BSc (Hons) CriminologySouthwark Campus
What factors can explain the recent rise in knife crime? How is climate change linked to crimes of the powerful? Are prisons the appropriate response to criminal acts? Are we all treated equally before the law?
These are some of the debates that you will explore in this course. By looking at the complex interactions between the state, the offender, the victim and society, you will think critically about how laws are made and how social structures shape both crime and crime control. You will engage in theoretical debates about crime and in practical problem solving and research activities.
You will have the opportunity to choose a work placement module as part of the course, as well as to engage in a series of employability events. Criminology courses open pathways to careers in a variety of settings, including probation, policing, the prison service, NGOs, local authorities, the voluntary sector, youth offending teams, teaching, social work and administration.
The course is also linked to the LSBU Crime and Justice Research Group that organizes a series of research seminars and public events throughout the year. You will be encouraged to attend and participate in these events to enhance your learning experience and meet with researchers, practitioners and campaigners.
Why Criminology at LSBU?
- You'll be taught by research-active academics whose work is nationally and internationally recognised and informs the course curriculum.
- 2nd overall for Criminology in London (Sunday Times League Tables 2020).
- Our courses prepare you for a range of careers, including probation, policing, the prison service, NGOs, local authorities, the voluntary sector, youth offending teams, teaching, social work and administration.
- Graduates can apply for postgraduate courses, such as MSc Criminology and Social Research Methods, MSc Development Studies and MSc Refugee Studies.
- 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.
- Enhance your employability by taking part in our employability events and choosing a work placement module in Year 2.
- 1st in London for career prospects in Criminology (Guardian League Tables 2019) and 2nd for graduate prospects (Sunday Times League Table 2020).
This course provides you with valuable knowledge and the ability to think critically about a range of topics within Criminology. You will also gain transferable skills which will provide you with a solid background for startng a career in different fields. Areas you will study include criminal justice, prisons, policing, youth crime, genocide and crime in a global context.
Methods of assessment for course overall: 75% coursework.
- Deconstructing the crime problem
What is crime? How and to what extent is the crime problem dispersed throughout contemporary 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 addressed in this module which aims to introduce students 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, its main aim is to encourage students to think about these issues in terms of broader social trends and relations.
- Introduction to the criminal justice system
This module introduces students to the different levels, agencies and operation of the criminal justice system. It presents the main institutions and provides an overview of the procedures and policies related to the contemporary criminal justice system and punishment of offenders. The module introduces a number of key issues and debates in relation to the effectiveness of the criminal justice system.
- Global issues in sociology
This module provides students with a grounding in key issues in contemporary society, with a particular emphasis on the societal effects of globalization. These effects are dynamic and global in nature and impact on the key themes addressed in the module. These include: migration and 'race', gender, class, the changing nature of citizenship, sexualities, religion and the mass media. An important focus throughout the module is on how inequalities are reinforced but may be challenged via active citizenship and civic engagement around social justice issues.
- Issues in Crime
This module presents students with a range of distinct contemporary criminological issues and debates. It includes a range of topics and examines how fears and concerns about crime and the criminal justice system are related to issues such as governance, social exclusion and racial inequality. The module also enables students to explore varying explanations of crimes and crime control strategies.
- Social justice in action
This module develops students’ understanding of the concept of social justice (as a goal and a process) and its wider implications. The module also encourages students to focus on their interests, motivations, skills and abilities in employability terms and make connections between their studies and their future careers. Central to the module is a career and networking event. This event will provide students with the opportunity to meet and speak with individuals working in organisations concerned with social justice, particularly individuals who have themselves overcome challenges relating to their gender, race, class, age, sexuality, religion etc. Front line staff such as police officers, probation officers, social workers; activists, campaign work, researchers to voluntary sector representatives will be involved. Alumni will also contribute to the event.
- Understanding crime: criminological theory in context
In this module students will learn about the key underlying theories that shape criminology and how society thinks about crime. We will examine the conceptual and practical differences between these schools and show how their differences have resulted in very different definitions of crime, types of research and governmental policy. We will also see how these different theories have shaped the criminal justice system of different societies. We will do all this within the broad historical context of the development of criminology.
- Understanding punishment: penal theory and practice
This module examines penal theory and practice in a theoretical, comparative and historical way, and engages critically with the theoretical justifications and policy proposals for punishment. The module presents the juridical perspectives and rationales of punishment, historical and sociological explanations of punishment. The course also reflects on the race, class and gender bias in the penal system and critically discusses the concept of ‘crisis’ of the penal system as well as the issue of the privatisation of punishment.
- Behind bars: prisons and society
Imprisonment is one of the most common forms of punishment in Western liberal democracies, and it is one of the most controversial, especially as prison populations continue to grow at unprecedented levels. This module introduces students to contemporary issues and debates about imprisonment, such as prison conditions, overcrowding, staffing, prisoners’ rights. The module also explores the broader historical, social, political, and economic context of the modern prison and the ideology of imprisonment, including its representation in popular media.
- 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.
- Policing and society
The module will seek to create a critical understanding of historical, social and contemporary problems and debates in the development of modern policing, with specific reference to England and Wales. Within this framework a range of theoretical and practical topics will be addressed, including, legitimacy, accountability and representation, in relation to significant policies and programs. An analysis of police culture and ideology, in the context of human rights, democracy, and governance, will be undertaken as part of this. Also discussed will be the impact upon police strategies and practices of globalisation, consumerism, politicisation, and the New Public Management.
- Researching crime, deviance and justice
This module introduces students to key concepts, methods and techniques used in criminological research. Students learn how to evaluate the methodological choices of researchers and to conduct their own criminological research. Students are introduced to both qualitative methods in the first half and quantitative methods in the second half. Within each half the module focuses on evaluative criteria (e.g. ethics and measurement validity) for social research, data collection methods (e.g. qualitative interviews and surveys) and data analytic methods (e.g. grounded theory and statistical methods).
- Youth, crime and delinquency
This module provides an overview of the development of youth crime as a specific area of criminological inquiry and a distinct jurisdiction within the criminal justice system. The Module considers the development of ‘delinquency’ as a specific field of intervention and investigation. It gives particular attention to the evolution of youth justice policies and examines current literature in relation to the strengths and limitations of the contemporary youth justice system.
- London: crime and social exclusion
This module uses London as a case study for a discussion of the cultural, social, and spatial effects of crime and social exclusion. Using both historical and contemporary examples the course will discuss the following themes: poverty & crime, spatial stigma, race & policing, gender, sexuality & crime, security and urban design, the city at night, cultural representations of criminal London. Through these themes the course will explore how social difference and criminalisation interact to produce the city. Students will develop the capacity to relate debates surrounding crime and criminology to the spatial & social politics of urban space.
- Work placement
This module provides an opportunity for students to work in settings related to their studies and, more generally, gain meaningful workplace experience in which to apply their social scientific learning. It will also reinforce their studies through the application and integration of relevant workplace experience into the academic context. Voluntary and community sector organisations, charities and most political organisations are particularly suitable for work placements, although much can also be learned from placements in commercial settings. Students are required to consult with the module coordinator to identify an appropriate organisation in which to carry out their work placement.
- Barriers to learning
Students will develop their theoretical understanding of a range of potential ‘barriers to learning’, which may arise for pupils in their educational contexts. Using theory to inform practice, students will develop their approaches to identifying and reducing barriers, with the aim of developing inclusive practice for all pupils in an educational setting.
- The environment, sustainability and climate change
This module addresses the social and political dimensions of ecology. It examines defining features of the concept of (environmental) sustainability, introducing various political perspectives. We will see how local and global environmental risks demand new forms of urban, national and international governmentality. The module will discuss how societies affect and are affected by changes in the natural environment. Finally, we will engage with how climate change impacts on our understanding of time, including how we imagine the end of the world. Throughout the module, we will research and look at the activities of organisations and movements involved in environmental sustainability.
- Gender, crime and justice
The relationship between men, masculinity and crime; and women, femininity and crime has assumed increasing visibility and political significance within both criminology and the public arena. An understanding of both masculinities and femininities is central to this module. Drawing on feminist perspectives in criminological theory as well as more mainstream theoretical accounts, this module evaluates the evidence, which indicates that patterns of offending, victimisation and the workings of the main criminal justice agencies are gendered. The module also transgresses traditional debates in this area by considering a human rights perspective for the study of gender and crime.
- Research project
This level six double module covers two semesters and consists of the research for and completion of an academic project with a 9000-word limit. Each student chooses a subject relevant to the study of Sociology or Criminology in which they wish to specialize, and then uses the skills and knowledge that they have accumulated and developed through modules studied at previous levels to undertake and complete the project. During the whole process, from choice of subject to final submission, each student will have the support and guidance of a supervisor allocated for this purpose.
- Hate crime
This module provides students with a grounding in key concepts and debates surrounding the problem of hate crime. Students will explore the nature and extent of different forms of hate crime including racist, religious, homophobic and disablist hate crime. The motivations of perpetrators of hate crime will be considered as well as the impact that hate crime has on victims. This module will also explore the policing of hate crime and the development of key legislation in the United Kingdom.
- Genocide and crimes against humanity
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.
- Race, culture and identity
This module addresses the centrality of race and ethnicity (including whiteness) to social relations. It provides an analysis of race and ethnicity within a changing scholarship and within their historical, cultural, political and theoretical contexts. Theoretical understandings of the intersectionality of race, gender and sexuality will also be explored, highlighting their impact on all aspects of people’s lives. The complexities of analysing race, gender and sexuality are applied to representations in cultural forms, such as media and film. The module also demonstrates how the concepts covered have been influential in shaping public policy.
- Research project
- Contemporary criminology
This module allows students to examine, in depth, contemporary and specific areas of criminological debate and theory. The module adopts a flexible design in response to current developments in the field of criminology and in the context of current social and political problems. Students will be encouraged to critically explore topics within the area and apply them to wider criminological debate and theory.
- Crimes of the powerful: states, corporations and human rights
This module explores the phenomena of state crime, corporate crime and the involvement of powerful social forces in human rights abuses. It examines the problems involved in conceptualising state crimes and human rights and looks at contemporary crimes against humanity, including in the area of environmental rights. The module also explores the problems involved in regulating and controlling state crime and human rights atrocities in which states and state officials play a key role. The critical engagement with globalization provides a framework within which students explore significant contemporary debates and developments.
- Media, crime and culture
This module will explore the relationship between media, crime, culture and criminal justice. The representation of crime in the news media will be critically explored. Students will be able to show understanding of the significance of popular culture representations of crime and criminal justice within public, political and cultural discourse. The research methods used to assess the impact of the media on the public’s understanding of crime will also be examined.
- Politics and Protest
This module will examine forms of social and political conflict characteristic of contemporary western societies. The main focus will be on understanding social movements and forms of political contention in the changing social structure of these societies. Although it has a contemporary western focus the course will situate discussion also in the context of historical and comparative material on social movements. The emphasis throughout however will be on examining the ability of social and political theory to understand the nature of political identity and its expression in social movements.
Our students volunteer and find jobs in a range of setting, including the police service, the prison service, legal advice, victim support, domestic violence and child abuse agencies and charities, youth offending and youth mentoring schemes.
A social science 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, public relations, advertising, retail, management and media-related work.
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 oral communication skills and a non-judgemental attitude, working in probation 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)
There are a number of career opportunities within the criminal justice system or agencies and charities working with victims of crime, ex-offenders, and witnesses.
The academic strength of our programmes has allowed many graduates to continue onto postgraduate degrees and academic research. We offer a number of applied postgraduate courses (heavily linked to the Department's nationally and internationally recognised research activities).
Postgraduate taught courses at LSBU include:
We are University of the Year for Graduate Employment for the second year in a row - The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018, 2019.
At LSBU, we want to set you up for a successful career. During your studies – and for two years after you graduate – you’ll have access to our Employability Service, which includes:
- An online board where you can see a wide range of placements: part-time, full-time or voluntary. You can also drop in to see our Job Shop advisers, who are always available to help you take the next step in your search.
- Our Careers Gym offering group workshops on CVs, interview techniques and finding work experience, as well as regular presentations from employers across a range of sectors.
Our Student Enterprise team can also help you start your own business and develop valuable entrepreneurial skills.
Optional Work Placement
Students can choose a Work Placement module as part of their second year. In the past, our students have volunteered with charities and criminal justice agencies, with local authorities, on programmes ranging from rehabilitation of offenders, to victim support and campaigner groups. Through these, students contribute to real world situations linked to their subject of interest. In many cases, students maintain a relationship with the organisation they volunteer for. Placements ground a student's experience, provide confidence and bolster a CV immeasurably.
Teaching and learning
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 will be taught by research-active academics whose work is internationally recognised and informs the course curriculum. You'll be encouraged to attend and participate in the research seminars and events organized by the Crime and Justice Research Group, that will strengthen your learning experience as well as your network.
|Lectures and seminars||Self-directed study|
Criminology conference and events at LSBU
At LSBU,Criminology staff are actively engaged in research and organize research events, conferences and seminars at LSBU and other universities throughout the year. The Crime and Justice Research Group organizes a monthly research seminar and at least two larger events open to the public. Over the past two years we have welcomed Prof. Alex Vitale from New York as a visiting professor, held a public event with Prof. Alex Vitale and Gary Younge, as well as two round table events focusing on Youth and (In)justice and more recently on Policing dissent.
Personal Academic Tutoring
As an undergraduate Law and Social Science student, you will be allocated a named tutor during your first semester at LSBU. The role of your tutor is to be your primary contact for academic and professional development support.
Your tutor will support you to get the most of your time at LSBU, providing advice and signposting to other sources of support in the University. They should be the first person at the university that you speak to if you are having any difficulties that are affecting your work. These could be academic, financial, health-related or another type of problem.
Dr Rashid Aziz
Senior Lecturer in Criminology; Course Director for Criminology undergraduate programmes
Dr Christine Magill
Senior Lecturer in Criminology; Course Director, MSc in Criminology and Social Research Methods
- 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.
If you have already completed some studies at another university, we may be able to consider you for advanced entry. Please see our advanced entry page for more information.
How to apply
International (non Home/EU) applicants should follow our international how to apply guide.
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Once we have made you an offer, you can apply for accommodation. You can rent from LSBU and you’ll deal directly with the university, not third party providers. That means we can guarantee you options to suit all budgets, with clear tenancy agreements and all-inclusive rents that include insurance for your personal belongings, internet access in each bedroom and on-site laundry facilities.
Or, if you’d rather rent privately, we can give you a list of landlords – just ask our Accommodation Service.
Read more about applying for accommodation at LSBU.
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.
Prepare to start
After you’ve received your offer we’ll send you emails about events we run to help you prepare for your course.
Before you start your course we’ll send you information on what you’ll need to do before you arrive and during your first few days on campus. You can read about the process on our Welcome Week pages.
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).
It is valuable to do some preparatory reading before starting the course, we suggest:
- Hayward, K., Maruna, S., and Mooney, J. (2009) Fifty Key Thinkers in Criminology, London: Routledge
- Lippens, R. (2009) A Very Short, Fairly Interesting and Reasonably Cheap Book about Studying Criminology. London: Sage.
- Newburn, T. (2017) Criminology, third edition, London: Sage
- Treadwell, J. (2013) Criminology: The Essentials, 2nd edition, London: Sage
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 Bursaries Team on: +44 (0)20 7815 6181.
Year 1 FT Southwark SEPT
|UK/EU fee: £9250.00||International fee: £14470.00|
|AOS/LSBU code: 1358||Session code: 1FS00|
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For more information, including how and when to pay, see our fees and funding section for undergraduate students.
Please check your fee status and whether you are considered a Home, EU or International student for fee-paying purposes and for our regulatory returns, by reading the UKCISA regulations.
Possible fee changes
The University reserves the right to increase its fees in line with changes to legislation, regulation and any government guidance or decisions.
The fees for international students are reviewed annually and the University reserves the right to increase the tuition fees in line with the RPIX measure of inflation up to 4 per cent.
We offer several types of fee reduction through our scholarships and bursaries. Find the full list and other useful information on our scholarships page.