Criminology and Sociology BSc (Hons) – 2017 entry

The classes are fairly small, so the teaching is very focused and you can really get a lot out of your seminars and lectures.

What you'll study

Who defines crime? How does society deal with its consequences? What legal and moral authority over our behaviour does the state require in order for society to function? How does the line between deviance and criminality shift over time?

On our Criminology and Sociology degree, you develop answers to these fascinating and vital questions.

Programme overview

Studied together, these intertwined disciplines provide insights into a range of crime-related matters, such as the cause and effect of criminal actions, the form and outcome of social disorders, the policing and regulation of public order, the procedures and techniques of the criminal justice system and the relationship between behaviours and punishments.

Our Criminology and Sociology degree programme helps you to master the methods and analytical tools required to conduct and evaluate research on contemporary problems relating to crime, deviance and social control.

You will also have the chance to apply such tools to a range of other topics in the study of contemporary societies.

We develop your understanding of the key concepts, theories and principles of both criminology and sociology, and their application across a range of relevant substantive areas.

Through combining criminological and sociological theory with training in professional social research, you will graduate with a broad range of communicative, analytical and organisational skills – and the confidence to apply them in your future career.

We place the emphasis on developing your analytical and research skills, along with an understanding of the theories, concepts and social contexts relevant to the study of criminology and sociology.

The optional Professional Training placement will equip you with the vital skills necessary to excel in a criminology or sociology-related career.

Read about the experiences of Criminology and Sociology students Alexandra Phelan and Ann-Marie Msichili.

Programme structure

Year 1 (FHEQ Level 4)

Year 1 provides a broad-based curriculum that includes an overview of the criminal justice system and criminological theory, study of crime and society and introductions to classical sociological thinkers.

You will also receive an introduction to research methods, and specific training in quantitative and qualitative methods. 

Compulsory Modules include:

Year 2 (FHEQ Level 5)

Compulsory modules:

Optional modules (four of the following):

Professional Training placement (optional)

We strongly encourage you to take advantage of our pioneering Professional Training placement programme, which gives you the opportunity to put your new academic knowledge into practice and gain experience to enhance your employability prospects, with employers such as:

  • Home Office
  • Ministry of Justice
  • Sentencing Council
  • House of Lords
  • Probation Service
  • Youth Offending Service
  • Metropolitan Police
  • British Market Research Bureau
  • Guildford Pupil Referral Unit
  • IBM

We find that our placement students tend to return for their final year of study feeling more confident, mature and organised, and with clearer career aspirations. After graduation, some take up permanent posts with their Professional Training placement provider.

The competitive process of applying for placement positions also enhances your job-seeking skills, which will give you an advantage in the final year and beyond. Every effort is made to match placement opportunities with your interests, career plans and location preferences.

Some of our placements are paid, usually in the region of £12,000–15,000 per annum. If you work on an unpaid placement, you can claim additional financial support and you may also work for a reduced amount of time.

Year 3 (FHEQ Level 6)

In Year 3, you receive one-to-one supervision with a member of academic staff to conduct an individual research project chosen according to your interests and written up as an 8,000–12,000-word dissertation.

Compulsory modules:

Optional modules:

You additionally select five options in criminology and sociology from the following examples:


At Surrey, we emphasise the development of your practical and analytical skills in addressing contemporary criminological and sociological problems.

You benefit from a range of teaching methods, including small group tutorials, projects and workshops, as well as lectures and classes. We find that our students learn more effectively in this environment, and projects will contribute to the development of your personal skills in leadership, effective communication and analytic ability.

During your study, you develop sophisticated skills in conducting both qualitative and quantitative research, and our excellent facilities – including a range of audiovisual equipment and a networked computer suite – are available to aid your studies.


Many modules are assessed entirely by exercise or project work; others are assessed by coursework and an examination at the end of the year. Examples of coursework include essays, projects and exercises.

Each module in the first year must be passed satisfactorily in order to enter the second year. Your first-year marks do not count towards your final degree result but are used to check on your progress. The final degree result is based on assessment during the second year and the final year.

Contact hours

The following represents an indicative estimate of how you can expect your time to be split on this programme, based on the information available at the time of publication (February 2016):

  • 6 per cent medium group teaching
  • 7 per cent large group teaching
  • 87 per cent studying and revising in your own time


You are able to take advantage of a valuable range of facilities on this programme, including a recently expanded and fully networked computer laboratory based in the Department.

The degree also makes increasing use of online resources, including module guides and student discussion forums.

Academic support

You are allocated a personal tutor during your first week at the University and will normally keep this tutor throughout the degree programme.

They provide advice to you on personal and academic matters, including reviewing your progress on the programme, advising on module, placement and career options, and providing information about wider support services at the University.

Career opportunities

Sociology and criminology provide a broad social scientific base from which to explore a world of job opportunities. Depending on what kinds of courses you concentrate on, you can use sociology and criminology to develop expertise for a range of different occupations.

Specifically, sociology and criminology provide knowledge and analytical skills needed to pursue a professional degree in the public sector, business, education, health & medicine, social work, or counselling.

It offers preparation for fields that involve investigative skills and working with diverse people, such as journalism, politics, marketing, business, human resources or public administration.

It also provides strong research skills preparation needed for positions in the criminal justice system, business, social service and government; it is a first step for future graduate work in sociology and criminology in order to become a researcher or professor.

Given the broad education a degree in sociology offers, one of the virtues of a degree in criminology and sociology is flexibility in the job market. Actual entry-level job titles of recent sociology graduates show this diversity:

  • Operations planner for a defence firm
  • Programme assistant for a social service agency
  • Teacher
  • Programmer
  • Production coordinator for a publishing firm
  • Social worker
  • Communications technician for a telecommunications company
  • Sales representative
  • Government analyst
  • Health intake counsellor

The occupations of alumni who have been in the work force for a few years will reveal even more opportunities. Some examples are:

  • Magazine editor
  • Contract and grants administrator
  • Attorney
  • Personnel manager
  • Probation officer
  • Career counsellor
  • Marketing director
  • Information specialist
  • Senior lecturer
  • Political consultant

Global opportunities

We offer you the opportunity to internationalise your degree by spending one semester or two abroad. You have the choice between working with an overseas partner organisation and studying at one of our partner universities:

  • Copenhagen University (with Erasmus funding)
  • Nanyang Technological University
  • Seoul National University
  • Cincinnati University
  • North Carolina State University
  • University of Central Florida
  • Maryland University
  • Monash University
  • La Trobe University

These opportunities allow you to earn credits that contribute to your degree. In addition to personal enrichment, an expanded cultural background is very valuable for the continuation of your studies and for your CV.

Discover where our global opportunities can take you.

2017 Entry requirements

What qualifications do you need?



Access to HE Diploma

QAA recognised Access to Higher Education Diploma with 39 Level 3 Credits at Distinction and 6 Level 3 Credits at Merit - QAA recognised Access to Higher Education Diploma with 30 Level 3 Credits at Distinction and 15 Level 3 Credits at Merit.

BTEC (QCF Level 3) Extended Diploma


European Baccalaureate

75 per cent-74 per cent

International Baccalaureate

35-34 points

Scottish Highers

Scottish Advanced Highers AAB/Scottish Highers AAABB-Scottish Advanced Highers ABB/Scottish Highers AABBB

Welsh Baccalaureate

Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma and A-level AA-Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma and A-level AB

Other international qualifications

If you are an international student and you don’t meet the entry requirements to this degree, we offer the International Foundation Year.

Select your country:

Required subjects

GCSE English Language and Mathematics at grade C/4 or above (or equivalent).

Selection process

Offers are normally made in terms of grades. Suitable candidates will be invited to an Applicant Day.

English language requirements

6.5 IELTS minimum overall

6.0 IELTS minimum in each sub-skill

If you are an international student and you are concerned that your English is not to the required standard, you may benefit from the International Foundation Year, run by the Surrey International Study Centre.

Please note that the University of Surrey offers English language programmes and is also an IELTS Test Centre.

See 2018 entry information

Course Options

Qualification Course Length Professional Training UCAS code KIS code
BSc (Hons) 3 Years LM39 View KIS data set
BSc (Hons) 4 Years ML93 View KIS data set

Tuition fees

View a complete listing of all ongoing fees for our undergraduate programmes.

The University will assess your fee status. If you are unsure whether you are likely to be considered a home, EU or overseas student for fees purposes, the UKCISA website offers more information.

Professional Training placement fees

Programmes marked with a tick in the table above include a Professional Training placement.

A reduced fee is charged for Professional Training placements.

Fees will not have to be paid up front for those eligible students who decide to take up the Government's loan for higher education fees. The Professional Training placement is a key factor in the high employability rates achieved by students with Surrey degrees.

Bursaries and scholarships

We're committed to making sure that we offer support for students who might need it.

Find out more

International students

Experienced staff in our International Student Office are available to help from the moment you consider studying at the University. We offer professional advice on immigration, visa issues, entry qualifications, pre-departure information, employment regulations and international student welfare.

How to apply

Find out how and when to apply to study at Surrey.

More info


Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that modules may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.

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