Criminal Justice and Criminology - BA (Hons)

What causes crime rates to rise or fall, and who benefits? How can we deal with offenders? Can crime be prevented? Studying Criminal Justice and Criminology, you assess all areas of the criminal justice system, from prevention to sentencing, developing your own view of what works and what doesn’t.

Overview

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 and challenge you to develop your own opinions and ideas, encouraging you to become an independent thinker. We offer high levels of support and our staff are friendly and accessible.

Our degree programme

In your first year, you take introductory modules on criminology and criminal justice, sociology and law that lay the foundation for your future studies.

In your second and final years, you build on this knowledge and can also choose from a wide range of modules that allow you to focus on areas of particular interest to you. Areas covered include: the history of the police, victims and crime, forensic psychology, young people and violence, and women and crime.

Year abroad

It is possible to spend a year or a term abroad at one of our partner institutions. You don’t have to make a decision before you enrol at Kent but certain conditions apply. See the year abroad section on the Course structure tab for more details.

Year in professional practice

This degree also includes the option of spending a year in professional practice at the end of your second year. This is an excellent opportunity to put theory in to practice and develop contacts in your area of interest, while gaining the relevant work experience employers look for. Possible placements include:

  • the police
  • the probation service
  • customs and excise.

See the year in industry section on the Course structure tab for more details.

Professional links

The School also has excellent links with local outside agencies, such as the probation and youth justice services, the police and social services.

Flexible tariff

You are more than your grades

At Kent we look at your circumstances as a whole before deciding whether to make you an offer to study here. Find out more about how we offer flexibility and support before and during your degree.

Entry requirements

Please also see our general entry requirements.

  • medal-empty

    A level

    BBC

  • medal-empty GCSE

    Grade C or above in Mathematics

  • medal-empty 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.

  • medal-empty BTEC Nationals

    Distinction, Merit, Merit

  • medal-empty International Baccalaureate

    34 points overall or 14 points at HL

  • medal-empty International Foundation Programme

    Pass all components of the University of Kent International Foundation Programme with a 60% overall average.

International students should visit our International Student website for further specific information. International fee-paying students who require a Student visa cannot study part-time due to visa restrictions.

English Language Requirements

Please see our English language entry requirements web page.

If you need to improve your English language standard as a condition of your offer, you can attend one of our pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes before starting your degree programme. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme.

Form

Stay connected

Sign up here to receive all the latest news and events from Kent.  

Sign up now

This field is required
This field is required
Please enter a valid email address
This field is required

You're almost there...

Just a little more information and we'll keep you up-to-date with everything that's happening at the University of Kent.

This field is required
This field is required
This field is required
This field is required
This field is required
This field is required
This field is required
This field is required
This field is required
This field is required
This field is required

View our Privacy Notice

Course structure

Duration: 3 years full-time (4 with a year abroad/in industry), 6 years part-time (7 with a year abroad/in industry)

Modules

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.

Fees

The 2021/22 annual tuition fees for this programme are:

  • Home full-time £9250
  • EU full-time £12600
  • International full-time £16800
  • Home part-time £4625
  • EU part-time £6300
  • International part-time £8400

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

Fees for Home undergraduates are £1,385.

Fees for Year Abroad

Fees for Home undergraduates are £1,385.

Students studying abroad for less than one academic year will pay full fees according to their fee status. 

Additional costs

General additional costs

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

Funding

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.

Scholarships

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 A*AA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications (including BTEC and IB) as specified on our scholarships pages.

We have a range of subject-specific awards and scholarships for academic, sporting and musical achievement.

Search scholarships

Teaching and assessment

We use a variety of teaching methods, including lectures, case-study analysis, group projects and presentations and individual and group tutorials. Study groups are normally no more than 15-20 students and give you the opportunity to discuss a topic in detail.

Modules are usually assessed by a combination of coursework and written examinations. Some modules take the form of an extended dissertation or essay. Both Stage 2 and 3 marks count towards your final degree result.

If you choose to take the placement year, you will have the opportunity to spend 900 hours in a relevant professional setting, approved in advance to be suitable for your respective degree. Although you are responsible for obtaining your own placement, guidance will be offered in the form of tutorial support and access to networks of providers developed and maintained by the School. You will be visited once (where possible) during your placement, to ensure that the placement activities are suitable and achieving the programme learning outcomes. Assessment is on a pass or fail basis and the marks gained do not contribute to the final degree classification.

Contact hours

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.

Programme aims

The programme aims to:

  • produce graduates with analytical and knowledge-based skills relevant to employment in the criminal justice professions, public service and the private sector
  • produce students who have acquired an in-depth understanding of the complexities of the way the criminal justice system operates and develops
  • ensure that students acquire a solid understanding of methodologies for the study of social science in general
  • develop new areas of teaching in response to needs of the community
  • provide learning opportunities that are enjoyable, informed by a research environment and which offer appropriate support for students from a diverse range of backgrounds
  • promote an understanding of contemporary social issues and of the impact of diversity and inequality on local and national communities
  • provide an understanding of the social processes that influence the relationship between individuals, groups and institutions
  • understand the emergence of social problems (including crime) and the responses of welfare and criminal justice institutions, including analysis of the theoretical, political and economic underpinnings of these responses
  • help students to link theoretical knowledge with empirical enquiry and to identify and understand different ideological positions
  • allow all students to develop the analytical and research skills necessary to understand and use social science knowledge effectively
  • give students the opportunities to develop and practice a range of transferable or key skills that will be of use in future work and employment
  • 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 high-quality teaching by experienced and qualified staff in a pleasant environment.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • the principal concepts and theoretical approaches in criminology
  • the social processes that shape contemporary society and the relationships between groups
  • the key international policy developments around human rights
  • the origins and development of UK criminal justice policy institutions
  • the principles that underlie criminal justice policy, how they have changed over time and how they relate to the workings of particular agencies of welfare and crime control
  • contemporary issues and debates in specific areas of criminal justice
  • the main sources of data about crime and social welfare and a grasp of the research methods used to collect and analyse data
  • patterns of social diversity and inequality and their origins and consequences
  • interdisciplinary approaches to issues in criminal justice and the ability to use ideas from other social sciences
  • the competing theories of punishment and social control
  • crime prevention issues and practices
  • the English legal system and its practices.

Intellectual skills

You develop the following intellectual skills:

  • problem-solving and the ability to seek solutions to criminal justice issues and other social problems and individual needs
  • research, including the ability to identify a research question and to collect and manipulate data to answer that question
  • evaluation and analysis, to assess the outcomes of criminal justice, crime prevention and social policy intervention on individuals and communities
  • sensitivity to the values and interests of others and to the dimensions of difference
  • interpretation of both research data and official statistics
  • identification and gathering of appropriate library and web-based resources, making judgements about their merits and using the available evidence to construct an argument to be presented orally or in writing.

Subject-specific skills

You gain the following subject-specific skills:

  • identification and use of theories and concepts in criminology to analyse issues of crime and criminal justice
  • analysing and providing a critique of specific criminal justice policies and practices to create new policies
  • seeking out and using statistical data relevant to issues of crime and criminal justice
  • seeking out and using statistical data relevant to social issues
  • 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
  • understanding the socio-legal context in which the criminal justice system and other agencies operate

Transferable skills

You gain the following transferable skills:

  • communication: communicating ideas and arguments to others, both in written and spoken form for both specialist and non-specialist audiences making short presentations to fellow students and staff; preparing essays and referencing the material quoted according to conventions in social policy
  • numeracy: analysing and utilising basic statistical data drawn from research and official sources at a rudimentary level
  • information technology: using IT to wordprocess, conduct online searches, communicate by email and access data sources
  • working with others: developing interpersonal and teamworking skills to enable you to work collaboratively, negotiate, listen and deliver results
  • improving own learning: exploring own strengths and weaknesses; having an appetite for learning and being reflective, adaptive and collaborative in your approach; studying and learning independently, using library and internet sources; developing skills in time management by delivering academic work on time and to the required standard
  • problem-solving: developing the ability to identify and define problems, exploring alternative solutions and discriminating between them.

Careers

Graduate destinations

The variety of careers related to crime control have increased in recent years, with traditional justice agencies joined by companies in the voluntary and private sectors. Recent graduates have gone on to work in areas such as:

  • crime prevention
  • the probation service
  • the prison service
  • courts
  • the police
  • social services departments
  • drug and alcohol services.

Some of our graduates choose to go on to postgraduate study, including training to become a lawyer.

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.

Career-enhancing skills

You graduate with subject-specific knowledge that is essential if you plan to work in the broad area of criminal justice. You also develop the key transferable skills graduate employers look for. These include:

  • the ability to analyse problems
  • excellent communication skills
  • teamworking
  • 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.

If you choose to take the placement year, you will gain invaluable workplace skills and experience, which will help you to stand out when you graduate.

Taking the year abroad option gives you the opportunity to further increase your portfolio of skills by gaining experience of living and studying in a different culture. You will learn to appreciate and assess different approaches to criminal justice and criminal policy giving you a uniquely global perspective.

Professional recognition

Criminal Justice and Criminology has been recognised by Skills for Justice, the skills and standard-setting body for the justice sector, as providing education of outstanding quality and relevance.

Applications

We are no longer accepting applications for the 2021/22 academic year. Please visit the 2022 entry course pages.

Contact us

bubble-text

United Kingdom/EU enquiries

Enquire online for full-time study

Enquire online for part-time study

T: +44 (0)1227 768896

earth

International student enquiries

Enquire online

T: +44 (0)1227 823254
E: internationalstudent@kent.ac.uk

Discover Uni information

DiscoverUni logo
Full-time
Part-time

Discover Uni is designed to support prospective students in deciding whether, where and what to study. The site replaces Unistats from September 2019.

Discover Uni is jointly owned by the Office for Students, the Department for the Economy Northern Ireland, the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales and the Scottish Funding Council.

It includes:

  • Information and guidance about higher education
  • Information about courses
  • Information about providers

Find out more about the Unistats dataset on the Higher Education Statistics Agency website.