Criminology and Cultural Studies - BA (Hons)

Why do people commit crime? What is the role of policing in society? How is society’s perception of offenders shaped by ideas about subcultures, fashion and gender? Explore these pressing questions on our Criminology and Cultural Studies joint honours programme.

Overview

At Kent, Criminology and Cultural Studies are taught in the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research where you benefit from a large choice of specialist modules on race, social change, criminal justice, disability and the arts.

Our academics are internationally recognised for their expertise in criminological theory and criminal justice policy. They are regularly asked by the government to provide insight on matters relevant for current policy developments.

Our degree programme

In your first year, you study introductory modules on criminology, sociology, and cultural studies. You then learn how to conduct and apply qualitative and quantitative sociological research.

In your second and final years, you can choose from a range of options covering topics like contemporary culture, youth behaviours, digital media and the sociology of imprisonment.

There is also the option to take a dissertation module on a subject of your choice. This allows you to focus in detail on an area you are particularly passionate about.

Term abroad

Students undertaking criminology joint degrees have the opportunity of spending the second term of their third year at San Diego State University in California as part of an international exchange programme. While at San Diego State, University of Kent criminology exchange students can select from a number of module options delivered by the well-respected School of Public Affairs, which offers courses in fields such as criminal justice and criminology, public affairs and administration, and urban and transborder studies.

Please see our Go Abroad pages for information about spending a full year abroad at one of our partner institutions in North America, Asia or Europe.

Study resources

You have access to a wide range of topical journals and books in hard copy and digital format through Kent’s Templeman Library. Your designated academic advisor provides guidance for your studies and academic development.

Our Student Learning Advisory Service also offers useful workshops on topics like essay writing and academic referencing.

Extra activities

There are a number of student-led societies which you may want to join such as:

  • Socrates Society
  • Feminist Society
  • UKC Digital Media.

There are also 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.

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Flexible tariff

Make Kent your firm choice – The Kent Guarantee

We understand that applying for university can be stressful, especially when you are also studying for exams. Choose Kent as your firm choice on UCAS and we will guarantee you a place, even if you narrowly miss your offer (for example, by 1 A Level grade)*.

*exceptions apply. Please note that we are unable to offer The Kent Guarantee to those who have already been given a reduced or contextual offer.

Entry requirements

The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. All applications are assessed on an individual basis but some of our typical requirements are listed below. Students offering qualifications not listed are welcome to contact our Admissions Team for further advice. Please also see our general entry requirements.

  • medal-empty

    A level

    BBB

  • medal-empty Access to HE Diploma

    The University welcomes applications from Access to Higher Education Diploma candidates for consideration. A typical offer may require you to obtain a proportion of Level 3 credits in relevant subjects at merit grade or above.

  • medal-empty BTEC Nationals

    Distinction, Distinction, Merit

  • medal-empty International Baccalaureate

    30 points overall or 15 at HL

  • medal-empty International Foundation Programme

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

  • medal-empty T level

    The University will consider applicants holding T level qualifications in subjects closely aligned to the course.

If you are an international student, visit our International Student website for further information about entry requirements for your country, including details of the International Foundation Programmes. Please note that international fee-paying students who require a Student visa cannot undertake a part-time programme due to visa restrictions.

Please note that meeting the typical offer/minimum requirement does not guarantee that you will receive an offer.

English Language Requirements

Please see our English language entry requirements web page.

Please note that if you do not meet our English language requirements, we offer a number of 'pre-sessional' courses in English for Academic Purposes. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme.

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Course structure

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

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.

Stage 1

Compulsory modules currently include

Crime is a major social and political issue and the source of much academic and popular debate. Key criminological issues will be examined during the course of the module within their wider sociological and social policy context. There will be a particular focus on understanding the nature and extent of crime and victimisation, analysing public and media perceptions of crime, and exploring the relationship between key social divisions (age, gender and ethnicity) and patterns of offending and victimisation.

Find out more about SOCI3050

Societies expend huge amounts of intellectual and financial capital attempting to understand and explain the problem of crime. The module will provide a general introduction to the different types of crime that occur throughout the social structure in Western democracies, from the mundane, quotidian crimes of everyday life, to crimes perpetuated by the most powerful members of society. To that end, the module will contain lectures on subjects such as the nature and extent of violent crime, the process and effects of victimisation, and the relationship between key social divisions (age, gender and ethnicity) and patterns of offending. The module will also include a focus on how the media and popular culture intertwine with the practices of crime and crime control.

Find out more about SOCI3330

This module introduces students to discussions and debates surrounding modern culture. It looks at why culture has always been such a contested sphere and has a decisive impact on society at large. Students will look at culture in the widest sense, ranging from 'the arts' to the banalities of everyday life in our consumer society; at how culture has expressed and organised the way people think and live from the days of 'protestantism' to those of post-punk. Books, magazines, radio, TV, movies, cartoons, fashion, graffiti, the cult of celebrity, youth subcultures and pop music will be used to understand class, history, sexuality, colonialism, revolution, conflict and globalisation.

Find out more about SOCI3340

Contemporary culture is 'now-time' culture, but when did 'now' begin - and will it be over before the course starts? This module focuses on analysing contemporary culture and media and aims to demonstrate the range of possible interpretations that mediated culture can be open to. It raises questions about how culture can be viewed from aesthetic, political, ethical and economic perspectives. What is culture really for? Is it product or a process? Who owns it? Is it for fun or is it deadly serious? In order to think through contemporary issues such as gender relations, sexuality, multiculturalism and otherness, and what they might imply about our changing perceptions of space, place, and belonging, we'll be taking a case study approach to a range of cultural products and objects, media and institutions, and post-modern practices of communication. This module aims to understand the transformation of culture and media and everyday life we are living through and the way it changes who we are.

Find out more about SOCI3350

Sociology is the study of human societies. It is a discipline committed to the attempt to map out and explain the constitution of society. It also aims to attend to and explain the distinctive character of people's social experience of the world. Sociologists operate from the premise that, by working to explain human characteristics and behaviours in social terms and as relative products of society, they stand to offer insights into some of the major forces that determine our thoughts and behaviours. They work under the conviction that human beings are fundamentally social beings and are products of distinct forms of society. This course is designed to provide you with a basic introduction to Sociology. A particular focus is brought to how sociologists venture to understand the social structures and determinant social forces that shape our living conditions and life chances. It also outlines some of the ways in which such matters are addressed as problems for sociological theory and empirical sociological research.

The curriculum will include topics such as:

What is Sociology?

Theories and Theorizing

Methods and Research

Cities and Communities

The State, Social Policy and Control

Globalization

Work, Employment and Leisure

Inequality, Poverty and Wealth

Stratification, Class and Status

Find out more about SOCI3370

This module provides an introduction to the major issues and controversies surrounding the definition, development and teaching of 'classical' social theory. It introduces students to the key problems that have set the agendas for sociological inquiry as well as the main concepts and theoretical traditions that have shaped sociological thought. A considerable debate surrounds the meaning of ‘classical’ social theory and what should be associated with this term. For some, ‘classical’ social theory refers to ideas developed by a generation of thinkers whose works belong to a particular period of our cultural/intellectual history (usually dated c.1880- c.1920). Others understand this as a label for ‘canonical’ texts that define the project and enterprise of sociology. For many, it simply means the works of Karl Marx, Émile Durkheim, Max Weber and Georg Simmel (the so-called ‘founding fathers’ of the discipline). Classical sociology has also been identified as a critical tradition of placing society in question so as individuals may be better equipped to understand how their personal troubles are the product of determining socio-economic structures and processes. Each of these approaches to understanding ‘classical’ social theory will be explored and analysed.

Find out more about SOCI4080

Optional modules may include

Democracy in Britain does not appear to be in a healthy state. Citizens are less engaged with political institutions, and less trusting in politicians, than they used to be. Critical questions are being asked about the role and effectiveness of such key institutions as the electoral system and parliament. Meanwhile, the nature of political authority in Britain is changing rapidly. Power has been transferred upwards to the European Union, and downwards to devolved bodies in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and London. Non-electoral actors such as the media also play an important role in shaping political decisions. Where does this leave the political system at the start of the 21st century? Is government in Britain effective and democratic? Or are Britain's political institutions failing? This module provides students with an introduction to some of the key issues facing the political system in Britain today. The module examines the challenges facing the political system, the effectiveness of existing political arrangements and the merits of institutional reform. While the focus is domestic, many of the same challenges are also faced by political systems in other west European countries, to which the course will make reference. The module thus aims to go beyond a simple focus on British politics, by introducing students to some of the key contemporary issues facing many western democracies.

Find out more about POLI3040

This module introduces students to the study of psychology, with the aim of providing an introductory understanding of key topics within psychology and seminal psychological research. The module explores psychology as a science and the research methods common in psychological research. The lectures will cover some of the key concepts and findings in the study of abnormal psychology, sensation, consciousness, child psychology, motivation, emotion, memory and attitudes, and group processes. The module encourages students to explore classical concepts in psychology within the context of cutting edge research and contemporary issues within modern society. There is a particular focus on how psychology and concepts within the subject can inform controversial issues in everyday society.

Find out more about PSYC3040

This module introduces students to the study of psychology, with the aim of providing an introductory understanding of key topics within psychology and seminal psychological research. The module explores psychology as a science and the research methods common in psychological research. The lectures will cover some of the key concepts and findings in the study of abnormal psychology, sensation, consciousness, child psychology, motivation, emotion, memory and attitudes, and group processes. The module encourages students to explore classical concepts in psychology within the context of cutting edge research and contemporary issues within modern society. There is a particular focus on how psychology and concepts within the subject can inform controversial issues in everyday society.

Find out more about PSYC3050

The module aims to develop the understanding of the policy making process and the role of the different actors within the wider context of the tools and limits of the ability of the UK national government to influence behaviour. It has a particular focus on processes of social control as they relate to social policy. Learning will be centred around two main tasks:

i. Understanding the links between social policy and the regulation of behaviour e.g. the uses and outcomes of incentives, sanctions and educative communication to promote behavioural changes sought by policy makers.

ii. Taking topical examples of policy issues, contextualised analysis of the policy making process, its 'stages', key actors and institutions will be used to explore how and why particular policy options emerge and evolve. A central concern will be to help students understand the nature of support and opposition for particular policy proposals and the implications for developing alternative policies.

Find out more about SAPO3000

This course is designed to provide students with an introduction to the ways sociologists attempt to document and explain the social experience of everyday life. Each week the category of 'social experience' is held up for analytical scrutiny in relation to a particular component of ‘everyday life’. The course aims to illustrate the value of sociology for helping individuals to better understand the contents and conditions of their social experience of the world. It also aims to document the ways in which sociological theories and methods have developed in correspondence with the evolution of modern societies. The curriculum will include topics such as: Sex, Gender and Sexuality, Racial and Ethnic Identities, Risk and Society, Crime and Deviance, Health, Media, Religion or Family.

Find out more about SOCI3360

This module is designed to help students understand and critique the numbers and research they encounter in their everyday lives. The first half of the course focuses on teaching the knowledge and skills need to critically evaluate factual quantitative claims. Each lecture uses example quantitative claims, largely drawn from the news media, to teach a particular quantitative skill. For example, highlighting a statistic based on a biased sample to teach students the principles of sampling. The seminars build on the content of the lectures and aim to teach students the practical, computer-based skills needed to evaluate quantitative claims.

The second half of the module is based around students conducting their own research, and also brings in qualitative skills element. Students apply the critical and quantitative skills they have learned to conducting their own mixed-methods project.

Find out more about SOCI3410

You have the opportunity to select elective modules in this stage.

Stage 2

Compulsory modules currently include

The aim of this module is to provide students with a critical understanding of the nature and extent of crime and deviance in contemporary society, and the main ways in which they can be explained and controlled. Focusing upon contemporary sociological theories of crime against a background of the classical ideas within the field, this module will provide undergraduates with an opportunity to engage with the most up-to-date debates in an area of great interest in contemporary society.

Find out more about SOCI5050

The module will be organised around the following themes:

• The history, development and structure of the institutions of the CJS

• Current issues facing the CJS

• Crime, crime control and social exclusion

• Crime prevention and community safety

Within the organisation of the module students will be encouraged to cooperate on issues based around the above themes and to participate verbally within the context of class discussions, group presentation and class debate.

Find out more about SOCI5360

Indicative topics are:

• The impact of social research upon both social theory and policy-making.

• The primary epistemological and ontological debates and how these affect the research question, method and design.

• The steps in designing a qualitative research project and criteria for assessing its quality as applied to positivist as well critical theorist approaches.

• Ethical considerations in social research and the process of ethical clearance within the University.

• The use of sampling techniques in qualitative research, the main problems with establishing valid samples and how different sampling approaches can undermine the validity of the research findings.

• The variety of qualitative research techniques available to social scientists and their relative advantages and disadvantages in understanding the social world. These include interviewing, visual, comparative/historical, and discourse analytic approaches.

Find out more about SOCI5460

This module introduces and applies ideas in critical, cultural and communications theory to debates and issues surrounding media and popular culture, focusing on such themes as cultural elitism, power and control, the formation of identities, the politics of representation, and the cultural circuit of production and consumption. It investigates the relationship between the development of contemporary society and societal values and the changing technological basis of mediated culture.

Find out more about SOCI7500

Optional modules may include

This module is a one-term placement opportunity that allows you to teach aspects of your degree subject in a local school. Launched to coincide with Kent's 50th anniversary in 2015, it highlights the longstanding excellence of human and social science research and teaching at the University, and the important role the institution has in contributing to the local community.

If selected for this module you will spend approximately 6 hours in a Kent secondary school in the Spring term (this session excludes time to travel to and from the School, and preparation and debrief time with the teacher). Generally, you will begin by observing lessons taught by your designated teacher and possibly other teachers. Later you will act somewhat in the role of a teaching assistant by working with individual pupils or with a small group. You may take 'hotspots': brief sessions with the whole class where you explain a topic or talk about aspects of university life. Finally, you will progress to the role of "teacher" and will be expected to lead an entire lesson. Throughout the module you will be given guidance and support by a local convenor based in your academic school as well as the overall module convenor.

You will be required to keep a log of your activities and experiences at each session. You will also create resources to aid in the delivery of your subject area within the curriculum. Finally, you will devise a special final taught lesson in consultation with the teacher and with your local module convener. You must then implement and reflect on the lesson.

Find out more about ANTB5560

This is a module about the intersection of colonial power relations, anti-colonialism, postcolonialism, feminism, and identity politics in literature that interrogates the influence of imperialism on a sense of self. It considers the writing of a number of authors from Algeria, Morocco, Nigeria, Cuba and India. In light of the complex relationship between coloniser and colonised, we consider the ideology of many of these writers, as well as the ways in which their politics are articulated in their writing, whether fiction or non-fiction. We also examine to what extent this literature is representative of other postcolonial concerns such as nationhood and national consciousness, hybridity and assimilation, and exile and alienation within the larger context of cultural theory. Particularly significant is our interrogation of the violence inscribed in both the colonial system and the colonised's fight for independence as seen from the perspective of Frantz Fanon in Black Skin, White Masks (1952), A Dying Colonialism (1959), and The Wretched of the Earth (1961).

Studying the primary and secondary texts in English, we bring awareness to the reading scene of the translation process as an important development in the transnational study of comparative literature in a globalised world. In so doing, we acknowledge the significance of indigenous languages and dialects as signifiers of subject-hood in conflict with the coloniser's language. By exploring a variety of anti-colonial resistance and liberation discourses in relation to the development of current postcolonial thinking, the module also offers an insight into the history of the discipline of Postcolonial studies.

Find out more about CPLT6520

This module seeks to investigate some of the most pressing ethical issues in contemporary media culture and the mediated arts. Topics may include: violence in video games, nudity on the screen and in advertising, anti-heroes and villains in fiction, propaganda and manipulation, sexism and racism in humour, shock value in the news and in contemporary art. To answer the many moral questions that arise in this context students will examine basic notions such as truth, objectification, voyeurism, exploitation, offence, harm, gender, and stereotype.

Find out more about MSTU5000

The curriculum for the module will cover a range of theoretical concepts relating to 'terrorism' in a sociological context with an indicative range of topics being given below:

• What is Terrorism?

• Researching Terrorism: Challenges, Dilemmas and Perplexities

• Explaining Terrorism: The Master Narratives

• Terrorism and Moral Disengagement

• Does Terrorism Work?

• 9/11 and the Rise of Religious Terrorism

• Suicide Terrorism

• What is Radicalization?

• Jihadist Videos

Find out more about SOCI5940

The module provides students with an understanding of the contested cultural meanings underpinning crime. Too often criminology is satisfied taking definitions of criminality at face value, when really it means very different things to different people and in different contexts. The module examines how media representations propagate particular perceptions of crime, criminality and justice. It goes on to consider the manner in which those who 'offend' experience and interpret their own behaviour, which may be focused on the attainment of excitement or indeed on attaining their own conception of justice. The module explores these contradictions in a world where crime, control and the media saturate everyday life. In doing so it considers a diverse range of concepts; youth culture, hedonism, hate crime, risk taking, moral panics, the image, emotionality and consumerism. We examine the nature of a late-modern society where criminality inspires great fear and resentment, whilst at the same time it provides imagery which is harnessed to produce entertainment and sell a range of consumer goods. Students will become familiar with cutting edge research and theory in the fields of Cultural Criminology, Visual Criminology, and Media and Crime, placing issues such as music, photography, street gangs, extreme sports, newspapers and nights on the town in new and exciting contexts.

Find out more about SOCI6050

The module introduces students to a range of case studies and topics – both historical and contemporary – that are analysed through the framework of state crime. Beginning with a theoretical introduction to this framework, students will learn to integrate their understanding of state-perpetrated atrocity with a criminological analysis of the nature of state violence, the objectives and driving forces of state crime, the denial of state crime, and the potential avenues for accountability and justice. It will examine not only state crime but examples of resistance to state crime in the form of protest, documentation, legal challenges and artistic and media responses. The module will allow students to understand the potential to resist state crime and the limits of that potential in complex circumstances.

Find out more about SOCI6220

This course critically examines the historical role that animals have played in the making of modern society and the current nature of human/nonhuman relations in contemporary cultures. Students will also be introduced to intersections of race/class/gender and species. The final part of the course considers collective action and social policy as it relates to past and present efforts to challenge problematic aspects of human/nonhuman relations.

Find out more about SOCI6260

This module will examine the impact of digital technology on our social and cultural lives. It will concentrate on how the Internet in particular has challenged some of our more traditional notions of identity and self, the body, relationships, community, privacy, politics, friendship, war and crime, economics, among others. Lectures will show how some of the basic components of culture such as notions of identity, space, the body, community, and even the very notion of what it is to be human, have been complicated by the rise of virtuality and cyberspace. We will also examine these issues through case study phenomena unique to digital culture, currently including gaming, music, cybersex and social networking

Find out more about SOCI6570

This module provides students with an understanding of contemporary cybercrime, its implications and its sociological meanings. It examines how cybercrime functions, how it relates to wider criminological debates and theories, and how it raises challenges in our understanding of the nature of crime, criminality, crime control and policing. Students will become familiar with cutting edge research and theories in the field of cybercrime, and debates that are developing both within the UK and across the world. By focusing on the differing levels of both action and actors, this unit will provide a holistic and nuanced understanding of these vital contemporary challenges facing society. This module equips students with the necessary theoretical and practical tools and modes of social enquiry to make sense of an increasingly digital and networked world.

Find out more about SOCI7600

Year abroad

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.

Students can apply to spend a Term or Year Abroad as part of their 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.

To be eligible for the year abroad all students must obtain an average of 60% in the first and second years of their degree. In addition, those students studying on a Tier 4 visa must ensure they comply with the prevailing UKVI visa regulations governing course changes that are applicable to their individual circumstances. 

The Term or Year abroad is assessed on a pass/fail basis and will 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.

Stage 3

Optional modules may include

This module is a one-term placement opportunity that allows you to teach aspects of your degree subject in a local school. Launched to coincide with Kent's 50th anniversary in 2015, it highlights the longstanding excellence of human and social science research and teaching at the University, and the important role the institution has in contributing to the local community.

If selected for this module you will spend approximately 6 hours in a Kent secondary school in the Spring term (this session excludes time to travel to and from the School, and preparation and debrief time with the teacher). Generally, you will begin by observing lessons taught by your designated teacher and possibly other teachers. Later you will act somewhat in the role of a teaching assistant by working with individual pupils or with a small group. You may take 'hotspots': brief sessions with the whole class where you explain a topic or talk about aspects of university life. Finally, you will progress to the role of "teacher" and will be expected to lead an entire lesson. Throughout the module you will be given guidance and support by a local convenor based in your academic school as well as the overall module convenor.

You will be required to keep a log of your activities and experiences at each session. You will also create resources to aid in the delivery of your subject area within the curriculum. Finally, you will devise a special final taught lesson in consultation with the teacher and with your local module convener. You must then implement and reflect on the lesson.

Find out more about ANTB5560

This module will look at disability in the arts, covering theatre, film and visual art. The students will engage with the historical representation of disability within the arts and the way in which disability scholars have critically engaged with it. The students will also look at arts institutions (i.e. theatres, cinemas and galleries) and the disabling barriers within those institutions that prevent the full participation of people with impairments in the arts. This will culminate in an 'accessibility review', whereby the students analyse the adjustments made by arts institutions for people with impairments and the extent to which they are effective. Finally, the students will engage with examples of contemporary disabled artists whose impairments informs the aesthetic qualities of their work.

Find out more about ARTS5220

The module seeks to explore how novels and plays are adapted and interpreted for the screen. We will analyse how certain texts lend themselves to multiple reshaping, such as Laclos' Dangerous Liaisons. We will also analyse lesser-known works that have gone on to become feature films, such as Arthur Schnitzler’s Dream Story, filmed as Eyes Wide Shut. Adaptations directed by internationally recognized filmmakers such as Roman Polanski, Vittorio De Sica, Francis Ford Coppola, Stanley Kubrick, and Pier Paolo Pasolini will be examined with a view to eliciting and understanding their particular approach to, and filmic vision of, written texts.

Find out more about CPLT5180

This is a module about the intersection of colonial power relations, anti-colonialism, postcolonialism, feminism, and identity politics in literature that interrogates the influence of imperialism on a sense of self. It considers the writing of a number of authors from Algeria, Morocco, Nigeria, Cuba and India. In light of the complex relationship between coloniser and colonised, we consider the ideology of many of these writers, as well as the ways in which their politics are articulated in their writing, whether fiction or non-fiction. We also examine to what extent this literature is representative of other postcolonial concerns such as nationhood and national consciousness, hybridity and assimilation, and exile and alienation within the larger context of cultural theory. Particularly significant is our interrogation of the violence inscribed in both the colonial system and the colonised's fight for independence as seen from the perspective of Frantz Fanon in Black Skin, White Masks (1952), A Dying Colonialism (1959), and The Wretched of the Earth (1961).

Studying the primary and secondary texts in English, we bring awareness to the reading scene of the translation process as an important development in the transnational study of comparative literature in a globalised world. In so doing, we acknowledge the significance of indigenous languages and dialects as signifiers of subject-hood in conflict with the coloniser's language. By exploring a variety of anti-colonial resistance and liberation discourses in relation to the development of current postcolonial thinking, the module also offers an insight into the history of the discipline of Postcolonial studies.

Find out more about CPLT6520

This module seeks to investigate some of the most pressing ethical issues in contemporary media culture and the mediated arts. Topics may include: violence in video games, nudity on the screen and in advertising, anti-heroes and villains in fiction, propaganda and manipulation, sexism and racism in humour, shock value in the news and in contemporary art. To answer the many moral questions that arise in this context students will examine basic notions such as truth, objectification, voyeurism, exploitation, offence, harm, gender, and stereotype.

Find out more about MSTU5000

This module will provide students with an in-depth examination of the theoretical and applied aspects of Forensic Psychology. It will include the development of laws and the principles on which the judicial system is founded, offending by specific sections of the community including street gangs and career criminals, Criminal Justice responses to offending by the police and forensic profilers, the role and credibility of eyewitnesses and the interview processes employed with suspects, the role of juries, how sentences are compiled for convicted offenders, the aims of punishment and how prisoners respond to imprisonment, theoretical perspectives of rehabilitation and an examination of the implementation of the sex offender treatment programme. The module will focus on the in-depth application of forensic psychology to the justice system, its role in identifying and ameliorating offending behaviour. In particular it will evaluate the role of psychology in criminal justice: systems, policies and practices by presenting and critically evaluating research and research methods within forensic psychology. Students will be encouraged to develop skills to critique the literature and methodologies to further their understanding of the core forensic issues the course presents.

Find out more about PSYC6370

This module is concerned with contemporary concepts, theories and findings in the social psychology of justice and morality. We will consider how social psychology has been applied to understand the basis of our sense of morality and justice, with a particular focus on how these theories can help us understand contemporary real-world ethical debates and be applied with benefits for individuals, groups and society. In doing so, we will see how the empirical methods of psychology can be joined with philosophical and political concepts of justice and morality, and better understand how individuals develop and use moral concepts to navigate the social world and guide their behaviour.

Find out more about PSYC6530

This module seeks to demonstrate a critical insight into policing and society. It provides an overview of some of the key issues and controversies in the delivery of justice and social control. It encourages students to think critically about the role and function of the state in the regulation of behaviour and protection of citizens through a focus on the public and private spheres. Key issues confronting contemporary policing are explored together with an enhanced theoretical awareness of the historical context within which contemporary policing has developed. Broad base reform agendas are explored and debates about policing are situated within wider discourses of social control, governance, accountability and legitimacy; together with a critical appreciation of the impact of organisational culture, social divisions and inequalities on policing. Whilst the curriculum is predominantly concerned with policing in England & Wales, the module will explore and reflect upon policing in a range of jurisdictions to develop understanding.

Find out more about SOCI5011

This module provides students with an understanding of the concept of social status: how it differs from (and interacts with) other aspects of social stratification, such as power, class, and material circumstances. Students will explore theories for why human beings value social status so highly, and why they often take such dramatic steps to avoid losing it. The module will examine how considering social status concerns helps us to understand a variety of important social phenomena, encompassing health, violence, education, cultural participation, morality, and identity. Students will become familiar with the empirical tools researchers have used to understand the role of status, along with the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches.

Find out more about SOCI5013

The aims of the module are to:

• Explore gender differences in offending, victimisation, and deployment in the criminal justice system

• Examine theoretical approaches in Criminology and their engagement with issues of gender

• Discuss the main ways in which gender impacts on the operation of the criminal justice system

Topics covered in the module will cover:

• gender and patterns of offending

• a critique of traditional criminology; feminist criminologies; masculinities and crime

• media representations of male and female offenders

• gender in the courtroom, penal system and policing

• women and men as criminal justice professionals

• gender, victimisation and fear of crime.

Find out more about SOCI5330

This module provides students with a sociological and criminological understanding of contemporary issues relating to youth crime. More specifically, the module provides a critical understanding of young people's involvement in crime and deviance and the various responses to youth crime, especially how young people are dealt with by the youth justice system. The module begins by examining current trends in youth offending and explores media responses. We then go on to look at 'the youth problem’ from an historical context. The module then goes on to focus in depth on four key substantive themes such as; gangs and violent crime; drugs, alcohol and nightlife; young people, urban space and antisocial behaviour; and the youth justice system in England and Wales. Throughout the module, attention is given to the importance of understanding the connections of youth crime with race, class and gender and at the same time, engages with key theoretical ideas and debates that inform our understandings of youth crime. This unit provides an opportunity to engage with the most up-to-date debates in an area of great interest in contemporary society.

Find out more about SOCI5350

The curriculum for the module will cover a range of theoretical concepts relating to 'terrorism' in a sociological context with an indicative range of topics being given below:

• What is Terrorism?

• Researching Terrorism: Challenges, Dilemmas and Perplexities

• Explaining Terrorism: The Master Narratives

• Terrorism and Moral Disengagement

• Does Terrorism Work?

• 9/11 and the Rise of Religious Terrorism

• Suicide Terrorism

• What is Radicalization?

• Jihadist Videos

Find out more about SOCI5940

The module provides students with an understanding of the contested cultural meanings underpinning crime. Too often criminology is satisfied taking definitions of criminality at face value, when really it means very different things to different people and in different contexts. The module examines how media representations propagate particular perceptions of crime, criminality and justice. It goes on to consider the manner in which those who 'offend' experience and interpret their own behaviour, which may be focused on the attainment of excitement or indeed on attaining their own conception of justice. The module explores these contradictions in a world where crime, control and the media saturate everyday life. In doing so it considers a diverse range of concepts; youth culture, hedonism, hate crime, risk taking, moral panics, the image, emotionality and consumerism. We examine the nature of a late-modern society where criminality inspires great fear and resentment, whilst at the same time it provides imagery which is harnessed to produce entertainment and sell a range of consumer goods. Students will become familiar with cutting edge research and theory in the fields of Cultural Criminology, Visual Criminology, and Media and Crime, placing issues such as music, photography, street gangs, extreme sports, newspapers and nights on the town in new and exciting contexts.

Find out more about SOCI6050

The module introduces students to a range of case studies and topics – both historical and contemporary – that are analysed through the framework of state crime. Beginning with a theoretical introduction to this framework, students will learn to integrate their understanding of state-perpetrated atrocity with a criminological analysis of the nature of state violence, the objectives and driving forces of state crime, the denial of state crime, and the potential avenues for accountability and justice. It will examine not only state crime but examples of resistance to state crime in the form of protest, documentation, legal challenges and artistic and media responses. The module will allow students to understand the potential to resist state crime and the limits of that potential in complex circumstances.

Find out more about SOCI6220

This course critically examines the historical role that animals have played in the making of modern society and the current nature of human/nonhuman relations in contemporary cultures. Students will also be introduced to intersections of race/class/gender and species. The final part of the course considers collective action and social policy as it relates to past and present efforts to challenge problematic aspects of human/nonhuman relations.

Find out more about SOCI6260

This module will examine the impact of digital technology on our social and cultural lives. It will concentrate on how the Internet in particular has challenged some of our more traditional notions of identity and self, the body, relationships, community, privacy, politics, friendship, war and crime, economics, among others. Lectures will show how some of the basic components of culture such as notions of identity, space, the body, community, and even the very notion of what it is to be human, have been complicated by the rise of virtuality and cyberspace. We will also examine these issues through case study phenomena unique to digital culture, currently including gaming, music, cybersex and social networking

Find out more about SOCI6570

The course is concerned with the relatively new ideas of living in a 'risk society' which theoretically capture the heightened sensitivity within Western societies to the numerous 'risks' which shape our lives. The course will explore different dimensions of risk's impact on everyday life, and then examine key ways in which political culture is being reorganised around risk aversion. The course will suggest that heightened perception of risk is here to stay, and is leading to a reorganisation of society in important areas.

Indicative lecture List

1. Britain, Europe and the New Risk Society

2. An Integrated Approach to Understanding Risk

3. Risk and the Interpersonal: Risky Relationships

4. Risk and the Family: Children and the Curbing of Activity

5. Risk and Public Life: the Terrorist Threat

6. The Risk Management of Everything

7. Accidents, Blame and the Culture of Inquiries

8. The Precautionary Principle

9. 'Compensation Culture'

10. Towards Global Risk Aversion?: The Case of Japan

11. Course Summary

Find out more about SOCI6590

This module will enhance your CV, particularly if you are hoping to work in the public or voluntary sector. You will be supported to undertake three placements in a variety of volunteering roles, both on and off campus; attend four lectures on the voluntary sector and complete a reflective learning log to help you think about your experiences and the transferable skills you are gaining.

The following 2 units are compulsory:

• Active community volunteering

• Project Leadership

Plus 1 unit selected from the following:

• Active university volunteering

• Training facilitator

• Mentoring

• Committee role

All students taking this module are expected to attend four sessions that provide the academic framework for understanding volunteering, as well as practitioner knowledge that will be helpful as you progress through your placements, and invaluable preparation for your essay. These sessions last one hour each and are spaced evenly throughout the academic year

Find out more about SOCI6700

Images of 'trim, taut and terrific' bodies surround us in contemporary consumer culture. They look down on us from billboards, are increasingly central to advertisers' attempts to sell us clothes, cosmetics, cars, and other products, and pervade reality television programmes based on diet, exercise and 'extreme’ makeovers. These trends have occurred at the same time that science, technology, genetic engineering and medicine have achieved unprecedented levels of control over the body: there are now few parts of the body which cannot be remoulded, supplemented or transplanted in one way or another. In this course we explore how culture represents and shapes bodies, and also examine how embodied subjects are themselves able to act on and influence the culture in which they live. We will seek to understand the relationship between the body and self-identity, embodiment and inequalities, and will explore various theories of the body. In doing this we range far and wide by looking at such issues as work, music, sex/gender, cyberbodies, Makeover TV, film, transgender, sport, music, work and sleep. Embodiment is the enduring theme of this course, though, and we will explore its many dimensions via a range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives, and by asking and addressing a range of questions such as ‘How and why has the body become increasingly commodified?’, ‘Why has the body become increasingly central to so many people’s sense of self-identity?’, ‘If we live in a culture that has been able to intervene in the sizes, shapes and contents of the body like never before, have people have become less sure about what is ‘natural’ about the body, and about how we should care for and treat our bodily selves?’

Find out more about SOCI6760

This module aims to enable students to design and conduct their own piece of research. This can be primary research where students collect and analyse their own data, or it can be library based, where students research existing literature or re-analyse data collected by others. The research can be about a particular policy or policy area, social problem, social development, or matter of sociological interest. The dissertation will usually be set out as a series of chapters. In order to assist students with designing and writing a dissertation a supervisor – a member of staff in SSPSSR - will have an initial meeting with students (during the summer term of Year 2 where possible) and then during the Autumn and Spring terms students will have at least six formal dissertation sessions with their supervisor. These may be held individually or with other students. In addition there will be two lectures by the module convenor which will also support students' progress, workshops on bibliography development (Autumn term) and data analysis (Spring term).

Find out more about SOCI6790

The module aims to enable students to conceive and execute a major research project in the field of cultural studies. Students attend a Summer term group meeting with the module convenor to explore and discuss ideas for research and the submission of a draft title and plan, which is to be completed during the long vacation prior to the module beginning. In the Autumn term they will receive feedback on this plan and proposal from their supervisor and/or the module convenor. They will then be required to attend a series of meetings with their assigned supervisor throughout the Autumn term and at the end of that term submit a Literature Review for assessment. In the spring term, research and writing of the dissertation continue under the guidance of the supervisor and at the end of the term, the completed assignment is submitted.

Find out more about SOCI6830

The course discusses the main approaches which have developed in urban sociology through an exploration of some of the major themes. These themes include urbanisation under capitalism, planning, post-industrialism, globalisation, social differentiation, multiculturalism, protest and social movements, and comparative urbanism (Asian and African contexts). Approaches considered within these will include Marx, Weber, the Chicago School, the Manchester school, and post-modernism.

Find out more about SOCI7120

This module provides students with an understanding of contemporary cybercrime, its implications and its sociological meanings. It examines how cybercrime functions, how it relates to wider criminological debates and theories, and how it raises challenges in our understanding of the nature of crime, criminality, crime control and policing. Students will become familiar with cutting edge research and theories in the field of cybercrime, and debates that are developing both within the UK and across the world. By focusing on the differing levels of both action and actors, this unit will provide a holistic and nuanced understanding of these vital contemporary challenges facing society. This module equips students with the necessary theoretical and practical tools and modes of social enquiry to make sense of an increasingly digital and networked world.

Find out more about SOCI7600

Fees

The 2023/24 annual tuition fees for this course are:

  • Home full-time £9250
  • EU full-time £13500
  • International full-time £18000
  • Home part-time £4625
  • EU part-time £6750
  • International part-time £9000

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

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

Funding

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

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. Many module convenors also offer additional ‘clinic’ hours to help with the preparation of coursework and for exams.

Assessment is by a mixture of coursework and examinations; to view details for individual modules click the 'read more' link within each module listed in the course structure.

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 professions, public service and the private sector
  • provide a broad knowledge and understanding of key concepts, debates and theoretical approaches in criminology and cultural studies, and the relationship between criminology and cultural studies, particularly the development in recent years of the overlap area of cultural criminology
  • develop new areas of teaching in response to needs of the community
  • promote an understanding of contemporary debates on cultural issues and the cultural aspects of political, economic and social issues
  • provide an understanding of the historical processes that have shaped the distinctive peculiarities of modern western culture as it has emerged over the last two centuries, and the underlying patterns of meaning that can link what can otherwise seem to be very disparate phenomena
  • 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
  • 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.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • the principal concepts and theoretical approaches in criminology and cultural studies
  • the ways in which images and popular stereotypes of crime are constructed and represented
  • 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 criminology and cultural studies, particularly where these overlap
  • the main sources of data about crime and social welfare and a grasp of the research methods used to collect and analyse data
  • distinctive patterns of modern culture and the historical development and consequences of the split between 'elite' and 'popular' culture
  • interdisciplinary approaches to issues in criminology and cultural studies and the ability to use ideas from other sources.

Intellectual skills

You develop the following intellectual skills:

  • problem-solving and the ability to seek solutions to crime criminal behaviour and other social problems and individual needs
  • research, including the ability to identify appropriate research questions in criminology and cultural studies and to collect and interpret data to answer such questions
  • 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 cultural difference
  • interpretation, to analyse a range of cultural material from image to text, and understand wider contexts and implications.

Subject-specific skills

You gain the following subject-specific skills:

  • the identification and use of theories and concepts in criminology to analyse issues of crime and criminal justice
  • the identification, use and application of cultural theories and concepts to the analysis of cultural processes and products in everyday life
  • seeking out and use of statistical data relevant to issues of crime and criminal justice
  • knowing how to use methods of cultural analysis in examining the content and presentation of different media and art forms
  • 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.

Transferable skills

You gain the following transferable skills:

  • studying and learning independently, using library and internet sources
  • developing 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 wordprocess, conduct online searches, communicate by email and access data sources
  • time management by delivering academic work on time and to the required standard
  • working with others: developing interpersonal and teamworking skills to enable you to work collaboratively, negotiate, listen and deliver results.

Careers

Graduate destinations

As part of your degree, you develop critical thinking, transferable knowledge and skills that enable you to work in a variety of professions.

Our graduates have gone on to work in:

  • national and local government
  • social and cultural policy
  • international institutions and NGOs
  • the organisation of social and community projects
  • media, journalism, broadcasting
  • the police force
  • criminal justice services
  • social services.

Help finding a job

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

As well as gaining skills and knowledge in your subject area, you acquire key transferable skills that are essential for all graduates.

These skills include:

  • analysing complex information and making it accessible to non-specialist readers
  • writing reports
  • using data analysis software
  • working effectively and considerately in teams
  • an understanding of, and sensitivity to, the values and interests of others.

You can gain additional skills by signing up for our Kent Extra activities, such as learning a language or volunteering.

Apply for Criminology and Cultural Studies - BA (Hons)

UCAS application cycle for 2023 is open. You can search courses and apply via the UCAS website.

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United Kingdom/EU enquiries

Enquire online for full-time study

T: +44 (0)1227 768896

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International student enquiries

Enquire online

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

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