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.
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 will also have the opportunity to spend a year studying abroad as part of our Erasmus exchange programme or 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.
Popular Joint Honours combinations
Joint Honours gives you the flexibility to cover two subjects in one degree. Popular combinations with Criminology include:
Criminology and Psychology
Criminology and Sociology
You can also consider taking Criminology as a single honours subject or studying the LLB (Hons) with Criminology.
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 David Patton is a member of the College Senior Leadership Team and is Department lead for Learning, Teaching & Quality for Law, Criminology and Social & Political Sciences.
- 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
- 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
- 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
September 2020 typical entry requirements
|Requirement||What we're looking for|
|UCAS points||120* (up to 16 from AS-levels)|
|Specific requirements at A-level|
No specific subject requirements
|Specific requirements at GCSE||GCSE Maths and English Grade C/Grade 4 (or above) or equivalent qualification|
|Interview / Audition||N/A|
Alternative entry qualifications:
- BTEC - DDM
- Access to HE Diploma 60 credits: 45 at level 3 with a minimum of Dist: 15 Merit: 24 Pass: 6
For joint honours degree entry you will need to choose two subjects. The entry criteria here is for this subject only. Your offer will be based on the higher entry criteria from the two subjects you choose to do. A good application/performance will be taken into account if you do not meet the criteria/offer conditions.
*The UCAS Points required for entry will depend on the subjects you choose to combine. The subject with the higher entry requirements will determine your offer.
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.
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. Studying Criminology as a Joint Honours subject also marks you out as a flexible, adaptable and highly organised graduate.
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.
Additional information about your studies
You will typically study your two subjects equally at stage one, before choosing whether you want to major in one subject at stages two and three.
Download programme specification
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, excellent 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
- DBS check if required for research purposes
- International study trip to the Hague if applicable and appropriate. Local trips to visit criminal justice organisations (eg courts, police stations)
- Trip to USA to visit criminal justice organisations (eg Police stations, courts, prisons) for top 36 students, subject to selection process based on attendance, performance, improvement and personal statement about why they want to attend
- Youth Justice Effective Practitioner Certifcate (YJEPC)
- Access to online learning materials
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.