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BA (Hons) Criminology

Start date: September
Duration: 3 years full-time (+ optional year abroad)
UCAS code: M900
Course fees: See Undergraduate Fees

In this leading course you’ll discover the most recent advancements in areas such as crime trends, policing and punishment. You will learn in new and exciting ways. For example, you can study how the media portrays crime, criminals and criminal justice in novels, film, TV dramas and video games and assess its factual accuracy. You will also learn how criminological research is undertaken and develop the skills required to conduct research of your own.

Criminology has been taught within the School of Law for over 35 years and has an outstanding reputation for both teaching quality and world-leading research. Your teaching team includes renowned experts in areas such as policing, victims and restorative justice, crime and politics, and the reasons why people stop offending. This innovative research shapes your teaching, allowing you to benefit from the latest developments in this rapidly changing sphere.

Innovative options

This course provides a wide range of innovative and fascinating optional subjects, studied in the context of what’s happening in the world right now. Are you interested in areas such as drugs, crime and control; gender, race and ethnicity within global criminal justice; youth crime and justice; internet crime; prisons and imprisonment?

Perhaps you’re keen to study the criminology of war, or maybe you would like to examine criminological links to masculinity, gangs, drugs and violence. Although options may change from time to time, our expertise is so wide-ranging you can be sure there will be subjects to suit your interests.

Skills for criminologists

Alongside your criminology studies are in-depth tutorials in small groups, which equip you with important transferable skills to make you more employable. You’ll learn how to work in a team, solve problems, produce and deliver presentations, communicate professionally and develop your advocacy skills. These are the skills employers are looking for and which make our graduates stand out in the competitive job market.

In-built expertise

In your final year you write a dissertation, enabling you to develop detailed specialist knowledge on a specific topic of your choosing to match your particular interests and career plans. This allows you to work independently with support from leading experts, and gives you the opportunity to showcase your skills and interests to future employers.

Check out our free online course in Crime, Justice and Society, led by University of Sheffield School of Law criminologists. Sign up here.


Programme structure

Year 1
Semester 1 Semester 2
Comprehending Criminology (20 credits) Contemporary Issues in Crime and Justice (20 credits)
Situating Crime (20 credits) Introducing Criminological Research (20 credits)
Criminal Law and Justice (20 credits) Representations of Crime (20 credits)
Skills for Criminologists (non-credit bearing)
Year 2
Semester 1 Semester 2
Responding to Crime (20 credits) Punishment and Penal Policy (20 credits)
Analysing Crime Data (20 credits) Criminology Research Project (20 credits)
Specialist option (20 credits) Specialist option (20 credits)
Year 3 - Optional Year Abroad

Gain world knowledge and extend your studies by another year to gain an extra dimension to your CV and become more attractive in today’s competitive job market. You can opt to go abroad in your third year, returning to Sheffield for your fourth and final year. You don’t need to decide on this now, and we’ll provide you with all the information to make a decision on this in Year 2 of your degree. There are some fascinating destinations to choose from, and studying abroad will allow you to compare our criminal justice system with that of another country. While you’re abroad, all your studies will be in the English language.

Final year
Semester 1 Semester 2
Dissertation preparation (20 credits) Dissertation (40 credits)
Specialist options (60 credits)

We continually review our courses and reserve the right to discontinue or amend programmes/entry requirements. Course structures may be subject to change in future years. Content of our courses is reviewed annually to ensure it’s up-to-date. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers.

In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.


Real world, real work

During the three years of your degree, you can join our in-house and community-based volunteering schemes, which provide you with the chance to help and advise real clients. There are opportunities to work at the local courts, or work with victims and witnesses of crime within local charities, or work in our Miscarriages of Justice Review Centre evaluating cases of possible wrongful imprisonment. In this way your criminological and real-world awareness is enhanced and you also use your education and skills to the benefit of others.

Your employability

Our goal is to prepare you for the world of work in a relevant area. We provide a wealth of extracurricular sessions so you can gain the latest information from working law and criminology professionals, develop your own networks and hone your professional awareness skills. The School of Law’s criminologists have excellent connections with senior criminal justice professionals across the world, including judges, lawyers, academics, local and national government, NGOs, police and probation services. Our careers service are there to support you and provide guidance in areas such as how to produce your CV, apply for jobs and succeed at interview.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

All applications are considered on an individual basis based on an applicant's merit and satisfactory references. As a general rule we do not interview standard entry candidates.

Standard offers are A Level grades AAB or international equivalent

More information

How to apply

How to apply

Whether you are from the UK or overseas, you must apply through the University and College Admissions Service (UCAS) between 1 September and 15 January.


In order to apply to any UK university, you need to contact UCAS for an application pack:

Tel: 0871 468 0468

You can also talk to the UCAS team on their social media portals:

Twitter: @ucas_online

Click here for more information on our applications process

International Students

You can apply online. Alternatively, UCAS forms are available from the British Council and by contacting UCAS:

Tel: 0044 871 468 0468 or 0044 330 333 0230 (international call rates apply) and choose option 1

Click here to find out more about the application process, including details on international qualifications

Mature Students

We welcome mature students and are committed to ensuring they have an equal opportunity of access to our courses. We do not set an upper age limit for entry. Click here for more information.

Please remember to highlight in your personal statement that you are applying as a mature student. This will ensure that the Admissions Tutor considers your application appropriately.

Applicants with disabilities or dyslexia

We welcome disabled students and are committed to responding effectively and appropriately to individual support needs. We take all practicable steps to ensure that students with disabilities can participate in their studies without disadvantage, and can make full use of the university's academic and support services.

Specific information for students with a disability or dyslexia is available by: