Criminology - BA (Hons)

Looking to study a criminology degree at university? Our BA (Hons) Criminology course is supported by our close links with local criminal justice organisations in the voluntary, public, and private sectors, including West Midlands Police Force. Make sense of the world of criminal justice by getting the big picture perspective on crime, punishment and victimisation....

Studying with us in 2021/22 and 2022/23

The University has put in place measures in response to Covid-19 to allow us to safely deliver our courses.  Information about the arrangements for the 2021/22 academic year can be found here.  

 

Should the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic continue in the 2022/23 academic year or subsequent years of your course, any additional and/or alternative arrangements put in place by the University in response 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.

  • Level Undergraduate
  • Study mode Full Time/Part Time
  • Location City Centre
  • School School of Social Sciences
  • Faculty Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences

Overview

Looking to study a criminology degree at university? Our BA (Hons) Criminology course is supported by our close links with local criminal justice organisations in the voluntary, public, and private sectors, including West Midlands Police Force.

Make sense of the world of criminal justice by getting 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.

 
This course is open to International students.

What's covered in this course?

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, such as homicide and harms of the powerful. This is an exciting and dynamic course that explorereal-world problems, focusing on cutting edge and topical issues relating to crime and social justice.

The course uses research-informed teaching and learning to develop a range of transferable academic and practical skills which will be attractive to employers. The course also uses external visits, as well as unique assessments to enhance your understanding of the discipline.

The course's real-world applications are supported by its close links with local and national agencies, including police forces, charities, criminal justice agencies, probation service and prisons. You will have opportunities to gain work experience with relevant organisations, and there is an option for you to undertake international study.

You will be taught by expert staff in the fields of criminology, policing, and security, and you will also enjoy regular guest lectures from highly influential voices in the discipline.

Why Choose Us?

  • We have a strong relationship with the British Society of Criminology. We hosted the 2018 British Society of Criminology Conference at our City Centre Campus.
  • On all of our courses you will gain a professional focus and real world experience, ensuring you are equipped to make an immediate impact in your career. You have the opportunity to embark on a year-long professional placement as part of your degree course.
  • The course’s professional relevance is supported by our close links with local criminal justice organisations, including West Midlands Police Force and Birmingham Community Safety Partnership.
  • All our courses have an international focus. This is embedded throughout the curriculum, giving you the opportunity to transform your experience with us into a global one. There are a variety of exciting possibilities open to you, including our many overseas study exchange programmes.
  • As a student on one of our undergraduate degrees, you will be able to benefit from our Graduate+ initiative. This three-year award course 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.
  • You will be taught by industry-leading experts, including Dr Imran Awan, who was recently appointed as a UK Government advisor and whose work focuses on the impact of Islamophobia and the effects of counterterrorism.
  • Our staff have written or contributed to numerous influential textbooks and research papers, many of which form part of the curriculum.
  • Our Criminology degrees share a common first year, so if you want to specialise, you have the option to switch to another pathway in your second year.
  • You’ll be actively encouraged to take part in debates and visits, such as the unique debate with high-security prisoners at HMP Grendon. You’ll also have the option of taking on voluntary work throughout your course.
  • Our practice based approach means you’ll get to learn the inner workings of the Criminal Justice System, whilst also studying the theories behind the profession.
  • The department has a heavy focus on Birmingham, working within the ever-growing multicultural community on various projects.
  • You will study in our state-of-the-art City Centre Campus, ideally located for you to take advantage of our links to industry in the UK’s second city.
  • Birmingham City University has just launched the UK's first Centre for Brexit Studies, researching all aspects of the UK's vote to leave the EU, including the impact it has on hate crime and national security in the UK.

Find out more

Entry Requirements

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

Essential Requirements

BBC or 112 UCAS tariff points from a maximum of 3 subjects.

Level 2 Qualifications
UK Qualification Requirements 2022/23
GCSE
  • GCSE English language at grade C/4 or above

  • Equivalent level 2 qualifications can be accepted

  • Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment

Irish Leaving Certificate (Ordinary Level)
  • See level 3 entry under Irish Leaving Certificate for full details.
Scottish National 5
  • English language at grade C or above

  • Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment

Plus one of the following Level 3 (and above) Qualifications
UK Qualification Requirements 2022/23
A level and Advanced VCE
  • BBC / 112 UCAS points

  • A maximum of 3 subjects are considered excluding General Studies. These can be other A-levels or level 3 equivalents.

Access to HE Diploma
  • Social Sciences/ Humanities or Law pathway

  • Pass with 60 credits overall. At least 45 credits at level 3. 18 of the level 3 credits must be achieved at either merit or distinction grade.

  • Pearson BTEC National Extended Diploma
    (2016 – present)
  • Pearson BTEC Extended Diploma (QCF)
    (2010 - 2016)
  • BTEC Level 3 National Diploma
    (2002 – 2010)
  • DMM
  • All subject accepted except Health and Social Care pre 2016 syllabus
  • Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma
    (2016 – present)
  • Pearson BTEC Diploma (QCF)
    (2010 – 2016)
  • BTEC Level 3 National Certificate
    (2002 – 2010)
  • 112 UCAS points
  • All subject accepted except Health and Social Care pre 2016 syllabus

  • Considered with one A-level or an equivalent level 3 qualification

  • Pearson BTEC National Foundation Diploma (2016 to present)
  • Pearson BTEC 90-Credit Diploma (QCF) (2010 - 2016)
  • 112 UCAS points
  • All subject accepted except Health and Social Care pre 2016 syllabus

  • Considered with one A-level or an equivalent level 3 qualification

  • Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate
    (2016 – present)
  • Pearson BTEC Subsidiary Diploma (QCF)
    (2010 - 2016)
  • BTEC Level 3 National Award
    (2002 - 2010)
  • 112 UCAS points
  • All subject accepted except Health and Social Care pre 2016 syllabus

  • Considered with two A-levels or equivalent level 3 qualification(s)

IBO Certificate in Higher Level

  • Students who do not complete the IB Diploma will be considered on the basis of their IB Certificates if they obtain a total of 14 points or above from three Higher Level Subjects

  • Considered with other acceptable level 3 qualifications to meet 112 UCAS Tariff Points

  • For students who do not already hold a GCSE in English Language at Grade C/4 or above Standard Level English Language (not literature) English A - Grade 4 or above or English B - Grade 5 from the IB will be accepted.

International Baccalaureate Diploma

  • Obtain a minimum of 28 points overall

  • For students who do not already hold a GCSE in English Language at Grade C/4 or above Standard Level English Language (not literature) English A - Grade 4 or above or English B - Grade 5 from the IB will be accepted.

Irish Leaving Certificate (Highers)

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

NCFE CACHE Level 3 Applied General Certificate in Health and Social Care

  • 112 UCAS points.
  • Can be considered along with A-levels or a combination of equivalent level 3 qualifications

OCR Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma

  • DMM

OCR Cambridge Technical Diploma

  • 112 UCAS points

  • Considered with one A-level or an equivalent level 3 qualification

  • OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical Extended Certificate
    (2016 – present)
  • OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical Introductory Diploma
    (until 2016)
  • 112 UCAS points

  • Considered with two A-level or equivalent level 3 qualification(s)

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).

Scottish Higher

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

  • Where only Highers have been taken a minimum of grades BBCCC is required. 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.

T-Levels

  • 112 UCAS points (Merit overall)

Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate - Skills Challenge Certificate (first teaching September 2015)

  • 112 UCAS points
  • Considered with two A-levels or equivalent level 3 qualification(s)

Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma – Core (awarded until 2016)

ESW/KS Combined component

  • 112 UCAS points
  • Considered with two A-levels or equivalent level 3 qualification(s)

WJEC Level 3 Diploma in Criminology (QCF)

  • 112 UCAS points
  • Considered with two A-levels or equivalent level 3 qualification(s)
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

Fees & How to Apply

  • International students

Award: BA (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2022

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees

Sorry but we are unable to display the fee breakdown for this course at this time. Please check back later.

  • Part Time
  • 5 Years
  • TBC

Award: BA (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2022

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 3 Years
  • £13,500 per year
  • Full Time
  • 4 Years with Professional Placement
  • TBC

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.

Access to computer equipment

You will require use of a laptop, and most students do prefer to have their own. However, you can borrow a laptop from the university or use one of our shared computer rooms.

Printing

You will receive £5 print credit in each year of your course, available after enrolment.

Field trips

All essential field trips and associated travel costs will be included in your course fees.

Access to Microsoft Office 365

Every student at the University can download a free copy of Microsoft Office 365 to use whilst at university and for 18 months after graduation.

Key software

You will be able to download SPSS and Nvivo to your home computer to support with your studies and research.

Key subscriptions

Subscriptions to key journals and websites and available through our library.

Free access to Rosetta Stone

All students can sign up to the online learning language platform for free through the Graduate+ scheme.

Placements

If you choose to undertake a placement, and the organisation requires you to pay for an Enhanced DBS check, we will cover this cost for you.

Excess printing (optional)

Once you have spent your £5 credit, additional printing on campus costs from 5p per sheet.

Books (optional)

Some modules may suggest that you purchase a key textbook. All module key texts will be in the University library, but in limited numbers. Many students choose to purchase a copy.

Placement expenses (optional)

If you choose to undertake a placement, you'll need to budget for accommodation and any travel costs you may incur whilst living or working away from home.

Field trips (optional)

This course includes the option of additional trips that may enhance your experience.

Subscriptions (optional)

You may wish to purchase subscriptions to additional journals and websites.

Memberships (optional)

You may wish to join a society or association related to this course, such as the BCUSU Criminology Society, the British Society of Criminology or the British International Studies Association.

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.

Guidance for UK students

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.

Course in Depth

Year One

In order to complete this course, you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits).

Key Debates in Criminological Theory 20 credits

Crime and the Media 20 credits

Crime, Punishment and Society 20 credits

The Criminal Justice System 20 credits

Policing and Investigation 20 credits

Security, Conflict and Justice 20 credits

Year Two

In order to complete this course, you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 80 credits).

Understanding Crime and Criminal Behaviour 20 credits

Experiencing Harm 20 credits

This module is designed to develop learners’ 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. Furthermore, this module seeks to refine and expand upon traditional theoretical perspectives of punishment and the current reliance upon imprisonment as a dominant form of punishment in England and Wales. In doing so, it requires students to critically engage with some of the limitations of such an approach.

Research Proposal 20 credits

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

Crime in the City 20 credits

Youth Crime and Justice 20 credits

Issues in Criminal Investigation 20 credits

Race and Crime 20 credits

Making Sense of Homicide 20 credits

Substance Use, Crime and Deviance 20 credits

Race and the Racialization of Crime 20 credits

All core modules are guaranteed to run. Optional modules will vary from year to year and the published list is indicative only.

Final Year

In order to complete this course, you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 80 credits).

Human Rights: Theory and Practice 20 credits

Rehabilitation and Desistance 20 credits

The Extended Project 40 credits

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

Emotions in Crime and Criminal Justice 20 credits

Everyday Surveillance 20 credits

Local to Global Organised Crime 20 credits

Deviant Leisure 20 credits

Gender and Crime 20 credits

Cybercrime 20 credits

Hate Crime 20 credits

Harms of the Powerful 20 credits

All core modules are guaranteed to run. Optional modules will vary from year to year and the published list is indicative only.

Trips and visits

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.

Employability

Enhancing employability skills

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.

Placements

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.”

More about our placement opportunities

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.

International Students

Welcome to the School of Social Sciences, home to students from all around the world!

All of our undergraduate and postgraduate social sciences courses are open to international students, and our courses have been tailored to take a global approach to learning. We frequently welcome international students through the Erasmus scheme, from countries including Germany, Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:

The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.

Facilities and Staff

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

Professor David Wilson

Emeritus Professor

David Wilson is an expert on serial killers through his work with various British police forces, academic publications, books, and media appearances. 

Full Profile

More about David

Professor Elizabeth Yardley

Professor of Criminology

Professor Elizabeth Yardley is passionate about making a difference to the lives of those affected by violence and challenging the myths and stereotypes around crime.

Full Profile

More about Elizabeth

Professor Imran Awan

Professor of Criminology

Professor Imran Awan is one of the country’s leading criminologists and experts on Islamophobia and countering extremism.

Full Profile

More about Imran