Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research

Making sense of the social world

Criminology and criminal justice

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Our criminal justice and criminology programmes allow you to develop important skills in research, critical thinking and communication through considering crime and its control in a dynamic learning environment.


Criminology is the systematic study of crime, criminals and crime control. It seeks to understand what motivates people to commit crime and who decides what behaviour is to be considered criminal in the first place. It measures whether crime is rising or falling and seeks to explain the reasons why. It is interested in how society treats its offenders and asks how we can deal with crime and criminals more effectively. It seeks out new ways to prevent crime, reduce injustice and help society cohere. Criminology engages with the major questions that inform ongoing political, economic and social issues. You study the theories and practices of criminology and a range of complementary disciplines including sociology, law, politics, psychology and social research.

The study of criminal justice looks at the key elements of contemporary crime policy: policing, the courts, punishment and prevention. Modules address contemporary issues in criminal justice including poverty, hate crime, illegal drug use, restorative justice, the care of victims, penal policy, social justice and human rights.



Telephone: +44(0)1227 823072 Fax: +44(0)1227 827005 or email us

SSPSSR, Faculty of Social Sciences, Cornwallis North East, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent CT2 7NF

Last Updated: 09/01/2018