As the first University in the UK to offer a combined degree in criminology and security studies, we are able to give you a truly unique experience.
This course combines Criminology with the study of Security, allowing you to examine - in your introductory first year -a range of subjects such as intelligence, terrorism, nationalism, modern day conflict, weapons of mass destruction and the role of the United Nations in modern day international security. This will equip you with a wide range of knowledge about both national and international politics, and how politics can create both security and insecurity for citizens of the United Kingdom.
In your second and third years, this wide knowledge base will be built upon as you specialise in your learning. Your knowledge of the core ideas in Criminology will be re-enforced throughout these two years, and you will learn more about topics such as the role of MI5 and MI6, extremism, terrorism and counter-terrorism, the Middle East and conflict in the modern world, and International Relations.
Together these two years will provide you with a well-rounded knowledge of the political and historical issues which are leading to continued conflict and instability in the world today. This is an exciting and dynamic course whose modules directly reflect what is happening around the world and which is at the cutting edge of current scholarship.
Our next University-wide Open Day will take place on Saturday 25 November. Come along to find out more about our courses and see our facilities.
To welcome all new home and EU undergraduate degree students starting in 2017 or 2018, we're giving at least £150 worth of credit to spend in a host of ways, on books and a range of learning materials. Even better, it doesn’t have to be repaid.
Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.
*National Student Survey 2017
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|
|City and Guilds Level 2||N/A||Certificates in Adult Numeracy/ Adult Literacy. Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment.|
|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
|English language requirements 2017/18|
|IELTS||6.0 overall with 5.5 minimum in all bands|
|Other accepted qualifications||Visit our English language page|
From A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels
|BA (Hons)||Sep 2018||FT||3 Years||£9,250 per year||Apply via UCAS|
|BA (Hons)||Sep 2018||SW||4 Years||£9,250 per year||Apply via UCAS|
|BA (Hons)||Sep 2018||PT||5 Years||See below|
If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form instead.
|BA (Hons)||Sep 2018||FT||3 Years||£12,000 per year|
|BA (Hons)||Sep 2018||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 in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index 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.
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.
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 Historical and Political 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.
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.
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.
War and Conflict in the Modern World
This module aims to examine the changing nature of power in global politics since the end of the Cold War by examining different aspects of contemporary conflict.
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.
Intelligence and Security Post-1945
The module aims to develop an understanding of the role of intelligence agencies in combating insecurity with particular reference to Britain.
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.
This module will provide students with a detailed look at the theory and development of terrorism through an engagement with contemporary history and current affairs. Definitions, causes and different “categories” of terrorism will be addressed over the course of the module to help you develop an ability to engage critically with this topic.
The following optional modules are all worth 20 credits each:
Britain and Terrorism
The module examines a range of terrorist threats from some anti-colonial groups the British encountered in the final days of the Empire, through to the conflict in Northern Ireland and finally those driven by Islamic extremism.
Critical and Human Security in the Global South
The module aims to provide an understanding of the development of US security policy in the light of the 9/11 attacks by examining the range of domestic and external factors which have shaped the American declared ‘War on Terror’ and the success of that policy in augmenting or eroding American security both abroad and at home.
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.
The following optional modules are all worth 20 credits each:
You’ll have the opportunity to gain a practical insight into the ways which security concerns have shaped the history and politics of the United Kingdom through several trips.
The first of these trips will see you visit the birthplace of code breaking in the United Kingdom – Bletchley Park. On this trip you will deepen your knowledge of spies, intelligence and code breaking and will learn how these things contributed to victory in WWII.
The second of these trips will see you spend several days in Dublin, Republic of Ireland. While there, you will explore the turbulent history of UK-Irish relations and will have the opportunity to learn about how Ireland gained its independence from the United Kingdom, as well as the role the British security establishment played in both this period of history and the on-going British-Irish relationship.
I was very indecisive before I came to university and had originally applied to do a different course at Birmingham City University. I had always had an interest in issues surrounding security, crime and punishment and as a result I was drawn to Criminology and Security Studies. I decided to go for it and contacted the University on clearing day, which led me to where I am now.
You can gain international insight and experience a new culture with our Erasmus exchange programme. Students have spent a term at a number of 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 security services, 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.
This course has also improved the career prospects of serving military personnel and is suitable to both currently serving and recently retired members of the armed forces.
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 the realities of life in prison, while at the same time enhancing your skills and experience ready for future employment.
You’ll also gain valuable experience through our Employability Challenge Weeks, as well as our Leadership Challenge programme. Both give you the chance to apply your skills to innovative and exciting projects, industry talks and workshops. You’ll also receive guidance on how to complete application forms and 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:
Birmingham City University is a professional university, which provides vocational programmes taught using applied teaching methods.
We welcome international students who wish to enhance their career prospects and provide a full range of support and guidance services to enable you to optimise your potential.
International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.
BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.
We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities.
This course is based at our City Centre Campus – and specifically The Curzon Building, alongside other social sciences, law, business and English students.
The £63m building offers students a unique social learning space, including a dedicated student hub incorporating student support services, in the heart of Birmingham’s Eastside development.
Realistic, simulated environments include two mock court rooms, a Magistrates' and Crown Court, and an interviewing suite. We’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.