The University of Law to launch UK first human rights scholarship with the Clooney Foundation for Justice. Find out more
Conflict in Israel and Gaza – support for students. Find out more


Follow the evidence: Everything you need to know about criminology

Criminology involves the scientific study of crime. You’ll learn what motivates criminals, the impact their actions have on victims and communities, and explore how crime can be prevented. If you’re considering a criminology degree and want to know more about what to expect during your studies and where a degree could lead, you’ve come to the right place.

By Grant Longstaff. Published 13 June 2023.

Criminology operates across several fields and as a result a criminology degree often covers a range of topics. You’ll cover areas such as law, psychology, and sociology and develop essential abilities such as analytical skills, decision making and problem solving. Criminology degrees will offer a range of modules on a variety of study areas. For example, our degrees offer modules on cybercrime, terrorism, gender, and financial crime to name a few. Our degrees are also carefully crafted by expert criminologists which can help bring real world experience into the classroom.

How long is a criminology degree?

Like most degrees in the UK, the length of a criminology degree will tend to be three years full-time. We currently offer three criminology degrees. Our BA (Hons) in Criminology, which provides an overall look at the subject. We also offer a BA (Hons) in Criminology and Policing, which examines the relationship between criminology and those responsible for protecting the public. Remember, the modules on offer will vary from course to course and provider to provider, so ensure you research the course fully and choose the one which best suits you.

Do I have to do a placement year?

A placement year isn’t mandatory with a criminology degree. However, if you’re looking to expand your knowledge and employability, you could undertake some work experience or volunteer work. If you choose to study with us, you’ll get access to our Employability Service, which can help in your search for extracurricular opportunities to strengthen your CV and help advance your career.

How long is a criminology degree valid?

Once you’ve earned your criminology degree, it will remain valid throughout your career. However, depending on the career you undertake, you’ll need to keep up to date with new developments and ideas as criminology is an ever advancing field. This can be done in several ways, whether it’s completing on the job training, attending training seminars and conferences, or even undertaking further education.

What can I do with a criminology degree?

There are many things you can do with a criminology degree. If you’ve got this far then perhaps you have some ideas about what you might like to do. Do you have your heart set on a role in the police service? A criminology degree could help you become a police officer. You could use your knowledge to become an investigator with the police. Alternatively, if you have an analytical mind, you could become a crime scene investigator. You could also work as a prison or probation officer.   

There are also many roles beyond the justice system. You could take a preventative approach to criminology and work within social care or youth work. People with criminology degrees can even go on to work with charities, the legal sector, local government, or business. You can use our Career Finder pages to explore just some of the roles where a criminology degree could be useful.  

When we spoke to Luke Hubbard, our senior criminology lecturer, he described criminology as a “Fascinating course”. He later stated criminology “will provide you with the skills to work in a number of fields and roles beyond the criminal justice arena, opening up a huge range of opportunities, job options and a flexible career path.” You can read Luke’s interview for greater insight into our courses.

Studying criminology offers students the chance to understand criminals and their behaviour, but also to make a positive change in society. If you feel you have the resolve to interrogate criminality and a passion to help those affected by it, then criminology could be the right path for you.


Explore our range of undergraduate criminology degrees and take your first step towards your future career today.