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Criminology and Sociology (joint honours)

BA (Hons) or BSc (Hons)

Key facts

UCAS code

L3L3

Start dates

September 2021 / September 2022

Location

Headington

Course length

Full time: 3 years

Part time: up to 6 years

Overview

Are you fascinated by how humans interact with each other? Would you like to understand how key social issues - like knife crime or drug use - impact people and society?

Studying Criminology and Sociology Joint Honours means you’ll build a deep understanding of human behaviour. You’ll learn about social differences - like gender, race and sexuality. And you’ll examine societal systems - like policing and criminal justice. You’ll explore the root causes of criminal behaviour, and determine how this impacts our society.

You’ll graduate ready to launch a career in social justice, crime prevention, or even government policy. And you’ll be equipped to step into fields like:

  • social work
  • criminal justice
  • education
  • charity work
  • local government
students in library

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

BTEC: DMM

Contextual offer

UCAS Tariff Points: 88

A Level: CCD

IB Points: 27

BTEC: MMM

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

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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
£9,250

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

International / EU full time
£14,500

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
£14,600

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees

2021 / 22
Home (UK) full time
£9,250

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

International / EU full time
£14,500

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
£14,600

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

+44 (0)1865 483088

financefees@brookes.ac.uk

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 solid base of understanding in Criminology and Sociology. You’ll explore social divisions like gender, race and class. You’ll examine social behaviours like migration and religion. And you’ll examine why people commit crimes and how the criminal justice system works.

In your second year, you’ll broaden your study. You could explore the roles of men and women in society. Or you could examine cultural practices like fashion, media or subcultures. You’ll also deepen your understanding of Criminology, studying crime through the lens of 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 social perceptions of health and illness. You might study drugs, and the relationship between drug use and morality. You’ll also do a dissertation, on a topic that fascinates you.

Students on laptops

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.

 

Social Differences and Divisions

Race, class, gender and sexuality - how do these things affect us and our social relations today? In this module, you’ll explore the factors which divide human societies, and how sociologists make sense of the world. 

You’ll explore the connections between individuals, groups and social institutions. You’ll dive into pressing debates. And you’ll engage with core areas of social analysis, such as:

  • gender relations
  • class divisions
  • race/ethnicity
  • sexuality

You'll explore the urgent issues facing society, including diversity and inequality. You’ll understand social context and processes. And you’ll develop a strong awareness of our world today.

 

Researching the Social World

In this module, you’ll gain invaluable skills for work, as you learn how to carry out effective research. You’ll learn

  • how to research the world around you
  • the ethics of social research
  • strengths and weaknesses of different research methods
  • methodological issues of data collection, analysis and distribution. 

You’ll enhance your imagination and knowledge as a researcher, and gain skills in:

  • critical thinking
  • organisation 
  • understanding research articles
  • literature searches

You’ll gain a strong knowledge of research design, and how to engage with published research. These core skills in research and analysis will ensure you succeed in your degree, and future career.

 

Foundations of Social Theory

In this module, you’ll explore the key themes of social theory. You’ll investigate the works of  influential sociological theorists, including Karl Marx, Emile Durkheim and Max Weber. And you'll investigate how their work has shaped sociology and its different traditions.

You'll immerse yourself in current debates, developments and approaches to social theory. And you'll explore how these affect our social relations today.

 

Contemporary Societies: Structure and Change

In this module, you’ll investigate the changing face of society. You’ll explore how markets and welfare states have transformed over time. You’ll discover how states, economies and societies interact with each other. And you’ll dig into key questions on politics and power, exploring different political systems. 

We’ll explore pressing global topics, including

  • international migration patterns
  • the formation of ethnic minorities
  • religion in modern society
  • the challenges of climate change

You’ll explore a wide range of social issues, taking place all over the world. And you’ll develop a strong understanding of how these issues impact individuals and groups.

 

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

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.

Social Research Methods

You’ll gain crucial skills for employment, as you develop your knowledge of social research. You’ll build on your understanding from the module ‘Researching the Social World’. And develop skills in 

  • designing and delivering questionnaires and interviews
  • sample recruitment
  • data entry
  • analysis and interpretation
  • presenting research findings

This will give you fantastic competitive skills for the workplace.

 

Global Sociology

In this module, you’ll explore worldwide social change and what causes it. You’ll consider the consequences of global social change in different nations in terms of politics, economics and culture.  You will also engage with competing explanations of global change and debate its impact and significance

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.

 

Gender and Society

In this module, you’ll look at gender and its central role in society. You’ll explore the social processes that affect the lives and roles of men and women in society. We’ll consider the centrality of gender in everyday life, and how society reflects and reproduces gender relations.

‘Race’, Ethnicity and Inequality

Why do we exclude some ethnic groups from society? In this module, we’ll explore race, ethnicity and racism through:

  • employment
  • education
  • housing
  • migration
  • policing
  • the impact of anti-discrimination legisilation. 

You’ll engage with pressing debates on race, ethnicity and racism. You’ll explore the experiences of minority ethnic groups and you’ll explore the factors which exclude them from mainstream society. We’ll focus on the UK, but also consider ethnic minorities in other cultures. We’ll highlight the complexities of social constructions of race and other social inequalities

 

The Culture of Everyday Life

In this module, you’ll dig into different aspects of culture. You’ll gain key critical skills as you analyse:

  • matters of taste
  • cultural classification
  • media
  • fashion
  • subcultures
  • bodily culture
  • food practices.

You’ll explore the significance of these issues to:

  • globalisation
  • group formation
  • resistance and inclusion

We’ll also use examples from British popular culture, to discuss the theories and concepts you’ve covered in lectures.

 

Work-based Learning

In this module, you’ll have the chance to carry out a work placement closely linked to your Sociology course.

You’ll have help from your module leader to find a placement that meets your needs, and which will support your learning. With a carefully chosen placement, you’ll build on the skills and knowledge you’ve already gained in Year 1, and you’ll also gain vital skills for the workplace, like time management, communication and team-working.

During and after your placement, you’ll:

  • create a placement portfolio, including a learning journal
  • craft a CV showing your experience
  • produce a policy brief or policy analysis paper.

Year 3

Compulsory modules

Double Dissertation in Sociology, or, Interdisciplinary Dissertation in Sociology, or, Dissertation in Joint Honours subject

This module gives you the chance to do independent research on a topic that fascinates you. You’ll have the support of expert tutors. We encourage you to make use of the research skills you’ve gained from your research method modules, but it’s not a formal requirement for you to carry out primary data collection.

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.

 

Dissertation in Criminology

This module gives you the chance to do independent research on a topic that fascinates you. With the support of expert tutors, you’ll choose a dissertation topic based on your interests. 

For your dissertation, you may choose to combine the knowledge and skills of two subjects. In this case, you can have one supervisor from each subject.

 

Interdisciplinary Dissertation in Criminology

For your dissertation, you’ll carry out research on a topic that fascinates you. The topic will be interdisciplinary, meaning that it will be relevant both to Criminology and your other subject. This allows you to be creative in your thinking, making original or unusual connections between your different subject areas. 

Whatever the topic, you’ll gain in-depth knowledge of it. You’ll develop excellent project management skills as you define your research area, plan your research and manage your own schedule. You’ll also acquire great research skills to take forward into your career.

 

Sociology of Health and Illness

How do we view health and illness in society today? In this module, you’ll dig into key debates on health and illness, focusing on theoretical perspectives and real-life experiences. You’ll gain key analytical skills as you engage with ethical debates around decision making in health and illness.

As you investigate health and illness, you’ll use both lay perspectives and medical knowledge to inform your understanding. You’ll also consider:

  • concepts of lifestyle and risk
  • the centrality of the body in modern debates
  • the medicalisation of everyday life, death and dying. 

You’ll learn how our understanding of health and illness is affected by:

  • circumstances
  • gendered experiences
  • social class
  • culture
  • race
  • age.

 

 

Racialised Identities in Super-Diverse Societies

What shapes our racial identities? How do they play out in everyday life, alongside gender, class and age?

In this module, you’ll gain a strong understanding of identities and differences in current western societies. You’ll explore postcolonial theories of Self and Otherness. And you’ll gain key analytical skills, as you investigate the relevance of these theories to diverse societies today.

 

Gendering Intimate Relationships

In this module, we’ll investigate intimacy today. We’ll explore:

  • gender
  • identities
  • relationships
  • family lives.

Social changes have transformed our intimate relationships and arrangements in the home. However, tensions and contradictions still affect gender roles, and what we see as ‘appropriate’. In this module, you’ll gain key knowledge of the complexity and diversity of intimacy today.

 

The Sociology of Migration

Why do people move across the world? In this module, you’ll use real examples to examine migration, and its key concepts. You’ll explore political and economic issues, as well as climate change, to understand why millions of people move across nations. You’ll analyse the consequences of migration on migrants’ countries of origin, and the places they move to.

You’ll focus mainly on migrants who move countries for work. You’ll look at the role of states in regulating labour migration, and other factors in the movement of people. You’ll gain critical knowledge of land-based and sea-based migrants, and the factors that drive migration. And you’ll understand international migration in terms of development, economic and cultural factors. You’ll also look at the rights of migrants in migration policy.

 

 

Sociology of Youth and Young Adulthood

In this module, you’ll explore the sociology of youth and young adulthood. You’ll learn about how young people’s experiences of youth are affected by social and economic factors, like housing or austerity measures. You’ll understand theoretical perspectives that will help you develop a critical understanding of youth and young adulthood. 

You’ll look at topics like: 

  • sexual and romantic relationships in young adulthood 
  • work, changing employment opportunities and insecure futures
  • passages to adulthood: ethnic and racial diversity in the transition to adulthood
  • Youth im/mobilities: ‘waithood’, delayed adulthood and migration    
  • Youth activism.

Independent Study in Sociology

This module gives you a great chance to do self-directed study on a topic in Sociology that fascinates you. You’ll have guidance from a tutor, but the direction you take is up to you. Your study could involve fieldwork investigations, or analysis of fieldwork investigations. If you’d like to gain work experience linked to the topic you’re interested in, you could try a work placement. Or you could carry out independent, library-based research.

Whatever kind of study you choose, you’ll gain excellent project management skills from planning and setting goals to working independently and managing your time.

 

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 Sociology and Criminology. Your learning will include:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • tutorials
  • workshops.

Assessment

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
  • online exercises
  • critical reviews
  • portfolios
  • exams
  • individual or group presentations.

After you graduate

Career prospects

You’ll finish this course with a deep understanding of human societies - and the systems that underpin them. And you’ll be equipped to start your career in areas like local government, social work, charity, education or the criminal justice system.

Further study

You’ll emerge with the subject knowledge and research skills to pursue postgraduate study. And graduates from this course go on to study in areas like Law, Education, Psychology, Religion and Teaching.

Our Staff

Professor Tina Miller

Tina's research and teaching interests include motherhood and fatherhood transitions, constructions of gender and identities, masculinities, reproductive health, narratives, qualitative research methods and ethics and she regularly publishes in these areas.

Read more about Tina

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.