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Study society and human behaviour as you examine who commits crime and why

3 years full-time
Bishop Otter Campus (Chichester)

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Explore how society works and its relationship to crime and punishment

Our BA (Hons) Sociology with Criminology course allows you to apply the critical tools of sociology to the criminal justice system and the role it plays within society.

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Explore the complex nature of human society

This course helps you make sense of what is happening in this period of incredible, fast-moving change, as you consider what aspects have been positive and exciting and what areas have created conflict, confusion, and challenge.

Apply sociological principles to the study of crime

Throughout your degree, you will consider how sociological issues such as race, gender, poverty, inequality, and culture affect our attitudes and responses to the core criminology topics of crime, punishment, and the law.

Focus on contemporary issues through a global lens

Throughout the course, you will develop skills in cultural competence, research, critical and analytical thinking as you gain a deeper understanding of a range of social issues within both British and international contexts.

  • Social justice
  • Poverty
  • Discrimination
  • Migration
  • Developmental psychology
  • Celebrity culture
  • Consequences of the climate crisis

Develop your own critical thinking skills

This course will not tell you what to think, but rather provide you with the knowledge and skills you will need critically consider the world around you, as you follow your own passion within the subject and undertake your own independent research.

Gain the knowledge and skills needed to make a difference

You will develop key skills in research techniques, critical thinking, and analysis that you could use in a wide range of potential future careers, especially in fields that make a difference to communities.

Learn from expert staff who really get to know you

Our small, interactive seminars mean you are seen as an individual and not just another face in the crowd, as our team of experienced experts get to know you and how best to support your academic and personal development.

On this course you will:

  • Explore how the world works, why it works, and its relationship with crime and punishment.
  • Consider a wide range of thought-provoking topics in both national and international contexts.
  • Develop your own critical thinking, research, and analysis skills that you can apply to a range of future careers.
  • Learn in smaller classes that allow our expert teaching staff to really get to know you and your needs.

The Course

Apply a wide range of sociological principles to the study of crime

Year One

Your first year acts a strong foundation of core sociology and criminology principles on which you will build further throughout your degree, as you gain grounding on social identities and elements of criminal law.

Year Two

Your second year provides you with the opportunity to begin to specialise in topics that interest you, as you explore contemporary views on topics such as sexuality, health and wellbeing, crime, and the media.

Year Three

In your third year, you will work towards a final dissertation project that acts as the culmination of your learning throughout your degree.

Alongside this, you will examine the role of the media in the rise in anxiety in younger generations, how media reflects the world around us, and the sociological principles behind aggression and violence.

Indicative modules

You will study a selection of core and optional modules in each year. Each module is worth a number of credits is delivered differently, depending on its content and focus of study.

This list is indicative and subject to change.

Select a year

Ageing and the Life Course

What is ‘childhood’? How would you define ‘old age’? This module explores how childhood and old age are ‘socially constructed’.

You will explore the historical view of children as merely ‘mini adults’, the invention of the ‘teenager’, and the contemporary view of old age being defined as roughly 20 years older than the person defining it.

You will discuss how government policy has attempted to keep pace with changing social attitudes and ask questions about what kind of society we should grow up in.

Crime and Punishment

This module explores key issues and debates in criminology and gives you a solid foundation in these topics.

You will explore:

  • The origins of crime
  • Categorisation of crime
  • Theories of crime
  • Psychological frameworks of crime.

Crime and Society

This module examines how society manages crime and criminals and introduces you to the wider judicial and prison systems.

You will consider:

  • The role of the media
  • Moral panics
  • Emerging crimes
  • World approaches to crime.

Criminal Law I

This module introduces you to the different aspects of criminal law, which examines the theory underpinning criminal law and the elements of criminal liability, as well as providing an understanding of a range of criminal offences and the ability to analyse and evaluate related case law. You will also continue to develop legal reasoning, research and referencing skills.

Social Identities and Inequalities

Does family mean a place of safety, nurture and stability, or a site of oppression, conflict and turmoil? You will explore opposing views and perspectives of what it means to be a ‘family’, using sociological theory and contemporary research to develop your understanding of family and social change.

Why Sociology Matters

In this module, you will:

  • explore key sociological principles and theories
  • discuss the role of sociology in understanding the world we live in
  • develop the knowledge and skills you need to ‘think sociologically’.

In addition, you will discover why sociology provides fascinating insights into so many aspects of our social world and develop your ability to provide supporting evidence for your views and opinions.

Analysing Social Problems

You will draw upon ethical principles to explore questions of ‘what is right and wrong?’ and ‘what should be done?’.

You will investigate how and why governments and other policymakers make decisions and, in doing so, gain deeper insights into how we, as individuals, view problems and make choices about the issues that affect our lives.

Human psychology will inform your discussions as you learn how people think and explore the common biases and mental shortcuts that can lead to prejudice and faulty decision making.

Being Human: Emotions and Behaviour in Social Life

What does it mean to be ‘human’? This question has puzzled humans throughout the centuries, and we often find answers in religion and philosophy as well as biology.

Recent advances in psychology, sociology and neuroscience have revealed the importance of emotions in shaping human behaviour, social attitudes and the social structures we experience every day.

Discussions in this module will aim to revolutionise how you see the world around you.

Criminal Law II

This module continues to develop your understanding of criminal law, including how to examine homicide and non-fatal offences, understanding a range of defences and developing your ability to analyse and evaluate related case and statutory law and proposed reforms.

Criminology Classics and Controversies

In this module, you will develop your critical knowledge of classic and contemporary criminological cases and your understanding of the role of criminology in understanding different forms of crime. You will have the opportunity to compare and contrast profiles of criminological cases.

Media and Society

In this module, you will consider key concepts in media theory, the representation and social groups (class, gender, race, age) and the changing forms of media in the digital age. In addition, you will explore the affects on and responses of audience within the media and popular culture sphere as you consider its power, agenda setting, and influence.

Mental Health and Forensic Psychology

This module is an opportunity to explore a comprehensive range of key constructs, theories, and research in mental health and forensic psychology.

You will examine the numerous ways that psychological research, methods, and expertise are applied to the study of criminal behaviour and the issues that psychopathology create within the context of the criminal justice system.

Researching Societies

The module introduces you to a range of sociological methodologies and research methods that will equip you to design a small-scale research project in an area of sociology in the following year.

You will participate in a series of activities, involving research techniques, where you will need to reflect on your own experience.

The “qualitative versus quantitative” debate will be examined. Ethical issues in sociological research will be examined and innovative methods for research and how to research social media will be explored.

Sex, Sexualities and Society

Although sexuality is a relatively recent concept, issues concerned with sexuality have a long history in cultures across the world. On this module, you will explore how our contemporary views towards sexuality have evolved and the social forces that shape current debates, questions and arguments.

A Dangerous World? Risk, Anxiety and the Media

In this module you will explore how society constructs notions of risk, danger and dangerousness.

You will understand how the media functions in creating heightened anxieties in the population and how and why politicians respond to these anxieties.

You will critically analyse stories in the media and form your own judgements about phenomena presented as being a risk to society, exploring the social impact of themes as diverse as Covid-19, crime, mental health, islamophobia and youth culture.

Aggression, Violence and Abuse: A Sociological Perspective

You will use a sociological perspective to investigate the causes and impact of aggression, violence and abuse. Drawing on historical sources, you will note how social attitudes evolve and discuss the influence of feminism and other social movements in framing current debates.

You will explore the life chances of victims of aggression violence and abuse as well as themes as diverse as

  • Child sexual exploitation
  • Domestic abuse
  • Cyberbullying
  • Harassment
  • Hate crimes.

You will investigate implications of these topics for individuals, society and social change.

Independent Project

On this independent project, you will engage in in a longer-term analytical piece of research on a topic relevant to sociology and criminology.

You will conduct an in-depth investigation into an aspect of the course that particularly interests you.

You could undertake research that fits into a qualitative or a quantitative framework, complete a business-related project to consider the needs of students developing their own businesses, or choose a topic that prepares you for your future career.

Making A Difference: Preparation for Professional Careers

This module offers another opportunity to get involved in real social issues. You will develop your communication, problem-solving and other employability skills as you explore a topic of your choice.

Music, TV and Film in a Changing World

With a specific focus on the 21st Century and the latter part of the 20th Century, this module will take you on a journey through key social changes and movements as reflected and shaped by music, TV and film.

You will discuss a range of topics starting with the protest songs of the 1960s and explore how music has influenced and been shaped by key events and societal changes, and explore how film, TV and other media forms have highlighted society.

Sexual Offenders: Across the Life Course

This module will introduce you to the theoretical models that underpin sexually problematic behaviours perpetrated across the life course, while considering the typology of offenders in this cohort.

Young People and Crime

You will examine the factors that contribute to young people becoming involved in crime and consider crimes committed against them. You will explore the Youth Justice System in the UK and the interventions offered to young people to reduce their offending behaviour.

Teaching and Assessment

Feel the support of our experienced and expert staff

Smaller class sizes for better learning

You will build your subject knowledge and practical experience through lectures, workshops, and tutorials in small classes, which means our expert teaching staff really get to know you and what support you need.


You will be assessed through a range of assignments including:

  • Essays
  • Group and individual presentations
  • Academic posters
  • Vlogs
  • Book reviews


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Integrated Foundation Year Option

Build your academic confidence and skills with an initial foundation year

We also offer our BA (Hons) Sociology with Criminology with Integrated Foundation Year course.

This four-year course includes an integrated, introductory foundation year that develops your academic skills and confidence, as well as provides you with an overview of core topics that you will build upon in your further years of study.

Study Abroad

Explore the opportunity to study part of your course abroad

As a student at the University of Chichester, you can explore opportunities to study abroad during your studies as you enrich and broaden your educational experiences.

Students who have undertaken this in the past have found it to be an amazing experience to broaden their horizons, a great opportunity to meet new people, undertake further travelling and to immerse themselves within a new culture.

You will be fully supported throughout the process to help find the right destination institution for you and your course. We can take you through everything that you will need to consider, from visas to financial support, to help ensure that you can get the best out of your time studying abroad.


Where you could go after your studies

This BA (Hons) Sociology with Criminology degree prepares you for a range of careers across the industry. You could work in welfare careers like social work or the probation service or in areas such as the prison service, police, or the Home Office.

You could work in criminal justice, the legal system, or HM Revenue and Customs. Other areas include counselling, education and working for the local government.

Potential careers include:

  • Social worker
  • Community development worker
  • Probation officer
  • Prison officer
  • Counsellor
  • Human rights officer
  • Advice worker
  • Teacher

Further Study

You may decide to continue your study at the University of Chichester and undertake a postgraduate degree. Our postgraduate courses offer you the opportunity to deepen your knowledge and greatly improve your career prospects. Postgraduate study options available at Chichester include Masters, PGCE and PhD.

Course Costs

Course Fees 2024/25

UK fee
International fee

For further details about fees, please see our Tuition Fee page.

For further details about international scholarships, please see our Scholarships page.

To find out about any additional costs on this course, please see our Additional Costs page.

Entry Requirements

Typical offers (individual offers may vary):

tariff points from A levels or combination with AS / EPQ / BTEC/ Cambridge Technical.
A Levels
BTEC/Cambridge Technical
Access to HE Diploma
with at least 12 Distinction and 15 Merits
C/4 or above
in English language.
26-28 points
6.0 overall
with no element lower than 5.5.

Optional Integrated Foundation Year

We also offer BA (Hons) Sociology with Criminology with an integrated foundation year. This course is for you if you have not met the course entry requirements yet, or if you feel like you may need a little more preparation to make the most of your university studies.

Non-standard application entry routes

The University has an alternative entry route for applicants who have relevant skills and experience but who do not hold the formal minimum entry qualifications required. Applicants who demonstrate the necessary skills and experience to enter a course of higher education will be asked to complete an entry task involving the completion of specially set assignments.


Frequently asked questions

How do I apply?

Click the ‘Apply now’ button to go to relevant UCAS page.

What are UCAS tariff points?

Many qualifications have a UCAS Tariff value. The score depends on the qualification, and the grade you achieved.

How do I know what my UCAS tariff points are?

Head to the UCAS Tariff Points web page where you can find a tariff points calculator that can tell you how much your qualification and grades are worth.

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