Criminology at the University of Kent


Ranked 1st in the UK for research quality in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022

Join our world

The Kent Criminology Group comprises criminology (based at Kent's Canterbury campus) and criminal justice (based at Kent's Medway campus). Across both campuses, you have a broad and exciting choice of modules in Sociology, Cultural Studies, Social Policy, Psychology and Social Sciences.

Studying with us, you will enjoy a cultural, critical and global approach to your studies. Our specialist teaching is interdisciplinary and grounds you in some of the most compelling and cutting edge ideas about crime and society. 

You examine the police, the courts, prisons and society as a whole. You study key issues in criminology and criminal justice within a wider sociological and social policy context, making use of ideas from across the social sciences.

School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research 

Criminology at Kent is taught within the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research (SSPSSR). SSPSSR has an international reputation for teaching and research. It is consistently ranked among the top four disciplinary centres of its kind in the UK for Criminology. SSPSSR is one of three schools within the Division for the study of Law, Society and Social Justice (LSSJ).

Criminology at SSPSSR: Undergraduate programmes

Inspirational teaching

In 2012, we were awarded the first National Award for Excellence in Teaching Criminology by the British Criminology Society in recognition of our innovative approach.

Dr Elke Van Hellemont pictured on a stage, delivering a talk

A 'Think Kent' talk on the 'Seduction of Gangs'

Dr Elke Van Hellemont shares her research on Congolese gangs in Brussels


You can tell by the way they deliver their lectures that all the staff are passionate about their subjects. They never just read information off slides; instead they weave in modern-day examples that help you understand things better...

Teaching and research excellence

Academics in the Kent Criminology Group are leading experts in the study of sociological criminology. Our scholars and researchers are internationally renowned for their world-class teaching and publications. Our research shapes national and international debates across a wide range of areas.

Our research expertise includes: 

  • cyber crime and digital technology
  • drugs and drug policy
  • policing and criminal justice
  • gender and crime
  • terrorism and modern society's responses to it
  • the representation of crime in the media 

Supportive student environment

Our teaching environment is characterised by high levels of student support. Throughout your degree, our academics challenge you to develop your own opinions and ideas, and encourage you to become an independent thinker. 

The atmosphere of the School is informal and friendly, with a lively and diverse undergraduate and postgraduate community. We have international links with colleagues and institutions - our current Visiting Professor of Criminology, Jeff Ferrell is based at the Texas Christian University, USA where he is Professor of Sociology. He is a leading proponent of cultural criminology and has conducted research on urban culture, graffiti and media.

Your future

We're committed to helping you succeed in tomorrow's world. Visit our 'Your future' page to be inspired by the success stories of our SSPSSR alumni. You can also discover the careers support available to you as an SSPSSR student, and explore an exciting range of options for enhancing your employability.


The good thing about this course is that you can go into all kinds of areas. The police gave me training for my volunteer post so I’m hoping to get a job with them. If not, criminal psychology has always sounded interesting to me...

Reach your potential

With a degree in Criminology, you'll be a critical thinker. You'll be equipped with transferable knowledge and skills, enabling you to work in a variety of professions. The breadth of careers related to crime control has increased in recent years, with traditional justice agencies joined by companies in the voluntary and private sectors.

Our graduates have gone on to work in:

  • the police force
  • criminal justice services
  • social services
  • the Civil Service
  • the crown court.

Some graduates choose to go into more general areas such as banking and financial services, or on to further study.

Postgraduate studies in criminology

We are proud of our long and distinguished history at Kent - our MA in Criminology was founded by world-famous criminologist, the late Professor Jock Young. Our postgraduate programmes offer you specialist knowledge in your chosen area and an advanced level of skills.  

Your degree, your way

  • A key feature of our MA in Criminology is its involvement in a Common Study Programme. The Common Study Programme is a biannual student-centred conference at which students are invited to present papers, meet students and staff from other countries and exchange ideas
  • On most programmes, you study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also have the option to take modules from other programmes so that you may customise your programme and explore other subject areas that interest you.
  • Broaden and deepen your interests by attending a range of intellectually stimulating staff/graduate seminars offered across the School 
  • Some programmes can be taken at Diploma or Certificate level before proceeding to Master’s level.