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Sociology and Criminology - BA (Hons)

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Our BA(Hons) Sociology and Criminology degree is a radical and practical course; theoretically driven and empirically informed, as well as locally situated and globally focused....

  • 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

Our BA(Hons) Sociology and Criminology degree is a radical and practical course; theoretically driven and empirically informed, as well as locally situated and globally focused.

Studying Sociology at Birmingham City University is about not reading sociology but doing sociology, allowing you to explore and question social norms and discover the complex issues behind your everyday routines and social practices in a range of spatial contexts, applying what you learn to your own lived experiences.

The inclusion of Criminology into the degree affords you the opportunity to understanding how society makes sense of crime, criminality and its control as well as the relationship between crime and wider society .You will examine patterns and processes of inequality, crime, the structure and dynamics of social hierarchies and power relations and ask why and how people shape their identities and the tensions and conflicts that these processes create.

Through the School of Social Sciences’ Birmingham 2029 project, you will have the chance to explore such themes of sociology and criminology within the city of Birmingham, an urban context that hosts diverse communities perfect for sociological and criminological examination. The School of Social Sciences has links with local public and third sector organisations that will help you make professional contacts and be able to apply your studies to future career prospects whether taking part in voluntary work or on placement.

Employability is at the heart of our BA (Hons) Sociology and Criminology programme, with placement opportunities embedded throughout the course of the degree. Coming to study Sociology and Criminology at Birmingham City University affords you with a wealth of academic and employability opportunities, locally and globally aligned, to develop the skills needed to not only achieve successful graduate employment but also to contribute, as an agent of change, to thinking through and tackling some of the pressing social issues of contemporary society.

Professional Placement Year

This course offers a professional placement year. This allows you to spend a whole year with an employer, between the second and third years of your degree, and is a great way to find out more about your chosen career. Some students even return to the same employers after completing their studies.

The University will draw on its extensive network of local, regional and national employers to support you in finding a suitable placement to complement your chosen area of study. If you do not find a suitable placement, you will be automatically transferred back to the standard, non-placement version of the course.

Please note that fees are payable during your placement year – please see fees and how to apply for more information.

This course is open to International students.

Alicia Donaldson

When Alicia came to an Open Day, she was inspired by academics who reflected the University’s diverse background.

Read in full

Why Choose Us?

  • On all of our courses you will gain a professional focus and real world experience of sociology, 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. During your second year, you also have the option to undertake a semester-long placement, allowing you to draw upon our many links with local voluntary, statutory and commercial organisations.
  • The School has launched a new internship programme with Birmingham City Council, which provides you with the chance to undertake an internship with the Council's Community Resilience, Housing Management or Organisational Development departments, working with senior staff on critical projects.
  • The course’s professional relevance is supported by our close links with local criminal justice agencies, including Birmingham Community Safety Partnership and West Midlands Police Force. We have also worked with local schools youth work, family support, housing and advice agencies.
  • We have links with local voluntary, statutory and commercial organisations such as SIFA Fireside and NACRO, Women’s Aid and Citizen’s Advice Bureau among others giving you the chance to undertake a placement and develop your practical skills.
  • 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.
  • The department is recognised for being at the forefront of sociological research, specialising in areas such as Black Studies, human rights and social identities.
  • You will share a common first year with Sociology BA (Hons), allowing you the opportunity to transfers onto the course in your second year.
  • Gain an understanding of the contemporary social world by practising a form of sociological inquiry that is informed, knowledge-applied, evidence-based and interdisciplinary.
  • 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.
  • Employability is interwoven into every aspect of our course. Areas of employment for Sociology graduates can include: local and central government roles; publishing; market research and marketing; fundraising; youth, community and housing work; and voluntary / not-for-profit sector management.
  • 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 cultural identities both in Britain and in Europe.

Find out more

Studying with us during the Covid-19 pandemic

The University has put in place measures in response to Covid-19 to allow us to safely deliver our courses. Should the impact of the pandemic continue in future years, any additional or alternative arrangements put in place by the University will be in accordance with the latest government public health advice, health and safety legislation, and the terms and conditions of the student contract.

Open Days

Join us for an on-campus Open Day where you'll be able to explore our campus and facilities in person. You'll be able to hear more about your chosen subject area in our course talks.

Next Open Days: Autumn 2022

Register your interest

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

Please select your student status to view fees and apply
  • UK Student
  • International Student

UK students

Annual and modular tuition fees shown are applicable to the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation (capped at 5%) or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: BA (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2022

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Study Year (2022/23) £9,250
  • Placement Year £1,650

Professional Placement Fees

Full-Time courses with a Professional Placement incur a fee during the placement year. The costs for those years when you attend the university for study, and the cost for the placement year are shown here.

  • £1542 per 20 credits
  • Year 1 - 80 credits
  • Year 2 - 80 credits
  • Year 3 - 80 credits
  • Year 4 - 80 credits
  • Year 5 - 40 credits

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.

International students

Annual and modular tuition fees shown are applicable to the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation (capped at 5%) or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: BA (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2022

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 3 Years
  • £13,500 in 2022/23
  • Full Time
  • 4 Years with Professional Placement
  • Show fees
  • Study Year (2022/23) £13,500

Professional Placement Fees

The tuition fee for your first year of study at the university is shown here. Full-time courses with a Professional Placement also incur a fee during the placement year. The tuition fee for your placement year will be £3,750.

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.

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.

Memberships (optional)

You may wish to join a union or professional body related to this course.

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

  1. Register with UCAS
  2. Login to UCAS and complete your details
  3. Select your course and write a personal statement
  4. Get a reference
  5. Pay your application fee and submit your application

Guidance for 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.

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

*Non-EU students are not required to submit a personal statement when applying for this course.

Course in Depth

Year One

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

Sociological Perspectives 20 credits

City, Community and Culture 20 credits

Crime, Punishment and Society 20 credits

Sociological Imagination 20 credits

States and Societies 20 credits

Becoming a Social Researcher 20 credits

Year Two

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

Crime in the City 20 credits

Applied Sociological Research 20 credits

Contemporary Social Theory 20 credits

Race and Crime 20 credits

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

Issues in Criminal Investigation 20 credits

Experiencing Harm 20 credits

Youth Crime and Justice 20 credits

Media and Popular Culture 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).

Globalisation, Migration and Borders 20 credits

Gender and Crime 20 credits

Integrated Research 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.

Hate Crime 20 credits

Emotions in Crime and Criminal Justice 20 credits

Cybercrime 20 credits

Deviant Leisure 20 credits

Harms of the Powerful 20 credits

Local to Global Organised Crime 20 credits

Music and Society 20 credits

Activism, Social Movements and Social Change 20 credits

Black Arts Movement 20 credits

Global Cities 20 credits

Postcolionality 20 credits

Visual Cultures 20 credits

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

Download course specification

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We will ensure you graduate with in-depth sociological and criminological knowledge, as well as a wide range of academic, personal and professional skills.

We employ a wide variety of learning and teaching methods to ensure you are exposed to a range of learning styles, including traditional lectures, workshops, student-led sessions and our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).

As well as the wide variety of learning and teaching methods employed by the course team, we also utilise a broad range of diverse assessment methods, ensuring you acquire the relevant academic and transferrable skills required to succeed after graduation.

Our assessment methods, as with our learning and teaching methods, also share the common aim of encouraging engaged, independent and deep learners who are highly successful, knowledgeable, critical and reflective, who can demonstrate a range of relevant skills.

The course team are very committed to ensuring that you are supported in making the right choice of subjects for your needs. The course is designed to allow you the opportunity to transfer to Sociology BA (Hons) after your first year, so that you can be sure that the pathway meets your needs and future career aspirations.

Trips and Visits

Our Rehabilitation, Reintegration, Re-Entry and Therapeutic Communities module allows you to visit HMP Grendon, Britain’s only therapeutic prison community, where you can engage in a debate with the prisoners.   

Employability

Enhancing employability skills

We recommend you get involved in the research seminars held by our research centres (such as the Centre for Critical Social Research and the Centre for Applied Criminology and the Centre for Critical Social Research), as well as encourage you to participate in the research these centres carry out.

Our new Graduate+ scheme will not only develop your broader employability skills, but will also enhance your work opportunities, your lifelong learning skills and a sense of belonging. 

Placements

Between your second and third years of study, you can elect to work for a placement organisation for up to 12 months. Assistance will be given.

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

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 & 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

Dr Nathan Kerrigan

Lecturer in Sociology

Nathan has been a Lecturer in Sociology at Birmingham City University since September 2018 where he leads and teaches on a number of Foundation and Undergraduate Sociology modules.  Full Profile

More about Nathan

Dr Gary Hazeldine

Senior Lecturer in Sociology

Dr Gary Hazeldine has taught Sociology at Birmingham City University since 2007. Prior to this he taught at the University of Brighton, the University of Sussex, and Manchester Metropolitan University. Full Profile

More about Gary

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

Dr Eugene Nulman

Senior Lecturer in Sociology

Dr Eugene Nulman is very passionate and interested in social movements and social change and teaches to inspire. His academic work is driven by an emphasis in public sociology, bringing the academic knowledge to the wider community.   Full Profile

More about Eugene

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