Criminology BA (Hons)

 

Course Code

UCAS Code: L370
International Code: HLSU182

Location

Coventry University (Coventry)

 

Study mode

Full-time
Sandwich

Duration

3 years full-time
4 years sandwich

Start date

September 2022

Available through Clearing

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Course overview

Study level: Undergraduate

Our Criminology BA (Hons) aims to provide you with a critical perspective to be able to answer important questions such as ‘what causes crime?’ and ‘do prisons work?’.

Additional key points:

  • In this course you will explore the causes of crime, control of crime and public reaction to crime as well as the means by which society, social groups and the state, including prisons and police, attempt to deal with it.
  • No.1 for career prospects for Criminology in the Midlands in the Guardian University Guide 2021
  • Excellent current professional links with employers including the police, HM Prison Service and Positive Youth Foundation
  • Regular guest lectures, which have covered topics including policing and mental health, and representing victims of sexual abuse (subject to availability)
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Global Ready

An international outlook, with global opportunities

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Teaching excellence

Taught by lecturers who are experts in their field

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Employability

Career ready graduates, with the skills to succeed

Why you should study this course

This course aims to equip you with a critical perspective on a wide variety of phenomena associated with crime, victimisation, punishment and criminal justice, with a focus on its causes and the various means by which society and social groups attempt to deal with it.

Throughout the course you will engage with contentious issues including ‘What are the causes of crime?’ ‘How can crime be prevented?’ and ‘Do prisons work?’. You will examine these questions from a variety of perspectives and review the evidence for and against different theories. This course is ideal if you are interested in a career in the criminal justice sector, in professions such as policing, community safety or youth offending.

You will be taught through an innovative approach to learning which involves guest speakers from different spheres of criminological activity such as the UK Borders Agency, practising psychologists, victims and oversight agencies (subject to availability). This aims to provide you with effective learning insights which complement the expertise of lecturers and is designed to ensure you are engaging with the most contemporary issues in criminology.

We place a strong emphasis on relevant work experience and have excellent professional links with the Police, HM Prison Service and Youth Offending Service. Our partnership with Warwickshire Police to provide Police Support Volunteers was the first scheme of its kind in the country.

Successful completion of this course can give students who attain a 2:2 or above the opportunity to apply for the MA Criminology course.

1st

for career prospects for Criminology in the Midlands

Guardian University Guide 2021

Criminology students observe Weinstein trial

In January 2020 our Criminology students, on a field trip to New York, had the good fortune to observe the initial stages of jury selection for the Harvey Weinstein trial. They also watched Gloria Allred, a high-profile lawyer in the US, who currently represents several of Weinstein’s alleged victims - and who has been instrumental to the #metoo movement - give a press conference. Following the press conference, Gloria Allred agreed to talk to the students and spent around 20 minutes explaining the importance of the case and answering questions from the students.

Group of people standing aligned to take a picture

What you'll study

In the first year, we introduce you to the foundation principles of criminology – the causes of crime, controlling crime, victims of crime, and the construction of crime. We explore core ideas in criminology from key thinkers, such as Bentham, Lombroso, Foucault, Cohen and Young.

You’ll have the opportunity to be exposed to a wide-ranging analysis of historical and contemporary issues in the area of social control, crime prevention and criminal justice. In Victims and Victimology, for example, we’ll look at issues relating to crime victimisation and wider aspects of social harm, including public perceptions of crime victims, how the media represents notions of victimisation and why some individuals more readily gain victim status than others and how those marginalised groups, like sex workers or the homeless, are treated by the criminal justice system.

Modules

  • The first aim of this module is to provide you with an overview of the main perspectives and theories within Criminology. You will be provided with core ideas in a range of perspectives and how these relate to and differ from one another in terms of thinking about, and acting on, crime and deviance.

    A second aim of this module is to help you relate the perspectives and theories to expectations of study at degree level. You will learn about academic standards and conventions of writing and referencing and be provided with opportunities to practice these. This element of the module also introduces the concept of personal and professional development designed to assist you to prepare for employment after graduation.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: Coursework and group work

  • This module aims to equip you with a grounded knowledge of different types of criminal activity, with a particular focus on the relationship between types of crimes, criminals and representations in the media. You will examine patterns and trends of violent, acquisitive, public order and organised crime and consider the impact of globalisation and technological development on the nature of these types of offences. It will also encourage you to think critically regarding methods of measuring crime.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: Coursework

  • In this module you will focus on political, social, cultural and popular constructions of victims of crime and wider social harms. The module places a particular focus on the victimisation experiences of marginalised social groups, demonstrating that certain individuals and groups are more readily ascribed victim status than others. You will consider the International context, with technology and global insecurity impacting on contemporary victimisation experiences.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: Coursework

  • You will be introduced to a broad range of historical and contemporary issues in the area of crime, harm and social control. You will focus on the social construction of crime and examine how social harm might be a useful concept in understanding criminal acts and behaviours. A number of contemporary global issues in criminology are explored, including: state crime, eco-crime, human trafficking, and corporate crime. You will investigate the increasing challenges to national and international criminal justice systems in defining, preventing and prosecuting criminal acts and harms that increasingly occur at a transnational level.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: Coursework

  • This module is intended to introduce you to the practice of researching and formulating structured ideas about criminological issues. The module will emphasise the link between theory, policy and practice and how you can approach explaining each of these and assessing their overall impact on a criminological topic. Ultimately the module focus is on developing your ability to think, write and talk about crime, including for employment.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: Coursework

  • You will also be able to take an Add+vantage module which can allow you to develop your CV by taking credits in an area of study that doesn’t have to be related to your degree. The assessment type will depend on the type of Add+vantage module you wish to take.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: Coursework and exam

The second year introduces you to a range of topics around the major institutions involved in crime control, community safety and representation – the police, the prison service, the mass media and the public. We will evaluate the relationships between the police, the state and the citizen, exploring the independence of the police and their accountability. You will also explore the theory and practice of researching crime-related issues in preparation for your final year project.

Modules

  • Throughout this module you can explore the theory and practice of community safety and a range of issues connected with it, including the framing of crime and disorder within legislation and the meaning of community in both public perception and policy terms. Various aspects of community crime prevention will be explored ranging from police/public relations to community mobilisation, security as commodity to designing out crime. You will evaluate current trends in crime prevention and community safety and their future implications for communities and policymakers.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: Coursework

  • The aim of this module is to further develop your criminological research thinking and research practice. You will be provided with the methodological and practical tools necessary for: developing your own thoughts and ideas about criminological matters; how to go about reviewing criminological literature; how to plan and conduct research; and how to present it to diverse audiences. The knowledge acquired during this module is designed to provide you with a set of digital literacy and other skills that are transferable to other modules and employment scenarios.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: Coursework

  • Both historical developments and contemporary issues surrounding the use of criminal sanctions are topics you will explore in this module. You will cover the theoretical underpinning of punishments and risk management with the aim of equipping you with a critical understanding of the effectiveness of custodial and community sentences. You will explore a number of key issues relating to punishment and control, such as the complexities of managing a diverse prison population, privatisation and reintegration. You will demonstrate your understanding through group exercises in an assessment centre environment, which replicates the recruitment process you may face after graduation.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: Coursework and assessment centre

  • The key issues relating to policing democratic societies will be your focus in this module. This will include a critical evaluation of the relationships between the police, the state and the citizen. You will assess the independence of the police and their interdependence within the wider criminal justice system and investigate concepts such as consensus, legitimacy and accountability in relation to policing society. Topics to be discussed range from policing protest and disorder to the role of the media in representing the police.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: Coursework

  • The aim of this module is to encourage you to develop an understanding of a range of perspectives within youth justice work. You will examine the way that youth crime is dealt with as both a social and criminological problem. You will be encouraged to develop an understanding of the sociological concepts of childhood and youth and the criminological issues associated with both life stages. Through the discussion of recent research, legislation and policy action you will be guided in considering the response of the criminal justice agencies to youth crime as well as the wider issues associated with youth crime such as debates over the age of criminal responsibility and welfare versus justice approaches.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: Coursework and group work

  • The aim of this module is to encourage you to develop an understanding of a range of perspectives within youth justice work. You will examine the way that youth crime is dealt with as both a social and criminological problem. You will be encouraged to develop an understanding of the sociological concepts of childhood and youth and the criminological issues associated with both life stages. Through the discussion of recent research, legislation and policy action you will be guided in considering the response of the criminal justice agencies to youth crime as well as the wider issues associated with youth crime such as debates over the age of criminal responsibility and welfare versus justice approaches.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: Coursework and exam

After your second year, you have the opportunity to spend a year on professional placement or studying abroad*.

Modules

  • Optional

The final year of the programme focuses on issues connected with crime and more specialist areas, such as social diversity and the links between crime, victimisation and social stratification.

You will have the opportunity to collaborate with a member of academic staff and apply the knowledge of research methods obtained during the first two years of your degree to design and conduct your own piece of research in an area of your choice. In the past, students have researched conviction rates for rape, the prosecution of war crimes in Cambodia and the regulation of environmental crimes.

Modules

  • This module offers you a critical and theoretical exploration of the intersection between mental health, crime and justice. You will draw on theory from across disciplinary boundaries including criminology, sociology, psychology and forensic psychiatry to analyse the relationship between serious mental illness, violence, victimization and (in)justice.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: Coursework

  • In this module you will explore forms of violence and exploitation in childhood and adulthood. You will explore violence and exploitation in relation to incidence, prevalence and reporting, theoretical and explanatory frameworks. You will be encouraged to develop an understanding of the concepts, issues and current debates in the field of violence and exploitation, with emphasis on developments in theoretical approaches, policies and procedures. Through discussions of recent research, you will explore the impacts and meaning for victims/survivors, persistence and change with respect to the justice system, support services and approaches to prevention.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: Coursework and group work

  • This module provides you with the opportunity to develop your knowledge and understanding of a range of criminological issues that currently dominate both political and professional attempts to make sense of the global phenomenon of ‘law and order’. Throughout this module you will be encouraged to develop your skills as an independent learner, and be given the opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge across assessments.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: Coursework

  • This module is designed to enable you to develop, enhance and implement the research skills acquired in your previous years of study in combination with focusing your attention on a specific area of knowledge in the criminological sphere.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: Coursework and dissertation

  • In this module you will explore a range of contemporary criminological issues related to the intersection between crime, leisure and harm against a backdrop of global consumer capitalism. The module breaks open disciplinary boundaries, drawing on criminology, sociology, youth studies, tourism industries and cultural geography to explore different forms of deviant leisure in the 21st century.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: Coursework

  • In this module you will explore a range of contemporary criminological issues related to the intersection between crime, leisure and harm against a backdrop of global consumer capitalism. The module breaks open disciplinary boundaries, drawing on criminology, sociology, youth studies, tourism industries and cultural geography to explore different forms of deviant leisure in the 21st century.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: Coursework and exam

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

You are taught using a mixture of lectures, seminars and ‘hands-on’ skills workshops. This combination supports you to explore topics more independently and in more depth. The teaching team come from a range of specialist backgrounds including mental health, psychology, sociology, and criminal justice to name a few and these feed in to a rich and varied range of perspectives that underpin teaching and learning.

Current staff engage in research, national and international conference presentations, and writing for publication on topical issues related to the curriculum, such as gun control, drugs, violence, sexual abuse, policing and policy issues, all of which inform teaching and learning and maintain its currency.

The criminology course has a strong international experience for students. A focus on out of classroom activity emphasises practical field trips to prisons, courts and destinations including international destinations such as South Africa, Finland, New York, Germany and Poland*.

To support student work experience emphasis is placed on encouraging student involvement in volunteering activities (subject to availability). In previous years an annual Criminology Volunteering Fair has been hosted. Agencies such as Warwickshire and West Midlands Police, Coventry Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre, Victim Support have attended to advertise PCSO and support worker roles. This event also provides excellent professional networking opportunities for posts such as intelligence analysts.

We regularly introduce contemporary issues into the classroom and, in the past, have debated a prisoner’s right to vote, considered how Black Lives Matter emerged in the United States as a reaction to police brutality and how the slave trade has re-emerged in the UK.

In a typical teaching week, you will have around 14 ‘contact’ hours of teaching. This generally breaks down as:

  • Personal tutorial/small group teaching: tutorials or individual project supervision
  • Medium group teaching: skills workshops or seminars
  • Large group teaching: lectures

In addition, you will be expected to undertake a further 15-20 hours of self-directed study each week e.g. completing the recommended reading that accompanies your lectures, working on coursework assignments, taking part in group work and exam revision. Contact hours may reduce as the course progresses and you become a more independent learner.

Some ‘contact’ hours may take the form of synchronous online learning (e.g. live online lectures, meeting tutors via video calling etc).


Assessment

The course adopts a wide-ranging approach to assessing learning, including digital stories, website design, poster creation and infographics, culminating in you undertaking a research project. These are intended to encourage creativity and reinforce progressive understanding of the field and mirror employment-based tasks.

The Coventry University Group assessment strategy ensures that our courses are fairly assessed and allows us to monitor student progression towards the achieving the intended learning outcomes. Assessments may include exams, individual assignments or group work elements.


Job ready

Studying Criminology or Forensic Investigation could pave the way to a career in criminal justice, crime prevention, policing and more. You will have the opportunity to develop the skills employers desire, such as working to deadline, presentation, verbal and written communication and report writing.

To support student work experience emphasis is placed on encouraging student involvement in volunteering activities (subject to availability). In previous years an annual Criminology Volunteering Fair has been hosted. Agencies such as Warwickshire and West Midlands Police, Coventry Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre, Victim Support have attended to advertise PCSO and support worker roles. This event also provides excellent professional networking opportunities for posts such as intelligence analysts.


International experience opportunities

As well as offering a range of short international field trips, which have previously included a visit to Krakow in Poland to visit Auschwitz-Birkenau, you also have the opportunity to complete the course over four years with a year spent studying abroad.*

In the past, students on this course have studied the youth justice system in Malta and the sex industry in the context of people trafficking in Madrid.


Entry requirements

Clearing places available on this course

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Additional requirements may apply

Haven't met the entry requirements or don’t have the right qualifications? You may still be able to progress onto a degree you’d love by studying a foundation or access course.

View our full list of country specific entry requirements on our Entry requirements page. You can also explore our International foundation year courses.


Fees and funding

2022/23 Tuition fees

Student Full time Part time
UK £9,250 per year Not available
International £15,300 per year Not available

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.

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. Find out what's included in your tuition costs.


Facilities

Our Criminology students can use our mock cells to experience the practical aspects of life in prison. Have a look round our mock prison cell on our virtual 360 tour.


Careers and opportunities

Successful completion of a Criminology degree from Coventry can provide you with an excellent basis for graduate-level employment in a wide range of relevant professions, from the more established careers such as the prison, probation and police service to the newer initiatives in areas of community safety and crime prevention.

Our courses have been designed to provide practical work experience and equip you with a range of skills and competencies that aims to set you apart from other graduates and make you attractive to potential employers, such as group work, literature reviewing, critical analysis and the delivery of oral presentations.

Coventry University is committed to preparing you for your future career and giving you a competitive edge in the graduate job market. The university’s Talent Team provide a wide range of support services to help you plan and prepare for your career.

Where our graduates work

Recent graduates have gone on to pursue postgraduate qualifications and work for a range of organisations, including The National Crime Agency, the Independent Police Complaints Commission, HM Prison Service, Coventry Cyrenians and West Midlands Police.


How to apply

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  • 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 2021/22 Contract can be found here. 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.

    Tuition fees

    The tuition fee for the course that is stated on the course webpage and in the prospectus for the first year of study will apply. We will review our tuition fees each year. For UK and EU students, if Parliament permit an increase in tuition fees, we 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. Following the UK’s exit from the European Union, EU students should be aware that there may be a change to UK laws following the UK’s exit, this may change their student status, their eligibility to study part time, and/or their eligibility for student finance. We will act in accordance with the UK’s laws in force in relation to student tuition fees and finance from time to time.

    For International students the tuition fee that is stated on the course webpage and in the prospectus for the first year of study will apply. We will review our tuition fees each year. For international students, we may increase fees for each subsequent year of study but such increases will be no more than 5% above inflation.

    Accreditations

    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. 

    Facilities

    Facilities mentioned on this page may not be relevant for every course. Due to the ongoing restrictions relating to COVID-19, some facilities (including some teaching and learning spaces) and some non-academic offerings (particularly in relation to international experiences), may vary from those advertised and may have reduced availability or restrictions on their use.

    Placements and study abroad opportunities

    Please note that we are unable to guarantee any placement or study abroad opportunities and that all such opportunities may be subject to additional costs (e.g. travel, visas and accommodation etc.), competitive application, availability and/or meeting any applicable visa requirements. To ensure that you fully understand the requirements in this regard, please contact the International Office for further details if you are an EU or International student.

    Additional costs

    This course may incur additional costs associated with any field trips, placements or work experience, study abroad opportunities or any other opportunity (whether required or optional), which could include (but is not limited to), equipment, materials, bench fees, studio or facilities hire, travel, accommodation and visas).