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. In addition to engaging with criminological theories and topical crime and justice issues, this course provides you with a solid base of knowledge in Psychology and understanding of human behaviour, feelings and interactions.
As a criminology student at LSBU, you will be able 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.
You'll be taught by research-active academics whose work is nationally and internationally recognised and informs the course curriculum.
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.
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.
Why Criminology with Psychology at LSBU?
- Ranked 1st for Criminology among London moderns and 2nd in London for Graduate Prospects (Times Good University 2022)
- Taught by research-active academics whose work is nationally and internationally recognised.
- Link with the LSBU Crime and Justice Research Group, which organises a series of research seminars and public events throughout the year where you can meet with researchers, practitioners and campaigners.
- Enhance your employability by taking part in our employability events and choosing a work placement module in Year 2.
- 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.
- Graduates can apply for postgraduate courses, such as MSc Criminology and Social Research Methods, MSc Development Studies and MSc Refugee Studies.
|Mode||Duration||Start date||Application code||Application method|
|ModeFull-time||Duration3 years||Start dateSeptember||Application codeM930||Application method UCAS|
London South Bank University student union is located at 103 Borough Rd, London SE1 0AA.
Walk or bicycle
The University is in easy walking distance of underground and leading overground stations. We are only 20 minutes away from the Thames. We encourage walking and cycling and have bicycle racks on campus. Please check the Transport for London cycling website for London cycling maps and route planners.
LSBU is very well connected, and a large number of buses travel to and connect in the Elephant and Castle area from across London.
By train or tube
The Bakerloo and Northern lines stop at Elephant & Castle underground station, which is right next to campus. The closest rail stations are Elephant & Castle, London Waterloo and London Bridge. To plan your train journey, visit the National Rail website.
London South Bank University does not provide public parking space. There is a limited amount of parking in the area, so we strongly advise using public transport.
Do consider the Congestion Charge if you are driving through London to reach the campus. Find out if you'll be crossing the Congestion Charge zone to reach our Southwark Campus.
TfL journey planner
You can travel to Southwark Campus by using public transport, plan your journey using the Transport for London journey planner.
Entry Level Requirements
- 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.
Choose your country
Select country here:
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.
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.
The course is not currently open to international students.
International (non Home) applicants should follow our international how to apply guide.
|Mode||Duration||Start date||Application code||Application method|
|Mode Full-time||Duration 3 years||Start date September||Application code M930||Application method UCAS|
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
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 to starting your career in different fields. Topics you will study include criminal justice, prisons, policing, punishment, youth crime, as well as some core psychology areas of research.
- 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.
- Social Sciences in the Contemporary World: Themes, Concepts and Higher Education Skills
This module introduces the study of social sciences and their global significance through an examination of key concepts and approaches to the subject. Each year, the subject matter will explore topical issues, current examples of which include the rise of #BLM, COP26 and climate change and sustainability. The selected issues will form the basis for the development of academic literacy and higher education skills in weekly workshops.
- Introducing Psychological Approaches
This module will introduce you to the study of psychology, first by discussing its conceptual underpinnings and historical development, then topics related to living in the world as biological, learning and feeling beings. The first part of the module will focus on the philosophical foundations of psychology, its status as a science and current identity, while the second part will deal with evolutionary theory and the relationship of the brain to behaviour. The third part will consider learning, and the fourth will analyse emotions from biological, psychological and social perspectives.
- 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.
- Exploring Psychological Approaches
This module introduces topics related to living in the world as a developing, thinking, social and individual being. Topics will include memory, perception, attention, cognitive development, interpersonal behaviour, group behaviour, intelligence, personality and aspects of atypical behaviour. Study in each of these areas will provide you with a framework for advanced study at Level 5. In addition to knowledge, the module will provide you with the opportunity to develop skills relating to accessing, assimilating and communicating information, and it will introduce you to a variety of assessment techniques that you'll encounter on the course.
- 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.
- Social Research Methods
This module introduces students to key concepts, methods and techniques used in social research. Students learn how to evaluate the methodological choices of researchers and to conduct their own social 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).
- Psychology of Feelings
This module will provide you with the opportunity to explore the interdependence between feelings and human behaviour. The module is organised into three distinct themes, relationships, mood and sensations. Two introductory sessions will be used to recap and consolidate material at Level 4 and provide a knowledge base upon which the rest of the module will build. Then, within each theme a range of topics will be explored, drawing on theory and research from biological, developmental, evolutionary, cross-cultural, cognitive and atypical psychology. Individual differences will be a key perspective in this module. Assessment method: 100% coursework.
- Working in the Social Sciences
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, academic research and most political organisations are particularly suitable for work placements, although much can also be learned from placements in commercial settings. Students who do not secure a formal external placement will form groups to work on an applied project related to LSBUs 9 identified UN Sustainable Development Goals.
- 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.
- Psychology of Behaviour with Others
This module will provide you with the opportunity to explore a number of the major concepts, theories and methods encountered in understanding how and why we behave in the ways we do when in the presence of other humans. The focus of this module is to understand what psychologists have contributed to the understanding of our social behaviours according to the real, imagined or implied presence of other individuals. The module will focus on those approaches that have been used to examine a) whether we are social beings and why, b) what the ‘social’ brain looks like, c) how social behaviours develop across the lifespan, d) which mechanisms have been used to explain how we interact with the implied, real or imagined presence of others, e) how culture affects our social interactions, and f) how group membership affects our social behaviours.
- Research Project (double module running across two semesters 40 credits)
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.
- 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.
- Development of Brain and Behaviour in Infancy
This module focuses on infancy, a period of rapid development, and examines the emergence of perceptual, cognitive, and early social skills during the first year of life. Emerging behaviours will also be related to brain development to facilitate a more thorough investigation of what happens during development. Traditional and more recent methods used to assess both brain and behaviour in infants will also be considered. This module will offer you the opportunity to consider a dominant theoretical debate in developmental psychology, that of the relative contributions of nature and nurture to development. The first part of the module will focus on typical development, while the second part will look at instances where development is atypical, such as in the case of developmental disorders (e.g. autism and Down syndrome) or the case of extreme environments (e.g. visual and environmental deprivation).
- Psychology of Addictive Behaviours
This module will introduce you to theories of addictive behaviour. You'll address conceptual issues surrounding the utility of theories, and you'll discuss the empirical evidence for or against each theory. You'll have the opportunity to consider recent theories that attempt to synthesise extant models into a comprehensive account of addiction. You'll also have the opportunity to apply and critically evaluate several theories in regards to their ability to explain alcoholism, both during seminars and in your coursework assignment. Finally, you'll examine various treatment and preventative approaches, and the evidence for and against each.
- Psychology of Inter & Intra-group Processes
This module will outline key issues in the study of intergroup and intra-group psychology and will explore social identity approaches. The module will then consider how groups interact with one another (inter-group processes) and also how group members function within the group (intra-group processes). The module combines theory with real social applications. Seminars will provide an opportunity to explore issues and research in more depth, and apply theory to real life situations
- Psychology of Mental Health & Distress
Mental health is a highly contested area, with major disagreements amongst psychiatrists, psychologists and service users over the conceptualisation and treatment of mental health problems. This module will examine the theoretical differences between these perspectives by examining the social, cultural, biological and psychological evidence for the causes and maintenance of mental health problems. These factors will be looked at in general, and also in relation to specific forms of distress, such as depression, eating disorders and anxiety. The value and efficacy of diagnostic versus formulation approaches for the treatment of mental health problems will also be explored.
- Research Project (as above)
- 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.
- Counselling Psychology
This module is designed primarily for students intending to go on to counselling psychology and psychotherapy postgraduate courses following their degree. Each week will include theoretical and practical components where you'll able to try out various approaches in role-plays and triad work. The theoretical component of the module will introduce you to key theoretical approaches in counselling psychology and psychotherapy, focusing on humanist/existential and cognitive behavioural, as well as covering various types of therapy, such as one-to-one, group therapy, brief therapy and relationship work. There will be a critical emphasis throughout considering issues of power, ethics, difference, and research on therapeutic effectiveness and processes
- Health Psychology
Morbidity and mortality have been shown to be influenced significantly by various socio-demographic factors like age, social class and education. Which factors create the link between these inputs and health-related outputs is less clear. This module will explore theoretically-based psychological processes and mechanisms (e.g. cognitive dispositions and beliefs, social support, etc.) that have been shown to relate social inputs with health outcomes. In early sessions you'll explore social inequalities in health. During later sessions a number of models used by health psychologists to study related decision making and behaviour will be explored. Throughout all sessions you'll be exposed to applied implications and evidence derived from basic theoretical principles
- Lifespan Development
This module extends the usual focus of developmental psychology on infancy and childhood to consider a range of factors in development over the lifespan. Issues relating to social, emotional, and cognitive development through childhood and into adolescence will be considered, as will the transition from adolescence into early adulthood. Factors surrounding relationships between children’s drawing and cognitive development will be addressed, together with moral development. The continued impact of developmental disorders (such as dyslexia) in adulthood will be considered, linking these to cognitive function in everyday life (such as educational and employment settings). Typical ageing and neurodegenerative disorders (such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease) will be considered from both social and cognitive perspectives.
This module centres on the study of brain-behaviour relationships. The focus of the module is to outline a series of disorders and the study of how they impact cognitive functions. Specifically, the module provides students with an understanding of the neural underpinnings of several cognitive functions and how these can be disrupted in a series of disorders. Students are also introduced to methods used in neuropsychology and cognitive neuroscience and issues around recovery and rehabilitation.
- Psychology of the Workplace
The Psychology in the Workplace module will cover a range of different topics related to work (or industrial) psychology, cognitive ergonomics, and behaviour in organisational settings. In broad terms, the module will cover issues relating to organisations, individual workers, and inclusive practices It will address such topics as organisational change, the challenge of an ageing workforce, human-machine interaction, stress and work, human error and accident prevention, and designing workplaces and tools for workers with additional needs or in different cultures.
- Thinking: Past, Present & Future
Cognitive Science is the scientific study of thought. This module provides students with the opportunity to explore some of the key theoretical debates in contemporary cognitive science, adopting a multidisciplinary approach to understanding the nature of thought and challenging assumptions concerning what it is to be human. The module will address the nature of the human mind in the past, present, and future, frequently using comparative psychology to identify those abilities that make us uniquely human and which mark us out from non-human animals and synthetic organisms.
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.
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.
Optional Work Placement
Students will complete a work-based learning module as part of their second year where they will complete an optional work placement or take part in other forms of work-based learning. 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.
Our students have taken up work placements at:
- Chance UK – a unique early intervention mentoring organisation who provide adult volunteer mentors to work with children aged 5-11 years at risk of developing anti-social behaviour in later life.
- Kairos in Soho – a pan-London LGBT Community Development Organisation.
- The Naz project London – a sexual health organisation that works to mobilise Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities in relation to HIV and other sexual health concerns.
- Richmond Advice and Information on Disability (RAID)
- Women's Royal Voluntary Service (WRVS)
Teaching and Assessment
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.
Dr Georgina BartlettApplied Sciences
Dr Janice BrownApplied Sciences
Ms Donna CiarloApplied Sciences
Dr Stella MearnsApplied Sciences
Dr Elizabeth NewtonApplied Sciences
Professor Paula ReaveyApplied Sciences
Dr Federica RossiLaw and Social Science
Ms Rebecca ShepherdLaw and Social Science
Dr Serra Tekin ErikssonApplied Sciences