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BSc (Hons) Criminology

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UCAS code: 
Institution code: 


Three years full-time.

Four and a half to nine years part-time.

Typical Offer: 

96 UCAS tariff points (or above)
CCC (A-Level), MMM (BTEC).


  • Excellent links with Suffolk Constabulary, local magistrates, the Crown Prosecution Service and the probation service. 
  • Regular guest speakers who are practitioners that work in the field with either victims or offenders.
  • As a Criminology graduate, you will be well equipped with advanced skills and the confidence to thrive in a variety of roles.
  • Benefit from small class sizes, helping you strengthen your learning and employability.


Criminology is an academic discipline with strong roots in Sociology, Psychology, Law, Social Policy and Philosophy, and offers a number of robust theoretical and empirical debates. Through engaging in these debates students will gain the very important undergraduate skill of critical and will be challenged to seek answers to fundamental questions such as:

•    What is crime? 
•    Why do people commit crime? 
•    Why and how do we punish offenders? 
•    Are we all equal before the law? 
•    How does the Criminal Justice System, and institutions such as prisons, work? 
•    How do we prevent crime? 

Criminology is an inherently reflexive discipline as it deals with public issues that have a contested value basis. To this end, students will be introduced to a variety of research methods and ethical considerations, so that they can challenge and understand the limitations and ambiguities of research.

Course modules

Typical course content will follow the below format, with some optional modules being available subject to appropriate student numbers and specialist staff availability

Level 4 All Mandatory Criminology Modules and 4 from the Optional level 4 (Year 1) modules below 

Level 5 All Mandatory Criminology Modules and 4 from the Optional level 5 (Year 2) modules below

Level 6 All Mandatory Criminology Modules and 4 from the Optional level 6 (Year 3) modules below

For this course all modules are assessed and a range of assessment methods are used, including essays, reports, case studies, critiques, reviews and formal examinations.

For a preparatory reading list please click here

Full downloadable information regarding all University of Suffolk courses, including Key Facts, Course Aims, Course Structure and Assessment, is available in the Definitive Course Record.

Introduction to Criminology (Mandatory)

Introduction to Criminology aims to introduce students to the history of criminological thought, combining biographical fact with historical and cultural context. Students will develop an understanding of how crime is defined and measured and examine theoretical perspectives that seek to explain causes of criminal behaviour. 

Social Science Research Skills (Mandatory)

Social Science Research Skills aims to give students an introduction to social science research methods, in addition to progressing important study skills during Level 4. Social Science Research Skills provides the foundation for the Level 5 Quantitative and Qualitative Data modules. 

Media, Crime & Deviance (Optional)

Media, Crime and Deviance aims to introduce students to some aspects of media sociology by critically examining everyday common sense notions about crime and deviance. Students will be invited to consider the socially constructed nature of crime and deviance and how these typologies change over time and between cultures.

Politics, Crime and Policy (Optional)

Politics, Crime and Policy gives students the skills and knowledge to identify the connection between political ideology and policy responses to crime and deviance, in addition to investigating how modern societies understand equality and social justice. This will enable students to form responses to criminal and perceived deviant behaviour.

Principles of Psychology for Criminology (Optional)

Principles of Psychology for Criminology provides students with an understanding of how human behaviour is influenced by biological, behavioural, cognitive and psychoanalytic processes. The focus of the module is to give students a grounding in the fundamentals of psychology in order to complement their understanding of criminology and offending behaviour. 

Introduction to Sociology (Optional)

Introduction to Sociology focusses on making the everyday strange and the far away near so as to gain a better grasp on key aspects of social life. Students will be able to engage in key debates in addition to examining a range of competing perspectives that aim to explain the patterns of social life. 

Criminological Theory (Mandatory)

Criminological Theory explores the importance of political and cultural concerns when considering the search for the “causes” of crime. Students will examine the ways in which criminological theories are shaped by changing economic, social, cultural and policy contexts. Students will be able to identify a range of concepts and successfully evaluate how theory influences policy and practice.

Questionnaire Design and Analysis (Mandatory)

Questionnaire Design and Analysis provides students with the skills to carry out research of sufficient quality and rigour to complete their independent studies. The module aims to promote a critical and questioning approach, provide students with an advanced awareness of SPSS in addition to ethical concerns, reliability and validity in research.

Qualitative Research Design and Analysis (Mandatory)

Qualitative Research Design and Analysis serves as a basis for the Dissertation research at Level 6, providing students with the opportunity to develop and apply skills in managing, collecting, analysing and reporting qualitative data. Students will identify and discuss ethical considerations relating to qualitative research.

Youth Crime and Justice (Optional)

Youth Crime and Justice aims to enable students to develop a critical understanding of the contemporary youth justice system through examining the main concerns and policies applied to young people in trouble with the law. Students will critically evaluate the impact of current legislation on youth justice services and identify and analyse themes on oppression and discrimination.

Policing (Optional)

The Policing module seeks to being together key areas of criminological inquiry and explore the role of policing. Students will develop an understanding of contemporary concerns such as antisocial behaviour and terrorism, and demonstrate the ways in which law has become a significant area of public concern.

Criminal Justice (Optional)

Criminal Justice aims to analyse the social, economic and political factors that underpin the policing, court, penal and probation institutions. Issues to be discussed include the implementation of legislation, the balance between due process and crime control and the impact of Human Rights legislation on criminal justice policy.

Psychology and Crime*

Psychology and Crime explores the ways in which psychology can be applied to criminology and examines how psychology can be applied to criminal and deviant behaviour. The module explains a number of psychological theories of crime, in addition to the psychology of responding to crime.

Social Theory (Optional)

Social Theory provides students with the opportunity to engage with the ideas of a range of important theorists from the late 20th and early 21st centuries, allowing for an engagement with the insightful, often challenging and sometimes counter-intuitive perspectives that come from a range of contemporary social theorists.

Research Dissertation (Mandatory)

Research is an important and integral part of your degree, and the Research Dissertation gives students the opportunity to expand learning and develop interests in a particular topic. Students will critique research by others and will reflect on their own work, moving students from a theoretical knowledge of research toward a more informed level of skill and application.

Penology (Optional)

Penology considers both custodial and non-custodial punishment and various issues and dilemmas that might derive from penal intervention. Issues such as the ‘Americanisation’ of the penal system and the impact of prison privatisation will be discussed, in addition to the assessment of the ethos and effectiveness of incarceration.

Victimology (Optional)

Victims of Crime allows students to recognise the extent, patterns and impact of victimisation which is fundamental to enable informed discussion regarding crime and deviance. Through exploring the concept of victimisation, the experience of crime victims and developments in response to them, students will have the opportunity to broaden their understanding of contemporary crime and criminal justice.

Drugs, Crime and Society (Mandatory)

The module explores key issues, themes and debates from the field of drugs, crime and society. Students explore established and more recent academic and policy debates surrounding drug use, regulation and criminalisation. It is expected that students will come to the module with a 'taken-for-granted' perspective on the nature of drugs, their links with crime, and their wider social consequences and the module aims to challenge some of these.

Contemporary Issues in Criminology (Optional)

Contemporary Issues in Criminology students will engage with selected contemporary issues, debates and perspectives in criminology, developing a critical overview of the discipline as it stands. Students will explore and critique the influence of current political and cultural contexts on particular policies and practices.

Career opportunities

•    The most recent figures available from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) reveal that 91.3% of Psychology, Sociology and Criminology graduates in 2014/15 found employment within six months of graduation or were in Education/Further Study.

•    Around 60% of graduate jobs are open to graduates of any discipline and Criminology graduates are well equipped with the advanced skills and confidence to thrive in a variety of occupations.

•    Criminology graduates are good at problem solving, have good analytical and research skills, and have excellent information and data management skills

•    Employability is taken very seriously at University of Suffolk and employers are directly involved in a number of taught and additional sessions over the course of the degree.

•    Excellent links with Suffolk Constabulary, local magistrates, the Crown Prosecution Service and the probation service. 

•    Important links to careers in Psychology are made for Level  5 and 6 students 

•    Online and face to face resources and advice are available from the University Careers and Employability Service for all University of Suffolk students.

What our students say

Have a read about Helena Bliss and what she loves most about studying Criminology. Helena is one of our second year students. Criminology student Tara McCartney has also told us what she loves about studying at Suffolk.

Student profiles

I have successfully completed my Criminology degree at the University of Suffolk. I chose to study Criminology because I was, and I am still interested in the criminal behaviour. During my degree, I discovered various perspectives and areas which explains the criminal behaviour. It ...

Fees and finance


  • Full-time Tuition fee: £9,250 p.a.
  • Part-time Tuition fee: £1,454 per 20 credit module (Please contact the Infozone for further information).
  • International Tuition fee: £12,150 p.a. 


  • Full-time tuition fee: £9,250 p.a
  • Part-time tuition fee: £1,454 per 20 credits (please contact the Infozone for further information)
  • Full-time International tuition fee: £13,000 p.a

Further Information

At University of Suffolk, your tuition fees provide access to all the usual teaching and learning facilities that you would expect. However, there may be additional costs associated with you course that you will need to budget for. 

* 2022-23 tuition fees are subject to change in line with inflation, or a government change in the fee cap.

Entry requirements


Associate Professor in Sociology

Associate Professor in Criminology

Senior Lecturer in Criminology

Lecturer in Criminology

Lecturer in Sociology

Facilities and Resources

Your Criminology studies will be mainly based in our modern, well-equipped Waterfront Building situated on the Ipswich Waterfront, which was our first dedicated teaching and learning space after opening in 2008. 

The Criminology team has extensive links with all local agencies that operate within the criminal justice system, and as such they are able to embed contemporary research into their teaching demonstrating the applied nature of criminology at the University of Suffolk.

In addition, many modules regularly have guest speakers who are practitioners that work either with victims or offenders. Some recent examples are senior police officers, criminal defence solicitors, senior magistrates, witness services personnel and youth justice practitioners.

Waterfront Building Question Mark

Waterfront Building Question Mark

The Waterfront Building provides the perfect base for your studies, being close to the town centre and overlooking the marina.