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Criminology BA (Hons)

Key Facts

  • UCAS Code:

    3 years: M930
    Foundation: M931

  • Level:


  • Duration:

    3 years full time
    4 years with Foundation
    4-6 years part time

  • Starting:


  • Fees UK:

    Full Time: £9,250
    Part Time: £1,465
    Integrated Foundation Year: £6,780

  • Fees International:

    Full Time: £13,000
    Integrated Foundation Year: £13,000

  • Location:


Get in touch

For questions regarding study and admissions please contact us:

UK/EU Students enquiries
0300 303 2772

International Students enquiries
+44 (0)1604 894503


Criminology tackles questions such as what is crime? How are laws enforced? Why is crime concentrated in particular areas? How do you judge and evaluate evidence? How can crime be prevented?

We offer single or joint honours awards in Criminology. Each of these provides you with a gradual development of criminological knowledge that progressively advances across the years.


Updated 11/10/2021


  • Research placement available.
  • Multi-disciplinary approach to criminology.
  • Guest speakers from criminology backgrounds.
  • Opportunity for real life research.
  • Membership to the British Society of Criminology (BSC).
  • HP laptop and software included with this course for eligible student. Eligibility criteria and terms and conditions apply.

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Course Content

  • This course has been designed to contribute towards achieving the following United Nations Sustainable Development Goal: SDG10 of Reduced Inequalities.

    Studying Criminology with us gives you a distinctive approach to learning, drawing on the disciplines of sociology, psychology, history and law. This provides you with a comprehensive introduction to key theoretical and methodological issues at the heart of the discipline.

    The course is designed for those who have an interest in crime and the criminal justice system. The first year of the course provides you with an interdisciplinary foundation to the study of crime and justice within a broad social science framework. A key focus of the single honours course in year two is a practical fieldwork project where you will have the opportunity to study a specific criminal justice agency or institution. The third year builds upon the knowledge and the analytical skills that you’ve previously gained. You will also have the unique opportunity to study a module that is taught in a prison.

    Through class discussions and independent study we explore both theoretical and practical perspectives of crime.

    Work Experience

    As well as the research placement available in year two, there are a variety of opportunities for you to volunteer and gain work experience within a wide range of institutions and organisations of criminological interest. At various points during the course we invite visitors and guest speakers from diverse backgrounds to talk to you about their organisations and the voluntary and paid opportunities with them.

    List of modules
      • Module code: CRI1002
        Status: Compulsory
        The purpose of this module is to explore a range of theories relating to crime and criminality and to locate these within the broader contexts of social divisions and structural inequalities.
      • Module code: CRI1003
        Status: Compulsory
        The purpose of this module is to critically assesses the significance of youth crime reporting with particular reference to media effects and explores the various reactions to youth offending. Dominant discourses relating to law and order will form a backdrop against which key debates and issues will be explored.
      • Module code: CRI1004
        Status: Compulsory
        The purpose of this module is to introduce students to the diverse range of research methods applicable to the study of criminology. The module combines practice and theory to allow students to appreciate the variety of ways the study of crime and deviance has been developed through time.
      • Module code: CRI1005
        Status: Compulsory
        This module examines the contribution of psychology to issues of crime and criminal behaviour. It explores the relationship between psychology criminology and law and provides a general introduction to psychology for those new to the discipline. It examines the theoretical approaches and research methods that can lead to an understanding of the development of crime and criminal behaviour and the interventions to reduce or prevent it.
      • Module code: CRI1006
        Status: Compulsory
        This module will introduce students to a variety of concepts and theories allowing them to understand the scope of criminology as a discipline and its applicablity to wider academic and public discourse. It will emphasise the importance of evidence based research and how this differs from populist representations of crime.
      • Module code: CRI1007
        Status: Designate
        The purpose of this module is to explore the scientific evidence used in relation to questions of crime. A combination of perspectives from positivist biological anthropological all the way to forensics will be explored in order to understand of the roots and motivation of criminal behaviour.
      • Module code: CRI2001
        Status: Compulsory
        This module is designed to develop an understanding of the criminal justice system in England and Wales. Perceived breaches of criminal law evoke responses from multiple agencies which in turn dispute the notion of 'justice'. The emergent gaps between the principles and practices of criminal justice will be explored in-depth.
      • Module code: CRI2002
        Status: Designate
        This module offers an interdisciplinary perspective on theories of labeling with an emphasis on sociological political and criminological perspectives. There is particular reference to those who form 'deviant' subcultures and this module aims to explore the way these groups perceive themselves and are perceived by others away from conventional stereotypes.
      • Module code: CRI2003
        Status: Compulsory
        This module is designed to meet the practical and academic requirements of students approaching independent research while embedded within the Criminal Justice family. Doing Research in Criminology provides students with a thorough grounding in those ideas and skills which have direct bearing on the pursuit of their independent learning.
      • Module code: CRI2007
        Status: Designate
        The purpose of this module is to provide students with an overview of the history and political approaches of crime control and policing together with an examination of the structures of contemporary policing. The module also offers a critical examination of crime control and order maintenance in the context of street level reality.
      • Module code: CRI2008
        Status: Designate
      • Module code: HIS2010
        Status: Designate
        The purpose of this module is explore the fundamental changes that occurred in attitudes to and policies towards crime policing and punishment in Britain during a period of fundamental economic and social change.
      • Module code: LAW2036
        Status: Designate
        The purpose of this module is to enable students to develop an understanding of the nature and impact of organised transnational criminal behaviour and their interrelationship with law enforcement investigation and prosecution.
      • Module code: PSY2030
        Status: Designate
        The purpose of this module is to build on the Social and Developmental Psychology material introduced in the Level 4 module PSY1003 - Introduction to Psychology. This module covers contemporary and critical perspectives related to development across the lifespan within complex social worlds and will be of interest to students wishing to deepen their knowledge of theories research and methods in Social and Developmental Psychology.
      • Module code: CRI3001
        Status: Compulsory
        Paradigms of punishment have evolved in the context of broader strategies of 'care' and 'control'. These contribute to and occur within the broader study of criminal justice and social regulation. The module is concerned to examine and evaluate the fundamental features of the system of penalties that operates in Britain.
      • Module code: CRI3002
        Status: Designate
        In this module students will explore a range of criminological perspectives and examine the ways in which they centralise or marginalise gender and race issues. These insights will then be developed by applying them to different aspects and forms of crime - such as rape domestic violence and hate crime - as well as exploring the ways in which legal constructs judicial processes and criminal justice practices reflect or reinforce broader social divisions.
      • Module code: CRI3003
        Status: Designate
        Violence is a social phenomenon that attracts public interest and attention. This module explores the manifestation of different forms of violence both within the domestic and institutional spheres. The module amalgamates theoretical approaches from criminological and zemiological perspectives to explore recent developments in the understanding of violence.
      • Module code: CRI3006
        Status: Designate
        This module will explore social justice as a series of contested topics. This is an off-campus non-traditional module running entirely in a prison. The module cohort will be made up in equal parts of Criminology students from the University and serving prisoners. The ethos underpinning it is equity.
      • Module code: CRI3007
        Status: Designate
        The purpose of this module is to provide students with an overview of criminalistics the theoretical critiques the practical issues encountered and the various public and private agencies involved. The module also offers a critical examination of criminalistic approaches and examines the aetiology of miscarriages of justice against a backdrop of organisational and political motivations.
      • Module code: CRI4003
        Status: Compulsory
        The dissertation provides an opportunity for students to study a topic in greater depth. They can choose a subject which they have found of interest during the previous two years of study or they can move into any area of current criminological debate (subject to approval from the module leader).
      • Module code: LAW3019
        Status: Designate
        The purpose of this module is to develop a critical understanding of the role of regional and international law in the recognition and protection of human rights and to understand the limitations of regional and international law in addressing breaches of human rights.
      • Module code: PSY3016
        Status: Designate
        The purpose of this module is to expand knowledge and understanding on the perspective of forensic psychology drawing upon theoretical and practical understandings.
  • Standard entry requirements apply. A typical offer would be BCC at A Level or DMM at BTEC. An Access Course must include 30 level 3 credits at Merit. We welcome international applications and applications from those with a range of non-traditional educational or professional qualifications. If you have a lively interest in issues of crime and justice and are prepared to pursue and develop that interest through reading and study then you will be considered for this course.

    For information on how to apply to study with us, please see our How to Apply page.

    Integrated Foundation Year Entry Requirements

    The standard entry requirements for the Integrated Foundation Year are DEE at A level or MPP at BTEC.

    For more information on how to make an application please visit our How to Apply pages for Home and EU, and International students.

    English Language Requirements

    All International and EU students applying for a course with us must meet the following minimum English language requirements:

    • IELTS 6.0 (or equivalent) with a minimum of 5.5 in all bands for study at undergraduate level

    For information regarding English language requirements at the University, please see our IELTS page.

  • 21/22 Tuition Fees

    Fees quoted relate to study in the Academic Year 21/22 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.

    • UK Full Time: £9,250
    • UK Part Time: £1,465 per 20 credit module
    • UK Integrated Foundation Year: £6,780 for the foundation year; thereafter standard fees apply
    • International Full Time: £13,000
    • International Integrated Foundation Year: £13,000 for the foundation year; thereafter standard fees apply

    For information on the scholarships available to you, please see our scholarships page.

    Additional costs

    There are no additional costs for this course for students beginning their studies in September 2021. Should this change, applicants and students will be contacted by the university with details of the costs.

    20/21 Tuition Fees

    Fees quoted relate to study in the Academic Year 20/21 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.

    • UK/EU Full Time: £9,250
    • UK/EU Part Time: £1,450 per 20 credit module
    • UK/EU Integrated Foundation Year: £6,750 for the foundation year; thereafter standard fees apply
    • International Full Time: £12,900
    • International Integrated Foundation Year: £12,900 for the foundation year; thereafter standard fees apply
    Additional costs

    There are no additional costs for this course for students beginning their studies in September 2020. Should this change, applicants and students will be contacted by the university with details of the costs.

  • Our postgraduate courses are a great way to enhance the skills you have already learnt. Benefit from our 20% alumni discount on postgraduate fees to give you a CV that will catch the eye of employers.

  • At the University of Northampton, everything we do, from funded trips to paid internships, is to give you everything you need to make a difference when you leave.

    If you join this full time degree at Northampton you will receive a laptop when your course begins. The laptops are built to a bespoke custom specification ideal for use in the seminar room, collaborative group work or studying at home.

    Whatever your ambitions, we’re here to help you to achieve them. We’ll support you to identify the skills you’re learning during your course, find your strengths and secure practical experience so that when it comes to applying for jobs or further study you’ll feel confident in standing out from the crowd. We’ve created the Northampton Employment Promise because we are so confident that if you focus on your studies and complete one of our awards you’ll be highly employable by the time you graduate. Putting you in a great position to secure employment or continue your studies.

    To check out the full list of perks visit our Student Perks page.

  • The Integrated Foundation Year (IFY) offers a new and exciting route into studying for a degree, attracting ambitious and driven students who are willing to learn and advance.

    If you have non-standard qualifications or do not quite meet the admissions requirements for Criminology we can offer you a fantastic opportunity to study a four year Criminology programme which includes a Integrated Foundation Year. The Integrated Foundation Year will help you develop the theoretical/practical and academic skills you need, in order to successfully progress to the full award.

    Featuring a reduced tuition fee in the first year, our four-year courses will enable you to successfully follow the degree pathway of your choice while gaining essential study skills. The foundation year of your chosen degree will be studied on a full-time basis and is aimed at supporting the transition to higher education. Years two, three and four are then studied as a standard degree programme.

    Please see our Integrated Foundation Year page for more details.


  • What is the British Society of Criminology?

    Every Criminology student (Single and Joint Honours) receives an undergraduate membership to the British Society of Criminology (BSC) for the entirety of their degree. Benefits of the membership include access to e-bulletins and newsletters, access to free BSC seminars and events, discounted rates to attend BSC events and many more. Check out the full Member Benefits list.

    How will I be assessed?

    There are a variety of assessments used on the BA Hons Criminology course including essays, historical investigations, role plays, posters and end of year examinations. The assessments allow you to engage with the subject to nurture your talent and cultivate your success.

    Are there any special features on this course?
    • Multi-disciplinary approach to criminology
    • Opportunity for real life research
    • Holistic view of crime and criminal justice
    • Issues in gender, age, race and victimisation
    • Criminal justice and human rights
    • Offender profiling and forensic perspectives

Upcoming Open Days

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Careers and Employability

Criminology is a popular degree that will provide you with excellent career prospects. You will develop a range of analytical and critical skills related to criminology that can also be applied to a variety of working environments related to the subject. The course provides a broad critical grounding which could be relevant to careers in policing, probation work, the prison service, the Home Office, the criminal courts and postgraduate studies.

As the problem of crime has increasingly become a matter of public and political concern, the prevention of crime has been prioritised as a matter of social policy. Whilst traditional ways of working have come under pressure or changed, new innovative and ethically minded perspectives have begun to emerge. The knowledge and skills accumulated by our graduates throughout their studies enables them to become extremely reflective and adaptable. Furthermore, the development of Changemaker attributes such as empathy, problem-solving, ethical awareness, combined with a strong sense of social justice, make our graduates increasingly relevant and desirable for a variety of different career paths.

Student Story

Trevor's Story

“My degree has given me the skills I need for this role; so many times already I have been able to relate my learning into my new  Criminology has shown me that it is important to support young people early on, and help them to understand that they are going in the wrong direction.

University has been an enjoyable journey and I have made friends for life. It has changed my life completely. Now, at 56, I’m a University graduate. I’m the first in my family, I’m embarking on a new adventure at the age of 56.”