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criminology degree, bsc criminology, study criminology

Criminology BSc (Hons)

Criminology is the study of crime within society, but, what is crime, why do people offend and what should we do with criminals? Why do we focus on crimes of the powerless, are crimes of the powerful more harmful? What is the role of the police and the criminal justice system? How does the news and media shape our understanding and experience of crime? How do race, gender, age, sexual orientation and class shape experiences of crime and victimisation? How does our more globalised world shape localised experiences of crime?


M980 BSc/Cr

Course routes:


Clearing 2024

Apply now for 2024 entry. Call us on 01642 738400

Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) 2023 logo awarded as Overall, Student Experience and Student Outcomes gold rating

Course overview

Foundation year

Study criminology and sociology

Hear from Professor Anthony Lloyd and Teesside student Isobel McDonagh about our criminology and sociology courses.

If you have an enquiring mind, an interest in these questions and being part of the solution, then criminology is for you.

Transferable skills gained on your degree apply to your working life, including presentation skills, creating a podcast illustrates IT skills, and analysis, evaluation and critique skills help determine what works across the criminal justice system.

Top reasons to study this course

  • Staff are research active which underpins their teaching, and means you gain a contemporary, authentic learning experience.
  • Our Inside Out programme sees undergraduates and those in custody apply to work on the same module together – it’s real-life experience.
  • Guest speakers from within the criminal justice system share lived experiences and case studies.
  • Build up your general interest in criminology to specialise in your final year on your own piece of research.
  • Opportunities for work experience or a work-related learning project, including Volun-tees, across criminal justice areas such as drug projects, probation and victim support.

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Course details

Course structure

Year 1 core modules

Becoming a Social Scientist

Develop academic skills, knowledge and understanding to support successful study within a criminology and sociology higher education learning environment. You learn personal and transferable skills, such as searching for and retrieving information, evaluating evidence, critical thinking, note-taking and summarising, presenting, group work and digital learning.

This is a 40-credit module.

Crime and Society

Study the foundational elements and key questions in sociology and criminology. Explore essential questions related to crime, harm and deviance, gaining wider understanding of society, individuals and institutions.

This is a 40-credit module.

Criminal Law for Criminologists

Criminal law, perhaps the best-known aspect of the legal system, presents an interesting and challenging area of study. You are introduced to the English legal system, gaining an understanding of the nature and purpose of criminal law, the principles of criminalisation and the basic elements of a crime. Examine some controversial aspects of criminal law, including problematic criminal offences and defences, and the way in which criminal law responds to particular social problems.

This is a 20-credit module.

Issues in Criminal Justice

You study the criminal justice system and a range of agencies and institutions that operate within it. Explore the origins and purposes of the system to understand criminal justice within a broader historical, political, social, and economic context. You examine specific issues related to contemporary criminal justice including probation, prisons, restorative justice, race and gender.

This is a 20-credit module.


Year 2 core modules

Criminological Theory in Practice

You develop your understanding of the major developments in criminological theory from the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Appraise contemporary crime theories and apply them to real-life problems of crime, deviance and harm.

This is a 20-credit module.

Future Directions and Research for Social Scientists

Develop an understanding of employment pathways, opportunities, reflective practice, experiential learning, and social research methods in criminology and sociology, ready for employment. Explore employability issues and skills with our Student Futures team, external professionals and alumni. Gain an understanding of the philosophy of social science, relevant research designs, strategies and methods, equipping you with the knowledge to make reasoned, informed and evaluative decisions in both research design and practice. Develop an understanding of ethical and practical issues in research and engage in practical activities to develop your skills in designing, conducting and analysing research.

This is a 40-credit module.

Police and Policing

Explore the development, organisation and practice of policing in modern society. You are introduced to key concepts, theories and debates in the sociology of the police. Situating policing within the wider institutional configuration of security and social control, you gain an understanding of how economic, political and ideological factors shape these institutions. Examine a range of historical and comparative issues in police organisation, deployment and practice from a British and comparative perspective. You contemplate the implications of these dimensions of policing for democratic government, civil liberties and human rights.

This is a 20-credit module.

Victims and Crime

The role of the victim within the criminal justice system has become a key area of policy discussion and reform in recent decades, and you examine that development in critical depth. In considering the place of the victim within society and the criminal justice system, you examine debates related to the rights of victims balanced against the rights of offenders. You also explore the support available to victims of crime and consider this through a victim-oriented lens covering a range of different crimes, social harms and contexts.

This is a 40-credit module.


Final-year core modules

Criminology and Sociology Dissertation

Your dissertation provides the platform to produce a piece of independent research, with academic supervision. Define your own research questions and design, and plan your research to work on over the course of the semester. You choose a desk-based dissertation, an empirical study or a piece of active research which may involve student negotiated collaboration with an organisation (public or third sector). If conducting fieldwork, you are required to gain university ethical approval prior to any data collection.

This is a 40-credit module.

Current Issues in Criminology

Explore important contemporary developments in criminology. You develop a detailed analysis of various issues at the forefront of the discipline, including not just crime, but harm, as a broader category for critical social analysis. Your learning is informed by experts with a wide range of real-world experience covering themes such as ultra-realism, deviant leisure, green criminology and narratives in the legal system.

This is a 40-credit module.


You study the relationship between philosophies of punishment, methods and strategies of penal intervention, including sentencing, imprisonment, community sentences and community supervision. You also explore the ethical conflicts and dilemmas that emerge because of society’s response to criminal behaviour. Focusing on the key principles of security, control and justice, you investigate issues of differential treatment, the response and adaptation of prison populations to penal practices and regimes, the internal culture of the prison and the role of probation services. Examine the impact of social and economic change on penal policy and practice, questioning the influence of human rights law on the treatment of offenders.

This is a 20-credit module.


and one optional module

Inside Out

Originating at Temple University in 1996, the Inside-Out model of prisoner education aims to promote learning through collaboration and dialogue around issues of crime and social concern. Alongside serving prisoners, you undertake a 14-week module within the prison setting, facilitated by academic staff.

Each student has equality of status, and an equal stake in the learning. The Inside-Out module is demanding and intensive, requiring a high degree of self-reflection, maturity and adherence to the strict ground rules of the programme, as well as the requirements of the prison regime.

A willingness to engage openly with others, a non-judgmental attitude and preparedness to learn within a prison environment are all essential. Places are limited due to the sensitive and intensive nature of this module, and are offered on the basis of application and interview. If successful, you are required to undertake mandatory prison training and security clearance.

This is a 20-credit module.

Social Movements

Examine key issues and debates in the field of social movements, collective action and activism. Critically examine societal changes through the lens of social movements, highlighting how changing attitudes and policy are affected by broader socio-economic, political and cultural changes. You draw upon a range of historical and current examples of social movements, linking theory and practice.

This is a 20-credit module.

Understanding Drugs in Society

The study of drugs and drug use is at an important stage. Changing attitudes and a more relaxed approached to control in some quarters means the way in which drug use is viewed is changing. You are introduced to key issues and debates in the field of drugs use and misuse. Critically examine the changing status of drug use in the past and present, and the various ways that drug use is conceived as problematic for individuals and societies. Explore how changing attitudes and policy towards drug use reflect broader socio-economic and cultural changes. You consider the ways in which successive drug policies have attempted to control and regulate intoxication in society by different health and crime prevention strategies. You cover a range of key themes including the changing patterns of drug use and the implications of this change for drug users, the representation of drugs and drug use in popular culture and the nature of care provision for 'problem' drug users. You also look at the conflicting nature of drugs education and the dichotomy between harm reduction, and 'just say no' and crime prevention strategies.

This is a 20-credit module.


Modules offered may vary.


How you learn

All modules are taught through a combination of lectures, seminars, workshops and online learning. 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 and workshop 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. You are also encouraged to use the world on your doorstep as a research laboratory for contextualising learning.

How you are assessed

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

Our Disability Services team provide an inclusive and empowering learning environment and have specialist staff to support disabled students access any additional tailored resources needed. If you have a specific learning difficulty, mental health condition, autism, sensory impairment, chronic health condition or any other disability please contact a Disability Services as early as possible.
Find out more about our disability services

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


Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Call us on 01642 738400 about our entry requirements

For general information please see our overview of entry requirements

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



Career opportunities

You can enter a broad range of careers including the probation service, prison service, police, voluntary organisations and public sector or postgraduate training or study. Increasingly opportunities exist within private security, crime prevention and offender management.

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.

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.


Information for international applicants


International applicants - find out what qualifications you need by selecting your country below.

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Useful information

Visit our international pages for useful information for non-UK students and applicants.

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Other course routes

Foundation year

Study this course with a foundation year if you need additional preparation or if you don't have sufficient grades to join Year 1.

BSc (Hons) Criminology (with Foundation Year)


Entry to 2024/25 academic year

Fee for UK applicants
£9,250 a year

More details about our fees

Fee for international applicants
£17,000 a year

More details about our fees for international applicants

What is included in your tuition fee?

  • Length: 3 years
  • UCAS code: M980 BSc/Cr
  • Start date: September
  • Semester dates
  • Typical offer: Call us on 01642 738400 about our entry requirements

Apply now (full-time)

Apply now

Please choose the relevant option below:

2024 entry

UK applicants

Complete this enquiry form only if you have already obtained your qualifications and achieved grades. If you do not have these at this time, we will be unable to progress your enquiry - please re-visit and complete the form after you have received your results.

Apply now (UK applicant)

International applicants

Our undergraduate courses are available through Clearing to international applicants. Please only complete this application form if you have already obtained your qualifications and achieved your grades. You must upload all requested documents including a copy of your passport, academic qualifications and English language qualification, and copies of any sponsor letters or maintenance documents to meet the requirements. If you have previously applied through UCAS for 2024-25 entry, please include your UCAS personal ID number in the course details box.

Apply now (International applicant)

2025 entry

Apply online (full-time) through UCAS



2024/25 entry

Fee for UK applicants
£4,500 (120 credits)

More details about our fees

  • Length: Up to 5 years
  • Attendance: Daytime
  • Start date: September
  • Semester dates

Apply online (part-time)


Choose Teesside

  • Student and graduate profiles
  • News

    Teesside University and Holme House Prison staff who will be working together on the Inside Out programme.. Link to View the pictures. ‘Inside Out’ prison exchange programme comes to Teesside
    Final year students at Teesside University are part of a unique learning experience where they will be taught alongside serving prisoners to examine issues of crime, justice and society.

    Read the full story


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International students


Telephone: +44 (0) 1642 738900

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