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....
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.
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 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.
We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.
BBC or 112 UCAS tariff points from a maximum of 3 subjects.
|Level 2 Qualifications|
|UK Qualification||Requirements 2022/23|
|Irish Leaving Certificate (Ordinary Level)||
|Scottish National 5||
|Plus one of the following Level 3 (and above) Qualifications|
|UK Qualification||Requirements 2022/23|
|A level and Advanced VCE||
|Access to HE Diploma||
IBO Certificate in Higher Level
International Baccalaureate Diploma
Irish Leaving Certificate (Highers)
NCFE CACHE Level 3 Applied General Certificate in Health and Social Care
OCR Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma
OCR Cambridge Technical Diploma
Scottish Advanced Higher
Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate - Skills Challenge Certificate (first teaching September 2015)
Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma – Core (awarded until 2016)
ESW/KS Combined component
WJEC Level 3 Diploma in Criminology (QCF)
|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
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|
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
- UK students
- International students
Award: BA (Hons)
Starting: Sep 2022
- Full Time
- 3 Years
- £13,500 per year
- Register interest
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
There are three ways to apply:
1) Direct to the University
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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: 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.
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:
- Explore some of the good reasons why you should study here
- Find out how to improve your language skills before starting your studies
- Find all the information relevant to applicants from your country
- Learn where to find financial support for your studies
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
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
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).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.More about Dionne