BSc (Hons) Criminology with LawSouthwark Campus
How is crime shaped?
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 crime, the criminal justice system and the legislation. In addition to engaging with criminological theories and topical crime and justice issues, this course provides you with a solid base of knowledge in Public and Criminal law and optional specialisation in Human Rights, Civil Rights or European Law.
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 with Law at LSBU?
- You'll be taught by research-active academics whose work is nationally and internationally recognised and informs the course curriculum.
- No.1 for career prospects in London for Criminology (Guardian League Tables 2019).
- No. 1 amongst London competitors for learning resources in Law (National Student Survey 2018).
- 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.
This course examines the interesting connection between crime, justice and the law. This course covers:
- criminal justice
- the legal justice system
- causes of crime
- the criminal mind
- politics and policy
- penal theory and policy
- youth crime
Methods of assessment for course overall: 60% 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.
- 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.
- Legal skills, legal study, legal system (including foundation)
You'll be introduced to aspects of the English Legal System, and practical, transferable and legal skills and legal theory essential to effective engagement with their legal studies. You'll be introduced to the theories of what law is and what are its sources, the court system, EU and International law, and the personnel involved in the administration of the law.
You'll encounter and develop a range of skills, including study skills, deriving law from primary sources and explaining, discussing and applying it, research, using secondary sources, problem solving, essay writing, communication and IT skills, numerical skills, and reflective learning.
- 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.
- 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.
- Foundations of public law
You'll study the fundamental laws, practices and principles of Public law which define and influence the relationship between the individual and the state as characterised by various governmental institutions in the UK. Detailed consideration is given to the fundamental mechanisms by which human rights are protected and government is subject to legal and political accountability. Various skills are developed including those of analysis, critical evaluation and problem solving.
- 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.
- Criminal law 1
You'll be introduced to the basic principles of criminal liability, and will explore statutory and common law sources on which the law is based. The module is assessed by a part seen examination paper (100% - 2 hour examination + 15 minutes reading time - 50% for unseen questions and 50% for a seen question which will be made available to students a week prior to the examination).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- Criminal law and the law of criminal evidence
In this module you'll build upon the basic principles of criminal liability studied in Criminal Law 1 and examine how the rules of Evidence apply while considering some more complex areas of the Criminal law. The module is assessed by a trial Observation (50% - 2,500 words maximum) for Criminal Evidence, and, an unseen examination paper (50% - 1 hour + 15 minutes reading time) for Criminal Law 2.
- 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.
- Criminal litigation in context
You'll examine key areas in the criminal litigation process, from arrest and charge, through to trial, appeal and sentencing. You'll focus on the roles of key personnel and organisations in the criminal justice system, the funding of criminal matters by the Legal Services Commission/Criminal Defence service and human rights issues. You'll also be introduced to the rules of client care & professional conduct in criminal cases, criminal evidence and the special considerations that apply to young offenders under the age of 18.
- Civil rights and the individual
In this module you'll study two broad areas relating to individual rights; namely freedom from discrimination and freedom of expression.
- 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.
- Civil rights and the state
This module is designed to allow students to examine and consider the response of the state to threats posed by crime, terrorism, strikes and other types of civil and political emergencies and unrest and the impact on a citizen’s civil rights. Students are encouraged to consider the social, economic and political context within which the law operates. The aims of this course are as follows: To provide students with an in depth coverage of the principles relating to police powers and the powers of the state in relation to policing, terrorism and emergency powers; To critically evaluate the relationship between the individual citizen, the police, local and central government; To explore the philosophical, conceptual and policy issues involved; To broaden and encourage an appreciation of the wider social, economic and political context within which the police and government operate; To examine the practical problems of enforcing individual civil rights; To further develop the skills required for independent research, analysis and problem solving of complex legal problems.
- European human rights
This module provides students with an opportunity to critically consider and evaluate the protection provided by the European Convention on Human Rights and its institutions and to consider its impact in setting human rights norms.
The course will help you to consider and critically analyse and evaluate the institutions and framework provided by the European Convention on Human Rights for the protection of human rights within the Council of Europe taking into account historical and political perspectives; to consider the influence of the European Convention on Human Rights on domestic law; to explore relevant philosophical, political, social, cultural, moral and economic issues underlying the concept of human rights; and to examine in depth and critically analyse and evaluate the law relating to the European Convention on Human Rights.
- International protection of human rights
You'll study the International Protection of Human Rights in the context of specific countries and themes. Lectures will introduce you to key topics such as the UN procedures and Human Rights Activism. You'll then research these topics in the context of a specific country (such as Myanmar, Nigeria and Pakistan) and theme (such as Fair Trial, Free Speech and Torture). Seminar discussions will be based on research on your selected country and theme. There will be an emphasis on developing effective strategies for combating human rights abuses. Assessment is by a single piece of Coursework.
Our students volunteer and find jobs in a range of settings, 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.
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.
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.
Legal Advice Clinic
You can volunteer at our Legal Advice Clinic, part of the Southwark Legal Advice Network and supported by local law firms.
Future lawyers project
Our Future Lawyers Project with the South London Law Society provides students with placements in local law firms in order to complete the Working in the Law module. You'll have the opportunity to shadow solicitors and where appropriate carry out tasks in placements with South London firms such as: Powell & Co, Anthony Gold Solicitors, Hanne & Co, Fisher Meredith and Deighton Pierce Glynn.
Lambeth County Court Helpdesk
This free drop-in service is open to the public and staffed by our law students, supervised by practising solicitors. Students receive specialist training, supervised sessions in undertaking research and give legal advice on live issues such as Social Welfare Law as well as Employment Law.
London Law Careers Fair
We are part of the London Law Careers Fair, giving our students priority booking for the annual national law fair held at the Law Society. It is an opportunity to meet future employers and ask about training and employment opportunities. This is an important initiative in which students hear from top practitioners, including Judges, solicitors, barristers and legal executives in break-out sessions designed to address topics of current interest.
The London Borough of Southwark
We’ve set up a placement programme in conjunction with Southwark Council. Complete a placement during the academic year and enter a competition at the end of the year for a full two week placement during the summer holidays.
South London Law Centres
Southwark Law Centre, Blackfriars, Cambridge House and the Afro Asian Advisory Service provide work placements so you can gain an insight into the workings of a law centre and the public advice sector in areas such as Employment Law, Housing Law and Immigration law.
Taught by qualified lawyers
Visiting Professors and Fellows are leading lawyers who support us by teaching on our courses and giving lectures to students and local practitioners. Examples include Imran Khan, Solicitor, Joel Bennathan QC and sir Geoffrey Bindman.
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.
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Criminology conferences and 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 Caitriona Beaumont
Associate Professor in Social History; Director of Research, School of Law and Social Sciences
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.
Visit UCAS for guidance on the 2018 tariff.
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
- 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.
We would not want students to buy course texts until they have seen tutors and been advised. Instead you can read an introduction to studying law, e.g. Learning the Law by Glanville Williams, Letters to a Law Student by Nicholas McBride or Studying Law by Askey and McLeod.
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.
|UK/EU fee: £9250||International fee: £13780|
|AOS/LSBU code: 3538||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.