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Bachelor of Arts

BA (Hons) Criminology and Policing

The BA (Hons) Criminology and Policing degree combines our expertise in contemporary criminology and professional policing to give you a comprehensive understanding of criminological theories that you will be able to apply to current socio-economic policies and conditions. This course will prepare you for a career within the criminal justice system in roles such as policing, research or youth work. You'll benefit from both a theoretical and practical application of the course content, preparing you for your future career.

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Key Facts

Entry requirements

A Level: BBC
UCAS Tariff Points*: 112
GCSE: English Language Grade C/4 or above, or equivalent

Requirements for the Foundation Year differ from those listed.
*From three A Levels or equivalent

Course requirements ➔

Entry requirements


Next start date

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Learn more about the process for applying to us and where to get started.


Ranked Top 20 amongst English universities in the 2023 National Student Survey.

We have an overall 5 Star rating from QS World University Rankings and 5 stars in Teaching, Employability, Online Learning, Academic Development and Inclusiveness.

We've been awarded an overall Silver rating, with a Gold rating for Student Experience and Silver rating for the Student Outcomes in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) for 2023.

Course Details

BA Criminology and Policing

UCAS code: LN31

This three year degree allows you to combine criminology study with policing modules which cover aspects of the national policing curriculum. You'll look at areas such as drugs, cybercrime, migration, terrorism, and trafficking in detail. You’ll consider how these areas are viewed by groups from various backgrounds, including how gender, race and cultural perspectives can impact opinion.

Students will be taught by experts in criminology who have worked directly with government departments, as well as former police officers for a practical, hands-on education. This course sets students up for a career in the criminal justice sector, the police service or the NGO and charity sector, among others.

Please note that this BA Criminology and Policing programme does not qualify as a pre-join degree to enable direct entry into a police service. Students wishing to pursue a career as a police officer on graduation would need to enter a service via the degree holder entry route.

You will learn through a variety of group sessions, workshops, digital media and a wide range of learning resources, completing a research methods module and a dissertation or research project in your final year. In addition to your knowledge of criminology and policing, you will gain a wide range of analytical, research, problem solving and communication skills, which are in high demand by employers.

Statistics from the 2023 National Student Survey show that 96% of Policing and Criminology students were positive about learning opportunities on their course and 91% were positive about the teaching on their course.

You will also learn through realistic scenarios and the use of a crime scene suite or pop-up facilities* - watch the video.


Foundation Year (Four year)

UCAS code: LN32

You can choose to take an additional Foundation Year before you start your course. This introductory year focuses on developing the key skills required to study at degree level. You will study six modules and on successful completion progress onto any of our three year degrees.

Course Structure

Semester 1

Communication Skills
You will develop communication skills and understanding of different methods and styles of communication. You will consider appropriate methods of communication in both formal and informal environments. You will develop your understanding of social media and how to use it effectively. By looking back at previous activities and considering the choices you made and how you may do things differently in the future, you will enhance your skills on reflection.

Digital and Research Skills
You will learn how to navigate responsibly around the internet using different search engines and resources, including AI, and will develop your understanding of how to stay safe online and create an appropriate online presence. Learn about interpreting information you find; how relevant and accurate it is and how to present it. Discover a variety of learning resources and understand the importance of academic integrity.

Sustainability and Society
You will explore the UN Sustainable Development Goals and how sustainability has a wider impact on society. A problem-solving approach to global sustainability will be adopted and you will be encouraged to think about the role you and others play in addressing sustainability issues and an understanding of who is accountable. Also looking at both the broad concepts of sustainability and the aspects which are relevant to your chosen discipline.

Semester 2

Foundation Year Project
Develop your research skills by learning how to choose, plan and carry out an investigation into a chosen topic. Discover the importance of ethics when conducting research and practice presenting research. This module helps prepare you for entry onto Level 4 of the degree programme through the formative e-portfolio containing a log of activities, your 2000 word written project and your video presentation.

Shaping Skills for Success
This module will enable you to develop wider skills that are needed to succeed during your studies and beyond. You will be introduced to different types of skills and how to track and reflect on your skills development. You will develop your skills by participating in sessions focused on specific skills and hearing from a variety of guest speakers. You will take part in a group challenge designed to develop your teamwork and communication skills and reflect on the skills you develop during this module as part of your Foundation Year Project.

Core Concepts for Criminology and Policing
(Options for other disciplines: Available at all campuses)

Introducing you to some of the key concepts, theories and ideas in criminology. You will be encouraged to reflect on some of these concepts, theories and ideas and think critically about some of their implications on the criminal justice system and society more widely. You will also be given the opportunity to develop your research skills and group work in preparation for planning and completing coursework.

Choose one*:

  • Core Concepts of Business
  • Core Concepts of Computer Science
  • Core Concepts of Law
  • Core Concepts of Psychology

*Options available are indicative and available subject to numbers and the campus chosen. Students will also complete the Shaping Skills for Success programme.

Semester 1

Foundations of Criminology
This module introduces criminology including the importance of early criminology concepts, theories and ideas.

Understanding the Police Constable Role and Professional Standards
We look at the history of policing in the UK and how the modern police service was created. We will also cover what it means to be a Police Constable and the structure of the police service (various ranks and departments within the police).

The Criminal Justice System: Key Legislation, Offences and Civil Matters
This module will give an overview of the criminal justice system, the basic principles of criminal liability and an introduction to actus reus, mens rea, strict liability and some statutory defences. It will also include sexual offences, drug offences and offences under the Public Order Act.

Semester 2

Drugs in the Criminal Justice System
Looking at the relationship between illicit drugs and crime. Also, the effect of drug policies on marginalised communities, and the links between illicit drugs and cultural contexts.

Core Principles of Evidence Based Policing, Information and Intelligence
Within this module, we will look at the concept of evidence-based policing. Students will discuss the merits as well as potential constraints associated with an evidence-based policing approach.

Contemporary Criminology
In this module we discuss and evaluate some of the challenges commonly encountered in the application of contemporary criminological theory. Including rural criminology, queer criminology, radical criminology, and cultural criminology.

Semester 1

Gender, Sexuality and Crime
This module helps to develop a critical understanding of traditional criminological theory through feminist critiques and perspectives, as well as of feminist critiques of criminology outside of the global Northwest. Also looks at the different patterns of victimisation and offending amongst women and men.

Research Methods
A module to look at conducting research in the field of criminology and criminal justice. As well as looking at the strengths and weaknesses of the application of quantitative and qualitative methods and the design of research to the study of criminological questions, including the consideration of ethical issues.

Public Protection: Understanding Abuse & Impact
This Module will introduce you to public protection in a policing context. You will learn about serious offences such as child abuse, female genital mutilation (FGM), domestic abuse (DA), modern slavery, trafficking and honour-based abuse.

Semester 2

Response Policing and Police Investigations
We will be looking at the purpose of response policing. This will also include learning about assessing risk, safeguarding, intelligence, use of technology and responding to different environments. We will also further develop our knowledge of powers concerning lawful search and entry, arrest and stop and search. The module also introduces concepts, terminology, principles, powers and legislation that are essential to conducting police investigations.

Choose two*:

  • Cybercrime
  • Forensic and Criminal Psychology
  • Youth & Crime
  • Zemiology - Social Harms

*All options are indicative and subject to availability.



Semester 1

Dissertation (all year - double module)

Urban Criminology - The City and Globalisation
This module covers all aspects of urban criminology in the context of issues such as urban youth, segregation in the city, homelessness and marginalisation, protests and riots.

Responding to Major and Critical Incidents
This module discusses the role and responsibilities of the police at a major incident and examines the effectiveness of joint interoperability between the emergency services.

Semester 2

Dissertation (all year - double module)

Investigating Serious Crime and Understanding Terrorism and Transnational Organised Crime

Students will be provided with an overview of transnational organised crime (TOC) and current academic terrorism research. The second part of the module focuses on the investigative process. We will be discussing homicide investigations and how additional sources of intelligence can be obtained during a complex investigation.

Choose one*:

  • Race, Ethnicity and Religion
  • Politics of Policing
  • Terrorism
  • Counter-Terrorism and Advanced Road Policing
  • Graduate & Employability Skills

*All options are indicative and subject to availability.


Course Start Dates

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Course requirements

The course demands show you the requirements, prior knowledge and commitments our course will involve.

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Course Information


To get a full picture of how studying this course works during the year, take a look at our course date breakdowns.



A wide range of assessment methods will be used across all modules to ensure that all programme outcomes can be demonstrated by students. These include unseen essay type exams, written coursework assignments, oral presentations, role plays and a dissertation module.

This variety of approach reflects the diversity of the curriculum and enables students a greater chance of success. It also helps to remove barriers to some students who may find that more traditional assessment methods do not truly reflect their abilities.

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You must pass each module to be awarded your degree. A pass mark is 40% and above.

70%                  1

60-69%             2.1

50-59%             2.2

40-49%             3

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Employability We Set You Up For Success

We care about your career, which is why we offer support with job applications and other work experience opportunities as soon as you accept your place.

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Fees and Applying


Applications for all our undergraduate courses for September 2024 entry are open.

Take a look at our How to Apply for an Undergraduate Course page to learn more.

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UK - £9,250 per year

International (London) - £17,550 per year

International (non-London) - £16,700 per year


If you need to fund your studies with a student loan you can apply via Student Finance.



We have students from over 120 different countries throughout our campuses, with a dedicated team to help international students.

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Official course data