BA (Hons)

Intermediate award(s): BA, CertHE, DipHE

This course is available in Clearing.

Our Sociology provision (which includes Criminology) ranked 13th in The Guardian League Table 2014. In the most recent National Student Survey (2014), this course was awarded 96% overall student satisfaction.

You will gain practical experience through work with ex-offenders and police, prison and probation officers, and investigation of the daily work of the Criminal Justice System.

Fiona Henderson

BA (Hons) Criminology - Graduated 2013
Fiona Henderson

Returning to education after nearly 10 years was daunting, and when I came to write my first essay, I experienced just how keen and willing the lecturers and support staff are to help. They are committed and passionate about the subjects they teach, which has had an infectious impact on my own work and aspirations.

The modules we covered have all been intriguing, and taught in an inspiring, productive manner. The broad range of issues discussed has highlighted to me the nature in which crime and criminality permeates society, dominating many political, social policy, media, academic, and of course legal professions, among others. Indeed, the BA (Hons) Criminology course opens vast opportunities, particularly through work experience placements and research opportunities. Studying criminology at Anglia Ruskin is quite possibly the best decision I could have made, and my only regret is that I will have to leave at some point!

Course overview

Criminology addresses many hotly contested, contemporary issues relating to crime and crime control, equipping you with a range of inter-disciplinary skills with which to tackle such debates. Our criminology degree examines the media and its representations of specific 'valued' news, moral panics and the promotion of fear and goes on to develop understanding of issues relating to sex, violence and profiling such offenders. Insights are offered into explaining deviant behaviour, youth offending, gendered violence, war and terror, genocide, rape and abuse.

Our course debates and challenges misconceptions of crime scene investigation, policing, sex offending and miscarriages of justice, through case studies and close examination of the criminal justice process. The trial process is examined in depth, as well as historical and contemporary representations of rehabilitation, punishment and retribution.

Criminology explores issues such as corporate crime, sport and crime, racism and human rights. Trips to prisons and courts are facilitated as well as study abroad programmes, and conference participation.

Additional course information

You will have the opportunity to work with experienced researchers, and develop your own research skills, with opportunities for pursuing innovative investigative avenues in human trafficking, penal theory, terrorism, sex offending, profiling, police powers, violent crime, the trial process, drug use among offenders and comparative criminal justice.

You will also gain practical experience through work with ex-offenders and police, prison and probation officers, and investigation of the daily work of the Criminal Justice System, along with vital critical and analytical skills - very attractive areas of expertise for a range of employers.

Criminology is one of our most popular and fastest-growing degree courses.

You might also be interested in BA (Hons) Criminology and Sociology or BA (Hons) Sociology

Module guide

Year one core modules
  • Conflicts and Contradictions in Crime: Comparative Histories of Crime, Law and Punishment

    This module aims to trace and explore the origins of laws and attitudes, sanctions and control mechanisms that have emerged from ancient, medieval and modern historical eras. The module will look at the role of religion and the state in the shaping of society and democracy and geographically trace the origins and developments of the principle institutions of the criminal justice system including how governments and societies have responded to certain forms of deviance through reformulations of criminal justice policy. The module will also look at various nation-states and the divergence and fragmentation that occurred as mono-religion lost its grip on social control. A comparative historical perspective of crime trends, policing and imprisonment will ensure that you synthesise ideas and information, which will ground you for the ensuing years of study. This module will offer you an opportunity to find your voice and pinpoint areas of parallels and predictability in a subject that generally incorporates a wide range of contradictions.

  • Adventures in Crime News and Criminology

    This module will invite you to question how crime and deviance have shaped our thoughts, drawing upon its portrayal in the media-news, as well as fears of crime, political responses and crime prevention initiatives. The module aims to introduce you to concepts that contribute to the social construction of crime, such as 'newsworthiness', 'criminogenic media' and moral panics, as well as some basic building blocks of criminology itself. You will examine and discuss the types of crimes that are prevalent in the media news and consider current criminal justice issues and cases. In addition, you will decipher official statistics, such as those emerging from the British Crime Survey, police recorded crimes and conviction data, in order to establish a balanced view of the extent of crime in England and Wales. You will examine crime data (statistics, case studies, crime rates etc) and the sources from which they are gathered. Such data analysis will provide a framework for contextualising material that is frequently (partially and mis) represented in the media, within an academic and realistic context.

  • Political Ideologies and Social Controversies

    This module offers a grounding in major political ideologies and key political concepts that will form the foundation for future study in practical and theoretical aspects of social science. The module introduces you to the study of various political ideologies and helps you develop appropriate knowledge and understanding of key features of political ideas and behaviour. Through study of the core elements of ideologies you will have the opportunity to engage in basic comparative study and some degree of historical analysis. You can then utilise this understanding of key political ideologies in order to explore different political environments. In pursuit of this aim the module will reflect on forms of classical political thought and locate these in contemporary political settings.

  • Researching Social Issues

    This module introduces you the range of research instruments available to social scientists. The module explains the value of empirical research as a means to understand social issues. It does this through sustained consideration of one such issue: the policing of ethnic minorities. The module shows how police-minority relations can be analysed using a variety of methods including observation, experiment, quantitative surveys, official statistics, qualitative interviewing, ethnography, archive research, case studies and life histories. Via discussion of these approaches, you come to understand the potential contribution and limitations of each method, the practical issues around effective data gathering, sensitivity to cultural difference, and the ethical and political dimensions of the research process. Throughout the module emphasis is placed on giving you skills and knowledge that will enable you to locate, use and evaluate research findings appropriately.

  • Adventures in Criminal Justice

    Building on Adventures in Crime News and Criminology, Adventures in Criminal Justice aims to introduce you to the somewhat abstract components of the Criminal Justice process. You will explore and analyse sections of the Criminal Justice System, paying particular attention to how it fits together (under the National Offender Management System - NOMS) within five main sub-systems: Law Enforcement, Courts, Youth Justice, Prison and Probation. Each week, you will examine and develop a portfolio relating to the following issues within the criminal justice system: freedom, human rights, net-widening, retribution, rehabilitation, politics and prevention of crime. The portfolio will provide an opportunity for you to recognise and begin to critically evaluate the effectiveness of the criminal justice process, based on contested evidence and research. As a result, you will be able to demonstrate a critical appreciation of the complicated position and treatment of offenders in England and Wales, as well as the challenges faced by policy-makers and criminal justice staff.

Year two core modules
  • Trials and Errors
  • Retribution, Restoration, Rehabilitation
  • Project Preparation
  • Violent Crime: Body and Mind
Year three core modules
  • Major Project
  • Youth Justice
  • Comparative Criminal Justice


Assessment is carried out via a very broad mix of methods including case studies, presentations, essays, patchwork texts, portfolios, poster presentations, data analysis exercises, examinations, group projects and an individual Major Project.

Trina Briggs

BA (Hons) Criminology

As a mature student, studying at Anglia Ruskin University has been an excellent decision. During my time as a student at Anglia Ruskin I have developed new skills and knowledge that offered me the opportunity to further my academic career or to seek employment in a variety of fields relating to crime. I have been lucky enough to be a Criminology student at the Cambridge Campus undertaking an honours degree course that far exceeded my expectations. I am constantly encouraged to embrace new challenges whilst being actively supported, directed and mentored within the department. I find the lectures and seminars very motivating and the teaching second to none, with all features of the course proving thought-provoking and relevant.
The university library is extremely helpful with access to all relevant and related books, journals, databases and websites. I have had the full support from all my tutors who are willing to help with all aspects of the course. I would definitely recommend Anglia Ruskin University to anyone contemplating embarking on a Criminology degree as it not only covers the core subjects but a wide range of elective subjects as well.



Our campus libraries offer a wide range of publications and a variety of study facilities, including open-access computers, areas for quiet or group study and bookable rooms. We also have an extensive Digital Library providing on and off-site access to e-books, e-journals and databases.

We endeavour to make our libraries as accessible as possible for all our students. During semester time, they open 24 hours a day from Monday to Thursday, until midnight on Friday and Saturday and for 12 hours on Sunday.

IT Resources
Our open access computer facilities provide free access to the Internet, email, messaging services and the full Microsoft Office suite. A high speed wireless service is also available in all key areas on campus. If you are away from campus or a distant learner, our student desktop and its many applications can be accessed remotely using the Internet. Your personal student email account provides free document storage, calendar facilities and social networking opportunities.

Throughout your studies you will have access to our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), providing course notes, reading materials and multi-media content to support your learning, while our e:Vision system gives you instant access to your academic record and your timetable.

Study abroad options

We offer the opportunity to apply to study abroad at Marshall University, West Virginia, USA during semester 1, year 2.

Course leader

Dr Samantha Lundrigan

Associated careers

Criminology provides excellent preparation for many careers. Recent graduates have been employed by the National Probation Service as probation officers, prison-based probation service officers; the Police (including crime scene and victim liaison officer); the Prison Service, as prison officers and governors; the Home Office, as researchers and policy analysts; the Crown Prosecution Service; the Court Service; youth offending teams/youth work and Crime Reduction Partnerships.

Links with industry/professional recognition

We have links with Cambridgeshire Police, SOCA (Serious Organised Crime Agency) and the International Academy of Investigative Psychology.
Main requirements:
  • 220 - 260 UCAS Tariff Points from a minimum of 2 A levels (or equivalent)
  • 3 GCSEs at grade C or above
  • If English is not your first language you will be expected to demonstrate a certificated level of proficiency of at least IELTS 6.0 ( Academic level) or equivalent English Language qualification, as recognised by Anglia Ruskin University
  • You may also be accepted to this course with an IELTS 5.5 ( Academic level) or equivalent English Language qualification as recognised by Anglia Ruskin University, but will then be required to undertake additional compulsory free English language modules in your first year.
  • A maximum of 60 UCAS Tariff points may come from AS level (or equivalent)
  • We consider each application individually and an offer in the range of 220-260 points will be made according to a number of criteria including predicted grades and relevant experience.
Alternative qualifications accepted:
  • UCAS Tariff points acquired from BTEC Level 3 Diplomas are accepted
  • Access to HE Diplomas at overall Pass grade are accepted
  • International Baccalaureate Diploma with a minimum of 24 points is accepted
  • UCAS Tariff points from the Irish Leaving Certificate are accepted
  • UCAS Tariff points from Scottish Highers are accepted
  • UCAS Tariff points from Scottish Advanced Highers are accepted
Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course, please email for further information.

Entry requirements listed are for September 2015/January 2016 entry. Entry requirements for other intakes may differ.

Please note we do not accept AS level qualifications on their own for entry to our undergraduate degree courses. However for some degree courses a small number of tariff points from AS levels are accepted as long as they are combined with tariff points from A levels or other equivalent level 3 qualifications in other subjects.

International and EU applicants

We welcome applications from International and EU students. Please select one of the links below for English language and country-specific entry requirement information.
If you do not meet the above requirements, then there is an alternative. Consider entry to the course via an integrated foundation year at Cambridge Ruskin International College, an associate college of Anglia Ruskin, which is located on our Cambridge campus.

How to apply

UK & EU applicants

Apply via UCAS

International applicants
Apply online

UCAS code




3 years

Available starts


Fees & funding

Open Day

3 December (Cambridge)
Undergraduate Open Day

Advice & support


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