BSc (Hons) Criminology
Why choose this course?
Go behind the news headlines and explore some of the most pressing issues confronting society today. This is a distinctive and intellectually stimulating course which delivers all the skills, knowledge and practical insights you need to become a highly effective professional in the criminal justice system.
- Examine the causes and consequences of crime, how crime is measured and defined, and how criminals are managed and controlled
- Explore intriguing real-life case studies - from the psychological profiling of offenders to hostage negotiations
- Visit courts, prisons, police custody suites and youth offender training centres to learn more about working life in the criminal justice system
- Tailor your course to match your personal interests and career ambitions - with our choice of specialist pathways in your final year
- Learn from experienced practitioners and influential academic researchers
- Study part of your degree abroad through the Erasmus exchange scheme or at one of our partner institutions in the USA
- From Alcatraz to Hollywood - our current students recently visited the USA where they gained first-hand experience about the realities of life behind bars at correction facilities, city jails and the infamous Alcatraz. They also learnt about reintegration programs, gang prevention and intervention services at Los Angeles City Hall and the secrets of loss prevention from a leading expert in Hollywood.
- Study a course that’s ranked 20th in the Guardian University League Tables 2017
UCAS code: ML93
Start date: September
Course length: Full-time: three years
Campus: One Friar Gate Square, Derby Campus
College: College of Business, Law and Social Sciences
This course is available to international students
You can also study Criminology (Joint Honours) as part of a Joint Honours degree.
About this course
At Derby, you don’t just study criminology - you do it! This course gives you an in-depth understanding of the challenges and dilemmas facing criminal justice professionals today - in the police, courts, prison and probation services, youth offending teams and victim support groups.
A broad perspective
As a Criminology student you’ll embrace disciplines such as sociology, law, psychology and philosophy which endeavour to offer explanations for crime and criminal behaviour.
This is a fascinating and socially necessary academic discipline. You’ll debate major philosophical ideas about retribution, rehabilitation and punishment, exploring fundamental questions surrounding why people commit crime, why laws are created and broken, the effectiveness of sentencing and punishment, and the impact of crime on victims, communities and wider society.
Throughout your degree, you’ll be encouraged to think creatively, challenge established beliefs and develop your own research interests.
Choice and flexibility
We take flexible, innovative approaches to ensure we deliver a course which responds to your aspirations. You can construct your own bespoke final year, tailored to reflect the areas in which you’re most interested. You can specialise in:
- Working with Offenders
- Criminal Investigations
- International Criminology
- Criminology: Theory and Practice
As well as selecting your specialism, you will be offered a diverse range of optional modules taught by our experts. These span everything from murder, psychopathy and hate crime to cybercrime, substance misuse and representations of crime in the media.
Put your skills into practice
You’ll make links between complex theories of criminology and the day-to-day demands of working practice. Thanks to our strong professional partnerships with the police, probation service, prisons and other criminal justice agencies, we offer exciting opportunities for you to apply your skills and knowledge to ‘real-world’ situations. This could include formulating practical solutions to genuine problems facing criminal justice agencies.
Our students have taken part in mock murder hunts, gained an insight into offender management in prisons, contributed to hate crime scrutiny panels, investigated miscarriages of justice, joined riot training with the constabulary, and observed how cases are taken from crime scene to courtroom.
Enhance your CV
If you choose certain specialisms, this course offers you the opportunity to gain additional professional qualifications alongside your degree, giving you a head start in your career.
The Applied Policing Studies module, designed specifically for students considering a career as a police officer, is a route towards the Certificate of Knowledge in Policing (CKP). Many forces now require this nationally recognised qualification before you can join, so gaining the CKP will accelerate your career plans.
For those students selecting the Working with Young Offenders and Youth Justice modules, there is the chance to gain the Youth Justice in Effective Practice Certificate (YJEPC). Since it was launched in 2012, the YJEPC has been adopted by over half of Youth Offending Teams across the country to improve the skills of their staff.
We’ve invested heavily so you can train in a realistic environment. We boast some of the country’s most up-to-date facilities, described as ‘exceptional’ by Skills for Justice. They include full-sized courtrooms, police interview suites, a crime scene house and forensic crime labs.
Expertise and inspiration
Our teaching team includes criminal psychologists, sociologists, experienced police officers and lawyers. Several are still actively engaged with practice, which helps you keep up to date with contemporary criminological issues.
You’ll also have the chance to meet influential leaders in the profession. Our regular programme of guest speakers will keep you abreast of latest developments in policy and practice. We’ve also hosted events for The British Society of Criminology.
The course is aligned to the research activities of our staff, who have a growing international profile for shaping understanding and practice in the criminal justice sector. Our projects cover everything from drug use, hate crime and human trafficking to psychopathy, organised crime and witness reliability.
As part of your studies, we will prepare you to become a competent researcher yourself, equipped with the skills to analyse data and policies critically. You will also be encouraged to pursue independent research.
Broaden your horizons
Your learning will be enriched by regular fieldtrips to courts, prisons and youth offender training centres, meeting professionals who have pursued a career in the criminal justice sector.
We are committed to studying in the field. One group of students recently visited criminal justice agencies in Los Angeles and San Francisco, with highlights including visits to San Quentin State Prison and gang projects in LA, a day spent with San Francisco Police Department and the chance to meet students from California State University.
You can choose to study part of your degree at one of our partner universities in America:
- Eastern Michigan University
- Keene State College in New Hampshire
- Longwood University in Virginia
- Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis
This is a great way to improve your academic experience, enhance your personal development, boost your confidence and expand your career opportunities.
You can also choose to study Criminology through the Joint Honours scheme where you can combine it with another subject.
What you will cover
You will study modules such as:
- The Criminal Justice System
- Offending and Offenders
- Study Skills and Criminological Research
- Introduction to Theoretical Criminology
- Crime, Justice and Society
- Undertaking Criminological Research
You will study modules such as:
- Themes in Criminal Psychology
- Policing and Society
- Social Research Methods
- Penology: Punishment and Rehabilitation
- Real World Criminology
You can choose to follow a specialist pathway to reflect your personal interests and career aspirations.
- Working with Offenders
- Investigation of Crime
- International Criminology
- Criminology: Theory and Practice
As well as pursuing your specialism, you’ll be able to choose from a diverse range of optional modules covering themes such as:
- Applied Policing Studies (CKP)
- Crime, Media and Culture
- Domestic Abuse
- Hate, Ethnicity and Crime
- Mentally Disordered Offenders
- Murder: Dynamics, Pathologies and Investigation
- Sexual Violence, Exploitation and Abuse
- Substance Misuse
- Working with Young Offenders*
- Youth Justice*
*By taking these two modules - Working with Young Offenders and Youth Justice - you also have the opportunity to gain the Youth Justice in Effective Practice Certificate (YJEPC).
The way UCAS Tariffs are calculated is changing in 2017. The entry requirement below reflects this change. Read more about these changes.
September 2017 typical entry requirements UCAS points 112 (up to 16 from AS-levels) Specific requirements at A-level N/A Specific requirements at GCSE Five GCSEs at Grade C or above, including Maths and English Interview / Audition N/A Portfolio N/A
Use our UniPoints app as a guide to calculate your UCAS Tariff points, search for courses and check entry requirements for 2017 and beyond.
Our entry requirements for this course should be read together with the University's general entry requirements, which details subjects we accept, alternative qualifications and what we're looking for at Derby.
- How to apply
Fees and finance
Full-time Part-time UK/EU
£9,250 per year
£11,750 per year
Fees for 2018/19 entry are still being decided, so please check back later in the year for more information.
How you will learn
Teaching and learning
We pride ourselves on our innovative and challenging teaching methods, delivered both by lecturers and by visiting criminal justice professionals. You’ll enjoy a combination of lectures, tutorials, group work and independent learning.
There is a strong practical element running throughout the degree. You’ll develop your investigative, management and communication skills through activities such as interviewing, negotiation, decision-making, research and argument. Our focus on problem-based learning will ensure you achieve a wide-ranging understanding of systems of criminal and community justice.
You’ll gain fascinating insights through our extensive programme of study visits and fieldtrips. These include visits to courts, prisons, youth offender training centres and other relevant institutions such as the Galleries of Justice Museum and The Holocaust Centre. These opportunities are constantly expanding, including our 2015 fieldtrip to gain insights into criminal justice in Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Assessment is via a stimulating mix of coursework, portfolios, individual and group projects/presentations and examinations.
Supporting you all the way
We offer a high level of support to students, including a unique personal tutor system to help steer your academic and professional development.
Who you will meet
You’ll be taught by our team of engaging, passionate and inspiring subject experts:
- Programme Leader Charlotte Hargreaves is a youth justice expert with research interests in young people in the youth justice system, social exclusion, drug and alcohol misuse, mental ill health, school exclusion and disaffection.
- Head of Criminology Dr Philip Hodgson has over 30 years’ experience of research and practice in the criminal justice sector. He has worked for the police, probation, the youth court and the voluntary sector and his research interests include policing, drugs, young people, partnership working, and probation.
- Head of the School's Research Group and Reader in Criminal Investigation, Dr David Walsh, is Editor of Investigative Interviewing: Research and Practice and on the editorial board for the Journal of Forensic Psychology. His research interests include the interviewing of victims, witnesses, and suspects.
- Dr Helen Clarke has an interest in men’s and women's experiences of crime, with a particular focus on the areas of equality and diversity. Her doctoral research explored women's experiences of sexual violence.
- Dr David Hicks has research and teaching specialisms in the areas of serious and organised crime, financial crime, white-collar or corporate crime, and crime prevention.
- Nick Howe was formerly a Police Chief Superintendent and is currently undertaking doctoral studies in policing and partnerships but has a research interest in all aspects of policing, investigation and criminal justice.
- Dr Kassim Noor Mohamed is an expert in topics such as organised and corporate crime, abduction, piracy, kidnap for ransom, smuggling, counterfeiting, fraud, intelligence, surveillance, informant handling and criminal careers.
- Jayne Noor Mohammed specialises in themes of cybercrime, hi-tech crime, international criminology and research methods. Her particular research interests include e-fencing, counterfeiting and copyright infringement.
- Angie Neville is a former Police Officer who specialises in teaching criminal investigations and policing studies. Her current research centres on the quality of evidence gathered during rape investigations.
- Michael Teague is a qualified Probation Officer and Social Worker. His research interests centre on probation, imprisonment, and the politics of criminal and community justice.
- Professor Ray Bull is one of the world’s leading authorities on criminal investigation and his research centres on investigative interviewing and the detection of deception.
Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will be communicated after enrolment on your course.
Careers and employability
Rewarding career options
We’re aware of the rapid pace of change in the dynamic criminology sector and our teaching is directly relevant to today’s graduate employment market. You’ll develop a valuable set of skills which are attractive to employers nationally and internationally. Our emphasis on addressing the real-world challenges of the justice and penal system in practice will help set you apart.
Our graduates have gone on to wide-ranging roles in the police, Crown Prosecution Service, courts, probation and prison services, youth offending teams and other law enforcement agencies. Some students have progressed to rewarding careers in the voluntary sector, working with offenders or victims.
Because this degree equips you with broader skills from research and analysis to entrepreneurial thinking - you will also have the versatility to pursue other career paths in areas such as social research or public sector management.
Postgraduate study opportunities
You can go on to pursue postgraduate study at Derby, with MSc qualifications in subjects such as Criminal Investigation and Police Leadership, Strategy and Organisation. These expand your knowledge into specialist areas and accelerate your progression to more senior and leadership roles. Some of our students also use their degree as a springboard into teaching or academic research.
Ensuring you’re ‘work-ready’
Our Careers and Employment Service will provide you with support from day one of your course to ensure you leave Derby as a ‘work-ready’ graduate - industry aware, motivated and enterprising. Throughout your studies, you’ll also benefit from our Personal Development Planning (PDP) scheme which enables you to reflect on your learning and develop your career ambitions. The support continues once you’ve completed your course too: you are entitled to further help and guidance from the Careers and Employment Service for up to three years after leaving the University.
What our students say
“The course provided plenty of opportunities to talk to practitioners, visit courts and prisons, and to participate in a mock-up murder inquiry looking at crime scene work. We looked at real cases, interviewed offenders, and carried out our own research projects. This opportunity was vital to our understanding of criminal behaviours and rehabilitation issues.” Emily Ferry, Criminology graduate now working with the Derby Probation Trust
“Most of the lecturers have had careers in the criminal justice system and I feel this had a positive effect on our learning as it made you more driven to participate in best practice in the field. You were given real life stories of how the system actually worked and how it should work, which gave you motivation to improve it to ensure the clients you work with receive the best service.” Hannah Smith, Criminology graduate now working for the National Offender Management Service
Key Information Sets