School of Law, Criminology and Government

BSc (Hons) Criminology and Criminal Justice with International Relations

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 a world-class 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, victim services, or international relations you’ll graduate primed to embark on your future career path.

Careers with this subject

Discover employment and further study opportunities that you could consider once you graduate with a degree in criminology and criminal justice, and learn how you can stand out to graduate employers.


Where could your criminology and criminal justice degree take you?

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.
  • Boost your employability 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 our students 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 develop an understanding of the criminal justice process in England and Wales, as well as gaining a grounding in criminal justice research, examining crime in the context of economic, political and social frameworks, and grasping the key processes that have shaped the evolution of international relations.

    Core modules
    • CCJ401 Being a Criminologist

      This module makes use of contemporary examples of crime and justice to provide students with a framework for understanding how to develop their skills within the discipline of criminology. Students will analyse media constructions and policy developments with a criminological gaze, developing an understanding of what it means to think criminologically and to be a criminologist.

    • CCJ402 Introduction to Criminological Theory

      This module introduces students to criminological theory. The module addresses the importance of theory in criminology, critically examines a range of criminological theories, and applies criminological thought to a variety of practical concerns throughout history, including contemporary social life.

    • CCJ404 Crime in Context

      The module places criminology in the context of economic, political and social interpretative frameworks, and contributes to the creation of a criminological imagination. This module creates a learning environment that develops learner knowledge and the critical thinking skills needed to embrace a criminological imagination when considering how to interpret experiences and responses to criminological issues. A thematically structured programme guides students through the exploration of a range of contemporary issues in a manner that is focussed on the scrutiny of the social, temporal, spatial, political and economic contexts in which they occur.

    • CCJ405 Responses to Crime: A Comparative Introduction

      This module provides a broad-brushed overview of responses to crime in contemporary modern societies. It is comparative in focus, examining responses to crime both in the UK and in other jurisdictions, and it considers not only mainstream criminal justice responses, but also those that are informed by other rationalities, including social policy, risk management, and restorative justice. The module will include guest presentations from practitioners working in the field.

    • IRL100 Imagining World Order

      This module introduces the essential terms, concepts and processes of international relations analysis. It describes the main features of the international system since its evolution from the Treaty of Westphalia, continuities and discontinuities with earlier international systems, plus the move from state sovereignty to global governance in the contemporary context. It also introduces the primary theories of international relations analysis, whilst putting their emergence and development into historical context.

    • IRL102 International Relations Since 1945

      This module provides an introduction to the historical development of the international political system since 1945. It provides a crucial background to the major processes and actors that have shaped the contemporary international system.

  • Year 2
  • In your second year, you’ll broaden your skills, from learning how to assess, collect and use statistics, surveys, interviews and observational studies in researching crime and criminal justice, to examining theories of criminology alongside contemporary social, communications and cultural theories, urban studies, international relations and zemiology. You’ll delve into social justice and global politics and have the opportunity go on an exchange to the Czech Republic, Poland, Canada or the USA.

    Core modules
    • CCJ501 Critical Issues in Criminal Justice

      This module explores cutting edge criminal justice issues and, drawing on critical criminological theory, interrogates their impact across criminal justice agencies, such as the police, courts, probation, prisons and youth justice. A particular focus will be placed on the wider social harms generated by criminal justice processes and their effect on vulnerable groups within society, including victims and offenders.

    • CCJ502 Theorising Crime and Harm

      This module takes recent developments in criminological theory and analyses the potential for criminology as a discipline to contribute to understanding, contextualising and countering some of the greatest challenges facing society and the planet today. The emphasis on harm tests the boundaries of mainstream criminology, and encourages students to think beyond social and legal constructions of crime.

    • CCJ504 Researching Crime and Criminal Justice

      This module prepares students for the level 6 dissertation module by providing an advanced understanding and comprehension of how to apply methodology to research aims. The module assesses the strengths and weaknesses of a range of quantitative and qualitative methodologies and provides an opportunity to apply the knowledge gained through course materials to a variety of real life scenarios.

    • CCJ505 Criminal Justice in Action: Structure, Policy and Practice

      This module offers students a view of the modern day criminal justice system, comprised as it now is of both state agencies (such as the police, courts, prisons and the probation service) and non-state agencies (such as voluntary/third sector and private/social enterprise agencies). Students will appreciate how the criminal justice system works with a range of offenders and victims, both at the statutory and non-statutory level. As well as looking at the system in England and Wales, other comparative examples will be included in order to widen students’ knowledge of how justice systems operate. The module will also engage practitioners working in the field as a way of extending students’ knowledge.

    • CCJ509 Employability Plus

      The module provides guidance, support and opportunities for students to enhance their employability. This module also provides guidance for students who have elected to undertake a placement at the end of stage 2 of their degree. On completion of the placement year students will return to sit stage 3. It is designed to build on skills learned in stage 1 and helps students become employability ready and, for those going on a placement, it helps in their search for a placement and in their preparation for the placement itself.

    • IRL200 Understanding Global Politics

      This module provides an introduction to the main authors and debates in contemporary IR theory, from mainstream theories to critical approaches. The module pays particular attention to the historical context of each approach, and the relationship between theory and practice in contemporary global politics.

    Optional modules
    • IRL201 International Security Studies

      This module considers the issue of security in contemporary international relations. It examines a variety of different security concepts from deterrence and the security dilemma to arms control, peacekeeping, terrorism, regional security complexes and governance. It then seeks to relate these to practical examples from world politics.

    • IRL203 International Relations of the Developing World

      This module embraces both theoretical and empirical approaches to understanding development issues and policies, at national, international and multilateral scale. The approach taken is deliberately inter-disciplinary, incorporating historical, economic, political and social perspectives. The module also uses case studies based in Africa, Latin America and Asia to illustrate and provide context for the discussion of various developmental concerns. Particular emphasis is placed on understanding the development policy arena; how it is framed and constituted; the power relations between actors; and the impact on human communities and their environments.

  • Year 3
  • In your final year, you’ll design and implement your own research project to produce your dissertation, working independently with the support of a member of our academic team. You’ll discover more about international relations in operation and opt for modules from refugee studies to maritime security. You’ll also have the option of choosing from a variety of modules in your areas of interest, from anti-social behaviour to law, literature and film.

    Core modules
    • CCJ601 Criminology and Criminal Justice Dissertation

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

    Optional modules
    • CCJ606 Systemic Violence

      The module will present the issue of systemic violence. Students will consider the social, political and economic forces that shape structures of oppression and harm, critically examining particular topics in depth. Examples include ‘hate’ crimes, workplace violence and gendered violence. The module will also examine legislation, policy and practice in relation to these topics.

    • CCJ607 Global (In)security and the State

      This module explores the issue of global (in)security in the context of state and non-state conflict. Theoretical and conceptual understandings of crime, violence, victimisation and justice will be used to interrogate acts such as war crimes and terrorism. The module will address the history of such crimes and will critically explore State and international responses.

    • CCJ608 Social Change and Justice

      This module examines how attitudes towards crime and justice have changed and developed over time. It will demonstrate the importance of historically and socially contextualising specific crimes in order to increase the understanding of their contemporary relevance, alongside examining the political and economic context.

    • CCJ609 Crime, Control, Regulation and the Social

      This module critically examines steadfast and emergent social issues at the interplay between social control and the social, providing students with a critical understanding of how the social is regulated socially, culturally and legally. We will explore meanings, cultural significance, and political consequences from a criminological perspective.

    • CCJ610 Green Criminology

      This module will address theoretical perspectives, methodological issues, and empirical research related to the field of green criminology, including applied concerns, such as policy and social/political praxis, through a range of concepts, topics, and themes that are central to green criminology.

    • CCJ611 Leisure, Consumerism and Harm

      This module explores contemporary developments within the study of leisure and consumerism, offering a theoretically informed understanding of key issues at the forefront of the discipline. Students will have the opportunity to study the changing nature of criminology’s engagement with leisure against a backdrop of global consumer capitalism.

    • CCJ614A Independent Study Project

      This module enables students to study, under their own self-direction and with academic supervision oversight, a topic of their own interest that is of relevance to their degree and/or future career interests, which is otherwise unlikely to be covered in other modules on their degree programme.

    • CCJ614B Independent Study Project

      This module enables students to study, under their own self-direction and with academic supervision oversight, a topic of their own interest that is of relevance to their degree and/or future career interests, which is otherwise unlikely to be covered in other modules on their degree programme.

    • IRL302 NATO after the Cold War and Beyond

      "This module proposes to study the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) from a theoretical as well policy point of view. The aim is to investigate the relevance of NATO in the 21st century by looking at how NATO survived and developed in the aftermath of the Cold War as it appeared to have lost its original purpose of containing the Soviet Union. By looking at key developments within NATO in the post-Cold War period, this module also looks at the challenges which NATO has faced and overcome but it also critically reflects on the contemporary relevance of NATO. "

    • PIR305 The Politics of the United States

      This module introduces students to the fundamental principles of politics in the United States. Domestic politics and the foreign influence of the United States is considered, with specific emphasis placed on the role of the Constitution and institutions of governance in promoting (or inhibiting) democracy both domestically and abroad.

    • PIR306 Environmental Political Economy

      This module examines the problem of environmental degradation and its implications for our global political economy. It discusses the major debates in political thought around the causes of environmental degradation. The module outlines the major attempts to build international regimes for global environmental governance, and the difficulties and obstacles that such attempts have encountered. A wide range of ideas, policy proposals, innovations in governance, and templates for political activism within the environmental movement are critically evaluated.

    • PIR307 Europe in the World

      The European Union is the world's major trading block and its most integrated region. This module takes a holistic look at the EU's role in the world and the link between its economic and political presence. Accordingly it concentrates on the impact of the EU on the world (including the developing world) but also considers the internal dynamics of Europe.

    • PIR312 The Politics and International Relations of the Middle East

      "The module introduces students to international relations in the Middle East. It equips them with the analytical skills to examine the Arab-Israeli conflict, Gulf conflicts, and the impact of the Arab Spring on regional politics. "

    • PIR313 Africa in the International System

      This module provides an introduction to African politics, examining the historical, economic and socio-political developments of over fifty states with a strong regional emphasis, and a particular focus on political economy, state-society relations, foreign policy and conflict analysis. The module’s regional focus allows comparison between different approaches to international relations. It also seeks to provide the tools to analyse and understand what is going on in Africa today.

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 Programme Specification 6929

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

88 - 120

A levels
88-104 points including a minimum of two A levels. Excluding general studies.

BTEC
18 Unit BTEC Extended Diploma: MMM–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
24-26 overall to include 4 at any subject at Higher Level. English and Maths accepted within: Higher Level = 4 Standard Level = 5.

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.

English language requirements.

We welcome applicants with international qualifications. To view other accepted qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.

Fees, costs and funding

EU applicants should refer to our dedicated Brexit webpage for details of the implications of the UK’s plans to leave the European Union.

New Student 2020 2021
Home/EU £9,250 £9,250
International £13,800 £14,200
Part time (Home/EU) £770 £770
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per 10 credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances. For more information about fees and funding please visit www.plymouth.ac.uk/money.

Undergraduate scholarships for international students

To reward outstanding achievement the University of Plymouth offers scholarship schemes to help towards funding your studies.

Find out whether you are eligible and how you can apply

Additional costs

This course is delivered by the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business and more details of any additional costs associated with the faculty's courses are listed on the following page: Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business additional costs.

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.

International relations

International relations is about matters of life and death - not just for soldiers and citizens lying in the path of war but for the whole human race.

Studying BSc (Hons) International Relations with the University of Plymouth offers you a fresh, contemporary approach.

View the BSc (Hons) International Relations course page

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.

Discover more

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