BA (Hons)

Criminology and Sociology


Criminology has never been concerned solely with crime. Criminologists have always wanted to define the nature of crime and explain its social causes. Although you learn a lot about both criminology and sociology on our joint honours programme, the unique value of its interdisciplinary approach is that it provides deeper insights into the nature and origin of crime.

Criminology and Sociology

Course overview

Over three years, you learn to apply both sociological and criminological theories to complex problems. You learn about the relationship of social inequalities and divisions to crime and deviance, and analyse the best ways to control crime. These might include new policing methods, but also potential changes to housing, welfare and education policies. Or it might mean developing new strategies for the work of the prison and probation services. 

The interdisciplinary approach makes this degree suitable for many professions. You acquire sharp research and analytical skills and a broad social scientific base from which to explore a range of job opportunities. 
Find out more about the Department for Applied Social Science, Forensics and Politics 

What you need to know

Course start date



Winchester campus

Course length

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



Typical offer

96-112 points


From £9,250 pa

Course features

  • Become proficient at using both sociological and criminological approaches to solve complex problems in real casework on cold cases and case reviews 
  • Consider in-depth many aspects of human experience, including the sociology of deviance, social activism, and the context of crime 
  • Learn from a teaching team with wide ranging practitioner experience offering genuine insight into the criminal justice system 
  • Benefit from interactive and practical teaching approaches that bring theory and practice to life 

Course details

Year 1 is foundational and you are introduced to the key theories, concepts and perspectives within both criminology and sociology. These include Communities, Identities and Crime, and Social Policy. 

In Year 2, you can focus on a range of sociological themes, such as human rights, youth studies, race, migration, the environment and climate change, while also studying criminological theory. You also develop an understanding of applied research skills and knowledge. 

In Year 3, you explore more specialised aspects and undertake research into a topic of your choice to write a dissertation within either criminology or sociology. But there are also more opportunities to follow up a range of special interests, from Crime and Deviance, to Globalised Crime: Organised Crime and Cyber Crime in criminology, and from Substance Use and Misuse, to Ideology, Conflict and Terrorism, in sociology. 

Study Abroad

Our BA (Hons) Criminology and Sociology 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: 276 hours
Independent learning: 924 hours

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

Teaching, learning and assessment: 216 hours
Independent learning: 984 hours

*Please note these are indicative hours for the course.

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)*:

62% coursework
25% written exams
13% practical exams

Year 2 (Level 5)*:

75% coursework
0% written exams
25% practical exams

Year 3 (Level 6)*:

85% coursework
0% written exams
15% 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.

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.


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’.

Issues and Debates in Social Policy

This module explores the topic of social policy. It is a topic that is wide in scope, and you will become familiar with how significant it is to meeting our basic human needs (welfare/wellbeing). As we progress through the module, you will learn about the welfare state along with some of the key areas of social policy. We are going to cover areas such as: income maintenance, housing, and crime, justice and punishment.  In addition to developing your knowledge and understanding of important social-policy issues, you will learn how to work in a group effectively as well as becoming familiar with an innovative way of disseminating information that academics use at conferences – the poster presentation. At the end of the module, you will realise how social policies affect all of our lives.

The Sociological Imagination

This module introduces students to the discipline of sociology and outlines its core principles and approaches. It considers the dominant narrative of our subject, as the product of European Enlightenment rationalism, and reflects on what that story misses out and overlooks. Students will be introduced to conflict, functionalist, and expressionist theories and key elements of sociological thinking such as structure and agency, the public and the private, and the micro and the macro. In doing so they will develop their critical thinking skills. The sociological concern with power and its operations in society will be explored, and students will learn to evaluate the contributions of different traditions of sociological thought. Through a focus on learning to think sociologically, this module is designed to develop students’ academic skills of reading, researching, referencing and writing.

Understanding the Family & Intimate Relationships

This module explores the nature of family membership and how this has changed over time. It will examine what families actually do, focusing on emotional intimacy, caring and economic exchange. We will look at the trends in marriage, cohabitation and divorce since the 1970s. You will explore the nature and extent of inequality within families. In addition, we will explore the dark side of the family, looking at domestic abuse, forced marriages and ‘honour’ killings.

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.

Identity, Equality & Diversity

This module is designed to help you engage with concepts of identity, equality and diversity, which are terms often used within contemporary society. Using different settings and examples the module aims to explore the key issues of diversity within communities. Why do we as a society, feel that issues of equality and diversity matter?  This module will explore this subject from a range of theoretical perspectives. The module will also tackle the issue of rights and responsibilities, and confidentiality of information.



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.

Optional Modules
  • Choose one of the below modules:

    • Criminological Research - 30 Credits
    • Applied Research Skills - 15 Credits


    Optional modules:

    • Comparative Criminal Justice - 15 Credits
    • Volunteering for Sociology - 15 Credits
    • Violent Crime - 15 Credits
    • The Environment, Climate Change and Globalisation - 15 Credits
    • Disability and Society - 15 Credits
    • Gender and Sexualities - 15 Credits
    • Race, Ethnicity and Migration - 15 Credits
    • Religion and Spirituality in Contemporary Society - 15 Credits
    • Age and Social Change - 15 Credits
    • Understanding Urban and Rural Societies - 15 Credits
    • Volunteering in Criminology - 15 Credits
    • Young People, Deviance and Crime - 15 Credits
    • Criminal and Social Justice in Practice - 15 Credits
    • Criminological Narratives and Stories - 15 Credits
    • Digital Crime and Investigation - 15 credits


Dissertation in Sociology OR Extended Independent Study in Criminology

It represents an opportunity for you to undertake a research project on your own.  You will identify a particular research problem to investigate.  Then, you will execute a small-scale piece of research.  This may be a primary or secondary (literature-based) piece of research.  You will produce a scholarly piece of work in the format of a dissertation, as well as produce a poster presentation.  The latter will be displayed at an event for all Sociology students to attend, allowing you to share your research findings with your Sociology peers.

Optional modules
  • Criminological Investigation Miscarriages of Justice: The Justice Project - 15 Credits
  • Drugs and Alcohol: Use and Control - 15 Credits
  • Criminal Bodies - 15 Credits
  • Sport and Crime - 15 Credits
  • Crime and Humanity - 15 Credits
  • Criminological Psychology - 15 Credits
  • Human Rights, Social Activism and Public Sociology - 15 Credits
  • Social Movements and Protests in the Internet Age - 15 Credits
  • Substance Use and Misuse - 15 Credits
  • Conflict and Humanitarian Crises - 15 Credits
  • Globalisation, Beauty and the Media - 15 Credits
  • Modern Slavery - 15 Credits
  • Identity, Equality and Crime - 15 Credits
  • Desistance from Crime: From Theory to Practice - 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 find careers in health and social care, education, marketing and PR, management and human resources, as well as the public sector, including agencies within the criminal justice system.

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 degrees 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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