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Criminology and Law - BA (Hons)

Why study this course?

Learn about British and European Union law, and the methodological and theoretical tools that criminological practitioners use. This is an ideal degree for those looking to work in a range of roles within the Criminal Justice System or in sectors where a broad knowledge of the law is useful. 

In the most recent (2015-16) Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey, 100% of graduates from this course were in work or further study within six months.

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Crime continues to be a central focus of public concern and political debate, particularly in world cities such as London. This specialist course will delve into the causes and effects of crime and criminal behaviour, and explore the criminal justice system, including the police, judiciary and prisons, examining the concept of justice and sentencing. You'll learn about British and European Union law, and the methodological and theoretical tools that criminological practitioners use.

The course is delivered through a range of pedagogic methods including formal lectures, seminars, workshops, project-based research activity and, where necessary, individual tutorials. There’s an emphasis on the link between teaching, practice and research. A number of the staff in our criminology and law subject areas are active researchers, and their research findings often provide the basis for teaching and learning on the course modules. The teaching staff have published articles on a range of topics including gang culture, international organised crime, cybercrime, child protection and the probation service.

Our Criminology and Law BA (Hons) degree course integrates face-to-face engagement with online learning. You’ll have access to our very own mock courtroom. We provide detailed knowledge and understanding of legal rules and their contexts as well as developing general skills such as independent research, critical judgement and debating, communication and teamwork, which will prepare you for the world of work and a range of careers.

Our excellent London location means that MPs, visiting professors, successful graduates, as well as representatives from legal organisations and businesses are often guest speakers at London Met. Our location also provides easy access to London's many legal resources as well as a range of opportunities for voluntary work and work placement opportunities.

This is not a qualifying law degree for training for the legal professions. Please see our Law LLB, Business Law LLB or Law (with international Relations) LLB course if you’re interested in a qualifying law degree.

Assessment

You're assessed via essays, seen and unseen examinations, research projects and a final dissertation.

In addition to the University's standard entry requirements, you should have:

  • a minimum of grades BBC in three A levels (or a minimum of 112 UCAS points from an equivalent Level 3 qualification, eg Advanced Diploma)
  • GCSE English at grade C (grade 4 from 2017) or above (or equivalent) 

Applications are welcome from mature students who have passed appropriate access or other preparatory courses or have appropriate work experience.

All applicants must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. Applicants who require a Tier 4 student visa may need to provide a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

The modules listed below are for the academic year 2017/18 and represent the course modules at this time. Modules and module details (including, but not limited to, location and time) are subject to change over time.

Year 1 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Wednesday morning
    • all year (September start) - Wednesday afternoon
    • all year (January start) - Wednesday morning

    This module provides an academic introduction to fundamental rules of criminal law, including the principles of a range of criminal offences.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Friday afternoon
    • all year (January start) - Friday morning

    The module provides a study of crime and its control through considering the history of criminological thought from the Enlightenment to the present day. The module begins by exploring classicism and traces the shift towards positivistic theories and later critical forms of criminological theory. Students are introduced to these theories through relating them to the social context in which issues to do with crime and deviance now occur.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Thursday morning
    • all year (January start) - Thursday morning

    This module introduces students to the scope and functions of the Criminal Justice System (CJS) in England and Wales. It provides a broad overview of the mechanisms and aims of the CJS upon which students can build a more detailed knowledge of criminal justice policies, crime control, punishment and social control by the state, at levels 5 and 6. The module also specifically provides students with an introductory picture of the extent of officially recorded crime.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Tuesday afternoon
    • all year (September start) - Tuesday morning
    • all year (January start) - Thursday morning

    Legal Systems comprises an introduction to English Legal Systems in historical and international context. It includes basic outline of sources of law, law making process, institutional and court structure and legal actors within the English Legal system together with consideration of international and comparative models of law and basic legal theory.

    To successfully transact Legal Systems requires students to locate legal material, read and understand primary and secondary legal material and recognise and develop at an introductory level the basic legal skills of preparation, representation and advocacy required of professionals or successful actors within legal systems.

    The module (30 credits) will run for 30 weeks to year 1 (level 4) students. It will be delivered by way of a flexible programme of lectures, seminars, workshops and external activities (court visits and other appropriate legal forum or institution) supplemented by online (WebLearn) support.

    There are no prerequisites. Assessment will be by portfolio arising from class based exercises (40%) and a problem based exercise (60%)

    Read full details.

Year 2 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Monday afternoon

    This module provides an introduction to the law of evidence and to legal advocacy skills. It will concentrate upon the main concepts and principles of evidence law and explore their application by the advocate in the courtroom.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Monday afternoon
    • all year (September start) - Monday morning

    A comprehensive grasp of research methodologies and the ability successfully to undertake primary research are key employability skills in social science/services careers such as working in government departments, the police, the voluntary sector and the private sector. This module aims to develop students’ competence in both quantitative and qualitative research methodologies, critically assessing the ways in which these are utilised and presented and how they can contribute to our understanding of crime. The module first examines quantitative methods, which are predominantly employed by organisations with interests in investigating crime and making evidence-based decisions. The module then goes on to explore qualitative methods, which are deployed as a way of understanding criminals and the phenomenon of crime in more flexible ways than those permitted by the collation of crime statistics. The utility and justification of both research methodologies is critically considered and students have the opportunity to developing a variety of practical research skills, from questionnaire design and SPSS analysis to observation and interview techniques.

    A basic understanding of research methodologies and the way that they are used in professional settings is an essential skill for graduates who intend to pursue a career in an area related to criminology, whether as a researcher or a practitioner. This module therefore aims to develop students’ knowledge of research methods and ability to apply them in practice to enhance their future employment opportunities.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Thursday afternoon

    This module provides a contextual introduction to the central areas of UK public law. First, it provides an introduction to the principles and practice relating to the legal foundations of the constitution. Second, it considers the principles of administrative law with particular reference to judicial review and other non-legal remedies available to the citizen.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Wednesday morning

    The module builds on level 4 introductory modules to provide an overview of the study of crime, criminality and criminals with reference to particular categories of ‘crime’. It begins by looking at how crime developed and changed in the transition from premodern to modern industrial societies. It then examines contemporary forms of crime by looking respectively at those associated with and predominantly perpetrated by the socially marginalised (the criminal ‘underworld’) and those associated with the economically and socially powerful (the ‘overworld’).

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Wednesday afternoon

    This module looks at the media impact on public perceptions of crime and justice.
    It also looks at the way contemporary media and technologies influence criminal behaviour and influence the operations of the criminal justice system; and the emerging forms of deviant behaviour facilitated by contemporary technology and media.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Tuesday afternoon

    The module develops student knowledge of specialised areas of police operations and professional practice. The module focuses specifically on community policing (policing diverse communities), covert policing (police surveillance methods), specialist policing operations (organised crime, child protection), police analysis and intelligence-gathering, police ethics and culture and police governance (mechanisms for oversight and accountability).

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Wednesday afternoon

    Academic authors have shown that for centuries adults have expressed concerns about the anti-social and criminal behaviour of young people. In recent times, this concern has centred on rising levels of violent crime by young people and the burgeoning ‘gang, gun and knife crime culture’ in the UK. In response to public concerns policy makers and practitioners have designed numerous community and criminal justice initiatives to tackle the anti-social behaviour of young people, reduce their offending rates and encourage desistence from criminal activity.

    This module critically examines young people’s involvement in crime and violence. It examines key theories for understanding violence by the young and explores the connection between violent behaviour and a variety of social issues such as peer pressure, gender, ‘race’ and ethnicity, and alcohol and substance misuse. This highlights the impact of changing economic, political and cultural contexts from the global to local. The module also explores, and critically examines, media and criminal justice responses to youth crime.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Thursday morning

    This module looks at young people as social and political actors, and uses applied sociological theory to analyse current issues relating to youth in consumer society, the strategies of adaptation and resistance, violence and gangs, subcultures and political movements, and social control. The focus will be on the UK as well as European and global issues.

    Read full details.

Year 3 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Tuesday afternoon
    • all year (September start) - Tuesday morning

    This module will give a clear and coherent up to date account of the law of human rights and civil liberties concentrating on the position of civil liberties and human rights protection in the light of the Human Rights Act 1998 and the standards of human rights protection laid down in the European Convention of Human Rights.

    The student will be introduced to the scope of civil liberties and human rights and the machinery to redress and breaches of those rights. The student will also focus on the relationship between the individual and the state in terms of specific individual rights and freedoms.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Friday afternoon

    The first part of this module examines historical and contemporary approaches to crime control and the way in which the latter is manifest in policy and practice. The module considers and assesses the rhetoric, strategies, practices and evaluation of key criminal justice agencies in relation to both serious and less serious crime and national and international crime control issues.

    The second part of the module concentrates on penal policy and practice, exploring issues regarding the imprisonment of convicted offenders and the way in which this relates to theoretical criminological concepts. Through comparative penology, the role of imprisonment and impact of penal policy within the context of wider society are explored and examined. Issues such as diversity, gender, ‘race’ and mental disorder in relation to prisoner experiences area highlighted.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Friday morning

    This module requires students to produce a piece of independent research which provides them with the opportunity to bring together and develop their interests, knowledge, research and report writing skills gained whilst taking other modules on their degrees. Students’ research will be facilitated by workshops and discussions with peers and tutors which will provide support, discipline and advice on their chosen research topic, and on writing up their results in a research report. The module workshops also aim to develop students’ ability to work in collaborative environments where they must offer and accept, and evidence application of, constructive criticisms.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Wednesday afternoon

    In this module students have the opportunity to develop their interest in an area of criminology and related fields – exploring a topic of their own choosing in-depth by means of independent research.

    Students are given the opportunity to design and conduct their own research project focussing on a topic that relates to their degree course. The self-directed third year project is a great opportunity for students to build upon the knowledge and research skills acquired throughout their studies. The research project can take a variety of forms – surveys, questionnaires, interviews etc., or it may take the form of library based theoretical work.

    Students are required to attend a series of dedicated workshops designed to support you through the research project. From the outset, through to completion, students will also receive guidance from an allocated supervisor.

    The skills and experience gained throughout the project can also affect your employability and/or provide a reference for postgraduate study.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Monday afternoon

    The module requires the students to undertake a detailed, critical investigation into a contentious legal topic; the investigation is structured, so that students are required to formulate a research proposal at the outset; engage with regular supervision throughout the process; and produce at the end a reflective statement describing and evaluating the experience of their research and of their undergraduate studies generally

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Thursday afternoon

    The module introduces students to the key concepts and theories relating to the social construction of gender and sexuality and their application to a range of social sectors and issues in the UK and abroad. The ways in which gender and sexuality are both constitutive of the social and are constituted through social structures, institutions and interactions are explored, as are the ways in which theories of gender and sexuality have informed the sociological study of the family, work, health, education, crime, the welfare state and politics, media and the body.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Thursday morning

    This module provides an introduction to theories of punishment from a criminological and sociological standpoint. It also deals with aspects of sentencing practice and procedure and allows students to participate in sentencing simulation exercises and debates. Certain categories of offender (e.g. young offenders, women) are considered in depth. Finally, the issue of penal reform is addressed in the light of the most recent initiatives in the field.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Wednesday morning

    This module will cover modern theoretical models of social control. It then goes on to interrogate the changing nature of social control in contemporary society, looking both at continuities with and disjunctions from the past It will use drugs and organised crime as examples to support and critique the theories. As this module is to be taught at level 6 it will also include some complex social and criminological theory.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Tuesday morning

    This module examines extreme political violence in the form of ‘terrorism’ and the responses of states and international organisations. Students will be encouraged to examine critically the phenomena, reflecting upon how motivation, tactics and strategies of groups employing extreme political violence have changed over time. The module explores the theoretical justifications of political violence, contrasting the presupposition that political violence is ‘rationalist’ with the presupposition that it is ‘pre-rational’. The second half of the module considers the impact of the threat posed by Al-Qaeda and affiliated groups and the UK’s legislative and policing response in the context of the global “war on terror”.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Tuesday morning

    For much of its history, criminology has been concerned with the offender. The victim was largely absent from criminological discourse, research and the criminal justice process. It was not until the early 20th century that criminologists [re] discovered the victim and began to consider the role they played in the commission of crime. From these early investigations, the victim became the central focus for many scholars and the discipline ‘victimology’ emerged. The victim is no longer considered to be ‘a bit part player’ in understanding crime. They are considered to be central to crime detection and to the prosecution of criminal acts. This module charts the birth and growth of victimology and considers some of its key theoretical concepts. It will explore the nature and extent of criminal victimisation in society and critically examine it from a number of different perspectives. The module will also explore the changing role of victim within the criminal justice system.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Wednesday afternoon

    This module is based on self-managed work experience within an organisation or agency related to the field of criminal justice / criminology. The student either:

    1. Spends a period of 15 days with his or her chosen employer and produces an evidence-based account of his or her experience. In carrying out the work experience students develop new skills and enhance their generic learning experience.

    Or

    2. Undertake a piece of consultancy work for an employer producing a piece of work in agreement with the organisation that will develop the student’s new skills and enhance their generic learning experience.

    Students will be assisted to find a period of work experience, which can be paid or voluntary, and will be allocated a supervisor whom they may contact for support to look for work and during the work experience period.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Tuesday morning

    The Work Placement for Professional Experience module provides students with an opportunity to experience working in a legal context, to develop the skills and abilities necessary for a graduate career, to identify their strengths and weaknesses and how they might improve their performance, and to apply theoretical legal knowledge to cases in the real world.

    Read full details.

If you're studying full-time, each year (level) is worth 120 credits.

Year 1 (Level 4) modules include:

  • Introduction to Criminological Theory
  • Introduction to the Criminal Justice System
  • Legal System
  • Criminal Law

Year 2 (Level 5) modules include:

  • Public Law
  • European Union Law
  • Measuring and Interpreting Crime
  • Crime in Context
  • Perspectives on Policing
  • Crime, Media and Technology
  • Youth, Crime and Violence
  • Extension of Knowledge

Year 3 (Level 6) modules include:

  • Criminology and Law Project
  • Civil Liberties and Human Rights
  • Crime Control and Penology
  • Justice, Punishment and Social Control
  • Criminology of Pleasure
  • Work Placement for Professional Experience
  • Research Project
  • Penal Policy
  • Criminological Research Practice
  • Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism

Graduates have gone on to careers in the police service, the probation service and other areas of the criminal justice system as well as undertaking further professional training in the legal field. The programme is also excellent preparation for further study. The analytical, methodological and legal skills acquired on successful completion provide a strong grounding for development within many different careers.

Between 2016 and 2020 we're investing £125 million in the London Metropolitan University campus, moving all of our activity to our current Holloway campus in Islington, north London. This will mean the teaching location of some courses will change over time.

Whether you will be affected will depend on the duration of your course, when you start and your mode of study. The earliest moves affecting new students will be in September 2018. This may mean you begin your course at one location, but over the duration of the course you are relocated to one of our other campuses. Our intention is that no full-time student will change campus more than once during a course of typical duration.

All students will benefit from our move to one campus, which will allow us to develop state-of-the-art facilities, flexible teaching areas and stunning social spaces.

Please note, in addition to the tuition fee there may be additional costs for things like equipment, materials, printing, textbooks, trips or professional body fees.

Additionally, there may be other activities that are not formally part of your course and not required to complete your course, but which you may find helpful (for example, optional field trips). The costs of these are additional to your tuition fee and the fees set out above and will be notified when the activity is being arranged.

Unistats is the official site that allows you to search for and compare data and information on university and college courses from across the UK. The widget(s) below draw data from the corresponding course on the Unistats website. If a course is taught both full-time and part-time, one widget for each mode of study will be displayed here.

How to apply

UK/EU applicants for September full-time entry must apply via UCAS unless specified otherwise.

UK/EU applicants for part-time study should apply direct to the University.

Non-EU applicants for full-time study may choose to apply via UCAS or apply direct to the University. Non-EU applicants for part-time study should apply direct to the University, but please note that if you require a Tier 4 visa you are not able to study on a part-time basis.

All applicants applying to begin a course starting in January must apply direct to the University.

When to apply

The University and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) accepts applications for full-time courses starting in September from one year before the start of the course. Our UCAS institution code is L68.

If you will be applying direct to the University you are advised to apply as early as possible as we will only be able to consider your application if there are places available on the course.

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