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Criminology and Law

BSc (Hons)

Key facts

UCAS code


Start dates

September 2020



Course length

Full time: 3 years

Part time: up to 8 years


School of Law

School of History, Philosophy and Culture

UCAS Tariff Points



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

Typical offers

UCAS Tariff Points: 104

A Level: BCC

IB Points: 29


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

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:

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 (subject to agreement by Office for Students)

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

International full time

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees

Home/EU full time
£9,250 (subject to agreement by Office for Students)

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

International full time

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.

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.

Financial support and scholarships

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

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

This module is concerned with communication skills and looks at the oral skills involved in advocacy and client interviewing. In the first part of the course students will learn and develop oral presentation techniques in the context of a plea in mitigation. In the second part of the course students will learn and practise the skills necessary for an effective client interview. The course will involve the use of DVD recording, playback, analysis and reflection upon learning.

Crime and Criminology in Context

This module introduces first-year students to the concept of 'crime', and the 'theoretical frameworks' that criminologists use to understand crime. The module challenges conventional or 'common sense' understandings of who and what is viewed as 'criminal'. The module asks how do some 'acts' become understood as crimes and other not? In addition, it explores a range of explanations, theoretical approaches and policy responses to the following questions: Why do people commit crime? Who are the perpetrators of crime? What is the extent of serious crime? How does society seek to control crime and punish offending? This module introduces the multi and inter-disciplinary subject of criminology which asks these fundamental questions and frames the various ways to investigate and explain crime, victimisation and crime control. Throughout the module the study of crime will be located in its wider social, cultural and political context.

Crime in Theory and Practice

This module investigates contemporary criminological concerns, central problems and current policies in the administration of criminal justice, law enforcement and punishment. It will examine the emergence of classic theories of crime and control and examine key theories from the twentieth century and how these relate to contemporary theories of crime. The module also addresses debates on crime control and management, criminal justice and punishment, the powers and legitimacy of the criminal justice system and the effectiveness of approaches to crime management and control in comparative perspective. This module examines the interface between theoretical understandings and analysis of the crime and criminal behaviour and the practical workings of the criminal justice system, crime prevention and offender management. Students taking this module will develop a critical understanding of these debates in the context of criminology as a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary discipline.

Criminal Law

An examination of the general principles underlying criminal liability together with a study of individual offences and defences; in particular fatal and non-fatal offences against the person and against property.

Legal Method

This module involves the study of statutory interpretation, judicial interpretation and the primary sources/structures of the law of England and Wales.

Media and Crime

Year 2

Compulsory modules

Advanced Legal Skills

Applied Criminology 1

This module explores the application of criminological theory to 'real world' problems of crime and criminal justice. In this context an 'applied criminology' will be used, not only to find solutions to particular questions of crime and criminal justice, but also to problematize current practice and explore how such concerns can help inform future research and scholarship. Students will consider a range of case studies taken from current policy and practice and apply criminological insights from the point of view of practitioners, policy-makers and politicians currently working within the criminal justice system. The module invites students to consider the varied ways in which criminology is used in in applied settings and why there is often a 'disconnect' between what is taught in the classroom and what happens in practice.

Criminal Evidence

An examination of some important rules of evidence, including evidence of children and vulnerable witnesses, sexual history evidence, corroboration and identification evidence, expert opinion evidence, hearsay evidence, confession evidence, silence as evidence, improperly obtained evidence, covert surveillance and entrapment, and evidence of character. The module will place particular emphasis on the significance of the rules of evidence in criminal trial, in the context of the need to avoid miscarriages of justice.

Digital Crime and Criminology

Researching Crime: Methods, Approaches and Ethics

This module will introduce students to the development, application and realities of research methods in Criminology. It has been specifically designed to equip students with both the understanding and skills required to analyse research methods, design, processes and research outcomes. The module will also consider key ethical considerations, issues of access and appropriateness of research. This module will carefully explore what is realistically achievable in research projects at undergraduate level. Students will learn about:
The description, discussion and critical evaluation of quantitative and qualitative research methods employed in applied criminological research including ethical considerations both in terms of research design and structure but also wider ethical considerations of the role and conduct of research in the discipline of criminology.

Understanding Criminal Justice

This module will examine some of the main issues in Criminal Justice. It will provide an overview of the Criminal Justice system, and will consider in detail topics such as punishment, sentencing, crime prevention and community safety, policing, youth crime, prisons and the criminal court system. As part of this module, students will be required to observe at first hand an aspect of the criminal justice system in order to locate some of the current theoretical concerns into a practical context.

Optional modules

Applied Criminology 2

This module provides students with the opportunity to explore crime, the multiple meanings and interpretations of crime and approaches to dealing with these phenomena in a range of institutional and organisational settings. In this module students will undertake a short placement or work-based learning activity within a selected public sector organisation, NGO or voluntary organisation that engages in managing crime in some form. This may be a direct engagement such as policing or the prison service or in a more indirect way such as a voluntary sector service (For example a learning disability advocacy group) or in a public sector organisation (a school or a local authority). Students taking this module will not engage directly with service users or client groups but will be engaged in learning about how the organisation they are working with contributes to the identification, management and prevention of crime. 

Crime and Intersectionality

In recent years there has been an increasing focus on intersectionality theory in the social sciences. This module explores and analyses this theoretical approach and its implications for the wider discipline of criminology. The module looks at how identities are interconnected and the way these identities are perceived and responded to by others, must be a necessary part of criminological analysis. This module examines the way in which identities intersect and how this impacts of people and their lived experiences with particular reference to the criminal justice system This module invites the student to critically engage and apply intersectionality and to explore how key social identities - for example gender, race, and socioeconomic class - affect all of us and how we experience crime and the criminal justice system.

Crime, Capitalism and Markets

This module explores the critical relationship between economic organisation - in this case capitalism and its contemporary manifestations (for example, global, neo-liberal) and crime. It goes beyond an examination of the links (or perceived links) between crime and economic circumstances to consider more structural factors. The module adopts a broadly political economy approach that conceptualises the economy and its organisation as a complex set of interdependencies at the individual, moral, cultural and other social dimensions.

Globalisation and Crime

This module explores areas of crime and criminal justice beyond the nation-state. The module adopts a comparative criminology approach and locates the discussion of specific topics and themes within theories of modernity, theories of crime, deviance and social response, and global theories of crime and criminal justice in relation to socio-demographic and geo-political data. In this module students will use comparative data to understand cross-national patterns of criminal behaviour. Examine comparative criminological responses to human rights violations (e.g. human trafficking; drugs; war crimes; organised crime). Analyse and compare crime(s), crime patterns and responses to these in different parts of the world to identify common variables within criminological theory and test concepts and ideas in multiple socio-cultural environments.

International Law and Institutions

This module focuses on the law and legal framework governing the international community. Examined in depth are the underpinnings of international law including the nature, origins and basis of international law and the sources of international law, including treaties and customary norms. A special focus is given to the nexus between international and municipal law, subjects of international law and the concept of territory/jurisdiction. The core principles governing the use of force and the conduct of armed conflict are also explored. Finally, the law of state responsibility and individual accountability are taught in the context of violations of international rules.

Marriage Cohabitation and the Law

Year 3

Compulsory modules

Independent Study Module

Interdisciplinary Dissertation

The Prison and Imprisonment

This module will provide students with an advanced introduction to the topic of prisons and imprisonment. It will situate the modern prison within a broader historical and global context, and explore this institution from the point of view of prisoners, prison staff and the wider community. Students will examine the historical evolution of the prison and reflect upon the 'punitive shift' in penal policy from the 'rehabilitative ideal' of the immediate post-war period, to the penal populism that now characterises so much prison debate. It will examine the governance and administration of the prison system before turning to the routines of everyday prison life, and how that prisoners confront and give meaning to those realities. The module will conclude with an overview of sentence progression for different categories of prisoner and considers how well the system prepares inmates for their life on release. 

Optional modules

Border Criminology

Border criminology is the examination of the intersection of border control and criminal justice. This module will provide students with an in-depth overview of the key issues related to globalisation, punishment and migration. The module will introduce the fundamental areas of investigation within this sub-field of criminology, notably citizenship, identity and belonging, placing them within the historical and evolving context of globalisation and migration. Students will examine the expansion of legal and penal powers in relation to immigration control in the UK and compare these with international responses to the same issues. The module will conclude with a critical reflection of border issues relating to race and the legacy of colonialism alongside examination of media, public opinion and the growing 'far right' movement.

Computer Law and Intellectual Property

As social and business activities become increasingly dependent upon digital technologies basic understanding of these technologies and of the regulatory challenges they present is of key importance to the lawyer seeking to critically engage with the information society. This module aims to provide students with a critical awareness of the legal implications of the emergent Internet technologies and associated hardware, and to encourage students to evaluate and analyse the regulatory systems employed in terms of their wider social implications. There is a particular emphasis in this module on how digital technologies have challenged copyright law giving the course a firm grounding in the academically rigorous discipline of intellectual property. The module is taught by a combination of lectures and seminars, and assessed by coursework.

Dealing with Drugs: Control and Intoxication

This module explores and challenges some of the widely-held assumptions around psychoactive drugs, their uses and the social controls imposed upon them. It makes use of criminological, sociological, historical and policy insights to challenge students to think about the complex relationships between public morality, the individual body and acts of consumption. After setting the theoretical foundations and discussing 'drugs' as an object of regulatory policy, the module moves on to more practical questions on how to mitigate the harms of substance use when they do occur, on what alternative regulation models to the dominant `war on drugs? paradigm might look like and on the possible futures of 'chemscapes' i.e. innovation on the synthetic drug scene.

Equality Law

This course focuses on the Equality Act 2010 and other legislation on sex, race, sexual orientation, religion and disability discrimination and equal pay. It considers its interpretation by courts; its impact, particularly in the workplace; its interaction with the law of the EC; and proposals for extending the scope of equality law. The impact of anti-discrimination and equality law will be assessed by asking what difference it has made, who benefits, who does not benefit, and what can be done in future to improve the systems of protection.

International Human Rights Law

The module will introduce international human rights law and the mechanisms for the protection of human rights at the international and regional levels. Throughout the module the student is invited to critically examine arguments and ideas about human rights, their philosophical underpinnings, and their contemporary legal and political meaning through an examination of the relevant law, contemporary debates and case studies.

Nationality, Immigration and Asylum

This module examines concepts, influences and obligations relating to policies of nationality and national identity, migration of individuals and movement of peoples. It offers the opportunity for students to consider the composition of British society within a framework of the law relating to nationality and immigration. An understanding of issues of migration within the domestic and international context will enable students to make their own informed critique of issues of current concern. Current UK law will be considered in its detail, with the historical, social and political factors that have shaped its development.

Parents, Children and the State

Picturing the Criminal: From Mugshot to Fine Art

This interdisciplinary module offers third-year undergraduate students an advanced-level introduction to the new and burgeoning field of visual criminology. The module draws on literature from the arts and humanities as well as the social sciences as well as the unique art historical and scientific-imaging collections held at the Pitt Rivers Museum, the Ashmolean Museum, and the University of Oxford's Art History Archive. Students will identify, describe and critically engage with the modern intellectual history of visual criminology including its origins in the birth of criminology as a colonialist social science in the nineteenth century, the iconoclasm of criminology throughout the twentieth century, and its revival in the twenty-first century. 

The Carnival and Pleasures of Crime

This module explores the ways in which individuals and groups participate in certain forms of crime, disorder and anti-social behaviour. The module draws on a variety of theoretical approaches to explore the role of pleasures, performance, identity and meaning in criminal acts and explores the multiple actions and meanings that crime may have for different actors across time and space. The module also considers the social value of crime, transgression and resistance and asks what these different meanings, values and interpretations of criminal acts means for conventional crime control and criminal justice responses.

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 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.