BSc, 3-4 years

This is for you if... you are looking for a complete overview of crime, deviance and justice; and if you are fascinated by crime and its causes, the impact of crime on victims, and the punishment and rehabilitation of lawbreakers.

Course Description

Crime and its impact are at the forefront of current political and social debate. We only have to check social media, switch on the television or pick up a newspaper to see headlines about crime and victimisation and to realise how relevant to everyday life the study of criminology has become. The Criminology BSc enables you to explore the reality behind these headlines and examine a topic that is relevant, topical and has real, practical application in contemporary society.

This course is designed to enable a smooth transition to Higher Education, and it provides you with full study skills support and a comprehensive research methods programme which will enable you to complete a research project of your own in your final year. The degree offers flexibility and choice with a range of option modules for you to choose from, and you have the opportunity to study a semester or a full year abroad. The curriculum includes a three year careers and employability programme, giving you the opportunity to develop the skills you'll need for graduate jobs.

Leicester has one of very few departments in the country exclusively dedicated to researching and teaching criminology. As such, you will benefit from a pure, focused and definitive education in the study of crime. Our research has real impact in wider society, and it influences policy and practice on matters relating to crime, deviance and victimisation.

The success of the course is reflected in its very strong performance in the annual National Student Survey and we have been in the top 10 since the survey began in 2005. In the latest statistics Criminology scored 95% for course satisfaction. This reflects the popularity of the course among our students, as well as the dedication of the academic staff.

Our research expertise feeds directly into our teaching programme, providing innovative and exciting content, as well as keeping you abreast of current debates on crime and criminal justice. Our research strengths include:

  • Extremes of Human Cruelty
  • Forensic Science
  • Hate Crime
  • Desistance and Rehabilitation
  • Sex Work
  • Gender
  • Retail Crime
  • Domestic Violence
Key Facts
Typical offer
UCAS code
Start date
September 2017

Admissions enquiries
+44 (0)116 252 5281

Course enquiries
+44 (0)116 252 5712

Criminology website

Why Leicester?

Leicester is one of very few universities in the country to have its own area exclusively dedicated to researching and teaching criminology.

Our Scarman Lecture Series invites senior policymakers and key figures in the Criminal Justice System to deliver papers on topical crime matters.

The modules you study are informed by the research undertaken by our lecturers, giving you a cutting-edge insight into criminology throughout your degree.

We are a first point of contact for journalists needing information and advice on crime issues, and are regularly called upon by national and local governments to assist with policy development.

Course Structure

Year 1

Year 1

The first year has been designed to enable you to develop a sound understanding and awareness of the central topics involved in studying criminology. It provides a smooth transition to Higher Education, and allows you to develop the skills and knowledge required to succeed at university. The four core modules you will study are all year long, which allows you to learn about the foundations of criminology over a longer period of time.


Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Year 2

Year 2

Your second year begins by exploring how we respond to people who break the law, and you will examine critical issues in relation to contemporary forms of punishment. You will also receive a comprehensive research methods programme, designed to give you the skills and knowledge you need to undertake a research project of your own in your final year. You can tailor your second year by choosing from our range of option modules.

Core modules

  • Punishment and Rehabilitiation
  • Understanding Criminological Research
  • Doing Criminological Research

Option modules

Choose two option modules from:

  • Media and Crime
  • Organised Crime
  • Psychology and Crime
  • Youth Crime
  • Crime, Justice and Human Rights
  • Crime, Technology and Social Control
  • Forensic Psychology
  • Terrorism

During your second year you will have the opportunity to spend one semester abroad at California State University Long Beach. Places are limited and to be considered you will need to have a strong academic record. Studying abroad for a semester gives you the opportunity to experience a different culture while studying the equivalent modules to those here at Leicester. You will pay your fees at Leicester but are responsible for your own travel and living costs in North America.

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Year Abroad (optional)

Year Abroad (optional)

If you want to, you can spend your third year studying abroad at one of our partner institutions (eligibility is dependent on your academic performance in Years 1 and 2). Alternatively, you can opt to continue studying at the University and complete your degree in three years.

Studying abroad is not just for people who are interested in travelling and meeting new people. It is about acquiring life skills that are becoming increasingly significant for a wide range of jobs in our modern globalised society. Whether you go on to work in the private sector, the state sector, a non-governmental organisation, or become self-employed you will find the experience invaluable. Find out more from our International Office.

Please note that a year spent abroad still incurs a tuition fee, but this is much lower than for a normal year at Leicester. See our Fees and Funding section for details.

Criminology at Leicester has links with European universities, administered through the European Erasmus scheme. If you attend one of these, you may be eligible for an Erasmus grant if you comply with European Commission rules and regulations. If you are eligible for a loan from Student Finance you can apply for a travel grant from them. During your second year at Leicester you will receive appropriate language training. We have links with the following universities:

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Final Year

Final Year

The third year is all about specialisation because you can choose three option modules. You will also complete a 10,000 word dissertation focusing on an area of criminology that particularly interests you. Our innovative Preparing For Your Dissertation module provides you with all the support and guidance you’ll need to undertake your final year project.

Core modules

  • Working in Criminal Justice
  • Preparing For Your Dissertation

Plus your Dissertation

Option modules

Choose three option modules from:

  • Applied Criminology
  • Criminal Justice and Mental Disorder
  • Drugs and Crime
  • Hate Crime
  • Policing
  • Crimes of the Powerful
  • Prisons
  • International Conflict
  • Security and Risk
  • Forensic Science
  • Futures of Criminology
  • Gender and Crime
  • Global Criminology

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Major/Minor Degrees

Major/Minor degrees enable you to create your own degree. You can study a core area in depth (your major subject), while also exploring an additional area (your minor subject).

Why not complement your Major with a subject that you enjoyed before, or which has vocational elements that can boost your career prospects? Alternatively, you may want to try something completely new that you’ve always been interested in, like a language.

Teaching and Assessment

The modules you take are taught using a combination of ‘traditional’ lectures and seminars, as well as more contemporary virtual learning environments. Lectures provide you with the foundational knowledge needed to study the subject area, while the seminars give you the opportunity to discuss key ideas with your peers and your seminar leader. The virtual learning environments, which include podcasts, webinars, online discussion forums and audio/visual learning aids, give you the opportunity to explore the subject area at your own pace and offer an alternative approach to learning and teaching. Your learning experience is enhanced by the combination of these teaching methods and this ensures that you have the opportunity to study in a variety of ways. In addition to this you will also be given a personal tutor who can provide one-to-one support on a range of academic and personal issues, and all the teaching staff in the Department have regular ‘drop in’ sessions where you are able to discuss any problems you may have.

Our assessment strategy allows you to develop a range of academic and transferable skills throughout your degree. You will be assessed through exams, essays, reports and presentations. You will also have the opportunity to produce factsheets, blogs, briefing papers and a range of other creative forms of assessment. In your third year you will also produce a 10,000-word dissertation focusing on an area of criminology that particularly interests you. The dissertation is the culmination of your academic studies and it allows you to demonstrate all of the skills and knowledge you have acquired throughout your studies. It is also a fantastic opportunity to study a particular topic area in-depth and to conduct your own research. You will also receive dedicated one-to-one dissertation supervision from one of the academics in the Department.

Entry Requirements

  • A-Levels: ABB. Two AS-levels may be considered in place of one A-level. General studies accepted.
  • EPQ with A-levels: BBB + EPQ at grade B. Two AS-levels considered in place of one A-level. General Studies accepted.
  • GCSE: English at grade C.
  • Access to HE Diploma: Pass, with at least 45 credits at level 3, including some at Distinction.
  • International Baccalaureate: Pass Diploma with 30 points.
  • BTEC Nationals: Pass Diploma at DDM.

Other national and international qualifications considered. If you do not meet the entry requirements for this course, you can apply for the International Foundation Year run by our dedicated International Study Centre. The ISC provides academic and English language support to help you progress to your chosen undergraduate degree at the University of Leicester. 

Second Year Entry may be possible with suitable qualifications.

Selection Process

Applicants are not normally interviewed. If you receive an offer you will be invited to visit the department.

English Language Requirements

IELTS 6.5 or equivalent. If your first language is not English, you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. If you do not yet meet our requirements, our English Language Teaching Unit (ELTU) offers a range of courses to help you to improve your English to the necessary standard.

International Qualifications

Find your country in this list to check equivalent qualifications, scholarships and additional requirements.

Countries List

Fees and Funding

  • Starting in 2017

    • £9,250 in your first year. After 2017/18, the tuition fee you pay may increase annually in line with inflation (RPIX) and is subject to government regulations. (RPIX is a measure of inflation in the UK, equivalent to all items in the Retail Price Index (RPI) excluding mortgage interest payments.)
    • Year Abroad: your fee will be £1,250 for that year.

    Find out more about scholarships and funding.


  • Starting in 2017

    • £15,290 per year

    Year Abroad: your fee will be £3,822.50 which is 25% of the full-time tuition fee.

Career Opportunities

We aim to provide you with a range of transferable skills that will give you a head-start in today’s competitive job market. Your capacity for imaginative, rigorous and critical thinking will be developed throughout the degree programme. Subject specific skills, such as knowledge of the social processes of crime and the criminal justice system, will be complemented by the type of transferable skills that are highly valued by employers in the graduate job market, including:

  • The ability to present and develop a cohesive argument
  • IT skills
  • Research and problem-solving skills
  • Written and oral communication skills
  • Working as part of a team

The Careers Development Service and Criminology work together to ensure you improve your employability, as well as recognising the skills you have acquired throughout your degree. All students will have the opportunity to participate in the Criminal Justice Insights and the Criminal Justice Fast Track, which will enable you to gain volunteering experience, enhance your CV and develop transferable skills. There is an optional placement module in the third year which gives you a further range of transferable skills and practical experiences.


Our Career Development Service is here to support you, with advice on interviews, CVs, work experience, volunteering and more. From Freshers’ Week to Graduation and beyond, they are here to help you reach your professional goals.

Course Qualification Duration UCAS Code Availability
Criminology BSc 3 years full-time M900 Apply Now
Criminology with Year Abroad BSc 4 years full-time M900 Apply Now
3 years full-time
Criminology with Year Abroad
4 years full-time

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