BA (Hons) Crime, Criminology and Criminal Justice


BA (Hons) Crime, Criminology and Criminal Justice

Explore critical aspects of crime, criminology and criminal justice to gain a greater insight into criminal behaviour and how society responds to it. You will explore a range of criminological theories and consider the roles, responsibilities and actions of criminal justice agencies in challenging and preventing offending behaviour. In addition, you will learn how to conduct and interpret research so that you can evaluate claims made regarding crime and deviance, critically engaging with national and international dimensions of crime and criminal justice policy.

How will you learn?

This is a distance learning course.  The majority of the content you will study will be delivered through our engaging, media rich digital resources.  You will be supported throughout your studies by one of our learning coaches with knowledge of the subject area and expertise in providing effective support to students working at a distance.

How will you be assessed?

You will be assessed through computer marked assignments and a range of written assignments, including:

  • Essays
  • Case studies
  • Policy analysis
  • Briefing papers

To download a copy of the Course Guide, click on the button below:


On successful completion of this module, a student will be able to:

  • Compare and contrast key explanations relating to why people commit crime
  • Evaluate and contrast the rationale for punishment and the key methods through which society’s response to crime is delivered;
  • Outline the theory and practice of crime prevention and community safety;
  • Demonstrate and reflect upon a range of study skills

What you will study

Block 1: What is crime? – explore diverse definitions of ‘crime’ and the distinction between crime and deviancy.

Block 2: Study skills for criminology – investigate criminological sources, how to interpret these and how to tackle assignments.

Block 3: The rational actor model – find out about the rational actor model as an explanation for why people commit crime and what it suggests about the way crime should be responded to.

Block 4: The predestined actor model – investigate some theories that explain crime in terms of biological, psychological and social determinism.

Block 5: The victimised actor model – explore some theories that explain crime in terms of social inequality.

Block 6: Crime prevention and community safety – compare and contrast some approaches to preventing crime.

This module seeks to provide an introduction to the operations of the criminal justice system. It includes issues affecting criminal justice policy that are of historical importance and contemporary relevance. Although it focuses on the workings of the criminal justice system in England and Wales, in particular examining the role and operations of key agencies that comprise this system, it contains many elements of study of a conceptual nature that have application to wider jurisdictions. Issues of this nature include crime statistics, the detection of crime and cyber-crime.


On successful completion of this module, a student will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of historical and contemporary of how criminal justice policy is delivered in England and Wales;
  • 2. Outline the rationale and content of reforms to the operations of the criminal justice system in England and Wales since the late twentieth century;
  • 3. Explain the strengths and weaknesses of key approaches that seek to measure the extent of crime in England and Wales
  • Evaluate the approaches used to detect crime and their comparative strengths, weaknesses and effectiveness

What you will study

Block 1: History of crime and punishment – explore the ways in which the nature of crime and the criminal justice system have changed over time.

Block 2: The criminal justice system – an overview – find out about the role, purpose and operation of the criminal justice system

Block 3: The English legal system – Investigate the English legal system, in particular the impact of the 1998 Human Rights Act on it.

Block 4: The measurement of crime – learn about the ways in which crime has been measured over time and evaluate the effectiveness of these different methods.

Block 5: The detection of crime – explore the development of detective work over time and evaluate the methods used to detect crime.

Block 6: Cyber crime and policing the ‘dark web’ – find out about the scale and nature of cyber crime and the challenges involved in policing it.

The aim of this module is to develop issues raised in the Level 4 unit, Introduction to Criminology, and to examine a wide range of criminal behaviours that extend the students’ knowledge of what constitutes criminal activity. It does this by considering categories of crime that include serial killers and crimes of the rich and powerful, including crime carried out by celebrity figures as well as by white collar criminals and corporate concerns. It evaluates theories that relate to critical criminology and victimology that include feminist criminologies that consider the victimisation of women. The module also addresses the issue relating to guilt or innocence being socially constructed categories.


On successful completion of this module, a student will be able to:

  1. Discuss and evaluate a range of key concepts and theoretical approaches in Criminology.
  2. Identify and evaluate how theory influences policy and practice.
  3. Outline the nature of, and evaluate the rationale for, criminal behaviours that are not underpinned by explanations relating to social inequality;
  4. Critically discuss the concept of the social construction of guilt or innocence.
  5. Critically evaluate criminological research and ethical issues that govern how it is carried out.

What you will study

Block 1: Criminologies of the left and right – consider ways in which political ideologies impact on policy

Block 2: Gender, crime and justice – explore ways in which gender impacts on crime, the criminal justice system and the study of criminology

Block 3: Serial killers – investigate the motivations and characteristics of serial killers and their depiction in the media.

Block 4: Crimes of the rich and famous – explore the white collar and corporate crime, political crime and the crimes of the rich and famous.

Block 5: The social construction of guilt and innocence

Block 6: Researching crime – investigate methodologies and ethical considerations relevant to criminological research.

This module seeks to provide students with a detailed knowledge of the work and operations of key agencies that operate within the criminal justice system. These include the police, prison and probation services and the youth justice system and the module aims to discuss some of the key issues that relate to their development and the role they perform. The module also discusses issues that relate to the workings of criminal justice agencies, focusing on diversity issues (race, gender and social class). Additionally, it addresses the role now performed by volunteers in criminal justice and the theory and motivations that explain this development.


On successful completion of this module, a student will be able to:

  1. Discuss and critically evaluate the development of and role performed by key agencies that operate in the criminal justice system of England and Wales;
  2. Analyse the manner in which key criminal justice agencies have implemented diversity considerations with regard to their internal operations and external relationships;
  3. Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of non-custodial sentences as a response to crime
  4. Evaluate the theory and practice of volunteering in contemporary criminal justice work ate criminological research and ethical issues that govern how it is carried out.

What you will study

  • Block 1: Policing and society – investigate the powers of the police and methods applied to the policing of local communities.
  • Block 2: Prisons and prisons policy – consider the ways in which imprisonment is used as a response to crime in the context of social policy
  • Block 3: Youth offending and youth justice – find out how children and young people who commit crimes are responded to.
  • Block 4: Diversity issues in criminal justice – explore how race, gender and social class impact on criminal justice
  • Block 5: Non-custodial responses to crime – investigate some community based approaches to crime, including the development of probation work.
  • Block 6: Volunteering in criminal justice – theory and practice – consider the role and use of volunteers in the criminal justice system.

This module explores the current state of theory, practice and evidence relating to working effectively with children and young people in the youth justice system. It’s focus is on effective practice across a number of important domains, including engaging with young people, assessment and planning interventions and custody and resettlement.  There is an opportunity to explore the key criminological theories in the context of offending by children and young people and to develop an understanding of desistance from offending and how to promote it.  As well as achieving the 60 credits towards your degree, you will also get Skills for Justice Awards accreditation in the form of the Youth Justice Effective Practice Certificate which is endorsed by the YJB and recognised by employers in the sector.


On successful completion of this module, a student will be able to:

  1. Evaluate theoretical approaches to youth crime.
  2. Critically evaluate effective practice and evidence-based approaches to youth justice practice.
  3. Identify and analyse a range of strategies for engaging with and building relationships with individual young people, parents/carers and with groups.
  4. Evaluate assessment and planning intervention practice in the context of youth justice.
  5. Evaluate approaches to transition planning in the context of resettlement.
  6. Evaluate theories of desistance and their application to work with young people who offend.

What you will study

Block 1: Why young people offend – evaluate the key criminological theories in the context of explaining why children offend and how their behaviour is responded to.

Block 2: Working effectively – find out about ‘what works’ in youth justice and approaches to measuring the effectiveness of work done with young people in the youth justice system

Block 3: Assess, plan, intervene – explore the cycle of assessment, planning, intervention and review at the heart of youth justice practice

Block 4: Engagement and participation – consider a range of strategies for gaining and sustaining the engagement and positive participation of children and young people in interventions.

Block 5: Custody and resettlement – find out how custody is configured for children and evaluate practice designed to ensure the effective resettlement of children when they return to their communities.

Block 6: Desistance – investigate approaches to helping children and young people stop offending.

The aim of this module is to enable students to critically explore a range of issues of contemporary concern in criminology and criminal justice in order to acquaint them with ongoing debates and issues that constitute the current criminology and criminal justice agendas. The topics that are listed below as indicative content include drugs and drug policy, hate crime, the policing of protest and disorder, terrorism, transnational crime and tackling re-offending but this list may change in the light of new and emerging issues whereby existing blocks are replaced by others considered of more contemporary relevance.


On successful completion of this module, a student will be able to:

  1. Critically comprehend the nature and content of contemporary challenges related to crime and criminal justice;
  2. Display critical awareness of the key stakeholders who are relevant to contemporary challenges to crime and criminal justice and what motivates their actions;
  3. Analyse the response delivered by the state and its law enforcement agencies to contemporary challenges related to crime and criminal justice.

You will study six from the following:

  • Drugs and society – consider how substance use and associated policies relate to crime.
  • Victims of crime – investigate key theoretical approaches to the study of victims of crime and the response of the criminal justice system to them.
  • Hate and crime – explore different types of hate crime and the responses of the police and state to it.
  • Policing protest and disorder since 1945 – investigate the concept of protest and police responses to it.
  • Terrorism past and present – explore some definitions of ‘terrorism’ and state responses to it.
  • Transnational crime – analyse major forms of transnational crime, including the drugs trade, human trafficking and smuggling and how they are policed.
  • Tackling recidivism and promoting desistance – Explore approaches to tackling re-offending from the late 20th century onwards.
  • Riots in England since 1980 – Explore the motivations of rioters, the responses of state and law enforcement agencies and the impact of rioting on social policy.
  • Covert research in theory and practice – find out about the role of undercover research in criminal justice, the ethics of it and the ways in which it is regulated.

You will be required to complete an independent study/research project/dissertation. This builds on previous study undertaken in previous modules, with the expectation that you will have a fundamental theoretical knowledge of research process and ethics, as well as being skilled at critically evaluating published research. This component provides you with the opportunity to put into practice the knowledge and skills of research that have been developed under supervision of an experienced academic. This module will refine your skills regarding formulating informed research questions, design studies for the identified research purposes, carry out the planned research, interpret the data and then evaluate the findings and the study as a whole.


On successful completion of this module, a student will be able to:

  1. Formulate a clear, informed and ethically sound research question(s) relating to criminology and/or criminal justice
  2. Conduct a literature search discussing, analysing and critically evaluating relevant concepts, theories and research evidence
  3. Design an appropriate research strategy and conduct a study using an appropriate design and method
  4. Accurately report on analysis of research findings, critically evaluating the implications of the research
  5. Critically reflect upon the experience of conducting a Final Year Independent Study and how challenges were addressed.

What you will study

You will undertake your own piece of research on a topic related to criminology that interests you.  You will work through the process of:

  • Identifying and defining a researchable question
  • Exploring and presenting findings from relevant literature
  • Defining appropriate strategies for research
  • Analysing and communicating findings in appropriate ways

You will need to demonstrate ethical awareness throughout this process.

Course Duration – Staged – 60 weeks per stage

We can offer the degree in stages, so you can build on each level to achieve the full BA (Hons) Crime, Criminology & Criminal Justice in affordable monthly payments. 

Stage 1 – First two Level 4 modules – Certificate in Higher Education 

Cost £2400 inc VAT

Stage 2 – Next two Level 5 modules – Diploma in Higher Education 

Cost £2400 inc. VAT

Stage 3 – Next two Level 6 modules – BA (Hons) 

Cost £2400 inc. VAT

Course duration Full BA(Hons) – 3 years & 5 months

The cost of this course is £7200 inc. VAT and as with all our courses, we offer an interest free payment plan to help you manage the costs.

Please note, all our course materials are available in PDF version.


There are payment plan options available for this course.  Please contact one of one our student support coordinators to find out more on 01603 570365 or [email protected] 

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