BSc (Hons) Criminology with JournalismSouthwark 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.
BSc Criminology with Journalism brings together our established expertise in both social sciences and journalism to provide you with an exciting range of academic modules and topics while also allowing you to develop a variety of skills valued by employers. 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.
We offer the opportunity for all undergraduate Home/EU students to undertake a work placement, internship or work experience while studying a full-time course starting in September 2020.
Why Criminology with Journalism at LSBU?
- You'll be taught by research-active academics whose work is nationally and internationally recognised and informs the course curriculum.
- No.2 London University overall in Criminology (Guardian League Table, 2018).
- Enhance your employability by taking part in our volunteering programme which covers a range of criminal justice-related agencies.
- We host Journalism.London, a student-led content platform for you to publish videos, audio and written news and features as well as social media and live streaming.
- Our academics have worked professionally in the journalistic and television industries; our guest lecturers are at the forefront of contemporary journalism.
Areas you will study include criminal justice, digital journalism, policing, rehabilitation, youth crime, and gender and crime.
- 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.
- 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.
- Digital journalism 1
The aims of this module are: to promote comprehension of the impact of the internet and social media on newsgathering and writing; to enable you to develop basic skills in creating and launching a website, writing for the web, uploading content online, visual thinking and using relevant digital tools to engage audiences online; to encourage cross year collaboration on content for the course site http://journalism.london (specifically by writing reviews). Assessment: WordPress website with three event reviews (50%), online test covering creating a website/content online and basic WordPress coding (30%), and professional conduct through a workbook covering the stories submitted for the website including research, sources, issues and processes. Attendance and punctuality will also be assessed (20%).
- 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.
- Understanding crime: criminological theory in context
This module introduces you 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.
- Journalism and society
This module will explore the wider social and cultural contexts within which journalism is practiced in our society. The module will focus on issues such the development of the news media (press, radio, television and online); the role of journalism as a ‘public sphere’; the rise and fall of ‘objectivity’ as a professional ideal and its value for the public interest; the constraints within which journalists work, in terms of ownership, regulation and the relationship with the audience; and the emergence of new media and ‘citizen journalism’, and their implications for professional identity. These issues will be addressed by both reviewing the variety of ways in which journalism has been understood as an object of academic study and by critically evaluating how they affect news representation and discourse. Assessment: 1,500-word essay (100%).
- Policing and society
The module seeks 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.
- 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.
- Journalism futures
This module introduces you to a range of debates around the future of journalism as it goes online, interactive and mobile. It will enable you to examine digital journalism within a theoretical context to support any independent projects or research papers undertaken in your final year. It examines how technology has radically changed the way we receive and interact with news and current affairs, identifies what constitutes journalism in a global digital news culture, and provides theoretical underpinning for the upcoming module interactive journalism. Assessment: a 3,000-word essay.
- 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
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.
- Investigative journalism
This module will focus on the techniques involved in writing for newspapers in general and in reporting and investigating a controversial topic (crime, corruption, a scandal, etc.). This unit will allow you to work on news or an investigative project while exposing a ‘real life’ alleged failure of justice. The unit will address the techniques required for both the research/investigation (surveillance techniques, going undercover, archive research, use of anonymous sources, analysis of documents, scientific analysis, social and legal issues, and the like) and the writing of a final news piece. The unit will also address the consequences of investigative journalism, for the individual and for the society as a whole. Assessment: One 1,500-word journalistic investigative feature (80%). And you'll be required to submit a full notebook with notes and sources clearly recorded. Attendance and punctuality will also be assessed as part of the professional conduct element (20%).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Criminology 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.
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. 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.
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.
Teaching and learning
Year 1 class contact time is typically 9 hours per week. In addition, you'll be expected to devote time to independent study and attend personal tutorials.
Research active academics
You'll 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.
Online learning resources
We also provide extensive virtual learning resources with access to core texts whenever you need it. A wide range of support is available through LSBU's student services.
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".
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 Enrolment pages.
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||International fee: £13780|
|AOS/LSBU code: 5143||Session code: 1FS00|
|Total course fee:|
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.
Tajae Tyrell, BSc (Hons) Criminology
How an interest in TV crime has propelled one LSBU student into an exciting career.
Nicole Lucas, MSc Criminology and Social Research Methods
As a Criminology undergraduate at LSBU, Nicole Lucas was President of the Criminology Society and continued on to the MSc Criminology and Research Methods, winning the Lawrence Marlow Prize for academic achievement in January 2014.
Olivia da Silva, BSc (Hons) Criminology
Olivia chose Criminology at London South Bank University (LSBU) because she had a strong desire to help people with her degree and later career.