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Criminology BSc (Hons)


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Key Information Set (KIS) Data is only gathered for undergraduate full-time courses. There are a number of reasons why this course does not have KIS data associated with it. For example, it may be a franchise course run at a partner college or a course designed for continuing professional development.


As a student of criminology you will examine how complex interactions between the state, the offender, the victim and the public lead particular acts to be framed as crimes while others are not. You will be encouraged to think critically about how laws and offenders are made and who in society avoids criminalisation and why. Explore criminological theory and engage in debates about the problem of crime, criminal justice policy and the impact of crime in contemporary society.

8 reasons to study Criminology here

Great teaching: You'll be taught by research-active academics whose work is nationally and internationally recognised and informs the course curriculum. There are inspiring contributions from guest speakers including professionals and experts from the front line of the criminal justice system.
Rated highly: No.2 London University overall in Criminology (Guardian League Table, 2018).
Industry relevant: Recent graduates now work across the criminal justice sector including in probation, policing, the prison service, youth offending teams as well as within the voluntary sector, local authorities, central government, education, social work and administration.
Academic progression: Graduates can apply for postgraduate courses, such as MSc Criminology and Social Research Methods, MSc Development Studies and MSc Refugee Studies.  Graduate loyalty scheme and fee reduction is available.
Learning resources: You'll have access to a variety of helpful resources, including the Perry Library - the University is the No.1 London Modern University for Learning Resources (National Student Survey 2016).
Work experience: Enhance your employability by taking part in our volunteering programme which covers a range of criminal justice-related agencies.
London's rich resources: Access to key organisations and institutions, from the British Library, the Imperial War Museum, the Institute of Historical Research, the Wiener Library, the Women’s Library @LSE and the Black Cultural Archive.
Global perspective: Be part of an academic community dedicated to social justice and global responsibility - with inspiring schedule of guest speakers, events, volunteering opportunities and exchange of ideas.

This degree course covers...

Criminology provides you with multiple transferable skills, as well as practical experience, which can be invaluable on graduation. This course covers:

  • criminal justice
  • politics and policy
  • policing
  • offender rehabilitation
  • penal theory and policy
  • youth crime
  • drugs and crime
  • crime in a global context
  • genocide
  • social research methods.
Key course information - ordered by mode
Mode Duration Start date Location
3 years
Start Date
Southwark Campus
5 years
Start Date
Southwark Campus

Case studies


Methods of assessment for course overall: 75% coursework

Year 1

  • Deconstructing the crime problem
    What is crime? How and to what extent is the crime problem dispersed throughout contemporary British society? What do we know about current levels of crime in the UK and how do these compare historically?  These are some of the key questions you'll address in this module which introduces you to the basic anatomy of the crime problem. In addition to addressing specific questions concerning trends in different types of crime and social distribution of crime across society, you'll be encouraged to think about these issues in terms of broader social trends and relations.
  • Criminal justice, politics and social policy
    You'll be guided through the policy making process that underpins the formation and implementation of public policy in Britain. It will help you identify the key actors that shape the policy process as well as the social, political and economic factors that influence it.  You'll also be introduced to the different providers of criminal justice programmes and social welfare.
  • Issues in crime
    You'll be presented with a range of distinct contemporary criminological issues and focus on the ways in which fears and concerns about crime and the criminal justice system are related to issues such as governance, social exclusion and racial inequality. You'll engage with a range of different theories and learn how to appreciate how each relates to a specific issues.
  • Introduction to criminological theory
    You'll be introduced to key criminological theories. You'll examine the principal conceptual differences between these theories and how such concepts have been applied in the form of substantive research and policy.
  • Issues in contemporary sociology
    You'll look at key concepts in sociology and address issues such as migration,  race, gender and class. The focus throughout this module is how inequalities are reinforced through the changing nature of citizenship, sexualities, religion and mass media.
  • Researching social life
    You'll be introduced to qualitative (with limited content related to quantitative) methods used by sociologists and other social scientists to conduct investigations. You'll look at a range of qualitative methods and different types and structures of data collected to illustrate how research works. In addition, lecture and other activities will demonstrate how to apply basic research methods and present results in a meaningful and informative way. Primarily though the use of seminar reading, you'll be exposed to relevant critical issues which arise from carrying out research with a particular focus on issues related to race, gender, and class.

Year 2

  • Social research skills 1
    In the first half of this module you'll be introduced to basic issues in research design and methodology.  Topics covered include experimental design and random assignment, formulating research questions sampling and measurement.   In the second half of the module you'll learn the basics of statistical analysis and how to use SPSS.
  • Social research skills 2
    You'll be introduced to the basics of qualitative research methodologies.  You'll learn about central philosophical questions in the philosophy of the social sciences and how they relate to the qualitative/quantitative distinction.  You'll be taught a range of qualitative data collection techniques ranging from interviews to archival research, and introduced to different qualitative analytic techniques.  You'll also look at the ethical issues that are specific to qualitative research. You'll be taught through lectures and workshops where you apply the principles to specific research questions.
  • Issues in contemporary policing
    In this module you'll be offered an insight into key issues in contemporary policing. You'll develop your understanding of the concepts of 'policing' and 'the police', and explore a number of issues including: the historical origins of contemporary policing; the legitimacy of policing; police culture(s); the policing of private and public order; the privatisation of policing functions; the growth of transnational policing, together with an analysis of the significance of a human rights agenda for twenty-first century policing. You'll also look at the implications of globalisation for policing both on an organisational and conceptual level. Underlying such discussions is a critical focus on protection through a critical appreciation of the police function and role.
  • Penal theory, policy and practice
    You'll examine penal theory and practice in a theoretical, comparative and historical way, and engage critically with the theoretical justifications and policy proposals for punishment. The first part of this module examines the philosophical and historical bases of punishment in general and the prison in particular. You'll focus strongly on how the term 'crisis' has been used to describe almost every aspect of the penal system. You'll look at the background and current contexts of the crisis. You'll also reflects on the concepts of 'place', 'space' and 'time' as sources of suffering and emphasises the significance of vulnerability and imprisonment. You'll critically evaluate the future promise of the penal system through an examination of the issue of the privatisation of punishment and its role in future penal policy.

Plus two optional modules from:

  • Youth, crime and delinquency
    You'll be provided with an overview of the development of youth crime as a specific area of criminological inquiry and a distinct jurisdiction within the criminal justice system. You'll look at the development of 'delinquency' as a specific field of intervention and investigation. You'll consider the evolution of youth justice policies and examines current literature in relation to the strengths and limitations of the contemporary youth justice system.
  • Crime, disorder and community safety
    You'll examine the changing relation and significance of crime, disorder and community safety, beginning from a review of the nature of crime and exploring the processes by which crime is constructed. In order to fully examine the meaning of crime, you'll examine the dimensions to construction by drawing on the 'square of crime' model as developed by realist criminologists. This involves some consideration of victimisation, public opinion and the role of official enforcement agencies. In relation to this deconstruction process, you'll go on to examine the growing concerns with disorder, anti-social behaviour and community safety, particularly with reference to the recent decline in crime.
  • Issues in criminal justice history This module provides a framework for examining the development of the criminal justice system and the general construction of the crime problem in the period from 1800s until the 1960s. It blends a discussion of institutional development with a socio-historical analysis of changing problems of crime. By examining criminological issues within a specific political, historical and intellectual context this module provides a valuable underpinning for a range of modules in the Criminology Degree programme in general and on the topics of policing, prisons, gender and crime, and youth crime in particular.
  • Introduction to the Workplace This module introduces students to a number of classical and contemporary theories and themes that contribute to the study of everyday work and organisational life.  Drawing on the theoretical ideas and empirical applications of both classical and contemporary thinkers on work and organisations the module examines organisational issues faced by today’s employees and their employers such as the meaning of work, employment relations, employee engagement, commitment and motivation, flexible specialisation and the flexible firm, work life balance, equality and diversity.

Year 3

  • Crime, criminology and modernity
    You'll examine the emergence and development of criminology as an academic discipline in the context of the development of the human sciences and governmental needs of societies in the modern period. Whilst your main emphasis is on intellectual development, you'll also explore how and in what ways such ideas come to be embodied in governmental policy, how this process transforms them and the conditions under which they decline both intellectually and in their application.
  • Gender, crime and justice
    An understanding of both masculinities and femininities is central to this module. You'll draw on feminist perspectives in criminological theory as well as more mainstream theoretical accounts. You'll evaluate the evidence which indicates that patterns of offending, victimisation and the workings of the main criminal justice agencies are gendered. This module also transgresses traditional debates in this area by considering a human rights perspective for the study of gender and crime.
  • Criminology research project (double module)

Plus two optional modules from:

  • Drugs and crime
    You'll look at the many relationships that exist between drugs and crime. This module starts off with the obvious link – the possession of drugs is illegal – and explores different types of drugs, the prevalence of drug use and some theories of who uses drugs, and why. You'll then move on to crimes associated with drug use and drug trafficking, theoretical and causal connections between drug use and crime, and ways that we attempt to deal with drug users (whether along medical or criminal lines), drug markets and the links between drugs and other criminal activity.
  • Race, culture and identity
  • Genocide in the 20th Century  This module explores the history of genocide and crimes against humanity in the twentieth century and beyond. It begins with an introduction to the related concepts of genocide and crimes against humanity before considering a range of events including colonial genocides, the Armenian Genocide, the Nazi ‘Final Solution’, alleged genocides in Cambodia, Yugoslavia and Rwanda, as well as cases of genocide in the twenty-first century in Darfur and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It analyses the dynamics of genocide and crimes against humanity in order to shed light upon their origins, characteristics and consequences.
  • Equality, social justice and social change This module invites students to consider their understanding of a range of concepts that might include human rights, equality and inequality, social justice and fairness, social and community cohesion, multiculturalism and integration, diversity, social inclusion and exclusion, and to explore how these ideas might shape goals for social welfare institutions, employment, or the criminal justice system.  In addition students will be introduced to a range of tools and ideas that may be used to promote organisational change: monitoring, equality impact assessments, positive action, fairness commissions.  Students will be encouraged to consider how to use these to tackle problems related to, for example: discrimination, inequality, unfairness, injustice, or marginalisation.  Students will be asked to consider how to evaluate outcomes or measure success.
  • Criminology of evil In this module we will explore the origins and impacts of social taboos, focusing on trying to understand the people and organizations behind acts often described as evil. You will learn to critically appraise academic research by engaging in interactive lectures and tutorials that make you question what 'evil' actually means. A reading will complement each lecture and will be discussed critically and in-depth in each week's tutorial. Topics will include psychopathy, terrorism, warlordism, torture, murder, evil scientists, the dark web, paedophilia, rape, and big business.
  • Work placement This module provides an opportunity for students to work in settings directly related to their area of study. The module will enable students to further explore and reinforce the interface between theory related to the way statutory, political and voluntary sector organisations work and the professional practices within these organisations. The module will facilitate the application of appropriate theory and policy knowledge within the workplace. It will also enhance academic study through relevant workplace experience. Broadly speaking any organisation with links to social and/or political issues as well as voluntary sector organisations with registered charity numbers are likely to be suitable for a work placement. Political organisations are also suitable for work placements. However students will be required to meet and consult with the Module Coordinator and their Course Directors to identify an appropriate voluntary sector and/or political organisation in which to carry out their work placement.


Career opportunities

We pay particular attention to the employability of our graduates, evidenced by a thriving volunteering project and the employment skills components of many of our modules. Graduates have gained employment in the public and private sectors, local and central government, as well as the voluntary sector.

Our courses in this field provide the practical experience employers demand, through our thriving volunteering project. Students take part in voluntary work in the police service, the prison service, legal advice, victim support, domestic violence and child abuse agencies, youth offending and youth mentoring schemes. Many prefer to work for the police or criminal justice services, where there are countless opportunities to help the community with plenty of room for specialisation.

There are a number of specialist careers in the voluntary, state and private sectors available to graduates of each of our disciplines. The subject of Criminology prepares students to work in the fields of probation, policing and the prison service, non-governmental organisations, work in local authorities and offending teams. Politics students tend to find employment in youth and community work, and work at various levels of government – including foreign ministries and national UN delegations. 

A humanities degree also has the real advantage of opening up careers in a number of professions such as teaching, social work, administration and higher level education. Other graduates have forged exciting careers in research-related work, public relations, advertising, retail, management and media-related work.

Career roles

One popular role is as a probation officer working with offenders before, during and after they are sentenced. Possessing a great deal of patience, strong spoken communication skills and a non-judgemental attitude, a probation officer can be very rewarding work. A qualified probation officer can earn between £28,000-£35,000. (National Careers Service)

The police service also offers a wide variety of long-term opportunities providing a two-year probationary period is completed. Salaries after 5 years can be up to £30,000. (BBC News)

If you are willing to take further training, then social work is another alternative. Social Workers provide support and assistance to many individuals, families and groups, from the homeless to people with learning and physical disabilities. It's possible to earn up to £25,000 once qualified. (National Careers Service)

Career progression

The academic strength of our programmes has allowed many graduates to continue onto postgraduate degrees and academic research. At LSBU we offer a number of applied postgraduate courses (heavily linked to the Department's nationally and internationally recognised research activities).

Postgraduate taught courses include:

Recent graduates from this course have become Police Officers, Reparation Officers and Support Workers as well as considering entering the field of academic research.

LSBU Employability Service

We are University of the Year for Graduate Employment - The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018

LSBU is committed to supporting you develop your employability and succeed in getting a job after you have graduated. Your qualification will certainly help, but in a competitive market you also need to work on your employability, and on your career search.

As an LSBU student you have access to the Employability Service and its resources during your time here and for two years after you graduate.

Our Employability Service will support you in developing your skills, finding a job, interview techniques, work experience or a placement/internship, and will help you assess what you need to do to get the career you want at the end of your course. LSBU offers a comprehensive Employability Service, with a range of initiatives to complement your studies, including:

  • Direct engagement from employers who come in to network with students
  • Job Shop – daily drop in service to help with, tailoring CVs, cover letters and applications, sourcing online resource, mock interviews and general job searching. One to one appointments for further support also available
  • Mentoring and work shadowing schemes
  • Higher education achievement report - The HEAR is designed to encourage a more sophisticated approach to recording student achievement, which acknowledges fully the range of opportunities that LSBU offers to our students.
    It pulls into one certificate: Module grades, Course descriptions, Placements, LSBU verified extra-curricular activities
  • Employability workshops - delivered free to students all year round on a variety of related topics
  • Careers fairs throughout the year to really focus your thoughts on a career after university

Find out about any of these services by visiting our student employability page


Voluntary Work Placement scheme

In keeping with our applied approach to social and policy studies this Department has a strong voluntary work placement scheme. Our students have found their voluntary work experiences to be highly valuable. Through them they contribute to real world situations linked to their subject of interest. In many cases such involvement has enabled students to maintain a relationship with the organisation, by becoming a topic for their dissertation or a continued working relationship. Placements ground a student's experience, provide confidence and immeasurably bolster a CV.

The importance of a placement

Our criminology programme also has a strong voluntary work scheme. Students are encouraged to undertake voluntary work in a variety of criminal justice related agencies. Recent positions have been within the police service, the prison service, legal advice, victim support, domestic violence and child abuse agencies and youth offending and youth mentoring schemes.


Dr Kerry Baker

School/Division: Law and Social Sciences / Social Sciences
Job title: Senior Lecturer

Dr Baker's areas of interest include youth justice, probation, risk assessment, practitioner decision-making and the role of faith based organisations in the criminal justice system.

Dr Caitriona Beaumont

School/Division: Law and Social Sciences / Social Sciences
Job title: Associate Professor in Social History; Director of Research, School of Law and Social Sciences

Caitriona's major research interests are in gender and history, voluntary action, Irish and British nineteenth and twentieth century social history, history of women's organisations and histories of the women's movement.

Dr Matthew Bond

School/Division: Law and Social Sciences / Social Sciences
Job title: Course Director, Sociology

Dr Matthew Bond is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Social Sciences and Course Director of the Sociology undergraduate programme.

Dr Christine Magill

School/Division: Law and Social Sciences / Social Sciences
Job title: Senior Lecturer in Criminology

Dr Chris Magill is a Senior Lecturer in Criminology in the School of Law and Social Sciences and Course Director for the MSc in Criminology and Social Research Methods.

Dr Federica Rossi

School/Division: Law and Social Sciences / Social Sciences
Job title: Lecturer in Criminology

Dr Rossi is a Lecturer in Criminology. She teaches Criminology, Sociology and Political Science, with particular interest in the criminalisation of political movements, political violence, terrorism, victims.

Dr Shaminder Takhar

School/Division: Law and Social Sciences / Social Sciences
Job title: Associate Professor in Sociology

Dr Shaminder Takhar is Associate Professor in Sociology specialising in race, gender, sexuality and social justice. She is the research ethics co-ordinator for the School of Law and Social Sciences.


Teaching and learning

Study hours

Year 1 class contact time is typically 9 hours per week plus individual tutorial and independent study.

Brief assessment outline

All modules are assessed by a combination of coursework, essays, exams, presentations, reports, case-studies, reviews and final year dissertation.

Research active academics

You'll be taught by research active academics whose work is nationally and internationally recognised and informs the course curriculum. You'll be encouraged to undertake your own research from which you'll gain invaluable experience of social scientific research methods.

Percentage of time spent in different learning activities
 Lectures and seminarsSelf-directed study
Year 123%77%
Year 223%77%
Year 318%82%

Criminology conference at LSBU

At LSBU, Criminology staff are actively engaged in criminological research and in making a difference to local, national and international criminal justice policy. On 13th September, Helen Easton, Senior Lecturer in Criminology, hosted a conference with international guest speakers titled "Overcoming the Stalemate: Progressing Change in Prostitution Laws in England and Wales".

Entry requirements

2018 entry

  • A Level BCC or:
  • BTEC National Diploma MMM or:
  • Access to HE qualifications with 9 Distinctions and 36 Merits or:
  • Equivalent Level 3 qualifications worth 106 UCAS points
  • Applicants must hold 5 GCSEs A-C including Maths and English, or equivalent (reformed GCSEs grade 4 or above).

We welcome qualifications from around the world. English language qualifications for international students: IELTS score of 6.0, Cambridge Proficiency or Advanced Grade C.

Visit UCAS for guidance on the 2018 tariff.

How to apply

International (non Home/EU) applicants should follow our international how to apply guide.

Instructions for Home/EU applicants
Mode Duration Start date Application code Application method
3 years
Start date
Application code
Application method
5 years
Start date
Application code
Application method

All full-time undergraduate students apply to the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) using the University's Institution Code L75. Full details of how to do this are supplied on our How to apply webpage for undergraduate students.

All part-time students should apply directly to London South Bank University and full details of how to do this are given on our undergraduate How to apply webpage.


Students should apply for accommodation at London South Bank University (LSBU) as soon as possible, once we have made an offer of a place on one of our academic courses. Read more about applying for accommodation at LSBU.


It's a good idea to think about how you'll pay university tuition and maintenance costs while you're still applying for a place to study. Remember – you don't need to wait for a confirmed place on a course to start applying for student finance. Read how to pay your fees as an undergraduate student.

Fees and funding

Fees are shown for new entrants to courses, for each individual year of a course, together with the total fee for all the years of a course. Continuing LSBU students should refer to the Finance section of our student portal, MyLSBU. Queries regarding fees should be directed to the Fees and Bursary Team on: +44 (0)20 7815 6181.

The fee shown is for entry 2017/18.
UK/EU fee: £9250International fee: £12500
AOS/LSBU code: 1358Session code: 1FS00
Total course fee:
UK/EU £27750
International £37500

For more information, including how and when to pay, see our fees and funding section for undergraduate students.

Possible fee changes

Current regulatory proposals suggest that institutions will be permitted to increase fee levels in line with inflation up to a specified fee cap. Specifically, LSBU may be permitted to increase its fees for new and existing Home and EU undergraduate students from 2017/18 onwards. The University reserves the right to increase its fees in line with changes to legislation, regulation and any governmental guidance or decisions.

The fees for international students are reviewed annually, and additionally the University reserves the right to increase tuition fees in line with inflation up to 4 per cent.


We offer students considerable financial help through scholarships, bursaries, charitable funds, loans and other financial support. Many of our scholarships are given as direct tuition fee discounts and we encourage all eligible students to apply for our Access Bursary. New home full-time undergraduate students meeting eligibility criteria could receive a £1,000 cash bursary by joining us in the 2017/18 academic year. Find out more about all our scholarships and fee discounts for undergraduate students.

International students

As well as being potentially eligible for our undergraduate scholarships, International students can also benefit from a range of specialist scholarships. Find out more about International scholarships.

Please check your fee status and whether you are considered a home, EU or international student for fee-paying purposes by reading the UKCISA regulations.

Case studies

Select a case study and read about practical project work, students' placement experiences, research projects, alumni career achievements and what it’s really like to study here from the student perspective.

Prepare to start

We help our students prepare for university even before the semester starts. To find out when you should apply for your LSBU accommodation or student finance read the How to apply tab for this course.

Applicant Open Days

To help you and your family feel confident about your university choice we run Applicant Open Days. These are held at subject level so students start getting to know each other and the academic staff who will be teaching them. These events are for applicants only and as an applicant you would receive an email invitation to attend the relevant event for your subject.

Enrolment and Induction

Enrolment takes place before you start your course. On completing the process, new students formally join the University. Enrolment consists of two stages: online, and your face-to-face enrolment meeting. The online process is an online data gathering exercise that you will complete yourself, then you will be invited to your face-to-face enrolment meeting.

In September, applicants who have accepted an unconditional offer to study at LSBU will be sent details of induction, which is when they are welcomed to the University and their School. Induction helps you get the best out of your university experience, and makes sure you have all the tools to succeed in your studies.

Read more about Enrolment and Induction.

Getting started

Students can prepare themselves for the course by following the news - quality newspapers, good TV news bulletins, Radio 4 news etc - particularly news about crime (politics of crime as well as actual crime stories)

Suggested reading

It is valuable to do some preparatory reading before starting the course, we suggest:

  • M. Maguire, R. Morgan and R. Reiner (2012) (5th edn) The Oxford Handbook of Criminology. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 
  • S. Walklate (2003) (2nd edn) Understanding Criminology: Current theoretical debates. Buckingham: Open University Press. 
  • R. Lippens (2009) A Very Short, Fairly Interesting and Reasonably Cheap Book about Studying Criminology. London: Sage. 
  • J. Muncie and E. McLaughin (2001) The Problem of Crime. Sage/Open University: London.
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Open Days and Events
Teaching excellence framework
Contact information

Course Enquiries - UK/EU

Tel: 0800 923 8888

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7815 6100

Get in touch

Course Enquiries - International

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7815 6189

Get in touch
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