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Criminology BSc(Hons)

Attendance UCAS code/apply Year of entry
3 years full time L311 2018
4 years full time including foundation year L312 2018
6 years part time Apply direct to the University 2018

Why choose this course?

You'll study contemporary crime issues in a location close to London, with its numerous high profile law institutions and renowned criminal courts.

You'll investigate high profile, global crime problems like human and organ trafficking, war and terrorism and gain real life experience through student placements, at organisations like the NSPCC, Childline, Kingston Borough Council and Victim Support.

You'll also engage in research that has real life impact for practitioners, offenders and victims. The lecturers who'll teach you are experts in policing, prisons, gender, transgender, race and ethnicity and they apply what you learn to real crime problems.

On this course you'll also get to take part in the annual School of Law, Social and Behavioural Sciences themed week. This is when regular teaching is replaced by a series of workshops, presentations, discussions and reading groups on a contemporary social issue. Previous themes have included race, war and gender, all led by expert speakers like Shami Chakrabati, Shadow Attorney General for England and Wales.

Foundation year - Social Sciences

If you are thinking of returning to education after a break you could apply for our foundation year course. This course will provide you with the academic and transferable skills you need to study an undergraduate degree in any of the Social Sciences. At Kingston these include Criminology, Sociology, Psychology, Economics and Politics.

Throughout the year-long course, you can study a range of these subjects, allowing you to get a better idea of which ones you prefer. It'll guide you in the direction of a social sciences degree that you're particularly interested in. The foundation year will develop your independent study skills and help you to better understand your academic ability, a potential career path and how to develop the skills that employers look for in graduates.

Watch this video to find out what our students have to say about studying Criminology at Kingston University:

What you will study

Criminology is about the study of crime, crime control and how social 'groups' can become corrupt. It spans 'street-level' crime to global terrorism and cybercrime. You'll investigate real national and international issues including:

  • Why do certain people commit crimes?
  • How does our criminal justice system work?
  • Why do some people abuse others?
  • How do the victims of the abuse cope with their experiences?
  • Why people from different social, racial and ethnic backgrounds are reported to be more likely to commit, and become victims of crimes?
  • How we can improve the relationships between young people and police?
  • Global crime problems and their impact worldwide.

The Criminology BSc combines the study of society, politics, law, psychology and culture. It will help you to understand offending behaviour and peoples' responses to illegal and harmful activity. The course also identifies how fear of crime has a profound influence on our feelings of security and well-being. It explores cultural representations of criminality and investigates how this relates to questions of social identity like class, race and ethnicity, gender, age and sexuality.

Module listing

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list. Those listed here may also be a mixture of core and optional modules.

Foundation year

  • The module introduces you to a wide spectrum of disciplines and approaches in social and behavioural sciences. It'll look at common features of any social sciences degree, like the study of collective and individual human behaviour, and defining features of the individual disciplines.

    A key focus will be on the overlapping boundaries between different disciplines in the social and behavioural sciences. You'll learn how to use qualitative research methods to understand collective and individual human behaviour.

    By the end of the module, you'll have a better understanding of the differences and commonalities of the individual fields of study within the social and behavioural sciences and the key features of each.

     
  • Practical Research Skills gives you the opportunity to carry out a research project on a topic agreed with a supervisor, who will guide you in conducting a literature review, formulate a research question, design a research study, collect data and present findings.

     
  • Using Quantitative Methods enables you to apply mathematical knowledge to solve a range of problems within social and behavioural scientific contexts. You'll learn how to use calculators and computer software to analyse and present mathematical data in a variety of formats, and develop your competence in algebraic, graphical, numerical and statistical techniques, as well as elementary formal logic.

     
  • This module aims to prepare you for undergraduate study and gives you the skills and knowledge related to the study of social and behavioural science subjects. You'll cover research skills (like using a library and electronic resources), planning, note taking, building a bibliography, and avoiding plagiarism. You will also develop your communication skills, especially focusing on essay and report writing, delivering presentations and being an active participant in debates and discussions. It'll give you helpful strategies for time management and stress management, particularly focusing on recognising points at which stress needs to be dealt with.

    The module will encourage you to develop the independent learning, critical analysis, and reflective skills crucial to succeeding in a degree.

     

Year 1 (Level 4)

  • This module will provide students with an introduction to the institutions, processes and legal foundations of the criminal justice system in England and Wales. The module is core to the undergraduate degree. The module familiarises students with the language and reasoning of the criminal law and the structure and chronology of the criminal justice process. There is an emphasis on the development and practice of key academic skills especially information retrieval.

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  • This module will introduce students to a range of theoretical perspectives and debates that inform criminology, and which underpin their learning throughout the criminology programme. Theories will be evaluated in relation to academic scholarship, empirical evidence, popularity and application in crime policy and practice, and in relation to their geographical, social, cultural, historical locations.

    Students will learn about a changing and dynamic field of study, which has encompassed both positivistic and social analyses of crime and criminalisation. They will learn to evaluate criminological theory in relation to a range of intellectual movements. They will be encouraged to understand criminological theory in relation to shifts across allied subjects like sociology, gender studies, critical race studies, social policy, politics and psychology.

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  • A key task of sociologists is to understand the routine aspects of everyday life.

    This module will focus your attention on how researchers have utilised a range of qualitative and quantitative research methods to develop attentiveness to the seemingly mundane that is everyday life and how lives are lived at the junctures of self, family, culture and social worlds. This module aims to ground your understandings of everyday life through practical application of methods and data analysis. You will gain hands-on experience of research skills throughout the module that can be applied to future study and employability

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  • Violence, Transgression and Society explores who is policed and disciplined in societal, popular and political cultures. It thinks about why some people and their behavior are seen as especially violent and transgressive while others are not. It shows that responses to violent and transgressive people are shaped by historical and social context, geographical location and intersections of social identity, such as race, ethnicity, gender, sex, class, faith and age.

    Students will learn about who is policed and disciplined, how, why and by whom across teaching blocks 1 and 2. In teaching block 1 there is emphasis on histories of violence, and in teaching block 2 there is emphasis on contemporary forms of transgression. Examples include: riots and anti-social behaviour, social ‘groups' like homeless people and ‘problem' families, and communities such as white working class and Muslim communities.

    Throughout the module, the question of who is policed and disciplined, how and why, is explored through national and global real-world events and case-studies and in relation to criminal, social and racial justice. Students bring academic knowledge to real-world events and issues in weekly interactive workshops and the module assessment.

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Year 2 (Level 5)

  • Through TV, newspapers, and other forms of media we are continually told that we live in a fast-moving globalised world. Yet whilst ‘globalisation' is now a common term, what it entails and how it affects our lives is often more difficult to discern.

    Focusing on the social, cultural, political and economic aspects of globalisation, this module exposes the different dimensions and implications of global social change. Opening with a critical examination of the meaning and competing definitions of globalisation, it moves on to examine: processes and theories of uneven global development, international inequality, the evolution and changing face of global capital, the significance of global environmental risk, the creation of global cultures and the transformation of local culture, migration and transculturalism, the rise of global cities and the urban experience, and the significance of global networks.

    Although not a pre-requisite, this module is also a good preparation for students wishing to study Migration and Social Transformation (SO6022) in level 6. The module will help to prepare students for a variety of professions in which knowledge and understanding of international and global social processes is relevant.

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  • MODULE SUMMARY (INDICATIVE)

    What kind of criminologist are you? How does this relate to the kind of research that you want to conduct? This module will focus on exploring different ways of approaching criminology, ranging from ‘interventionist' criminology to critical criminology, left realism and theoretical research. We will assess how these different approaches relate to different kinds of criminological method. We will build on your existing research skills, developed at level 4, by extending your academic engagement with methods and particularly the distinct kinds of data that they produce. You will be asked to reflect critically on a particular criminological theme, then you will be guided through producing a short piece of empirical research that tests one of the methods you have studied in an area of your own interest. Finally, this module will act as a bridge to level 6 by helping you to produce a research proposal for your final year dissertation. This will enable you to start thinking about and reading for your dissertation over the summer. Ultimately, on completion of this module you will have developed core research and employability skills around research methods, their implications and application, and will have demonstrated the ability to plan, design and conduct a piece of independent research.

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  • This module provides students with a critical insight into key issues and controversies in the delivery of justice, social control and punishment.  It encourages students to think critically about the role of the state in the regulation of behaviour and provides an overview of key changes that have occurred in the field of crime control and criminal justice. The first part of the module is dedicated to developing understanding of the concepts of ‘policing' and the ‘police'. Key issues confronting contemporary policing are explored together with an enhanced awareness of the historical context within which contemporary policing has developed.
    Debates about policing are situated within broader debates of social control and governance, with a critical appreciation of the police function and role. It also considers the implications of globalisation for policing both at an organisational and conceptual level. The second part of the module provides students with the opportunity to undertake a critical examination of contemporary debates on the purpose of punishment. Students will be introduced to a range of theoretical perspectives and debates on the use of punishment to address criminality and will consider the purpose of punishment in modern societies. This will be accompanied by an examination of different forms of punishment including an in-depth exploration of the use of imprisonment and comparative penal systems.

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  • This module is a core requirement for students taking Human Rights at level 5, and can also be taken as an option by students in related fields. The module introduces the contested and evolving relationships between the theory and practice of securing human rights.

    It starts with an overview of key frameworks and mechanisms designed to secure rights at the international, regional and domestic levels.  A central feature of the module is to introduce key critical themes, from which issues can be dissected and analysed through a range of contemporary and international case-studies.

    Themes may include:

    • Human Rights, Security and Forced Migration', which analyses the way in which the issue of forced migration brings together a variety of legal, political and security debates.
    • The Politics of Human Rights in Development', which examines the recent convergence of the fields of human rights and development (inclusive of ‘the right to development' and the proliferation of ‘rights-based approaches to development').
    • Rights in the aftermath? Truth, Justice and Reconciliation', which examines the globalization of transitional justice discourses and the propagation of different mechanisms (ranging from International Criminal Tribunals, to national truth commissions, to local justice initiatives).
    • And, ‘Indigenous Peoples, Rights and Beyond' that engages with central issues surrounding indigenous peoples' claims, whilst also probing the gravity of particular contested issues (such as ‘the right to self-determination' and broader ‘sovereignty' challenges).

    The module concludes by asking: what is the future for human rights? 

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  • This module will introduce students to the controversies and debates over slavery and other forms of violence committed against groups of people in the modern world and their responses seeking emancipation. Beginning in 1492 with the development of a modern racism, it looks at the destruction of indigenous peoples in the Americas, the subsequent development of US Slavery, and the struggles of African Americans into the twentieth century. These cases will be revisited from the perspective of gender, and compared to other forms of structural oppression of colonised peoples and workers.

    The module will consider the challenges in identifying the standpoint of the oppressed and study examples of how ‘subaltern' oppressed groups enter politics.   There are case studies of different historical and contemporary movements for emancipation, exploring some of their key debates and the challenges of constructing unity whilst respecting diversity. The module as a whole will encourage the critical analysis and assessment of the various interpretations that have been put forward and facilitate the development of students' research skills, ability to work together and communicate their ideas.

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  • This module considers what is understood by the term youth, as a social category and life stage, and explores young people's lived experiences. As such, it examines the history of youth culture and subcultures and styles, and critically considers the notion of ‘problem' youth and societal responses to this including intervention and multi-agency working. Bringing together sociological, criminological and cultural studies theory from Level 4, the module considers youth from both an individual and structural view point. We will also look at how we have come to deal with young offenders in the youth justice system and considers the contradictory messages about welfare, diversionary measures, human rights, punitive justice, managerial and crime prevention discourses and strategies.

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Year 3 (Level 6)

  • This is a level 6 optional module that draws upon both criminological and sociological debates and knowledges.

    Students will learn by observing and undertaking work-based practice. The principle underlying this module is that worksites are important contexts for students to test, validate, expand upon, supplement and enrich their academic learning.

    The module requires students to undertake a minimum of 40 hours of fieldwork in an organisational setting. The form that the fieldwork will take will depend upon the type of placement secured, but, typically it may involve interning, shadowing or volunteering in subject relevant placements (for example across social justice, criminal justice/crime prevention, welfare and support fields).

    Whilst in their placements students are encouraged to think about the social aspects of organisations and working life, including their structural forms, interpersonal relationships and their practices. Students will be supported in securing their placement at level 5 in preparation for the commencement of the module at level 6.

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  • This module takes a critical look at the concepts of crime, power and class in the contemporary world, and the impact of ‘crimes of the powerful' on the struggle for human rights and social justice.

    The gaze of many political scientists and criminologists tends to be focused firmly ‘downwards', towards analysing the misdemeanours of the poor, the dispossessed, the underclass

    This module, in contrast, will focus ‘upwards', in an attempt to understand and explain deviant actions by states, corporations, and the ruling class more broadly. Through the use of case studies, presented by the teaching team but also generated by students, we will examine issues such as war crimes, torture, corruption, global supply chains, police abuses, and state terrorism. 

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  • Through this module you will develop your own criminological specialism by conducting an extended and in-depth study on a topic of your choosing. Students will be tutored in the skills necessary to successfully complete a final year dissertation and will work with a staff supervisor to develop a critical understanding of their research topic. You will gain hands-on experience of research skills that can be applied to future postgraduate study and careers in human resources, marketing, public sector and charitable and non-government organisations.

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  • Module Summary:  

    Through this module you will develop your own criminological specialism by conducting an extended and in-depth study on a topic of your choosing. Students will be tutored in the skills necessary to successfully complete a final year dissertation and will work with a staff supervisor to develop a critical understanding of their research topic. You will work with other students to organize a conference at which you will all present your work, thereby learning the skills of event organization and management as well as having an opportunity to disseminate their dissertation to a wide audience. This module will be an opportunity for you to gain hands-on experience of research skills that can be applied to future postgraduate study and careers in human resources, marketing, public sector and charitable and non-government organisations.

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  • This module will be examining some deeply troubling events in recent history and politics and the various ethical, legal and political responses that they have generated. It has been argued that the Holocaust was a critical turning point, a catastrophe which required a fundamental ethical, legal and political rethinking of how the rights of human beings could be protected when states in the modern world engage in the systematic attempt to murder large numbers of people, including many of their own citizens. The module begins with reflections on the Nazi attempt to eliminate a whole group of people (the Jews) and to murder and enslave millions of others. It then considers a range of responses, including the Nuremberg trials, the Genocide Convention, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It examines a number of cases of genocide and crimes against humanity that have nevertheless occurred subsequently. It evaluates the repeated failure for decades to halt or prevent these crimes and then considers the rethinking caused by the genocides in Yugoslavia and Rwanda, and the setting up of ad hoc tribunals and an International Criminal Court to prosecute perpetrators and provide justice to victims. It concludes with reflections on how much progress has been made in protecting citizens in a world of sovereign nation states and what forms of justice can work after such crimes have been committed. These are highly contested questions and the module is designed to encourage the critical analysis and evaluation of a wide range of arguments that have been put forward from a variety of perspectives.

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  • Conceptions of self and other are deeply embedded in violent conflict, an activity which typically results in the most egregious violations of human rights.  Highly polarised identities often sit uneasily with a universal humanity.  Based on the broad theme of the universal versus the particular, this module explores the interaction between identity, violent conflict and the abuse of human rights.  It provides students with the opportunity to consider how protracted conflicts may be better resolved more effectively and human rights better protected.  The module blends theoretical discussion of political violence with an analysis of recent conflicts and the legal and institutional mechanisms which have emerged to reduce their detrimental impact on human rights.

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  • Global migration has intensified rapidly since 1960, with the UNPD estimating an increase from 80 to 210 million by 2009. It has become a contentious political topic with far-reaching consequences for contemporary societies, and arguably for established sociological paradigms (e.g. methodological nationalism).

    The module will equip students to understand and investigate in depth the social dynamics of migration and its consequences, and enable them to offer informed and critical comment on contemporary debates (e.g. media coverage of migration, on the economics of migration, and on migration's consequences for social solidarity).

    It offers students the opportunity to build on interests and skills developed at Level 5 (e.g. in International Perspectives and Sociological Approaches), and broadens the department's offering at Level 6 to a new area of contemporary social relevance.

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  • This module explores the social intersections between gender, race and class. It begins by examining historical conceptualisations of these terms and intersections, and the social and civil movements that challenged how these terms were considered in both women's and men's lives.

    From the beginning, the module will introduce you to a wide range of feminist approaches in order to make sense of various intersections of gender, race and class. In this module you will consider how such categories and intersections contribute to identity constructions and contestations. You will reflect on these elements within contemporary examples of everyday life – for example, consumption, families and intimacies, education and sport. Upon completion of this module you will have expanded your skills in critical reflection and analysis of social intersections and inequalities.

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  • The module studies the role played by race in all aspects of the criminal justice systems in the United States and United Kingdom. It takes as its point of departure Professor Paul Gilroy's 1993 concept of the ‘Black Atlantic' as a cultural-political ‘space of hybridity' involving Africa, America, Britain and the Caribbean, and we use that concept to examine the extent to which crime and the criminal justice system have been politicised.

    The module concerns itself with the shifting politics of race within the criminal justice system. Among other topics, it explores historical representations of race and crime; press and media depictions of black male offenders; racial profiling and the ‘othering' of female offenders; and the commodification of prison that has led to the United States having the highest incarceration rates in the world.

    Other focal areas include racial disparities within the criminal justice system, the politics of punishment and sentencing, and empirical, theoretical, practical and policy issues. The module addresses issues of representation, the production of knowledge, the historical contexualisation of minority experiences in theoretical perspectives, and the ethical duties of criminologists working within minority experiences.

    The module includes a field trip to Bristol to explore the history of immigration and emigration as it relates to crime. 

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  • The aim of the module is to introduce students to relevant issues within the realm of globalisation, terrorism and international crime: eg. terrorism, environmental crime, piracy, human trafficking, criminal networks, cybercrime. It will enable students to develop a detailed comprehension of the complexity of these criminogenic experiences.

    In the first part of the course, the module focuses on terrorism. It will be introducing students to a range of complex historical, political and social factors that have contributed to the articulation of terrorist practices. Students will have a chance to engage in the understanding of the reasons why certain practices emerge, the interaction between terrorist discourses and the media and how international law enforcement bodies work and interact.

    The second part of the module will present a critical overview of different organised and transnational crimes. Students will be offered a chance to explore the articulation, social control and impact of organised criminal behaviour at an international level. Students will understand the links between terrorist practices and other organised crime (eg. cybercrime or trafficking of humans).

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You will have the opportunity to study a foreign language, free of charge, during your time at the University on a not-for-credit basis as part of the Kingston Language Scheme. Options currently include: Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

Most of our undergraduate courses support studying or working abroad through the University's Study Abroad or Erasmus programme.

Find out more about where you can study abroad:

If you are considering studying abroad, read what our students say about their experiences.

Key information set

The scrolling banner(s) below display some key factual data about this course (including different course combinations or delivery modes of this course where relevant).

We aim to ensure that all courses and modules advertised are delivered. However in some cases courses and modules may not be offered. For more information about why, and when you can expect to be notified, read our Changes to Academic Provision.

A copy of the regulations governing this course is available here

Details of term dates for this course can be found here

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This course is taught at Penrhyn Road

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Contact us

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This course is taught at Penrhyn Road

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