Criminology BSc (Hons) – 2017 entry

Let the punishment of criminals be of use. A hanged man is good for nothing.

What you'll study

How is criminal behaviour defined? What motivates offenders? What impact does crime have upon victims, and which punishments should the courts impose on criminals?

Can prisons reform and rehabilitate inmates? How are patterns of offending changing, and what are the key contemporary challenges facing the criminal justice system? You can explore fascinating and vital questions such as these on our Criminology degree programme.

Programme overview

Your degree will focus on the study of crime, deviance and the criminal justice system. This will include 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 degree programme helps you to develop a critical perspective on contemporary problems relating to crime, deviance and social control and to master the methods and analytical tools required to conduct and evaluate research into these areas

We develop your understanding of the key concepts, theories and principles of criminology and their application across a range of case studies and examples.

Through combining criminological theory with training in professional social research, you 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 a critical understanding of the theories, concepts and social contexts relevant to the study of criminology.

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

Programme structure

Year 1 (FHEQ Level 4)

Year 1 provides a broad-based introduction to the study of criminology. This will include an overview of the criminal justice system and criminological theory, the study of crime and society and introductions to forensic science and criminal law.

These offer an invaluable basis for the understanding of crime and criminality. You will also receive an introduction to research methods, and specific training in quantitative and qualitative methods.

Compulsory Modules:

Year 2 (FHEQ Level 5)

Compulsory modules:

Optional modules (two of the following):

Professional training placement (optional)

On our four-year Criminology degree programme, you will further your knowledge by working in a professional placement during the third year.

This provides you with an opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills acquired during your first two years of study in a work environment, whilst receiving training and undertaking responsible work.

Year 3 (FHEQ Level 6)

In Year 3, you will 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 (two of the following):

Professional Training placements

On our four-year Criminology degree programme, you will further your knowledge by working in a professional placement during the third year.

This provides you with an opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills acquired during your first two years of study in a work environment, whilst receiving training and undertaking responsible work.

As a result of the placement, we find that our students return to their final year significantly more confident, mature and organised, and with clearer, more definite career aspirations.

The process of preparing and applying for placement positions also significantly enhances job-seeking skills, which come into play in the final year and beyond when applying for graduate employment.

After graduation, some students take up permanent posts with their professional placement employer. Every effort is made to identify possible placement opportunities according to 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 may also work for a reduced amount of time.

Companies and organisations that have participated in the scheme include:

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


At Surrey, we emphasise the development of your practical and analytical skills in addressing contemporary criminological 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 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 dedicated 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 and final years.

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
  • 10 per cent large group teaching
  • 84 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.

Career opportunities

Criminology provides 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 criminology to develop expertise for a range of different occupations.

Specifically,criminology delivers knowledge and analytical skills needed to pursue a professional degree in the public sector, business, education, health and 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 criminology in order to become a researcher or professor.

One of the virtues of a degree in Criminology is flexibility in the job market. Actual entry-level job titles of recent graduates from this Department 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 workforce 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

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.

Global opportunities

We offer you the opportunity to internationalise your degree by spending one semester abroad as part of your Professional Training year. You have the choice between working at an overseas organisation or studying at one of our partner universities, including:

  • Copenhagen University
  • Nanyang Technological University
  • Seoul National University
  • Cincinnati University
  • North Carolina State University
  • University of Central Florida
  • Maryland University
  • Monash University
  • University of Sydney
  • La Trobe University
  • Brock University

If you chose to study at one of the European partners you will be eligible for an Erasmus+ grant.

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.

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

BTEC (QCF Level 3) Extended Diploma


European Baccalaureate

75 per cent

International Baccalaureate

35 points

Scottish Highers

Scottish Advanced Highers AAB/Scottish Highers AAABB

Welsh Baccalaureate

Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma and A-level AA

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 2F46 View KIS data set
BSc (Hons) 4 Years 4L5T 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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