural and political awareness. These skills are appropriate to a range of careers from teaching to retail management.
Options for further study at the University include:
- MA Criminology
Qualified candidates may apply for MPhil or PhD research degrees. Details can be found on the postgraduate section of the website.
About KIS data
From September 2012, all universities and colleges are publishing standardised information for all undergraduate courses in the form of a Key Information Set (KIS). The KIS data is designed to meet the needs of prospective students and allow for informed decision-making when choosing a university course.
Putting our students first
We pride ourselves on our student satisfaction levels which have risen from 73 per cent to 83 per cent between 2010 and 2012. Our dedication to improving the student experience is illustrated by our award-winning student engagement, our close links with business and industry and our £180 million investment in new facilities.
87.3% of leavers from the School of Social Sciences who responded to our survey went into either employment and/or further study. The average full-time salary was £18,400. The principal industrial sectors employing leavers from the School were 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.
Working with your Students’ Union
Improving student satisfaction is a priority commitment shared by both Birmingham City University and its Students’ Union. In its strategic planning, the Union has pledged to be more accessible, more relevant and provide more opportunity to engage with a diverse student community.
The Students’ Union is already a key stakeholder in supporting an excellent teaching experience at Birmingham City University, through joint projects such as the Extra Mile Teaching Awards and the Student Rep scheme, which allows students to share their ideas on how they are taught.
As Birmingham City University moves towards a two campus strategy where it can better support enhanced learning and student support facilities across a two-mile radius, the Students’ Union will also be better able to implement its commitment to improve communication and engage with its valued student membership.
From organised crime, terrorism and corporate crime through to local infringements of the law, crime is constantly in the public eye. Concerns for public safety, increases in identity theft, fraud and a need for national and international cooperation in tackling crime have made the study of criminology a popular choice.
Your role as a criminologist is to study the relationship between law breaking and the social conditions within which laws are constructed and crimes take place. This means that you will not only need knowledge of the law and of criminal justices processes at the local level but also in a global context.
You will become familiar with the different theories, individual and social, through which crime has been explained. The work of a criminologist involves a questioning mind and the ability to challenge common sense notions of 'who' are the 'most likely' criminals. This involves understanding of social divisions in society, such as gender and ethnicity.
As a criminologist you could be working for or with a law enforcement agency, the CJS or a government agency or a non-governmental organisation.
Many criminologists specialise in certain fields of work; for instance, you might focus on a specific age group, a specific type of crime, crime prevention, the process of crime scene investigation, the process of criminal litigation or the process of criminal corrections.
To be a good criminologist you should be able to demonstrate responsibility, creativity, analytical thinking and problem-solving. You will also need to be interested in people and their behaviour.
Criminology focuses your study on explanations of crime, responses to crime and the relationships of power within which these are produced. As part of the family of social sciences you will draw from expertise in disciplines such as sociology, politics, psychology and law.
You will look for answers to questions such as why people commit crime, how society responds to crime and how agencies like the police, the probation service and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) prevent and investigate crime.
This course is aimed at anyone who is working, or wants to pursue a career within the socio-legal field of work. This ranges from probation to the community and voluntary sectors as well as social work and the legal system. Emphasis is placed upon putting theory into practice, equipping you with the skills and abilities to prepare you for your professional career.
On BA (Hons) Criminology, you will study a mix of core and optional modules. You may select your optional modules to suit your particular interests from any of the other criminology degree programmes offered.
All the courses share this common first year. So - regardless of which specific course you apply for - your first year will be the same. This approach means that you have the chance to taste different areas of the subject before finally committing to a specific degree choice at the end of year one.
- Introduction to Criminology and Criminal Justice
- Introduction to Security Studies
- Introduction to Psychology
- Introduction to Policing and Investigation
- Social Construction of 'Deviance' and Social Control.
Examples of Level Five/Second Year Modules are:
- Prisons and Punishment
- Criminological Research
- Criminal and Forensic Psychology
- Addiction and Criminality
- Crime, Media and Culture.
Examples of Level Six/Third Year Modules are:
- Theories of Rights
- Crime Prevention
- Transnational Corporate and Organised Crime
- Gender and Crime
- Prison and the Therapeutic Community
- Serial Killers and the Phenomenon of Serial Murder
- Hate Crime.
You will have the opportunity to gain a practical insight into work that relates to criminal justice processes through visits.
You are encouraged to take an active interest in the work of various agencies that relate to the study of crime. The module 'Working in Criminal Justice', which is an option in year three, gives you the opportunity to reflect on regular voluntary work, allowing you to gain valuable experience that relates to you studies.
Current students are working in a number of areas including the Special Constabulary, prison visiting, drug treatment schemes, victim support and bail/youth hotels for young offenders.
Assessment is through a variety of methods including coursework, presentations and examinations with the option of completing an extended research project or a reflective project based upon an area of volunteer work in the criminal justice system in the final stage.
All assessments will require you to use your communication and research skills to solve problems.
Through my early years I was a very active and some would say clever child but as I got older I began to adopt a much more laid back attitude and my focus on what was positive would begin to decrease. While I would still at times keep my head in my books, I was soon spending more time going out, enjoying myself and often getting up to no good with my friends; we didn’t get into any serious trouble, but we did as we pleased and at no time attempted to follow the letter of the law. It was in the second year of college that my life and most importantly my mentality began to change because one of my closest friends was sent to prison.
I took a gap year after college as I decided that I needed time to focus on what was important and in what direction I wanted to take my life; as unfortunate as it was that my friend had gone to prison, I quickly realised that it could have easily been me or any one of my peers. I found myself a full-time job and started slowly taking myself away from the life I had previously known. I got to a point where I could see what was going on around me; more of my friends were going to prison while other young people from my local area had been shot, stabbed and even killed. At this point I began to search and strive towards a life of fulfilment, a life that my family and I could be proud of and most importantly a life that could maybe one day change the lives of others for the better.
While I knew that I wanted to study I was still unsure about what course I wanted to undertake. It wasn’t until I looked back on my own life and observed the life of my peers that I realised the most substantial problem within young people within the inner city was crime. Through a lack of positive role models, resources, education, stable family units or personal determination many young people would and do turn to lives of crime and define themselves through the sub-cultures they create, including gang culture. I chose to enter university and study Criminology, to further study recognised theories into why young people fell into certain groups and how they can move away from crime and deviant lifestyles through education and getting the right help and advice.
My initial plan when starting university was to simply arrive at my lectures and seminars, get my education and then leave; at no point was I interested in socialising or take part in any other activities. However, as my education progressed, university also taught me lessons outside of the lecture theatre – I began to meet new people, explore new cultures and simply allow myself to learn from those I would have most likely never has spoken to away from university. I became more relaxed around people that would usually have had me on edge or left me with a feeling of discomfort.
Within my university experience I have also been given some priceless opportunities, including a work placement with the Young Offenders Service where my role was to work on what’s known as “Youth Offender Panel Work”. This programme allows young offenders to sit and talk about their crimes with criminal justice workers and even the victims of the crimes they have committed. This is a chance for young offenders to confront and take responsibility for their actions, apologise for their behaviour and suggest why they committed their crime, which allows them to avoid simply being sent to prison. This was the first year that the University had run the scheme and I believe it to be a brilliant addition to the course.
I also took part in a life-changing outing to HMP Grendon as part of a student/prisoner debate. This experience was especially memorable 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 by the General Manager of the National Offender Management Service for the South East/West of England. The management schemes offered will officially train me to one day become a prison governor. Becoming a prison governor wasn’t something I had previously considered as I am not the strongest advocate of how the Prison Service is run at present, with too much emphasis on incarceration and not enough on rehabilitation, but I realised that the best way to change the system was from the inside, putting ideas into practice which, if successful, could then be used in other prisons. I would like to say to young people who are in prison that it needn’t define the rest of their life, and concentrate on providing them with the right support and education to progress and integrate back into society.
My active educational life has led to me being positively active in my social life. I stand strong in the belief of giving back to the community, young people in particular, as they will be the adults of tomorrow. Young people need positive role models; otherwise the only big characters they will see are those which will take them on the wrong path. I have recently begun coaching an under-12s football team with a local charity club named Continental Stars. Continental Stars focuses on providing young males and females from the ages of 10 and upwards, with not only the skills to make them better footballers, but also life skills, while providing positive role models through the use of sport.
I have also been working with young people in schools for the past seven months using seminars/workshops I created that promote confidence, self esteem and purpose. One of my beliefs is that many young people who decide to move away from society or bracket themselves within certain groups do so because they genuinely feel they do not belong. These young people feel as if there voice is never heard or taken seriously; they lack the confidence to stand strong in their individual beliefs and instead choose to define themselves through their social groups. I use music and poetry to allow young people to express themselves and how they are feeling. The response to my work has been positive with schools continually asking for my services and young people continually letting me know they enjoy my workshops. I have been doing this work through a performing arts agency but hope to register my own business later this year.
I came to university as a young male seeking further education and I am leaving as a young man that has not only succeeded and completed his degree but also a young man that now has the world at his feet. I will use my degree to help people, young people in particular and simply be an example to many that with hard work and determination all things are possible. I will continually encourage young people to gain an education, not just for the qualification but also for the life lessons that it will offer you along the way.
Prospective students from the UK or EU
- Take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions for answers to a range of questions about our courses and studying here.
- If you need further help, you can contact the Course Enquiries Team online by using the Course Enquiry Form.
- Alternatively, call us on +44 (0)121 331 5595.
Prospective students from non-EU countries
- International enquirers from non-EU countries may enquire via the International Enquiry Form.
- Alternatively, call us +44 (0)121 331 6714.