Bachelor in Criminology and Social Policy


Read more about this program on the institution's website

Program Description

The Course

The BA (Hons) Criminology and Social Policy degree aims to give students the opportunity to study the nature, causes, control and prevention of criminal behaviour, alongside an examination of how social policy is created and how it influences the way we live.

Criminology and social policy are interdisciplinary subjects that draw on many aspects of the social sciences. 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, including current issues in the news. 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.

Students on the course have opportunities to undertake a work placement or apply for a study abroad year.

How You Study

In the first year, students study images of crime and criminal justice, key social science concepts, social issues and justice, as well as applying research skills to social problems. Students can build on these foundations in year two and may choose from a range of optional modules influenced not only by social policy and criminology but also sociology and politics.

In the third year, students can study punishment theory and policies, community and policy-making, and may choose to specialise in diverse topics including families, human rights, genocide and civil society, again drawing on a number of the School’s subjects.

Studying Criminology and Social Policy at the University of Lincoln involves both directed and independent learning. Most modules are delivered through a combination of weekly lectures and associated seminars and workshops. The seminars provide an opportunity for students to discuss issues raised in the lectures and engage in critical reflection on the issues being studied. Students will also have the opportunity to meet with staff in individual tutorial sessions.

As well as directed study, students are expected to undertake independent learning using traditional library resources as well as a wide range of electronic resources.

Contact Hours and Reading for a Degree

Students on this programme learn from academic staff who are often engaged in world-leading or internationally excellent research or professional practice. Contact time can be in workshops, practical sessions, seminars or lectures and may vary from module to module and from academic year to year. Tutorial sessions and project supervision can take the form of one-to-one engagement or small group sessions. Some courses offer the opportunity to take part in external visits and fieldwork.

It is still the case that students read for a degree and this means that in addition to scheduled contact hours, students are required to engage in an independent study. This allows you to read around a subject and to prepare for lectures and seminars through wider reading, or to complete follow up tasks such as assignments or revision. As a general guide, the amount of independent study required by students at the University of Lincoln is that for every hour in class you are expected to spend at least two to three hours in an independent study.

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.

In the first year, assessment is 79% coursework, 14% practical exams, and 7% written exams. In the second year, it is 72.5% coursework, 10.5% practical exams, and 17% written exams. In the third year, it is 88% coursework, 7% practical exams, and 6% written exams.

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.

The University of Lincoln’s policy is to ensure that staff return assessments to students promptly.


Research Base

There is an active and broad academic research base in the School, which includes study in the areas of war crimes, the penal system, philosophy of punishment, the social exclusion of older people, policy-making and implementation, domestic violence, poverty and social security, and the policing of lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender people.

Study Abroad Initiative

Students from the School of Social and Political Sciences have the opportunity to enrol at partner institutions in the USA, Sweden, Belgium and the Netherlands during the third year of their undergraduate degree programme*.

The Study Abroad Initiative is available to those who have successfully completed years one and two of their degree and enables students to spend a year studying overseas during what would be their third year of study. During the year abroad students will not pay any additional tuition fees.

Students will be responsible for their travel and accommodation costs in addition to their normal living costs throughout the year. Where applicable, visa costs will also need to be covered by the student. Students will then return to the University of Lincoln to complete the final year of their degree.

The initiative enables students to experience their subject from a different perspective and to explore different societies and cultures.

*Only a limited number of places are available. These places are allocated competitively, subject to academic criteria.

Entry Requirements

  • 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.

EU and International students whose first language is not English will require English Language IELTS 6.0 with no less than 5.5 in each element or equivalent

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.

Last updated May 2020

About the School

Since being opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 1996, the University of Lincoln has invested more than £300 million in its buildings and facilities.

Since being opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 1996, the University of Lincoln has invested more than £300 million in its buildings and facilities. Read less