School of Society and Culture

BSc (Hons) Criminology with Foundation

UCAS tariff 32 - 48
UCAS course code L615
Institution code P60
Duration 4 years (+ optional placement)
Course type Full-time
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. Our foundation year is 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.

At Plymouth, your degree really is what you make it. From Year 2 you can choose to take optional modules taught across different degrees within the School of Society and Culture, broadening your perspective with a focus on subjects like law or politics or studying community music to understand the role it can play in the rehabilitation of offenders. Take advantage of our dedicated staff to help you secure work experience and placements.

Criminology with Foundation
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.

Where could your criminology degree take you?

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 one of the following degree programmes:

Course details
  • Year 0

  • 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

    • Study and Self (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 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 critically, criminologically and to be a 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: A Comparative Introduction (CRM4005)

      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.

    • 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.

    • Stage 1 Placement Year Preparation (SSC400)

      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 for a placement and in their preparation for the placement itself.

  • 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.

    • Harm in the 21st Century (CRM5003)

      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.

    • 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 Placement Year Preparation (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).

  • 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 a 48-week optional placement year. 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

    • Gifts, Commodities and Crises: A contemporary guide to economic anthropology (ANT6003)

      This module that uses ethnographic evidence from across the world to examine how humans exploit their environments (and each other) to make a living. Focus will be on how “value” is socially produced, on how to make sense of the different ways in which people produce, distribute, consume, accumulate, and own resources, and on how economic practices interact with other spheres of society.

    • The Anthropology of, Justice and Morality: Legal Anthropology in the 21st Century (ANT6004)

      This module teaches students to address global issues – from political correctness, to migration, to neo-nationalism - through the toolset of Legal Anthropology. What does law, justice and punishment look like in different societies? What is the relationship between morality, law, and the state? How are ideas of “good” and “bad” shaped by the socio-cultural context in which they are embedded?

    • 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 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • Media, State and Society (SOC6001)

      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, gender, crime and violence.

    • Food, Culture and Society (SOC6002)

      This module aims to provide a critical understanding of sociological issues relating to food and foodways, (the beliefs and behaviours surrounding the production, distribution and consumption of food both on an individual and collective level). The module encourages critical reflection and practical experience of research in the area of food and foodways, with a focus on lived experience.

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.
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.

Learn more about your options

You could graduate with one of the following personalised course title combinations:


Criminology with Acting

Modules required

  • Acting for Audio: Radio, Podcast, Voiceover (ACT5002MX)

    This module trains students to work professionally in mediatised/recorded settings. Students learn techniques appropriate to the preparation and performance of non-theatrical formats (such as audio drama) through text-based analysis, narrative and dramatic theory and genre-specific acting techniques.

  • Performance and Everyday Life (PER5003MX)

    Research-informed lecture-seminar based exploration of an exciting and diverse range of performative case studies and influential theories, this module gives students the opportunity to study independently and work together to open up for themselves a whole new way of seeing the world of the everyday.

  • Auditions and Showreels (ACT6002MX)

    Focused on employment in the theatre industry after graduation, this module is all about auditioning practices and techniques, self-taping, casting calls, character break-downs, working with your ‘pages’ and pulling together your showreel.

Criminology with Anthropology

Modules required

  • 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 treated 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?

  • Coastal Cultures: Marine Anthropology in the age of climate change and mass extinction (ANT5007MX)

    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.

  • Brave New Worlds: Ethnography of/on Online and Digital Worlds (ANT6007MX)

    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).

Criminology with Art History

Modules required

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

Modules required

  • Creative Nonfiction (ENG5010MX)

    This module introduces students to the key concepts and issues in contemporary works of creative nonfiction including autobiography, travel writing, essays and reportage. We will produce our own works of poetry, short story and nonfiction, and critically evaluate and contextualise them.

  • Genre Writing (ENG5006MX)

    This module introduces students to writing in various genres, with possibilities including fantasy, science-fiction, period/historical, young adult fiction, horror, comedy, romance, crime, and thriller. Forms explored will include fiction, dramatic writing for stage and screen, and poetry. The module is taught through lecture, seminars, and workshops where students are asked to submit and feedback to peers and tutors on a regular basis.

  • Advanced Short Story Workshop (ENG6003MX)

    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.

Criminology with Drama

Modules required

  • Performance and Everyday Life (PER5003MX)

    Research-informed lecture-seminar based exploration of an exciting and diverse range of performative case studies and influential theories, this module gives students the opportunity to study independently and work together to open up for themselves a whole new way of seeing the world of the everyday.

  • Apply, Fund, Deliver, Repeat (PER5006MX)

    Apply, Fund, Deliver, Repeat is a training module for students to build their management and professional capabilities. Just as the students are required to have performance training, they will also undergo training on budgetary and management skills while learning how to successfully apply for funding and then how to manage those funds once the project is underway.

  • Applied Drama (PER6002MX)

    This module offers students access to community-based professionals and work-based experiences with a meaningful employability focus. Through seminars and independent practice students learn the skills to work with and for community groups and interests, using performance-making as a means to address real-world problems and social issues.

Criminology with English

Modules required

  • Reading Historical Fiction (ENG5007MX)

    This module aims to explore the interface between literature and history. Using key ideas in narrative theory and historiography, it will examine the ways in which narratives of history are crafted through literature and how literary texts can impact on our understanding and interpretation of history.

  • Eco-Emergency! Literatures of Environmental Crisis (ENG5014MX)

    This module explores the ways in which contemporary literature and culture are responding to our current era of ecological emergency. It introduces students to key debates and concepts, from the identity of the Anthropocene, to the relation between humans and nonhumans, to the influence of ideas of utopia and dystopia. It also familiarises students with different modes of reading in ‘texts’ across a range of media, such as fiction, nonfiction, poetry and film.

  • Literatures of The Atlantic World: Race, Resistance, and Revolution (ENG6004MX)

    This module explores a diverse range of writing and cultural formations in Atlantic contexts. Adopting critical paradigms of the Atlantic World, the module investigates literary and cultural exchanges between Africa, Europe, North America and the Caribbean. It explores questions of identity formation, resistance, national memory, and knowledge hierarchies by examining different literary forms and cultural productions, ranging from the colonial period, through nineteenth-century abolitionist texts, to contemporary fiction and memoir. In addition to introducing texts from various locations and time periods, the module will also engage with theoretical perspectives concerning race, memory and nationhood, as well as recent critical work centred on decoloniality in relation to literary studies.

Criminology with Music

Modules required

  • Psychology of Music (MUS5003MX)

    This module introduces students to concepts in psychoacoustics, psychology and music therapy within a musical context. Students will critically engage with related topics through a series of lectures and workshops, which place theory within musical and creative practice.

  • Recording Sound and Music (MUS5006MX)

    Students will learn how to combine their technical recording abilities with their creative skills in music production. They will be introduced to a variety of recording contexts from a practical and theoretical perspective.

  • Music in the Community (MUS6003MX)

    This module will introduce students to practical applications of music to encourage and expand their understanding of the ‘real-life’ uses of musical skills. A series of lectures will cover the concepts and skills required to carry out music work, before students apply these in practical situations.

Criminology with History

Modules required

  • 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 Computing

Modules required

  • Programming in Python (AMT5005MX)

    This module introduces computer programming in the python language. Learners will gain experience in the core theory and practice of computer programming and will learn core programming concepts from the ground up. Sessions will equip students with program implementation methodologies along with design and problem-solving techniques.

  • Physical Computing: Creative and Interactive Systems (AMT5006MX)

    Physical computing is all about designing and creating objects that use a range of sensors, actuators, and software to interact with the world around them. Students will learn to develop their own systems using programming environments, electronic components, and microcontroller boards. Most of the module will be organised around practical, hands-on design-and-build exercises.

  • Data Science Ethics (AMT6004MX)

    This module introduces allows student a hands-on experience in data science and the ethical considerations associated with our digital footprint. Learners will gain experience in writing code to clean, analyse and interrogate large dataset, understanding what meanings can be revealed from these datasets. Students will also investigate the ethical implications, assumptions and biases that are present in these techniques.

Criminology with International Relations

Modules required

  • 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.

  • 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.

Criminology with Politics

Modules required

  • Civil Society and the Public Sphere (PIR5010MX)

    This module analyses the role of civil society and the public sphere in democratic governance and in democratization from a variety of theoretical perspectives.

  • Democracy and Globalization: Citizens and the Modern State (PIR5012MX)

    Students taking this course will discover how social and economic change in the modern era impacts upon traditional political structures. The course demonstrates how structures face increasing challenges from alternative forms of political action, ranging in scope from the local to global, as well as a resurgence of the forces of populism and nationalism. Much of the analysis will be comparative in scope.

  • 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

Modules required

  • 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.

  • Environmental Law (LAW6011MX)

    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 in Society (LAW5010MX)

    To introduce students to the real-world impact and operation of domestic English law in society and consider social, cultural, practical and ethical implications.

  • Intellectual Property Law (LAW5011MX)

    This module focuses on the law and concepts of intellectual property, examining in addition related legal themes of information access, dissemination and control.

  • 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.

  • Public and International Law (LAW6012MX)

    A module that focuses on the primary legal principles of the public international legal order, before supporting the development of in-depth understanding of a chosen international legal area of a contemporary nature.

Criminology with Sociology

Modules required

  • 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

Modules required

  • 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.

All modules (48)

School of Society and Culture

BA (Hons) Acting (Full-time)

  • Acting for Audio: Radio, Podcast, Voiceover (ACT5002MX)

    This module trains students to work professionally in mediatised/recorded settings. Students learn techniques appropriate to the preparation and performance of non-theatrical formats (such as audio drama) through text-based analysis, narrative and dramatic theory and genre-specific acting techniques.

  • Performance and Everyday Life (PER5003MX)

    Research-informed lecture-seminar based exploration of an exciting and diverse range of performative case studies and influential theories, this module gives students the opportunity to study independently and work together to open up for themselves a whole new way of seeing the world of the everyday.

  • Auditions and Showreels (ACT6002MX)

    Focused on employment in the theatre industry after graduation, this module is all about auditioning practices and techniques, self-taping, casting calls, character break-downs, working with your ‘pages’ and pulling together your showreel.

BA (Hons) Anthropology (Full-time)

  • 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 treated 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?

  • Coastal Cultures: Marine Anthropology in the age of climate change and mass extinction (ANT5007MX)

    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.

  • Brave New Worlds: Ethnography of/on Online and Digital Worlds (ANT6007MX)

    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).

BA (Hons) Art History (Full-time)

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

BA (Hons) Creative Writing (Full-time)

  • Creative Nonfiction (ENG5010MX)

    This module introduces students to the key concepts and issues in contemporary works of creative nonfiction including autobiography, travel writing, essays and reportage. We will produce our own works of poetry, short story and nonfiction, and critically evaluate and contextualise them.

  • Genre Writing (ENG5006MX)

    This module introduces students to writing in various genres, with possibilities including fantasy, science-fiction, period/historical, young adult fiction, horror, comedy, romance, crime, and thriller. Forms explored will include fiction, dramatic writing for stage and screen, and poetry. The module is taught through lecture, seminars, and workshops where students are asked to submit and feedback to peers and tutors on a regular basis.

  • Advanced Short Story Workshop (ENG6003MX)

    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.

BA (Hons) Drama (Full-time)

  • Performance and Everyday Life (PER5003MX)

    Research-informed lecture-seminar based exploration of an exciting and diverse range of performative case studies and influential theories, this module gives students the opportunity to study independently and work together to open up for themselves a whole new way of seeing the world of the everyday.

  • Apply, Fund, Deliver, Repeat (PER5006MX)

    Apply, Fund, Deliver, Repeat is a training module for students to build their management and professional capabilities. Just as the students are required to have performance training, they will also undergo training on budgetary and management skills while learning how to successfully apply for funding and then how to manage those funds once the project is underway.

  • Applied Drama (PER6002MX)

    This module offers students access to community-based professionals and work-based experiences with a meaningful employability focus. Through seminars and independent practice students learn the skills to work with and for community groups and interests, using performance-making as a means to address real-world problems and social issues.

BA (Hons) English (Full-time)

  • Reading Historical Fiction (ENG5007MX)

    This module aims to explore the interface between literature and history. Using key ideas in narrative theory and historiography, it will examine the ways in which narratives of history are crafted through literature and how literary texts can impact on our understanding and interpretation of history.

  • Eco-Emergency! Literatures of Environmental Crisis (ENG5014MX)

    This module explores the ways in which contemporary literature and culture are responding to our current era of ecological emergency. It introduces students to key debates and concepts, from the identity of the Anthropocene, to the relation between humans and nonhumans, to the influence of ideas of utopia and dystopia. It also familiarises students with different modes of reading in ‘texts’ across a range of media, such as fiction, nonfiction, poetry and film.

  • Literatures of The Atlantic World: Race, Resistance, and Revolution (ENG6004MX)

    This module explores a diverse range of writing and cultural formations in Atlantic contexts. Adopting critical paradigms of the Atlantic World, the module investigates literary and cultural exchanges between Africa, Europe, North America and the Caribbean. It explores questions of identity formation, resistance, national memory, and knowledge hierarchies by examining different literary forms and cultural productions, ranging from the colonial period, through nineteenth-century abolitionist texts, to contemporary fiction and memoir. In addition to introducing texts from various locations and time periods, the module will also engage with theoretical perspectives concerning race, memory and nationhood, as well as recent critical work centred on decoloniality in relation to literary studies.

BA (Hons) Music (Full-time)

  • Psychology of Music (MUS5003MX)

    This module introduces students to concepts in psychoacoustics, psychology and music therapy within a musical context. Students will critically engage with related topics through a series of lectures and workshops, which place theory within musical and creative practice.

  • Recording Sound and Music (MUS5006MX)

    Students will learn how to combine their technical recording abilities with their creative skills in music production. They will be introduced to a variety of recording contexts from a practical and theoretical perspective.

  • Music in the Community (MUS6003MX)

    This module will introduce students to practical applications of music to encourage and expand their understanding of the ‘real-life’ uses of musical skills. A series of lectures will cover the concepts and skills required to carry out music work, before students apply these in practical situations.

BA (Hons) History (Full-time)

  • 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.

BSc (Hons) Audio and Music Technology (Full-time)

  • Programming in Python (AMT5005MX)

    This module introduces computer programming in the python language. Learners will gain experience in the core theory and practice of computer programming and will learn core programming concepts from the ground up. Sessions will equip students with program implementation methodologies along with design and problem-solving techniques.

  • Physical Computing: Creative and Interactive Systems (AMT5006MX)

    Physical computing is all about designing and creating objects that use a range of sensors, actuators, and software to interact with the world around them. Students will learn to develop their own systems using programming environments, electronic components, and microcontroller boards. Most of the module will be organised around practical, hands-on design-and-build exercises.

  • Data Science Ethics (AMT6004MX)

    This module introduces allows student a hands-on experience in data science and the ethical considerations associated with our digital footprint. Learners will gain experience in writing code to clean, analyse and interrogate large dataset, understanding what meanings can be revealed from these datasets. Students will also investigate the ethical implications, assumptions and biases that are present in these techniques.

BSc (Hons) International Relations (Full-time)

  • 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.

  • 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.

BSc (Hons) Politics (Full-time)

  • Civil Society and the Public Sphere (PIR5010MX)

    This module analyses the role of civil society and the public sphere in democratic governance and in democratization from a variety of theoretical perspectives.

  • Democracy and Globalization: Citizens and the Modern State (PIR5012MX)

    Students taking this course will discover how social and economic change in the modern era impacts upon traditional political structures. The course demonstrates how structures face increasing challenges from alternative forms of political action, ranging in scope from the local to global, as well as a resurgence of the forces of populism and nationalism. Much of the analysis will be comparative in scope.

  • 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.

LLB (Hons) Law (Full-time)

  • 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.

  • Environmental Law (LAW6011MX)

    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 in Society (LAW5010MX)

    To introduce students to the real-world impact and operation of domestic English law in society and consider social, cultural, practical and ethical implications.

  • Intellectual Property Law (LAW5011MX)

    This module focuses on the law and concepts of intellectual property, examining in addition related legal themes of information access, dissemination and control.

  • 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.

  • Public and International Law (LAW6012MX)

    A module that focuses on the primary legal principles of the public international legal order, before supporting the development of in-depth understanding of a chosen international legal area of a contemporary nature.

BSc (Hons) Sociology (Full-time)

  • 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.

BSc (Hons) Criminology (Full-time)

  • 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.

IELTS
If overseas & 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.

GCSE
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.

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.

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Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per a number of 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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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