"Due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, examinations may be replaced by an alternative form of assessment during the academic year 2021/2022. Please refer to the Programme Specification on these pages for further details."
Why choose this course?
You want to debate crime and its causes. What is your opinion on targeted policing? Do offenders have an innate criminal mind? Is restorative justice enough to repair community relations? Whatever your stance, we want to hear it. Hear the opinions of other aspiring criminologists. Dare to challenge your own beliefs. Uncover the realities of the underworld. Learn to connect the environmental and sociological trends of crime throughout history. Learn how you could influence positive social change. Together, let's explore potential solutions to reduce the crimes of today.
You’ll understand crime at a deep level. Be inspired by internationally recognised researchers. You’ll be taught by experts with first-hand public servant experience, from the police to prisons, the probation service and victim support. We even have staff from the military! Take advantage of our contacts. Network with departments like the Hertfordshire Constabulary, the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and established resettlement teams. Thinking of becoming a prison officer? A fraud investigator? Or what about a crime journalist? Whatever your career goals are, choose the University of Hertfordshire. A TEF Gold-rated university that will give you the best possible start to your career.
What are the facilities like?
Outstanding. Our bright, modern Law School Building opened its doors in 2011. It brings you a mixture of fantastic technology, well-equipped study spaces and realistic criminal justice settings. Inside you’ll find our incredible replica Crown Court, complete with judge’s bench and viewing gallery. Experience how the criminal justice system really works.
Hertfordshire Law School has helped graduates forge successful careers for 40 years. You’ll benefit from our reputation for being forward-thinking, innovative, and responsive to the world around us.
What's the course about?
You’ll study criminal justice as well as criminology. But what is the difference between the two? Criminal justice refers to established systems for dealing with crime. You’ll learn how the police and Crown Prosecution Service come together to investigate crime. You’ll explore the limits of the magistrates’ courts. How a jury and judge prosecute in the crown court. The powers of the high courts to overturn a guilty verdict. It’s also about punishment - detention centres, prisons, probation, and community sentencing. Are they all needed? Is one more effective than the other?
In criminology, you’ll look at the social, economic, and psychological side of crime. How does offending behaviour affect society? Learn victim psychology, and attitudes towards anti-social behaviour. Compare cultural perspectives on what is seen as a crime or just considered deviance. You will gain a solid understanding of both fields and how they come together to thwart crime.
At one time in history, theft was considered to be in your genes. It was in your blood to steal! In your first year, you will learn how attitudes towards crime and punishment have evolved. You’ll explore the stages of the justice system, from arrest to release. You’ll explore the schemes in place to reintegrate ex-offenders back into society. You’ll recognise its strengths. Challenge its weaknesses. We have moved on from the brutalities of hanging. But are prison sentences harsh enough?
In your second year, you’ll specialise in an area that fascinates you. Want to know more about the psychology of crime?  Question if psychology can be used to shape how the public sees criminality. Or what about the race and crime debate? Look at the evidence on media stereotyping. Explore how this could lead to an increase in criminalising minority ethnic people. There are 117 prisons in England and only 12 of those are female. Explore feminist theories on gender, victimisation, and offending.
Work placement/ study abroad option
Between your second and final year, you’ll have the possibility to study abroad or do a work placement for up to a year. Not only will this give you an amazing experience to talk about but will also give your CV a boost. If you’d rather go straight to your final year, that’s absolutely fine too.
Shape your entire third year. Choose all your modules. You could explore how the media report crime events. Compare social moral panics to the official statistics. What about the ''war on drug's''? Is there an increasing social acceptance of recreational drug use? Does this justify harsher governing? Gangs. War crimes. Rehabilitating offenders. Your discussions will be endless. Your detailed research will inform your opinions. And we want you to debate them. Choose a topic. Gather your research. Analyse your readings. Use your final year project to produce a thought-provoking study. Challenge the system. Tell us how you believe we could make a fairer society.
Your main campus is de Havilland
You’ll share this campus with students from business, law, sport, education, and humanities subjects. The student housing is close to our Sports Village which includes a gym, swimming pool and climbing wall. You can get breakfast, lunch, or dinner in our on-campus restaurant or bar (in the newly built Enterprise Hub) on days you don’t feel like cooking. You can also use the common room to play pool, video games or just to hang out with friends.  Our Learning Resources Centres are open 24/7, which means you can study whenever suits you best. Want to pop over to the other campus? You can take the free shuttle bus or walk there in just 15 minutes.
This course includes the options of: