BSc (Hons) Sociology with CriminologySouthwark Campus
Why do crimes like human trafficking or fraud suddenly boom or fall? What causes crime in the first place? Sociology is uniquely placed to help answer these questions. It is hard to understand crime without understanding society. How can we understand crime without understanding the effects of inequality or technology on social life? For this reason, sociology with criminology is an excellent combined course that will allow you to develop your skills and understanding of sociology, and use this to deepen your connection with questions around crime.
Every semester you will take two sociology modules and one criminology module, covering issues from the classics to how artificial intelligence is changing us all, and throughout you will keep an eye on criminological issues. You will cover everything from youth crime to punishment, from hate crime to gender and crime, and much more.
You will also have the opportunity to take work placement options, be supported by employability events and be taught by a vibrant and research-active team of lecturers who are dedicated to your success.
Why Sociology with Criminology at LSBU?
- No.2 in London Modern Universities for overall score and graduate prospects in Sociology (Complete University Guide League Table, 2018).
- No.2 London University overall in Criminology (Guardian University League Table, 2018).
- Enrich your CV and awareness of working practice with a voluntary placement in the prison service, legal advice, youth offending and youth mentoring schemes.
- Overall excellence: No.2 in London Modern Universities for overall score and graduate prospects in Sociology (Complete University Guide League Table, 2018).
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- Ranked 2nd for Organisation and Management amongst London competitors in Sociology (National Student Survey 2020)
- Graduates can apply for postgraduate courses, such as MSc Criminology and Social Research Methods, MSc Development Studies and MSc Refugee Studies.
- Recent graduates are now research assistants, school student mentors and charity workers - careers are likely in teaching, social work, marketing, public administration, the voluntary sector, social research, journalism and programme research.
You'll critically and theoretically engage with the rapid changes that are re-shaping societies, as well as gaining a rigorous understanding of crime and criminal justice. This course covers politics and democracy, crime, gender, equality and diversity, penal theory and practice, modernity, and policing. Methods of assessment for course overall: 62% coursework.
- 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.
- Power and inequality in contemporary society
In this module we will explore a series of problems related through the general ideas of power and inequality. We will explore how power and inequality are related through a series of case studies. We will examine both how these issues are contested and the implications of these problems for society and for politics. Seminars and workshops will be used to develop students understanding of these related problems in a way that will help develop both analytical and practical skills for learning.
- 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.
- 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.
- Researching London life
How does sociology actually do research? In this module you will learn some of the major qualitative methods used by sociologists and others. You will develop your understanding of, and skills for, interviews, focus groups and visual contents analysis. We’ll do this through lots of activities from running your own focus group to visiting London city spaces and taking photos. This will not only help develop your methods skills in a really practical and interesting way, but will also set you up with some key employability skills. We will use London as our laboratory!
- The sociological imagination: from revolutions to big data
Students will be introduced to some of the main questions raised about human societies. The module invites students to explore significant aspects of the origins and development of sociological inquiry within a historical context. They will be encouraged to read specifically selected pieces about key concepts and approaches to the study of social action in our societies.
- Exploring British attitudes: quantitative methods in social research
In the first half of this module students are introduced to basic issues in research design and methodology. Topics covered include experimental design and random assignment, formulating research questions sampling and measurement. In the second half of the module they learn the basics of statistical analysis and how to use SPSS. Throughout the module students will be introduced to empirical examples from the British Social Attitudes survey and other nationally representative material.
- 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.
- Gender, sexualities and society
This module focuses on sociological understandings of the related concepts, gender and sexuality. It offers comprehensive theoretical overviews of gender and sexuality. It challenges the binary distinction of gender construction by exploring alternatives such as transgender and gender fluidity. The module explores the intersections of gender and sexuality with race, ethnicity, social class and geographic location and how they can reproduce inequalities. An in-depth approach to the study of gender and sexuality is provided by covering the following areas: masculinities, femininities, bodies and sexualities: homosexuality, heterosexuality, bisexuality and their historical, cultural, social and political dimensions.
- The making of modern society: the dark and the light
Modern societies see themselves as beacons of light and ‘goodness’. But is there darkness, danger and harm built in to being modern? This is the fundamental question of this module. Along the way we will also ask: How did societies become modern? What does being modern mean? Have modern societies lived up to their own ideals of liberty, opportunity and respect for the individual?
- Interpreting society: qualitative methods in social research
This module introduces students to the basics of qualitative research methodologies. Students learn about central philosophical questions in the philosophy of the social sciences and how they relate to the qualitative/quantitative distinction. Students are taught a range of qualitative data collection techniques ranging from interviews to archival research. They are also introduced to different qualitative analytic techniques. Finally they are made aware of the ethical issues that are specific to qualitative research. Students are taught through lectures and workshops where they apply the principles to specific research questions.
- 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.
- Making identities: citizenship, race and nation
This module aims to examine the processes that have shaped key facets of identity in contemporary societies: citizenship, race and nation. By examining their inter-relationship, key sociological debates will be used to understand social and political identities. The module explores important theoretical questions and analyses specific historical processes and contemporary situations. The module encourages students to think across the boundaries of race and nation, gender and sexuality, as well as locality or environment (including animal welfare) in order to understand the different interrelationships between these forms of identity formation and citizenship in the modern world.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Sociology for the 21st century: from networks to artificial intelligence
The world is changing. Huge advances in areas such as information technology, computing, communications, mobile devices, transport, and building techniques are changing the way we interact, do business, work, organise cities, and go about our daily lives. How do the theories that have dominated sociological thinking relate to and comprehend these changes? Do we need new theories? This module will look at the latest sociological theories that are trying to understand what these changes are, how they affect society, and how sociology itself might have to change.
- 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.
- 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.
- Research project
- Religion and society
This module will introduce students to core concepts and debates in the sociology of religion. Students will develop an understanding of classical theories of religion, the origins of religions, religious demographics, secularisation, new religious movements and religious extremism. The module will examine a range of historical and classic evidence drawn from across the world that will allow students to evaluate claims made by sociologists of religion. Students will also develop skills permitting them to collect their own data and to manage key secondary sources typically used in the sociological study of religion.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
A sociology degree gives you the freedom to choose any number of career paths, including teaching, social work, marketing, public administration, the voluntary sector, social research, public relations, advertising, management, and media-related work, including journalism and programme research.
However, it is the social and welfare profession – working as a social workers or a counsellor – which is probably the most popular career choice for sociology graduates.
Counsellors spend time with people, generally on a one-to-one basis, helping them to talk about themselves in a safe and confidential environment. Social workers provide support and assistance to a host of individuals, families and groups, from the homeless to people with learning and physical disabilities.
The starting salary for full-time counsellors is usually around £19,000-£26,000 a year, although part-time and voluntary work is quite common. Private practice counsellors generally charge £30-£50 an hour. (National Careers Service)
Improving your employability
We’ll enhance your employability through our thriving volunteering project, where students can work for the police service, the prison service, legal advice, victim support, domestic violence and child abuse agencies, as well as for youth offending and youth mentoring schemes.
Recent graduates from this course have become Research Assistants, School Teachers, School Student Mentors, Charity Workers and Marketing Assistants.
If you graduate from this course, you'll be able to apply for further study at postgraduate level, including for a place on our full-time or part-time MSc Refugee Studies.
The academic strength of this course means that you can also consider entering the field of academic research.
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.
Our academic staff actively network with external organisations to enable placement opportunities. We hold relationships with MP constituency offices and parliamentary offices, as well as various voluntary organisations. Relationships are being built with the likes of Lambeth Council and Race on the Agenda (ROTA).
Voluntary work placement scheme
Our students have found their voluntary work experiences to be highly valuable. Through them they contribute to real world situations linked to their area of interest. In many cases, students maintain a relationship with the organisation, often continuing into a working relationship, or using them as a basis for their dissertation. Placements ground a student's experience, provide confidence and bolster your 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 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.
Online learning resources
We also provide extensive virtual learning resources with access to core texts whenever you need it. You'll be assigned a personal tutor to help you settle in, and a wide range of support is available through LSBU's student services.
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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 and Sociology 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 or Cambridge Proficiency or Advanced Grade C.
Visit UCAS for guidance on the 2018 tariff.
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.
Suggested reading list
It is valuable to do some preparatory reading before you start the course, we suggest:
- Macionis, J. and K. Plummer (2008) Sociology: a global introduction, Harlow: Prentice Hall.
- Fulcher, J. and J. Scott (2007) Sociology, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Giddens, A. (2008) Sociology, Cambridge: Polity Press.
- M. Maguire, R. Morgan and R. Reiner (2007) (4th edn) The Oxford Handbook of Criminology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
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: £14470|
|AOS/LSBU code: 4100||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.
Possible fee changes
Current regulatory proposals suggest that institutions will be permitted to increase fee levels in line with inflation up to a specified fee cap. Specifically, LSBU may be permitted to increase its fees for new and existing Home and EU undergraduate students from 2017/18 onwards. The University reserves the right to increase its fees in line with changes to legislation, regulation and any governmental guidance or decisions.
The fees for international students are reviewed annually, and additionally the University reserves the right to increase tuition fees in line with inflation up to 4 per cent.
We offer students considerable financial help through scholarships, bursaries, charitable funds, loans and other financial support. Many of our scholarships are given as direct tuition fee discounts and we encourage all eligible students to apply for our Access Bursary. New home full-time undergraduate students meeting eligibility criteria could receive a £1,000 cash bursary by joining us in the 2017/18 academic year. Find out more about all our scholarships and fee discounts for undergraduate students.
As well as being potentially eligible for our undergraduate scholarships, International students can also benefit from a range of specialist scholarships. Find out more about International scholarships.
Please check your fee status and whether you are considered a home, EU or international student for fee-paying purposes by reading the UKCISA regulations.
Tajae Tyrell, BSc (Hons) Criminology
How an interest in TV crime has propelled one LSBU student into an exciting career.
The challenges of supporting women who want to exit prostitution
Senior Lecturer in Criminology Helen Easton has been working with charities in Glasgow to establish best practice for helping women to exit prostitution
Diana Bardsley, alumna, Sociology BSc (Hons)
Diana came to London South Bank University (LSBU) through clearing and studied Sociology BSc (Hons), which was her favourite course at A levels.