Find a course

Expand

Criminology and Law

BSc (Hons)

Key facts


UCAS code

LM92

Start dates

September 2020 / September 2021

Location

Headington

Course length

Full time: 3 years

Part time: up to 8 years

UCAS Tariff Points

104

Overview


Would you like to deepen your knowledge and understanding of crime and crime control, while exploring key concepts of law?

Our Criminology and Law course is an exciting interdisciplinary degree. It consists of distinct modules from both law and criminology. So you can pursue your interests in criminology while acquiring the skills associated with a traditional law degree. These skills include: 

  • forensic analysis
  • detailed problem-solving
  • the ability to communicate accurately and persuasively.

By studying this degree, you’ll have the opportunity to investigate topics such as:

  • criminal justice, including punishment and sentencing 
  • the theoretical frameworks criminologists use to understand crime
  • digital crime and criminology.

Throughout your studies, you’ll be supported by leading academics who are recognised experts in their field. We offer a wide range of module choices so you‘ll be able to pursue the topics that interest you the most. And, you’ll have access to career events and regular guest lectures. 

moot court

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.

Standard offer

UCAS Tariff Points: 104

A Level: BCC

IB Points: 29

BTEC: DMM

Contextual offer

UCAS Tariff Points: 88

A Level: CCD

IB Points: 27

BTEC: MMM

Further offer details

If you accept a Conditional offer to this course as your Firm choice through UCAS, and the offer does not include a requirement to pass an English language test or improve your English language, we may be able to make the offer Unconditional. Please check your offer carefully where this will be confirmed for each applicant.

Applications are also welcomed for consideration from applicants with European qualifications, international qualifications or recognised foundation courses. For advice on eligibility please contact Admissions: admissions@brookes.ac.uk

Entry requirements

Specific entry requirements

GCSE: English (grade C/4 or above)

Please also see the University's general entry requirements.

English language requirements

Please see the University's standard English language requirements.

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 with credit for prior learning. Each application is individually assessed by our credit entry tutors. 

If you would like more information about whether or not you may be eligible for the award of credit, for example from an HND, partly-completed degree or foundation degree, please contact our Admissions team.

We operate the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). All undergraduate single modules are equivalent to 7.5 ECTS credits and double modules to 15 ECTS credits. More about ECTS credits.

Application process

Full time Home / EU applicants

Apply through UCAS

Part time Home / EU 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/EU full time
£9,250

Home/EU part time
£1,155 per single module

International full time
£13,900

Home (UK) full time
£9,250 (subject to confirmation, September 2020)

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module (subject to confirmation, Sept 20)

International / EU full time
£14,300

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees


2020 / 21
Home/EU full time
£9,250

Home/EU part time
£1,155 per single module

International full time
£13,900

2021 / 22
Home (UK) full time
£9,250 (subject to confirmation, September 2020)

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module (subject to confirmation, Sept 20)

International / EU full time
£14,300

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:
+44 (0)1865 483088

Please note tuition fees for Home/EU 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 and EU 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.

Learning and assessment


By studying criminology and law, you’ll investigate some of the biggest crime-related issues facing our society. Your course will cover topics such as cyber crime, the globalisation of crime, immigration, border controls and much more.

Your Year 1 is divided equally between both criminology and law, enabling you to develop a thorough understanding of the key principles and themes within each discipline. You’ll examine the concepts of criminology and crime, as well as topics concerning criminal law, and media and crime.

You’ll develop strong research skills in Year 2 by taking modules on researching crime and advanced legal research. You’ll aso take an exciting module that looks at digital crime and criminology. And, you’ll have the opportunity to deepen your areas of interest by picking up a number of optional modules. 

In Year 3 you’ll take a compulsory interdisciplinary dissertation as well as a criminology module focusing on prisons and imprisonment. 

students studying

Study modules

Year 1

Compulsory modules

Communication Skills for Lawyers

In this module, you’ll gain key communication skills for a successful legal career. You’ll gain excellent oral skills in advocacy. You’ll also develop valuable presentation techniques for a plea in mitigation, giving you the knowledge to succeed in your degree and work. 

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. 

Criminal Law

You’ve committed a crime. But what makes you responsible for it? In this module, you’ll get to grips with the key principles of criminal responsibility, and build key skills for your degree. You’ll look at individual defences and offences, as well as fatal and non-fatal offences against people and property. You’ll study crimes including: 

  • murder and manslaughter
  • theft and burglary
  • ‘offences against the person’ such as assault and battery.

You’ll also learn about defences such as: 

  • insanity and automatism
  • duress and self-defence
  • duress.

Legal Method

In this module, you’ll gain invaluable legal skills for your degree. You’ll learn to think like a lawyer, and understand:

  • the sources of English law
  • the structures and functions of the UK Courts.

You’ll also learn:

  • how to critically read and assess statute and case-law
  • how to evaluate legal arguments
  • how to find and use online legal information.

You’ll dive into the world of UK law. You’ll learn to find and understand legal information. And you’ll gain key skills in legal thought and argumentation.

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

Advanced Legal Skills

In this module, you’ll revisit and build upon the legal techniques and issues developed in Year 1. As this is an envelope module, you’ll be able to focus on one of the following:

  • Legal academic research and writing a Brief presenting the research
  • Legal practitioner research and writing a Dissertation presenting the research
  • Legal oral communication skills.

Applied Criminology 1

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. 
 

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. 
 

Evidence

How do we deal with the evidence of children and the vulnerable? In this module, you’ll get to grips with the key rules of evidence. You’ll examine:

  • sexual history evidence
  • corroboration and identification evidence
  • expert opinion evidence
  • hearsay evidence
  • confession evidence
  • silence as evidence
  • improperly obtained evidence
  • covert surveillance and entrapment
  • evidence of character
  • evidence of children, and vulnerable witnesses. 

You’ll dive into the significance of evidence, and its rules in criminal trials. And you’ll understand the need to avoid miscarriages of justice. 

Digital Crime and Criminology

How does the digital world affect our understanding of key criminal law and criminological concepts? In this module, you’ll explore key concepts in the rapidly growing field of digital law and criminology and you’ll investigate how law and criminology meet and merge in the digital age. You’ll be introduced to the key theoretical frameworks of interest to digital criminologists and digital lawyers and you’ll work on applying these frameworks to specific topics of contemporary interest such as cyberhate, sexting and pornography.

Students will be introduced to the key theoretical frameworks of interest to digital criminologists and digital lawyers including the ‘digital’, intersectional digitalities and key themes in internet regulation. Students will then be applying these frameworks to specific topics of contemporary interest such as cyberhate, sexting and pornography, for example. 

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.

Understanding Criminal Justice

In this module, you’ll dive into the criminal justice system, and the main issues of criminal justice. You’ll understand wider aspects of the criminal justice system and engage critically with the system’s flaws and shortcomings. You’ll gain critical skills as you examine how well the system achieves its aims. You’ll explore specific areas such as:

  • punishment
  • sentencing
  • crime prevention
  • community safety
  • policing
  • youth crime
  • prisons
  • the criminal court system.

You’ll observe the criminal justice system, first hand. You’ll then devise a social-science experiment to test your understanding of the system you’ve studied. This means you’ll devise a hypothesis on how the criminal justice system operates, and test to see if your hypothesis is correct. You’ll conduct work in prisons, police stations and the streets of Oxford, allowing you to access the real world of the criminal justice system.
 

Optional modules

Applied Criminology 2

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.

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. 

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.

You’ll also explore human rights violations, which result from:

  • 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. 

International Law and Institutions

In this module, you’ll explore the key laws of the international community. You’ll examine the origins and basis of international law. You’ll also look at the sources of international law, including treaties and customary norms. You’ll enhance your critical skills as you analyse the relationship between:

  • international and municipal law
  • subjects of international law
  • the concept of territory or jurisdiction.

You’ll consider the core principles in the use of force, and the way armies behave. And you’ll look at the law of state responsibility, individual accountability and violations of international rules.

Marriage Cohabitation and the Law

How does the law regulate relationships between adults? What legal rights flow from married and unmarried relationships? In this module, you’ll get to grips with the law regulating all types of adult family relationships, particularly:

  • the law of marriage
  • civil partnerships
  • cohabitating couples
  • divorce
  • division of property on family breakdown
  • domestic violence
  • parental responsibility for children.

You’ll gain vital skills in legal reasoning as you learn legal analysis techniques, and how to answer problem questions.

Year 3

Compulsory modules

Independent Study Module

This module gives you the chance to do research on a topic that fascinates you. You’ll work independently, with the support of our expert academic team, and will carry out work on a specific project of your choosing. You’ll gain core skills for work, including in:

  • enquiry
  • research 
  • analysis 
  • evaluation.

Interdisciplinary Dissertation

This module gives you the chance to do research on a topic that fascinates you. Over the course of your final year, you’ll work independently on a research project, with the help of expert supervision. Your dissertation will grow out of your specific passion, and you’ll gain excellent self-discipline and organisational skills for work. You’ll gain core skills for your career, including:

  • research
  • critical analysis
  • time-management 
  • planned and focused writing.

If you’re a combined honours student, you’ll be able to write a dissertation on both of your chosen subject areas.

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. 
 

Optional modules

Border Criminology

In this module, you’ll examine border criminology, which is the study of the intersection of border control and criminal justice.  You’ll get to grips with key issues around:

  • migration
  • punishment
  • citizenship and belonging.

You’ll investigate core developments of border criminology, including:

  • immigration removal centres
  • foreign national prisons
  • policing of borders.

You’ll gain key critical skills, as you explore debates surrounding immigration, punishment and national identity. You’ll examine the institutions concerned with border control, and the increasing use of punishment and force around immigration control in the UK and abroad.

Computer Law and Intellectual Property

The internet rules society. In a vastly digital age, lawyers really need to understand technology and the legal challenges it presents. In this module, you’ll examine the legal issues of current internet technologies and hardware. You’ll gain key technical knowledge, as you evaluate the regulatory systems of these technologies, and how they affect society. You’ll explore how digital technologies challenge copyright law. And you’ll gain a rigorous knowledge of intellectual property.

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.

Equality Law

How do we prevent discrimination against race and sexual orientation in the law? In this module, you’ll focus on the Equality Act 2010, and other legislation on:

  • sex
  • race
  • sexual orientation
  • religion
  • disability discrimination
  • equal pay. 

You’ll explore how courts interpret the Equality Act, and how it impacts the workplace. You’ll look at how it interacts with the law of the European Commission (EC), and how we might extend equality law. You’ll gain valuable critical skills for your career, as you ask:

  • what difference the Equality Act has made
  • who benefits (and does not benefit) from the act
  • what we can do in the future to improve protection.
     

International Human Rights Law

How can we effectively protect human rights? In this module, you’ll get to grips with international human rights law. You’ll gain key critical skills as you analyse arguments and ideas about human rights, and the ideas behind them. You’ll also consider their current legal and political meaning through examining: 

  • relevant laws
  • current debates
  • case studies.

Nationality, Immigration and Asylum

In this module, you’ll get to grips with nationality and immigration law, and what it reveals about British society. You’ll examine the key issues and policies around nationality, national identity and migration. You’ll gain a firm understanding of migration in the UK and abroad, as you debate critical issues of today. You’ll also consider current UK law, and the historical, social and political factors that have shaped it. 

Parents, Children and the State

How does the law deal with child abduction, and disputes over children? How can the state protect children who may be victims of abuse within their own families? In this module, you’ll get to grips with law relating to parents, children and the state. You’ll dive into law reports, as you look critically at the legal concepts around:

  • relationships between parents and children
  • the relevance of the state to parents and children.

You’ll consider:

  • parental responsibility
  • resolution of disputes over children
  • child protection
  • child abduction
  • adoption.

You’ll gain vital skills in legal reasoning as you learn legal analysis techniques, and how to answer problem questions. 

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 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.
 

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

Throughout the course our academic team make use of a range of teaching and learning styles. You will be supported at every level of the course, with close access to lecturers, small seminar groups and tutorials.

You will learn through a variety of teaching and learning methods including:

  • lectures, seminars and workshops
  • one-to-one tutorial and small group discussions
  • supervised independent learning
  • work with a wide range of practical resources.

During your studies you’ll gain a range of personal and professional skills. These skills will be a springboard for your future career development in a number of industries.

  • Lectures and seminars
  • Placement
  • Other learning activities (including group work, research, conferences etc.)

Year 1

  • Lectures and seminars - 15%
  • Placement - 0%
  • Other learning activities (including group work, research, conferences etc.) - 85%

Year 2

  • Lectures and seminars - 13%
  • Placement - 2%
  • Other learning activities (including group work, research, conferences etc.) - 85%

Year 3

  • Lectures and seminars - 15%
  • Placement - 0%
  • Other learning activities (including group work, research, conferences etc.) - 85%

Learning and teaching percentages are indicative. There may be slight year-on-year variations.

Assessment

Assessment methods used on this course

Assessment methods on this course are diverse. Some modules use formal exams while others award all or part of the marks on coursework.

After you graduate


Career prospects

Our Criminology and Law degree is a suitable education for a range of career options in the public and private sectors. 

By the time you graduate from Oxford Brookes, you'll have acquired a wide range of skills and attributes that will mean you’re well-rounded and highly employable. You will have gained valuable skills in criminal research, analysis and articulation. These are skills that are particularly attractive to employers in a number of sectors including:

  • criminal justice agencies
  • local authorities
  • policing and police services
  • NGOs and the voluntary sector
  • human rights, advocacy work and community support services. 

Criminology graduates will also be able to advance to postgraduate courses in a variety of areas of specialisation, such as law, business or humanities.

Our Staff


Mr Chris Lloyd

Chris' research has two main strands: the first is a broad concern with the critical legal theory stemming from work of the late French theorist Jacques Derrida. The second concerns the application of this theory as a methodology for engaging with criminal law, particularly sexual offences.

Read more about Chris

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

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.