Criminology

Criminal Justice and Criminology - BA (Hons)

UCAS code M900:K

2019

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.

2019

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.

Independent rankings

Criminology at Kent was ranked 1st for research quality and 9th overall in The Times Good University Guide 2018 and 6th for course satisfaction in The Guardian University Guide 2018.

For graduate prospects, Criminology at Kent was ranked 1st in The Guardian University Guide 2018 and 3rd in The Times Good University Guide 2018.

In the National Student Survey 2017, over 93% of final-year Law students were satisfied with the overall quality of their course. Law at Kent was ranked 15th for overall satisfaction.

Teaching Excellence Framework

Based on the evidence available, the TEF Panel judged that the University of Kent delivers consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for its students. It is of the highest quality found in the UK.

Please see the University of Kent's Statement of Findings for more information.

TEF Gold logo

Course structure

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 ‘wild’ modules from other programmes so you can customise your programme and explore other subjects that interest you.

Stage 1

Modules may include Credits

Legal Process will introduce the institutions and procedures of the English legal system, and the principles and doctrines on which it is based. Through consideration of the constitutional framework underpinning the legal system, there will be critical discussion concerning the development and operation of the English legal system in its social, economic and political context. A careful consideration of the sources of law will provide the basis for a sound understanding of the common law, legislation, European law, civil procedure and criminal procedure. The nature, extent and effectiveness of access to legal remedies in this country will be considered and students will be given the opportunity to develop certain general and legal skills, particularly legal research skills.

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15

The purpose of Reading Law is to prepare non law students for the study of criminal law which may follow this module. The main sources of law will be carefully examined to enable students to find, read, understand and cite statutes, statutory instruments and law reports. In addition, secondary resources including books and journals will be located and utilised. The fundamental concepts of judicial precedent and statutory interpretation will be considered, along with sources of law emanating from the European Convention on Human Rights and the European Union.

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15

This module introduces students to the politics of social policy, building specifically on their learning in SO326 Understanding Contemporary Britain. Students will explore the role of politicians, pressure groups, the media and public opinion in shaping responses to social problems, and the party-political and ideological approaches to policy-making.

Students will explore the tensions between welfare and the economy and the main tensions between individualism and collectivism in the political environment of the contemporary welfare state. Students will be introduced to the role of politics in social policy making to understand the different value positions political parties hold. Students will examine these issues through five policy sectors of employment, social security, health, housing, and education.

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15

This module introduces debates about the nature of social research methods principally in sociology, criminology, social history and psychology, with reference to social policy, politics and other social sciences. It will introduce students to social research from an interdisciplinary perspective. Students will develop key study and research skills for research methods module in Stage 2 and the dissertation in Stage 3.

Topics to be covered include: the history and politics of the social sciences; interdisciplinarity; what is reality/knowledge?; emotions and reason; positive, normative, moral and political thinking; critical thinking and reading; research skills; essay writing and presentation skills; use of documentary/archival and visual sources.

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15

This introductory course in criminology and criminal justice will introduce students to the ways in which images and notions of crime are constructed and represented, including the links between crime and the key social divisions of age, gender and ethnicity. They will be introduced to the workings of the criminal justice system and its key agencies. Students would also receive lectures covering:

- The measurement of crime

- Media representations of crime

- The aims and justifications of punishment

- The structure and operation of the criminal justice system

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15

This module introduces students to the history of Britain in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, through an exploration of changes and continuities across three themes: the political world; the economy; and social life. The political world theme engages with the creation of a mass democracy in 1918, the varying fortunes of the political parties, and Britain's changing place in the world. The economy theme explores the impact of depressions and recoveries, industrial relations, affluence and globalization. The social life theme draws out the human scale of such experiences, looking at changing social conditions, the experience of war, and shifting social attitudes to gender, race, sexuality and religion. Students will consider the range of primary sources that historians use to analyse past events and processes, building skills in documentary analysis.

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15

This module follows on from Foundations in Social and Criminological Research 1 in developing students' skills in research and critical thinking. The emphasis in this module is on quantitative methods: evaluating the use of quantitative research in 'real life’ contexts, and developing skills in analysing quantitative data. Students will explore descriptive statistics, the evaluation of research designs and learn how to use SPSS to handle quantitative data.

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15

The module will discuss classical and contemporary sociological perspectives (including Marxism, Weberianism, feminism and Bourdieusian), examining how they address key sociological debates, such as modernity, social order, conflict, agency and power. The module will also discuss key sociological concepts (such as class, gender and 'race'), explaining how they are used to understand social practices and structures in everyday life.

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15

Stage 2

Modules may include Credits

This module is designed to develop awareness and critical understanding of methodological issues and practices within sociology. It will give students both a theoretical and practical understanding of sociological approaches and techniques, with a particular emphasis on qualitative approaches. Students will be equipped to tackle research design, undertake research using specific techniques, and analyse and present their findings. They will be able to make judgements about appropriate matches between research questions, design and techniques, and claims about the knowledge produced in their own and other research. The course includes practical work for students to learn first-hand about the research process. The module builds on Stage 1 Foundations of Social and Criminological Research and further develops students' methodological and analytical skills as a preparation for their Dissertations in the final year of the degree programme.

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15

This module offers an overview of the contemporary rationale, powers, procedures and practices of the criminal justice system. It starts by providing students with a theoretical foundation by which they can better understand the functions of the criminal justice system, before moving on to address to the social dimensions which affect its operation.

We then focus on some specific forms of crime and deviance that have perplexed both the public and policy makers. What is a 'hate crime'? How should the Government address the problem of domestic violence? What specific problems does the emergence of the night-time economy pose to the operation of the criminal justice system?

The position of the victim in the criminal justice system is then analysed, looking at the rise of the 'victim movement' and broadening our understanding of what we mean by the term ‘victim’. We also tackle the role that restorative justice plays in challenging our conventional understanding that ‘criminal justice’ should operate as an adversarial system, in which the victim and offender take opposing sides.

Finally, the module addresses social responses to crime and deviance, and looks at some of the technologies of social control. Crime is increasingly becoming a political issue and the general public’s ‘fear of crime’ is arguably on the rise. We look at how the Government attempts to tackle the ‘problem’ of crime and disorder, and the implications that this has for social control.

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30

The module is intended to increase awareness of continuity and change in patterns and perceptions of crime and the responses to it by the legal system and other agencies over the period 1750-1900.

Students will study historical perspectives on the history of crime and punishment – Whig, Marxist, revisionist etc.

They will have a chance to undertake critical evaluation of the sources of crime history and learn about change and continuity in the criminal justice system over the period covered.

Policy case studies include juvenile delinquency, transportation, capital punishment, the development of the prison, violent crime, and the treatment of victims.

Read more
15

This module aims to provide a broad introduction to social ethics. It will give students moral frameworks with which to address contemporary issues affecting social and professional practices and relationships. The module explores how everyday encounters and practices have ethical dimensions, which are often neglected in sociological accounts. A range of topics will be examined, including euthanasia, abortion, capital punishment, prostitution, cannibalism, lying, charity and fair wage. It will draw upon several ethical perspectives, such as utilitarianism, deontology, virtue ethics, feminist ethics and theories of justice, to understand these topics.

Read more
30

This module provides an introduction to the study of women's relationships with the criminal justice system. The subject is analysed in both its historical and contemporary contexts and there will be a strong emphasis on theoretical understanding of gender, on feminist theory and on inter-disciplinary approaches. Amongst the topics under consideration are: feminist criminology; media representations of women; crime and justice; women offenders and the criminalisation of women; female victims of crime; women in penal institutions; women as prosecutors; and women in criminal justice employment.

Read more
15

The correctional services are fundamental to the exercise of criminal justice and to the punitive bite of the criminal justice system. This module offers students the opportunity to examine critically the complex contemporary role, use, and work of prisons and probation in England and Wales and their sometimes ability to enable the rehabilitation of serious offenders. Besides its focus on the Prison and Probation Services, the module considers prisoners' experiences of being 'behind bars’, models of offender rehabilitation and methods of working with serious (violent and sexually violent) offenders to help them to change, risk assessment and parole, the resettlement of former prisoners in the community, and why and how people stop committing crime. Seminar discussions include debate about the merits and demerits of prison privatization and the use of ‘real life’ examples of exercises undertaken with offenders to challenge their thinking and case studies of released prisoners who re-offended.

Please note: This module requires, at times, explicit discussion of sexual offending and the treatment needs of sexual offenders. Students who think they will find these topics uncomfortable or upsetting are advised not to take this module.

Read more
15

This module examines the changes and continuities in the provision of social welfare in Britain from the early nineteenth century to the present day, with an emphasis on the period after 1945. It considers the context of policy and policy reform, as well as the processes. The module will proceed chronologically, using specific major developments as a framework, e.g. the New Poor Law, the Liberal Reforms, the Second World War and reconstruction, the rise of free market ideologies from the 1970s. Within these milestones, students will engage with changes in claims to citizenship and the economy over this period, and how these have impacted on the direction of policy. Students will also look at the mechanics of the policy process, examining such topics as the decline of the Royal Commission, the rise of single-issue campaigning groups etc. Through the historical case studies to be examined, students will also engage with micro, meso and macro policy analysis and its application.

Read more
15

This module addresses many of the issues that have shaped the modern practice of policing in recent times. It traces the way in which landmark events have served to mould and shape the daily practice of policing, and the implications that these have for police discretion. The module encourages students to think critically about these issues and to analyse the repercussions that their legacies have had for the routine, everyday social world of police officers and the communities that they serve. Topics include: police-race relations; stop-and-search practice; police cultures; corruption allegations; policing of riots and public disorder; policing of gendered and sexual violence; the rise of police privatisation and vigilantism and the development of performance based cultures.

Read more
15

Exceptionally high levels of incarceration and prevailing fear of crime and anti-social disorder have prompted a review of traditional systems of dealing with offenders. After years of prison expansion concerted efforts are being put in place in many Western countries to reduce the number of people in custody. There is a range of alternative forms of managing offenders including restorative justice, community punishments and drug courts. The main aim of this module is to provide students with a critical understanding of these alternative models in a wider historical and cross cultural context. It will explore key values, issues and debates set in the context of theoretical arguments and criminal justice policy and practice.

Read more
15

This course examines the relationship between drugs and crime, the criminalisation of people who use drugs, drug trafficking and dealing, and the emergence of the prison as a locale for the delivery of drug treatment. It examines the evidence for the link between drug use and crime, looks at definitions of drug and addiction, and tracks changes in policy. It examines the changing role of prison and the identification of drugs as a key factor in offending and the development of interventions as a key re-settlement strategy. It also examines attempts to reduce offending through the provision of treatment to people who have problems with drugs.

Read more
15

Youth crime is a field that frequently attracts much public, political and media attention, and the aim of this module is to encourage students to critically assess the true prevalence and severity of crime committed by young people. The module starts by locating the fascination with youth and crime in its historical context, demonstrating that youth crime is neither a new nor novel phenomenon. The course then moves on to examine the developing and competing theories which seek to explain why young people commit crime.

The module traces the way in which young people and their subcultures are frequently made the focus of 'moral panics' by the media, with juveniles themselves becoming the archetypal 'folk devils'. We look at the position that ‘persistent young offenders’ hold in the public consciousness, and how the politics of youth justice has thrived on the fear of youth crime. The course concludes by providing an overview of how the state seeks to prevent children from committing crime and a critique of the societal responses to young people who violate the law.

Read more
15

This module, Young People and Violence, approaches the study of interpersonal violent crime as it relates to young people. It will explore violence experienced in everyday life paying particular interest to the social context in which it can occur; for example urban spaces, schools, familial setting and 'gang, gun and knife culture'. The concern with youth, crime and violence is critically appraised in the context of shifting political focus on disaffected young people. It will seek to understand violence within the context of youth in late modernity. One of the primary objectives of this module will be to engage students in analytical debates on crime and violence as experienced by young people as perpetrators and victims. It will examine and apply criminological theory to youth violence exploring the connection between crime and violence through the intersection of race, gender, ethnicity and class. In particular, the module will investigate the link between structure and agency. In this module, students will have the opportunity to review the impact of changing political and criminal justice responses to the youth crime problem. The module will have a national as well as international focus.

Read more
15

The module will use the lenses of emotions and affect to explore a range of contemporary sociological issues and sites. Drawing both on feminist approaches and the recent turn to affect and emotion in the social sciences, the course will consider issues of identities, politics and place, in ways that question some of the binaries of social science thinking around public/private, local/global, intimate/political. Students will gain both a broad-based understanding of the theoretical and methodological frameworks for considering emotions sociologically, as well as a more detailed series of topics which use these frameworks in empirical contexts.

The first half of the module will provide the theoretical, conceptual and methodological underpinnings for the sociological study of emotions, around themes of neoliberalism, identities and politics, and methods for studying emotions. The second half of the module will be topic based around themes such as the body, home, work, care, media, violence, friendship and migration.

Read more
15

For much of its history criminology has been concerned with the offender and the victim was largely absent from criminological discourse, research and the criminal justice process. It was not until the early 20th century that criminologists [re] discovered the victim and began to consider the role they played in the commission of crime. From these initial investigations, the victim became the central focus of academic scholarship from which the discipline 'victimology' emerged. The victim is no longer considered to be ‘a bit part player’ in understanding crime. They are deemed to be central to crime detection and the prosecution of criminal acts. This module charts the birth and growth of victimology and considers some of its major theoretical concepts. It will explore the nature and extent of criminal victimisation in society and critically examine it from a number of different perspectives. The module will also examine the changing role of the victim within the criminal justice system.

Read more
15

This module encourages students to take an international view of social policy, beyond the national state, and to develop understanding of the global links and comparisons that can be used to consider welfare in this way. It is recommended that students take this in their third year having studied one or both of the second year social policy modules (SO545 or SO749).

Introductory lectures and seminars will introduce the challenges and risks facing contemporary welfare regimes, including neoliberalism, globalisation and financial uncertainty, and the notion of mixed economies of welfare. Another block of learning will provide accounts of comparative approaches to welfare and explore histories and contemporary dynamics of welfare in the US and in mainland Europe. Finally a series of welfare topics on migration, care, work and citizenship will be introduced in order to explore issues and policy responses within a global framework.

Read more
15

This course aims to introduce many of the core principles of criminal law and to aid students to think critically about the subject, contextualising it and recognising its place in, and impact on, society.

Students will already be familiar with the legal system within which the criminal law operates from their studies in Legal Process, and the sources of criminal law, including statutes and case law, from their studies in Reading Law. This module builds on this existing knowledge by focusing on the following substantive topics: homicide (murder and manslaughter), non-fatal offences (including various degrees of assault), sexual offences, public order offences, theft offences (including robbery, burglary and fraud), general defences (such as insanity, intoxication and self-defence) and inchoate offences (including attempts to commit offences and joint enterprise). This module will encourage students to engage in the wider debate in respect of the place of criminal law in the social context, the definitions of 'harm' and the boundaries of criminal law.

The module will introduce students to the application of law to case facts and the use of statute and case precedent to justify assessment of criminal liability. It aims to engage students in practical application of their knowledge, through consideration of criminal law problem questions, and encourage critical debate of the issues raised. Moreover, it aims to provide the opportunity to students to develop research and presentation skills through case notes and class presentations.

Read more
30
You have the opportunity to select wild modules in this stage

Year in industry

The placement year is taken between Stage 2 and 3 and is an opportunity to apply your criminological learning in practice.  You will learn about the pragmatic contexts in which state, private or voluntary sector providers of justice operate and also develop your knowledge about employment opportunities in these areas.  Not only will a placement year help you to gain work experience and contacts, it will also encourage you to look at your studies in a new light. 

The option of a placement year is open to students on the Criminal Justice and Criminology degree programme who have attained a good academic record at Stages 1 and 2, and have successfully completed an interview process.

Read one student's experience of the placement year.

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.

You can apply to add a year abroad to your degree programme from your arrival at Kent until the autumn term of your second year.  The year abroad takes place between Stages 2 and 3 at one of our partner universities.  Places and destination are subject to availability, language and degree programme.  For a full list, please see Go Abroad.

You are expected to adhere to any academic progression requirements in Stages 1 and 2 to proceed to the year abroad.  The year abroad is assessed on a pass/fail basis and will not count towards your final degree classification.

Stage 3

Modules may include Credits

This course aims to introduce many of the core principles of criminal law and to aid students to think critically about the subject, contextualising it and recognising its place in, and impact on, society.

Students will already be familiar with the legal system within which the criminal law operates from their studies in Legal Process, and the sources of criminal law, including statutes and case law, from their studies in Reading Law. This module builds on this existing knowledge by focusing on the following substantive topics: homicide (murder and manslaughter), non-fatal offences (including various degrees of assault), sexual offences, public order offences, theft offences (including robbery, burglary and fraud), general defences (such as insanity, intoxication and self-defence) and inchoate offences (including attempts to commit offences and joint enterprise). This module will encourage students to engage in the wider debate in respect of the place of criminal law in the social context, the definitions of 'harm' and the boundaries of criminal law.

The module will introduce students to the application of law to case facts and the use of statute and case precedent to justify assessment of criminal liability. It aims to engage students in practical application of their knowledge, through consideration of criminal law problem questions, and encourage critical debate of the issues raised. Moreover, it aims to provide the opportunity to students to develop research and presentation skills through case notes and class presentations.

Read more
30

A key benefit of the Summer School is the opportunity for intense learning in situ. We will make the most of this by conducting teaching in the city as well as in the classroom. The Summer School will be highly interactive and combine lecture time and in class discussion, formal visits and walks, and informal exploration.

Provisional timetable (subject to change)

SUNDAY Welcome dinner

MONDAY

Seeing and sensing: the practice of ethnography

Visit to tourist space: the tourist gaze vs ethnographic observation

TUESDAY

Religious and cultural difference

Colonial representations and contestations: museum visit

WEDNESDAY

Grasping the rhythms of the city

Everyday rhythms on the street: practical exercise

Talk from French ethnographer and reception

THURSDAY

Student project work

Multisensory ethnography in contested spaces

Ethnography on the move: guided walk

FRIDAY

Student presentations

Discussion of projects for assessment

Conclusions and feedback

Farewell dinner

Read more
15

This module encourages students to take an international view of social policy, beyond the national state, and to develop understanding of the global links and comparisons that can be used to consider welfare in this way. It is recommended that students take this in their third year having studied one or both of the second year social policy modules (SO545 or SO749).

Introductory lectures and seminars will introduce the challenges and risks facing contemporary welfare regimes, including neoliberalism, globalisation and financial uncertainty, and the notion of mixed economies of welfare. Another block of learning will provide accounts of comparative approaches to welfare and explore histories and contemporary dynamics of welfare in the US and in mainland Europe. Finally a series of welfare topics on migration, care, work and citizenship will be introduced in order to explore issues and policy responses within a global framework.

Read more
15

For much of its history criminology has been concerned with the offender and the victim was largely absent from criminological discourse, research and the criminal justice process. It was not until the early 20th century that criminologists [re] discovered the victim and began to consider the role they played in the commission of crime. From these initial investigations, the victim became the central focus of academic scholarship from which the discipline 'victimology' emerged. The victim is no longer considered to be ‘a bit part player’ in understanding crime. They are deemed to be central to crime detection and the prosecution of criminal acts. This module charts the birth and growth of victimology and considers some of its major theoretical concepts. It will explore the nature and extent of criminal victimisation in society and critically examine it from a number of different perspectives. The module will also examine the changing role of the victim within the criminal justice system.

Read more
15

The module will use the lenses of emotions and affect to explore a range of contemporary sociological issues and sites. Drawing both on feminist approaches and the recent turn to affect and emotion in the social sciences, the course will consider issues of identities, politics and place, in ways that question some of the binaries of social science thinking around public/private, local/global, intimate/political. Students will gain both a broad-based understanding of the theoretical and methodological frameworks for considering emotions sociologically, as well as a more detailed series of topics which use these frameworks in empirical contexts.

The first half of the module will provide the theoretical, conceptual and methodological underpinnings for the sociological study of emotions, around themes of neoliberalism, identities and politics, and methods for studying emotions. The second half of the module will be topic based around themes such as the body, home, work, care, media, violence, friendship and migration.

Read more
15

This module, Young People and Violence, approaches the study of interpersonal violent crime as it relates to young people. It will explore violence experienced in everyday life paying particular interest to the social context in which it can occur; for example urban spaces, schools, familial setting and 'gang, gun and knife culture'. The concern with youth, crime and violence is critically appraised in the context of shifting political focus on disaffected young people. It will seek to understand violence within the context of youth in late modernity. One of the primary objectives of this module will be to engage students in analytical debates on crime and violence as experienced by young people as perpetrators and victims. It will examine and apply criminological theory to youth violence exploring the connection between crime and violence through the intersection of race, gender, ethnicity and class. In particular, the module will investigate the link between structure and agency. In this module, students will have the opportunity to review the impact of changing political and criminal justice responses to the youth crime problem. The module will have a national as well as international focus.

Read more
15

Youth crime is a field that frequently attracts much public, political and media attention, and the aim of this module is to encourage students to critically assess the true prevalence and severity of crime committed by young people. The module starts by locating the fascination with youth and crime in its historical context, demonstrating that youth crime is neither a new nor novel phenomenon. The course then moves on to examine the developing and competing theories which seek to explain why young people commit crime.

The module traces the way in which young people and their subcultures are frequently made the focus of 'moral panics' by the media, with juveniles themselves becoming the archetypal 'folk devils'. We look at the position that ‘persistent young offenders’ hold in the public consciousness, and how the politics of youth justice has thrived on the fear of youth crime. The course concludes by providing an overview of how the state seeks to prevent children from committing crime and a critique of the societal responses to young people who violate the law.

Read more
15

This course examines the relationship between drugs and crime, the criminalisation of people who use drugs, drug trafficking and dealing, and the emergence of the prison as a locale for the delivery of drug treatment. It examines the evidence for the link between drug use and crime, looks at definitions of drug and addiction, and tracks changes in policy. It examines the changing role of prison and the identification of drugs as a key factor in offending and the development of interventions as a key re-settlement strategy. It also examines attempts to reduce offending through the provision of treatment to people who have problems with drugs.

Read more
15

Exceptionally high levels of incarceration and prevailing fear of crime and anti-social disorder have prompted a review of traditional systems of dealing with offenders. After years of prison expansion concerted efforts are being put in place in many Western countries to reduce the number of people in custody. There is a range of alternative forms of managing offenders including restorative justice, community punishments and drug courts. The main aim of this module is to provide students with a critical understanding of these alternative models in a wider historical and cross cultural context. It will explore key values, issues and debates set in the context of theoretical arguments and criminal justice policy and practice.

Read more
15

This module traces the way in which criminal justice and criminal justice policy have become increasingly politicised in recent years. It utilises key examples, such as terrorism, dangerous offenders, and capital punishment to highlight the interaction between popular opinion, research, policy formation and the criminalisation of particular groups within society. The module will analyse how and why crime has become such an important issue on the political agenda, as well as examining the important role that pressure groups (such as NACRO and the Howard League for Penal Reform) have played in mediating political rhetoric and policy.

Topics covered within the module include the criminalization of social policy; terrorism; 'dangerous' offenders; penal populism; and the politics of risk.

Read more
30

This module addresses many of the issues that have shaped the modern practice of policing in recent times. It traces the way in which landmark events have served to mould and shape the daily practice of policing, and the implications that these have for police discretion. The module encourages students to think critically about these issues and to analyse the repercussions that their legacies have had for the routine, everyday social world of police officers and the communities that they serve. Topics include: police-race relations; stop-and-search practice; police cultures; corruption allegations; policing of riots and public disorder; policing of gendered and sexual violence; the rise of police privatisation and vigilantism and the development of performance based cultures.

Read more
15

This module examines the changes and continuities in the provision of social welfare in Britain from the early nineteenth century to the present day, with an emphasis on the period after 1945. It considers the context of policy and policy reform, as well as the processes. The module will proceed chronologically, using specific major developments as a framework, e.g. the New Poor Law, the Liberal Reforms, the Second World War and reconstruction, the rise of free market ideologies from the 1970s. Within these milestones, students will engage with changes in claims to citizenship and the economy over this period, and how these have impacted on the direction of policy. Students will also look at the mechanics of the policy process, examining such topics as the decline of the Royal Commission, the rise of single-issue campaigning groups etc. Through the historical case studies to be examined, students will also engage with micro, meso and macro policy analysis and its application.

Read more
15

The aim of the Dissertation is to enable students to undertake independent research. In the course of their projects, students will deepen their critical understanding of research design and the application of specific techniques, and will further develop theoretical and practical understandings of the approaches of the relevant discipline.

Read more
30

The correctional services are fundamental to the exercise of criminal justice and to the punitive bite of the criminal justice system. This module offers students the opportunity to examine critically the complex contemporary role, use, and work of prisons and probation in England and Wales and their sometimes ability to enable the rehabilitation of serious offenders. Besides its focus on the Prison and Probation Services, the module considers prisoners' experiences of being 'behind bars’, models of offender rehabilitation and methods of working with serious (violent and sexually violent) offenders to help them to change, risk assessment and parole, the resettlement of former prisoners in the community, and why and how people stop committing crime. Seminar discussions include debate about the merits and demerits of prison privatization and the use of ‘real life’ examples of exercises undertaken with offenders to challenge their thinking and case studies of released prisoners who re-offended.

Please note: This module requires, at times, explicit discussion of sexual offending and the treatment needs of sexual offenders. Students who think they will find these topics uncomfortable or upsetting are advised not to take this module.

Read more
15

This module provides an introduction to the study of women's relationships with the criminal justice system. The subject is analysed in both its historical and contemporary contexts and there will be a strong emphasis on theoretical understanding of gender, on feminist theory and on inter-disciplinary approaches. Amongst the topics under consideration are: feminist criminology; media representations of women; crime and justice; women offenders and the criminalisation of women; female victims of crime; women in penal institutions; women as prosecutors; and women in criminal justice employment.

Read more
15

This module aims to provide a broad introduction to social ethics. It will give students moral frameworks with which to address contemporary issues affecting social and professional practices and relationships. The module explores how everyday encounters and practices have ethical dimensions, which are often neglected in sociological accounts. A range of topics will be examined, including euthanasia, abortion, capital punishment, prostitution, cannibalism, lying, charity and fair wage. It will draw upon several ethical perspectives, such as utilitarianism, deontology, virtue ethics, feminist ethics and theories of justice, to understand these topics.

Read more
30
You have the opportunity to select wild modules in this stage

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.

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.

Independent rankings

For graduate prospects, Criminology at Kent was ranked 1st in The Guardian University Guide 2018 and 3rd in The Times Good University Guide 2018

Of students studying Sociology and related subjects, such as Criminology, who graduated from Kent in 2016, over 92% were in work or further study within six months (DLHE).

Entry requirements

Home/EU students

The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. Typical requirements are listed below. Students offering alternative qualifications should contact us for further advice. 

It is not possible to offer places to all students who meet this typical offer/minimum requirement.

New GCSE grades

If you’ve taken exams under the new GCSE grading system, please see our conversion table to convert your GCSE grades.

Qualification Typical offer/minimum requirement
A level

BBC

GCSE

Grade C or above in Mathematics

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.

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC National Diploma)

Distinction, Merit, Merit

International Baccalaureate

34 points overall or 14 points at HL

International students

The University welcomes applications from international students. Our international recruitment team can guide you on entry requirements. See our International Student website for further information about entry requirements for your country.

If you need to increase your level of qualification ready for undergraduate study, we offer a number of International Foundation Programmes.

Meet our staff in your country

For more advice about applying to Kent, you can meet our staff at a range of international events.

English Language Requirements

Please see our English language entry requirements web page.

Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of 'pre-sessional' courses in English for Academic Purposes. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme. 

General entry requirements

Please also see our general entry requirements.

Fees

The 2019/20 annual tuition fees for this programme are:

UK/EU Overseas
Full-time £9250 £15700
Part-time £4625 £7850

For students continuing on this programme, fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* 

Your fee status

The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from UKCISA before applying.

Fees for Year in Industry

For 2019/20 entrants, the standard year in industry fee for home, EU and international students is £1,385

Fees for Year Abroad

UK, EU and international students on an approved year abroad for the full 2019/20 academic year pay £1,385 for that year. 

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

General additional costs

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

The scholarship is also extended to those who achieve AAB at A level (or specified equivalents) where one of the subjects is either Mathematics or a Modern Foreign Language. Please review the eligibility criteria.

Full-time

Part-time

The Key Information Set (KIS) data is compiled by UNISTATS and draws from a variety of sources which includes the National Student Survey and the Higher Education Statistical Agency. The data for assessment and contact hours is compiled from the most populous modules (to the total of 120 credits for an academic session) for this particular degree programme. 

Depending on module selection, there may be some variation between the KIS data and an individual's experience. For further information on how the KIS data is compiled please see the UNISTATS website.

If you have any queries about a particular programme, please contact information@kent.ac.uk.