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Black Studies (Criminal Justice) - BA (Hons)

  • Level: Undergraduate
  • Starting: September 2021
  • Study mode: Full Time (3 Years), Part Time (5 Years)
  • Location: City Centre

Studying with us in 2021/22

It is possible that the 2021/22 academic year may be affected by the ongoing disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Any arrangements put in place by the University for the 2021/22 academic year will be in accordance with the latest government public health advice, pandemic-related/health and safety legislation, and the terms and conditions of the student contract.

Black Studies is ground-breaking because it puts the experiences, perspectives and contributions of African and the African diaspora at the very heart of university education.

More importantly the aim of the subject is to break down traditional barriers and apply the work we do on campus to improving the conditions facing those who live off campus. In creating the BA (Hons) Black Studies (Criminal Justice) routeway we have taken the strengths of the Black Studies programme and directly applied them to one of the most significant problems facing Black communities.

In Britain, Black people are more likely to be subject to stop and search, arrested, charged, given a prison sentence and even to die in suspicious circumstances after police contact. The situation is particularly bad for young people, where ethnic minorities represent half of all those held in young offenders institutions. None of this is new and there have been decades of campaigns and protests around the injustices in the system. The aim of this degree is to provide the context to understand the issues as well as the tools and experience to work to remedy these major social problems.

You will take Black Studies modules, which explore the history, politics and experience of Black communities as well as examining the issues in society that produce such stark inequalities. Alongside these modules, you will study Criminology-specific modules that explore the basis of, and issues with, the criminal justice system.

You will gain experience of the criminal justice system in the second year placement. You will be encouraged and supported to find your own placement, however the course team is committed to ensuring all students have an appropriate placement. You will also be encouraged to draw on your learning and experiences to create a final year project that is applied to the real world context.

The BA (Hons) Black Studies and BA (Hons) Black Studies (Criminal Justice) courses will share a common first year, with students able to pick their routeway at the end of the first year.

For those interested in working in criminal justice, the issue of race and racism is one of the most important, given the inequalities in the system. The aim is for this degree to provide essential learning that can be applied to future careers in the sector.

Why Choose Us?

  • You have the opportunity to embark on a year-long sandwich placement as part of your degree course, ensuring you have the experience you need to make an impact in your chosen career.
  • Our Black Studies team have links with some of the most respected academics in the field, including Patricia Hill Collins, Kimberlé Crenshaw, Gus John, Hazel Garby, Barnor Hesse and Joan Anim-Addo.

  • Professor Kehinde Andrews was named as one of the 100 Great Black Britons in 2020
  • You will have the opportunity to connect to local, national and international connections that the department has to those working for racial justice in the sector.

  • We work alongside many important social organisations, who help shape our course. These include the Black Studies Association, the Race and Ethnicity Group, and Unmuted.

  • Don't meet the entry criteria? Our Foundation Year programmes offer a route to a full undergraduate degree at a lower entry tariff.

  • You will also get the opportunity to transform your experience with us into a global one, with a variety of exciting possibilities open to you. This ranges from our competitive international travel scholarships scheme, through which you can spend a summer working for a charitable organisation overseas, to one of our many overseas study exchange programmes. Our international exchange opportunities could also see you spend some of your second term at an institution in the USA.

  • As a student on one of our undergraduate degrees, you will be able to benefit from our Graduate+ initiative. This three-year award programme enables you to gain award levels for all the extra-curricular activities you undertake so that you can stand out from the crowd on graduation. 

Students outside Millennium Point

Open Days

Our Virtual Open Day for this course will take place on 22 November 2020. Book now and we will email you with a link to the Virtual Open Day for your subject area of choice.

Register your interest

This course is open to International students

School of Social Sciences

Discover the School of Social Sciences

Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.

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Natalie Marriott - I AM BCU 900x600

I AM BCU

Natalie Marriott

Natalie is a mature student who originally wanted to go into logistics. However, while she was searching for courses in this area, she happened to come across our Black Studies degree. 

Read in full

Sir Lenny Henry, Chancellor

Actor, writer, comedian and charitable campaigner Sir Lenny Henry is our new Chancellor.

Find out more

Entry Requirements

We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.

UK students
Essential

BBC or 112 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels.

GCSE English Language at grade 4 or above. Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment. Equivalent qualifications will be considered.

Typical Offers
UK Qualification Requirements 2019/20
A Level / AS Level BBC at A Level (112 points). A maximum of three subjects are considered. Most subjects accepted including Citizenship Studies and Critical Thinking, excluding General Studies.
Access to Higher Education Diploma Pass overall with 60 credits, 45 at Level 3, of which 18 Level 3 credits are at merit or distinction grade on a Social Sciences / Humanities pathway. Must also hold GCSE English Language at grade 4 or equivalent.
BTEC National Diploma (12-units not including early years) / Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma D*D* combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 112 UCAS points. Excluding Early Years and Children's Play, Learning & Development
BTEC Extended Diploma (18-units not including early years) / Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma DMM (112 points). Excluding Early Years and Children's Play, Learning & Development.
BTEC Subsidiary Diploma / Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate Combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 112 UCAS points. Excluding Early Years and Children's Play, Learning & Development.
International Baccalaureate Diploma

Obtain a minimum of 28 points overall. Students who do not complete the IB Diploma will be considered on the basis of their IB Certificates and alongside other acceptable level 3 qualifications to meet 112 UCAS Tariff Points.

If taking the IB Certificate you will need to obtain a total of 14 points or above from three Higher Level Subjects.

Irish Leaving Certificate (Higher Level) Pass the Irish Leaving Certificate with a minimum of 112 tariff points, achieved in four Higher level subjects.  This must include Maths and English Language taken at either Ordinary level (minimum grade O1-O4 (or A-C/A1-C3)) or Higher level (minimum grade H5/D1).
Scottish Advanced Higher

Achieve a minimum of 112 tariff points achieved in either three Advanced Highers or from a combination of two Advanced Highers plus two Highers.

Where three Advanced Highers have been taken achieve a minimum of grades CCD.  Where a combination of Highers and Advanced Highers have been taken you must achieve (grades of CD in two Advanced Highers plus grades of CC in two Highers). 

Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate Skills Challenge Certificate

B plus grades BB at A Level (or equivalent qualifications). 

Considered in combination with either A-levels, BTEC Subsidiary Diplomas / OCR Cambridge Technical Diplomas / BTEC 12-unit or 90 Credit Diplomas etc to achieve a minimum of 112 UCAS points. 

Other qualifications
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.
Additional information for EU/International students
Essential

Applications from international applicants with equivalent qualifications to 112 points are welcome. Please see your country page for further details on the equivalent qualifications we accept.

In additional to the academic entry requirements listed above, international and EU students will also require the qualifications detailed in this table.

English language requirements 2020/21
IELTS

6.0 overall with 5.5 minimum in all bands

If you do not meet the required IELTS score, you may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English courses. Please note that you must have a Secure English Language Test (SELT) to study on the pre-sessional English course. More information.

Other accepted qualifications Visit our English language page

From A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels

Don’t meet our entry requirements?

You could apply for a foundation course or a course at our International College. These routes have lower entry requirements and act as the bridge to a full degree. To find out more, please select your status:

Home student International student

  • UK students
  • International students

Award: BA (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2021

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Year 1 (60 credits) £4,800
  • Year 2 (60 credits) £4,800
  • Year 3 (80 credits) £6,400
  • Year 4 (80 credits) £6,400
  • Year 5 (80 credits) £6,400

Fees for Part-time students

This course can be studied on a Part-time study basis. The cost per year of study is based on credit requirements for that year as shown here.

Award: BA (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2021

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 3 Years
  • £13,200 per year

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form and equal opportunities PDF form instead. The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament up to a maximum of five per cent.

Guidance for UK students

UCAS

UK 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.

Applying through UCAS
 Register with UCAS
 Login to UCAS
 Complete your details
 Select your course
 Write a personal statement
 Get a reference
 Pay your application fee
 Send UCAS your application

International students

There are three ways to apply:

1) Direct to the University

You will need to complete our International Application Form and Equal Opportunities Form, and submit them together with scan copies of your original academic transcripts and certificates.

2) Through a country representative

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.

3) Through UCAS

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.

Personal statement

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:

Course choice

Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?

Career plans

If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.

Work experience

Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.

School or college experience

Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.

Non-accredited skills or achievement

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.

Fees for part time students

If you study this course part-time or via distance learning, you will be charged on a pro-rata basis. This means your fee will be calculated per module.

Additional costs

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.

Accommodation and living costs

The cost of accommodation and other living costs are not included within your course fees. More information on the cost of accommodation can be found in our accommodation pages.

Worried about personal statements?

Worried about personal statements?

If you've got no idea where to start or just want to check you're on the right track, we’ve got expert advice and real examples from our students to help you nail your personal statement. You can even download our ultimate personal statement guide for free.

Get personal statement advice

Loans and Grants

Financial Support

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.

Year One

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):

Introduction to Black Studies
20 credits
Black Intellectual Thought
20 credits
City, Community, Culture
20 credits
Understanding Society
20 credits
State and Society
20 credits
Researching Black Lives
20 credits

Year Two

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 100 credits):

Black Political Activism
20 credits
Race, and the Racialization of Crime
20 credits
Black Studies Methods
20 credits
Black Feminism
20 credits
Working in Criminal Justice
20 credits

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete at least 20 credits from the following indicative list of OPTIONAL modules. 

Intelligence and Security Post-1945
20 credits
Crime Media Culture: Representation, Consumption and Production
20 credits
Prisons and Punishment
20 credits
Youth, Crime and Justice
20 credits

Final Year

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 80 credits):

Black Arts Movement
20 credits
Blackness in Britain
20 credits
Black Studies Project
40 credits

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete at least 40 credits from the following indicative list of OPTIONAL modules. 

Rehabilitation, Reintegration Re-entry and Therapeutic Communities
20 credits
Human Rights Theory and Practice
20 credits
Gender and Crime
20 credits
Cyber Crime
20 credits
Everyday Surveillance
20 credits
Critical and Human Security in the Global South
20 credits
Hate Crime
20 credits

Study and work abroad

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.

Find out more

Enhancing employability skills

The benefit of Black Studies is that as society becomes increasingly diverse, employers recognise the need to have a much deeper range of knowledge about society. It will also be an advantage because it demonstrates a wealth of knowledge on issues of race, inclusion and society.

As well as this, you will gain the transferrable skills that employers always crave such as skills in critical thinking, analysis and research. 

OpportUNIty

OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

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.

Firewalking

BCU Graduate+

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.

More about Graduate+

Graduate Jobs

Studying a broad-ranging subject like Black Studies is an excellent route into a range of professional jobs, where you can be exposed to a variety of different ideas and critical thinking. This will enable you to consider a multitude of career options upon graduating, with the degree keeping the door open to professions such as social work, teaching and law. 

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:

The UK remains one of the world's leading study destinations

The UK remains one of the world's leading study destinations for international students.

The first-class experience offered by universities are reflected in the world’s largest survey of international students. International students are more likely to recommend the UK than any other leading English-language study destination.

Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC)

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

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.

Learn more about BCUIC

Curzon facilities eatery
Curzon facilities staircase
Curzon facilities student hub

Our Facilities

We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £340 million on new learning facilities.

The Curzon Building

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) Policing or BA (Hons) Criminology, Policing and Investigation degrees, 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. You will also benefit from facilities across the wider campus including the Parkside and Millennium Point buildings.

The Curzon Building also features:

  • An impressive new library with access to over 65 million full text items and stunning views of Eastside City Park
  • Your Students’ Union which is located in a beautifully restored 19th century pub, The Eagle and Ball
  • A modern 300-seat food court with space to study and socialise
  • Brand new, accessible IT facilities with full Office365 for all students for free

Our staff

Our staff carry out high-quality research, writing books and articles that lead the development of Black studies in the UK. They have recently published the first British edited book on Black studies, entitled 'Blackness in Britain'. Our staff are also producing the acclaimed book series 'Blackness in Britain', which features books covering topics such as Black radicalism, Black criminology and mixed heritage identities.

Our staff have also organised the major international conference, also titled Blackness in Britain, which brought in scholars from across the world and included contributions from Professor Patricia Hill Collins (University of Maryland), Dr Barnor Hesse (Northwestern University) and Professor Gus John (Institute of Education), all major figures in Black Studies.

Professor Kehinde Andrews

Professor of Black Studies

Professor Kehinde Andrews is an academic, activist and author whose books include Back to Black: Retelling Black Radicalism for the 21st Century (2018). His first book was Resisting Racism: Race, Inequality and the Black Supplementary School Movement (2013).

Full Profile

Dr Dionne Taylor

Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Deputy Programme Leader Black Studies, Deputy Head of Department

Dr Dionne Taylor's role in BCU is about supporting, inspiring and guiding the students to reach beyond what many of them believe is possible. Encouraging students to work through the challenges, barriers and limitations to success is one of the reasons she became an academic.

Full Profile

Dr Martin Glynn

Lecturer in Criminology

Dr Martin Glynn is an experienced and internationally renowned criminologist, educator, theatre director, and dramatist with over 35 years’ experience of working in criminal justice, public health, and educational settings.

Full Profile