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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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.

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

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

Search scholarships

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.

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.

Independent rankings

Criminology at Kent achieved the second highest score for research quality in The Times Good University Guide 2023.

Criminology at Kent was ranked 19th in The Times Good University Guide 2023.

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)

If you are from the UK or Ireland, you must apply for this course through UCAS. If you are not from the UK or Ireland, you can apply through UCAS or directly on our website if you have never used UCAS and you do not intend to use UCAS in the future.

Find out more about how to apply

All applicants

International applicants

Contact us

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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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