Criminology BSc, 3-4 years

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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.

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+44 (0)116 252 5281

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Criminology website

Course description

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, providing 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 (half year) 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 since the survey began in 2005. 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:

  • Forensic science
  • Hate crime
  • Desistance and rehabilitation
  • Sex work
  • Gender
  • Retail crime
  • Domestic violence

Fees and funding

Fees and funding

UK and EU Students

Starting in 2018

  • £9,250 in your first year. After 2018/19, the tuition fee you pay may increase annually in line with inflation and is subject to government regulations.
  • Year Abroad: your fee will be £1,250 for that year.

Find out more about scholarships and funding.

International Students

Starting in 2018

  • £15,980 per year
  • Year Abroad: your fee will be £3,995 which is 25% of the full-time tuition fee.

Find out more about scholarships and funding.

Careers and employability

Careers and employability

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, 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.

Related courses

Related courses

Major in Criminology

BSc, 3 years

Law with Criminology

LLB, 3 years

Chemistry with Forensic Science

BSc, 3-4 years

Browse all courses

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Course structure

Year 1

Year 1


  • CR1004 Introduction to Criminology (double module)
  • CR1002 Criminal Justice in Action (double module)
  • CR1006 Victims of Crime (double module)
  • CR1001 Theories of Crime and Criminality (double module)

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

Core modules

  • CR2019 Understanding Criminological Research (double module)
  • CR2021 Doing Criminological Research (double module)
  • CR2008 Punishment and Rehabilitation (double module)

Option modules

Choose one option module from:

  • CR2024 Organised Crime
  • CR2022 Investigative Psychology
  • CR2026 Youth Crime and Justice
  • CRXXXX Cybercrime

Then choose one option module from:

  • CR2020 Crime and Technology
  • CR2023 Legal Psychology and Offender Rehabilitation
  • CR2025 Terrorism
  • CRXXXX Sex and Violence

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 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

Core modules

  • CR3017 Preparing For Your Dissertation
  • CR3018 Working in Criminal Justice
  • CR3008 Dissertation

Option modules

Choose one double module from:

  • CR3030 Applied Criminology (double module)
  • CR3019 Criminal Justice and Mental Disorder (double module)
  • CR3020 Drugs and Crime (double module)
  • CR3028 Hate Crime (double module)
  • CR3021 Policing (double module)
  • CR3026 Prisons (double module)

Then choose either another double module from the list above or two modules, one from each list below:

List A

  • CR3006 Crimes of the Powerful
  • CR3022 Alternative Justice
  • CR3024 Crime and Security in a Risk Society
  • CR3025 Violence

List B

  • CR3013 Forensic Science
  • CR3027 Criminology in the News
  • CR3023 Gender and Crime

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.

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.

Criminology at Leicester

Guest lectures by experienced professionals gave Beth an insight into career opportunities.

Teaching and learning

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 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 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.

Independent learning

When not attending lectures, seminars or other timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking research in the library, preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for exams. To help with your independent learning, you can access the Library and our social study spaces in halls of residence.

Your contact hours will depend on the option modules you select. You can see details of the contact hours on individual module pages.

Academic support

Our Student Learning Development Team provides help in the following areas:

  • study and exam skills
  • academic writing
  • presentations
  • dissertations
  • numerical data skills
  • referencing sources

Our AccessAbility Centre offers support and practical help for students with dyslexia or other specific learning difficulties, including physical, mental health or mobility difficulties, deafness, or visual impairment.

Teaching staff

You will be taught by an experienced teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. PhD research students who have undertaken teacher training may also contribute to the teaching of seminars under the supervision of the module leader. Our teaching is informed by the research we do. You can learn more about our staff by visiting our staff profiles.

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.

More about Major/Minor degrees

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