A Level Requirements
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see all requirements
Full time 3 Year(s)
Combine the two popular disciplines of Criminology and Sociology as you study some of the most contentious issues in contemporary life. This stimulating combined degree is jointly taught by the world-leading, research-active academics based in our prestigious Law School and Sociology Department. They will encourage you to look beyond traditional views and consider how ideas about crime, justice, society and culture are shaped by history, economics, politics and ideology.
Our unique approach to your first year allows you to select modules in Law, Sociology and Criminology, tackling topics such as youth justice, sex offending, drugs, crime and the media, stigma and deviance, sociologies of help and illness and marginalised groups.
You will benefit from our excellent connections with NGOs, charities, and local criminal justice agencies such as Lancashire Police and HMP Lancashire Farm. You will be able to visit the prison and engage in collaborative learning, and analyse data from Lancashire Police; this data is then often used by the force. All of this helps you to make professional connections, learn more about criminal justice agencies, and get a head start on your career.
You will gain vital skills for a career within, and beyond, the criminal justice system as you develop your abilities to think critically, communicate, speak in public, work in teams, write for academia and carry out research and data analysis. The duality of this course also means you will be practiced at looking at issues from a multi-disciplinary perspective.
If you would like to take a global perspective on Criminology and Sociology, you can opt for Study Abroad - extending your degree to four years and spending your third year with one of our highly-regarded partner universities in the US and Canada.
Throughout your degree, you will gain vital skills for a career within or beyond the criminal justice system. You will develop your ability to think critically, communicate, speak in public, work in teams, write for academia, carry out your own research and competently analyse data. Assessment is through coursework, presentations and exams with options to produce media portfolios, posters and dissertations.
A dedicated careers officer is available to you, and you can access professional bodies and organisations through our links with them.
Your degree can open doors to jobs in the private, public and voluntary sectors. Our graduates have gone on to roles with Criminal Justice Agencies (the Police, the National Probation Service, GSL UK), the Home Office, the Department for Health, Social Services, NHS Trusts, Charities and the Youth Offending Service. Undergraduate study can also lead to further study options, including: LLM/MA Criminology and Criminal Justice; MSc Criminology and Social Research Methods; MSc Criminal Justice and Social Research Methods; or PhD-level study.
A Level ABB
IELTS 6.5 overall with at least 5.5 in each component. For other English language qualifications we accept, please see our English language requirements webpages.
International Baccalaureate 32 points overall with 16 points from the best 3 Higher Level subjects
BTEC Distinction, Distinction, Merit
Access to HE Diploma 24 Level 3 credits at Distinction and 21 Level 3 credits at Merit
We welcome applications from students with a range of alternative UK and international qualifications, including combinations of qualification. Further guidance on admission to the University, including other qualifications that we accept, frequently asked questions and information on applying, can be found on our general admissions webpages.
Contact Admissions Team + 44 (0) 1524 592028 or via firstname.lastname@example.org
Many of Lancaster's degree programmes are flexible, offering students the opportunity to cover a wide selection of subject areas to complement their main specialism. You will be able to study a range of modules, some examples of which are listed below.
This module provides an introduction to criminology and criminal justice. You will benefit from a multi-disciplinary approach, which allows you to focus on the social, political, cultural and economic contexts of crime, deviance and criminal justice.
The module has a three-part structure and begins with criminological perspectives. This is your chance to delve into a range of key perspectives in criminology including biological, psychological, sociological and feminist. You’ll also consider the ways in which the media influences representations of crime.
In part two we will move on to contemporary criminological issues such as domestic violence, green criminology, serial killing, revenge porn, drugs, sex offending and hate crime. Part three then provides a critical overview of the key criminal justice agencies in the UK (such as prison, police and probation) – at this point we also explore approaches to punishment.
You will be taught by expert lecturers who will introduce you to cutting-edge research. Due to our unique approach to first year, you will study alongside students from across the University, which brings real diversity to the discussions within our small group teaching and workshops, enriching your learning experience.
The Sociology 101 Course introduces you to sociological issues, ideas, concepts, evidence and argument by examining some key aspects of living in the contemporary world. By the end of the course, you should have a basic capacity for conceptual analysis and for applying sociological reasoning to empirical examples. This will allow you to evaluate what you see around you with new critical skills. The lectures are designed to provide you with a basic background in the topics being reviewed.
You will be introduced to debates and issues related to various aspects of contemporary societies and encouraged to explore ideas and undertake analysis. In this respect, it is perhaps better to think of sociology as an interpretative scientific endeavour rather than producing definitive findings or laws, although it may do this too. Sociology is an exciting subject. It can seem confusing, especially to those of you who are coming to it for the first time. Sociology will seem to cover every topic in society, there are different kinds of sociology, and many different areas where sociological research matters, from politics to design.
We will help you develop new skills in thinking sociologically. The course will stimulate interest for students who have not done an Advanced Level course in Sociology, whilst providing a challenge to those who have.
More specifically, the course's aims are threefold. First, you will learn about various aspects of contemporary societies and key concepts (e.g. society, identity, modernity, globalization). Each block introduces a key area of sociological inquiry and long-standing as well as newly emerging research questions. Many sociologists at Lancaster are renowned for their creative and groundbreaking research and each module relates to one or more of the Department's research areas, so you will experience major figures in international Sociology and get a taste of the department's current teaching and research portfolio.
Second, you will learn basic study and research skills. These include: taking notes, using the library, conducting sociological research, analysing written and spoken arguments and empirical evidence, writing, using the internet as a research tool, working and discussing in groups, preparing and making oral presentations.
Third, you will learn to think sociologically. That is to say that you will be able to identify social dimensions of contemporary life, summarise sociological ideas and arguments, and analyse social phenomena from a sociological perspective. In short, you will begin to think differently about how we lead our lives in the present day world.
Criminological theory and philosophy is a key theme of this course. The module aims to introduce to the main theoretical approaches in criminology from its origins to the present day. The module introduces and examines the main types of theory that have sought to explain crime, criminality and social control. The critical philosophical approach adopted in this module encourages students to see social order and crime as theoretical problems rather than social facts available for straightforward empirical investigation.
Our Measuring Crime module will help you to develop highly valuable skills in data-handling and analysis. It is a course about crime data, particularly data from sources that influence criminal justice policy and practice. The data we use also informs government and the general public about the nature (and the extent) of crime.
Focusing on the Crime Survey for England and Wales, Police Recorded Crime, and criminal justice statistics from the courts, our lectures explore issues around data generation, reliability, validity and the ways it can be presented.
In the accompanying computer-based workshops, you will learn how to analyse and present data using Excel and SPSS. In these workshops we also consider data that has been used in previously published research, this data is based on the official criminal histories of offenders.
Our learning approach gives you an extremely well-rounded understanding of some of the most influential information about crime. You will be taught by research-active academics who have published material on crime trends, predictions of future offending, and the evaluation of crime reduction programmes.
This module is organised around a range of cross-cutting methodological issues that are addressed in relation to established methods (such as interviewing and quantitative surveys). Discussions and activities incorporate a range of methodological approaches using visual, qualitative, and quantitative data. Students are provided with a clear outline of the module structure and topics at the outset, and in-class activities will be designed to engage students in active learning with ample opportunities for formative feedback.
The aim of this module is to provide an introduction to the theoretical foundations and processes of different forms of social research used within criminology focusing in particular on criminological fieldwork. Social research is at the heart of social science perspectives on criminology; as such research provides an important means of producing evidence within criminology and in the planning and evaluation of policies and provision within the criminal justice system.
This course introduces the development of social theory from the Enlightenment in the eighteenth century to contemporary debates about the character of knowing.
This course offers the opportunity to learn skills in reading, analysing, comparing, and critically evaluating major social theories of the rise of modern societies.
This option can be taken alongside half-unit modules in Criminology taught in the second year. Students can therefore take one of the Criminology option modules and be assessed in the usual way (one essay plus exam) for a half-unit, and can also undertake this half-unit extended essay on a topic related to that particular module. However, the topic does not have to relate directly to a taught module and students can talk to staff about a small piece of documentary or other research in relevant areas of Criminology.
Before enrolling for this option, students should think in broad terms about the topic they might like to address. Look on the web or ask administrative staff for a copy of the staff list which shows the research interests of teaching staff, and a copy of the enrolment form for this option. The next step is to identify the most appropriate member(s) of staff, talk to them and have the enrolment form completed and signed. There are no formal tutorials for this option but once a supervisor has been agreed, individual supervision sessions should be arranged.
How does society respond to environmental harms? What is the legal response to such issues? Which social and/or economic factors cause environmental risk? What influence or impact does media coverage have on ‘green’ issues?
Lancaster University is one of only a handful of UK universities to offer a dedicated module on green criminology, or crimes against the environment, as part of an undergraduate programme.
This fascinating and highly relevant module considers the above questions and journeys through the following topics:
Anthropocentric environmental harms (human beings’ ethical relationship with the natural environment)
Environmental victimisation (those harmed by changes in their environment)
Media coverage of ‘green ‘issues
Protest, movements and environmental activism
Zemiology (social harms)
Green Criminology is taught by research-active academics who will introduce you to their cutting-edge research into the Illegal Wildlife Trade and ongoing projects in Uganda and Nepal. Throughout the module, they will encourage you to consider the overlap between environmental harm and other areas of criminology.
Our Youth Justice module is an opportunity to consider the tension between perceptions of children as ‘troubled’ and ‘troublesome’. We will also explore the criminal justice response to children who are in conflict with the law.
The competing themes of welfare and justice are closely examined, along with the recent history of youth justice policy. Following these thematic explorations, we take a more in-depth look into specific topics, including:
comparative youth justice
children in care
This module is led by a research-active lecturer with an interest in children in the care and criminal justice systems; the lecture on children in care draws specifically on their cutting-edge research. The combination of lectures and small group teaching helps you to develop your understanding, deepen your criminological knowledge, and develop your critical evaluation skills.
This full-unit option aims to offer students the opportunity of developing and using research skills by undertaking a piece of documentary or field research in some area of criminology. The project aims to give students the opportunity to develop their research skills through the preparation of a dissertation based on empirical research on a topic within the field of criminology agreed with an identified supervisor. The dissertation will be individually tutored and the availability of this option will be subject to the department’s ability to provide appropriate supervisors.
This course focuses on the crimes that power makes possible. Criminological theory and research has traditionally prioritized the crimes of the powerless over and against the crimes of those that make laws, wield influence and capital or authorize State violence. As such, this course will introduce students to theory, research, and case-studies on corporate and white-collar crimes, as well as state crimes like genocide and torture, in order to provide an analysis of the commission and punishment of such crimes.
Is there a criminal justice preoccupation with risk and prediction? If so, how helpful has this been to date?
This engaging module will tackle these fundamental questions and deepen your understanding of why some criminals appear to choose a life of crime: ‘criminal careers’ being the criminological term.
You will be taught by research-active academics who are experts in the field and you will explore some of the key contributions of research in this area, including work published by our teaching staff. For instance, staff research will inform your lectures on the criminalisation of children in care and the issue of ‘onset’ in criminal careers. Departmental research will also feed into your study of perceptions of ‘risk’ and ‘risky’ populations. A co-authored book (Soothill, Fitzpatrick & Francis, 2009 – ‘Understanding Criminal Careers’) is also used to support this course.
Topics covered include onset, persistence and desistance. You will also critically analyse some of the unintended consequences of research into this area – as well as considering the future implications on criminology of those consequential findings.
Criminal Justice Research provides you with a unique opportunity to access and analyse classified data from the Criminal Justice System, including data from police logging and information management systems. It provides you with invaluable research experience.
You will carry out your own research dissertation, mentored by someone from one of our partnering Criminal Justice Agencies, addressing a real-life, real-time priority for them. For instance, you may work with classified data from the Lancashire Constabulary, helping them look at the effective use of police resources. Your findings will contribute to the knowledge base of the participating agencies.
The module is delivered through interactive lectures, focusing on quantitative analysis; workshops in which you carry out your own analysis (supported by peers and the course convenor); and one-to-one supervision sessions.
Representatives from the criminal justice agencies providing the data will also support you on a one-to-one basis. They will also provide feedback on your progress and attend your dissertation presentation, which ensures that you have experience of presenting to interested professionals/practitioners.
The course convenor is a research-active academic with two main areas of interest: policing and the demand for resources, and, violence and society. You will benefit from their research and they will support you as you hone your own skills.
This module examines the ways in which criminologists have understood violence and aggression in individuals and groups, and what remedies criminology can offer for problems of violence. Violent crime is a major cause of pain and distress to individuals, and of social dislocation and division. The module introduces students to the main sociological and psychological perspectives on violence and explores their impact on criminology. The course connects theories of violence with broader theories of social change, and examines evidence linking high rates of violence with increases in social and economic inequality. The connections between violence and culturally dominant concepts of masculinity are examined, and particular problems of violence in relation to urban youth gangs, male violence in the private sphere, and racist violence and harassment are explored. Finally, the module explores possible solutions to problems of violence and the potential of non-violent forms of conflict resolution.
This module enables Criminology students to develop skills and knowledge that are highly valued by employers by solving problems for stakeholders to services relating to criminal justice, crime prevention or dealing with the effects of crime. Students will gain an understanding of the process of developing and practicing enterprise and innovation skills via a series of interactive lectures and the delivery and evaluation of a live project. Examples of projects could include (but are not limited to), engaging the public in crime prevention and supporting rehabilitation services through advocacy campaigns. Stakeholders students work with could include organisations such as the police, probation services, and those within the voluntary sector supporting ex-offenders and victims of crime.
An engaging and highly relevant module, Drugs, Crime and Society examines the nature and extent of drug taking in the UK and beyond. This module is co-taught by an English and a Dutch expert, which enables us to place a particular focus on comparisons between the UK and the Netherlands.
In the course of our study we will:
explore the difficulties of researching hidden populations, like drug users
engage with theories of drug use from a sociological, psychological and cultural perspective
consider global and national drug markets
investigate the links between drugs and crime
evaluate policing responses to drugs
You will be taught by research-active lecturers who will introduce you to cutting-edge research and contemporary debate. For instance, they will link to current research and publications concerning cannabis cultivation, world markets, and drug distribution among friends (also known as ‘social supply’).
This extended essay will be individually tutored and the availability of the option is subject to the department's ability to provide a suitable supervisor. This option can be taken alongside third year taught half-unit modules in the Criminology. Students can therefore take one of the third year Criminology option modules and be assessed in the usual way (one essay plus exam) for a half-unit, and can also undertake this half-unit extended essay on a topic related to that particular module. However, the topic does not have to relate directly to a taught module and students can talk to staff about a small piece of documentary or other research in relevant areas of Criminology. Before enrolling for this option, students should think in broad terms about the topic they might like to address. Look on the web or ask administrative staff for a copy of the staff list which shows the research interests of teaching staff, and a copy of the enrolment form for this option. The next step is to identify the most appropriate member(s) of staff, talk to them and have the enrolment form completed and signed. There are no formal tutorials for this option but once a supervisor has been agreed, individual supervision sessions should be arranged.
This module will focus on hate crime, but will draw on notions from a range of international sources and jurisdictions. Issues covered will focus on the question of what is ‘hate crime’, before ensuring that students gain an understanding of the harms of ‘hate crime’. There will be a discussion of the perpetrators of ‘hate crime’ as well as the policing of such. The international perspective to this course will be gained from a discussion of ‘hate crime’ as a human rights problem, with a particular focus on freedom of speech. Substantive issues will also be explored, notably, the notion of criminalising collective memory, with a focus on outlawing Holocaust denial and other crimes against humanity.
How should we understand the role of punishment under democracy? How do the historical, cultural and ideological relationships that underpin and, to a certain extent, determine punishment inform our conceptions of Justice, Fairness, and Equality? This course examines both the historical and philosophical dimensions of modern democratic punishment. We will probe the punitive landscape charted by theorists like Michel Foucault, Norbert Elias, and Emile Durkheim. This module will also consider the “new punitiveness” and the “old” in search of an explanation for the rise of the incapacitative approach to punishment, its permanence and its implications for the legitimacy of the democratic project.
Many commentators claim that organised crime is one of the greatest problems facing contemporary societies. Law enforcement officials around the world have reported a significant increase in the range and scope of international criminal activity since the early 1990s. Worldwide shifts in social, political and economic arrangements- often described as ‘globalisation’ - have opened up opportunities for organised crime groups. The extent of groups involved in transnational organised crime (TOC) and the profits made means TOC has become a priority area for governments around the world.
Pre-requisites CRIM102, CRIM 204 and CRIM 205. The Police Service is able to provide only 8 placements for students, so we need to be selective, out of all the students who register for the module we will select the ten who have the highest average 2nd year marks, and they will be the students who undertake the placements. You will be quite intensively vetted before being accepted as suitable to be a volunteer with the police. The vetting will include a Criminal Records check, checks on your address and who else lives there, and a drugs test. The 8 students who are selected will be on placement in the Police Service. Utilising live data provided by the various Departments within Headquarters, students will undertake a piece of analysis/research. Students will be working alongside (and will receive training and supervision from) serving officers. They will also receive supervision from an academic member of staff.
Students who register for the module but are not in the 'top eight' will take the taught part of the module along with the others and then work on a research dissertation, but without the practical placement. All students will have the benefit of contact with serving police officers, since some of the teaching will be delivered by them.
The module Sex Crimes and Sexual Offending introduces students to a range of sexual crimes and forms of sexual offending as defined by UK and international law. The module will cover a number of key areas a) the types of sexual crimes governed by UK and international law – what constitutes a particular sexual crime, how it is sometimes committed, and the extent of such crimes b) the ways in which sex crimes and offending behaviour is explained – considering who the perpetrators are and why they commit crimes of a sexual nature, as well as the wider social context which may help explain why some sexual crimes are defined by law and how new crimes emerge as the social context changes c) critically examine how the crimes are dealt with by the criminal justice system such as the laws and policies which surround these crimes, their implementation and how well they operate in practice in terms of treatments, support and punishments given to sexual offenders and their victims.
Lancaster University offers a range of programmes, some of which follow a structured study programme, and others which offer the chance for you to devise a more flexible programme. We divide academic study into two sections - Part 1 (Year 1) and Part 2 (Year 2, 3 and sometimes 4). For most programmes Part 1 requires you to study 120 credits spread over at least three modules which, depending upon your programme, will be drawn from one, two or three different academic subjects. A higher degree of specialisation then develops in subsequent years. For more information about our teaching methods at Lancaster visit our Teaching and Learning section.
Information contained on the website with respect to modules is correct at the time of publication, but changes may be necessary, for example as a result of student feedback, Professional Statutory and Regulatory Bodies' (PSRB) requirements, staff changes, and new research.
Your degree can lead to a wide choice of rewarding jobs in the public, private and third sectors.
Our criminology graduates are welcomed by the Police, the National Probation Service, the National Offender Management Service, and private providers within the Criminal Justice System (such as G4S). Your degree can also open doors to roles in the Home Office, Ministry of Justice, Department for Health, or with a charity linked to the Criminal Justice System, such as WomenMATTA (supporting women in prison).
Graduate training scheme opportunities include: Police Now; Frontline (social work); Think Ahead (mental health social work); National Graduate Development Programme (local government); Civil Service Fast Stream; NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme; Charity Works (the UK non-profit sector’s graduate programme); Ambitious Futures (for leadership careers in the university sector).
Transferable skills are an integral part of all Lancaster University degrees and employers will value your skills in listening, critical reading and writing, public speaking, time management, team work, empathy and tolerance.
During your degree, we will help you to secure experience with criminal justice agencies, volunteering opportunities, work experience, or internships - all of which provide invaluable insight into your future career options and set you apart when you enter the employment marketplace.
Your degree can also act as a launch pad to a Masters degree or PhD in areas such as criminology, criminal justice or social research methods.
Lancaster University is dedicated to ensuring you not only gain a highly reputable degree, but that you also graduate with relevant life and work based skills. We are unique in that every student is eligible to participate in The Lancaster Award which offers you the opportunity to complete key activities such as work experience, employability/career development, campus community and social development. Visit our Employability section for full details.
We set our fees on an annual basis and the 2018/19 entry fees have not yet been set.
As a guide, our fees in 2017 were:
Some science and medicine courses have higher fees for students from
the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. You can find more details here:
Lancaster University's priority is to support every student to make the most of their life and education and we have committed £3.7m in scholarships and bursaries. Our financial support depends on your circumstances and how well you do in your A levels (or equivalent academic qualifications) before starting study with us.
Scholarships recognising academic talent:
Continuation of the Access Scholarship is subject to satisfactory academic progression.
Students may be eligible for both the Academic and Access Scholarship if they meet the requirements for both.
Bursaries for life, living and learning:
Students from the UK eligible for a bursary package will also be awarded our Academic Scholarship and/or Access Scholarship if they meet the criteria detailed above.
Any financial support that you receive from Lancaster University will be in addition to government support that might be available to you (eg fee loans) and will not affect your entitlement to these.
For full details of the University's financial support packages including eligibility criteria, please visit our fees and funding page
Please note that this information relates to the funding arrangements for 2017, which may change for 2018.
Students also need to consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, photocopying, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits. Following graduation it may be necessary to take out subscriptions to professional bodies and to buy business attire for job interviews.
Average time in lectures, seminars and similar
Average assessment by coursework