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BA (Hons) / BSc (Hons) - single BA (Hons) / BSc (Hons) - combined

School of History, Philosophy and Culture

Criminology analyses the nature, occurrence and explanations of crime, criminal behaviour and societal responses to these phenomena. On this course you will tackle some of the most fundamental questions behind what makes an act or action a crime and how responses to crime can be analysed from different perspectives and theoretical frameworks. You will also look at historical patterns of crime, how perspectives of crime have changed over time, and explore contemporary criminal justice and policy to crime, anti-social behaviour and disorder.

The course will include a mix of theoretical and practical work, including analytical work on crime and crime prevention. This interdisciplinary approach is central to the course, and allows you to explore criminology from three main perspectives: Crime and History, Criminological Theory and Criminal Justice policy and processes.

Typical offers

UCAS Tariff points: 112

Available start dates

September 2018 / September 2019

Teaching location

Headington Campus

Course length

  • Full time: 3 years
  • Part time: up to 6 years

UCAS code


For full application details, please see the 'How to apply / Entry requirements' section.

  • Explore criminology from a truly interdisciplinary perspective- from the historical pattern of crime, through the ages, to the study of modern criminal behaviour and how it influences the criminal justice system today. This course will give you a thorough grounding in what crime is and what it means today.
  • Our teaching is continually inspired by the research in our departments – including crime and punishment through the ages, territorial stigmatisation of crime and deprivation and the phenomenon of hate crime and cyber hate.
  • Apply your learning in a practical setting through our work based module. This could be a placement with the police, in a legal setting or a healthcare department linked with alcohol or drug misuse.
  • Study Criminology from both a theoretical and practical approach, including analytical work on crime and crime prevention.
  • Learn from professionals – Oxford Brookes benefits from partnerships with the Thames Valley Police, relevant NGOs, HM Prison service and legal professionals – this provides opportunities for contributions from visiting speakers, placements and institutional visits- ensuring the course remains informed and relevant to the practice of criminology and provides insight into professional careers within the criminology sector.
Our flexible course encourages you to pursue your own areas of interest within Criminology while also providing you with a solid foundation in the discipline. You’ll also gain a range of personal and professional skills which will serve as a springboard for your future career development.  

The course is carefully designed to enable you to gradually develop your knowledge and skills throughout your degree and enable you to acquire a ‘criminological imagination’ as well as gaining a good knowledge of the criminal justice system and crime and crime control in historical and comparative perspectives.

You can study Criminology as a single honours degree or in combination with another subject,  as an equal partner, as a major component or as a minor component of your degree. See below for the list of subjects that can be studied together with Criminology.

Study modules

In Year 1 we provide you with a sound understanding of the key concerns of the discipline and offer opportunities to develop essential skills for years 2 and 3. These modules introduce you to a range of topics, and to the different theoretical and methodological approaches criminologists use to make sense of the phenomenon of crime. 
In Year 2 you will take a range of advanced modules, including a compulsory research methods module (Researching Crime: Methods, Approaches and Ethics) and two core content modules (Crime, Capitalism and Markets and Intersectionality and Crime). In these modules you’ll develop practical research skills, analysis and interpretation, and consider the ethical implications of researching crime and related phenomena. 
In Year 3, you’ll have the opportunity to take specialised honours modules in topics such as policing in historical and comparative perspective, advanced studies in specific aspects and manifestations of crime, drugs and crime, the criminal justice system and crime control and management. These modules are developed around the research interests and expertise of Faculty and staff members. You will also be encouraged to undertake your own small research projects as part of the dissertation and independent study modules. 
As our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the modules you choose from may vary from the ones shown here.

Year 1

Compulsory Modules 
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.

Years 2 and 3

Year 2
Compulsory Modules
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. 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
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
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. 
Optional Modules
Applied Criminology (includes work placment 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.
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.
Acceptable Modules from other Programmes
Crime and Punishment through the Ages (History)
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.
Crime and Society (Law)
Examines how crime is defined and measured, together with theories as to the causes of crime. It looks at the reasoning behind sentencing and examines the effectiveness of some sentencing options.
Criminal Evidence (Law)
An examination of some important rules of evidence, including corroboration, identification evidence, hearsay, confessions, the right to silence, improperly obtained evidence, similar fact evidence, evidence of character, expert opinion evidence and the rules relating to the examination and cross-examination of witnesses.
Criminal Law (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.
Jack the Ripper and the Victorian Underworld (History)
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
For year 3 only the dissertation is compulsory, you are then free to choose your final modules from the list below. (*Indicates compulsory module)
Year 3 Modules
Advanced Study in the History of Crime (History)
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 (History)
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. 
Advanced Study in Modern Political History (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.
Dealing with Drugs: Strategy, Policy and Practice
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.
Dissertation in Criminology*
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. 
From Swallow-Tails to Robo-Cop: 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. 
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.
Making People Behave: Crime Management, Anti-Social Behaviour and Society
This module looks at how the management of crime, anti-social behaviour and more generally public behaviour has developed over the last three decades. It looks at the development of the focus on ‘anti-social’ behaviour by policy makers and criminal justice agencies along with other approaches to managing the behaviour of the public. 
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.
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.

Work placements

You will have the opportunity to undertake a work-based module called Applied Criminology; this will place you in setting where a criminologist might work. This could be a placement with the police, in a legal setting or a healthcare department linked with alcohol or drug misuse.
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.

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. We have more than 100 partner universities around the world. 

Studying abroad provides an amazing opportunity to add value to your studies by:

  • increasing your employability within an international market
  • boosting your language skills
  • building your confidence in adapting to new situations
  • improving your knowledge of different cultures.

While on exchange you will gain credits which count towards your degree.

Tuition fees are paid as they would be if you remained in the UK, either to Oxford Brookes via your Student Loan or directly to Oxford Brookes according to your preference.

You will be responsible for all other costs such as accommodation, purchasing your airfares, travel and health insurance and visas. Funding is available through the Erasmus scheme, and also via some international programmes such as the Santander Student Awards.

For more information, visit our pages on studying abroad and exchanges.

Free language courses for students - the Open Module

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.

Please note that the free language courses are not available if you are:

  • studying at a Brookes partner college
  • studying on any of our teacher education courses or postgraduate education courses.

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.

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.

Teaching and learning

A variety of teaching and learning methods, including lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials are used across the programme, this ensures that you are exposed to a range of learning opportunities.

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

Approach to assessment

Various assessment methods are used including exams, essays, individual and group presentations, critical reviews and portfolios. This variety add gives you the opportunity to show your abilities across a number of different skill sets.

Assessment is supported by various structures including essay clinics, assessment workshops and preparatory classroom based activities (e.g. exam workshops).

Tuition fees

Home/EU - full time fee: 2018/19: £9,250

Home/EU - part time fee: 2018/19: £750 per single module

Home/EU - sandwich placement fee: 2018/19: £1,380

International - full time: 2018/19: £13,150

International - sandwich placement fee: 2018/19: £3,920

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 in the 'This course in detail' window above.

Questions about fees?
Contact Student Finance on:
+44 (0)1865 483088

Funding and scholarships

For general sources of financial support, see:

Typical offers

UCAS Tariff points: 112

A-Level: BBC or equivalent

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.

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 and EU applications

Preparation courses for International and EU students

We offer a range of courses to help students meet the academic and English language entry requirements for their courses and also familiarise them with university life.

Find out more about the international foundation pathways we offer and our pre-sessional English language courses.

Country specific entry requirements

If you are studying outside the UK, for more details about your specific country entry requirements, translated information and local representatives who can help you to apply, please have a look at our country specific information pages.

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.

How to apply

Full-time students should apply for this course through UCAS.

Part-time students should apply directly to the University.

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

Oxford Brookes operates 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.

Why Oxford is a great place to study this course

Oxford Brookes has strong links with the Thames Valley Police as well as several NGOs, HM Prison service and various legal practices and chambers.  These all provide opportunities for placements, contributions from visiting speakers and institutional visits, not to mention future career opportunities.

Oxford is also home to the  Oxford Centre for Criminology studies which provides an opportunity for further study, and public seminars and research projects to get involved in.

Support for students studying Criminology

Our Student Support Coordinators are there for you from the day you arrive to the day you leave, helping with anything from module advice to supporting you with any personal issues you may experience.
When you arrive at Oxford Brookes you'll be assigned an Academic Adviser who will provide you with academic support and supervision throughout your degree, helping you monitor your progress and performance. They will also keep you up to date with events around your studies, such as visiting speakers, seminars and career fairs.

Specialist facilities

The University library holds an impressive selection of books and journals, and you can also take advantage of the Library Electronic Information Network (LEIN), giving you access to a range of bibliographical searching tools, databases and electronic journals. With over half a million books, DVDs and CDs, a vast range of databases, e-journals and reference materials, the library provides all the resources you need for your study.

Once you reach the stage of writing your dissertation you will have access to the world famous Bodleian Library.

General support services

Supporting your learning

From academic advisers and support co-ordinators to specialist subject librarians and other learning support staff, we want to ensure that you get the best out of your studies.

Personal support services

We want your time at Brookes to be as enjoyable and successful as possible. That's why we provide all the facilities you need to be relaxed, happy and healthy throughout your studies.

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.