The University of Southampton
Social Sciences: Sociology, Social Policy & CriminologyPart of Social Sciences

L611 BSc Criminology

Crime, security and criminal justice are highly debated in contemporary societies, attracting political and media attention. This popular degree will enable you to analyse the changing nature of crime and the workings of the criminal justice system. You will study criminal behaviour, victimisation, the socio-legal context and societal reaction to crime, the criminal justice system, media and popular culture, punishment and the future of social control. Specialist options from other disciplines will enable you to create a degree geared towards a range of professional careers.

Introducing your degree

Crime, deviance and criminal justice are endlessly fascinating. By studying Criminology at the University of Southampton, you will be engaging in a discipline that is one of the oldest in the Social Sciences, and with the topic of crime, a central feature of human behaviour. A fascinating programme of study, this course provides an insight into the criminal justice system, security and the traditional patterns in violent crimes and what motivates an individual to commit them.

As a student of this course you will have the opportunity to take modules on; Criminal Behaviour, Victimisation and Societal Reactions to Crime and Systems of Punishment. Graduates of this degree course, go on to establish careers in Crime Scene Investigation, the Police and as Youth Workers, Social Workers and Prison and Probation Officers.


What is this? (More Information) This information is based on historical data and may have been aggregated. Find out more.

Through this programme you will develop:

  • A knowledge of the theoretical perspectives, key concepts and methodologies which underlie the study of criminology as an academic discipline and enables use of this knowledge in order to understand and analyse crime, criminal justice, criminal victimisation and personal and public responses to crime and deviance
  • An understanding of the discipline of criminology and of the relationship between crime and processes of social change.
    an in-depth understanding of the criminal justice system, its institutions and those involved in the system and its representations, and the political, social and economic context within which it operates
  • The knowledge and skills required for conducting criminological research, including the adoption of appropriate research methodologies and techniques and ethical principles, and the evaluation of results
  • A professional attitude and a responsibility for individual learning coupled with the development of communication, team working, planning and problem solving skills necessary for career progression and postgraduate study.

View the programme specification document for this course

To Apply

Programme Structure

The programme comprises three levels, each corresponding to one year of full-time study. At each level you will take eight modules, with associated credits. Each credit can be considered as the equivalent of approximately ten hours of study. All the modules offered in this programme (except the dissertation) are 15 credit modules. This means that each module comprises around150 hours of study divided into contact time (e.g. lectures, seminars, workshops) and non-contact time when you will be engaged in directed study (preparation for classes) and independent study when you will be involved in producing assignments and preparing and taking examinations.

The dissertation is a 30 credit module comprising 300 hours of study divided into contact time (workshops and supervisory tutorials) and a significantly larger portion of hours allocated to non-contact, independent study time. This is because the dissertation is designed to foster independent inquiry and is the culmination of three levels of study, enabling you to apply theories and methods explored at all Levels and to examine one area of social sciences in detail.

The structure of the programme and the modules currently offered are set out below:

You take 4 modules (60 credits) each semester, amounting to (8 modules (120 credits) in each year of the programme.

Of the modules shown against each year of your programme, some are compulsory (ie enrolment is automatic) and others are optional. Against each year, you are directed to which modules are compulsory and which are optional.
The optional modules below constitute an indicative list. There will always be choice but the options might vary between years.

Key Facts

In the 2017 National Student Survey, of our BSc Criminology students:

  • 95% agreed that they have been able to contact staff when they needed to

Taught by leading researchers and lectures such as Professor Jenny Fleming

Top five in the UK for research power and outputs, (Social Policy, including Criminology REF, 2014).

Career enhancing employability workshops and study-abroad opportunities.

Entry Requirements

Typical entry requirements

Subject requirements

No specific subjects are required as the first year of the programme is designed to give you a basic knowledge of relevant social sciences disciplines.


GCSE maths and English at grade C or above.

A Levels:

ABB; for applicants taking the Extended Project Qualification, an alternative offer of BBB with an A in the EPQ will be made.


32 points overall, 16 at higher level

Alternative qualifications

We welcome applications from candidates offering qualifications other than A and AS levels (including BTEC, European Baccalaureate, International Baccalaureate, Irish Leaving Certificate and Scottish Highers). You will be expected to attain an equivalent standard in other qualifications to an A level applicant or an equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University. Contact us for further information on equivalencies for these qualifications and others not listed here.

International applications

We welcome applications from international students. Helpful information on applying, meeting a University representative in your country or improving your English language levels can be found on the International Office website. If English is not your first language, you will be required to pass an approved English test. We normally ask for a score of IELTS 6.5.

Please note that we cannot accept applicants from Greece on the basis of the Apolyterion alone; it must be supplemented by A levels or an equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University.

Mature applicants

We welcome applications from mature students. If you will be over 21 at the start of your proposed degree programme, you are eligible for exemption from our normal entry requirements. However, you will be required to provide evidence of having completed recent serious and successful study (eg Access, Return to Study, Open University foundation courses) and of your capacity to pursue the course.

All students are required to have GCSE grade C in English and mathematics.

Where feasible, you will be called for an interview. You may find it helpful to discuss your plans with us before applying through UCAS. This will allow you to make sure your chosen course is right for you and give you time to pursue additional academic qualifications if required.

Contextual Admissions

The University of Southampton is committed to widening participation and ensuring that all students with the potential to succeed, regardless of their background, are encouraged to apply to study with us. The additional information gained through contextual data supports our admissions teams to recognise a student’s potential to succeed in the context of their background and experience. Students who flagged in this way will be made an offer which is lower than the typical offer for that programme

A typical contextual offer is BBB from three A levels or an equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University.

Please see our contextual admissions pages for more information.

Selection process:

We usually make our decisions based on your UCAS form alone. Only candidates who require special consideration, for example on grounds of age or non-standard entry qualifications, are interviewed. We welcome applications from under-represented groups and from those with qualifications other than A-levels.

Please note:

In exceptional circumstances we will consider applicants for direct entry into the second year if they have met the entry criteria and have already completed part of the course at another institution. Please note that such requests are considered on an individual basis and at the discretion of the Admissions Tutor. We do not accept applicants for direct entry into Year 3.

This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.


Typical course content

Below are the modules covered over the 3 year programme.

Innovation modules outside of your subject area

Learn a language

Year 1

Year 2

In your second year you will take four compulsory modules. In these you will study in detail qualitative and quantitative methods in order to be well prepared for your final year when you will conduct your own research as part of your dissertation. You will also study criminological theory. In addition, you will have the opportunity to take four optional modules from a list, one in the first semester and three in the second. Two of these will come from a broad range of social science disciplines: Criminology, Sociology and Social Policy, Anthropology, Education and Geography. You will choose the remainder from modules offered across university disciplines.

Year 3

In year three you will study in particular how groups and societies identify victims. You will also conduct your individual research project in a double-module dissertation. In addition, you will be asked to chose five modules from a wide range of options, many of which will be taught in student-led seminars, to support you in developing the presentation and communication skills which are important for professional careers. In semester 1 you will be asked to choose 2 modules and in semester 2, you will be asked to choose 3. However, three of these choices are constrained, they must come from a list of Criminology modules and Social Science modules that are closely related to Criminology.

Optional modules in semester 1 or 2 (topics subject to possible annual change)

SOCI3033Credit: 30
CRIM3001Credit: 15
CRIM3006Credit: 15
ANTH3002Credit: 15

Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide or website).

Fees & funding

Tuition fees

NameYear of entryMode of studyUK/EUInternational
BSc Criminology2018Full-time£9,250£16,536
View the full list of course fees


Scholarships, bursaries or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

Explore funding opportunities

Costs associated with this course

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

There will also be further costs for the following, not purchasable from the University:

EquipmentApproved calculators: Candidates may use calculators in the examination room only as specified by the University and as permitted by the rubric of individual examination papers. The University approved model is Casio FX-570 This may be purchased from any source and no longer needs to carry the University logo.
StationeryYou will be expected to provide your own day-to-day stationery items, e.g. pens, pencils, notebooks, etc. Any specialist stationery items will be specified under the Additional Costs tab of the relevant module profile.
BooksWhere a module specifies core texts these should generally be available on the reserve list in the library. However due to demand, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from any source. Some modules suggest reading texts as optional background reading. The library may hold copies of such texts, or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies. Although not essential reading, you may benefit from the additional reading materials for the module.
Printing and copyingIn some cases, coursework such as essays, projects, dissertations will be submitted online. However, in some cases students will be asked to provide a printed copy. A list of the University printing costs can be found here:
PlacementsIncluding Study Abroad Programmes: Social Sciences partners with academic departments in a number of other countries to provide study abroad opportunities. Please contact the International Office for information about the expected costs of participating.
OtherOptional visits: Some modules may include optional visits (museums, conferences, prisons [Criminology]). You will normally be expected to cover any costs such as travel and admission, unless otherwise specified in the module profile.

In some cases you'll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

Career Opportunities

Employability is embedded into modules from the first year onwards and right from the first lecture. We explain the degree skills which are taught throughout the modules and offer a number of optional employability modules.

The skills you will acquire are in high demand. Our degrees are a passport to vocational and non-vocational careers alike, with recent graduates employed in education, local or regional government, social work, international organisations, the third sector and the media.

Read more about the careers and employability support we offer.

Learning & Assessment

Learning and teaching activities designed to help you develop your knowledge and understanding, subject-specific intellectual skills and transferable skills:

  • Lectures.
  • Seminars designed to facilitate group discussions of issues, concepts and theories associated with social sciences.
  • Small group discussions based around case study material.
  • Practical workshops which provide hands-on experience of using a range of methods of collecting and analysing data and enable you to assess these methods based on your own and others’ use of them.
  • Statistical workshops which enable you to understand statistical techniques and the use of statistics in the social sciences through practical examples.
  • Computer workshops which give you practical experience of how to process, store and analyse data using appropriate software.
  • Research skills workshops which facilitate discussion, peer review and support, and self reflection on the appropriateness of your own research (dissertation) proposal and intended methodological and theoretical approaches.
  • Dissertation workshops designed to promote discussion, peer review and support, and reflection on your dissertation at different stages in the research process.
  • Dissertation tutorials which provide you with one-to-one discussion with your dissertation supervisor on issues connected with your research.
  • Individual or small group presentations.
  • Independent study.

Assessment methods designed to test your achievement of the learning outcomes in the areas of knowledge and understanding, subject-specific intellectual skills and key skills:

  • Essays.
  • Review papers in which you are required to critically review one chapter-long article of relevance to the Module using a range of additional sources.
  • Formal, unseen end of Module examinations.
  • Statistical exercises to assess your understanding of statistical concepts and practical techniques.
  • Group research projects which assess your ability to work with others in the production of a shared output.
  • Case study review in which you are asked to interpret or critically comment on the material contained in the case study.
  • Dissertation proposal which will assess your ability to formulate an appropriate research question, identify appropriate method(s) of data collection and present a short literature review of selected sources likely to be relevant to the research topic.
  • Dissertation which assesses your ability to undertake independent, in-depth study of an area of criminology.
Graduate Attributes

Graduate Attributes are the personal qualities, skills and understanding you can develop during your studies. They include but extend beyond your knowledge of an academic discipline and its technical proficiencies. The Graduate Attributes are important because they equip you for the challenge of contributing to your chosen profession and may enable you to take a leading role in shaping the society in which you live.

The University of Southampton identifies a set of undergraduate attributes that aspire to support graduate employment. We offer you the opportunity to develop these attributes through your successful engagement with the learning and teaching of your programme and your active participation in University life. The skills, knowledge and personal qualities that underpin the Graduate Attributes framework are supported by your discipline. As such, each attribute is enriched, made distinct and expressed through the variety of learning experiences you will experience. Your development of Graduate Attributes presumes basic competencies on entry to the University.

Global Citizenship
Global Citizens recognise the value of meaningful contribution to an interconnected global society and aspire to realise an individual’s human rights with tolerance and respect.

The Criminology degree puts transnational and global issues at the centre of its teaching philosophy. Our students also benefit from the interdisciplinary nature of the Division of Sociology and Social Policy. The Division includes Sociologists, Social Policy specialists, Criminologists and Anthropologists. We also have strong links with the Web Science undergraduate degree and the Web Science Doctoral Training Centre.

Ethical Leadership
Ethical Leaders understand the value of leading and contributing responsibly to the benefit of their chosen professions, as well as local, national and international communities.

Criminology tackles subjects such as Human Rights and global politics. Through such topics, students are encouraged to think about how decisions affect humans at every level of society and what might be done to improve such decisions. Ethical Leadership is also encouraged through student-centred learning and the requirement to lead discussions and group projects.

Research and Inquiry
Research and Inquiry underpin the formulation of well-informed new ideas and a creative approach to problem resolution and entrepreneurial behaviours

Social Science students are trained in research methods from the first week of their degree and continue through to graduation. The training is designed not just as a means of conducting degree-level research, but also to form the foundation of future research. The ability to formulate new ideas and the ability to test and analyse innovative concepts forms the core of our degree programmes.

Academic attributes are the tools that sustain an independent capacity to critically understand a discipline and apply knowledge

Independence of thought is a key requirement of criminology students and critical thought is embedded in the curriculum. Criminology, and Social Science in general, combines intellectual rigour with the practical application of that endeavour.

Communication Skills
Communication Skills encompass an individual’s ability to demonstrate knowledge, and to express ideas with confidence and clarity to a variety of audiences

Our students are required to pursue the highest standard of communication. Through essays and reviews, to seminar discussion and presentations, Criminology students are able to express complex ideas with clarity.

Reflective Learner
The Reflective Learner is capable of the independent reflection necessary to develop their learning and continuously meet the challenge of pursuing excellence

Students are encouraged to think about how the modules they take relate to the real world and how they might help them improve their employability. Students are also encouraged to identify what further help they need in order to improve their work.

The skills, knowledge and personal qualities that underpin the Graduate Attributes framework are differently supported by the University’s disciplines. Each attribute is made distinct and expressed differently through the variety of learning experiences delivered by the University’s Faculties.

Refer to  for descriptors of each attribute.

Breakdown of study time and assessment

Proportion of time spent in scheduled learning, teaching and independent study
Learning, teaching and assessment stage123
Scheduled learning & teaching study20%18%13%
Independent study80%82%87%
Placement study0%0%0%
Proportion of assessment by method
Learning, teaching and assessment stage123
Written exam assessment48%30%30%
Practical exam assessment0%0%0%
Coursework assessment52%70%70%

Study Locations

Hartley Library

Highfield campus

Social Sciences is based on the main campus of the University in the M...Find out more

Share this course Share this on Facebook Share this on Google+ Share this on Twitter Share this on Weibo

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.