Criminology and Law - BA (Hons)

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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 Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey, 100% of all 2017 graduates from this course were in work or further study within six months.

More about this course

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.

Fees and key information

Course type Undergraduate
UCAS code MM1X
Entry requirements View
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Entry requirements

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 or above (or equivalent) 

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

If you do not have traditional qualifications or cannot meet the entry requirements for this undergraduate degree, you may still be able to gain entry by completing the Criminology, Policing and Law Extended degree.

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.

Modular structure

The modules listed below are for the academic year 2018/19 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) - Friday morning
    • all year (January start) - Thursday afternoon

    Criminal Law is a core module for the LL.B. courses and the BA in Law, which introduces students to the key principles of Criminal Law, which is one of the foundation subjects of English Law, as identified by the professional legal bodies, the Solicitors Regulation Authority and the Bar Standards Board.

    The module provides an academic introduction to fundamental rules of criminal law, including the key principles of a number of criminal offences. Criminal law affects many aspects of human behaviour and interaction but has complex definitions. This module aims to help students to understand the changing landscape of criminal law as well as some of the major debates in the subject.

    It also teaches and assesses key skills of analysis, academic writing and legal research in the context of criminal law. It does this by emphasising the use of primary and secondary sources of criminal law (legal judgments and Acts of Parliament as well as Parliamentary Papers and academic journal articles).

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

    The module aims to:

    1. Examine the emergence and development of criminological theory
    2. Examine the different ways in which different criminological traditions theorise crime and its social control
    3. Examine how the assumptions which underpin different traditions provide for different strategies of intervention and control
    4. Develop students’ learning and transferable skills in preparation for modules at levels 5 and 6.

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

    Legal System is a core module for the LL.B. courses and the BA in Law, which introduces students to the workings of the English Legal System in its historical, contemporary and international context.

    It includes the study of the sources of law, the law making process, the institutional and court structure, the legal profession and the roles of legal actors within the English Legal system.

    It also enables students to start to acquire the fundamental academic and professional skills necessary for the undergraduate study of law. In this way, it provides a solid support both for the other first year modules, and also for the remainder of the degree course and beyond into professional practice.

    Students learn how to locate legal material; to read and understand primary and secondary sources of law (paper based and electronic); and to recognise and develop at an introductory level the practical and professional legal skills of advocacy, legal research and legal writing. These skills are be applied in the context of primary legal materials used in their other modules.

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

    The module aims to:
    1. Introduce and familiarise students with a wide range of criminological research
    2. Introduce students to various research methods and approaches used in criminological investigation
    3. Introduce students to a range of issues that need to be taken into account when undertaking criminological research.
    4. Familiarise students with the processes involved in conducting criminological research and the structure and format of research reports adopted by academics
    5. Prepare students for levels 5 and 6

    Read full details.

Year 2 modules include:

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

    The module aims to:
    1. Develop an informed grasp of the strengths and limitations of survey research including identification and consideration of the ethical issues which may arise
    2. Develop students’ competence in designing and conducting primary quantitative research in relation to data collection, analysis and report-writing
    3. Develop an informed grasp of the strengths and limitations of qualitative research including identification and consideration of the ethical issues which may arise
    4. Develop students’ competence in designing and conducting primary qualitative research in relation to data collection, analysis and report-writing
    5. Examine the ways in which quantitative and qualitative data are created and used in professional settings such as the Home Office, the Metropolitan Police, voluntary sector organisations related to the Criminal Justice System and private sector organisations such as MORI and Gallup and so to enable students to work towards a career in the field of Criminology.

    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. It provides a detailed examination of the history, nature and workings of the UK’s constitution. It also considers the principles of administrative law with particular emphasis on the procedure and substantive grounds for judicial review in English law.

    The aims of the module are to provide students with a working knowledge and understanding of the evolving framework of legal and non-legal obligations which apply between the State and the citizen and between different organs of the State/government.

    It will enable students to develop a critical understanding of the extent and efficiency of control on governmental bodies, in particular, the legitimacy and extent of parliamentary and judicial oversight mechanisms. It will enable students to apply legal principles to theoretical examples in order to draw conclusions and give advice to the citizen.

    The module aims to develop several key transferable skills including independent
    research, critical analysis and academic writing in the context of UK public law and human rights, emphasising the use of primary and secondary sources of law.

    Student employability will be enhanced by the development both of these skills, and by
    the practise of written and oral communication skills, group participation skills and IT skills (for both research and presentation).

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

    1. Consider the various relationships between media, technology and crime

    2. Develop an understanding of the role of the media in shaping perceptions of crime
    and criminal justice, with a particular emphasis on marginalised groups

    3. Develop an awareness and familiarity with the emerging forms of deviant
    behaviour facilitated by contemporary technologies and/or the media

    4. Provide an overview of the way technologies interact with crime and the criminal
    justice system

    5. Develop summarising and analytical skills

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

    The module aims to:
    1. Explore the operational challenges and ethical dilemmas inherent in specialist police operations
    2. Examine particular aspects of specialist policing in detail from both practical and academic viewpoints
    3. Analyse the effectiveness of governance in relation to specialist policing operations
    4. Compare and contrast different perspectives in relation to policing priorities.
    5. To develop student communication and team working skills.
    6. Improve critical analytical thinking for real world problems.

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

    The module aims to:
    1. Familiarise students with the theoretical perspectives that have shaped criminological thought on violence by young people
    2. Encourage students to develop a critical overview of young people’s engagement in violent crime
    3. Develop students’ ability to research, analyse and communicate critical and informed arguments relating to the theory, policy and practice underpinning youth involvement in violent crime.

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

    A1. To provide students with a historical, theoretical and comparative understanding of the diverse forms of youth culture and youth social organisation;
    A2. To explore the social origins of youth gangs and street violence;
    A3. To consider the key developments in political mobilisation of young people;
    A4. To investigate the concepts and nature of social control in relation to youth;
    A5. To develop confidence in use of appropriate learning, analytical and discursive skills when dealing with current youth issues.

    Read full details.

Year 3 modules include:

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

    Civil Liberties and Human Rights introduces students to the key principles of the law relating to civil liberties and human rights.

    The module gives a clear, coherent and 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 on Human Rights

    It introduces and builds up critical understanding of the legal concepts which govern individual and collective rights and responsibilities, including the constraints the state may place on the citizen’s exercise of his or her human rights.

    The module aims to develop several key transferable skills including independent research, critical analysis, legal drafting and academic writing in the context of the law of civil liberties and human rights, emphasising the use of primary and secondary sources of law. It will encourage and enable students to develop a sophisticated understanding of the relationship that exists - in terms of specific individual rights and freedoms - between the State and the citizen in the UK today and how the legal, social and political conflicts and tensions which are intrinsic to that relationship influence policy, decision-making and legislation.

    Student employability will be enhanced by the development both of these skills and by
    the practising of written and oral communication skills and group participation skills.

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

    The module aims to:
    1. Identify and explore key concepts underpinning crime control
    2. Examine contemporary policies and practices of principal crime control agencies
    3. Enable students to understand the linkages between contemporary crime control and wider social policy (and accompanying political debate)
    4. Enhance analytic skills and instil a critical awareness through consideration of both official rhetoric and evidence together with the limitations of crime control policies and practice in a 'real world' context
    5. Explore the application of criminological theories and concepts to penal policy and practice and encourage confidence in the use of varied learning and discursive strategies
    6. Develop understanding of the operation of prisons and the role of imprisonment within the criminal justice system and wider society
    7. Explore comparative penal perspectives and develop understanding of diversity within penal policy and practice.

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

    This module aims to:

    1. Develop students’ research skills which they will potentially be able to apply with the confidence and competence appropriate to an honours graduate in their future careers. Students will be required to develop self-reflexivity to know the limits of their competence and how to seek and offer constructive advice.
    2. Develop students’ report writing skills to enable them accurately to communicate the results of research to its intended audience in an appropriate manner, and adapted to influence decision making, policy formation and public debate. This will necessarily involve considering the ethical, legal and political implications of research.
    3. Develop students’ ability to manage their time over an extended period and meet successive deadlines.
    4. Develop students’ ability to work constructively with colleagues as part of a team.
    5. Provide students with practical experience of orally presenting research to peers and to develop their ability personally to deliver coherent commentary on the research methodology and skills employed and key research considerations and problems addressed and/or overcome.
    6. Develop students’ knowledge of the specific criminological topic they have chosen to research.

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

    In this module students have the opportunity to define their own academic terrain and produce a structured and original piece of criminological research drawing on criminology and law, based on an individual piece of empirical research or offering an original interpretation of a theoretical problematic.

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

    The module requires the students to undertake detailed, critical research into a legal topic of their choice and write a research plan and essay of 5,000 words.

    Students are assigned a supervisor based on their choice of topic.

    The module is structured so that students are required to present an assessed research plan, which then provides the infrastructure for their extended essay. Students are expected to engage with regular supervision throughout the process.

    Students will develop an advanced understanding of their chosen specialist area of law.
    The extended essay module will more specifically
    • allow students independently to research and develop an expert understanding of an area of law of their choice
    • improve both their research and independent study skills
    • enhance their ability to develop critical arguments
    By researching their chosen area of law, students will be equipped with specialist skills and knowledge, to help them stand out in the job market.

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

    The module aims to:

    1. Provide the opportunity for the student to gain experience of a working environment
    2. Enhance and extend their learning experience by applying and building on their academic skills and capabilities by identifying and / or tackling real life problems in the workplace
    3. Provide the opportunity to reflect upon the culture and structure of a working environment and their activity within it
    4. Develop new capabilities and skills in the context of a work environment.

    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.
    Module aims
    • To introduce and critically analyse key concepts in the sociological study of gender and sexuality;
    • To introduce a range of theoretical approaches to understanding the operation of gender and sexuality at the levels of social structures, social relations and social identities;
    • To consider the impact of gender and sexuality across a range of social sectors and social issues;
    • To consider the links and intersections between gender, sexuality and other forms of social identity and difference, including class, race, ethnicity, etc.
    • To consider the social and political sources of the persistence of discrimination and inequalities on the basis of gender and sexual orientation.

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

    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, including restorative justice, is addressed in the light of the most recent initiatives in the field.

    The course includes:

    • an introduction to theories of punishment and their historical roots with an emphasis upon critical discussion of the conceptual positions that underscore the system.

    • an introduction to the range of sentencing options available to the courts and an awareness of the considerations that confront sentencers in making sentencing decisions.

    • techniques for the presentation of arguments relating to sentencing

    • a discussion of the institutional experiences of different categories of offenders in a range of penal institutions

    • a general discussion of the possibilities for reform of the penal system

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

    This module aims to exploit specialism’s residing within the criminology team in London met so that students can apply theories to exciting and relevant areas of criminology


    The module aims to:
    1. Introduce students to theories and debates on the nature of crime control in the modern state
    2. Provide an overview of the major traditions of thinking within Criminology regarding the issue of illegal drugs their use and distribution
    3. Examine the way the attempts to control crime and deviance are examples of broader debates over social control
    4. Sensitise students to the ethical and social consequences that flow from the way in which contemporary society elects to punish offenders and prevent crime

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

    The module aims to:
    1. examine the debate over of the origin of a variety of forms of ideological, nationalist and religiously motivated violence in the form of 'terrorism'.
    2. explore the dimensions of the new ‘terrorist’ threat.
    3. examine the contemporary range of counter terrorist agencies and policies in the
    national and international context.

    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

After the course

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.

Additional costs

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 - key information set

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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.

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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