School of Society and Culture

BSc (Hons) Criminology with Foundation

UCAS tariff 32 - 48
UCAS course code L615
Institution code P60

4 years

(+ optional placement)
Course type


Study location Plymouth

Why do people commit a crime, and how do we deal with criminality? Get under the skin of the criminal justice system and learn about rehabilitation inside prison walls as you develop your understanding of how to work with, challenge and change the system. As one of the first universities to offer criminology, Plymouth has stayed at the cutting edge and goes far beyond the theoretical. Immerse yourself in live-action and virtual reality crime scenes and tackle face-to-face suspect interviews.

Criminology with Foundation
Find out how our flexible course structures provide you with an opportunity to personalise your studies, feed your curiosity, and help you achieve your career aspirations.

Careers with this subject

Collaborate with local and national criminal justice agencies
Criminology students benefit from the knowledge, expertise and support of a dedicated Employability and Community Knowledge Exchange Projects Officer. Facilitated by this officer, students are connected with a range of opportunities to get involved in local and national criminal justice related agencies and support them with real-world challenges and change. The opportunities include networking events, visits from experts in relevant careers, and the chance to get involved in local projects led by key criminal justice stakeholders.
In addition, students and academic staff work together through collaborative projects with stakeholders across the criminal and social justice sector through the Sustainable Social Justice Initiative. The initiative has supported past and present students to apply their criminological skills and knowledge to produce social media campaigns to raise awareness of online scams with Devon and Cornwall Police and Trading Standards. Students have also worked collaboratively with local artists and community groups in deprived neighbourhoods to develop creative campaigns based on social justice campaigns that formed part of their final year studies. 
Gain experience while you study
Students that elect to take our final year Work Based Learning module have flexible opportunities to enhance their employability whilst applying and developing their criminological skills, knowledge and experience. During this module students engage with either work-based placements, practical training through short courses or an applied research project working on a real-world challenge alongside one of our stakeholder organisations.
What you can do with your criminology degree
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.

Key features

Head start – The course starts with a foundation year 0, specifically designed to introduce and develop essential skills for success in higher education, including critical thinking and research skills, and the knowledge and understanding of key facets of criminology and criminal justice.
Get involved– Boost your chances of finding that perfect first job and gain hands-on experience. A dedicated criminology employability officer provides students with a range of opportunities to build their portfolio of experience with local and national criminal and social justice related agencies. In addition, students and academic staff work together through collaborative projects with stakeholders across the criminal and social justice sector through the Sustainable Social Justice Initiative.
Innovative teaching– Our teaching is informed by innovative teaching methods and use of contemporary technologies including VR, AI and exploration of forensic techniques and analysis. We actively encourage students to interrogate the boundaries of criminological ideas.
Contemporary focus– The course identifies and focuses on emergent issues in criminology and criminal justice throughout all stages of study. The programme learns from the past, considers the present and looks to the future of criminological enquiry.
Research led As leading scholars in their fields of research, the criminology team have strong national and international research profiles. Criminology students benefit from the close ties criminology staff have with criminal and wider social justice agencies. These ties provide students with excellent research opportunities and an embedded approach to employability within their modules, as well as an optional placement year.
In demand– 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. Our graduates are highly sought after by a range of criminal justice agencies, including the police, probation, prison and youth justice services.
Create change– Students 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 real change and make a difference.
This course is an integrated part of the BSc (Hons) Criminology degree at the University of Plymouth. Successful completion of your foundation year (Year 0) will not lead to a separate award or qualification in its own right but provides progression onto Year 1 of BSc (Hons) Criminology, or one of the following degree courses: 
  • BA (Hons) Anthropology 
  • BA (Hons) Art History 
  • BA (Hons) Creative Writing 
  • BSc (Hons) Criminology and Psychology 
  • BSc (Hons) Criminology and Sociology 
  • BA (Hons) English 
  • BA (Hons) English and Creative Writing 
  • BA (Hons) History 
  • BSc (Hons) International Relations 
  • LLB (Hons) Law 
  • LLB (Hons) Law and Criminology 
  • BSc (Hons) Politics 
  • BSc (Hons) Politics and International Relations 
  • BSc (Hons) Sociology 
  • BSc (Hons) Professional Policing 

Course details

  • Foundation year

  • In this year, you’ll experience a supportive environment to assist in the transition to successful study in higher education. You will learn about academic writing, critical thinking skills and begin to develop your research skills, as well as develop your knowledge and understanding through an introduction to key aspects of criminology and criminal justice and other relevant areas of law and social science. 

    Core modules

    • Discovering Your Inner Academic (SSC301)

      In this module, students will learn the core academic and organisational skills required to succeed at university. They will benefit from a range of skill development sessions and subject-specific seminars, allowing them to practice applying the delivered academic skills in the context of their field of study.

    • Individual Project (SSC302)

      Students will undertake, with supervision, an individual project related to their degree programme. Staff will guide students through the process of defining, planning, and setting up their project. As part of the module, students will gain research and time management skills that will support their successful progression through their degree programme.

    • Crime and Deviance (SSC303)

      This module will introduce students to the main institutions and processes of the legal system and criminal justice in England and Wales, while developing key transferable skills related to the study and practice of law and criminal justice.

    • Human Rights and Social Justice (SSC304)

      Through the lens of human rights and social justice is module will introduce students to a foundational sociological understanding of the structure and organisation of society; and to the main institutions of domestic and international government, and the theories and concepts used by political science to study them.

  • Year 1

  • In your first year you’ll explore various criminological perspectives examining theories on the causes of crime and deviance. You will develop an understanding of the criminal justice process in England and Wales, and examine crime in the context of economic, political and social frameworks. You’ll look at policy and practice to develop your knowledge and deepen your understanding of the criminal justice processes, gaining a grounding in criminal justice research. You’ll explore how key concepts and theories shed light on topics including poverty and social exclusion, community, media, education, globalisation, and consumer culture and their relationship to crime, deviance and criminal justice. 

    Core modules

    • Being a Criminologist (CRM4001)

      This module is organised around the idea of the competent criminologist. It informs students about the constituent elements of competence, which include knowledge of crime, crime control and the wider contexts in which these are constructed; skills that facilitate the collection, use and critical analysis of academic, official and mediated sources of knowledge about crime; and values and ethics that inform both understandings and debates about crime and crime control. It seeks to provide students with a grounding of what it means to be a competent criminologist.

    • Introduction to Criminological Theory (CRM4002)

      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.

    • 21st Century Crime Problems (CRM4003)

      This module introduces students to crime issues that criminologists scrutinise in the 21st century. The module examines local, regional and national problems by using a range of specific examples to explore what we see as problematic in society and how we deal with those things through crime control measures. In doing so, the module considers topics such as changing crime rates and patterns, serious offenders, terrorism and social unrest. The module provides students with the opportunity to consider the relative impact of crime problems in contemporary society.

    • Forensic Criminology: Police Investigations (CRM4004)

      This module introduces students to the processes, techniques and methods of criminal investigations which focuses on the police role from the crime scene to the courtroom. Students will be able to use skills learnt to carry out their own criminal investigation of a staged murder scenario. Important areas, such as crime scene investigation, forensic science and the use of evidence, are contextualised within the construction and prosecution of criminal cases. Students will also engage with criminal investigation topics such as professionalization, ethics, accountability, legitimacy, profiling and the media.

    • Responses to Crime: An Introduction (CRM4005)

      This module provides an overview of responses to crime in contemporary Britain. It examines responses to crime primarily in England & Wales, drawing upon comparative examples to explore similarities and differences. Its main focus is upon the criminal justice process, but the focus is also extended to approaches to crime founded upon different rationalities, such as restorative justice and risk management. This module will include two 2-hour talks that introduce our School and programme level employability related opportunities and support, including details of the optional placement year.

    • Social Science Research Methodologies (SOC4005)

      This module introduces students to the theory and practice of social research. Students also gain introductory knowledge of the social research process, particularly in relation to formulating a research question and conducting literature reviews. With an emphasis on matching research questions to appropriate methods, students also learn about core qualitative and quantitative social research methodologies.

  • Year 2

  • In your second year you’ll advance your awareness of criminological theory to enhance your analytical skills to understand contemporary and global issues connected to harm, crime, justice and the social world. You’ll also extend your critical reasoning skills as you examine processes of social change and explore consumer culture, ethnicity, globalisation, politics and the State, within a historical and contemporary perspective. Your training in research methods will provide you with an insight into research preparing you early for your final year dissertation project. You will also have the opportunity to apply for place on the 'Inside Knowledge' module that partners students with learners at Exeter prison in a rewarding environment of collaborative learning.

    Core modules

    • Employability Plus (CRM5001)

      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.

    • Theorising Crime and Harm (CRM5002)

      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.

    • Critical Perspectives on Crime Control (CRM5004)

      This module examines a range of critical social scientific perspectives which have sought to make sense of crime control within its wider social context and in terms of its wider social significance. It considers the contributions of key social science theorists such as Stanley Cohen, David Garland, and Loic Wacquant and others whose work has focused upon crime control, and it seeks to apply their core ideas in order to illuminate our understanding of contemporary features of policy and practice.

    • The Social Science Research Process (SOC5003)

      This module builds on Social Science Research Methodologies. In this module, students develop their knowledge and practical skills in qualitative and quantitative social research methodologies. The students also learn how to use computer software packages to help with the collection and analysis of data. In addition, students gain knowledge of how to create a research proposal.

    • Stage 2 Professional Development, Placement Preparation and Identifying Opportunities (SSC500)

      This module is for students in the School of Society and Culture who are interested in undertaking an optional placement in the third year of their programme. It supports students in their search, application, and preparation for the placement, including developing interview techniques and effective application materials (e.g. CVs , portfolios, and cover letters).

    • Forensic Criminology: Social Investigations (CRM5006)

      This module focuses on how social science can contribute to criminal investigations. This involvesforensically investigating the backgrounds and experiences of individuals involved in criminal or deviantbehaviour. The sociology of the police who are tasked to conduct investigations is also analysed. Students will be encouraged to apply criminological techniques and theory to scenario-based examples which will focus on victims, offenders and the police, and their positions in society.

    Optional modules

    • Harm in the 21st Century (CRM5003MX)

      This module explores the global challenges of harmful behaviours and activities in contemporary society by considering specific areas of concern for criminologists. By drawing on real-world examples in everyday life, the module examines how social problems and issues have arisen due to processes of globalisation that have changed the social, political and economic landscape of the 21st century.

  • Optional placement year

  • Undertake an optional placement year where you can build a number of key employability skills. Put theory onto practice, get a taste for your chosen career and expand upon your professional network.

    Core modules

    • School of Society and Culture Placement Year (SSC600)

      Students have the opportunity to gain work experience that will set them apart in the job market when they graduate by undertaking an optional flexible placement year. The placement must be a minimum of 24-weeks (which can be split between a maximum of two different placement providers) and up to a maximum of 48-weeks over the course of the academic year. The placement is flexible and can be undertaken virtually, part or full time and either paid or voluntary. This year allows them to apply and hone the knowledge and skills acquired from the previous years of their programme in the real world.

  • Final year

  • 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 the academic team. You will also study modules that reflect new, emerging trends in criminology that utilise current local, national and world issues. This includes green criminology, leisure and deviancy, violence and harm, justice in practice, social change and global issues such as state crime, war and terrorism. 

    Core modules

    • Working for Justice (CRM6006)

      This module supports students to reflect on the knowledge, skills and experience that they have acquired throughout their degree/extra-curricular activities, in order to focus on their vision for future employment and related activities. Students will engage with academics, careers and employability staff and practitioners working within the criminal justice field, and so develop concrete ideas for their pathways into employment and/or ongoing study.

    • Dissertation (SOC6000)

      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

    • Futures Criminology (CRM6001)

      The landscape of harm, crime and deviance is changing at a rapid pace. This module engages with a process of horizon scanning – attempting to identify new challenges and think about how criminology can usefully help us to understand and engage with emerging harms. This necessitates a critical reappraisal of the discipline itself as we engage with new methodologies, theories and paradigms.

    • Systems of Oppression: violence and influencing for change (CRM6002)

      The module will review key systems of oppression. Students will consider the social, political and economic forces that shape systems of oppression and harm, critically examining oppression as violence. The module explores racism, classism, patriarchy and ableism as systems of oppression by examining the processes and structures which underpin and sustain them. Over the course of the module students consider the community impact, institutional responses and undertake ongoing reflection on opportunities and practices which challenge violence and influence change.

    • Social Change and Justice (CRM6003)

      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.

    • Experiential Learning Opportunities (CRM6004B)

      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 key social and State institutions (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 social science knowledge and understanding.

    • Inside Knowledge: Crime and Justice in the 21st Century (CRM6005A)

      Taking place inside HMP Exeter, with criminology students learning alongside students from the prison, this module focuses on crime and justice in the 21st century – namely that of the purpose of the justice system in the contemporary context. The module places a critical 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.

    • Inside Knowledge: Crime and Justice in the 21st Century (CRM6005B)

      Taking place within a criminal justice setting, such as a prison or resettlement/rehabilitation organisation, with criminology students learning alongside students with lived experience of the CJS, this module focuses on crime and justice in the 21st century - namely that of the purpose of the justice system in the contemporary context. The module places a critical emphasis on the experience of learning about crime and justice within a CJS context and working collaboratively as peers to create a critical and reflective dialogue around issues in crime and justice.

    • Leisure, Consumerism and Harm (CRM6008)

      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.

    • Fear, Crime and Control in the City (CRM6009)

      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 do this by looking as social issues in urban space. We will explore meanings, cultural significance, and political consequences from a criminological perspective.

    • Experiential Learning Opportunities (CRM6004A)

      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 key social and State institutions (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 social science knowledge and understanding.

    • Advanced Short Story Workshop (ENG6003)

      In this module we will examine a range of contemporary short story writing and relevant theory as a way for students to learn how to compose their own short fiction. Class time will be divided between discussion of short fiction and theory, writing exercises and peer workshops of student work. The workshops will be substantially informed by staff research practice.

    • Global (In)security and the State (CRM6007)

      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.

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 (Hons) Criminology with Foundation programme specification_7225

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.

Personalise your degree

All our degrees have a wide range of optional modules and there is even the opportunity to study modules from any of the School of Society and Culture 's subject areas.
You could graduate with one of the following personalised course title combinations:
Criminology with Anthropology


  • Decolonising the Social Sciences (ANT5006MX)

    This module responds to contemporary calls to decolonise the social sciences. It reads the history of social science through the lens of post-colonial and indigenous studies. How have non-western voices been marginalised and silenced by academia? What does academia look from the perspective of the subaltern? Can the social sciences shed their colonial robes, or are they doomed to remain racialised and exclusionary disciplines? We explore these questions in regard to emerging disciplines aimed at constructing better and more inclusive futures, including 'indigenous criminology', 'participatory ethnography', and the 'anthropology of the otherwise'.

  • Brave New Worlds: Ethnography of/on Online and Digital Worlds (ANT5008MX)

    This module teaches students how to use ethnographic methods to make sense of the internet, which we now increasingly inhabit. Students learn how to navigate and analyse platforms such as Facebook or TikTok. They study how these technologies transform our relationships, identities, and ideas of truth. The module also examines the socio-cultural and ethical aspects of digital worlds (e.g. Second life).

  • Coastal Cultures: Marine Anthropology in the age of climate change and mass extinction. (ANT6008MX)

    Using ethnography, we analyse how coastal communities use the sea – not only as a source of livelihood, but as a key ingredient in the construction of their identity and place in world. Drawing on a range of cases from across the world – from Polynesian sorcerers, to Japanese whale mourners, to Cornish surfers – we study how coastal communities are responding to climate change, sea level rise, pollution, and extinction.

Criminology with Art History


  • Painting Sex and Power (ARH5008MX)

    The module examines the link between the perception of sexuality and power in a variety of media, and from diverse historical and geographic contexts. Critical approaches from gender studies will be combined with visual analysis in order to contextualize the biased and stereotypical nature of the imagery.

  • Imagery in Online and Offline Worlds: Film, Television and Video Games (ARH5002MX)

    This module provides students with a comprehensive understanding of current approaches towards mass media and visual culture. Particular emphasis will be put on medium-specificity, content analysis and audience studies.

  • Questions in Contemporary Art (ARH6002MX)

    The module introduces and examines selected questions raised in the last three decades in contemporary art. Case studies drawn from art history, critical and cultural theory, and where appropriate related disciplines, will be examined.

Criminology with Creative Writing


  • Writing Creative Nonfiction: Autobiography, Travel Writing, Reportage (ENG5010MX)

    This module introduces students to the key concepts and issues in contemporary works of creative nonfiction, or 'life writing'. Included in our readings will be works of memoir and autobiography, travel writing, personal essays and reportage. The module is entirely taught in workshops where we experiment with producing our own works of creative nonfiction and learning to refine them, as well as critically evaluate and contextualise them.

Criminology with History


  • Global Cold War: Politics, Culture and Society (HIS5004MX)

    This module is an introduction to major themes in the political, social and cultural history of the modern world with special focus on the 20th century and the Cold War.

  • Eighteenth-Century Empires (HIS5007MX)

    This module is designed to explore the ‘long eighteenth century’ with a broad geographical focus, encompassing, but not limited to the Atlantic Isles, Atlantic world, formal and informal empire, and trading connections. It takes in the slave trade and impact of slavery globally, studies voyages of exploration, examines the scientific and political enlightenment, and wider cultural and social impacts of imperialism.

  • Middle Kingdoms: Themes in Early Modern Asia (HIS5009MX)

    This module introduces the history of early modern Japan (c.16th-19th centuries). At one level, it explores key questions shaping the histories of the late Sengoku (‘Warring States’) and Tokugawa Japan. Building on these questions, it then situates the Japanese experience in a trans-regional perspective with reference to early modern China, Korea, Ryukyu, as well as Europe.

  • Dunkirk to D Day: The Second World War in Europe (HIS5014MX)

    The module examines the Second World War in Europe and the Atlantic Ocean from 1940 to late 1944.

  • Piracy and Privateering, c.1560-1816 (HIS6002MX)

    This module explores piracy and privateering activity in the seas around the British Isles and further afield from the reign of Queen Elizabeth to the end of the second Barbary War in 1816. This course focuses on the social history of piracy and privateering, the organisation of pirate society, and the economic impact of piracy and privateering.

  • America, the United Nations and International Relations 1945 to the present (HIS6006MX)

    This module provides a detailed examination of the relationship between the United States of America and the United Nations in the management of international relations from 1945 to the present.

Criminology with International Relations


  • Global Environmental Politics (PIR6007MX)

    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 primary 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 range of ideas, critiques, policy proposals, innovations in governance, and templates for political activism within the environmental movement are critically evaluated.

  • Refugee Studies (PIR5009MX)

    This module focuses on the political, economic and social context of forced migration and considers the complex and varied nature of global refugee populations. It analyses responses at international, national and regional level and engages with a range of challenging questions around international co-operation, the framework of international protection, humanitarianism and the causes of displacement.

  • Global Development (PIR5011MX)

    This module embraces both theoretical and empirical approaches to understanding development issues and policies, at international and multilateral scale. The approach incorporates historical, economic, political and social perspectives. The module considers issues faced by international development agencies, as well as the impact on populations in the developing world to illustrate and provide context for the discussion of various developmental concerns.

Criminology with Politics


  • Voter Behaviour and Effective Election Campaigning (PIR6008MX)

    This module undertakes an advanced examination of contemporary trends and developments in theories of electoral behaviour globally; then more specifically the relationship between electoral rules, electoral systems and election outcomes; the evolution of campaign techniques, and the role, mechanics, and accuracy of opinion polls in modern electoral politics. These global understandings are applied directly to the case of British politics.

Criminology with Law


  • Public International Law (LAW6012MX)

    A module that focuses on the primary legal principles of the public international legal order, before exploring a range of substantive areas, such as, for example, the use of force, the law regulating the conduct of war, International Human Rights, International Criminal Law and International Environmental Law.

  • Environmental Law (LAW5009MX)

    The module provides an examination of key themes in environmental law, with a focus on the generation, application and enforcement of this law within a critical and applied context.

  • Law, Literature and the Screen (LAW5012MX)

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

Criminology with Sociology


  • Globalisation and Social Justice (SOC5005MX)

    This module investigates the key debates of globalisation and critically evaluates, in terms of its economic, political, socio-cultural and legal dimensions, the causes and consequences of a globalising world. It furthermore explores a range of international social justice issues to examine the relationships (causative and ameliorative) between policies and (in)justice

  • Gender, Sex and Sexuality (SOC5006MX)

    This module introduces students to the sociology of gender, sex and sexuality. It interrogates these concepts with particular reference to identity, activism, social justice and social change. It develops an understanding of the similarities, differences and intersections between gender, sex, sexuality and other social signifiers of difference/diversity including ‘race’, ethnicity, dis/ability, class and age.

  • Health, Medical Power and Social Justice (SOC6004MX)

    This module considers a range of issues concerning health, illness and medical power in contemporary society. The module seeks to develop an understanding of the impact of ‘medicalisation’ on everyday life, as well as the importance of social divisions, such as age, gender, ethnicity and socio-economic status. There will be a focus on a range of sociological perspectives on health with an opportunity to focus upon areas of particular interest.

Criminology with Policing and Security Management


  • Security Management (CRM6011MX)

    This module provides students with a critical insight into the professional domain of security management. It provides an overview of the theories, policies, procedures and practices that underpin the work of the security manager, and focuses upon a career-relevant knowledge and understanding of this significant area of expertise.

  • Security and Policing Today: Debates and Issues (CRM5008MX)

    This module provides students with a contemporary overview of debates and issues in policing and security environments that inform practice and development in the field. The module examines how modern policing and security function, the impact of professionalization on all aspects of policing tasks and the tensions and benefits attained from multi-agency working. The module considers policing legitimacy, the ethics of crime control and associated engagement with the diversity of contemporary society, competing community interests and professional practice.

  • Forensic Criminology: Social Investigations (CRM5006MX)

    This module focuses on how social science can contribute to criminal investigations. This involvesforensically investigating the backgrounds and experiences of individuals involved in criminal or deviantbehaviour. The sociology of the police who are tasked to conduct investigations is also analysed. Students will be encouraged to apply criminological techniques and theory to scenario-based examples which will focus on victims, offenders and the police, and their positions in society.

Entry requirements

UCAS tariff

32 - 48

18 Unit BTEC National Diploma/QCF Extended Diploma
PPP-MMP 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.
International Baccalaureate
24-25 overall to include 4 at any subject at Higher Level. English and Maths accepted within: Higher Level = 4, Standard Level = 5.
If overseas and not studying English within IB – Must have IELTS: 6.0 overall with 5.5 in all elements.
Access courses
Pass access course (any subject) plus GCSE English and Maths grade C / 4 or above or equivalent.
New Irish Highers:Achieve Irish Leaving Certificate with 32-48 UCAS points.
T Levels 
Pass in any subject.
GCSE’s or equivalent: Maths and English at Grade C/4 or City and Guilds; Key Skills Level 2 will be considered on an individual basis.
Mature students with appropriate work experience are encouraged to apply. For those who do not meet the requirements, please enquire for further details. We encourage any candidate who is unsure about the suitability of their qualifications or experience to contact Admissions in the first instance, who will then liaise with the Admissions Tutor and Programme Lead.
We welcome applicants with international qualifications. To view other accepted qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary. 

Fees, costs and funding

Student 2023-2024 2024-2025
Home £9,250 £9,250
International £16,300 £17,100
Part time (Home) £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. More information about fees and funding.

Undergraduate scholarships for international students

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

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.

Tuition fees for optional placement years

The fee for all undergraduate students completing any part of their placement year in the UK in 2023/2024 is £1,850.
The fee for all undergraduate students completing their whole placement year outside the UK in 2023/2024 is £1,385.
Learn more about placement year tuition fees

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

Crime Suite

Learn by doing in scenarios that are based on real life investigations
The University of Plymouth has launched a new, state-of-the-art crime, interview and simulated policing suite, providing students with an immersive learning experience.
These incredible facilities, coupled with staff expertise, are a unique combination and we are the only University in the South West peninsula offering such a student experience.
Crime suite / murder house, forensic criminology and policing facility.Interview room, CCTV monitoring and two way glass. Edited for Hero.

See what happens in court

Situated inside The Box, Plymouth's £40 million cultural hub, the University uses The Foulston Room for its moot court facility. 
In our very own mock courtroom, you can gain an insight into the criminal justice system through observing mock trial scenarios.

The Foulston Room offers our criminology students such a unique and valuable experience. To set foot in such a historic building, walk up its grand staircase and enter into an environment that authentically looks and feels like a real courtroom, provides our students with insights into how a courtroom in the UK criminal justice system looks and operates.

Soozi BaggsSoozi Baggs
Lecturer in Criminology

Moot Court in the Foulston Room
Inside the moot court facility, Foulston Room
Inside the moot court facility, Foulston Room

Graduate perspective

 "Plymouth always believed in me, despite my issues, and I wouldn’t be where I am without them. I feel very prepared for a career in the police service, if that is a route I end up choosing. The course’s focus on providing the academic knowledge, along with the practical skills needed when serving as a police officer has put me in good stead."
Patrick Allen has been working as a Control Centre Operator for an emergency careline, volunteering on the Youth Commission and presented the findings of his dissertation at the British Conference for Undergraduate Research. Patrick is now attending the University of Cambridge to study a MPhil in Criminological Research, with an ambition of a fruitful career in public service.
Patrick Allen circle

Criminology at Plymouth

Our students are taken on a critical and reflective journey. Students will explore the past, present and future in order to understand crime and criminal justice issues in the contemporary era. Criminology at Plymouth is designed to provide students with an interesting and innovative learning environment.

Join the Plymouth Cold Case Unit

The Plymouth Cold Case Unit (PCCU) investigates unsolved missing persons cases. We uncover new evidence which can be used by the police to solve these cases while giving students experience and skills – including investigative, analytical and social – to launch them into rewarding careers.
We are a student-led, expert-guided group with international connections and access to facilities and training at both the University of Plymouth and Locate International.
Applications are open to all foundation and year 1 students in the School of Society and Culture.
Staff and students from the Cold Case Unit work on the Salcombe Man case

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