Students preparing for their graduation ceremony at Canterbury Cathedral

Law and Criminology - BA (Hons)

UCAS code MM19

This is an archived page and for reference purposes only


This degree offers you the opportunity to study the closely related disciplines of Law and Criminology in a three-year programme, with a pathway offering the opportunity to obtain a Qualifying Law Degree.


Covering the foundations of law alongside compulsory and optional modules in Criminology (taught by our outstanding School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Research), you develop an understanding of the law, taught from a critical perspective which allows you to engage in informed debate about contemporary legal issues, and an understanding of the relationship between crime and deviance, society and social policy.

Kent Law School is recognised as one of the leading law schools in the UK. It has an international reputation both for its world-leading research and for the high quality, innovative, critical and socio-legal education that it provides.

Please be aware that the Solicitors Regulation Authority and the Bar Standards Board are conducting independent reviews of the legal training and education required to qualify as a solicitor or barrister in England and Wales. These reviews cover the ‘Academic Stage’ of training and may impact upon the role of the law degree as part of the training process. Please see the website of each regulator for more information (the Solicitors Regulation Authority and the Bar Standards Board).

Independent rankings

Law at Kent was ranked 13th in The Times Good University Guide 2016 and 15th in The Guardian University Guide 2017. In the National Student Survey 2016, 91% of our Law students were satisfied with the overall quality of their course.

For graduate prospects, Law at Kent was ranked 5th in The Guardian University Guide 2017. Of Law students who graduated from Kent in 2015, 94% were in work or further study within six months (DLHE).

Criminology at Kent was ranked 5th for course satisfaction in The Guardian University Guide 2017. In the National Student Survey 2015, 91% of Kent students studying Law and related subjects such as Criminology were satisfied with the overall quality of their course.

Of students taking Law and related subjects such as Criminology, who graduated from Kent in 2015, 94% were in work or further study within six months (DLHE).

Course structure

The course structure below gives a flavour of the modules that will be available to you and provides details of the content of this programme. This listing is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.  Most programmes will require you to study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. Please note that the first year modules listed for this degree are compulsory.

Please contact us for more detail about the exact composition of this programme of study.

Teaching and assessment


Kent Law School emphasises research-led teaching which means that the modules taught are at the leading edge of new legal and policy developments. Kent Law School is renowned nationally for research quality, being ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. All of our research active staff teach so you are taught by influential thinkers who are at the forefront of their field. We also have one of the best student:staff ratios in the country, which allows small, weekly seminar-group teaching in all of our core modules, where you are actively encouraged to take part.

Most modules are assessed by end-of-year examinations and continuous assessment, the ratio varying from module to module, with Kent encouraging and supporting the development of research and written skills. Some modules include an optional research-based dissertation that counts for 45% or, in some cases, 100% of the final mark. Assessment can also incorporate assessment through oral presentation and argument, often in the style of legal practice (such as mooting), and client based work and reflection through our Law Clinic.

Law School staff include the winner of the 2012 OUP Law Teacher of the Year Award, with Kent the only law school in the UK to have had staff shortlisted for the award for three consecutive years.


Most modules involve a weekly lecture and small group seminar, each lasting an hour, and are assessed by coursework (50%) and written examinations (50%). Some modules take the form of an extended dissertation. Both Stage 2 and 3 marks count towards your final degree result.

Programme aims

The programme aims to:

  • Attract and meet the needs of both those contemplating a career in the professions of law or criminal justice and those motivated primarily by an intellectual interest in law and criminological issues.
  • Contribute to widening participation in higher education by offering a wide variety of entry routes.
  • Provide a sound knowledge and systematic understanding of the principal institutions and procedures of the English legal system, in particular those relating to criminal justice.
  • Provide a sound grounding in the major concepts and principles of English law, the law of the European Union, and the European Convention on Human Rights.
  • Develop a critical awareness of law in its historical, socio-economic and political contexts, and to introduce students to a range of different theoretical approaches to the study of law.
  • Offer a range of modules covering the foundations of legal knowledge, as defined by the Law Society and the Bar Council, which will enable students who successfully complete them, to obtain exemption from the initial or academic stage of training for entry into the legal professions.
  • Offer a range of options to enable students to study criminological and criminal justice issues in depth.
  • Provide teaching which is informed by current research and scholarship and which requires students to engage with aspects of work at the frontiers of knowledge.
  • Offer the opportunity to acquire direct experience of legal practice and to critically reflect on it through participation in the University Law Clinic.
  • Enable students to manage their own learning and to carry out independent research, including research into areas of law they have not previously studied.
  • Develop general critical, analytical and problem-solving skills which can be applied in a wide range of different legal and non-legal settings.
  • Provide opportunities for the development of personal, communication, research and other key skills appropriate for graduate employment both in the legal professions and other fields.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • The principal features of the English legal system, including its institutions, procedures and sources of law, with especial reference to the criminal justice system.
  • The principal features of the law of the European Union and the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).
  • A range of theoretical and critical perspectives which can be applied to the study of criminal behaviour and deviance.
  • A substantial range of particular areas of crime and deviance, including youth crime and gender and crime.
  • Social science research methods in relation to criminal justice projects.
  • The concepts, principles and rules of a substantial range of English legal subjects, including an in-depth knowledge of some areas of law and, depending on options, an in-depth knowledge of the law relating to criminal justice.  LB
  • The relationship between law and the historical, socio-economic and political contexts in which it operates. 
  • A range of theoretical and critical perspectives which can be applied to the study of law.

Intellectual skills

You gain intellectual skills in how to:

  • Effectively apply knowledge to analyse complex issues.
  • Recognise and rank items and issues in terms of their relevance and importance.
  • Collect and synthesise information from a variety of sources.
  • Formulate and sustain a complex argument, supporting it with appropriate evidence.
  • Recognise potential alternative solutions to particular problems and make a reasoned choice between them.
  • Independently acquire knowledge and understanding in areas, both legal and non-legal, not previously studied.
  • Demonstrate an independence of mind and an ability to critically challenge received understandings and conclusions.
  • Reflect constructively on their own learning processes.

Subject-specific skills

You gain subject-specific skills in:

  • Recognise the legal issues arising in a factual situation of limited complexity. 
  • Identify and apply the case and statute law relevant to it. 
  •  Provide an informed and reasoned opinion on the possible legal actions arising from it, and their likelihood of success. 
  • Appreciate the issues arising in the areas of criminal procedure and criminal justice policy.
  • Identify the legal, criminological and related issues which require to be researched.
  • Effectively locate and use primary and secondary legal, criminological and other relevant sources.
  • Conduct independent research in both legal and criminological fields using a range of resources, both paper and electronic.
  • Critically evaluate an area of law or criminology both doctrinally and in terms of its socio-economic and other consequences. 

Transferable skills

You develop transferable skills in the following areas:

  • Use, both orally and in writing, the English Language in relation to legal matters and generally, with care, accuracy and effectiveness.
  • Engage constructively and effectively in arguments and discussions of complex matters. 
  • Give a clear and coherent presentation on a topic using appropriate supporting materials.
  • Read complex legal and non-legal materials and summarise them accurately.  
  • Employ correct legal terminology and correct methods of citation and referencing  for legal and other academic materials.
  • Produce work in appropriate formats.
  • Teamwork, Numeracy and IT.
  • On successful completion of the programme students should be able to:
  • Work collaboratively in groups to achieve defined tasks, to respond to different points of view and to negotiate outcomes. 
  • Present and evaluate information in a numerical or statistical form. 
  • Wordprocess their work and use a range of electronic databases and other information sources. 



Kent has an excellent employment record, with Law School graduates demanding some of the highest starting salaries in the UK. Law graduates can go into a variety of careers, including working as: solicitors or barristers in private practice; lawyers in companies, local authorities, central government and its agencies, or in the institutions of the European Union; non-legal careers, such as banking, finance and management.

Kent Law School has an active careers programme that sees a number of leading law firms and prominent members of the legal profession (including Kent alumni) visit the University to meet and speak with students. The Law School also gives students the opportunity to develop legal skills while at Kent, through modules in mooting and negotiation, and through involvement in the Law Clinic. We also actively work with employers to create work placement opportunities for our students.


Kent has strong links with local probation and youth justice agencies, police and social services, which means that you get the opportunity to meet leading practitioners in the field at guest lectures and seminars. Through your studies, you gain key skills including getting to grips with challenging ideas, working independently and in a team, and expressing your ideas to others.

Recently, our graduates have gone into areas such as police forces, local authorities, criminal justice services, youth services, social services and the Crown Court, more general areas such as banks and financial services, or on to further study.

Professional recognition

All programmes can lead to a Qualifying Law Degree (QLD). A QLD is recognised by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and the Bar Standards Board as satisfying the first (or ‘Academic’) stage of training required to qualify as a solicitor or barrister in England and Wales.

Please be aware that the Solicitors Regulation Authority and the Bar Standards Board are conducting independent reviews of the legal training and education required to qualify as a solicitor or barrister in England and Wales. These reviews cover the ‘Academic Stage’ of training and may impact upon the role of the law degree as part of the training process. Please see the website of each regulator for more information (the Solicitors Regulation Authority and the Bar Standards Board).

Entry requirements

Home/EU students

The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. Students offering alternative qualifications should contact us for further advice. 

It is not possible to offer places to all students who meet this typical offer/minimum requirement.

New GCSE grades

If you’ve taken exams under the new GCSE grading system, please see our conversion table to convert your GCSE grades.

Qualification Typical offer/minimum requirement
A level


Access to HE Diploma

The University will not necessarily make conditional offers to all Access candidates but will continue to assess them on an individual basis. 

If we make you an offer, you will need to obtain/pass the overall Access to Higher Education Diploma and may also be required to obtain a proportion of the total level 3 credits and/or credits in particular subjects at merit grade or above

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC National Diploma)

The University will consider applicants holding BTEC National Diploma and Extended National Diploma Qualifications (QCF; NQF; OCR) on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us for further advice on your individual circumstances.

International Baccalaureate

34 points overall or 17 points at HL

International students

The University welcomes applications from international students. Our international recruitment team can guide you on entry requirements. See our International Student website for further information about entry requirements for your country.

If you need to increase your level of qualification ready for undergraduate study, we offer a number of International Foundation Programmes.

Meet our staff in your country

For more advise about applying to Kent, you can meet our staff at a range of international events. 

English Language Requirements

Please see our English language entry requirements web page.

Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of 'pre-sessional' courses in English for Academic Purposes. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme. 

General entry requirements

Please also see our general entry requirements.


The 2017/18 tuition fees for this programme are:

UK/EU Overseas

For details of when and how to pay fees and charges, please see our Student Finance Guide.

UK/EU fee paying students

The Government has announced changes to allow undergraduate tuition fees to rise in line with inflation from 2017/18.

In accordance with changes announced by the UK Government, we are increasing our 2017/18 regulated full-time tuition fees for new and returning UK/EU fee paying undergraduates from £9,000 to £9,250. The equivalent part-time fees for these courses will also rise from £4,500 to £4,625. This was subject to us satisfying the Government's Teaching Excellence Framework and the access regulator's requirements. This fee will ensure the continued provision of high-quality education.

For students continuing on this programme, fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* 

The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from UKCISA before applying.

General additional costs

Find out more about accommodation and living costs, plus general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent.


University funding

Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. See our funding page for more details. 

Government funding

You may be eligible for government finance to help pay for the costs of studying. See the Government's student finance website.

The Government has confirmed that EU students applying for university places in the 2017 to 2018 academic year will still have access to student funding support for the duration of their course.


General scholarships

Scholarships are available for excellence in academic performance, sport and music and are awarded on merit. For further information on the range of awards available and to make an application see our scholarships website.

The Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence

At Kent we recognise, encourage and reward excellence. We have created the Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence. The scholarship will be awarded to any applicant who achieves a minimum of AAA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications (including BTEC and IB) as specified on our scholarships pages.

The scholarship is also extended to those who achieve AAB at A level (or specified equivalents) where one of the subjects is either Mathematics or a Modern Foreign Language. Please review the eligibility criteria.

The Key Information Set (KIS) data is compiled by UNISTATS and draws from a variety of sources which includes the National Student Survey and the Higher Education Statistical Agency. The data for assessment and contact hours is compiled from the most populous modules (to the total of 120 credits for an academic session) for this particular degree programme. Depending on module selection, there may be some variation between the KIS data and an individual's experience. For further information on how the KIS data is compiled please see the UNISTATS website.

If you have any queries about a particular programme, please contact