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Criminology and Education Studies (joint honours)

BA (Hons) or BSc (Hons)

Key facts

UCAS code


Start dates

September 2021 / September 2022

Course length

Full time: 3 years

Part time: up to 6 years


Do you want to make a real difference to young people’s lives? And to the society we live in? Studying Criminology and Education Studies at Oxford Brookes prepares you for a career where you’ll change children’s lives.

You’ll explore some of the most topical issues facing children and youth today. And you’ll learn how young people learn and develop - physically, cognitively and emotionally. 

You’ll also specialise in Criminology - becoming an expert on the issues and systems that can affect troubled young people. You’ll examine policing, drugs, criminal justice and digital crime. And you’ll explore how gender, race and class can create unique forms of discrimination.

You’ll graduate prepared for a career working with youth - whether that’s working with young offenders, in education services or within the juvenile justice system.

student study group

How to apply

Wherever possible we make our conditional offers using the UCAS Tariff. The combination of A-level grades listed here would be just one way of achieving the UCAS Tariff points for this course.

For more information about how we are supporting applicants impacted by Covid-19, please see our information for applicants page.

Standard offer

UCAS Tariff Points: 104

A Level: BCC

IB Points: 29


Contextual offer

UCAS Tariff Points: 88

A Level: CCD

IB Points: 27


Entry requirements

Specific entry requirements

Please also see the University's general entry requirements.

English language requirements

Please see the University's standard English language requirements.

International qualifications and equivalences


English requirements for visas

If you need a student visa to enter the UK you will need to meet the UK Visas and Immigration minimum language requirements as well as the University's requirements. Find out more about English language requirements.

Pathways courses for international and EU students

If you do not meet the entry requirements for this degree, or if you would like more preparation before you start, you can take an international foundation course. Once you enrol, you will have a guaranteed pathway to this degree if you pass your foundation course with the required grades.

If you only need to meet the language requirements, you can take our pre-sessional English course. You will develop key language and study skills for academic success and you will not need to take an external language test to progress to your degree.

Terms and Conditions of Enrolment

When you accept our offer, you agree to the Terms and Conditions of Enrolment. You should therefore read those conditions before accepting the offer.

Credit transfer

Many of our courses consider applications for entry part-way through the course for students who have credit from previous learning or relevant professional experience.

Find out more about transferring to Brookes. If you'd like to talk through your options, please contact our Admissions team.

Application process

Full time Home (UK) applicants

Apply through UCAS

Part time Home (UK) applicants

Apply direct to the University

International applicants

Apply direct to the University

Full time applicants can also apply through UCAS

Tuition fees

Please see the fees note
Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

International / EU full time

Home (UK) full time
£9,250 (subject to OfS confirmation)

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module (subject to OfS confirmation)

International / EU full time

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees

2021 / 22
Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

International / EU full time

2022 / 23
Home (UK) full time
£9,250 (subject to OfS confirmation)

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module (subject to OfS confirmation)

International / EU full time

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

+44 (0)1865 483088

Please note tuition fees for Home students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students in line with an inflationary amount determined by government. Tuition fees for International students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students.

Oxford Brookes University intends to maintain its fees for new and returning Home students at the maximum permitted level.

Financial support and scholarships

For general sources of financial support, see our Fees and funding pages.

Additional costs

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course, if any, are detailed below.

The published course and module descriptions were accurate when first published and remain the basis of the course, but the University has had to modify some course and module content in response to government restrictions and social distancing requirements. In the event of changes made to the government advice and social distancing rules by national or local government, the University may need to make further alterations to the published course content. Detailed information on the changes will be sent to every student on confirmation in August to ensure you have all the information before you come to Oxford Brookes.

Learning and assessment

In your first year, you’ll build a foundation in Education Studies and Criminology. You’ll learn how children’s brains develop. And you’ll explore key debates in education - like learning at home. You’ll also examine issues in Criminology - like why people commit crime and how the criminal justice system works.

In your second year you’ll broaden your study. You might explore how children learn through play. Or examine inclusive learning. Or even how gender stereotypes can impact teachers and learners. You’ll deepen your understanding of Criminology, studying crime through the lens of gender, race and class. And you’ll have the chance to do a placement or work-based learning activity.

In your final year, you’ll have the freedom to delve into your interests. You might explore prison systems. Or examine how technology can enhance learning. You might study drugs, and the relationship between drug use and morality. You’ll also be able to write a dissertation on a subject that fascinates you.

Students in forum

Study modules

Year 1

Compulsory modules

Crime and Criminology in Context

What is crime? Who commits crimes, and why? And why are some acts criminal, when others aren’t? In this module, you’ll dig into the key concepts and theories of crime. You’ll challenge your own common-sense understanding of crime, through the theories of celebrated criminologists. And you’ll consider:

  • who invents crime and why
  • the role of crime in society
  • how might we study crime today digitally (online) and visually (through images)

Crime in Theory and Practice

In this module, you’ll explore some key concerns around crime. You’ll examine the current problems and policies in:

  • criminal justice
  • law enforcement
  • punishment. 

You’ll gain core critical skills, as you dive into debates on the control and management of crime. You’ll examine the relationship between the theory of crime and criminal behaviour. And you’ll explore the practical workings of the criminal justice system.


Introduction to the Study of Education

You’ll gain the tools you need to succeed in your Education Studies degree. You’ll gain core analytical knowledge, as you reflect on your own position as a student in higher education. You will explore different learning approaches, strategies and styles, and develop the core academic skills you need to study education.

Introduction to Child and Adolescent Development

How do developmental issues impact children’s learning? You’ll gain a sound knowledge of development, and the developmental themes behind children’s learning. 

You’ll explore key developmental concepts that affect a child's capacity for learning, and evaluate alternative theoretical models of the learning process. You’ll also consider such topics as: 

  • the developing brain
  • constructivist and social constructivist approaches to making sense of the world
  • family, school, friends and other contexts for learning 
  • active engagement in learning - exploration and play 
  • self expression and creativity.

Key Ideas in Education

You’ll gain fantastic critical skills for your degree and future career, as you plunge into current debates on education. You’ll engage with pressing ideas in schooling, higher education and lifelong learning. You’ll also look at how we provide for learners with additional needs. You’ll look at these ideas in theory, and decide your own position on current educational policies and provisions. You’ll explore fascinating educational debates, including: 

  • whether children should learn at home or at school
  • progressive versus traditional education.

You’ll have the chance to question your own educational experience, as you evaluate different educational practices.


Education in a World of Change: Policy and Provision

You’ll get to grips with core aspects of education policy in an English context. You’ll look at schooling through the big forces of social, economic and technological change. You’ll focus on both formal education, and alternative educational settings. You’ll explore some of the major philosophical ideas that have shaped educational policy in England. You’ll also gain fantastic critical skills for your degree, as you make connections between central themes from the late 19th and early 20th centuries to today. You’ll also develop the knowledge to critique education policies.

Optional modules

Media and Crime

How does the media police our morals as a society, and define our ideas of acceptable behaviour? In this module, you’ll gain the critical skills to analyse popular representations of crime in the media. You’ll examine news reports and other forms of mass-media. And you’ll develop a knowledge of crime as a cultural construct.

Year 2

Compulsory modules

The Social World of Childhood and Youth

Do you remember how you felt as a child? We’ll explore the world of children, and how our ideas about childhood have changed through time. You’ll consider the impact of different models of socialisation on children. And you’ll explore the factors - cultural, structural and experimental - which develop a child’s identity.  We’ll make good use of life and historical material.

Alternative Educational Provisions

How can alternative education support students to achieve their best, whatever their situation? You’ll gain a strong knowledge of alternative educational provisions. These are provisions made by local authorities for pupils who, because of factors such as exclusion or illness, would not otherwise receive a suitable education. You’ll gain core critical skills as you explore a wide range of alternative educational provisions, and how they work in real life to impact student learning, well-being and achievement.

Core Texts in Education

You’ll engage in pressing debates about education today, using classic writers from Plato to Paulo Freire. You’ll gain core analytical skills as you carry out an intense study of three contrasting texts from three different historical periods that have shaped education.

You’ll ask leading questions as you engage with the texts, and explore the status of knowledge, how education helps humans to flourish and the vocation of the educator. You’ll compare the texts with contemporary debates in educational policy and practice, and consider what we can learn from thinkers of the past.


Emotional Development and Attachment

From birth to adulthood, children experience a wide range of emotional phases. You’ll study this process and gain core professional knowledge for working with children in a variety of settings, including schools, specialist provision and care settings. You’ll get to grips with the key phases of emotional development, and examine what disrupts development. You’ll build strong skills in how to manage behaviour, while understanding emotional needs and how we express them. You’ll also explore neuroscientific evidence in identifying emotional and attachment needs.

Researching Crime: Methods, Approaches and Ethics

In this module, you’ll explore the key research methods of Criminology. You’ll gain invaluable critical skills, as you look at:

  • research methods
  • design 
  • processes
  • outcomes.

You’ll also understand the ethics of research, including:

  • the requirements of conducting research with vulnerable populations.
  • how your identity can help or hinder research relationships.

Crime, Capitalism and Markets

In this module, you’ll dive into capitalism, and its key relationship with crime. You’ll use a political economy approach, meaning you’ll look at the economy and its relationship with law and government. You’ll explore free-market capitalism, as well as capitalism on a global scale. And you’ll gain critical skills, as you consider the:

  • individual
  • moral
  • cultural
  • social 
  • elements of the economy, and how these relate to crime.

Crime and Intersectionality

In this module, you’ll get to grips with intersectionality - a way of understanding someone’s identity as made of characteristics such as race, gender and class. Intersectionality offers you a unique way to study crime. You’ll discover how criminal justice institutions, such as the police and criminal courts, respond to and discriminate against different social groups.

Optional modules

Applied Criminology I

In this module, you’ll dive into real world problems of crime and criminal justice. You’ll apply your criminology knowledge to:

  • find solutions to key questions of crime and justice
  • find solutions to problems in current practice
  • explore how these solutions can inform future research. 

You’ll examine case studies from current policy and practice. You’ll apply the insights of:

  • practitioners
  • policy-makers
  • politicians 

currently working in criminal justice. You’ll gain a strong understanding of how criminology works in real life. And you’ll explore why there is a disconnect between the classroom, and criminology in practice.


Applied Criminology II

In this module, you’ll kick-start your career, and gain key work experience in organisations related to crime. You’ll do a placement, or work-based learning activity in:

  • a public sector organisation
  • a non-governmental organisation (NGO)
  • a voluntary organisation

Whether working with the police, prison services, schools or charities, you’ll gain invaluable skills for your future career. You won’t engage directly with clients or service users, but you’ll gain a strong knowledge of how organisations identify and fight crime.


Globalisation and Crime

In this module, you’ll use comparative data (where you compare multiple sets of data) to understand criminal behaviour across nations. You’ll explore criminological issues and global harms, like:

  • human trafficking
  • organised crime
  • cybercrime
  • terrorism
  • eco crime.

You’ll also analyse crime patterns, and responses to criminal activities in different parts of the world. You’ll also look at how ideas and ways of regulating crime occur within different environments, and our now increasingly connected global society.


Year 3

Compulsory modules

Dissertation / Interdisciplinary Dissertation

You’ll carry out independent research on a topic that fascinates you. You’ll produce a dissertation of about 10,000 words, demonstrating an in-depth understanding of substantive and methodological issues in your specific area of study. And you’ll have the support of an expert tutor in your field.

Optional modules

The Carnival and Pleasures of Crime

Why do people enjoy committing crimes? How might crime offer identity and purpose? In this module, you’ll explore the role of:

  • pleasures
  • performance
  • identity 
  • meaning 

in criminal acts. You’ll think about the multiple meanings and actions that crime holds for different people across time. You’ll consider the social benefits of crimes and resistance to the law. And you’ll explore how different interpretations of crime might affect crime control and criminal justice.


Picturing the Criminal: From Mugshot to Fine Art

In this module, you’ll study images of crime, including:

  • the world’s most troubling mugshots
  • early crime-scene photographs
  • bloody and brutal paintings
  • criminal courtroom artworks.

Seeing and picturing is a key way of understanding crime. You’ll get to grips with the fast-growing field of visual criminology. You’ll discover the importance of images at the birth of criminology, and how they perpetuate stereotypes about race and gender. You’ll also consider why, because of this, criminologists have been sceptical about working with images. 

You’ll have the rare chance to go behind the scenes, and visit Western-Europe’s most unique visual arts and social scientific-imaging collections, held in Oxford at:

  • the Pitt Rivers Museum
  • the Ashmolean Museum

The Prison and Imprisonment

Should we punish prisoners, or support them to re-enter society? In this module, you’ll dive into the key issues of prisons. You’ll consider modern prisons, globally and historically. And you’ll examine prisons through:

  • prisoners
  • prison staff
  • wider society. 

You'll trace the evolution of the prison - from the rehabilitative ideal of the post-war period, to the greater focus on punishment today. You’ll look at how political parties use prison policies to win votes, rather than reduce crime.  

You’ll dive into the inner workings of prisons, from governance to administration. You’ll look at the routines of prison life, and how prisoners cope with, and give meaning to them. You’ll consider sentence progression for different types of prisoners. And you’ll explore how well prisons prepare inmates for life after release.


Dealing with Drugs: Control and Intoxication

In this module, you’ll bust some key assumptions around psychoactive drugs. You’ll look at why we use them and how we control them in society. You’ll investigate:

  • criminological
  • sociological
  • historical 

and policy insights, to explore the relationship between drug use, individuals and public morality. You’ll gain key critical skills as you debate drug policies, and how we can lessen the harm of substance abuse. You’ll look at alternative ways to regulate drugs than our current ‘war on drugs’ mentality. And you’ll explore the future of synthetic drugs.


Technology and Learning: Dilemmas, Challenges and Opportunities

What impact does technology have on the learning process? You’ll critically evaluate different approaches to e-learning. You’ll explore the part technology can play in creating powerful learning environments. You’ll look at how technology can enhance students’

  • thinking processes
  • engagement in learning 
  • knowledge building.

You’ll gain key analytical skills as you discuss a range of perspectives on learning, and how to design the most effective digital learning environments.


Inclusion: Diverse Perspectives

Why have some children been excluded from education? How can we work to include various groups in education? You’ll explore the experiences of children who have been marginalised or excluded, and how this impacts the child. You’ll gain core analytical skills as you explore and critique different models and practices for improving inclusion.

Controversial and Contemporary Research in Education

Why is education such a hotly argued topic? You’ll investigate controversial issues in education from previous modules, and explore new and pressing ideas. You’ll gain core teamwork and research skills for your future career, as you pursue these issues through group discussion and individual research. You’ll build key critical skills for your degree, as you evaluate evidence from sources ranging from popular media to policy texts, as well as academic texts on education. 

You’ll also enjoy seminars with guest speakers, where you’ll engage with the latest educational debates and expertise.


Please note: As our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the modules you can choose from may vary from that shown here. The structure of the course may also mean some modules are not available to you.

Learning and teaching

You’ll learn through a variety of formats, helping you build broad and confident knowledge of Education Studies and Criminology. Your learning will include:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • tutorials
  • enquiry-led learning
  • workshops
  • online activities


Assessment methods used on this course

You’ll be assessed via a number of different methods, giving you lots of opportunities to showcase your talents. Assessment methods can include:

  • essays
  • case studies
  • critical reviews
  • portfolios
  • exams
  • observational studies
  • individual or group presentations

After you graduate

Career prospects

You’ll finish this course ready to launch a career supporting young people. You’ll have a strong understanding of issues and systems affecting troubled youth. And you’ll be equipped with knowledge and skills to work in children’s services, youth outreach, alternative education or even juvenile justice.

Further study

You’ll emerge with the subject knowledge and research skills to pursue postgraduate study - in areas like Law, Business or Humanities. Your degree could also lead to professional courses in areas like social work or psychology.

Our Staff

Dr Liviu Alexandrescu

Liviu is leading on, and contributing to, taught modules on the political economy of crime, transnational comparative criminology, crime and the media, cultural criminology, drug cultures and policy, criminological research methods and other subject areas.

Read more about Liviu

Free language courses

Free language courses are available to full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students on many of our courses, and can be taken as a credit on some courses.

Information from Discover Uni

Full-time study

Part-time study

Programme Changes: On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published on the website.

For more information, please visit our Changes to programmes page.