Criminology BA (Hons)

Part-time undergraduate (6 years)

University Centre Peterborough

September 2017

Overview

What causes crime? How can we deter or rehabilitate criminals? How does the media depict crime? How does the criminal justice system work and how should it evolve? These are some of the questions you’ll explore on this course.

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Full description

Careers

Our graduates go on to successful careers in many fields, including the National Probation Service, the Prison Service, the police, youth justice, the Home Office, scenes of crime work, the court system, social policy and academic research.

Modules & assessment

Level 4 modules

  • Crime News and Criminology
    Crime is a major area of public policy and political debate. We are both fascinated by crime while afraid of it and eager to prevent it. Criminals can be portrayed as heroes, anti-heroes, victims or villains. Nevertheless, they are represented and understood as somehow 'other'. Despite these contrasting and confusing ideas, crime is an everyday experience, about which many of us have strong opinions. You will be encouraged to question how crime and deviance have shaped our thoughts, drawing upon its portrayal in the news, as well as fears of crime, political responses and crime prevention initiatives. You will be introduced 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 Crime Survey for England and Wales, 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 often (partially and mis-) represented in the media, within an academic and realistic context. Each week, in a separate timetabled workshop following the lecture, you will research various current crime news media (radio, TV, newspapers, internet, blogs, wikis, journals etc) and analyse the construction of the news, the sources of information, the writing style of the genre and the public debate which often follows news. The aim of this section is to provide you with the key skills necessary to study at undergraduate level. You will carry out structured tasks each week, and develop a writing style through a variety of weekly exercises and diagnostic essays. The assessments will allow you to demonstrate understanding and begin to develop critical thinking skills (through the diagnostic essay), as well as understanding and application skills.
  • Criminal Justice in England and Wales
    Criminal Justice in England and Wales will introduce you to the criminal justice system in this country, taking you through the key elements of the justice system: Police, Courts, Prisons, Probation, and the Youth Justice System. Each week, you will be introduced to a different stage of the system and unpack some of the critical issues that are discussed in this area. For example you will learn about the role of police, and the benefits that a policing system provides, while also looking at the controversial aspects of policing, such as racism and the ongoing debate about how much force the police should use. You will also discuss the statement ‘prison works’ and examine the shifting landscape of the prison system in the context of overcrowding and privatization. During the research skills workshops, you will learn how to critically assess research on the criminal justice system, developing evaluation skills and knowledge of research methods in the process. You will learn how research is undertaken and have the chance to do this yourself in relation to issues of criminal justice, such as public attitudes to various elements of the criminal justice system. By the end of Criminal Justice in England and Wales, you will be able to demonstrate an appreciation of the complicated position of victims and offenders in England and Wales. You will be taught in weekly two hour lecture/workshops and one hour ‘research evaluation skills’ workshop. Your assessment will comprise a portfolio of work discussing the strengths and weaknesses of the criminal justice system.
  • Basic Criminalistics
    Criminalistics is the core discipline of forensic science; in many uses, especially North America, it's synonymous with forensic science. The study is built on one basic premise: that every contact or action leaves some trace (Locard's Principle). As scientific methodologies have improved over the years, so the nature of what constitutes a trace has changed considerably. This module will introduce you to the main categories of trace evidence (finger and other body prints, fibres, hairs, glass and paint fragments, impressions of tools, gun discharge residues, and body fluids) and will emphasise the importance of rigorous crime scene management and proper methods of evidence recovery. You'll also learn about recent developments in enhanced evidence recovery, and evaluate the relative evidential value of various kinds of recovered trace material. This will lead on to a brief introduction to the statistical interpretation of such evidence.
  • History of Crime and Criminology
    The twentieth century was a period of rapid and confusing change and adjustment, and already historical accounts of events that took place in it are debated and challenged. Events of preceding centuries are even less familiar to us, yet the roots of many of our customs, institutions, thinking about crime and policies could be traced to these times. Historical awareness guards against the impression that modern features of law-breaking, deviance, policing or punishment are either entirely new, or remain relatively unchanged. Instances of 'hooliganism', 'crime waves' and threats to public order in historical literature can be placed alongside frequent journalistic panics about moral degeneration today. You will trace and explore the origins of laws and attitudes, sanctions and control mechanisms that have emerged from ancient, medieval and modern historical eras. You will look at the role of religion and the state in the shaping of society and geographically trace the origins and developments of the principal institutions of the criminal justice system, including the ways that governments and societies have responded to certain forms of deviance through reformulations of criminal justice policy. You will evaluate the development of criminology as a discipline and interrogate the foundational theories and their underlying philosophies. You will attend two hour combined lectures/workshops and you are required to be thoroughly prepared for these weekly discussions. Your assessment on this module comprises two one-hour class tests, each worth 50% of the total mark.
  • Media and Crime
    Media representations of crime, law and order have always been a matter of public interest, as well as debate amongst people involved in the criminal justice system. You'll explore the ways in which media shapes our perception of crime, and form an overview of the theoretical perspectives on media within criminology. You'll also examine the construction of crime news and the role of politics and ideology, and learn about the concept of "moral panics. Throughout the module, you'll use case studies, reports, and theory, selecting one or more case studies to develop your analytical skills, as well as your presentation skills. You can use case studies to build a foundation for your essay, in which you'll evaluate the debates about the relationship between media and crime, as well as public perceptions of crime.
  • Researching Social Issues
    This module will introduce you to the range of research instruments available to social scientists. Through sustained consideration of one issue - the policing of ethnic minorities - you'll learn the value of empirical research as a means to understanding social issues. You'll discover 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. By discussing these approaches, you'll develop an understanding of the potential strengths 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, you'll develop skills and knowledge that will enable you to locate, use and evaluate research findings appropriately.

Level 5 modules

  • Trials and Errors: Justice in Court
    Trials and Errors will introduce you to the concept of miscarriages of justice and wrongful conviction. Each week, you will learn about some of the key barriers to ‘justice’ and critically examine controversial aspects of the criminal justice system; for example the mass production of guilty pleas, jury trials, expert witnesses and ‘trial by media’. You will draw upon a range of case studies to examine these issues, developing a theoretical understanding that is rooted in real-world examples. By the end of Trials and Errors, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge of the court process and how it can go wrong, as well as the strength and weaknesses of key aspects of the English and Welsh system. Trials and Errors will be delivered in weekly two hour lecture/workshops and one hour seminars. You will have the opportunity to present your ideas in class. Your assessment will comprise an essay and an in-class test.
  • Contemporary Issues in Prisons and Penology
    On this module, you'll examine the proper aims and objectives of punishment and the role of rehabilitation in correcting criminal behaviour, focusing on the three core ideas of retribution, rehabilitation and restoration. You'll discover how, by taking a specific theoretical line, certain public policy measures are implied, and explore the roots of the sanctions we take for granted, such as the birth of the prison and the demise (in some countries) of the death penalty. You'll consider the impact of penal direction-changes, the emergence of rehabilitation as a 'model' and the growth of the 'penal industry' throughout the western world. You'll also examine some of the theories that have been generated to understand and direct various responses to unruly behaviour: the utilitarian tradition, the retributive tradition, just deserts, proportionality, rehabilitation, deterrence, restoration and reparation. You'll be assessed through an essay and a report in an agreed area.
  • Violent Crime
    On this module, you'll approach the study of violence from a range of perspectives, including criminal and legal, psychological, medical and biological. You'll explore a range of expressions of violence, and the sanctions that are employed through the criminal justice system, as well as examining the concept of evil and how rehabilitation or punishments relate to such an idea. You'll debate 'ordinary' and criminal aggression - from everyday assaults to serial murder - and examine these behaviours through a variety of theoretical explanations, such as vengeance, mass media, drugs, social context and biological impairment. In addition, you'll have the chance to evaluate the impact of research into the unplanned effects of aggression or 'legitimate force' in situations such as war and sport, as well as 'illegitimately', such as the aftermath of accidental injuries or deaths. Your assessment will take the form of an essay and a portfolio, including a structured classroom debate.
  • Project Preparation
    This module will provide you with the guidance, support and information to prepare for the major project (or part thereof) in your final year. The topics you cover will largely be built around your own academic needs and interests, and may vary from year to year. However, you'll also attend weekly sessions, which will include guidance on the following: appropriate use of supervisor; selecting a suitable topic and researching research problems; literature surveys and reviews on chosen topics; how to develop research aims and objectives; ethics and writing a research proposal.

Level 6 modules

  • Major Project
    The individual Major Project will allow you to undertake a substantial piece of individual research, focused on a topic relevant to your specific course. Your topic will be assessed for suitability to ensure sufficient academic challenge and satisfactory supervision by an academic member of staff. The project will require you to identify/formulate problems and issues, conduct research, evaluate information, process data, and critically appraise and present your findings/creative work. You should arrange and attend regular meetings with your project supervisor, to ensure that your project is closely monitored and steered in the right direction.
  • Youth Justice Controversies
    The Criminal Justice System incorporates a range of functions and agencies that are required to protect the public, uphold justice and the law, maintain public order, exact punishments and censures, recognise and accommodate victims and sustain public confidence. The system is guided by important principles, of which a central aspect is that every individual has rights, whether as suspect, defendant, convict, enforcer, employee, victim, witness or ordinary citizen. On this module, you'll uncover the complexities of the criminal justice system, notably around the issue of youth justice, and discuss theories explaining youth crime and youth culture. You'll analyse competing strategies in youth justice and their outcomes, discussing recent developments in youth justice legislation, policy and practice. You'll reflect on the issue of race, gender and drug abuse, and explore the recent youth justice innovations that have arguably changed the face of young offenders and issues of accountability. Your assessment will comprise a group presentation and a portfolio of patchwork texts.
  • Criminology in Policy and Practice
    The objects of the Criminological enquiry – crime, policing, justice, punishment, fear, victims, control, order, security – have come to occupy a prominent and disputed place in the lives and consciousness of citizens and governing authorities. Your career may be determined upon how well you understand the system that you seek to work in. In this module, you will consider how criminological theory has informed the landscape of crime, order and control and impacted legislation, policy and practice. You will examine the political, economic and social contexts in which criminological research is shaped and carried out in order to usefully inform criminal justice policy. For example, you will consider complex issues such as balancing policing in the age of austerity against the growth of punitive populism, or allocating resources effectively between the prevention of terrorism or violence against women and girls. Scrutinising institutions such as the police, county councils and victim-focused charities, you will examine some of the tensions that exist within them such as decision-making, agenda-setting and resource allocation. You will think critically about the processes that are involved in turning ideas into action, building ‘joint working’ initiatives and managing policy implementation. Furthermore, you will consider some of the wider criminological issues you have studied in relation to the criminal justice work setting – how do cultural, political and patriarchal attitudes affect the shape of agenda-setting, and what could be the impact of vicarious trauma upon the agents whom we put so much trust? Criminology in policy and practice will provide you with the skills necessary to connect your degree with the criminal justice sector, its policies and practices. The module will be delivered by lectures and workshops, and your assessment will consist of a report and an essay.

Assessment

We’ll assess your progress in many different ways, including case studies, presentations, essays, patchwork texts, portfolios, data analysis exercises, exams, group work and your major project.

Where you'll study

Your faculty

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Whether you aim to work in the creative industries or the social sciences, the legal profession or public service, the Faculty of Arts, Law & Social Sciences will provide you with the skills and knowledge you need for professional life.

Our lively, diverse community and ambitious academic environment will broaden your horizons and help you develop your full potential - many of our courses give you the chance to learn another language, study abroad or undertake work placements as you study.

If you’re interested in art, music, drama or film, check out our packed programme of events. Together with our partners in the creative and cultural industries, we’re always working to enrich the cultural life of the university and the wider community.

Our research is groundbreaking and internationally recognised, with real social impact. We support the Cultures of the Digital Economy Research Institute (CoDE), whose projects include interactive music apps and documenting lifesaving childbirth procedures, as well as nine international research clusters, such as the Centre for Children's Book Studies and the Labour History Research Unit.

In the Research Excellence Framework 2014, six of our subject areas were awarded world-leading status: Law; Art and Design; English Language and Literature, Communication, Cultural and Media Studies; History; Music, Drama, Dance and Performing Arts.

Where can I study?

University Centre Peterborough
University Centre Peterborough

University Centre Peterborough (or UCP) is our modern campus in the heart of an historic city.

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Fees & funding

Course fees

UK & EU students, 2016/17 (per year part time)

£3,750

UK & EU students, 2017/18 (per year, part time)

£3,875

Important fee notes

The course fee assumes that you’re studying at half the rate of a full time student (50% intensity). Course fees will be different if you study over a longer period. All fees are for guidance purposes only.

How do I pay my fees?

You can pay your fees in the following ways.

Tuition fee loan

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Most English undergraduates take out a tuition fee loan with Student Finance England. The fees are then paid directly to us. The amount you repay each month is linked to your salary and repayments start in April after you graduate.

How to apply for a tuition fee loan

Paying upfront

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If you choose not to take out a loan you can pay your fees directly to us. There are two ways to do this: either pay in full, or through a three- or six-month instalment plan starting at registration.

How to pay your fees directly

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Funding for UK & EU students

We offer most new undergraduate students funding to support their studies and university life. There’s also finance available for specific groups of students.

Grants and scholarships are available for:

Entry requirements

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220 UCAS tariff points. A levels required: 2 A levels and 1 AS level in related subjects. BTEC/Access required; A BTEC National or 30 credits Merit at Access Certificate in a related subject. GCSEs required: 3 GCSEs at grade C or above in English, Mathematics and Science.

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Important additional notes

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 answers@anglia.ac.uk for further information.

We don't 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're combined with tariff points from A levels or other equivalent level 3 qualifications in other subjects.

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