Sociology and Criminology BA (Hons)

Study level: Undergraduate
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Combining two exciting and complementary disciplines, this fascinating degree explores social issues and problems, focusing on crime, victimisation, justice and punishment.

Year of entry


Coventry University (Coventry)

Study mode



3 years full-time
4 years sandwich
Flexible part-time

Course code


Start date

September 2025

The information on this page is for 2024-25 entry and should be used as guidance for 2025-26 entry. Please keep checking back on this course page to see our latest updates.

Course overview

You will study how crime relates to key sociological issues such as inequality, marginality, identity, power and control.

  • Consider the individual motivations which cause criminal behaviour in order to gain an understanding of the reasons and consequences of crime.
  • Gain knowledge and skills that can help you pursue a career in criminal justice or related fields.
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Joint Top Modern University for Career Prospects

Guardian University Guide 2021 and 2022

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5 QS Stars for Teaching and Facilities

QS Stars University Ratings

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Top 10 UK Student City (Coventry)

QS Best Student Cities Index 2024

Why you should study this course

  • Our course has been designed by experienced teaching staff, qualified educationalists, former criminal justice practitioners, active researchers and experts in areas such as race, gender, media, sexuality and class.
  • Student support is one of our top priorities and you’ll be joining a lively, welcoming and friendly community.
  • Optional modules in your final year allowing you to tailor your degree to suit your interests in Sociology and Criminology.
  • Content that challenges some of the typical preconceptions about the nature of crime and disorder (e.g. about who commits crime, the harm it entails and how it is punished). In doing so, you can develop strong analytical and critical abilities.
  • Visiting speakers and links with organisations and practitioners who will give you insight into the real world of practice in criminal justice, community organisations, public and charitable voluntary sector (subject to availability)2.

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What you'll study

This course has a common first year.

The common first year enables you to work alongside students doing similar courses to you, to widen your knowledge and exposure to other subject areas and professions. You will have the opportunity to collaborate with other students, so you can share your insights and experience which will help you to develop and learn.

If you discover an interest in a specific subject you have studied, upon successful completion of your first year, you could swap degrees with another course in your common first year (subject to meeting progression requirements).

Common first year courses

  • Sociology BA (Hons)
  • Sociology and Criminology BA (Hons)

In the first year, the curriculum is shared across related courses allowing you to gain a broad grounding in the discipline before going on, in the second and third years, to specialist modules in your chosen field.


  • This module will provide an introduction to critical areas of theory and analysis in contemporary sociology. It aims to introduce you to the basic concepts, theories, and methods that sociologists use. You will gain an understanding of leading-edge research and debates within the discipline, and of how sociology engages with key real-world problems.


  • This module introduces you to key concepts, issues and theories in criminology, through the examination of different types of crime and disorder and the response to those crimes. You will become familiar with different approaches to the explanation of crime and victimisation and come to see how crime and social control is socially and historically constituted.


  • This module aims to develop your academic, study, and digital technology skills in order to give you a firm base to continue to develop throughout your degree, while also supporting you to recognise skills for employability.


  • This module will explore long-established identities and divisions such as class, gender and ‘race’/ethnicity as well as more contemporary sociological developments such as sexuality and disability. It will examine the impact of social divisions, the emergence of new social divisions, and how social divisions adapt and develop.


  • This module is designed to offer you an understanding of the basic principles of how mass media operates in contemporary society. It aims to develop your ability to critically engage with various media and to understand both the benign and malign aspects of media.


  • This module examines social policy as both an academic subject and a dynamic field of politics, practice and social action. Social policies aim to sustain or improve human well-being and cover areas of government such as benefits and pensions, health and disabilities, education, transport, immigration, law and order.


In year two, you will develop more advanced knowledge and skills to do with: critical issues in crime and justice, policing and political activism, amongst others.


  • This module aims to provide you with a deeper appreciation of 'classical' social theory as well as explore a set of more contemporary theoretical perspectives – including Postcolonial Theory, Critical Race Theory, and Queer Theory – which shed new light on how our societies operate.


  • The aim of this module is to develop your understanding of the rationale for and methodological issues associated with research. This module should enable you to prepare for your final year dissertation as well as develop the core employability skills of research design, fieldwork and presentation of research.


  • This module explores central problems, key debates and contemporary research issues in criminology, alongside the dynamic policy landscape in policing, criminal justice and corrections. You will critically engage with developments in criminological theory, current research problems and debates and changes in policy and practice.


  • How much power should the police have? Are courts fair? Should children be imprisoned? This module asks vital questions about law enforcement, criminal justice and the penal system which form the spine of state and society’s collective response to crime and disorder.


  • This module explores life in the 21st century and how people navigate meaning, purpose, happiness, and belonging within an ever-shifting local, national, and global set of circumstances. It outlines and interrogates some of the main theories relating to individual purpose and happiness as well as exploring the perspectives of different cultural groups across the world.


  • This module will aim to further our understanding of social movements by examining how they are developed, are sustained, and how they (sometimes) decline. Our study of social movements will move back and forth between abstract concepts and particular case studies.


There’s no better way to find out what you love doing than trying it out for yourself, which is why a work placement2 can often be beneficial. Work placements usually occur between your second and final year of study. They’re a great way to help you explore your potential career path and gain valuable work experience, whilst developing transferable skills for the future.

If you choose to do a work placement year, you will pay a reduced tuition fee3 of £1,250. For more information, please go to the fees and funding section. During this time you will receive guidance from your employer or partner institution, along with your assigned academic mentor who will ensure you have the support you need to complete your placement.


  • This module2 provides you with an opportunity to reflect upon and gain experience for an approved placement undertaken during your programme. A placement should usually be at least 26 weeks or equivalent; however, each placement will be considered on its own merits, having regard to the ability to achieve the learning outcomes.


  • This module2 provides you with an opportunity to reflect upon and gain experience for an approved international study/work placement undertaken during your programme. A work/study placement should usually be at least 26 weeks or equivalent; however, each placement will be considered on its own merits, having regard to the ability to achieve the learning outcomes.


Year three aims to bring you to the level to enter the world of work by consolidating your knowledge and skills from year one and two. You could also work on a large final project in an area of your interest, with the support of a mentor.

You will be asked to choose optional modules on top of the compulsory modules, ‘Final Project’, ‘Crime, Victimisation and Harm’ and ‘Punishment and Penology’, to total 120 credits in your final year.


  • Criminology was historically concerned with crime and the offender. However, over the course of its development, attention has shifted towards victims, victimisation and to include additional types of harm. It is this shift that provides the starting point for this module, which aims to equip you with an in-depth understanding of the interplay between crime, victimisation and harm.


  • The module encourages you to employ your Sociological skills in the gathering, synthesis and interpretation of information and knowledge to pursue an in-depth analysis of a subject of your own choosing within the context of your programme of study. This can take the form of an extended piece of writing, or a new media project such as a documentary film.


  • This module examines the development of modern penal systems in comparative perspective. You will gain an understanding of how the experience of punishment can be shaped by social divisions and examine the goals of punishment in order to evaluate the success of modern penal institutions and the problems of crisis, legitimacy and resourcing that they face.


  • This module will introduce you to the theoretical and practical importance of race and racism in the historical and contemporary construction of modern societies. Topics will focus on the ways race and racism are socially constructed phenomena with very real implications for people’s lives.


  • This module explores and interrogates the impact of gender from both real-world and theoretical perspectives. It critically assesses some of the main theories of gender, illuminates how gender underpins and influences social institutions across the world, and explores the everyday settings in which people encounter and experience gendered ideas.


  • This module will explore the construction of disability as identity, and the experience of being disabled, through a critical disability studies approach. The module will give you a grounding in disability theory and its application, while challenging you to critically consider the role ableism plays in your own lived experience.


  • This module examines the shifting attitudes towards sexuality and critically evaluates the role discourse has played in these changes. It explores the relationship between sex, sexuality and political and moral definitions of crime and deviance and examines a range of issues from the viewpoint of both victim and perpetrator.


  • The module will examine the recent evolution of the traditional criminal organisations in comparative perspective (Sicilian mafia, American Cosa Nostra), the growth of the new wave of organised criminal groups, the nature of criminality behind the human trade and piracy, the emergence of youth gangs and the evolution of organised crime in the UK.


We regularly review our course content, to make it relevant and current for the benefit of our students. For these reasons, course modules may be updated.

How you'll learn

This course can be offered on a part-time basis. Whilst we would like to give you all the information about our part-time offering here, it is tailored for each course each year depending on the number of part-time applicants. Therefore, the part-time teaching arrangements vary. Request further information about part-time study.

Teaching contact hours

We understand that everyone learns differently, so each of our courses will consist of structured teaching sessions, which can include:

  • On campus lectures, seminars and workshops
  • Group work
  • Self-directed learning
  • Work placement opportunities2

The number of full-time contact hours may vary from semester to semester, however, on average, it is likely to be around 12 contact hours per week in the first and second year dropping to around 10-12 contact hours per week in the third and final year as you become a more independent learner.

Additionally, you will be expected to undertake significant self-directed study of approximately 15 hours each week, depending on the demands of individual modules.

Part of university life is undertaking self-directed learning. During a typical week you will have time that allows you to work independently to apply the skills and knowledge you have learnt in taught or facilitated sessions to your projects or assignment briefs. This self-directed learning allows you to use your research skills, consolidate your knowledge or undertake collaborative group work.

As an innovative and enterprising institution, the university may seek to utilise emerging technologies within the student experience. For all courses (whether on-campus, blended, or distance learning), the university may deliver certain contact hours and assessments via online technologies and methods.

Since COVID-19, we have delivered our courses in a variety of forms, in line with public authority guidance, decisions, or orders and we will continue to adapt our delivery as appropriate. Whether on campus or online, our key priority is staff and student safety.


This course will be assessed using a variety of methods which will vary depending upon the module.

Assessment methods can include:

  • Phase tests
  • Essays
  • Group work
  • Presentations
  • Reports
  • Projects
  • Coursework
  • Individual assignments

The Coventry University Group assessment strategy ensures that our courses are fairly assessed and allows us to monitor student progression towards achieving the intended learning outcomes.

International experience opportunities

There are opportunities for study or placements abroad2. For example, in recent years, students have studied on a range of courses at universities in Sweden, Spain, Italy and the Netherlands.

Entry requirements

Typical offer for 2024/25 entry.

Requirement What we're looking for
UCAS points 112
A level BBC
GCSE Minimum 5 GCSEs graded 4 / C or above including English
IB Diploma 29 points
Access to HE The Access to HE Diploma. Plus GCSE English at grade 4 / C or above.

Other qualifications and experience

Our students come from a variety of backgrounds, each with a unique story. We recognise a breadth of qualifications. If your qualifications differ from the above, contact our Admissions Team who will be happy to discuss your qualifications and routes into your chosen course.

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Contextual offers and Fair Access Scheme

If you meet the criteria for our Fair Access Scheme, you could automatically receive a contextual offer that may be up to 24 UCAS points lower than our standard entry requirements. View the criteria for our Fair Access Scheme.

Select your region to find detailed information about entry requirements:

You can view our full list of country specific entry requirements on our Entry requirements page.

Alternatively, visit our International hub for further advice and guidance on finding in-country agents and representatives, joining our in-country events and how to apply.

English language requirements

  • IELTS: 6.0 overall (with at least 5.5 in each component area)

If you don't meet the English language requirements, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

For more information on our approved English language tests visit our English language requirements page.

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Fees and funding

Student Full-time Part-time
UK, Ireland*, Channel Islands or Isle of Man 2025/26 fees TBC
2024/25 fees - £9,250 per year
Request fee information
EU 2025/26 fees TBC
2024/25 fees - £9,250 per year with EU support bursary**
2025/26 fees TBC
2024/25 fees - £16,800 per year without EU support bursary**
Not available
International 2025/26 fees TBC
2024/25 fees - £16,800 per year
Not available

If you choose to study this course with a professional placement2 or study abroad year, you will need to pay a tuition fee3 of £1,250 to cover your academic support throughout your placement year.

For advice and guidance on tuition fees and student loans visit our Undergraduate Finance page and see the university’s Tuition Fee and Refund Terms and Conditions.

The university will charge the tuition fees that are stated in the above table for the first Academic Year of study. The university will review tuition fees each year. For UK (home) students, if Parliament permits an increase in tuition fees, the university may increase fees for each subsequent year of study in line with any such changes. Note that any increase is expected to be in line with inflation.

For international students, we may increase fees each year, but such increases will be no more than 5% above inflation. If you defer your course start date or have to extend your studies beyond the normal duration of the course (e.g. to repeat a year or resit examinations) the university reserves the right to charge you fees at a higher rate and/or in accordance with any legislative changes during the additional period of study.

We offer a range of International scholarships to students all over the world. For more information, visit our International Scholarships page.

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessments, facilities and support services. There may be additional costs not covered by this fee such as accommodation and living costs, recommended reading books, stationery, printing and re-assessments should you need them.

The following are additional costs not included in the tuition fees:

  • Any optional overseas field trips or visits: £400+ per trip.
  • Any costs associated with securing, attending or completing a placement (whether in the UK or abroad).

Find out what's included in your tuition costs.

*Irish student fees

The rights of Irish residents to study in the UK are preserved under the Common Travel Area arrangement. If you are an Irish student and meet the residency criteria, you can study in England, pay the same level of tuition fees as English students and utilise the Tuition Fee Loan.

**EU Support Bursary

Following the UK's exit from the European Union, we are offering financial support to all eligible EU students who wish to study an undergraduate or a postgraduate degree with us full-time. This bursary will be used to offset the cost of your tuition fees to bring them in line with that of UK students. Students studying a degree with a foundation year with us are not eligible for the bursary.


Students will benefit from studying on our well-equipped, modern campus4.

The entrance of Lanchester Library

Lanchester Library

The library offers a team of dedicated academic liaison librarians who provide specialist help and support. You’ll also have access to subject specific databases of journal articles related to criminology and forensics.

A student taking notes in a prison cell

Prison cells

Our Criminology students can use our mock cells to experience the practical aspects of life in prison.




Academic support staff assisting student at desk

Academic support

No matter which degree you’re studying, you’ll find a lot of support on campus, including the Centre of Academic Writing and sigma, which offers mathematics and statistics support.


Careers and opportunities

Upon successful completion of this course you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate systematic knowledge and understanding of criminological and sociological thought and how this develops from empirical research and theorising.
  • Evidence systematic knowledge and critical understanding of social issues and social problems that are central to sociological and criminological debates.
  • Develop critical knowledge and awareness of the ethical, political, socio-economic, cultural and global contexts that frame criminological and sociological investigation.
  • Demonstrate and recognise their abilities to locate, generate, critically analyse and interpret data and information and construct evidence-based and theoretically informed arguments.
  • Reflect on your own perspectives and positionality in relation to the viewpoints expressed in the learning community of social science.

Our courses have been designed to provide practical work experience and to give you an opportunity to develop a range of skills and competencies that will help to make you attractive to potential employers2.

We’re committed to preparing you for your future career and giving you a competitive edge in the graduate job market. The university's dedicated careers and employability support, Talent Team, provide a wide range of support services to help you plan and prepare for your career (subject to availability).

Where our graduates work

Recent graduates are currently employed across sectors. In the private sector, graduates have worked in industries ranging from banking and finance to media. They also work in the public sector in areas such as education, the Civil Service, police and local authorities and in community and non-governmental organisations in the charitable and voluntary sector.

Further study

You can choose to continue your studies at Coventry University with the Sociology and Social Research MA. You may be entitled to an alumni discount on your fees if you decide to extend your time with us by progressing from undergraduate to postgraduate study.

How to apply

  • Coventry University together with Coventry University London, Coventry University Wrocław, CU Coventry, CU London, CU Scarborough, and Coventry University Online come together to form part of the Coventry University Group (the University) with all degrees awarded by Coventry University.


    The majority of our courses have been formally recognised by professional bodies, which means the courses have been reviewed and tested to ensure they reach a set standard. In some instances, studying on an accredited course can give you additional benefits such as exemptions from professional exams (subject to availability, fees may apply). Accreditations, partnerships, exemptions and memberships shall be renewed in accordance with the relevant bodies’ standard review process and subject to the university maintaining the same high standards of course delivery.

    2UK and international opportunities

    Please note that we are unable to guarantee any UK or international opportunities (whether required or optional) such as internships, work experience, field trips, conferences, placements or study abroad opportunities and that all such opportunities may be unpaid and/or subject to additional costs (which could include, but is not limited to, equipment, materials, bench fees, studio or facilities hire, travel, accommodation and visas), competitive application, availability and/or meeting any applicable travel, public authority guidance, decisions or orders and visa requirements. To ensure that you fully understand any visa requirements, please contact the International Office.

    3Tuition fees

    The University will charge the tuition fees that are stated in the above table for the first Academic Year of study. The University will review tuition fees each year. For UK (home) students, if Parliament permit an increase in tuition fees, the University may increase fees for each subsequent year of study in line with any such changes. Note that any increase is expected to be in line with inflation.

    For international students, we may increase fees each year, but such increases will be no more than 5% above inflation. If you defer your course start date or have to extend your studies beyond the normal duration of the course (e.g. to repeat a year or resit examinations) the University reserves the right to charge you fees at a higher rate and/or in accordance with any legislative changes during the additional period of study.


    Facilities are subject to availability. Access to some facilities (including some teaching and learning spaces) may vary from those advertised and/or may have reduced availability or restrictions where the university is following public authority guidance, decisions or orders.

    Student Contract

    By accepting your offer of a place and enrolling with us, a Student Contract will be formed between you and the university. A copy of the current 2024/2025 contract is available on the website for information purposes however the 2025/2026 contract will apply for the 2025/2026 intake. The Contract details your rights and the obligations you will be bound by during your time as a student and contains the obligations that the university will owe to you. You should read the Contract before you accept an offer of a place and before you enrol at the university.

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