BA Criminology and Social Policy


Program Description


On this course, you will gain a detailed knowledge of two fast-developing and exciting subject areas, as well as being able to choose modules according to your interests.

Criminology is concerned not just with crime, how it is defined, experienced and explained, but also with the different ways in which individuals and societies respond to it. It is an interdisciplinary area of study that draws on insights from sociology, social policy, law and the social sciences more generally.

Criminologists adopt different theoretical perspectives and use a range of research methods to increase our understanding of crime and criminal justice. They are interested in offenders (and how they are defined), in the victims of crime, in the social contexts in which crime and victimisation take place, and in ways of controlling crime - whether that is through changing social policies to do with housing, education and welfare, or through the work of specialist institutions like the police, probation and prison services.

Studying criminology with social policy will enable you to see crime, its causes and society's responses to it, in its wider social and global context. Social policy focuses on ways of intervening in complex social problems - poverty, inequality and discrimination - that may lead to offending. This course will broaden and deepen your understanding of crime as a social problem, and how we can respond to it most effectively.

Year one

In the first year, you will explore significant traditions and ideas in the disciplines of social policy and criminology in your core modules. A range of optional introductory modules introduce you to important themes and topics such as deviance, contemporary culture and human rights.

Year two

Year two will develop your understanding of the theoretical and methodological foundations of criminology and social policy. We will encourage you to explore these through core modules focusing on research design, political and moral theories of social policy, and the criminal justice system. Optional modules are chosen from both criminology and social policy.

Year three

Year three provides the opportunity to develop your skills and knowledge through researching for and writing a dissertation on a topic of your choice. There will then be a choice of optional modules allowing you to specialise in your areas of interest.

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Entry requirements

A levels: ABB excluding general studies, critical thinking and CIE thinking skills

English language requirements

IELTS: 7.0 (no less than 6.0 in any element)

For details of other English language tests and qualifications we accept, please see our entry requirements page.

Study abroad

On this course, you can apply to spend a semester studying abroad at one of our partner institutions in locations such as Australia, China, Germany and the USA.

You will get the opportunity to broaden your horizons and enhance your employability by experiencing another culture. You can choose to study similar modules to your counterparts back in Nottingham or expand your knowledge by taking other options. Teaching is typically in English; however, there may be opportunities to study in another language if you are sufficiently fluent.


A degree in criminology in combination with social policy can provide a solid foundation for a criminal justice career (for example, in the police and probation service) as well as employment in local/national government and in voluntary associations engaged with the social issues deriving from criminal behaviour, and with private companies with interests in security and risk assessment.

In addition to the subject-specific knowledge that you will build throughout this course, you will develop key transferable skills that are in high-demand by employers. These include written and verbal communication, IT skills, statistical analysis, time management and motivation, critical evaluation and teamwork.

We support our students' employability through careers talks and events. Your academic and personal development will also be facilitated by your personal tutor, who will be both your academic tutor and provide pastoral support.

Last updated February 2019

About the School

Part of one of the world's top universities, the Faculty of Social Sciences offers a diverse range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses across business, economics, education, geography, law, poli ... Read More

Part of one of the world's top universities, the Faculty of Social Sciences offers a diverse range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses across business, economics, education, geography, law, politics and international relations, and sociology and social policy. Read less