Undergraduate study
Criminology with Law

BSc (Hons) Criminology with Law

UCAS code: M2M1 BSc/CriLaw

Who and what constitutes crime and how do we react to it? Why do people offend? Why the preoccupation with crimes of the powerless? How does the news and other media representations such as film, fiction and computer games shape our understanding and experiences of crime? How do race, gender and class shape individuals’ experiences of crime and victimisation? How does our more globalised world shape localised crime experiences? These are some of the themes you explore on a criminology degree.

Course information

Full-time

  • Length: 3 years

More full-time details

Part-time

  • Up to 5 years

More part-time details

  • Daytime
  • Enrolment date: September
  • Admission enquiries: 01642 342308

Contact details

Further information

  • Facilities

    School of Social Sciences, Business & Law facilities

    The School of Social Sciences, Business & Law has fantastic state-of-the-art facilities that reflect the broad range of courses it offers. From a hydrotherapy pool and environmental chamber to a replica courtroom and crime scene house, students have access to the kind of equipment they will go on to use throughout their careers.

 

This criminology with law major minor undergraduate programme also equips you with a sound understanding of the legal system and criminal law. The combination of criminological and legal knowledge provides a valuable skillset to work within the criminal justice system.

You spend 30% of your time on law and 70% on criminology, combining in-depth and comprehensive study of the key components of the criminology programme alongside relevant and challenging crimino-legal issues. The specialised and transferable skills you acquire on this course provide a valuable skillset to work within the criminal justice system, as well in wider contexts where knowledge of the criminal law may be required.

Course structure

Year 1 core modules

Crime and Justice

This module introduces the criminal justice process, theoretically and in practice, from a criminological viewpoint. It offers an analysis of the process of criminal justice from the point of arrest to the outcome of a court hearing.

You examine the agencies and institutions of the law, as well as the criminological theories that produce knowledge for these institutions. The module allows you to participate in an inclusive environment for learning the foundational principles that have informed criminal justice debates to date.

Crime and Society

This introduction to criminological theories, media representations of crime and the way in which we understand crime and deviance in contemporary society serves as a foundation to further criminological theory modules at levels 5 and 6.

You gain the solid basis of knowledge needed to explore debates about who commits crime, why crime is committed and why crime is seen as a social problem. You are introduced to a range of classic and traditional theoretical perspectives which provide the foundations for more complex and contemporary theoretical perspectives later in the programme.

Criminal law for Criminologists

As perhaps the best known aspect of the legal system, criminal law presents an interesting and challenging area of study.

You are introduced to the English legal system and gain an understanding of the nature and purpose of criminal law, the principles of criminalisation and the basic elements of a crime. You examine some controversial aspects of criminal law, including, for example, particularly problematic criminal offences and defences and the way the criminal law responds to social problems.

Making Sense of Society 1

An introduction to major sociological concepts and theories, key theorists and the development of the subject. Lectures and seminars demonstrate the application of theory to contemporary concerns such as issues relating to:
• inequality
• social class
• consumption
• education
• gender and sexuality
• race and ethnicity
• globalisation
• urbanisation.

You learn how sociological knowledge is constructed, and how popular theoretical models have been applied to the study of everyday life.

You begin to understand how to synthesise, evaluate and compare competing theoretical approaches in sociology and learn about the relationships between sociological theory, empirical research and applied policy and practice.

Study Skills for Social Scientists

Develop and strengthen the skills needed to study social sciences in a higher education learning environment.

Skills include operating effectively within the University’s formal framework, time management, organisation of academic work, analytical thinking, writing, referencing and the use of basic research and data presentation techniques.

You also develop employability skills such as CV building and learn how best to seek work experience through volunteering and placements.

 

Year 2 core modules

Contemporary Legal Issues

This module allows you to engage with research topics being pursued by members of academic staff at the University and in the wider academic community.

You are introduced to current issues in the legal profession by visitors with experience in the field. Seminars supplement your learning in this area and are followed up with complementary workshops and advanced reading.

Criminal Justice

This module examines the development of the criminal justice system. It covers courts, sentencing, legislation, the police, the National Offender Management Service 2003 (combining probation and prisons), the creation of the Ministry of Justice in 2007 and the Transforming Rehabilitation agenda of 2010-2015.

You gain an understanding of the impact of social change and shifting attitudes to crime and disorder. The module also explores some of the major transformations taking place in various parts of the system. The issues covered are critical for understanding criminal justice in a broader historical, political, social, and economic context.

You are introduced to the historical foundations of criminal justice in the 19th century, the role of the state, material and ideological conditions of Victorian penality. After the historical foundations have been established (lectures one to ten), you explore specific themes including probation, police, prisons, restorative justice, victims, media, race and gender.

Links are made throughout the module to theory, the perception of who commits crime, why we punish and how we develop crime prevention strategies. You are encouraged to engage with comparative and contemporary issues relating to crime, justice and punishment and the relationship between the changing nature of society in the context of social and economic change and de-industrialisation.

Criminological Theory

This module builds on the theoretical material covered in Year 1 and you develop a more detailed analysis of key ideas in historical and contemporary criminology. The first half of the term deals with the history of ideas in criminology. The second half applies those ideas to contemporary patterns in crime and disorder.

Policing and Security

Explore developments in the function, organisation and practice of the police in modern society. Examine key concepts, theories and debates in the sociology of the police. You consider policing within the wider institutional configuration of security and social control and you gain an understanding of how economic, political and ideological factors shape these areas.

A range of historical and comparative issues in police organisation, deployment and practice are approached from a British and comparative perspective, encouraging you to reflect on the implications for democratic government, civil liberties and human rights.

Research Skills for Social Scientists

Develop a more advanced understanding of research methods and build on the foundations you gained through Study Skills for Social Scientists in Year 1.

You learn why researchers use particular research methods to investigate specific social issues and how to evaluate methodological decisions. You also develop a sound understanding of ethical and practical issues in research. And you take part in practical activities to develop your skills in designing, conducting and analysing research.

Victims, Rights and Restorative Justice

Examine the history of victim studies and the development of victimology as a discipline in criminology.

The role of the victim in criminal justice is key to debate in this field and you examine the growing trend by policy makers to establish a victim orientated system. The growth of agencies supporting victims is also discussed.

Key developments in the academic study of victims, policy implications and the issue of counting victims is explored. The module also examines the debates surrounding the balance of victim and offer rights and we discuss the concept of restorative justice and human rights issues from the perspective of victims.

 

Final-year core modules

Advanced Criminological Theory

Develop a detailed analysis of the most important ideas in contemporary criminology. You focus particularly on recent changes to western liberal societies and how these changes affect our social experience.

This topic focuses on harm (as well as crime) as a broader category for critical social analysis. The module integrates material from a range of disciplines across the social sciences and humanities. For example, you look closely at contemporary continental philosophy, recent economic change, psychoanalytic accounts of trauma and political accounts of transforming governance.

Explaining Punishment

This module explores the emergence and development of modern institutions of punishment with specific reference to wider currents of sociological thought, and explanations of formal social control and punishment.

Areas covered include the transition from pre-modern corporal and brutal punishment to more rationalised and intensive modes of punishment under capitalism as well as theoretical interrogations of the economic, political and ideological processes that shape institutions of punishment in contemporary society.

The module involves a thorough discussion of Marxist, functionalist, institutionalist and postmodernist approaches towards the subject matter, offering ample opportunity for the application and critical evaluation of the explanatory potential of such approaches on specific characteristics and functions of the penal system today.

Research Project Criminology with Law

Following a clear academic structure, you produce a research proposal and a written dissertation of no more than 10,000 words.

This project allows you to define your own research design, methods and questions and to focus on a particular area of study over an extended period. You may choose a library-based dissertation, an empirical study or a piece of active research in collaboration with a public or third party organisation.

You must demonstrate some knowledge and understanding of relevant legislation and legal processes within your project.

 

and one law and one criminology/sociology optional module

Are We Doing Youth Justice?

This module is divided into four core elements, each delivered in a block of six lectures, of which the final lecture focuses on key themes and contents. The first block provides a comprehensive picture of the youth justice system, as established post 1997 by New Labour.

Block two explores criminological, sociological and psychological explanations of youth offending.

Block three examines the idea of unruly youth from a historical perspective of the regulation of (gendered) childhood and the relevance of social class in identifying and explaining youth offending.

Block four examines key questions and themes of block one, two and three in relation to their implicit implications and underlying ideologies in terms of how young offenders are conceptualised and dealt with in England and Wales’ youth justice system today.

Crime and Consumer Culture

This module introduces you to the rich vein of criminological research and theory on the relationship between crime and global consumer culture.

After a period of perceived injustice, the 2011 urban riots in England saw ‘aggravated shopping’ committed by people who seemed to have little else on their minds. Is Britain a nation of consumer addicts, and if so does this combine with other factors to drive some people to crime? How can politics and policy respond to the problem?

You investigate the rise of acquisitive crime that occurred alongside the rise of consumer culture in the late 20th and early 21st century. You also cover the history of consumerism, critiques of consumer culture, the global consumer marketing industry, the empirical relationship between consumer culture and crime, identity and social exclusion, the social psychology of consumer culture, and criminality and the politics of regulation.

Criminal Law Theory

This module promotes a critical understanding of some of the theories that underpin our criminal law. From general legal philosophies to their particular effects on specific areas of criminal law, you explore the theories of culpability and blameworthiness in the context of specific academic debates.

You question which types of conduct should be criminalised, how the criminal law should treat mentally disordered offenders, when we should exempt individuals from criminal liability, whether the test for recklessness is subjective or objective, and whether there a place for negligence in criminal law.

Employability and Work Experience

Gain academic credit for participating in work experience related to criminology, criminal justice and sociology. You may find your own work experience (subject to approval from your module tutor) or you can take advantage of work experience opportunities offered as part of the module.

Work experience must be performed to an agreed job description and person specification for a minimum of 60 working hours. To take part you must complete a DBS check, along with any other security checks required by your work experience provider. You must also agree to and sign a legal agreement outlining the obligations of yourself, the University and the work experience provider. Alongside your work experience you explore employability issues and skills through a number of interactive workshops led by professionals from within and outside the University.

This module has limited places and participation is subject to a selection process involving an application, shortlisting and interview.

Employment Law

Employment law consists of a series of statutory provisions and common law principles concerned with the regulation of the employment relationship. You study the contract of employment and a number of statutory employment rights (including, most notably, unfair dismissal).

At the individual level you examine discrimination in terms of sex, disability and equal pay. At the collective level, you consider collective bargaining, trade union law and industrial conflict. To a large extent, the law concerns the civil liberties of the citizen, as an employee, taking into account Britain’s membership of the European Union.

Family Law

Explore cohabitation, marriage, separation and divorce and consider the various legal aspects of these relationships. Examine how the law regulates the interaction of parties within a relationship, defining their rights and responsibilities, minimally during the course of the relationship, but in detail should it end.

The module also concentrates on children in family law. Traditionally the law focused on parents but modern developments, particularly those resulting in the Children Act 1989, have focused more on the rights of the child and the responsibilities of parents and others taking the place of parents.

You examine how private law (which regulates the relationship of the child to others) and public law (which focuses on child protection) are brought together.

Independent Studies

This module allows you to study a theorist or a social scientific debate in depth throughout the academic year. It encourages independent learning and assumes a high degree of autonomy.

You choose two topics and produce a piece of assessed work on each (see your options below). After initial group sessions, the module runs through individual tutorials. You’re expected to spend a considerable amount of time reading materials appropriate to your area of study.

Inside Out

International Law

This module examines the principles and structures underpinning international law. You explore the sources and modes of development of international law and look into key international institutions and the operation and enforcement of international law in specific areas. The topic is considered in the context of current international issues.

By studying the nature of international law you become able to critically analyse the extent to which international law performs its function. The content of this module may vary to take account of current issues.

Law of Civil and Criminal Evidence

Examine the law of evidence in civil and criminal spheres. Explore key aspects of the admissibility of evidence at trial and learn about the practical and theoretical implications of the rules.

This module is ideally suited to students who wish to join the professions. It is an academic module and examines the law of evidence from an academic viewpoint.

Leisure, Pleasure and Harm

Explore new developments in sociology and criminology and consider the notion of deviant leisure. We study activities considered as leisure pursuits which consumers engage in with the ultimate aim of gaining pleasure.

Through study of a range of topics and issues, you learn to critically analyse our leisure, pleasure and consumption choices with reference to criminological and sociological analyses of harm, crime and identity. Consider how – in our quest for pleasure, through leisure and consumption – we negotiate realities of harm.

Medical Law

This module covers medical and mental health law in a broad context. You study the medical professions, and liability in medical law with a focus on medical negligence. You also cover birth and death, assisted reproduction and other topical debates. Spanning across the subject is the issue of consent – its scope and its implication for those with disability.

You explore compulsory detention in hospital, and treatment for those with a mental disorder and the law in relation to their discharge. You also examine how the law affects those without capacity.

Mentoring

This module gives you the chance to mentor someone on a one-to-one basis for one hour a week for 12 - 15 weeks. Placements are varied and may include mentoring pupils from Years 10 and 11 in secondary schools, mentoring international students, or working in third sector organisations.

Alternatively, you can arrange your own mentoring placement in an alternative setting, subject to the module leader’s approval. In addition to exploring practical aspects of mentoring, you consider different theoretical and practice models, and use research evidence to determine best practice. There is strong tutor support and supervision throughout the module.

Migration and Development

This module examines the historical and contemporary processes of transnational migration and international development that have occurred in the context of capitalist globalisation.

The module is broadly divided into two parts. The first part focuses on development and covers: the meaning of development; theories of development; poverty; war and development; the role and place of Islam; and globalisation.

The second part of the module examines migration and considers: the concept of transnationalism; forced migration; the economics of migration; migration and cultural issues; and, migration and recent political debates.

Moral Economy of Criminal Justice

Explore the moral economy of criminal justice, and gain an original, analytical perspective on the discipline.

The first part of the module introduces intellectual and moral resources which draw on western philosophical heritage, theology, personalism, symbolic ethics, and moral conditions before and after the Industrial Age.

The second part of the module puts these intellectual and moral resources to work to analyse developments in criminal justice, including penal policy and probation, from 1979 into the present.

Particular reference is made to the conservative period of criminal justice between 1979 and 1997; New Labour between 1997 and 2010; and the coalition government from 2010 to 2015 and beyond.

Prison and the Prisoner Experience

This module explores the relationship between philosophies of punishment and applied methods and strategies of penal intervention, paying particular attention to the ethical conflicts and dilemmas that emerge.

Retaining a focus on the key principles of security, control, and justice, you explore issues of differential treatment, the response and adaptation of prison populations to penal practices and regimes, the internal culture of the prison, and role of the prison officer.

The impact of social and economic change and the influence of neo-liberalism on penal policy and practice are examined in depth to allow for a critical understanding of contemporary penal systems. The module also includes critical analysis of the impact of human rights law on the treatment of prisoners.

Race, Crime and Social Exclusion

An exploration of the ways the categories of race, ethnicity and social class are constructed and represented by the various forms and institutions that constitute the criminal justice system and wider systems of social control.

You examine the ideological, historical, economic and socio-political context of how race and class came to be associated with crime and criminal justice. We discuss how this association has been generated in part through early criminological discourse and through contemporary academic assessment of evidence and explanations about whether, and to what extent, minority ethnic criminality and victimisation is constructed through racism.

Case studies of criminality and victimisation, policing, stop and search, the courts, penality, genocide, and racial violence are used. You are asked to acquaint yourself with relevant theoretical and policy perspectives and debates about minority ethnic groups in relation to the criminal justice system, and to ask yourself whether theories of racism can enhance a criminological understanding of this area.

Understanding Domestic and Sexual Violence

Critically examine the nature, extent and impact of sexual and domestic violence from a range of academic, theoretical, research, policy and practitioner perspectives. Explore the links between the various aspects of domestic and sexual violence, including rape and sexual assault, domestic violence, honour based violence and sexual exploitation.

You engage with the conceptual, methodological and ethical issues which characterise historically hidden problems – and we focus on the continued need for sensitivity in exploring and addressing these issues. The module traces the emergence of sexual and domestic violence as criminological problems, and critically examines the changing legal, policing, criminal justice and community responses.

Understanding Drugs in Society

The study of drugs and drug use is at an important stage and views of drug use are changing. This module introduces key issues and debates in the field of drug use and misuse. It critically examines the changing status of drug use and the way drug use is conceived as problematic for individuals and societies. The module also highlights how changing attitudes and policy towards drug use reflect broader socio-economic and cultural changes.

You examine how drug policies have attempted to control and regulate intoxication in society by different health and crime prevention strategies. You consider: changing patterns of drug use and the implications of this change for drug users; the representation of drugs and drug use in popular culture; the nature of care provision for ‘problem’ drug users; the conflicting nature of drugs education and the dichotomy between harm reduction and ‘just say no’ strategies and crime prevention strategy as it relates to the ‘war on drugs’.

You also explore possible future policy alternatives such as legalisation and de-criminalisation and examine nations that have taken a more lenient approach to drug use. The module draws on current local, national and international research into social aspects of drug use. You are encouraged to draw on numerous resources including the media and popular culture, the internet, social networking and your own experiences.

 

Modules offered may vary.

How you learn

All modules are taught through a combination of lectures and seminars. In lectures specific information is delivered to larger groups while, in the smaller seminar groups, you can explore issues in more depth supported by independent study. Examples of seminar activities include case study work, media analysis, poster presentations, discussions and debates. You learn how to use all our extensive facilities such as electronic journals, virtual learning environments and computer programs.

How you are assessed

Assessment is varied and includes essays, presentations, projects, case studies, examinations and a dissertation. Some modules have several pieces of assessed work to help you develop your skills throughout the academic year.


Our Disability Services team helps students with additional needs resulting from disabilities such as sensory impairment or learning difficulties such as dyslexia
Find out more about our disability services

Find out more about financial support
Find out more about our course related costs

Career opportunities

You can enter a broad range of careers including the probation service, the prison service, the police, voluntary organisations, the public sector and postgraduate training or study.

All programmes are designed to incorporate employability skills development alongside your degree course. Our staff utilise their extensive connections to provide many and varied opportunities to engage with potential employers through fairs, guest lecture sessions, live projects and site visits. In addition we offer a series of workshops and events in the first, second and third year that ensure all students are equipped with both degree level subject knowledge PLUS the practical skills that employers are looking for in new graduate recruits. We also offer extensive support for students to find and secure sandwich year placements which have been shown to make have significant positive impact on a student’s career prospects on graduation.

Our award winning careers service works with regional and national employers to advertise graduate positions, in addition to providing post-graduation support for all Teesside University alumni.

Entry requirements

A typical offer is 80-96 tariff points from at least two A levels (or equivalent). You must have GCSE English Language at grade C (or equivalent). We recommend an Access course if you're a mature student.

For additional information please see the entry requirements in our admissions section

International applicants can find out what qualifications they need by visiting Your Country


You can gain considerable knowledge from work, volunteering and life. Under recognition of prior learning (RPL) you may be awarded credit for this which can be credited towards the course you want to study.
Find out more about RPL

Part-time

What is KIS?

How to understand the Key Information Set

Course information

Full-time

  • Length: 3 years

More full-time details

Part-time

  • Up to 5 years

More part-time details

  • Daytime
  • Enrolment date: September
  • Admission enquiries: 01642 342308

Contact details

Further information