Crime is a feature of social life in every community and society throughout the world. As the behaviours that are regarded as crime, and the types of criminal behavior committed constantly change, the need for criminal justice related agencies and governments to understand crime and how to reduce it continues to rise. This course could give you the skills and knowledge you need for a future career working with offenders, victims and criminal or social justice organisations.
This course uses a range of teaching methods to engage and inspire you. You’ll have the chance to hear from guest speakers such as police officers, drug outreach workers or criminal justice staff. You’ll have the opportunity to take part in debates about the latest issues, such as why people commit crime, how to stop crime, and how to prevent people being victimised. You could investigate some fascinating topics such as sexual offending, cyber and environmental crime.
You’ll study a wide spectrum of criminal behavior, from petty theft through to state-sponsored terrorism. And you’ll be encouraged to investigate ways to reduce the crime rate, and assess the effect of organisations within the criminal justice system, such as the police and the Crown Prosecution Service.
You’ll be taught by tutors who have a wide range of research specialisms and knowledge of the issues involved in criminology today. They’ll engage you in debates, and give you a good picture of what it’s like in the real world. Many have worked in the criminal justice system or the voluntary sector, and they’ll use their expertise to give you practical examples of the work you could end up doing. You could be working with offenders or victims, or advising organisations on the steps they can take to reduce crime.
In your second year you’ll complete a compulsory work placement. Previous students have worked with youth offending teams, in prisons, police stations and courts as well as in voluntary agencies supporting offenders and victims in the community. You could also study abroad for a term in your second year.
This module guides you through the process of exploring social science subjects at university and develops your ability to be a successful student. You’ll have the opportunity to strengthen your academic study skills, as well as your knowledge of research approaches and methods, using subject-specific topics and case studies. You’ll explore ways to assess your learning needs, set learning goals, develop learning action plans and produce effective academic assignments. You’ll also be introduced to the philosophies, methods and ethics of social research processes. Assessment on this module is through coursework.
You’ll be introduced to the key areas of study within crime, criminology and criminal justice. The module is assessed through three pieces of coursework. Firstly your understanding of crime, antisocial behaviour and criminal law will be assessed in a workbook. Secondly you’ll consider the functions and decision-making involved in the criminal justice system through a group poster presentation. You’ll also explore some of the key theories that have been proposed to explain why people commit crime in a seen exam.
You'll examine the history of human rights and consider the debates which exist in contemporary society. You'll be introduced to a number of issues including genocide, the death penalty, freedom of expression, immigration, the rights of women and children, assisted suicide and abortion. Key documents including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, European Convention on Human Rights and the Human Rights Act will also be discussed. You'll be assessed through coursework involving the analysis of six contemporary media articles in relation to issues of human rights.
You'll explore both the myths and realities of crime through written coursework. The realities of crime are examined by considering how we measure the amount and types of crime being committed in England and Wales, who by, against whom and where. The myths of crime are studied through media (mis)representations of crime, offending and victimisation, considering the factors that shape crime reporting. The effects of these representations on the public will be considered by exploring research undertaken linking media reporting of crime to fear of crime, violent behaviour or aggression.
This module explores the explanations for crime and disorder, which you'll relate to the ways that criminological thought has developed through the time. These issues will be set in a social, political, theoretical and historical context. You’ll be assessed through one piece of coursework.
This module explores the strategies of crime reduction and prevention. You’ll explore a range of different reduction responses and investigate the evidence regarding their effectiveness in different situations. You’ll also consider explanations for the different ways that society responds to crime, setting these in a social, political, and theoretical context. You’ll be assessed through one piece of coursework.
You’ll have the opportunity to plan and complete a practical work based experience related to your course. This will give you the chance to apply your theoretical subject knowledge to a professional setting, helping to develop your employability skills in preparation for your future career. You’ll be assessed on your reflection upon the skills you have developed through coursework.
You’ll build on your foundation year of study in research methods to explore in greater depth how to design, conduct and analyse different forms of criminological research in preparation for your independent final year research project. You’ll be provided with the opportunity to gain hands-on experience of doing and analysing criminological research alongside theoretical study of research methodologies and design. You’ll be assessed through coursework on your understanding of the research process, quantitative and qualitative data.
Option modules. Choose one from a list which may include:
You‘ll be introduced to critical perspectives of the methods and processes of work undertaken with offenders and victims within the criminal justice process. This will include an exploration of factors that may influence criminal offending and how these may be addressed with strategies to reduce and manage offending through coursework involving an online exercise. You’ll also explore patterns of victimisation and repeat victimisation and strategies to address the needs of victims through written coursework.
You’ll study the history of police and policing in England and Wales and critically consider different styles and approaches to policing, with particular reference to globalisation and police legitimacy. You’ll further explore these issues by discussing approaches in other countries, cross-border and international policing. Learning on this module will be assessed through written coursework.
Plus one from a list which may include:
You'll look at gender and sexuality and explore the significance of these categories in relation to crime, deviance and regulation. You'll explore a range of topics from children and crime, deviant women, men, masculinity and crime, and sexual/domestic violence. You'll also watch videos, documentaries and news broadcasts and analyse how these construct and represent gender and crime. The module is assessed through coursework involving an essay and a seen exam.
You'll explore the nature, variety and extent of violent crime and its prevention (for example terrorism, homicide, work-placed bullying, and stalking). You'll demonstrate your knowledge of theoretical explanations for violent crime and violence prevention methods through an unseen exam.
You’ll explore two aspects of organised crime. Firstly, you'll study white-collar, financial crimes and the damaging impact that they can have on the economy of a country. Secondly you’ll examine how organised crime can drive people trafficking and trading of drugs and illegal arms, which enables ‘rogue’ states to wage war on their own people. Finally you‘ll explore how both kinds of crime relate to your own life. You’ll be assessed through a 2 hour unseen examination.
You may also have the opportunity to study abroad (outside of Europe) for a term in your second year. Within Europe, the University is also part of Erasmus+, the European Commission’s Exchange programme, giving you the chance to study for part of your degree in another country.
You'll research a topic of your choice in depth, giving you the opportunity to develop your own research interests. Drawing on the area you have chosen to study, you'll engage with issues of project design and research methods. You'll be assessed through two pieces of coursework. Firstly through an oral presentation you'll discuss your project proposal. You'll then produce a dissertation about your research topic. You'll receive individual support from a dedicated staff member in supervision sessions, which will include providing feedback on up to 25% of the final draft of the project (if submitted by an agreed date).
You'll be encouraged to critically consider contemporary and newly emerging issues and debates within criminology, through coursework involving a written case study of your choice. You'll be introduced to the field of comparative criminology by exploring key criminological problems in England and Wales within the context of historical and international comparisons of crime patterns and trends, criminal justice policy, practice and theoretical developments. Example topics include prostitution, the illegal trade in endangered species, management of sex offenders, cyber crime and people trafficking.
Option modules. Choose one from Pool A, one from Pool B and one from either Pool A or Pool B, from a list which may include:
You'll be encouraged to critically examine the adult penal or 'punishment' system in England and Wales. You'll focus on how people working and caught in the system experience this, exploring areas such as prison subcultures, effects of imprisonment on family members and how prisoners cope with life inside. Through coursework involving an oral presentation you'll consider the diversity of experiences alongside a theoretical consideration of these experiences in the context of the formal structures and role of the system.
You’ll explore modern police investigation practice in relation to serious crime, including the contribution of forensic science, offender profiling, surveillance data and new technologies. You‘ll consider how current research into serious crime, such as homicide, terrorism and sexual offences, informs practice and police decision making as well as how investigations and major enquiry management have become increasingly professionalised. Your learning on this module will be assessed through coursework and an exam.
In this module you'll be supported to develop your knowledge of the relationship between mental illness and criminal activity. You'll explore a range of mental illnesses and disorders as a cause of offending through a written coursework assignment, and will have the opportunity to consider the links between theory and practice by completing a written coursework assignment on the appropriateness of treatment for offenders within the forensic mental health system.
On this module you'll consider contemporary British society in relation to issues of race, ethnicity and difference. You'll explore the extent to which race and ethnicity continue to shape contemporary society, in relation to education, health, employment, government policies and popular culture such as films and music. The module is assessed through two pieces of written coursework on topics such as multiculturalism, race and sport, and the representation of racialised groups.
In this module you'll be supported to develop your knowledge of the relationship between substance misuse and criminal activity. You'll be encouraged to examine a range of illegal substances, consider the nature of addiction and substance taking as a cause of crime and discuss the impacts of and responses to this problem through a written coursework assignment. You will have the opportunity to consider the links between theory and practice by completing coursework in the form of a case-study based written assignment exploring legislation, policy and treatment options for an individual with a drug or alcohol dependency.
Through this module you'll be supported to develop a critical understanding of the ways in which terrorism has been defined. You'll demonstrate this understanding through coursework, involving a written assignment. Debates about legitimacy and political violence will be applied to a number of case studies, allowing you to explore the motivations of different groups who have used violence as a political strategy. This will be assessed through an exam.
Lauren, graduated Criminology BSc(Hons) in 2016
“The criminology course at Huddersfield is fantastic. The structure of the course is great because it allows you to choose the modules which you're interested in. Some modules require examinations, presentations or written essays, so this is helpful in tailoring modules to suit my learning style.”
Teaching and assessment
You will be taught through seminars and tutorials, group work, practical experience and lectures. Student-centred learning is used where appropriate. Assessment will include coursework, presentations, work-based learning and examinations. 17% of the study time on this course is spent in lectures, seminars, tutorials. Your module specification/course handbook will provide full details of the assessment criteria applying to your course.
Feedback (usually written) is normally provided on all coursework submissions within three term time weeks. Feedback on exam performance/final coursework is available on request after the publication of results.
*Permanent staff, after probation: some recently appointed colleagues will only obtain recognition in the months after their arrival in Huddersfield, once they have started teaching; research degrees applies to those on contracts of more than half-time.
At the University of Huddersfield, you'll find support networks and services to help you get ahead in your studies and social life. Whether you study at undergraduate or postgraduate level, you'll soon discover that you're never far away from our dedicated staff and resources to help you to navigate through your personal student journey. Find out more about all our support services
A wide range of resources are also offered within the School of Human and Health Sciences, which you would be a part of should you decide to study this course. The school provides you with support in a variety of areas, these include:
Student Hub:a one stop shop for students, studying within the School. Their services include offering advice on extenuating circumstances and extension requests, organising appointments with academic staff, signposting to other support networks, welfare support, as well as binding, loan of MP3 recorders and print credit.
Academic Skills Development Team: provides guidance about how students can develop their academic skills in order to improve their grades. The team provide support with general academic skills including essay writing, time management, presentations and group work skills; information technology and numeracy; research skills, as well as personal development for example confidence building and assertiveness.
Student Support Officer: provides confidential and impartial advice on welfare and course related issues.
Royal Literary Fund Fellow: a professional writer who helps students improve their essay writing. They provide assistance with structuring essays, developing an argument and improving the style and use of language.
Learning Technology Support Unit: helps students with any problems they experience with the University’s Unilearn System, including logging on or difficulties experienced when accessing modules.
We will always try to deliver your course as described on this web page. However, sometimes we may have to make changes as set out below.
We review all optional modules each year and change them to reflect the expertise of our staff, current trends in research and as a result of student feedback. We will always ensure that you have a range of options to choose from and we will let students know in good time the options available for them to choose for the following year.
We will only change core modules for a course if it is necessary for us to do so, for example to maintain course accreditation. We will let you know about any such changes as soon as possible, usually before you begin the relevant academic year.
Sometimes we have to make changes to other aspects of a course or how it is delivered. We only make these changes if they are for reasons outside of our control, or where they are for our students’ benefit. Again, we will let you know about any such changes as soon as possible, usually before the relevant academic year. Our regulations set out our procedure which we will follow when we need to make any such changes.
When you enrol as a student of the University, your study and time with us will be governed by a framework of regulations, policies and procedures, which form the basis of your agreement with us. These include regulations regarding the assessment of your course, academic integrity, your conduct (including attendance) and disciplinary procedure, fees and finance and compliance with visa requirements (where relevant). It is important that you familiarise yourself with these as you will be asked to agree to abide by them when you join us as a student. You will find a guide to the key terms here, where you will also find links to the full text of each of the regulations, policies and procedures referred to.
The Higher Education Funding Council for England is the principal regulator for the University.