A Level Requirements
see all requirements
see all requirements
Full time 3 Year(s)
Interested in developing an understanding of crime, criminology and criminal justice? Ready to look beyond common-sense assumptions in relation to crime and deviance? This thought-provoking degree is taught by the world-leading, research-active academics based in our prestigious Law School; they will introduce you to key themes and topics in Criminology and help you to engage with recent and influential research.
This is your chance to analyse the social, cultural, political and economic contexts of crime and criminal justice, taking an in-depth look at the social circumstances of offending, policies regulating crime, and the social response to criminal activity.
You will benefit from our excellent connections with NGOs, charities, and local criminal justice agencies such as Lancashire Police and HMP Lancashire Farm. There will be opportunities for you 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.
Our unique approach to your first year allows you to have flexibility in your studies from the start of your degree. You will study a range of exciting topics in your first year studying Criminology, such as:
If you would like to take a global perspective on Criminology, you can opt for a semester abroad at one of our highly regarded partner institutions.
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.
We’ll also support you if you wish to take on voluntary work experience, with the Citizens Advice Bureau or Lancashire Constabulary's Special Constables, or as a Criminology Student Ambassador undertaking admissions outreach work.
A dedicated Criminology 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: Masters degrees in 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 email@example.com
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.
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.
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 students to a range of contemporary crime ‘problems’ through a study of academic debates, paradigms and perspectives surrounding such. The historical, socio-economic and cultural contexts will be explored whereby students will be encouraged to critically analyse the process of criminalisation, criminal justice responses, and how these criminal or ‘deviant’ activities have come to be considered problematic. Specialist areas of criminological debate will be addressed, such as cultural criminology, the criminology of everyday life and the relationship between crime, pleasure and transgression.
What role do police forces play within the criminal justice system? What are some of the contemporary issues in policing? Where do the police fit into a broader framework of security, governance and regulation?
This module tackles fundamental questions such as these and helps you to think and write critically about key concepts connected to the nature, culture and structure of police forces in the UK.
The module is led by research-active staff and its content is informed by their latest research. You will explore a range of issues that shape UK policing, including:
police use of force
policing ethnic minorities
victims and the police
women in policing
We have excellent links to Lancashire Police, which inform this module. A combination of lectures and seminars is used to enhance your critical thinking skills and your verbal and written communication. Assessment through a group presentation will give you vital experience of public speaking and team-working.
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.
This module provides a fascinating legal perspective on one of the most prominent events in modern history: the Holocaust.
Taking international criminal law as the context, and focusing on ten “forgotten trials”, we will critically evaluate complex issues, review incriminating evidence and eye-witness testimony, and map out the way that public memory of the Holocaust has formed over time.
The module’s syllabus will draw particular attention to:
the way in which national prosecutors approached the charge of conspiracy to murder
how perpetrators of the Holocaust were dealt with in courtrooms around the world
the ways in which different legal systems responded to the atrocities
The module is led by Dr Agata Fijalkowski, a specialist in the field, with active research interests in international criminal law. Teaching combines seminars, tutorials and lectures and you will be encouraged to read as widely as possible on the subject. This module promotes your skills in critical analysis and debate.
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.
What are human rights? How are they implemented or contravened? What is the relationship between complex human rights issues and society today?
This module uses the context of the European human rights regime to investigate civil liberties and human rights protection. You will adopt a critical and comparative approach as you gain a comprehensive grounding in the law of human rights.
We will tackle some of the most complex and relevant issues such as the right to life, freedom from torture, freedom of expression, and capital punishment. Specific case studies allow you to engage with issues and questions regarding whistle-blowing and enforced disappearances.
Our teaching is research-led and combines seminars, tutorials and lectures. You will be encouraged to read as widely as possible on the subject and we will help you to develop your skills in critical analysis, discourse and debate.
This module can be taken in Years 2 or 3 and is taught in the Michaelmas term.
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.
The Criminal Justice System has been constantly discussed in recent years by politicians, journalists and academics and the subject is vast and constantly shifting. This course seeks to explore selected issues in the area of Crime and Criminal Justice using a large number of sources to reflect the depth and variety of ways in which the subject can be approached. Students will be asked to consider whether, despite the interdependency of many of the Criminal Justice Agencies and some central themes, there is any real system at all. Students will be encouraged, wherever possible, to create their own understanding of the Criminal Justice System through their own experiences. Even brief visits to courts, police stations, barristers’ chambers etc. can often open students’ eyes and provoke a more analytical and critical response to the subject than detailed study alone. The outline Syllabus includes key themes in Crime and Criminal Justice, women in the Criminal Justice System, sentencing policy and procedure and prisoners and the law.
Informed by the latest research, this module critically examines the complex interactions between the media and crime.
Included in this fascinating area of study are:
theories of deviancy, moral panics and newsworthiness
representations of youth and female offenders
sex and hate crimes
revenge pornography and cybercrime
critical explorations of the use of media in the context of crime and criminal justice
We take a multi-disciplinary approach to the module so you will study key media concepts and then discuss how these relate to crime, deviancy and criminal justice issues.
The module assessment is both novel and creative. You will produce a media portfolio - completing a literature review on a topic of your choice - before engaging in a critical analysis using sources such as newspapers, documentaries or social media content. This approach ensures that you develop a practical understanding of media analysis and of the representation of crime in the media.
The module leader and teaching staff research extensively in the areas of crime and media. They will use their research to guide lecture content and, where appropriate, will provide you with data from their projects to analyse and discuss.
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 course introduces students to the principles of the law of evidence in criminal cases. It also introduces students to the nature and theory of proof. These general issues are developed through the study of particular topics such as the burden and standard of proof; confessions and illegally obtained evidence; disputed identification evidence and other warnings to the jury; hearsay; the credibility of witnesses and bad character evidence.
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 seeks to explain, analyse and evaluate some of the legal rules, concepts and values governing and regulating gender and the law. It will take law as an object of study and seek to examine the relationship between gender and law. It will explore the notion that law is a representation of a world that has very distinctive and idiosyncratic characteristics (such as bigotry and discrimination). You will be introduced to some of the theoretical basis regarding the socio-legal construction of gender (as distinct from the socio-legal construction of sex).
The syllabus is likely to include; Introduction to Gender Studies; Feminist Jurisprudence; Introduction to Michael Foucault; Introduction to Judith Butler; Introduction to Queer Theory; Exploring the difference(s) between ‘sex’ and ‘gender’; Pornography; Gendered War Crimes; Constructions of gender in popular discourse; Body Modification; Discrimination in the work place.
This syllabus may change according to the guest lecturers on the course.
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.
Health Care and Law Ethics aims to provide you with a robust understanding of the theories and principles that underpin health care ethics and health care law. We will engage with theories from both an individual and a societal perspective, helping you to further develop your critical evaluation skills and establish your own ethical viewpoint.
Topics to be studied include:
theories and principles of health care ethics
rationing and resource allocation
consent and capacity
withdrawing treatment and assisted dying.
children and medical treatment
This module is taught via weekly one-hour lectures and fortnightly two-hour workshops. The workshops are headed by two academics, but the sessions are predominantly led by you and your peers as we aim to cultivate personal interests and foster a sense of autonomous learning. Feedback is provided at the end of each workshop. Assessment is via MCQ, oral presentation and a choice of either coursework or exam.
The module leaders, Prof. Suzanne Ost and Dr Sara Fovargue, are experts in the field and feed their research into the module by including it on the reading lists. They also change the topics taught to ensure that the module focuses on the most up-to-date developments in the area.
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.
The module will be 8 weeks and will be taught in 2 and half hour sessions at HMP Lancaster Farm. The teaching sessions will be a combination of lecture and seminars (LecSem), to encourage group discussion and collaboration. At least half an hour at the end of each teaching session will focus on assessment preparation and support. The sessions will be team taught and where appropriate, external speakers from institutions who also run/ teach on other Learning Together programmes will be invited to deliver sessions. The module leader will attend all sessions to ensure consistency.
1. Welcome by Governor, study skills refresher and introduction to the module.
2. Justifications for imprisonment
3. Impacts and effects of imprisonment (and module review)
4. Values and legitimacy of imprisonment
5. Desisting from crime
7. Alternatives to imprisonment (plus additional assessment tutorials at each site, i.e. Lancaster Farm and Lancaster University
8. Assessment week (group presentation and module review)
Following examination board, all students will be invited to a module graduation, based at HMP Lancaster Farm.
This course will assess the legal and practical issues surrounding responses to massive violations of human rights, before the political and moral issues involved in using national and international courts will be discussed. The imposition of truth commissions as well as other techniques of ‘transitional justice’ to respond to massive human rights violations will be critically analysed in order to deduce the success of such responses.
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:
For full details of the University's financial support packages including eligibility criteria, please visit our fees and funding page
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.
Typical time in lectures, seminars and similar per week during term time
Average assessment by coursework