BA (Hons)



There are few subjects more compelling than crime. It is rarely out of the news headlines and dominates our TV schedules with crime boxsets regularly outperforming other genres. We are, as a nation, gripped by crime.


Course overview

Because it is such a topical, and often hugely divisive, social and political issue, crime makes great material for a lively and engaging degree to equip you with a wide range of inter-disciplinary skills. 

We draw in local, national and global considerations of criminology. From policing society to global terrorism and from miscarriage of justice to cybercrime, on our Criminology programme at Winchester you take a forensic look at the key perspectives on crime and the criminal justice system. 

This popular course has been designed to bring together the methodological, academic and practical skills essential to enhance your professional development and career opportunities. As such, you engage with crime related professionals, agencies and organisations to develop your understanding of how they work and apply newly-learnt theories. 

In the course of three years, you gain an understanding of wide-ranging topics including crime and punishment, crime and the media, policing, crimes against humanity, gender and crime, and organised crime. You also acquire skills of gathering data using quantitative and qualitative methods, synthesising and interpreting evidence and assembling arguments, presenting evidence and formulating findings and conclusions. 

You also have the opportunity to become a member of The British Society of Criminology, which has been in existence for 50 years, and is the society for criminologists, both academic and professional, within the United Kingdom. 
Find out more about the Department for Applied Social Science, Forensics and Politics 

What you need to know

Course start date



On campus

Course length

  • 3 years full-time
  • 6 years part-time



Typical offer

96-112 points


From £9,250 pa

Course features

  • Learn from a teaching team with wide-ranging practitioner experience offering genuine insight into the criminal justice system 
  • Become involved in real casework on cold cases and case reviews 
  • Opportunities for field trips to places such as Belfast and Turin 
  • Benefit from interactive and practical teaching approaches that bring theory and practice to life 

Course details

Study abroad

Our BA (Hons) Criminology course provides an opportunity for you to study abroad in the United States of America (USA).

For more information see our Study Abroad section.

Learning and teaching

Our aim is to shape 'confident learners' by enabling you to develop the skills needed to excel in your studies here and as well as onto further studies or the employment market.

You are taught primarily through a combination of lectures and seminars, allowing opportunities to discuss and develop your understanding of topics covered in lectures in smaller groups.

In addition to the formally scheduled contact time such as lectures and seminars etc.), you are encouraged to access academic support from staff within the course team and the wide range of services available to you within the University.

Independent learning

Over the duration of your course, you will be expected to develop independent and critical learning, progressively building confidence and expertise through independent and collaborative research, problem-solving and analysis with the support of staff. You take responsibility for your own learning and are encouraged to make use of the wide range of available learning resources available.

Overall workload

Your overall workload consists of class contact hours, independent learning and assessment activity.
While your actual contact hours may depend on the optional modules you select, the following information gives an indication of how much time you will need to allocate to different activities at each level of the course.

Year 1 (Level 4): Timetabled teaching and learning activity*

• Teaching, learning and assessment: 276 hours
• Independent learning: 924 hours

Year 2 (Level 5): Timetabled teaching and learning activity*

• Teaching, learning and assessment: 264 hours
• Independent learning: 936 hours

Year 3 (Level 6): Timetabled teaching and learning activity*

• Teaching, learning and assessment: 180 hours
• Independent learning: 1020 hours

*Please note these are indicative hours for the course.

Key features of the Criminology course are the opportunities to engage with practitioners and professions related to criminology and the criminal justice system. Visiting lectures, volunteering and work-based modules provide students with direct contact with and experience of work in contexts such as the police service, prison, probation and community -based organisations and agencies. Embedded in the course is the experience of working on the Innocence Project, which introduces live cases of criminal appeals. This is a unique opportunity for students to contribute to and experience real-world criminology in action. There is a student-led society which works closely with the Crime and Justice Research Centre to organise talks and trips.

Teaching Hours

All class based teaching takes places between 9am – 6pm, Monday to Friday during term time. Wednesday afternoons are kept free from timetabled teaching for personal study time and for sports clubs and societies to train, meet and play matches. There may be some occasional learning opportunities (for example, an evening guest lecturer or performance) that take places outside of these hours for which you will be given forewarning.


Our validated courses may adopt a range of means of assessing your learning. An indicative, and not necessarily comprehensive, list of assessment types you might encounter includes essays, portfolios, supervised independent work, presentations, written exams, or practical performances.
We ensure all students have an equal opportunity to achieve module learning outcomes. As such, where appropriate and necessary, students with recognised disabilities may have alternative assignments set that continue to test how successfully they have met the module's learning outcomes. Further details on assessment types used on the course you are interested in can be found on the course page, by attending an Open Day or Open Evening, or contacting our teaching staff.

Percentage of the course assessed by coursework

The assessment balance between examination and coursework depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose. The approximate percentage of the course assessed by different assessment modes is as follows:

Year 1 (Level 4)*:

• 75% coursework
• 25% written exams
• 0% practical exams

Year 2 (Level 5)*:

• 87% coursework
• 0% written exams
• 13% practical exams

Year 3 (Level 6)*:

• 100% coursework
• 0% written exams
• 0% practical exams

*Please note these are indicative percentages and modes for the programme.


Please note the modules listed are correct at the time of publishing. The University cannot guarantee the availability of all modules listed and modules may be subject to change. The University will notify applicants of any changes made to the core modules listed. For further information please refer to


Introduction to Criminology

Criminology is considered as a ‘rendezvous’ but specialist discipline; a study of crime and criminal activity that serves as a meeting point for Social Science disciplines. This module introduces and explores the various disciplinary approaches to the study of crime. However, it will have as its starting point an exploration of common-sense and everyday perceptions and the social construction of crime, as well as the representation of crime and the criminal justice system. The module will also begin to introduce and explore the range and scope of issues and topics examined by the specialist discipline of Criminology.

Crime Through Time

Contemporary debates on crime and deviance are rarely completely new. The experiences that history can teach us are very useful for understanding current dilemmas and conceptualising social problems and criminal behaviour. In this module students will look at a variety of different historical issues and lessons that can be derived from historical perspectives on crime and deviance largely but not completely focusing upon the 19th century; the module will trace the development of particular aspects of crime and punishment, such as organised crime and slavery, from the 19th century through to the contemporary era.

Amongst others the module will explore the historical origins of juvenile delinquency in Victorian England, violent crime in history, the establishment of the police and the criminal justice system, issues of punishment from transportation through to capital punishment; it will also explore how gender perspectives contributed to associations of particular offences with women.

Being a Criminologist

This module aims to support students in the transition from previous studies or employment into university level study. The module is practical and linked to the other modules that students will be studying throughout their first year at Winchester. Students will explore the start of their professional development also through talks from Careers and engagement with practitioners and voluntary organisations. Alongside the skills development sessions, students will develop independent research skills in a group format. They will design, execute and analyse a small research project through workshops throughout the semester.

Law, Government and Policy

Law, Government and Policy offers a foundation approach to the legal and political processes for criminology students. To be able analyse and critically assess crime, law and order approaches within the wider studies of criminology, it is essential for students to have an appreciation of the processes through which legislation is created and the political influences on them. This module aims to take both a practical and theoretical look at the legal system through the analysis of existing policy and legislation along with experiencing the criminal justice system through court visits. The aim is to bring in guest speakers who are legal practitioners to offer an authentic and realistic element to the programme of teaching. The module will be delivered through interactive lectures making use of case studies, practical applications and policy/legislation analysis.

Police and Police Work

The police are one of the most important parts of the criminal justice system and also one of the most scrutinised. This module will introduce students to the work conducted by the police in England and Wales and focus on key debates on the role of the police with respect to the rest of society.

The module will also examine and explore issues such as policing by consent, the arming of police and contemporary issues such as community policing and the policing of terrorism. Other issues will include the policing approaches to protests and demonstrations. Challenges around police and youth groups and policing culture will be further considered. There will also be some comparisons with police forces outside the United Kingdom.

Crime, Media and Culture

In this module you will have an opportunity to explore the mediation of crime and ‘deviant’ behaviour. Crime has always been a theme for popular media but in the contemporary world new and old media have become tools for policing and social control. At the same time, critics suggest that that the popular media have an important role in the construction of particular discourses or ideologies of crime and punishment. This module explores these themes using a range of contemporary and established theoretical approaches.

The module itself is divided into two related parts. Part One is aimed to introduce to the main theoretical concepts of ‘crime’, ‘media’ and ‘culture’ in order that you have strong theoretical knowledge and are better able to produce informed academic arguments. Part Two uses case studies of various aspects of crime, media and culture, to encourage you to examine and critically reflect on the inter-related nature of crime, culture and media representations.


Victims play a vital role within the criminal justice system with the ‘state’ often taking the role of representative of the victim within formal justice processes. Victims hold a number of different statuses within society – from the ‘ideal victim’ to the victim who ‘asked’ for what has happened to them. Social, legal and political motivations underpin how victims are both treated and portrayed.

This module seeks to explore, appreciate and understand what role victims have within justice systems, how they are represented by both themselves and stakeholders and what challenges and issues are involved with such roles. Through engagement with academic literature, media reporting and political documentation, students will explore the many facets of ‘victimhood’.

Criminological Identities and Contemporary Issues

This module explores the sociological and psychological theories of identity and the representation of identity within political and media discourses. It will challenge the notion of identity as fixed, presenting instead a conception of multiple identities which are negotiated through everyday social interaction. Different aspects will be considered such as gender, race and class in order to build a comprehensive understanding of the complexity of identities. The module will draw on case studies, critical discussion and analysis of contemporary criminological issues. Exploring topics such as nationalism, gendered boundaries and religious difference, students will engage with a mix of theory, real life experiences and media analysis. This module will assist in developing critical analysis skills as well introducing a wide range of theoretical perspectives alongside narrative approaches to understanding media and political representations of identity.



What constitutes ‘justice’ and how is this ‘delivered’? How did we come to contemporary concepts of “just punishment”? You will be introduced to the most important philosophical interpretations of the concept of punishment, and will discover the birth, evolution and socio-criminological characteristics of the main form of punishment (prison) and its alternatives.  Finally, contemporary penological approaches to the punishment of offenders will be analysed, from community penalties to restorative justice. You will be invited to practice and maintain a critical approach to the subject, in order to understand that theory and reality in criminal justice practice may be two different things, and to identify where some change in the policies could be needed.

Young People, Deviance and Crime

This module considers representations of young people as anti-social and deviant. It explores the concepts of ‘youth’ and ‘crime’ and considers the problem of youth and the problem of crime as social constructions. The risk factors and theories regarding deviant and criminal behaviour (biological functionalism, labelling, conflict, subcultures, conflict and control, as well as recent neuropsychological research) will be evaluated.  Issues of gender, race and class will also figure in appreciating how these factors are constructed.  

Substantive topics include a focus on gangs, the 2011 London Riots and the trajectories of excluded youth; those outside of mainstream school and/or with looked-after status. The Youth Justice system will be explored as part of a consideration of national and international responses to youth deviance.

Criminological Theory

This module will introduce students to the range of ways by which crime has been conceptualised within Criminology and to critically explore the wide range of theoretical perspectives that those researching crime and criminality view the key issues and challenges from. You will become familiar with a range of key themes that run through the array of Criminological theory and develop a core understanding of how these varied views complement and contradict one another.

The module will be delivered through two sessions per week with a focus on exploring the range of Criminological theories and understanding the role that such positions have in practice, the construction of understanding of the criminal justice and their role in pushing forward reform and change.

Criminological Research

The early stages of this module will seek to explore some of the traditions, principles and philosophies of conducting research within social sciences and with a specific focus on criminological research. It will aim to challenge the fundamental understanding of the nature and purpose of criminological research. The teaching will enable students to develop understanding of contextualised, considered and critical application of research within criminological settings. The later stages of the module will focus on the design and proposal for the student’s own Extended Independent Study in their final year. They will experience the initial stages of the research process through deciding on topics, issues, methodological and analytical approaches that they will use.

Underpinning the whole module will be exposure to real life research projects, how they were executed and the decisions and challenges faced. This forms part of the critical understanding of the ‘realities’ and ‘practicalities’ of conducting research. Overall, students will develop a working knowledge of the relevant research skills they will need to complete their Extended Independent Study as well employment post-graduation.

Violent Crime

Violent crime often triggers social outcry and political response when targeted towards particular vulnerable groups within society. However, the notion of violent crime moves beyond the obvious offending into areas such chastisement of children, violence in social disorder and domestic violence/abuse. The aim of this module is to explore the range of violent offending currently criminalised within the criminal justice system, the social and political responses to such offending and the treatment of violent offenders.

Drawing on theoretical considerations from sociological, penological and psychological fields of knowledge alongside political, social and media reactions, the module offers a multi-disciplinary view on this particular form of offending.

Criminal and Social Justice in Practice

This module offers students the opportunity to apply their theoretical knowledge and understanding to criminal and social justice practices in the UK. The aim of the module is to introduce students to a wide range of employers and career opportunities and allow students to develop reflective and career skills appropriate for criminal and social justice practice. Students will have the opportunity to explore and develop key skills including interviews, applications and personal statements tailored towards a career in criminal and/or social justice.

Criminological Narratives and Stories

Stories regarding crime, morality and deviance have existed for centuries within cultures around the world. From folklore and myth to early biblical writings, fairy tales, true crime and crime fiction, such narratives have sought to educate individuals on behaviour and punishment for wrongdoing. Personal accounts of experience of crime and the criminal justice system have remained a central form of these stories and narratives. Popular culture representations attempt to reflect these experiences, alongside societal concerns and attempt to generate debate on contentious subjects such as sexual offending, youth crime and serial killing. These representations often reflect an interplay between (non)-fiction, ‘reality’ and theory within Criminology. The module draws on popular culture representations of crime, morality and deviance with particular focus on the telling of personal accounts. Through engagement with such accounts, students will further their critical understanding of crime, morality and deviance within differing stories and narratives of personal experience.

Optional Modules
  • Comparative Criminal Justice - 15 credits
  • Volunteering in Criminology - 15 credits
  • Crime Mapping and Geographical Information Systems - 15 Credits
  • Digital Crime and Investigation - 15 credits


Extended Independent Study

Following two years of criminological study, the Extended Independent Study (EIS) provides an opportunity for students to develop further study into an area or topic of their own choice and interest, and to undertake a piece of independent research. The student will identify a topic of interest, provide a rationale for the research, devise and submit a research proposal, conduct a piece of research and write up and present the project and main findings following the appropriate scholarly conventions.

There can be a range of approaches and associated outputs from this independent research. For example, students can opt for the traditional inquiry module with a 10,000 word dissertation report. Alternatively, a student can complete an industry problem led project where there is partnership working with an organisation to address a particular issue in their operations. There will be flexibility in the output created to allow for students to make the most out of the research process.

The EIS is a double module which spans Semesters 1 and 2 and provides the student with an opportunity to develop their interests in a specific aspect of Criminology as well as developing their research and communication skills.

Optional modules
  • Criminological Investigation: Miscarriages of Justice, The Justice Project - 15 Credits
  • Organised Crime - 15 Credits
  • Drugs and Alcohol: Use and Control - 15 Credits
  • Criminology Independent Project - 15 Credits
  • Controlling and Preventing Crime and Deviance - 15 Credits
  • Riots, Protest and the Law - 15 Credits
  • Understanding Political Violence: The contradictions of Terrorism - 15 Credits
  • Criminal Bodies - 15 Credits
  • Sport and Crime - 15 Credits
  • Crime and Humanity - 15 Credits
  • Criminological Psychology - 15 Credits
  • Modern Slavery - 15 Credits
  • Identity, Equality and Crime - 15 Credits

Entry requirements

96-112 points

Our offers are typically made using UCAS tariff points to allow you to include a range of level 3 qualifications and as a guide, the requirements for this course are equivalent to:

  • A-Levels: CCC-BBC from 3 A Levels or equivalent grade combinations (e.g. CCC is comparable to BCD in terms of tariff points)
  • BTEC/CTEC: MMM-DMM from BTEC or Cambridge Technical (CTEC) qualifications
  • International Baccalaureate: To include a minimum of 2 Higher Level certificates at grade H4
  • T Level: Pass (C or above on the core) in a T Level

Additionally, we accept tariff points achieved for many other qualifications, such as the Access to Higher Education Diploma, Scottish Highers, UAL  Diploma/Extended Diploma and WJEC Applied Certificate/Diploma, to name a few. We also accept tariff points from smaller level 3 qualifications, up to a maximum of 32,   from qualifications like the Extended Project (EP/EPQ), music or dance qualifications. To find out more about UCAS tariff points, including what your qualifications are worth, please visit UCAS.

In addition to level 3 study, the following GCSE’s are required:

GCSE English Language at grade 4 or C, or higher. Functional Skills at level 2 is accepted as an alternative, however Key Skills qualifications are not. If you hold another qualification, please get in touch and we will advise further.

If you will be over the age of 21 years of age at the beginning of your undergraduate study, you will be considered as a mature student. This means our offer may be different and any work or life experiences you have will be considered together with any qualifications you hold. UCAS have further information about studying as a mature student on the UCAS website which may be of interest.

International points required

If English is not your first language, a formal English language test will most likely be required and you will need to achieve the following:

  • IELTS Academic at 5.5 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in all four components (for year 1 entry).
  • We also accept other English language qualifications, such as IELTS Indicator, Oxford ELLT, Pearson PTE Academic, Cambridge C1 Advanced and TOEFL iBT.

If you are living outside of the UK or Europe, you can find out more about how to join this course by contacting our International Recruitment Team via our International Apply Pages.

2024 Course Tuition Fees

  UK / Channel Islands /
Isle of Man / Republic of Ireland 


Year 1 £9,250 £16,700
Year 2 £9,250 £16,700
Year 3 £9,250 £16,700
Total £27,750 £50,100
Optional Sandwich Year* £1,850 £3,340
Total with Sandwich Year £29,600 £53,440

Additional tuition fee information

If you are a UK student starting your degree in September 2024, the first year will cost you £9,250**. Based on this fee level, the indicative fees for a three-year degree would be £27,750 for UK students.

Remember, you don’t have to pay any of this upfront if you are able to get a tuition fee loan from the UK Government to cover the full cost of your fees each year.

UK Part-Time fees are calculated on a pro rata basis of the full-time fee for a 120 credit course. The fee for a single credit is £77.08 and a 15 credit module is £1,156. Part-time students can take up to a maximum 90 credits per year, so the maximum fee in a given year will be the government permitted maximum fee of £6,935.

International part-time fees are calculated on a pro rata basis of the full-time fee for a 120 credit course. The fee for a single credit is £139.14 and a 15 credit module is £2,087.

* Please note that not all courses offer an optional sandwich year.

**The University of Winchester will charge the maximum approved tuition fee per year.

Additional costs

Additional Costs

As one of our students all of your teaching and assessments are included in your tuition fees, including, lectures/guest lectures and tutorials, seminars, laboratory sessions and specialist teaching facilities. You will also have access to a wide range of student support and IT services.

There might be additional costs you may encounter whilst studying. The following highlights the mandatory and optional costs for this course:


For some modules, students are strongly recommended that they purchase one or two books (usually a general textbook or a sourcebook that is used weekly across a module). Indicative cost is £150 per academic year.

Field trips

Some optional criminology modules may involve a field trip. Indicative cost is £500 for each trip.

Printing and binding

The University is pleased to offer our students a printing allowance of £5 each academic year. This will print around 125 A4 (black and white) pages. If students wish to print more, printer credit can be topped up by the student. The University and Student Union are champions of sustainability and we ask all our students to consider the environmental impact before printing.


We have a variety of scholarship and bursaries available to support you financially with the cost of your course. To see if you’re eligible, please see our Scholarships and Awards.


Graduates are equipped for a wide range of criminal justice careers including the police service, youth and probation work, and the prison service. The Home Office, HM Revenue and Customs, legal firms and other relevant support roles in crime-related work are also potential employment routes.

The University of Winchester ranks in the top 10 in the UK for graduates in employment or further study according to the Graduate Outcomes Survey 2023, HESA.

Pre-approved for a Masters 

If you study a Bachelor Honours degree with us, you will be pre-approved to start a Masters degree at Winchester. To be eligible, you will need to apply by the end of March in the final year of your degree and meet the entry requirements of your chosen Masters degree. 

'Students aren't just learning from textbooks, they're learning from real life experiences and case studies'. Hear from our students and staff on what you can expect studying Criminology at Winchester.

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