Available through Fast Track to Clearing

Course details

Study options

Full-time: 4 years

UK/EU fee

£9,250 per year (2019/20)

International fee

£13,250 per year (2019/20)

UCAS points

72 (September 2019 entry)

UCAS code


Course level



BSc (Hons)

Start date



One Friar Gate Square, Derby Campus

Course description

Deepen your understanding of criminal behaviour and prepare for a career in criminal justice - with this exciting new course.

2ndTeaching quality - Criminology at Derby**Times/Sunday Times 2019 University Guide
94.3%Overall satisfaction - Criminology at Derby**National Student Survey 2018

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:

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.

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.

Outstanding facilities

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.

Pioneering research

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. 

You can choose to study part of your degree at one of our partner universities in America:

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.

A ballet dancer in front of a set of neon yellow chevrons

Fast track to Clearing

Why wait for results day? Jump the queue and fast track to Clearing now. We’ll call you to talk through your options and we may be able to make you an offer there and then.

Register now for fast track to ClearingRegister now for fast track to Clearing

What you will study

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
  • Victimology
  • 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:

  • Crime, Media and Culture
  • Cybercrime
  • Domestic Abuse
  • Hate, Ethnicity and Crime
  • Mentally Disordered Offenders
  • Murder: Dynamics, Pathologies and Investigation
  • Psychopathy
  • 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).

Please note: modules are subject to availability, and may change to suit the needs of industry. 

Students welcoming guests to a Buxton Open Day

Find out more about Criminology

The best way to find out if studying at Derby is right for you is to experience an Open Day. Get a feel for the city and campus, tour our first-class facilities and see where you could be living.

Book your Open DayBook your Open Day

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.

Inspirational fieldtrips

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:

Entry requirements

September 2019 typical entry requirements

UCAS points72 (up to 16 from AS-levels)
Specific requirements at A-levelN/A
Specific requirements at GCSE

GCSE Maths and English are preferred, however if you don't have these qualifications you will be able to undertake Maths and English at L2 as part of your course of study.

IELTS6.0 (with 5.5 in each skills area)
Interview / AuditionN/A

Alternative entry qualifications:

We usually consider an A-level in General Studies as a supplementary qualification. A good application/performance will be taken into account if you do not meet the criteria/offer conditions.

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.

Fees and funding

2019/20 Fees


£9,250 per year



£13,250 per year


Further information about our fees and support you may be entitled to.

Additional costs and optional extras

How to apply

UK/EU students

Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS or you can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year.

Apply through UCASApply directly to the University

Guidance for EU students post-Brexit

International students

Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS or you can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year.

Apply through UCASApply directly to the University

Guidance for international applicants applying for an undergraduate degree


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.

Programme leader

Dr David Patton

Contact us

Course: David Patton (Programme leader) d.patton@derby.ac.uk +44 (0)1332 593881

If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.

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† Additional information about your studies

Download programme specification

Teaching hours

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 usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.

Additional costs and optional extras

We’re committed to providing you with an outstanding learning experience. Our expert teaching, state-of-the-art facilities and great employability prepare you for your future career. As part of our commitment to you we aim to keep any additional study costs to a minimum. However, there are occasions where students may incur some additional costs.

Included in your fees

Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.


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