Criminology and Sociology BSc (Hons) Course overview
This three-year degree has been designed by world-leading researchers in the field. You’ll learn about the latest thinking in crime and society, and develop the skills to conduct your own original research.
You’ll study topics such as criminal justice, penology, policing, news, violence, and social change. This develops your analytical capability to engage with crime and social policy debates. Modules in qualitative and quantitative research methods develop your data analysis skills.
- Become a critical thinker with an in-depth understanding of the complex interplay of local and global forces in relation to crime and criminality
- Boost your employability with an optional work placement year
- Develop highly sought-after data literacy and quantitative skills, thanks to our strong links with City’s Q-Step Centre
- Opt onto a Q-Step quantitative methods pathway: benefit from a heightened focus on data skills, a workplace Data Placement in Year 2, and an optional international work placement
Take advantage of excellent internship opportunities thanks to our central London location, including access to organisations in crime and justice, human rights, migration and refugee support, and mental health.
A particular strength of the BSc (Hons) Criminology and Sociology at City is that the degree is part of the City Q-Step Centre, a centre of excellence devoted to developing the data literacy and quantitative methods skills of undergraduate social scientists.
Throughout your three years of study on this Criminology and Sociology BSc degree, you will combine sociology and criminology through complementary subjects that enhance your understanding of both topics.
Introduction to Criminology (15 credits)
This module provides an introduction to key issues, perspectives, and debates in criminology, and focuses on ‘structural’ approaches to understanding crime and criminal justice.
Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics (15 credits)
Numbers are everywhere: in the media, in political and policy debate, in advertising and in social research. This module helps you develop a critical approach to statistical claims and the analysis of quantitative data.
Producing Social Data (15 credits)
This module provides an introductory overview of the processes involved in the production and collation of large scale data sets. The focus will be mainly be on social surveys although other sources of large scale data will also be discussed.
Classical Social Theory (15 Credits)
This module focuses on the development of social theory in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
Criminal Justice (15 credits)
This module provides an introduction to key perspectives, policies and practices in criminal justice. You will examine different theories and models of criminal justice and explore how these theories shape the state’s reaction to criminal offending and victimisation.
Sociology in Action (15 Credits)
The module provides an introduction to some of the main areas of research and debate in contemporary sociology.
Researching Society: Qualitative Methods (15 Credits)
This module introduces you to qualitative research methods in the social sciences and is a core module designed to prepare you with the basic research skills to conduct research in sociology, criminology and media studies.
Academic and Professional Practice (15 credits)
This module introduces you to the key skills required for a successful academic career and helps to prepare you for that career and to see where this will fit with your longer-term life-goals.
Deepen your understanding of both subjects with core topics from criminology and sociology. In year 2, you take six core modules; you can choose one methods module and one sociology module. In year 2 you will also have the option to join the Quantitative Methods pathway (leading to a BSc Criminology and Sociology with Quantitative Methods). This pathway includes eight core modules – these are indicated by an asterisk below.
Key Issues in Criminology* (15 credits)
This module covers a) key issues and debates in criminology and criminal justice b) criminological perspectives on crime, social order and the criminal justice system c) current thinking on criminal behaviour and crime control and d) alternative forms of crime and social control.
Penology* (15 credits)
This module introduces key sociological perspectives on punishment in modern society. It will enable you to develop your understanding of the sociology of punishment, and some of the moral, economic, cultural, political and social factors that shape punishment in modern society.
Violence* (15 credits)
This module provides an overview of the key issues and current debates in criminology and criminal justice such as criminological perspectives on violence and criminal justice policy, violence control, politicisation crime and the future of violence, criminal justice and social control.
Social Action Project (15 credits)
This module a) provides an introduction to principles of social action research, active citizenship and applied learning b) an understanding of the transferability of sociological learning c) enhances employability through supporting you to undertake practical activities and group work in the community.
Understanding Social Change* (15 credits)
This module examines some of the most consequential changes that have taken place in recent decades such as the emergence of modernity and how this has brought about new forms of social inequality, identities and patterns of social conflict.
Contemporary Social Theory* (15 credits)
This module focuses on the development of social theory in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. As well as social order, social reproduction, and social transformation, we explore some of the key ideas and theories which have made and remade sociology.
Quantitative Analysis of Social Research Data* (15 Credits)
This module develops your understanding of the fundamentals of statistical data analysis. It enables you to apply appropriate statistical methods to data analysis on a criminology topic of your choice and present your results in a meaningful way.
Qualitative Analysis of Social Research Data (15 Credits)
This module will equip you with the skills to employ qualitative methods in your dissertation. It allows you to deepen your understanding of various qualitative methods, how to apply these and their limitations to a substantive area of your choice.
Sociology of Race and Racism (15 credits)
This module introduces you to sociological research and scholarship on race and racism. We will outline and critically evaluate the emergence of modern ideas about race and racism, and explore processes that have shaped racism in Britain.
Gender and Society (15 credits)
This module provides an overview of some of the main social processes that shape gender relations in contemporary societies. We describe and assess major accounts of the processes of becoming 'men' and 'women.'
Visualising Society* (15 credits)
This module helps you develop a visual approach to using data in social science. It makes sense of research in cognitive science, computer science and the geo-sciences and developing practice in design.
Quantitative Data Placement* (15 credits)
Work Placement (15 credits)
This module offers you a tailored opportunity to work towards future employment in a sector of your choice. It enables you to build on skills and knowledge gained on your degree course as well as transferable skills from past work or activities
Year 3 enables you to tailor your final year to your interests and career aspirations. You explore a sociological topic in depth through your Sociology project dissertation; you take at least 30 credits worth of criminology modules; and choose up to 45 credits of elective modules.
Applied Multivariate Analysis* (15 credits)
This module introduces you to some commonly used techniques of multivariate data analysis from simple arithmetical procedures to more complex model-based approaches. We will discuss the choices that have to be taken at every step of data processing, and their implications.
Sociology Project (45 credits)
This module is designed to expand and compound your knowledge of research methods and sociological theories and support you in the delivery of your third year project.
Crime, Culture and the City (15 credits)
This module introduces you to advances in research on urban crime and culture. We will consider 150 years of relevant scholarship as well as cutting-edge developments in research and theory that illuminate contemporary debates and controversies.
Policing (15 credits)
This module explores the shifts that are taking place in policing and security. From role and function, to the socio- criminological context within which contemporary policing happens, to operational methodologies and the issues that will define the future of policing.
Criminal Behaviour (15 credits)
This module develops an understanding of a) why and how human behaviour is criminalised b) types of criminal behaviour and the processes through which people become defined as criminals c) different methods of controlling criminal behaviour and the future forms of such behaviour.
Youth Crime (15 credits)
This module introduces the origins and development of youth justice, enables you to discuss and analyse youth and childhood within a sociological and criminological context, develops your understanding of youth crime and introduces you to emergent and contemporary issues in youth crime.
Broken Britain? Culture, Employment and Society (15 credits)
This course reviews some key features of ‘social breakdown’ discussed in political and policy campaigns. Using current evidence from sociological research in both the UK and abroad it allows us to determine whether Britain is indeed broken.
Celebrity and Society (15 credits)
The module will provide you with a discussion of the historical roots of celebrity. It will situate the position of celebrities in relation to the socio-economic conditions in society.
Culture, Racisms and Resistance* (15 credits)
This module will explore contemporary debates on racisms and resistance with a particular focus on how their dynamics are played out through the realm of culture. You will learn about and be encouraged to critically evaluate key theoretical and policy debates around race, racisms, resistance and culture.
Criminal Justice in Crisis (15 credits)
This module focuses on emerging developments and key areas of ‘crises’ in the criminal justice policy field. It will enable you to evaluate research on, and critically discuss, key issues in the politics of crime control in both their historical and contemporary contexts.
Leisure, the Body and Deviance (15 credits)
The aims of the module are to address knowledge and seek an understanding of the body in the contexts of leisure and deviance with particular reference to violence, drugs, risk, pain and injury.
Global Migration Processes* (15 credits)
Global Migration Processes
Poverty: What counts?* (15 credits)
This module introduces the conceptualisation of poverty in the UK, how to critically evaluate different approaches to the quantitative measurement of poverty and the practical measurement of such approaches using SPSS, the social surveys most commonly used to measure poverty in the UK.
Political Communication* (15 credits)
The course introduces you to the role of political communication in the political process, examining various aspects of government information policy and the relation between government, the media and the public.
Culture, Race, Difference (15 credits)
This module will explore contemporary debates on race and racisms with a particular focus on how their dynamics are played out through the realm of culture. You will be encouraged to critically evaluate theoretical and policy debates around race, racisms, difference and culture.
Work and Workers (15 credits)
This module considers the ways in which work and our understandings of it are changing. It will allow you to reflect on your own experiences of work, while introducing you to key sociological arguments and theoretical developments.
Digital cultures (15 credits)
This module explores the roles new communication technologies— in particular digital media, social media, and the Internet—play in the transformation of cultural, economic, political, and social structures and practices.
Emotions, Identities and Relationships (15 credits)
In the context of what sociologists regard as a move towards an increasingly globalised, postmodern and individualised society, this module goes on to explore the extent to which these developments have resulted in changes in peoples’ social identities and personal relationships.
Education, Skills and the Job Market (15 credits)
This module introduces the sociology of work and education and explores the relationship between higher education and work. It examines the role of education in society and how educational experiences, skills, knowledge and credentials relate to the labour market and the work process.
Global Politics of Forced Migration (15 credits)
In relation to displacement and forced migration this module enables you to a) think critically about policy and operational practice b) analyse different conceptual approaches c) understand responses such as humanitarian assistance, repatriation and resettlement d) appreciate the role of the international community.
The Theory and Practice of Conflict and Peace (requires either IP2024 or IP2025) (15 credits)
This module provides an introduction to how national decision-makers and diplomats have pursued war and peace since the early twentieth century with the aim of applying theory to illuminate key historical cases.
Micro-Placement (15 credits)
The micro-placement module is an exciting way to gain professional experience via short summer placements with a wide range of London-based employers. The programme aims to give you real-life exposure to the business environment and enhance your employability skills.
Download course specifications:
Teaching and assessment
Teaching is through lectures, interactive sessions, practical workshops and small-group seminars, supported by a personal tutorial system.
Lectures provide commentary and explanation of key content areas. Small-group seminars develop your understanding by inviting you to raise questions and participate in the debate and by providing guidance for further study. Computer labs develop your skills in the production and analysis of data.
You are encouraged to undertake extensive reading and independent study in order to understand the topics covered in lectures and classes and to broaden, as well as to deepen your knowledge of the subject.
For the third year project, you will receive supervision and the Dissertation module provides you with the opportunity to develop research methods and writing skills.
Assessment is primarily in the form of coursework (assessed essays, policy and research reports, group presentations and other assignments), unseen examinations and a final-year project.
Percentage of the course assessed by coursework
The balance of assessment by coursework (assessed essays and assignments) unseen examinations and a final year project will to some extent depend on the optional modules you choose. The approximate percentage of the course assessment, based on 2019/21 entry is as follows:
Most contact hours take the form of lectures, interactive sessions, practical workshops and small group classes, supported by a personal tutorial system. The number will decrease as you progress and you become more able to direct your own learning. Approximate study time based on 2019/21 entry is as follows:
Fees and funding
Fees for year 2023/24
The tuition fees indicated are for the 2023/24 academic year only. Fees for each subsequent year of study are subject to an annual increase to take account of City's increased costs of delivering educational services. This increase will be 5% for each subsequent year of study. You should expect your fee to increase by this amount and budget accordingly.
- Fee waivers are available for this course.
- Means tested support is available for 2023/24 entry.
Some of our degrees may involve additional expenses which are not covered by your tuition fees. Find out more about additional expenses.
This course will equip you with the methodological expertise to analyse social data. You also develop the analytical capability to identify and engage with crime and social policy debates. This can be useful for careers in crime reduction and criminal justice, including:
- the police
- the prison service
- offender management
- youth justice
- community safety.
The strong data literacy and quantitative methods skills you develop will also be relevant to sectors unrelated to crime and justice, including:
- market research
- the not-for-profit sector
- the financial sector
Previous students on our Q-Step pathway have secured placements with a range of organisations working in the following areas:
- media and communications
- crime and justice
- human rights
- migration and refugee support
- mental health.
How to apply
Applications for degree courses must be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).
You will be able to apply through your school or college using the Apply system, which enables you to submit your application directly to the UCAS website.
You can apply to up to five universities or institutions on the form. The UCAS code for City, University of London is C60.
Please take care to enter the correct course code when applying, particularly for subjects with a Foundation year or with BEng (Hons) and MEng (Hons) or BSc (Hons) and MSci (Hons) options.
UCAS has implemented an 'invisibility of choices' policy so that, on the initial application and while you are receiving decisions, each institution can see only their entry and not those of other institutions you have chosen. This ensures that your application for a course at City is considered solely on your academic and personal qualities.
You should submit your completed application form to UCAS with a £26.50 application fee. If you want to apply to City, University of London only, you can make a single choice application at a reduced rate of £22.
For enquiries about the admissions process at City, please contact our Admissions Office
Complete the Admissions enquiry form.
Call: +44 (0)20 7040 8716.
When to apply
Your application for entry in September 2023 should arrive at UCAS between September 2022 and 25th January 2023. Applications that arrive after 25th January 2023 will be considered only at City's discretion.
Address: Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), Rosehill, New Barn Lane, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL52 3LZ
- from inside the UK 0871 468 0468
- from outside the UK +44 (0)871 468 0468
For callers with hearing difficulties:
- from inside the UK use the Text Relay service on 18001 0871 468 0468
- from outside the UK dial +44 151 494 1260 (text phone) and then ask the operator to dial 0871 468 0468.
Gain further insight into studying Criminology and Sociology at City.
Our students' work
Your studies are supported by a team of committed and enthusiastic teachers and researchers, experts in their chosen field. On occasion we also work with external professionals to enhance your learning and appreciation of the wider subject.