Drawing on insights from sociology, policy, law, and the social sciences more generally, criminologists specialising in social policy not only consider how crime is defined, experienced, or explained: they explore society’s responses to it, tackling the complex social problems that can lead to crime.
This degree enables students to study the nature, causes, control, and prevention of crime, alongside an examination of how social policy is developed and how it influences the way we live. Students may use a variety of approaches to examine crime, criminal justice, poverty, social exclusion and inequality, and other social issues, tackling difficult and often controversial topics.
Throughout the course, students can explore issues such as identity, citizenship, and social justice in order to evidence the ways in which criminal justice approaches are dependent on a broad network of political, economical, and social controls. These subjects draw on links with local employers, such as criminal justice agencies and councils, to enable students to learn from real-world knowledge and practices.
Teaching is informed by the research expertise of academic staff, who regularly contribute to national policy debates in these fields.
How You Study
The first year of the degree provides students with a solid knowledge base, covering images of crime and criminal justice, key social science concepts, social issues and justice, and the application of research skills to social problems. A range of optional modules builds on these foundations in year two, enabling students to tailor their degrees to match their individual interests. In their third and final year, students can go on to study punishment theory and policies, community, and policymaking. They can also choose to specialise in diverse topics including families, human rights, genocide, and civil society.
Studying Criminology and Social Policy at the University of Lincoln aims to combine aspects of both directed and independent learning. Each module is delivered by means of a weekly lecture and an associated seminar. These seminars are a space for students to discuss and debate issues raised in the lecture and engage in critical reflection on the set readings related to such issues. Further methods of delivery include visits from practitioners and guest speakers, collaborative workshops, and hands-on IT sessions.
Students also have the opportunity to meet with staff in individual tutorial sessions to explore in greater detail their own individual learning needs. As well as this directed study, students are expected to undertake independent learning utilising traditional library material as well as a wide range of electronic resources.
Contact hours vary by course and can take many forms, including lectures, seminars, and workshops. A full-time undergraduate student should expect to undertake a minimum of 37 hours of study each week during term-time, supplementing contact hours with independent study. This is an important aspect of university-level education. As a general rule, you will be expected to spend two to three hours working independently for every hour in class.
Methods of Assessment
The way in which you will be assessed will depend on your chosen course. It may include coursework, written and practical exams, portfolio development, group work, or presentations. A full breakdown of current assessment methods can be found on the individual course pages of this website. The University of Lincoln’s policy is to ensure that staff return assessments to students promptly.
Applying Research (Social Sciences) (Core)
Images of Crime and Criminal Justice (Core)
Key Social Science Concepts (Core)
Social Issues and Social Justice (Core)
Applying Criminology (Core)
Comparative Politics and Policy (Core)
Debating Welfare States (Core)
Researching in Social Science (Core)
(Re)Reading the Sociological Canon I (Option)†
(Re)reading the Sociological Canon II (Option)†
Challenges of European Politics (Option)†
Conceptualising Sex Work (Option)†
Criminology in the Professions (Option)†
Ideology into Practice (Option)†
Policing Crime and Deviance (Option)†
Political Parties (Option)†
Psychology in the Criminal Justice Process (Option)†
Social Engagement (Option)†
Sociology of Education (Option)†
Thinking Politics (Option)†
Transnational Security Studies (Option)†
Understanding Domestic Abuse (Option)†
Understanding the City (Option)†
Understanding the European Union (Option)†
Welfare Policy and Work (Option)†
Work and Society (Option)†
Youth Justice (Option)†
Youth, Culture and Resistance (Option)†
Analysing the Policy Process (Core)
Human Rights (Social Sciences) (Core)
Independent Study (Core)
Penology and Penal Policy (Core)
Understanding the Policy Process (Core)
Body Politics (Option)†
Care or control? Welfare institutions in Britain before the welfare state (Option)†
Children, Families and the State (Option)†
Counter-Terrorism Studies (Option)†
Crimes of the Powerful (Option)†
Gender and Violence (Option)†
Global Civil Society (Option)†
Global Governance (Option)†
Multiculturalism and Britishness (Option)†
Parliamentary Studies (Option)†
Police Studies (Option)†
Psychology in Prisons (Option)†
Race and Racism (Option)†
Terrorism and Extremism in the United Kingdom (Option)†
The Developing World (Option)†
The Politics of Masculinity (Option)†
War Crimes and Genocide (Option)†
How You Are Assessed
The assessment on the course is designed to test and enhance students' knowledge, skills and abilities, and aims to help prepare them for the demands of work.
The way students are assessed on this course may vary for each module. The course aims to develop written communication skills through essays and examinations, oral communication skills through presentations, literature searching and review through essays, examinations and presentations, and computer literacy skills through word-processing and use of electronic resources. In the final year, students have the opportunity to combine their skills and undertake their own chosen area of study in the preparation of an Independent Study.
A notable feature of Criminology at Lincoln is the way in which the degree is both taught and assessed involving student-centered work. This might include group-based and individual research projects, multimedia presentations, case studies, auto-critiques, self-appraisal, vocationally relevant 'live' projects, oral examinations, and conferences. In the final year, students have the opportunity to combine their skills and undertake their own chosen area of study in the preparation of an Independent Study.
These methods are designed to make a significant contribution to the consolidation of important transferable skills – all of which are valued by employers across a range of sectors.
The University of Lincoln’s policy is to ensure that staff return assessments to students promptly.
For eligible undergraduate students going to university for the first time, scholarships and bursaries are available to help cover costs. The University of Lincoln offers a variety of merit-based and subject-specific bursaries and scholarships.
"One of the best things I have found on the Criminology and Social Policy programme has been the infectious enthusiasm that the tutors have for the subject. It really brings the best out of students."
Michael Laba, Criminology and Sociology student
Entry Requirements 2021-22
GCE Advanced Levels: BCC
International Baccalaureate: 28 points overall
BTEC Extended Diploma: Distinction, Merit, Merit
Access to Higher Education Diploma: 45 Level 3 credits with a minimum of 104 UCAS Tariff points
Applicants will also need at least three GCSEs at grade 4 (C) or above, which must include English. Equivalent Level 2 qualifications may also be considered.
The University accepts a wide range of qualifications as the basis for entry and will consider applicants who have a mix of qualifications.
We also consider applicants with extensive and relevant work experience and will give special individual consideration to those who do not meet the standard entry qualifications.
If you have studied outside of the UK, and are unsure whether your qualification meets the above requirements, please visit our country pages for information on equivalent qualifications.
EU and Overseas students will be required to demonstrate English language proficiency equivalent to IELTS 6.0 overall, with a minimum of 5.5 in each element. For information regarding other English language qualifications we accept, please visit the English Requirements page.
If you do not meet the above IELTS requirements, you may be able to take part in one of our Pre-sessional English and Academic Study Skills courses.
Teaching and Learning During Covid-19
At Lincoln, Covid-19 has encouraged us to review our practices and, as a result, to take the opportunity to find new ways to enhance the student experience. We have made changes to our teaching and learning approach and to our campus, to ensure that students and staff can enjoy a safe and positive learning experience. We will continue to follow Government guidance and work closely with the local Public Health experts as the situation progresses, and adapt our teaching and learning accordingly to keep our campus as safe as possible.
Is This Course Right For Me?
This programme is designed for those who are looking for a course that aims to provide the foundation for considering some of the most contentious issues in contemporary society.
It is designed for those who consider the challenging issues which Criminology and Social Policy address not merely interesting but worthy of understanding as more complex issues than are 'popularly' thought.
What We Look For In Your Application
Interest in key areas of crime and criminal justice, and social policy issues, such as the ways the state treats its most vulnerable citizens. Useful reading in preparation:
Alcock, P., Haux, T., May, M. and Wright, S. (eds.) (2017) The Student's Companion to Social Policy, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford
Students have opportunities to undertake a voluntary, competitive work placement with a local council. This offers the valuable experience of a professional policy environment and provides the chance to observe how policy is set by central government and executed by local authorities, including how competing priorities can result in different decisions about where to allocate resources. Those who choose to undertake a work placement are responsible for covering their travel, accommodation, and general living costs.
Work Opportunities Hub
The College’s Work Opportunities Hub, which looks to identify suitable placements for students, can help those seeking to enhance their studies with work experience.
Some courses offer students the opportunity to undertake placements. When students are on an optional placement in the UK or overseas or studying abroad, they will be required to cover their own transport and accommodation and meal costs. Placements can range from a few weeks to a full year if students choose to undertake an optional sandwich year in industry (where available). Students are encouraged to obtain placements in the industry independently. Tutors may provide support and advice to students who require it during this process.