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Black Studies (Criminal Justice) - BA (Hons) *

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....

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

Course overview

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.

This course is open to International students.

Why Choose Us?

  • You have the opportunity to embark on a year-long professional 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. 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. 

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 or Humanities 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

  • Most subjects considered, however Early Years and Children's Play Learning and Development are not considered.

  • Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma
    (2016 – present)
  • Pearson BTEC Diploma (QCF)
    (2010 – 2016)
  • BTEC Level 3 National Certificate
    (2002 – 2010)
  • 112 UCAS points.

  • Most subjects considered, however Early Years and Children's Play Learning and Development are not considered.

  • 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
  • Most subjects considered, however Early Years and Children's Play Learning and Development are not considered.

  • 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
  • Most subjects considered, however Early Years and Children's Play Learning and Development are not considered.

  • 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

Award: BA (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2022

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees

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

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 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

Employability

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.

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 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

More about Kehinde

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

More about Dionne

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

More about Martin