School of Society and Culture

BSc (Hons) Criminology and Criminal Justice with Psychology

Why is there so much crime and how can it be prevented? Put your incisive mind and probing skills to best use as a decision-maker, policy developer or working in the criminal justice field. This course offers you a world-class toolkit of analytical and practical skills to examine the impact of crime on society and how we deal with criminality. By studying Psychology you’ll also learn about the thoughts, feelings and motivations behind all aspects of behaviour.

You will benefit from the close links between our staff and criminal justice agencies, providing you with excellent research opportunities. You’ll equip yourself with in-demand skills. You will enhance your employability by volunteering and gain a taster of working in the criminal justice field.

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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

  • Draw on our inter-disciplinary approach to study to improve your understanding of the nature of crime and the workings of the criminal justice system. You’ll also explore social justice issues such as equality, fairness and human rights.
  • Focus on contemporary issues in criminology and criminal justice with our research-led teaching, while gaining a historical understanding of criminological theory.
  • Benefit from the close links between our staff and criminal justice agencies, providing you with excellent research opportunities.
  • 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.
  • Enhance your employability by volunteering and gain a taster of working in the criminal justice field. You can also complete a work-based learning module within the Single Honours course.

Course details
  • Year 1

  • In your first year you’ll be introduced to the criminal justice process in England and Wales, exploring the ideas and theories used to analyse criminology and crime problems and placing crime and criminology into social and historical context. You’ll also study the basic theories of psychology, developing a variety of intellectual and practical skills through topics including social and developmental psychology and the psychology of the everyday experience.

    Core modules

    • Being a Criminologist (CCJ401)

      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.

    • Introduction to Criminological Theory (CCJ402)

      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.

    • Crime in Context (CCJ404)

      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.

    • Responses to Crime: A Comparative Introduction (CCJ405)

      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.

    • Foundations of Psychology (PSYC417)

      This module provides an introduction to the foundational theories and approaches to psychology as a discipline. Psychodynamic, behaviourist, cognitive and social constructionist approaches are discussed alongside their associated methodologies. Consideration is also given to how these approaches can contribute to other discipline areas studies by the students enrolled on the module.

    • Applying Psychology (PSYC418)

      This module draws upon current foundational theories in social psychology, developmental psychology and individual differences research. It considers how these theories can contribute to a better understanding of contemporary societal and environmental problems and issues. We will also consider how this understanding can contribute to core problems in the disciplines represented by the students enrolled on the module.

  • Year 2

  • In your second year you will advance your awareness of criminological and penal theory to understand punishment, and can choose to further your knowledge in areas such as policing and community safety, youth justice and victims of crime. You’ll also develop a greater understanding of areas such as clinical, social, developmental, biological and cognitive psychology and how these can be applied in practical settings.

    Core modules

    • Critical Issues in Criminal Justice (CCJ501)

      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.

    • Theorising Crime and Harm (CCJ502)

      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.

    • Researching Crime and Criminal Justice (CCJ504)

      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.

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

      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.

    • Employability Plus (CCJ509)

      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.

    • Individual Differences, Social and Developmental Psychology (PSYC514)

      This module covers three core areas of psychology - individual differences, social cognition, and human development. Each core area will be covered in 16 hours of lectures. The first hour will cover CHIP issues and the last hour will focus on integration within/between topics.

    • Psychology of Health and Well-being (PSYC518)

      This module draws upon concepts and theories in health psychology, clinical psychology and forensic psychology. It sets out to evaluate how these applied areas of psychology address a range of societal problems associated with health and wellbeing. Key concepts and theories which have been used to address these problems and develop relevant interventions will be also be covered.

  • Year 3

  • In your final year, you’ll select a criminological issue to investigate for your dissertation, choosing to specialise in areas including policing, anti-social behaviour, surveillance, racism and criminal justice. You’ll also develop your understanding of psychology through academic debates, allowing you to pursue areas that reflect your interests. If you’re studying the Single Honours course you can choose a work-based learning module applicable to your intended career path.

    Core modules

    • Applications of Psychological Theory (PSYC606)

      This module is designed to develop an advanced critical understanding of the application of psychological approaches where there have been recent advances in theory and research. Material will be drawn principally from the areas of cognitive psychology and neuropsychology We will examine how these approaches advance our understanding of people's behaviour, thoughts and feelings in different applied settings.

    • Psychology in Practice (PSYC607)

      This module draws from different areas of professional, applied psychology and seeks to demonstrate how developments in psychological theory and research in these areas have important implications for the lives of those who experience disadvantage or oppression. It aims to show how the development of interventions sensitive to social context can help improve the lives of those subject to disadvantage and oppression.

    • Dissertation (SOC3549)

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

    Optional modules

    • Systemic Violence (CCJ606)

      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.

    • Global (In)security and the State (CCJ607)

      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.

    • Social Change and Justice (CCJ608)

      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.

    • Crime, Control, Regulation and the Social (CCJ609)

      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.

    • Green Criminology (CCJ610)

      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.

    • Leisure, Consumerism and Harm (CCJ611)

      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.

    • Experiential Learning Opportunities in Criminology (CCJ612)

      This is an employability-focused module. It provides students with opportunities to gain practical insights into the knowledge and skills of practitioners, and/or the workings of criminal justice (and related) organisations, via engagement with either short work-based placements, practical short courses, or participation in applied research projects, depending upon the annual availability of opportunities in each. Students will be encouraged to link such insights with their criminological knowledge and understanding.

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 6930

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.

In light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the changeable nature of the situation and any updates to government guidance, we may need to make further, last minute adjustments to how we deliver our teaching and learning on some or all of our programmes, at any time during the academic year. We want to reassure you that even if we do have to adjust the way in which we teach our programmes, we will be working to maintain the quality of the student learning experience and learning outcomes at all times.
Entry requirements

UCAS tariff

88 - 120

A levels
88-120 points including a minimum of 2 A levels. Excluding general studies.

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. 

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

24-26 overall to include 4 at any subject at Higher Level. English and Maths accepted within: Higher Level = 4 Standard Level = 5.

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

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

The UK is no longer part of the European Union. EU applicants should refer to our Brexit information to understand the implications.

New Student 2021 2022
Home £9,250 To be confirmed
International £14,200 To be confirmed
Part time (Home) £770 To be confirmed
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

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


Psychology is the study of how people think, act, react and interact. It explores the thoughts, feelings and motivation underlying all aspects of behaviour.

Study Psychology with Plymouth University and gain skills that are transferable across many careers.

View the BSc (Hons) Psychology 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 about Justice Works


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