Make sense of the world of criminal justice with our BA (Hons) Criminology degree and get the big picture perspective on crime, punishment and victimisation.
This course aims to develop knowledge and understanding of the core schools of criminological thought, their historical and political foundations and practical application. Our curriculum offers you a variety of subjects, through which you will be able to develop your interests before focusing on specialised fields within Criminology that appeal to you as a student.
The course's real world applications are supported by its close links with local and national criminal justice agencies, including police forces, charities, pressure groups, criminal justice agencies, criminal rehabilitation, probation service and prisons.
Our degree has been shaped by many influencers, from current students to the city of Birmingham itself, to ensure the course is as cutting-edge as possible.
The course is delivered by expert staff in the fields of policing, security studies and criminology, and you will also enjoy regular guest lectures from highly influential voices in the discipline.
Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.
Our students have gone on to work with companies such as:
You'll be taught by leading experts, such as Dr Imran Awan who oversees the Centre for applied Criminology research team and offers expertise on extremism and counter terrorism.
We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.
|A Level||BBC or 112 UCAS points from a minimum of 2 subjects|
|BTEC||D*D* or combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 112 UCAS points|
|GCSE||GCSE English Language at grade 4 or above. Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment. Equivalent qualifications will be considered.|
|England, Wales and Northern Ireland|
|Functional Skills/ Essential Skills level 2||Pass||English Language. Considered in lieu of GCSE English language at grade C+. Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment.|
|Irish Leaving Certificate (Ordinary Level)||BBBCC||Must include English language. Required at the point of enrolment.|
Please select a qualification from the drop-down list to view our entry requirements:
If you have a qualification that is not listed, please contact the Course Enquiries Team
|EU/Non-EU (International) Qualifications||Requirements 2017/18|
|IELTS||6.0 overall with 5.5 minimum in all bands|
If you're considering applying for this course to start in September 2017 onwards, it's important to know that the UCAS tariff system has changed.
UCAS tariff points – the points system most universities use to compare different qualifications – has introduced a new system on how points are calculated. This will be different to what you may have seen if you have applied or looked at undergraduate courses previously.
From A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels
|BA (Hons)||Sep 2017||FT||3 Years||£9,250 per year||Apply via UCAS|
|BA (Hons)||Sep 2017||SW||4 Years||£9,250 per year (excluding sandwich year)||Apply via UCAS|
|BA (Hons)||Sep 2017||PT||5 Years||£1,542 per 20-credit module|
If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form instead.
|BA (Hons)||Sep 2017||FT||3 Years||£12,000 per year|
|BA (Hons)||Sep 2017||SW||4 Years||£12,000 per year (excluding sandwich year)|
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.
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.
UK / EU students are required to submit a personal statement as part of their application for this course.*
The personal statement 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.
*Non-EU students are not required to submit a personal statement when applying for this course.
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.
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.
On Crimes and Punishment: An Introduction to Criminological Theory
This module explores and examines the origins of criminology, some of its historical debates, concepts, literature and research. It will outline what are often considered the core perspectives and theories related to crime and criminality, whilst introducing students to the history and development of criminology as an academic discipline.
Doing Criminological Research
This module introduces students to both qualitative and quantitative criminological research methods, allowing students to develop a basic understanding of how to design research appropriately in relation to a specific topic.
This module will equip students to:
Crime in its Political and Historical Context
This module is important in setting a foundation for students in understanding the political and historical contexts of crime and the response of the State to it. It will provide an understanding of contemporary institutions and policies within the structure of criminal justice/Criminology, and show their development in historical practice and experience.
Security Studies: The Essentials
This module aims to introduce students to the subject area known as Security Studies. The module will give a broad overview of the subject area, its key debates and some of the theories which are part of it. This is all achieved through the consideration of current world security issues.
Policing, Investigation and Society
This module allows students the opportunity to develop a key understanding of policing and criminological concepts, and theoretical approaches which have been developed in relation to models of policing. It will allow students an opportunity to examine and conceptualise some of the key debates around crime, policy, human rights, crime prevention, security, and policing.
Social Construction of Crime and Deviance
This module will examine the ways in which criminological and sociological theorising helps us to challenge common sense in order to widen our understanding of a) ‘deviant’ identities and b) the operation of social control.
Critical and Cultural Criminological Thought
In this module, you will take a critical look at the shifting nature of crime, criminal identities and criminal markets throughout the twentieth century as linked to the urban city as a social milieu. You will also investigate the nature of contemporary city living and how contemporary forms of culture are inscribed in twenty-first century criminal practices.
Advanced Criminological Research
This core module provides you with the opportunity to develop a more in-depth knowledge and understanding of the different procedures used for qualitative data collection, analysis, interpretation and presentation. Students will be encouraged to think critically about the diverse assumptions that underpin criminological research, with a wider focus on the historical and political framework within which Criminology is situated.
Prisons and Punishment
This module is designed to develop your understanding of the emergence and development of key theories of punishment through an exploration of the history of penal theory and its contemporary challenges and controversies.
Crime, Media and Culture
This module provides you with a critical assessment of the interwoven connection between mediatisation, criminalisation and socialisation. It encourages students to develop an understanding of the ways in which crimes and criminal identities can be amplified, vilified and demonised through the construction of moral codes and their transgression.
The following optional modules are all worth 20 credits each:
Transnational Organised and Corporate Crime
This module is designed to develop your ability to explore the extent to which a so-called ‘globalised’ response to transnational corporate and organised crime can be understood as an example of the radical extension of the "powers of the powerful" internationally.
Human Rights: Theory and Practice
This module provides students with an opportunity to critically explore the concepts, debates, literature and research relating to rights. It encourages students to develop an informed and systematic approach to thinking about rights and to develop their knowledge of the main theories of rights.
Dissertation / Live Project / Placement
You will be given the choice to put together a dissertation or a live project for your 40 credits final year module. Alternatively, you can opt to take on an industry placement.
All of the following optional modules are worth 20 credits each:
You’ll have the opportunity to gain a practical insight into the processes of the Criminal Justice System through self-organised 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.
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.
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.
You can gain international insight and experience a new culture with our Erasmus exchange programme. Students have spent a term at a number of major 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.
We also have an exciting, new opportunity, from September 2017, for students to progress to our MA in Security Studies.
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. It’s 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 Criminal Justice System and who are intending to improve their career prospects.
You’ll 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.
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 into prison systems and how the realities of life in prison 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 how to write effective CVs.
You’ll have the opportunity throughout your study 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:
Overseas students studying in the UK are happier and have a better learning experience compared to those studying in other countries.
The International Undergraduate Students: The UK's Competitive Advantage report asked 365,754 international students studying outside their home country to give their feedback on what it's like to study in this country. And the UK scored top in every aspect.
So if you're looking at studying with us, you'll be making a good choice.
Overall measures: ranked positions
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’re also exploring the use of virtual environments as a way to develop case study analysis.
For those studying on the BA (Hons) Criminology, Policing and Investigation pathway, you’ll 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.
Psychology students can look forward to using state-of-the-art equipment as well, including the latest in eye-tracking software, and our new EEG machine, all geared towards giving you true hands-on experience with tools you’ll be using in your later career.
Emma Kelly is Programme Director for Criminology, Policing and Investigation, and Security Studies at Birmingham City University.