September 2021

Criminology BA (Hons)

Honours Degree, Undergraduate, September 2021

Key Details

  • L311 Course Code
  • 3-4.5 Years
  • 104 Typical UCAS Tariff
Criminology

Overview

Criminology at Newman University explores crime and the criminal justice system from a critical perspective. You will quickly become a valued part of a diverse learning community seeking to understand the full range of crimes and social harms that affect us all in society. We will debate questions such as: Is crime the product of social factors or individual psychology? Is the law enforced equally on all sections of the community? What is the purpose of punishment and prisons? How can we best respond to youth violence? Our interactive classroom sessions are complemented by field trips to courts and prisons and talks by guest speakers such as ex-prisoners, Police and prison staff, magistrates, campaigners and internationally renowned academics.

Why study Criminology?

You might find that the teaching and learning on the criminology programme at Newman is not what you expect. Especially in this day and age, you can quickly access information via the internet in seconds, so for us, studying criminology at Newman is about you becoming critical criminological thinkers.

Some facts that were ‘known’ about crime and criminal justice 100 years ago are now discredited. Sometimes you will know more than we do, and we will acknowledge this and let you educate us. This means you will be able to challenge us as lecturers, and each other, and even change what we are learning.

Rather than listening to someone at the front of a classroom giving you information, we strive to create dialogical and democratic spaces in which we can all discuss the most pertinent and contemporary topics related to crime and the criminal justice system. This will hopefully inspire you to go and find out more. We also operate a small tutor group system designed to offer you more individual support with any personal issues and develop your study skills.

You will have opportunities to get directly involved in real world scenarios throughout the course too; for example, by working with community groups and campaigners seeking justice for people who have died in custody or with our innovative youth and community work project – ReachOut – working with local young people around issues of community safety, social media and access to Higher Education.

You will be taught by a team of experienced lecturers who all have not only written and published research in criminal justice but have worked professionally in the field too.

What does the course cover?

Year one establishes your broad understanding of the social sciences and issues of social inequality, introducing you to the many facets of criminal justice and criminological theory. You will quickly become immersed in debates about the role of the media in constructing crime as a social problem and the history and contested role of the Police service in the UK. We will explore the underlying psychological and social causes of crime and you will visit a Magistrates court to see how criminal justice is administered.

In year two you will think in more detail about ‘what works’ in terms of preventing and reducing crime. You will critically examine the moral and ethical dimensions of punishment and explore a range of social problems, considering how criminal justice and social policy offer very different ways of responding. You will also have the choice of studying either the psychology of the criminal justice system or exploring criminal justice systems across the world, comparing responses to global crime topics. This will deepen your understanding of the theoretical assumptions and ideologies that frame criminal justice policy in our increasingly globalised society. You will also have the opportunity to develop your ideas for your final year capstone project and undertake a work placement as part of your studies.

In your final year you will delve deeper into issues of equality and diversity in criminal justice and the crimes committed by big business, corporations and state actors such as the Police and national governments. You will also pursue independent, in-depth research into a criminological topic of particular interest to you. This can either be in the form of a traditional dissertation or an extended project that explains a crime related issue to an audience of your choice. You will also be able to choose from a range of tailored option modules that, for example, examine youth crime or explore crime in a specific neighborhood through a photography project.

How will I be assessed?

All assessment is via coursework in the form of essays, personal reflective accounts, individual and group presentations, reports, case studies and digital projects like film or photography based on your own field observations. There are no formal examinations in the programme. You will receive regular feedback to help with your assignments through our tutor group system and individual tutorials

What careers could I consider?

We hope that you will leave having developed transferable skills that are highly valued by employers in a variety of work situations. There is a wide range of possible career destinations where criminology graduates find themselves able to be a force for change and influence, including: probation, policing, victim support, youth offending, crime analysts, local government, and in the voluntary and private sectors.

Studying and living in Birmingham

Newman University is located in Britain’s second city – Birmingham. With one of the youngest city populations in Europe, it is a vibrant and dynamic place to study.

Studying at Newman University, you have the advantage of being near to the city, but living in, or commuting to peaceful and comfortable surroundings on campus.

Dining out

Birmingham has lots of wonderful places to dine out with a range of different cuisines. Places where you can dine out include; Brindley Place, Mailbox and Hagley Road (just 10 minutes’ from Newman).

Entertainment

Whether you like to go to; the theatre, gigs or clubs, or enjoy: sports, shopping visiting art galleries or exhibitions – Birmingham will not disappoint and you will be spoilt for choice!

Location

Getting around Birmingham is easy via train, bus or by car. Birmingham has excellent transport links to the rest of Britain, making it easy for those weekend getaways!

Why not explore the city for yourself by visiting one of our Open Days?

Want to find out more about Birmingham? Then take a look at some Birmingham City Secrets.

Ask Us a Question

Autumn Open Days

Join us at one of our virtual open days this autumn, where you can find out more about our courses and talk to academic staff and current students.

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Contact Details

Entry Requirements

You must achieve at least 104 UCAS points including a minimum of CC at A level or equivalent (e.g.MM at BTEC Diploma; MPP at BTEC Extended Diploma) towards the total tariff.

As it is not possible to achieve 104 UCAS points through an Access course, Access Students will need 106 UCAS points. You can reach this with the following combination of Distinction, Merit and/ or Pass grades at level 3 achieved from a completed Access course. 106 UCAS Points: D27-M0-P18; D124-M6-P15; D21-M12-P12; D18-M18-P9; D15-M24-P6; D12-M24-P3; D9-M36-P0. 

Five GCSEs at grade 4 (or C) or above (or recognised equivalents), including English Language, are also required.

For applicants who are unsure that they will achieve the above UCAS tariff, Newman University offers Criminology (with Foundation Year) which enables such applicants to access a university degree via a four year route. Upon successful completion of their foundation year, students will progress to Year 1 of a named degree. Whilst not a condition of entry onto the Foundation Year, students wishing to follow particular named routes with additional entry requirements, will need to meet these requirements before they make the transition from their foundation year to year 1.

Applying Direct Option

You can apply direct to Newman University for the full-time route for this course if you have not previously applied to Newman University through UCAS and you are not applying to any other universities.

Simply click on this Direct Application link to do this.

N.B. will need to enter ‘New User’ account details when first accessing this portal.

Course Fees

Fees per academic year:
Full-time UK/EU students: £9,250 *
Part-time UK/EU students: £5,300*

* Fees shown are for 2021/22 academic year. The University will review tuition fees and increase fees in line with any inflationary uplift as determined by the UK Government, if permitted by law or government policy, on enrolment and in subsequent years of your course. It is anticipated that such increases would be linked to RPI (the Retail Price Index excluding mortgage interest payments).

Additional Costs

Find out more about the other additional costs associated with our undergraduate degrees. 

 

Modules

Please be aware that, as with any course, there may be changes to the modules delivered, for information view our Changes to Programmes or Module Changes page.

Timetables: find out when information is available to students

As a part-time undergraduate student, you choose how many modules to study each year (up to a maximum of 6). To qualify for a student tuition fee loan you will need to choose at least 4 modules. A normal 3-year degree will take 4.5 years to complete if you take 6 modules per year. You will be taught alongside full-time undergraduate students.

  1. This module will introduce and explore ideas about crime and justice through looking at the way in which the media ‘constructs’ them. It will include an exploration of the role of the media, utilising key sociological concepts to analyse the way in which crime and justice are constructed in a range of media contexts (news, drama and documentary) and through a range of media outlets (printed media, TV, film and digital media).  This module includes 12 hours scheduled tutor group time to provide students with further learning support, focused on study skills and assignments. These tutor groups will also provide the vehicle advice and guidance around and employability. Students will be introduced to possible future careers in for example Youth Justice, the National Probation Service and Community Rehabilitation Companies, the Police, the Prison Service as well as a wide range of third sector organisations such as victim support and options for progressing into to professional training routes in the areas such as law and social work.
  2. This module introduces core areas of criminology, focusing on the processes and systems which constitute criminal justice within the UK.  It aims to introduce students to varying ideas and concepts of crime and justice and the way these are socially and legally constructed.  The module will combine tutor led input on theoretical models of criminal justice with a more practice oriented introduction to the different stages, institutions and professional roles within justice systems via input from guest speakers.  Students gain an understanding of issues including prevention and management of crime, deviance and victimisation.
  3. This module aims to develop students’ understanding of the main social theories of crime causation and prevention. It recognises that sociological concepts underpin our understandings of society as well as the phenomenon of crime. The module will introduce both classical and contemporary sociological theories (consensus, conflict and interactionist) focussing on how they have been deployed within criminology. The module will use a series of real world examples to help students evaluate how applicable each explanation is to a range of crimes. The module will provide a foundation for students further application of these theories at level five and six.
  4. This module will examine what the field of psychological theory can contribute to the multidisciplinary study of crime. It will enable students to adjust to the demands of learning at degree level, equipping them with a basic understanding of relevant concepts from the field of Psychology, Social Psychology and Developmental Psychology. This will provide students with a theoretical basis for the study of individual dimensions to deviance, criminal behaviour, offending, victimisation and desistance. Students will gain confidence in the use of language and be able to clearly define key concepts, in preparation for later research and work related learning.  
  5. This module will start by considering a range of conceptual and theoretical approaches towards social control and how these are reflected in policy and agency approaches towards crime control. The module then considers the historical and social and legal background to the emergence of professional policing. Students will analyse the assumptions and ideologies that underpin the use of discretion by the police and their implications for offenders, victims and on wider public opinion, as reflected in media and official discourses surrounding policing. Additionally, the module will introduce students to modern day policing practices and guest speakers who will situate these within wider debates about the challenges faced by law enforcement in relation to crime control in a rapidly changing and evolving world.  
  6. Social research is widely used in when studying society, particularly in criminological study. In order to analyse and interpret research it is essential to have a working knowledge of social research and data. This module will introduce key rudimentary concepts in quantitative methods and analysis so that students are able to acquire the academic skills needed to understand and critique quantitative research, statistics and data. The module will also provide students with an opportunity, in groups, to carry out a small scale piece of quantitative research, including experiencing the process of obtaining ethical approval.
  1. This module aims to develop students’ knowledge and understanding of the use of qualitative research methodology within criminology by introducing students to a range of practical examples of criminological research projects. Through exposing students to a number of visiting speakers along with some taught input, it will explore how criminological researchers have approached a range of issues pertinent to conducting qualitative criminological research including: acquiring ethical approval, conducting a literature review, gathering and analysing qualitative data, and presenting their results to audiences. Students will explore a number of qualitative methodologies and methods including action research, ethnography, life history/narrative case study research, participant observation, focus groups and interviewing.
  2. This year-long module offers learners the opportunity to apply and explore knowledge within a work-based context, through the mode of work place learning. The placement supervisor in the work place will negotiate the focus for the learner’s role on placement, with the learner. Students complete 100 hours in the work setting. The learner will reflect critically on different dimensions of the work place setting. This module provides an opportunity for students wishing to attain National Professional recognition with the Teaching and Learning Academy (TLA) to complete an AMTLA project. The module will also provide the opportunity for those students interested in going on to the PGCE programme to gain support and guidance with the PGCE application process.  
  3. This module will develop students’ knowledge and deepen their understanding of the psychological underpinnings of the criminal justice environment and the various actors who come within its ambit. A key theme running through the module will be on the insights that psychology can offer on explaining decision-making in various contexts, on the part of victims, offenders, agencies and professionals associated with criminal justice and its operation in practice. It will also explore the critical importance of public attitudes towards crime, punishment and the Criminal Justice System.
  4. This module seeks to broaden students’ comparative understanding of criminal justice by locating it in an international context.  Using selected focal topics, it will heighten critical awareness of different models in use in responding to crime, deviance, victims and harm. It will draw on examples from a number of comparator jurisdictions which may include Scotland, The Netherlands, China, Japan and the United States.  Students will be encouraged to access independently international source material in order to prepare a brief for a Justice Minister on a selected topic.
  5. This module is a study of the penal system. This includes the history, philosophy, sociology and practice of state punishment. Punishment is highly contested and penal practices both historically and in the contemporary world have been subject to vigorous critique. Students will be encouraged to become involved in these debates and to have the confidence to articulate their own views and opinions concerning state punishment. This module will start by considering a range of conceptual and theoretical approaches towards state punishment. Students will explore how state punishment is justified philosophically and how its operation is explained sociologically. The module will then explore how the penal these ideas are reflected in both in terms of government policy and in practice through the work of courts, prisons and offender management agencies.
  6. This module will provide students with the opportunity to explore the theoretical concepts of rehabilitation and desistance within criminology. It will then analyse a range of court disposals and interventions used across the criminal justice system.  The module will include an investigation of the policy ideas of ‘what works’ and ‘evidence based practice’.  Consideration will be given to the importance of justice and proportionality alongside the rights of victims and the role of the community.  Students will critically examine some key offender management and ‘treatment’ models using critical discussion and research.
  7. This module aims to develop students’ critical understanding of central debates concerning crime in contemporary society.  It will focus on selected topics in relation to the social construction of crime and victimisation, and examine policy and agency responses to them. Students will asked to consider the social dimensions of different types of crime and the ways in which these are represented in the media, public opinion and official discourses.  Crimes considered may include the regulation of sex work, alcohol and drug related offending, and youth crime.
  8. This module will ready students to begin their level 6 Capstone Project. Initial group lectures will introduce and explain the two possible routes through the level 6 Criminology Capstone Project (empirical and project based). Further lectures and personal tutorials will provide guidance and support so students can conceive their research question/topic. Students will then be allocated a supervisor from within or outside the criminology team who will help them hone their question/topic, guide students through the ethical approval process, and suggest possible literature sources for their proposed project. Students will be shown how to search for literature using the library catalogue and academically appropriate internet search engines. Students will then develop a detailed research proposal and plan on the basis of which they can begin work on their extended project or dissertation.
  1. This module provides students with the opportunity to explore an area of particular interest through undertaking empirical research (either qualitative or quantitative) supported by a member of staff from the subject area (or elsewhere) with appropriate specialist knowledge. Students will produce a formal written thesis in line with the University’s guidelines.
  2. This module provides students with the opportunity to explore an area of particular interest to them, such as an aspect of social policy (historical or current) in the area of crime/criminal justice or a social problem related to crime and criminal behaviour. Students will first undertake an extended literature review (in semester one) and then convert the findings into an accessible, engaging resource for an identified audience, such as community groups or policy makers (in semester two).
  3. This module will provide the basis for students to critically examine the relationship between crime, the criminal justice system and the increasingly fluid and intersectional social categories of ‘race’, culture, religion, gender, and sexuality. Using national and international contemporary theoretical perspectives, students will examine how these can aid explanation of crime in late modern Britain. Through their own reflective writing and the use of a range of visual methods/resources, students will be challenged to critically evaluate how they as potential practitioners are situated within structures of power and how their own inhabiting of multiple identities will be implicated in their efforts to challenge the inequalities that persist within the criminal justice system.
  4. Analysis of crime in society often focuses on street crimes and those offences committed by deprived sections of society. This module will focus on the relationship between crime and power and will examine the crimes committed by the powerful. White Collar Crime, State Crime and Environmental Crime will be explored and the definition of ‘crime’ itself will be critiqued and analysed. The notion of ‘social harm’ that crimes of the powerful can have on society will also be explored. Particular attention will be paid to the power of the state to both define and police ‘crime’. The role of the media in shaping perceptions of crime will also be explored.  
  5. This module will engage students in a detailed conceptual analysis of crime, space and place. Crime needs to be understood in relation to the private and public spaces in which it is located, such as the home, urban environments, rural environments, the school, shopping malls, parks, the prison, the street, neighbourhoods, and council estates. The module will explore how (and by whom) spaces are controlled and how this leads to perceptions within communities as to how to behave. Spaces (such as neighbourhoods) can become privatised, gentrified, gendered and racialised, leading to disproportionate policing and criminalisation. Students will critically examine how systems designed to reduce crime and provide safety in certain spaces – e.g. surveillance, affect criminal behaviour and people living in, or travelling through those spaces. Students will be encouraged take an ethnographic approach to understand the interaction between crime, place and space by exploring a real life space and relating this to theoretical frames.
  6. This module will develop students’ knowledge and deepen their understanding of key investigative processes and techniques utilised in various forensic contexts.  It will integrate selected relevant theoretical perspectives from the field of forensic psychology with critical insights from applied criminology and policing studies.  A key reference point for the module will be Smith and Flanagan’s seminal (2000) Home Office research report, The Effective Detective: identifying the skills of an effective SIO.
  7. This module critically examines a range of criminological theory, both historical and contemporary, that seeks to explain why young people commit crime and how it has and continues to inform governmental responses to youth crime. This will include some discussion of current policy and legislation and an analysis of structures within the British Criminal Justice System (focusing on England and Wales) such as Youth Offending Teams. Particular focus will be on how young peoples’ criminal behaviour is interpreted and contested in the media and political discourses and how youth crime policy impacts disproportionately on certain groups of young people within society (e.g. black young people, young people who meet on the street, etc.). A recurrent theme will be how current models of work with young people involved in crime and multi-professional efforts to bring about desistance from that behaviour may conflict with the workers reluctance to engage in social control.

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