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Course overview

  • 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

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.

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 Year 1, you gain an awareness of the key principles and concepts underpinning the study of crime. You explore the central theories and methodologies encountered within the social sciences and within criminology, and gain an understanding of key ideas underlying social policy and the criminal justice system.

In Year 2, you develop your understanding of criminological and social theory and explore a range of topics addressing significant and current themes from youth to violent crime. You also develop your ability to approach research in criminology.

In Year 3, you broaden your knowledge of topics in the field and put into practice your independent research skills by specialising in a topic of your own choice in completing your final year project.

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.

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.


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.

94.4% of our 2015/16 graduates (first degree and other undergraduate courses) were in employment and/or further study six months after completing their course (Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education survey). 

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.


Suitable for applicants from:

UK, EU, World

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, your personal tutor 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: 288 hours
• Independent learning: 912 hours

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

• Teaching, learning and assessment: 288 hours
• Independent learning: 900 hours
• Placement: 12 hours

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

• Teaching, learning and assessment: 240 hours
• Independent learning: 960 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.


Taught elements of the course take place on our King Alfred Campus Winchester or at our West Downs Campus, Winchester.


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)*:

• 74 % coursework
• 19 % written exams
• 7 % practical exams

Year 2 (Level 5)*:

• 87 % coursework
• 5 % written exams
• 8 % practical exams

Year 3 (Level 6)*:

• 88 % coursework
• 9 % written exams
• 3 % practical exams

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


King Alfred or West Downs, University of Winchester


We are committed to providing timely and appropriate feedback to you on your academic progress and achievement in order to enable you to reflect on your progress and plan your academic and skills development effectively. You are also encouraged to seek additional feedback from your course tutors.

Further information

For more information about our regulations for this course, please see our Academic Regulations, Policies and Procedures

This programme is currently being validated. This is an internal process of ensuring our programmes offer students the best learning experience and can result in changes to the content of the course.


Entry requirements

2018 Entry: 104-120 points

A GCSE A*-C or 9-4 pass in English Language is required.

International Baccalaureate

26 points

If English is not your first language: Year 1/Level 4: IELTS 6.0 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in writing or equivalent

Course enquiries and applications

Telephone: +44 (0) 1962 827234
Send us a message

International students

If you are living outside of the UK or Europe, you can find out more about how to join this course by emailing our International Recruitment Team at or calling +44 (0)1962 827023

Visit us

Explore our campus and find out more about studying at Winchester by coming to one of our Open Days.


Year 1 (Level 4)

Modules Credits

Classical Criminological Theory 15

In this module, you will become familiar with the main criminological theories as they were developed from mid XVIII century to 1950s. You will become aware how the definitions of crime, that is, causes and solutions, change in space and time. In particular, you will find out how different authors put forward different explanations of the causes of crime: individual choice, genetic elements, race factors, class issues, cultural conflicts; different solutions stem out of these conceptions, ranging from prisons to asylums, from welfare to medical treatment. Finally, you will become familiar with the conception of crime as a definition adopted against marginal groups, and the solutions proposed as tools of social control.

Victimology 15

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’.

Police and Police Work 15

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 and approaches protests and demonstrations, police and youth as well as police ethics and culture.

Crime, Media and Culture 15

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.

Crime Through Time 15

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.


Law, Government and Policy 15

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.

Being a Criminologist 15

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 through talks from the Careers Team and engagement with practitioners and voluntary organisations. Alongside the skills development sessions, students will engage with independent research in a group format. They will design, execute and analyse a small research project through workshops throughout the semester. This will be with assigned groups and topics and will culminate in a presentation to their peers. The research project process will be assessed formatively to offer the opportunity to students to attempt a range of assessment approaches in a supported and non-grade bearing forum..

There will be face to face delivery and online content at the points where it makes most sense in students’ academic development - starting out, first submission, working on feedback received and exam preparation. Furthermore, there will be optional skills sessions that students can attend to address specific issues that they may be experiencing. The module will comprise of lectures and workshops facilitating the development of their own research project culminating in the submission of their portfolio.

Introduction to Criminology 15

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.

The module will conclude by introducing students to some of the criminology-related initiatives and interventions currently at the University, such as the ‘Innocence Project’, ‘Prison Theatre productions’ and community-based initiatives. This will also introduce students to the notion of and opportunities for volunteering as part of the university-wide initiative and policy.

Year 2 (Level 5)

Modules Credits

Penology 15
Criminology Research 30
Young People, Deviance and Crime 15
Contemporary Criminological Theory 15

Optional Credits

Optional Modules

Comparative Criminal Justice 15 credits

Criminological Field Trip 15 credits

Criminological Identities and Contemporary Issues 15 credits

Landscapes of Conflict 15 credits

Writings on Crime, Morality and Deviance 15 credits

Violent Crime 15 credits

Volunteering in Criminology 15 credits

Year 3 (Level 6)

Modules Credits

Extended Independent Study 30

Following two years of criminological study, the Extended Independent Study module (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 enquiry 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 Credits

Criminological Investigation: Miscarriages of Justice, The Justice Project 15 Credits

Criminological Investigation: Investigating Serious Crimes 15 Credits

Organised Crime 15 Credits

Policing Society 15 Credits

Criminological Psychology 15 Credits

Sport and Crime 15 Credits

Understanding Political Violence. The contradictions of Terrorism 15 Credits

Forensic Criminology 15 Credits

The Politics of Crime 15 Credits

Crime and Humanity 15 Credits

Riots, Protest and the Law 15 Credits

Drug and Alcohol: Use and Control 15 Credits

Criminal Bodies 15 Credits

Criminology Independent Project 15 Credits


Please note the modules listed are correct at the time of publishing, for full-time students entering the programme in Year 1. Optional modules are listed where applicable. Please note the University cannot guarantee the availability of all modules listed and modules may be subject to change. For further information please refer to the terms and conditions at
The University will notify applicants of any changes made to the core modules listed above.

Course Tuition Fees 

UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man

If you are a UK or EU student starting your degree in September 2018, 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 and EU 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. If finance is a worry for you, we are here to help. Take a look at the range of support we have on offer. This is a great investment you are making in your future, so make sure you know what is on offer to support you.

Full-time £9,250 p/a

Total Cost: £27,750 (3 years) | £28,450 (sandwich option)

UK/EU 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 £6,938

International Students

Full-time £12,950** p/a
Total Cost: £38,850** (3 years) | £39,550** (sandwich option)

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 £107.92 and a 15 credit module is £1,620. Fees for students from Vestfold University College in Norway (who receive a 10% reduction) and NLA are £11,655.


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). Cost £150 per academic year.

Field trips

Some optional criminology modules may involve a field trip. Cost £450 for each trip.


Students may need to pay for poster printing on some modules throughout all years of study. Prices will vary depending on materials, lamination and the number of students in the group creating the poster. Cost £5 per module.

Scholarships, Bursaries and Awards

We have a variety of scholarships 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 page. 

Key course details

UCAS code
3 years full-time; 6 years part-time
Typical offer
104-120 points
King Alfred or West Downs, University of Winchester