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Criminology

BSc (Hons)

Key facts


UCAS code

LL31

Start dates

September 2019 / September 2020

Location

Headington

Course length

Full time: 3 years

Part time: up to 6 years

Department

School of History, Philosophy and Culture

UCAS Tariff Points

112

Overview


On our Criminology degree you will tackle some of the most fundamental questions behind what makes an act or action a crime. 

You will look at: 

  • historical and modern patterns of crime
  • criminal psychology
  • how perspectives of crime have changed over time
  • contemporary criminal justice
  • crime policy
  • anti-social behaviour and disorder.

The course will include a mix of theory and practical work. You’ll explore criminology from three main perspectives: 

  • crime and history
  • criminological theory
  • criminal justice policy and processes.

You will have the chance to apply your learning in a practical setting through our work based module. 

To ensure the course remains relevant to the practice of criminology and provides insight into professional careers, we maintain partnerships with: 

  • the Thames Valley Police
  • relevant NGOs
  • HM Prison service 
  • legal professionals.
Students working at desks in the library

How to apply


Typical offers

UCAS Tariff Points: 112

A Level: BBC

IB Points: 30

BTEC: DMM

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.

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.

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 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
2019/20
Home/EU Full Time
£9,250

Home/EU Part Time
£750 per single module

International full time
£13,410

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees


Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:
+44 (0)1865 483088
2019/20
Home/EU Full Time
£9,250

Home/EU Part Time
£750 per single module

International full time
£13,410

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.

Additional costs

Most modules included a recommended reading list. All recommended texts are available from the library. We recommend our students purchase The Oxford Handbook of Criminology (Oxford University Press, fifth edition) as a core course textbook. It retails for under £50 if bought new, and considerably less if bought second-hand.

Learning and assessment


You will gradually develop your knowledge and skills throughout this degree.

In Year 1 we provide you with a sound understanding of the key concerns of the discipline. You have opportunities to develop essential skills for years 2 and 3. Your modules introduce you to a range of topics. And the theoretical and methodological approaches criminologists use to make sense of the phenomenon of crime.

In Year 2 you will take advanced modules, including a compulsory research methods. You’ll develop practical research skills and analysis and interpretation. And consider the ethical implications of researching crime and related phenomena.

In Year 3 you can study a range of topics. You will also carry out your own small research projects as part of the dissertation and independent study modules.

Students sitting around tables listening

Study modules

Year 1

Crime and Criminology in Context*

This module introduces you to some of the key concerns, questions and conceptual and theoretical frameworks of criminology. It will challenge conventional notions of who and what is viewed as ‘criminal’ and ask why do some ‘acts’ become understood as crimes and other not? It will also ask fundamental questions and frames the various ways to investigate and explain crime, victimisation and crime control.

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 address debates on crime control and management, and examine the interface between the theory of crime and criminal behaviour and the practical workings of the criminal justice system.

Legal Method

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

Bloody Histories: Crime and Violence in the West

This module provides an introduction to the history of crime and violence in the West in the period 1400-2000. It offers you the chance to develop a specialised interest in criminal justice history, and make connections between law, crime and punishment and the wider social context in Britain, Europe and America. You will be expected to show awareness of the debates that have grown up around the basic interpretational or explanatory frameworks applied to the history of crime. The module introduces some of the key types of sources available to crime historians, and some of the challenges in using and interpreting them.

Making History: Core Concepts and Skills for the Historian

It offers you the chance to develop your understanding of the nature of historical enquiry, and your ability to express yourself effectively in a variety of forms. The module provides basic training in some of the principal theories, methods and sources used by historians, while introducing students to some of the key research interests of staff in the History team.

Year 2

Crime, Capitalism and Markets (compulsory)

This module explores the critical relationship between economic organisation – in this case capitalism and its contemporary manifestations (for example, global, neo-liberal) and crime. 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.

Intersectionality and Crime (compulsory)*

In recent years there has been an increasing focus on intersectionality theory in the social sciences. This module explores and analyses this approach and its implications for the wider discipline of criminology. This module invites you 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.

Researching Crime: Methods, Approaches and Ethics (compulsory)*

This module will introduce you to the development, application and realities of research methods in Criminology. It has been specifically designed to equip you 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.

Applied Criminology l

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.

Applied Criminology ll

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 Punishment through the Ages

This module focuses on the long-running historical debate on the nature, incidence and causes of crime since the medieval period. It will investigate the forms of punishment adopted by the authorities and how and why they altered so dramatically over the course of history. You will also be introduced to the theoretical background important for the study of crime, criminality and punishment.

Criminal Law (Double Module)

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.

Applied Criminology (includes work placement opportunities)

This module gives you the opportunity to explore crime, interpretations of crime and approaches to dealing with this phenomena in a range of institutional and organisational settings. In this module you 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 module is optional and if students choose to undertake a placement then it is facilitated by the University. However students are responsible for their own travel and associated costs. Most travel costs are minimal as placements are organised to be within easy reach of the campus or in local Oxford. Placements in the surrounding area will require bus travel which can amount to between £3-8 for a return ticket.

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.

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 geopolitical data.

History and Documents

This module enables you to obtain, practice and perfect the important skills necessary in the use of historical documents as primary sources. The importance of such sources in developing our understanding of an event, period or theme is stressed throughout this module. You will learn that primary sources serve as the evidence historians use to create an interpretation and to build an argument to support that interpretation. The module gives you the opportunity to consolidate and focus the methodological and practical skills offered by the History programme. It draws together and further develops the primary source work undertaken in the level four modules, and complements and supports that carried out in the other level five modules.

Jack the Ripper and the Victorian Underworld

Examines the moral and cultural climate associated with the nineteenth century underworld. Using the phenomenon of Jack the Ripper as a prism through which to view the differing dynamics of Victorian society, the module will analyse attitudes towards prostitution, the criminal class, the development of the penitentiary system and the regulation of policing, in an age when public perceptions of crime and punishment challenged those of the establishment.

Year 3

Dissertation in Criminology (compulsory)*

This module provides the opportunity for independent research under supervision. You choose a dissertation topic under advice from staff in Criminology. For interdisciplinary dissertations, you choose a topic combining the knowledge and disciplinary skills of two subjects of study.

Advanced Study in Modern Political History

This module offers you the opportunity to make a concentrated study of a specialised topic in modern political history. The topic or topics offered change each year but are closely related to staff research interests, and will foster a familiarity with current research and a critical awareness of recent scholarship in the area under study.

Advanced Study in the History of Crime

This module offers you the opportunity to make a concentrated study of a specialised topic in the history of crime. The topic or topics offered change each year but are closely related to staff research interests, and will foster a familiarity with current research and a critical awareness of recent scholarship in the area under study.

Advanced Study in the History of Ideas

This module offers you the opportunity to make a concentrated study of a specialised topic in the history of ideas. The topic or topics offered change each year but are closely related to staff research interests, and will foster a familiarity with current research and a critical awareness of recent scholarship in the area under study.

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.

Dealing with Drugs: Control and Intoxication

This module takes the format of a national case study by examining a set of responses to the actual and perceived problems associated with illicit drug use in the United Kingdom.

Independent Study in Criminology

This module gives you the opportunity to undertake independent study and research under supervision. You can submit a proposal for independent study, and provided that supervision is available, an agreed programme of work and assessment schedule is constructed for the following semester.

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.

Policing in Historical and Comparative Perspectives

This module explores and analyses the concept, role and nature of organised and formal policing in both historical and comparative perspective. It will trace the origins of modern policing, consider major trends in the development of policing, and the relationship between globalisation, neo-liberal economics and transnational policing.

The Carnival and Pleasures of Crime

This module explores the ways in which individuals and groups participate in certain forms of crime, disorder and antisocial behaviour. It explores 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 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.

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.

* = Required

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

Our flexible course encourages you to pursue your own areas of interest within Criminology. You’ll gain a range of personal and professional skills which will be a springboard for your future career development.

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

  • lectures
  • seminars 
  • workshops
  • tutorials.

Typical contact time is 24 hours per module. You will be expected to undertake 126 hours of independent study per module.

Assessment

Assessment methods used on this course

Various assessment methods are used, including: 

  • exams
  • essays
  • individual and group presentations 
  • critical reviews
  • portfolios.

This variety gives you the opportunity to show your abilities across a number of different skill sets. 

You will have access to: 

  • essay clinics
  • assessment workshops
  • preparatory classroom based activities, for example exam workshops.

Study Abroad


You may be able to go on a European or international study exchange while you are at Brookes. Most exchanges take place in the second year. Although we will help as much as we can with your plans, ultimately you are responsible for organising and funding this study abroad.

After you graduate


Career prospects

A Criminology degree from Oxford Brookes opens up a wide range of career options in the public and private sectors. It provides the ideal foundation to pursue a career in crime consultation, the local authority, policing, NGO voluntary sector, human rights or criminal justice work, advocacy work and community support services.

Further study

Criminology graduates can go on to postgraduate courses in a variety of areas of specialisation, such as law, business or humanities. The University careers centre can provide information and advice as you plan your future career path.

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.

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.