This course will enable you to develop an understanding of society and social factors and how this affects crime and criminals, giving you a solid human understanding that will put you in a good position for range of careers or further study.
Combining sociology with the study of criminology gives you a chance to benefit from the cutting-edge thinking of the University’s Centre for Applied Criminology, a research Centre of Excellence.
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.
*This course is subject to approval.
Summary of our new course
This course will enable you to develop a deep understanding of society and a vast range of social issues, while gaining insight into how the workings of society affect crime and criminal behaviour.
Combining sociology with the study of criminology gives you a chance to benefit from the cutting-edge thinking of the University’s Centre for Critical Social Research as well as the Centre for Applied Criminology, while our professional relevance is supported by our close links with the likes of West Midlands Police Force and Birmingham Community Safety Partnership.
You’ll gain the opportunity to take part in debates and visits at HMP Grendon and have the chance to enjoy field trips, study abroad, or undertake a work placement through one of our many local links with voluntary, statutory and commercial organisations.
The course ensures that you develop a wide range of transferable skills to help you succeed in your chosen career whether it lies within criminal justice agencies or the broader public, private or voluntary sectors.
This course is taught with an equal number of sociology and criminology modules.
You’ll share a common first year with the Sociology BA, giving you a wide range of understanding and letting you see what your options are before advancing. The course introduces you to sociological theories about crime, criminals and the operation of criminal justice agencies.
The criminology modules cover topics such as: Crime, Media and Culture, Core Issues in Crime and Punishment, Criminal and Forensic Psychology, Terrorism Theory, Applied Criminology, Crime Prevention, and Transnational Corporate and Organised Crime.
Your sociology modules may include: Understanding Society, Social Construction of Deviance, Understanding Popular Culture, Social Policy and Social Problems, Social Identities, Sociology of the Media, Music and Society, Sociology of the Internet and Globalisation, Empire and Development.
“I left the University with a deep understanding of social problems and social policy. I believe that the course transformed my world view. The course improved my research, campaign and advocacy skills. It further expanded my taste for activism and desire to change society for the better.” Lamin Jassey
Our next University-wide Open Day will take place on Saturday 8 October 2016. Come along to find out more about our courses and see our facilities.
Please note: we are currently reviewing our entire course provision for 2017/18. Details will be included in your registration email.
Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.
Our students have gone on to work with companies such as:
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.|
|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. 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 or Children’s Care, Learning and Development)||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 or Children’s Care, Learning and Development)||DMM|
|BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/ National Award (6-units not including Early Years or Children’s Care, Learning and Development)||Accepted in combination with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 280 UCAS points.|
|International Baccalaureate Diploma||28 points overall|
|Irish Leaving Certificate||280 points including 4 Higher Level passes. Points will be taken from a maximum of 4 subjects.|
|Scottish Higher/ Advanced Higher||280 points from a maximum of 4 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).||26 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).
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.
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.
|BA (Hons)||Sep 2016||FT||3 years||£9,000 per year|
|BA (Hons)||Sep 2016||PT||5 years||£1,125 per 15-credit module|
|BA (Hons)||Sep 2017||FT||3 years||£9,250 per year||Apply via UCAS|
|BA (Hons)||Sep 2017||PT||5 years||TBC|
|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|
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.
You will be able to apply for 2017/18 via UCAS from 6 September 2016.
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.
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.
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.
Crime, Community and Culture
You’ll be introduced to a range of sociological ideas and themes in relation to Birmingham as a city, including the socio-spatial aspects of the city, inequalities in the city (for example, class and gender) and its diversity.
Sociology of the Media
There is increasing recognition that the way we view society locally, globally and nationally is to some extent determined by how it is presented in the media. This module will consider some of those factors that help decide how the media are structured, what material is broadcast on them and how audiences perceive this material.
Music and Society
You’ll learn a range of social theories concerning music, along with social histories of music, students will also develop their critical thinking, listening and communication skills.
Understanding Popular Culture
In this module you’ll start by looking at theory relevant to the study of culture and especially popular culture. This theory will then be used to look in depth at a number of topics including ‘The Body’, Sport and Music.
This module provides an opportunity for you to develop an appreciation of the ways that identities are fluid, socially shaped and performatively produced. You’ll consider the ways that inequalities are socially produced and how wider cultural, political, social and economic contexts provide possibilities and limits as to how one can realise their identity.
Prisons and Punishment
This module will focus on exploring areas such as justifying and explaining punishment, as well as giving an insight in to 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.
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.
Addiction and Criminality
You’ll look at the nature of legal/illegal drugs and the changing practices and contexts in which drugs are supplied and consumed. You’ll consider the relationships between drug addiction, deviance and crime.
Psychology for Criminologists
You’ll gain an insight in to 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.
Your first year provides a brief introduction to all subject areas across both criminology and sociology.
With each subject area you study, you’ll develop a broader understanding of the topic. It also means going forward that you can diversify across the different areas, choosing relevant modules in your second and third years based on personal interests and skillset.
Throughout the course you’ll also explore theories and real-life case studies explaining and discussing your ideas with your fellow students.
Year 2 and 3
After your first year you’ll study a 50/50 split between Sociology and Criminology modules.
Sociology has been taught in universities in the United Kingdom for over 100 years. The findings and research started then has permeated into knowledge that is now taken for granted. For example, it was sociologists who first recognised the link between certain types of punishment and the increased likelihood of repeat offending. Do you think ASBOs are doing the same thing today?
Sociology explores and questions social norms and discovers the complex issues behind our everyday routines. Sociology is one of the most diverse of the social sciences and covers an array of areas and topics, part of the reason for the many pathways we offer on this degree.
If sociology is right for you, you will have an interest in people, in discovering different ways to look at the world and in forming reasoned arguments about society.
What makes the society we live in? Who are the people in charge? Who controls the media? Who controls the people in control? If you are interested in answering these questions, a sociology degree is a good place to start.
Sociology is concerned with how society works: how people live together and how they may come into conflict with each other. It generates information about what is happening in the world and helps governments and agencies to formulate their policies. Sociology is concerned with real life affairs and current issues of the day and so relates directly to the world we live in.
Sociology is also interested in social changes: in attitudes and beliefs, in social hierarchies, in the world of work, in the ways we spend our leisure time and in political changes generally. Sociologists want to know why and how people set about changing their lives and the discipline of sociology will enable you to explore these issues, and others that directly affect you, at a level above the common sense explanations that surround us.
|35||Time in lectures, seminars and similar||MidnightBlue|
|65||Time in independent study||RoyalBlue|
These independent reviews show what our students really think:
"So far very good , coming from different country , teachers are lovely and made new friends."
If you are interested in undertaking part of your studies abroad, the Erasmus scheme may be of interest to you. It allows higher education students to study for part of their degree in another European country.
It is open to undergraduates in their second year (or above) and offers a unique opportunity to enhance your CV and experience new cultures. If you study with us you will have access to an Erasmus co-ordinator, who can provide information about which institutions we have links with.
Examples of further study opportunities include:
We are also currently developing a Masters in Sociology which will be undergoing approval in the near future.
The School of Social Sciences has relationships with a number of criminal justice agencies and non-government organisations, including the local Community Safety Partnership, HMP Grendon and the Howard League. We also regularly have guest lecturers from the Police Force and various regional charities.
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.
People who study sociology and criminology progress into a wide variety of jobs depending on personal interest and the voluntary work/placements they undertake. You’ll gain a range of relevant and valuable skills that can be applied to both an organisational or community context.
You’ll learn how to work independently and, through team exercises, in collaboration with others. You’ll also learn how to work effectively without close supervision. You’ll know how to find information, extract what is important from it and turn it into an argument.
These skills and your insights into the workings of society will lead to a degree that a very wide range of employers see as relevant in the modern world.
Beyond this, many people today study sociology and criminology for the personal enjoyment they gain; it broadens minds and enables them to see their world in new and interesting ways.
Recent graduates have entered into education, teaching, the media, social services, the Criminal Justice system, and health administration.
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.
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.
Trainee Probation Officer
Attracted by the flexibility of the course as it catered to her individual needs, studying Sociology and Criminology has given Ruth confidence and knowledge, developing her skills and preparing her for a successful career.
One of the best factors of the course was the lecturers who were fun and enthusiastic. I found the support from the staff to be amazing; the tutors were always willing to make time. I was able to approach them during office hours in a relaxed atmosphere to have a discussion. The tutors were incredibly approachable and always willing to go the extra mile.
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.
David Wilson is a former prison governor and expert on serial killers through his work with various British police forces, academic publications, books, and media appearances. Most recently he appeared on the Channel 5 documentary, Serial Killers.