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Why do people commit crime? How should young offenders be treated? Can crime be prevented? What is the role of policing in society? As a Criminology student at Kent, you search for answers to these questions by examining the police, the courts, prisons and society as a whole. On this programme, you also develop valuable quantitative research skills which are in high demand by employers.
The School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research is one of the best in the country for teaching and research. Our academics are internationally recognised for their expertise in criminological theory and criminal justice policy.
Adding a quantitative research minor to your programme opens your mind to new ways of thinking. Starting with no assumed statistical knowledge, you graduate with an advanced package of practical quantitative skills alongside subject-specific knowledge in criminology and criminal justice.
Our degree programme
In your first year you take introductory modules on criminology,
sociology and quantitative skills. You can also choose from a range of
options covering contemporary culture, media and youth behaviours. You will also learn to think like a quantitative researcher, developing a critical eye for statistics and data analysis.
In your second and final years, you deepen your understanding of crime and criminal justice. A wide range of options means you can focus on what interests you: areas covered include drug culture, forensic psychology, youth and crime, the sociology of imprisonment, and terrorism and modern society.
You also move on to more advanced quantitative techniques, building on the foundations you have learnt in the first year. You develop an advanced skillset in quantitative methods that is extremely rare in graduates from non-mathematical disciplines.
In your final year, you choose either a dissertation with a quantitative research focus or (providing you achieve the required academic standard by the end of Stage 2) a placement module where you can put your skills into practice.
Workplace experience is highly valued by employers, and the placements offered through Kent see students completing meaningful, applied quantitative analysis for business and organisations across a range of sectors, giving you the opportunity to add concrete workplace achievements to your CV.
Criminology is also available as a single honours programme without quantitative research. For details, see Criminology.
Our students have the opportunity to spend a year or a term abroad at one of our partner institutions in North America, Asia and Europe. You don’t have to make a decision before you enrol at Kent but certain conditions apply.
The Social Studies Society is run by Kent students for anyone with an interest in Criminology, Sociology, Law, Social Policy, Economics and Politics. Previous activities include the Criminal Justice in Action guest speaker series.
There are events available throughout the year for students from the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research. These may include:
- research seminars and webcasts
- career development workshops
- informal lectures by guest experts followed by group discussion.
Criminology at Kent was ranked 6th in The Times Good University Guide 2019.
In the National Student Survey 2018, over 93% of Kent final-year students studying Law and related subjects such as Criminology who completed the survey, were satisfied with the overall quality of their course.
Of students studying Sociology and related subjects such as Criminology, who graduated from Kent in 2017 and completed a national survey, over 93% were in work or further study within six months (DLHE).
Teaching Excellence Framework
All University of Kent courses are regulated by the Office for Students.
Based on the evidence available, the TEF Panel judged that the University of Kent delivers consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for its students. It is of the highest quality found in the UK.
Please see the University of Kent's Statement of Findings for more information.
The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This listing is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation. On most programmes, you study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also be able to take ‘elective’ modules from other programmes so you can customise your programme and explore other subjects that interest you.
Year in industry
It may be possible to undertake a full-time paid sandwich year placement.
Placements are arranged by the Q-Step Placement Officer who provides one-to-one guidance and assists with any practical matters, although you can arrange your own placement (subject to agreement) if you so wish. You are also assigned an academic supervisor who assists you with your placement assessments.
Placements provide invaluable career experience and insights into the professional world and the repeated practical and professional use of your skills means that you can move seamlessly into quantitative methods careers, in academia or beyond.
Going abroad as part of your degree is an amazing experience and a chance to develop personally, academically and professionally. You experience a different culture, gain a new academic perspective, establish international contacts and enhance your employability.
You can apply to spend a term or year abroad as part of your degree at one of our partner universities in North America, Asia or Europe. You are expected to adhere to any progression requirements in Stage 1 and Stage 2 to proceed to the term or year abroad.
The term or year abroad is assessed on a pass/fail basis and does not count towards your final degree classification. Places and destination are subject to availability, language and degree programme. To find out more, please see Go Abroad.
Teaching and assessment
In addition to learning through lectures, seminars, workshops, project supervision, and statistics classes, students can carry out hands-on research in the ‘field’ through placements and field trips. Most modules are assessed by examination and coursework in equal measure.
For a student studying full time, each academic year of the programme will comprise 1200 learning hours which include both direct contact hours and private study hours. The precise breakdown of hours will be subject dependent and will vary according to modules. Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.
Methods of assessment will vary according to subject specialism and individual modules. Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.
This programme aims to:
- provide a pioneering educational opportunity within the UK context combined with student engagement in a range of disciplines, enabling students to progress into high-level careers and related postgraduate opportunities
- provide a broad knowledge and understanding of key concepts, debates and theoretical approaches in criminology which allow us to understand the social and personal context of all aspects of crime, victimisation and responses to crime
- develop new areas of teaching in response to needs of the community
- widen participation in higher education by offering various entry routes
- help students to link theoretical knowledge with empirical enquiry and to identify and understand different ideological positions
- develop problem-solving skills and an understanding of the nature and appropriate use of research methods used in social science research
- teach students key writing, research and communications skills
- give students the skills and abilities to enable them to become informed citizens, capable of participating in the policy process and equipped for a dynamic labour market
- provide students with the statistical and analytical tools to independently and successfully conduct advanced quantitative research
- help students make persuasive arguments using quantitative research, and to critically assess the arguments made by others in the course of social life
- help students link theoretical knowledge with empirical enquiry, so that they understand how to conduct and critique social research in the real world.
Knowledge and understanding
You gain knowledge and understanding of:
- the origins and development of UK Criminal Justice Policy institutions
- the principal concepts and theoretical approaches in criminology
- the ways in which images of crime and notions of crime are constructed and represented
- the principles that underlie criminal justice, how they have changed over time and how they relate to the workings of particular agencies of crime control
- contemporary issues and debates in specific areas of criminology and criminal justice
- knowledge of the main sources of data about crime and a grasp of the research methods used to collect and analyse data
- understanding of interdisciplinary approaches to issues in criminology and the ability to use ideas from other social sciences
- understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of statistical techniques applied to the study of social issues
- cross-disciplinary understanding of advanced quantitative reasoning and application of these methods to the analysis of complex societal problems
- knowledge of how to abstract findings from the application of quantitative research methods to examine essential features of complex societal problems and provide a framework for assessment of contemporary institutional arrangements
- understanding of the value of comparative analysis across disciplines
- understanding and awareness of ethical implications of social sciences’ inquiry.
You develop the following intellectual skills:
- problem-solving skills and the ability to seek solutions to crime, criminal behaviour and other social problems and individual needs
- data collection and research skills: ability to apply research and inquiry techniques with critical awareness; ability to formulate research questions and hypotheses across a range of different disciplines; gather, organise and deploy evidence, data and information from a variety of secondary and primary sources
- evaluative and analytical skills: to assess the outcomes of criminal justice, crime prevention and social policy intervention on individuals and communities; ability to evaluate and critically assess quantitative evidence, both in its own right, and to assess how this evidence is used in the arguments of others; ability to synthesise relevant information across multiple forms of evidence and to integrate these within a single account
- sensitivity to the values and interests of others and to the dimensions of difference
- quantitative: the appropriate use of analytical methods – including advanced methods – in handling, analysing and presenting statistical data across relevant disciplines; ability to interpret both research data and official statistics.
You gain the following subject-specific skills:
- identifying and using theories and concepts in criminology to analyse issues of crime and criminal justice
- handling and interpreting statistical data relevant to issues of crime and criminal justice
- undertaking an investigation of an empirical issue, either on your own or with other students
- understanding the nature and appropriate use, including the ethical implications, of diverse social research strategies and methods
- distinguishing between technical, normative, moral and political questions
- communicating quantitative empirical findings effectively across disciplines and audiences
- constructing criminological arguments using quantitative empirical evidence
You gain the following transferable skills:
- studying and learning independently, using library and internet sources.
- having an appetite for learning and being reflective, adaptive and collaborative in your approach
- making short presentations to fellow students and staff
- communicating ideas and arguments to others, both in written and spoken form
- preparing essays and referencing the material quoted according to conventions in social policy
- using IT to word-process, conduct online searches, communicate by email and access data sources
- developing skills in time management by delivering academic work on time and to the required standard
- developing interpersonal and teamwork skills to enable you to work collaboratively, negotiate, listen and deliver results
- appropriately using analytical methods – including advanced methods – in handling, analysing and presenting statistical data in diverse real-world settings.
In an increasingly competitive job market, graduates with quantitative skills are in high demand by all employers from across the public, private and third sectors.
The variety of careers related to crime control has increased in recent years, with traditional justice agencies joined by companies in the voluntary and private sectors. Recently, our graduates have gone into:
- the police force
- criminal justice services
- social services
- the crown court.
Some graduates choose to go into more general areas such as banking and financial services, or on to further study.
Help finding a job
The School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research has its own employability team who work with businesses to maximise opportunities for our students. We also hold an Employability Month every February and run networking events throughout the year to help you develop your skills and contacts.
The University has a friendly Careers and Employability Service which can give you advice on how to:
- apply for jobs
- write a good CV
- perform well in interviews.
There are opportunities to apply your newfound skills in quantitative analysis in professional settings through placements and applied research modules. We have links to placements across many sectors, including government (national and local), think tanks and charities, cultural organisations and the private sector.
You graduate with subject-specific knowledge that is essential if you plan to work in the broad area of criminal justice. Alongside this knowledge, your advanced quantitative research skills, which give you the ability to understand, explain and critique data in diverse real-world settings, can set you apart from other graduates.
You also develop the key transferable skills graduate employers look for. These include:
- the ability to analyse problems
- excellent communication skills
- an understanding of, and sensitivity to, the values and interests of others.
You can also gain additional skills by signing up for our Kent Extra activities, such as learning a new language or volunteering.
The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. Typical requirements are listed below. 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|
|Access to HE Diploma||
The School is committed to widening participation and has a long and successful tradition of admitting mature students. We welcome applications from students on accredited Access courses.
|BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC National Diploma)||
Distinction, Distinction, Merit. Health and Social Care or Public Service preferred.
34 points overall or 15 points at HL
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.
However, please note that international fee-paying students cannot undertake a part-time programme due to visa restrictions.
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 advice 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 2019/20 annual tuition fees for this programme are:
For details of when and how to pay fees and charges, please see our Student Finance Guide.
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.*
Your fee status
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.
Fees for Year in Industry
For 2019/20 entrants, the standard year in industry fee for home, EU and international students is £1,385.
Fees for Year Abroad
UK, EU and international students on an approved year abroad for the full 2019/20 academic year pay £1,385 for that year.
Students studying abroad for less than one academic year will pay full fees according to their fee status.
General additional costs
Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. See our funding page for more details.
You may be eligible for government finance to help pay for the costs of studying. See the Government's student finance website.
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.