BA Criminology

Start date
3 years
UCAS code
Course Type

For 2022/23:
£9,250 (UK students) 
£20,280 (International Students) 
More fees and funding details.

Criminology at the University of Birmingham is about understanding the social implications of crime – and its impact on local and global communities.

Criminology as a discipline helps us to make sense of crime and related issues of punishment and victimisation. A unique aspect of the University of Birmingham’s Criminology Degree programme is the focus given on social harm to the study of crime. What is distinctive about studying Criminology at Birmingham is a focus on the social drivers and social origins of crime. This means that we are interested in the social context within which crime is committed and the relationship between crime and other social problems such as poverty and inequality. This will provide you with the opportunity to think more broadly and critically beyond the confines of ‘crime’ that criminology traditionally offers.

Our BA Criminology degree has been carefully constructed to provide you with a unique opportunity to develop your skills in explaining complex social problems in terms of criminological theory and to be able to apply conceptions of human rights in order to evaluate efforts to prevent harm and ensure personal safety. 

By studying a Criminology degree at the University of Birmingham you will be confident in both applying and understanding:

  • the traditional criminological questions from various standpoints. You will be able to contextualise the causes of crime within their societal context and re-evaluate criminal justice responses on the basis of the harms caused.
  • contemporary debates around harm and crime and be challenged to consider how our societies should respond to pressing problems, such as domestic violence, knife crime, or drug related crime, as well as supra national issues like genocide and transnational crime.
  • The development of the criminal justice institutions (police, prisons and courts) in the UK and a comparative context, as well as the inter-relationships between these systems, as mechanisms to respond to crimes and social harms
  • The construction and representation of crimes and social harms, and of responses to these in policy making, mass/socialmedia and public opinion
  • The understanding and appropriate use of research strategies and methods in criminological research

Coronavirus (COVID-19) latest updates and FAQs for future students and offer-holders

Visit our FAQs


The first year will provide an introduction to Criminology and within your second and final years you will have more options to tailor your degree. By your final year, you will be prepared to conduct your own research project. You will have the opportunity to explore knowledge and policy in an area of your choice and particular interests. Additionally, module options at this level draw upon the research expertise of the Department and its research centres, which brings contemporary policy debates and research directly into the programme and further enables you to benefit from excellent, world-leading, contemporary research.

Throughout your degree, you will have the flexibility to tailor your options towards your career choice. During your second year you will have the opportunity to undertake an optional placement with a criminal justice agency/voluntary sector organisation.*

First year modules


  • Criminological Theory I
  • Violence in a Global Context
  • Crime and Society
  • Philosophies of Welfare
  • Social Research I (Part 1)
  • Social Research I (Part 2)
  • Social Problems and Social Policy: Social Science in Action Part 1
  • Social Problems and Social Policy: Social Science in Action Part 2

Second year modules


  • Social Research II
  • Criminological Theory II
  • Punishment in a Global Context
  • Contemporary Issues in Policing

You will choose your remaining credits from a range of optional modules, such as:

  • Terror, Threat and Security
  • Doing Justice*
  • Comparative Social Policy
  • Media and Society
  • Global Societies

* The number who can choose this module is limited due to the availability of placements. Students will be selected according to criteria based on academic performance and attendance.

Third year


  • Dissertation
  • Harmful Societies: Crime, Social Harm, Social Justice

You will choose your remaining credits from a range of optional modules, such as:

  • Youth, Crime and Justice

Please note: The modules listed on the website for this programme are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and informed by the latest research and teaching methods. Unless indicated otherwise, the modules listed for this programme are for students starting in 2022. On rare occasions, we may need to make unexpected changes to compulsory modules; in this event we will contact offer holders as soon as possible to inform or consult them as appropriate.


For UK students beginning their studies in September 2022, the University of Birmingham will charge the maximum approved tuition fee per year. The fees for your first year of study will therefore be £9,250. Visit our tuition fees page for more information.

Learn more about fees and funding.

UK students

Full-time: £9,250

International students

Full-time Band 1 (Classroom): £20,280


At Birmingham we ensure that fears about finance do not constrain prospective students from considering university and that excellence is rewarded.

The University offers a range of additional financial support for students studying at Birmingham in the form of bursaries, grants and scholarships.

Learn more about our scholarships and awards .

Living costs

When you apply for this course, it is important that you also take into account living costs and should ensure that you will have sufficient funds to finance the full duration of your studies. Our Social Work programmes include a significant amount of time spent on placements in a variety of settings, and so when budgeting to study you should also allow for travel to and from placements, as well as textbooks, printing, photocopying and stationery that you may need.

How To Apply

Apply through UCAS at  
Learn more about applying including information on how to write a great Personal Statement and how to make your application stand out.


The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.

UK, EU and international students applying for most undergraduate degree courses in the UK will need to apply through UCAS.

You submit an application via the UCAS website with a list of up to five courses. All choices are confidential during the application process so universities and colleges considering an application cannot see your other choices. Applications must be completed by mid-January of the year that you wish to start university.

You can monitor the progress of your application using the UCAS Apply system.

Standard offer

International Requirements

Number of A levels required:
Typical offer:
General Studies:
not accepted

BTEC Extended Diploma, Diploma and Subsidiary Diploma are all considered.

International Students

International Baccalaureate Diploma: 6,5,5 at Higher Level with a minimum of 32 points overall

Standard English language requirements apply 
Learn more about international entry requirements (IELTs : 7.0 with no less than 6.5 in any band).

Depending on your chosen course of study, you may also be interested in one of our foundation pathways, which offer specially structured programmes for international students whose qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to UK universities. Further details can be found on Birmingham International Academy web pages.

As a Birmingham student you are part of an academic elite and will learn from world-leading experts. From the outset you will be encouraged to become an independent and self-motivated learner. We want you to be challenged and will encourage you to think for yourself.

Learning settings

Your learning will take place in a range of different settings, from scheduled teaching in lectures and small group tutorials, to self-study and peer group learning (for example preparing and delivering presentations with your classmates).

Personal tutors

You will be assigned your own personal tutor who will get to know you as you progress through your studies. They will provide academic support and advice to enable you to make the most of your time here at Birmingham.

A degree in Criminology sets you up perfectly for a career in the criminal justice system, policy or the third sector:

  • Neighbourhood Police Constable – West Midlands Police
  • Policy Advisor – Ministry of Justice

We are recognised for our commitment to supporting you throughout your studies and beyond. This has been possible with a multi-million-pound investment into ours tudent employability services and national award-winning internships and placements both in the UK and overseas.

In the latest Complete University Guide league table for 2022, Birmingham is ranked 19th out of 130 institutions surveyed. We are ranked number one for being targeted by the top UK employers (High Fliers Research 2021).

Our Careers Network works with a range of partners to ensure that professional and skilled roles are advertised to our students and graduates, with links to the world’s top graduate recruiters. We host over 200 major events each year, which include industry specific careers fairs and individual employer presentations.

As a BA Criminology student, you will be able to take part in our skills series programme, giving you the opportunity to enhance your skills through workshops with key employers. We have the unique Personal Skills Award, which is the University of Birmingham’s recognised employability programme for undergraduate students. It enables you to develop, recognise and articulate your professional skills in preparation for real-world recruitment processes. We have developed a range of internships and funded work experience placements that will enhance both your professional and personal skills while giving you the practical experience that is required by almost all graduate employers.

In addition to funding and support, we offer unique opportunities to help you to rise above the competition, with global internships and placements available. Mentoring is a unique opportunity that allows students to receive one-to-one advice from a professional working in an area they are interested in. This can be a great way to understand how to succeed in this area and be better prepared for the workplace as well as receive practical advice on employability.

Culture and collections

Schools, institutes and departments

Services and facilities