Criminology - BA (Hons)

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Why do people commit crime? Does prison make people better or worse? How can you prepare for a career in criminal justice?


At Kent, you’ll receive a cutting-edge, critical, and career-driven education in Criminology. You’ll learn about criminal justice systems across the world; the workings of our prisons, police and courts – and the challenges they face. We’ll empower you with an understanding of key issues and disputes around crime and punishment – and support you to start your own successful career.

Reasons to study Criminology at Kent

  • We’re world-leaders: Kent achieved the second highest score for criminological research quality in The Times Good University Guide 2023
  • Tailor your degree to your own career path: a generous and diverse choice of modules include; policing, cyber-crime, prisons, criminal psychology, drug policy, violent crime, terrorism, youth offending, hate crime and many others
  • Gain practical knowledge of criminal justice systems through our partnerships with Kent Police, the London Metropolitan Police, HMP Prisons Service, the Ministry of Justice, the Probation Service and numerous charities
  • Train to work in the UK’s first Restorative Justice Clinic whilst delivering a service to the local community
  • Receive outstanding support to achieve your ambitions – from our academics, specialist employability team and our professional experience and networks
  • Boost your career prospects with a year or term abroad, a year in data analytics or a volunteering placement

What you'll learn

You’ll expand your criminological imagination. You’ll explore critical issues in criminal justice and major debates around crime and its control: fierce disagreements about what causes crime, what can we do to reduce it, and the scope of our criminal law. You’ll learn how technology has changed modern offending and policing.

You’ll investigate how criminal justice systems work in different countries, and how you can critically question popular assumptions about offenders and society. We’ll also set you up for a successful career with real practical experiences. You’ll get opportunities to learn in real criminal justice settings –including prisons and restorative justice clinics. This practical knowledge, range of connections, and our professional experience really will enhance your employment opportunities.

See the modules you'll study

You can tell by the way they deliver their lectures that all the staff are passionate about their subjects. 

Christina Sriramula - Criminology

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



  • medal-empty Access to HE Diploma

    The School is committed to widening participation and has a long and successful tradition of admitting mature students. We welcome applications from students on accredited Access courses.

  • medal-empty BTEC Nationals

    Distinction, Merit, Merit

  • medal-empty International Baccalaureate

    30 points overall or 15 points 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.

International students

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)


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.


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

  • Home full-time £9,250
  • EU full-time £13,500
  • International full-time £18,000
  • Home part-time £4,625
  • EU part-time £6,750
  • International part-time £9,000

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 undergraduate students are £1,385.

Fees for year abroad

Fees for undergraduate students 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.


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 studies, group projects and individual and group tutorials.

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.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • the principal concepts and theoretical approaches in criminology, sociology and social policy
  • the social processes that shape contemporary society and the relationships between groups
  • the key international policy developments around human rights
  • 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 criminology and the ability to use ideas from other social sciences.

Intellectual skills

You develop the following intellectual skills:

  • problem-solving and the ability to seek solutions to criminal 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 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 and analysis of policies and practices
  • seeking out and using statistical data relevant to issues of crime and sociological 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 individuals and 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 word process, 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.

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.


Graduate destinations

You’ll join our graduates realising their ambitions both in the field of criminal justice and in more diverse professions. Recently, our graduates have gone into:

  • the police force
  • The Probation Service
  • The Home Office
  • Ministry of Justice
  • Non-Governmental Organisations and charities
  • HM Prison Service
  • Youth offending
  • Social work
  • the legal profession
  • Policy analysis

Help finding a job

Our dedicated Employability team will work with you to develop your skills and contacts. They’ll link you with professional partners to provide career boosting opportunities. You’ll benefit from talks, advice, workshops, placements and shadowing schemes, all with leading professionals in the criminal justice system. 

Our professional network includes:

  • Current and former members of Kent and Metropolitan police
  • The Ministry of Justice
  • Swaleside and Standford Hill prisons
  • Charities such a New Horizons Youth Centre, Oasis Domestic Abuse Service, and Rising Sun Domestic Violence Charity
  • The Probation Service
  • The Prison Education Trust
  • Current solicitors, as well as professionals in the fields of forensic psychology, restorative justice, and youth justice

Current volunteering opportunities include working on a crucial programme alongside young offenders, with the Medway Youth Offending Service.

You can also benefit from professional restorative justice training within our cutting-edge Restorative Justice Clinic. This is the first programme in the UK to give students direct experience as pro bono restorative justice practitioners working in the local community.

Alongside our outstanding Employability team, our full-time academic staff includes former criminal lawyers, psychiatrists, Kent Police analysts, and former civil servants working in the Home Office and Ministry of Justice. You’ll benefit from both our professional and practical experience (and our partnerships and connections) to really enhance your employment opportunities.

Career-enhancing skills

As well as subject-specific knowledge essential for criminal justicework, you’ll also develop key transferable skills that employers are looking for. These include:

  • your capacity to analyse problems
  • the ability to analyse quantitative data and statistics
  • excellent communication skills
  • teamworking
  • an understanding of, and sensitivity to, the values and interests of others

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

Apply for Criminology - 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

Apply now for part-time study

Criminology - BA(Hons) - part-time at Canterbury

Contact us


United Kingdom/EU enquiries

Enquire online for full-time study

Enquire online for part-time study

T: +44 (0)1227 768896


International student enquiries

Enquire online

T: +44 (0)1227 823254

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