School of Law, Criminology and Government

BSc (Hons) Criminology and Criminal Justice Studies

Put your incisive mind and probing skills to best use as a decision-maker, policy developer or in assisting in the treatment of offenders. This course offers you an excellent toolkit of analytical and practical skills to examine how and why people commit crime and how we, as a society, deal with criminality. Whether it’s probation, policing, youth justice, community safety or victim services you’ll develop your critical skills and graduate primed to embark on your future career path.

We’re very proud of our National Student Survey (NSS) 2017 return showing that 95 per cent of students agreed staff were good at explaining things. According to the 2016 DLHE survey, 80 per cent were in work/study six months after finishing.*

Key features

  • Make a difference – draw on our inter-disciplinary approach to study, with a focus on contemporary issues, to gain real insight into the nature of crime, the workings of the criminal justice system and the society around you and equip yourself with the skills to bring about change.
  • Stand out from the crowd with a Certificate in Knowledge of Policing – Plymouth University is one of the few universities granted Approved Provider status by the National College of Policing for this award. The Certificate is recognised by all police forces in England and Wales and the achievement will help prepare those seeking recruitment to the Police Service as a Police Constable. (Please note: the achievement does not in itself provide any guarantee of recruitment as a trainee Police Constable).
  • Boost your chances of finding that perfect first job and gain hands-on experience by volunteering with local and national criminal justice agencies. 
  • Equip yourself with in-demand skills – our graduates are highly sought after by a range of criminal justice agencies, including the police, probation, prison and youth justice services.
  • Open doors to a career in the private, public or third sector – highly transferable skills mean you will find career opportunities in a diverse range of settings.

Course details

  • Year 1
  • In your first year, you’ll lay the foundations for your studies, exploring various perspectives on criminology and examining theories on the causes of crime and deviance. You’ll look at policy and practice to develop your knowledge and deepen your understanding of the criminal justice process in England and Wales, gaining a grounding in criminal justice research.
    Core modules
    • CCJS1109 Crime in Context

      This module provides students with an introduction to key questions in the study of criminology and criminal justice, providing them with necessary skills to be a successful and reflexive student of criminology. The module places criminology in the context of economic, political and social interpretative frameworks, and contributes to the creation of a criminological imagination.

    • CCJS1110 Introduction to the Criminal Justice Process in England and Wales

      This module describes the roles and practices of the main criminal justice institutions in England and Wales and uses a basic theoretical framework to analyse these institutions and practices. It introduces students to the sentencing process, describing sentencing objectives and philosophy, sentencing options and sentencing patterns.

    • CCJS1112 Criminology and Crime Problems

      This module introduces students to the subject of criminology. It emphasises criminology's multi-disciplinary and the different perspectives, methods and sources of information that it draws upon in developing theories about the different causes and problematizations of crime and deviance.

    • CCJS1114 The Governance of Crime: An Introduction

      This module explores the way crime is governed in modern society. It introduces students to policy actors within and beyond the state, and examines their various roles as decision-makers, providers, regulators and influencers of responses to crime. It balances an appreciation of actors¿ constitutional roles with a more social scientifically-informed understanding of the ways these roles are performed in practice.

    • CCJS1115 Being a Criminologist

      The module provides students with a grounding in the concepts, techniques, methods and skills necessary for developing a criminological analysis to crime and justice. Students will analyse key contemporary examples of crime, justice and social issues pertinent at the time which could include; murder, the war on drugs, police brutality and injustice within the courts. Students will assess the strengths and weakness of criminological and methodological approaches to understanding these examples.

    Optional modules
    • GOV1000PP One Planet? Society and Sustainability

      This module addresses some of the most pressing challenges of the 21st century from a variety of ideological and political perspectives. Through real-world case studies and critical reflection of lived experiences, we explore and debate the complex, interdependent processes underpinning sustainability and global inequality and insecurities. You develop an understanding of key drivers and public policy impacts and consider future alternative scenarios. The emphasis is on active, collaborative, learning via field trips and debates.

    • LAW1000PP Ethics and Justice in the Balance

      This short intensive module will provide a basic introduction to ethical considerations in human activity, social life and institutional decision making. It provides a platform to enable students to evaluate concepts of justice, law and ethics as well as themes of morality, duty and responsibility, in relation to everyday individual and collective choices of action.

  • Year 2
  • In your second year, you will advance your awareness of criminological and penal theory to understand punishment. You’ll look at criminal justice agencies, policing and community safety, youth justice, restorative justice, victims and community responses to adult offenders. Sharpening your research and critical thinking skills, you'll also delve deeper into the practical and political issues surrounding crime and criminal justice.
    Core modules
    • CCJS2115 Crime, Theory and Culture

      This module examines contemporary criminological theory and scholarship, providing a critical analysis of new directions at the forefront of the discipline. The module covers the intersections of criminology with contemporary social theory, communications theory, urban studies, international relations, cultural theory and zemiology.

    • CCJS2120 Researching Crime and Criminal Justice

      This module describes and assesses the reliability and validity of the different methodologies and sources of information utilised in criminal justice research, focusing especially upon the collection and use of official statistics, surveys, interviews and observational studies. The module also provides practical experience for students in using specialist quantitative and qualitative computer programmes for analysing data.

    Optional modules
    • CCJS2116 Social Justice

      This module investigates aspects of inequality within British Society and identifies a range of theoretical explanations and policy responses to these issues in relation to crime and criminal justice.

    • CCJS2117 Professional Knowledge of Policing I

      This module provides students with a practical knowledge and understanding of policing and police law, situated within the relevant contemporary social context of England and Wales.

    • CCJS2118 Victims, Victimology and Restorative Justice

      The module examines criminal victimisation and the policies and practices that have been developed to aid them in the aftermath of crime. As well as a range of support approaches which are directed specifically to victims, the module also focuses upon restorative justice and the way in which victims may benefit from such practices.

    • CCJS2119 Youth Justice

      This module begins by tracing the main socio-political controversies and debates which have shaped contemporary youth justice. The module then moves on to critically examine current developments in youth justice, particularly attempts to promote restorative justice and reduce first-time entry, reoffending and the use of custody.

    • CCJS2121 Policing and Community Safety

      This module affords students an opportunity to explore, in depth, the structures, practices and key issues facing modern policing and community safety in the UK. It focuses particularly upon the police service, but also upon developments in plural policing, including the expansion of partnership policing.

    • CCJS2122 Penal Theory and Responses to Adult Offenders

      This module draws on theories of penalty to analyse and evaluate penal policy and practice. In particular it critically examines contemporary issues, developments and debates relating to the use of imprisonment and community sentences for adult offenders.

    • CCJS2123 Volunteering in a Policing or Criminal Justice Setting

      This module provides students with an opportunity to develop their skills and gain work experience through a volunteering placement with a local agency. At the same time they will also be making a positive contribution to the wider community.

    • CCJS2124A Inside-out: Crime and Justice in the 21st Century

      This module focuses on crime and justice in the 21st century, namely that of the purpose of the justice system in the contemporary context. Taking place inside HMP Exeter and made up of both `outside students' from CCJS at Plymouth University, and `inside students' from the prison, the module places emphasis on the experience of learning about crime and justice within the prison context and working collaboratively as peers to create a critical and reflective dialogue around issues in crime and justice.

    • CCJS2124B Inside-out: Crime and Justice in the 21st Century

      This module focuses on crime and justice in the 21st century, namely that of the purpose of the justice system in the contemporary context. Taking place inside HMP Exeter and made up of both `outside students' from CCJS at Plymouth University, and `inside students' from the prison, the module places emphasis on the experience of learning about crime and justice within the prison context and working collaboratively as peers to create a critical and reflective dialogue around issues in crime and justice.

  • Final year
  • In your final year, you’ll apply your knowledge of theory and method to crime matters and specialise in areas such as comparative youth justice, interpersonal violence, illicit drug use, policing, anti-social behaviour or racism and criminal justice. You'll put your knowledge into practice with a work-based learning module, as well as designing and implementing your own research project to investigate a criminological issue of your interest to produce your dissertation, with the support of our staff.
    Core modules
    • CCJS3142 Criminology/Police and Criminal Justice Studies Dissertation

      This module provides students with the opportunity to design and implement their own research project, working independently but under the supervision of an academic member of staff.

    Optional modules
    • CCJS3141 Criminology and Criminal Justice Studies: Work Based Learning

      This module provides students with opportunities to gain practical insights into the workings of criminal justice (and related) organisations, and to link such insights with criminological theory and knowledge. In addition the module will prepare students for the graduate job market and encourage their autonomous engagement in personal development planning.

    • CCJS3143 Professional Knowledge of Policing I

      This module provides students with a practical knowledge and understanding of policing and police law, situated within the relevant contemporary social context of England and Wales.

    • CCJS3144 Professional Knowledge of Policing II

      This module provides students with a practical knowledge and understanding of policing and police law, situated within the relevant contemporary social context of England and Wales

    • CCJS3145 Comparative Youth Justice

      This module compares and contrasts youth justice policies and processes in a range of different countries. In particular, it analyses the impact of socio-political and cultural factors on youth justice debates from a comparative international perspective.

    • CCJS3148 Contemporary Issues in Criminal Justice

      This module focuses upon a contemporary criminal justice-related issue that has received attention in the media and in official reports but may not be well covered yet in an established academic literature. The purpose of the module is for students to collect data on the issue and to subject it to a thorough criminological analysis, using the variety of concepts and perspectives covered throughout the degree programme.

    • CCJS3149 Crime and the City

      Crime and deviance are intrinsic to life in the city. Most crimes are experienced and reported within the city, while urban areas provide unique social and cultural conditions under which criminal activity and disorder are able to flourish. Our mediatised experience of cities, if not our reality, is often of cities as alien and dangerous spaces, in which the threat and fear of violence and criminal activity is constant. This module attempts to view the urban from a number of different perspectives, examining how the socioeconomic changes which have shaped urban areas, not just in the UK, but globally, affect life at the nexus of crime and the city

    • CCJS3150 Crimes of the Powerful

      Criminology has tended to ignore crimes of the powerful instead focusing on everyday street crimes and the crimes of lower status individuals. This module rebalances this bias by focusing on the crimes that power makes possible. It introduces students to theory, research, and case-studies on corporate and white-collar crimes, as well as state crimes.

    • CCJS3154 Women, Crime and Criminal Justice

      This module examines the relevance of gender in understanding the experiences and treatment of women offenders within the criminal justice system. This gendered perspective draws on theoretical and empirical insights to engage critically with malestream criminology and to review the important issues in relation to policy and practice that arise from this.

    • CCJS3156 Criminology of War

      This module explores the issue of crime in the context of war and conflict. Theoretical and conceptual understandings of crime, violence, victimisation and justice will be used to interrogate acts considered as war crimes. The module will address the history of crimes committed in war and will critically explore international criminal justice responses.

    • CCJS3158 Drugs, Crime and Society

      This module critically examines the social construction of drug use and control in the UK and internationally, analysing the relationship between drugs, crime and society. A comparative approach will be utilized to explore the contextual dimensions of illicit drug use and control. Students will read criminological texts, engage with works from other disciplines and critically analyse non-academic sources, including popular journalism, internet sites and postings, and films.

    • CCJS3162 Victims, Violence and the Criminal Justice System

      This module examines women's experiences of victimisation as victims of sexual violence, domestic violence and workplace violence.

    • CCJS3165 Crime, Punishment and Social Change

      This module responds to a growing criminological interest in the history of crime and punishment. It examines how attitudes towards crime and the punishments used have changed and developed since the 18th century. It introduces students to historical research methods by utilising both digital and local archives, and encourages them to research aspects from crime history and critically compare and contrast them with contemporary perspectives and criminological literature.

    • CCJS3166 Digital Crime and Deviancy

      This module explores the issue of crime related to digital technology, in particular the Internet. It will consider how digital technology normalises and legitimises criminal activity, with a particular focus on harassment, sexual crimes and activities related to children and young people. The module will also consider approaches to tackling digital crime, considering legislative approaches contrasted against human rights issues.

    • CCJS3167 Professional Investigations: Principles and Practice

      This module provides students with an appreciation and understanding of the role of private security provision within the mixed economy of security in contemporary society. The module incorporates completion of the Security Industry Authority's recognised award for Professional Investigations. Students are therefore offered the opportunity to learn the practice of professional investigation work and the principles underpinning such provision.

    • LAW3236 Law, Literature and Film

      To introduce students to fictional representations of the legal order in prose and film, and to examine the inter-connections between law, literature and film.

    • LAW3238 Sex, Power and Legal Control

      This module examines how law and society controls and regulates sexual behaviour and conduct and why and how it criminalises and punishes certain activities and sexual expression. In particular it will focus on the enactment and implementation of laws relating to sexual autonomy and sex crime and examine how these are practically operationalized within the criminal justice process. Within this context the impact upon those affected by such legal regulation is also examined.

    • SOC3547 Media, State and Society

      The media occupy key arenas whereby various social groups compete with one another to set public, political, commercial and cultural agendas. This module examines the relationship between media, state and society. It covers a number of substantive topic areas such as environmental issues, terrorism, war reporting, hate speech and violence.

Every undergraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the course aims, the course structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest course structure and may be subject to change:

BSc Criminology and Criminal Justice Studies 17 18 3281

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

Entry requirements

UCAS tariff

104

A levels
Including a minimum of two A levels. Excluding general studies.

BTEC
18 Unit BTEC Extended Diploma: DMM in any subject.  

BTEC National Diploma modules
If you hold a BTEC qualification it is vital that you provide our Admissions team with details of the exact modules you have studied as part of the BTEC. Without this information we may be unable to process your application quickly and you could experience significant delays in the progress of your application to study with us. Please explicitly state the full list of modules within your qualification at the time of application.

Access
Pass a named Access to HE Diploma in any subject with at least 33 credits at merit/distinction. 

IB
26 overall to include 4 at any subject at Higher Level.

GCSE
All applicants must have GCSE (or equivalent) mathematics and English at grade C or above.

Other
14-19 Diplomas: accepted – please enquire. Other combinations and non-A level qualifications also considered.

Short of the entry requirements for this course? Don’t worry you may be eligible for a foundation year to prepare you for possible entry onto this course for the following year.

Learn more about foundation years with the Faculty of Business.

For a full list of all acceptable qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.

Fees, costs and funding

New Student 2017 2018
Home/EU £9,250 To be confirmed
International £12,250 To be confirmed
Part time (Home/EU) Check with School To be confirmed
Part time (International) Check with School To be confirmed
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per a number of credits. Fees are correct at the time of publication and may be subject to change.

How to apply

All applications for undergraduate courses are made through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). 

UCAS will ask for the information contained in the box at the top of this course page including the UCAS course code and the institution code. 

To apply for this course and for more information about submitting an application including application deadline dates, please visit the UCAS website.

Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email international-admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.



People

Our student network is your business network for the future

It’s our students that make us different. Prepare to join a very active community of engaged students. In partnership with our people they are the driving force behind Plymouth University’s internationally recognised focus on social enterprise and sustainability, as well as one of the best students' unions in the UK.

Be part of it now, find out more about the Faculty of Business.

Student societies

Our societies offer you the chance to expand your knowledge of the criminal justice system.

The Howard League student group and Crimsoc run events, invite guest speakers and arrange volunteering opportunities.

Learn more about our societies

Justice Works

Justice Works encompasses a range of activities within the Law School that aim to promote social justice.

Find out more about the work-based learning and volunteering opportunities open to you.

Learn more about Justice Works

Criminology and Criminal Justice Studies news and events

You'll have the opportunity to get involved in Criminology and Criminal Justice Studies events as part of your course.

Find out more about previous events

* These are the latest results from the National Student Survey. Please note that the data published on Unistats is updated annually in September.

The results of the National Student Survey (NSS) and the Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey (DLHE) are made available to prospective students and their advisors through the Unistats website.