BA Criminology

Start date
September 2019
3 years
UCAS code
Course Type

For 2020/21:
£9,250 (Home/EU students) 
£18,420 (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. 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

Download our course brochure (PDF - 1.93MB)


The first year provides an introduction to Criminology, 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.*

Year 1

Core modules

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

Year 2

Core modules

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

You must choose 40 credits from the optional modules

  • Terror, Threat and Security
  • 'Sociology of Race' and Ethnicity - A Global Perspective
  • Gender and Sexuality
  • Doing Justice*
  • Comparative Social Policy
  • Contemporary Issues in Housing Policy
  • Managing Health and Social Care
  • Self and Society
  • Media and Society
  • Global Societies

Final Year

Core modules

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

You must choose 60 credits from the optional modules

  • Youth, Crime and Justice
  • Crime and the City
  • From Beveridge to Cameron: The Political History of the Welfare State From the Second World War to the Present Day
  • Prospects for Social Policy in the UK
  • Doing or Not Doing God? Religion, Policy & Politics
  • Quantitative Data Analysis I and Quantitative Data Analysis II
  • New Migration and Super Diversity
  • Sociology of Health and Illness
  • Sociology of Personal Life
  • Divided Publics?
  • Your Money and Your Life: From Welfare State to Personal Finance
  • Political Sociology
  • Technology and Society
  • ‘Freedom’, Control and Critique

* Numbers on the Doing Justice module will be limited due to availability of placements (Students will be selected according to a criteria based on academic performance and attendance.)

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 2020. 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 2020, 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.

Home/EU students

Full-time: £9,250

Overseas students

Full-time Band 1 (Classroom): £18,420


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.

For EU students applying for the 2020/21 academic year

The UK Government has confirmed that EU students will continue to be eligible for 'home fee status' for entry in September 2020, and will continue to have access to financial support available via student loans for the duration of their course. For more information take a look at the website.

How To Apply

Apply through UCAS at  
Learn more about applying 


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 accepted - grades required DDM-DDD
Typical offers when offered in combination with A Levels:

•BTEC Diploma DM-DD plus B in A level

•BTEC Subsidiary Diploma D plus BB-AB in A levels

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

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.

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 2020, Birmingham is ranked 13th out of 131 institutions surveyed. 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.