Criminology and Youth Studies - BSc (Hons)

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Why study this course?

In this degree you'll explore the fundamentals of criminological theory, youth work and social problems in order to discover the relationship between youth and crime. Our teaching staff have the professional experience necessary to help you learn this specialist knowledge. A work placement is also available to give you hands-on experience and skills. Successfully complete the course and you could enter a career in the Criminal Justice System, the National Probation Service, the Youth Justice Board, welfare rights and another profession surrounding youth crime.

More about this course

Learn the facts behind the headlines that portray young people negatively in their relation to crime, and prepare for a career path where you can make a difference. On this undergraduate course you'll gain an understanding of the relationship between youth work, social problems and media perspectives.

Current staff on this degree include ex-probation professionals and specialist researchers into youth crime. This means you'll receive high quality lectures and seminars from industry experts. With this level of academic training, you’ll be well prepared for specialist employment.

The work based learning placement will introduce you to the real world of youth crime, giving you valuable experience in preparation for your own career. It is this hands-on experience that will help you stand out when you complete your degree.

Whether you want to work for the Youth Justice Board, the National Probation Service or undertake further research, this undergraduate degree sets you up for an exciting career focused around crime and youth culture.


You're assessed by essays, seen and unseen examinations, research projects and a final dissertation. This ensures you have the right skills and knowledge for a career around youth culture and its relation to crime.

Fees and key information

Course type
UCAS code ML95
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/4 or above (or equivalent)

If you don’t have traditional qualifications or can’t meet the entry requirements for this undergraduate degree, you may still be able to gain entry by completing our Criminology (including foundation year) BSc (Hons) or Social Sciences and Humanities (including foundation year) BA (Hons) degree.

Accreditation of Prior Learning

Any university-level qualifications or relevant experience you gain prior to starting university could count towards your course at London Met. Find out more about applying for Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL).

English language requirements

To study a degree at London Met, you must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. If you require a Student visa you may need to provide the results of a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

If you need (or wish) to improve your English before starting your degree, the University offers a Pre-sessional Academic English course to help you build your confidence and reach the level of English you require.

Modular structure

The modules listed below are for the academic year 2020/21 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) - Thursday 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.

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

    This module aims to:

    • explore key concepts of values, ethics , theory, policy , principles and practice in relation to youth work
    • introduce students to the sector professional occupational standards and the notion of an informed reflective practitioner
    • to explore and critically examine the role of the manager and effective supervisor
    • examine issues of identity, discrimination and oppression and the effect on young people’s lives
    • develop students’ skills in self-management, group work, oral presentation and academic writing

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  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (January start) - Friday afternoon

    The module aims to:
    1. Examine the emergence and development of criminological and sociological 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.

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

    - Analyse the social construction of a social problem
    - Collate information on the location and scale of a social problem
    - Reflect upon sociological interpretations of a particular social problem
    - Outline policy responses to a particular social problem

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  • 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.

    The module aims to:
    1. Provide students with a solid grounding in the field upon which to build a grasp of issues relating to criminal justice
    2. Review the historical development, structures and roles of key agencies responsible for the execution of justice in England and Wales
    3. Identify key models of the Criminal Justice System such as the due process and crime control models
    4. Consider recent, and significant, examples of changes in the CJS (such as the increasing levels of inter-agency cooperation)
    5. Develop students’ knowledge of current policies relating to the ‘problem of crime’.

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  • 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

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  • This module provides the foundation for an explicit, clear focus on social research throughout Sociology and related degrees in addition to supporting students to acquire understanding of and skills in academic literacy. The methodological principles and perspectives for effective social research are explained and also illustrated through exploration of research case studies. It will additionally provide experience in using the vast array of text, visual and statistical primary documentary sources and their interpretation for research. Research as process will be examined including main research approaches, the formulation and development of research questions and social, ethical and political contexts of research practice.

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Year 2 modules include:

  • 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.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - 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 consider the key developments in political mobilisation of young people;

    A3. To investigate the concepts and nature of social control in relation to youth;

    A4. To develop confidence in use of appropriate learning, analytical and discursive skills when dealing with current youth issues.

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  • This module builds on level 4 introductory modules by focusing on specific categories of crime and behaviours, which have emerged as sources of concern. It gives attention to the emergence of concern about imagined dangerous groups, and moves on to more recent social anxieties. This includes the crimes associated with the socially and economically marginalized, and those associated with the economically and socially powerful.

    The central themes revolve around why some behaviours and some groups of people are ‘constructed’ as the focus of concern and special treatment. Equally, it considers why some crimes, such as corporate crime, or state crime, usually receive less attention. This exploration encourages reflection on how and why certain behaviours are defined and constructed as ‘crime’, and ‘social problems’.

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

    This module explores theories and conceptions of racism and ethnicity, and the practices of racism in contemporary societies. The historical roots of racism will be examined and its contemporary forms studied comparatively. Racism is specifically explored within the context of social and political conflicts.
    Module aims
    • To analyse critically key concepts including racism and ethnicity themselves in order to develop an awareness of their contested nature.
    • To look at these issues as worldwide problems and in a sociological context that explores the meanings ascribed to these terms, their historical origins and key examples of societies where these issues have been or still are important in shaping the social orders in which people live.
    • To consider the impact of racism on specific communities and groups, including national, religious and ethnic groups.
    • To examine the links between class, gender and ethnic differences. 

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  • 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

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

    This module aims to enable students to:
    - Undertake a work-based placement
    - Apply prior knowledge and relate specific knowledge and skills to real-life situations in a work environment
    - Develop new capabilities and skills relating to employment
    - Engage in personal and professional development planning

    The module is structured in two distinct stages in order to enhance student employability. During the first semester, students will engage with a number of activities, both in seminars and individually, designed to help clarify career goals and identify personal and professional developmental needs associated with these goals. The second semester will be devoted to students working in placement during which time they will be able to focus on specific identified learning needs.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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Year 3 modules include:

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

    The module aims to:

    1. Give students the opportunity to reflect upon their learning to date and define and research a topic of interest to them in the light of that experience.
    2. Give students the opportunity to design and plan an independent research project and to produce a research proposal outlining the field of interest, proposed methodology and ethical considerations.
    3. Enable students to produce a written piece of research which demonstrates awareness of the relationship between criminology and related fields and the limits of knowledge.

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  • 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.

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  • 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

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

    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.

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  • 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.

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

    • To develop an understanding of the international human rights framework and consider debates and theories challenging this framework (including a critical assessment of the concept and implementation of the universality of human rights).
    • To evaluate various international conventions on the protection of human rights, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
    • To examine violations of human rights in the light of various social and political contexts across the world and gain an understanding of how human rights applies in specific contexts; how such violations impact societies, communities and individuals; and how individuals and organisations work for justice in such harrowing circumstances.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Monday morning

    This module will provide students with an opportunity to engage with contemporary debates on the relationship between social science and religion. Students will be required to critically examine the ideas of the classic and contemporary social scientists on religion and explore the application of their ideas to an ever-changing world. Overall, the aim of the module is to develop the students’ capacity to utilise social scientific concepts and perspectives in their analyses of religion in contemporary society. The disciplinary focus of the module will, initially, be the sociology of religion. The application of a range of social scientific approach will also be introduced - historical, political, economic and social psychological approaches.

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  • This module examines constructions of childhood that shape children’s experience of education and schooling. It proceeds from a commitment to social constructionism as an approach to understanding children’s lives in an increasingly diverse society and globalising world. This also facilitates a critical appraisal of the historical provenance of dominant discourses of childhood and ‘the child’ as an ideal type that commonly shape, direct and justify the normal practices of schooling, education, care and other institutions of childhood. The module complements historical and social examination of children’s lives with an explicit emphasis on the role played by space and place in the construction of childhood institutions. Cross-cultural and anthropological accounts of childhood and children’s lives are explored as part of the module’s intention to expand the imagination beyond dominant minority-world accounts and begin a process of rethinking predicated on difference, emergent globalisation and the agency of children.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Thursday afternoon

    This module explores the definition, characteristics and offending behaviour of serious and serial offenders, with a particular focus on mass, spree and serial murderers, sexual offenders and arsonists. The module also considers how such offenders are investigated, their behaviour and characteristics analysed. Key explanatory theories used to explain serious and serial offending will be examined and the efficacy of these in relation to methodological concerns critically evaluated. Finally, the module explores the identification and apprehension of serious and serial offenders, including the application of psychological and geographic profiling techniques.

    The module aims to:
    1. discuss and give examples of some of the most disturbing and controversial forms of offending behaviour;
    2. identify the prevalence of serial and serious offending within the broader population of criminal offences, questioning common assumptions about, and contemporary popular focus on, these categories of offences;
    3. evaluate and debate the definition and measurement of serious and serial offending, particularly in relation to methodological concerns;
    4. describe and critically discuss a range of key theories and concepts employed in the explanation and understanding of serious and serial offenders;
    5. critically evaluate the investigation and detection of such offenders and offences, with a special focus on offender and geographic profiling.

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  • 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.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Tuesday afternoon

    a. To provide students with an overview of the key theoretical concepts within victimology.
    b. To identify to some of the social and political factors that placed victims at the forefront of academic and professional discourses.
    c. To encourage students to critically appraise the nature and extent of victimisation. To develop student ability to research, analyse, and communicate their thoughts relating to victimisation, victim policy and practice.

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What our students say

“The staff are very enthusiastic about their subject and clearly enjoy teaching it. There was help with the work whenever I needed it and the module leaders were always very understanding.”
National Student Survey

“I have learnt so many new things beyond what I expected to. My knowledge and professional network have expanded greatly.”
National Student Survey

Where this course can take you

Successful completion of this undergraduate course offers you improved career opportunities in youth work and similar areas of the Criminal Justice System, the National Probation Service, the police, the Youth Justice Board, housing welfare, education, charitable institutions and more. Examples of our the roles our graduates have secured include Substance Misuse Officer and Sessional Play Service Coordinator. Others have gone on to work at Central Care and Sutton Mencap.

Continuing your studies with us

The School of Social Sciences has a wide range of exciting industry-linked postgraduate courses available on a full-time and part-time basis in criminology, security, diplomacy, international relations, sociology and psychology. The following courses would be ideal for progression after this course:

If you've already studied your undergraduate degree with us, as a graduate of London Met, you'll be entitled to a 20% discount on any further study with us.

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.

Discover Uni – key statistics about this course

Discover Uni is an official source of information about university and college courses across the UK. The widget below draws data from the corresponding course on the Discover Uni website, which is compiled from national surveys and data collected from universities and colleges. If a course is taught both full-time and part-time, information for each mode of study will be displayed here.

Fees and funding information for EU students starting a course in January

Government guidance for EU students currently states that, as an EU national, you will be eligible for the home fee and to apply for Student Finance if your course starts in the 2020-21 academic year, which includes courses beginning in January/February 2021, provided you meet the residency requirements. This is subject to change based on decisions made by the UK government – please check the latest government guidance for EU students for the most up-to-date information.

How to apply

If you're a UK applicant wanting to study full-time starting in September, you must apply via UCAS unless otherwise specified. If you're an international applicant wanting to study full-time, you can choose to apply via UCAS or directly to the University.

If you're applying for part-time study, you should apply directly to the University. If you require a Student visa, please be aware that you will not be able to study as a part-time student at undergraduate level.

If you're applying for a degree starting in January/February, you can apply directly 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.

To find out when teaching for this degree will begin, as well as welcome week and any induction activities, view our academic term dates.

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