Criminology with Environmental Justice BSc (Hons)

polar bear on melting ice
Mode of Study
Full-time, sandwich with work placement
3 years Full-time, 4 years sandwich with work placement
Start Date
September 2022


As 'green' crimes such as environmental pollution become more common, they have a significant negative impact on our natural world.

If you're enthusiastic about environmental protection, social justice, ethical responsibility and dealing with climate change – and want to help develop and apply legal frameworks that protect the planet – this combined BSc (Hons) Criminology with Environmental Justice degree is your ideal next step.

You'll analyse the causes of environmental harms and crime and familiarise yourself with modern crime investigation techniques. You'll learn how the dynamics between its perpetrators (such as conglomerates) and victims (such as small communities) shape environmental justice.

You'll develop extensive knowledge of the criminal justice system and a strong technical and legal understanding of contemporary green crime, including the settings it takes place in. 

You'll also have opportunities to enhance your CV and apply your knowledge in the field on an optional placement year or by volunteering in the local community.

You'll emerge from this course with the skills, knowledge and experience for a career in environmental protection in areas such as conservation, environmental harm research, policy and law enforcement. You could also continue your studies at postgraduate level.

TEF Gold Teaching Excellence Framework

Entry requirements​

BSc (Hons) Criminology with Environmental Justice entry requirements

Typical offers

  • A levels – ABB–BBC
  • UCAS points – 112–128 points from 3 A levels or equivalent (calculate your UCAS points)
  • BTECs (Extended Diplomas) – DDM–DMM
  • International Baccalaureate – 29–30

See full entry requirements and other qualifications we accept

English language requirements

  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

See alternative English language qualifications

We also accept other standard English tests and qualifications, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of your course.

If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

What you'll experience

On this course, you'll:

  • Cover specialist topics including the exploitation of our natural resources, wildlife crime and conservation, environmental justice and climate change criminology
  • Use the latest forensic advances, immersive learning technologies and artefacts (ivory, traps and snares) – gaining insight into investigation techniques for environmental and wildlife crime
  • Be taught by lecturers with practical and research expertise, whose work has featured globally in publications including National Geographic
  • Study alongside students in related disciplines, helping you understand the roles and perspectives of those who work in other areas of criminal justice
  • Tailor your degree to match your interests and workplace ambitions
  • Explore your career options by tapping into an external network of guest lecturers and experts

You can also:

  • Broaden your understanding of different approaches from national and global actors, agencies and institutions
  • Spend a year abroad, studying with an international partner university
  • Learn a new language and get credits towards your degree
  • Build valuable professional experience through volunteering in the local community
  • Choose modules in your final year that allow you to qualify as a police or probation officer more quickly after you graduate

Ideal skills and qualities for this course

To get the most out of this course, you should be:

  • An effective oral and written communicator
  • Able to critically engage with criminological issues, such as environmental crime and matters impacting environmental justice
  • Able to develop a global perspective that acknowledges the impact and response differences between the Global North and Global South
  • Mindful of human and animal rights

Careers and opportunities

Ecological crime has become the fourth largest criminal activity in the world. It's on the rise in Africa, Asia and Latin America, threatening local biospheres and human health. In 2016 it was worth up to £190 billion to criminals – a 26% increase in two years (UN Environmental Programme, 2018). 

The UN is helping international communities devise preventative legal frameworks to tackle these crimes and UNESCO is proposing many 'green' programmes and initiatives. This means environmental justice graduates are becoming more in demand in societies the world over – opening up novel, exciting career opportunities when you complete this course.

You could work for many organisations and agencies, including:

  • Law enforcement and investigation
  • Inter-governmental organisations (IGOs)
  • National and international environmental non-governmental organisations (NGOs)
  • Government environmental agencies
  • Local authority environmental health departments
  • Environmental advocacy/policy
  • Environmental protection research/monitoring

You can consider graduate schemes – like PoliceNow, Countryside Ranger  and the Civil Service Fast Track Apprenticeship Scheme – if you want a more advanced role in the criminal justice sector. Postgraduate study is another option for you after the course.

Placement year or study abroad

After your second year, you can do an optional placement year or study year abroad to develop valuable lasting experience in the field. There are many conservation-related internship and volunteer programmes to choose from, with some allowing you to gain extra certified skills, including diving.

In the UK, you can find opportunities with organisations including:

Outside the UK, you may find a place in schemes such as the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Internships.

You'll be guided throughout your placement year by course staff and placement advisors within the University's Global team or Faculty Placement and Internship Centre.

Work experience and career planning

To give you the best chance of getting your ideal job when you graduate, our Careers and Employability service can help you find relevant work experience during your course. We can help you identify placements, internships, voluntary roles and freelancing opportunities that will complement your studies and build your portfolio. We'll also advise and support you for up to 5 years as you advance in your career.

Our Placements and Internship Centre (PIC) in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences can help you find further placement and internship positions and guide you through applying for them.

You can also take the Learning From Experience (LiFE) module during this course, where you can earn credits towards your degree for any work, volunteer and research placements you do alongside your study.

If you want to work in law enforcement, you can do a three-week online course by the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Training (CEPOL) centred on combating environmental crime using cross-border cooperation and financial investigative techniques.

​What you'll study

Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits.

In each year, you need to study modules worth a total of 120 credits. For example, four modules worth 20 credits and one module worth 40 credits.

Modules currently being studied

Core modules

  • Essential Skills for Criminologists (40 credits)
  • Understanding Criminology (20 credits)
  • Criminal Justice (20 credits)
  • Green Criminology: Environmental Crimes and Harms (20 credits)
  • Psychology for Criminologists (20 credits)

There are no optional modules for this year.

Core modules

  • Questioning Criminology (20 credits)
  • Crimes of the Powerful: Corporate and Governmental Environmental Harms (20 credits)
  • Global Environmental Justice (20 credits)
  • Researching Criminology (20 credits)

Optional modules

  • Wildlife Crime: Threats and Responses (20 credits)
  • Fundamentals of Forensic Investigation (20 credits)
  • Cultural Criminology (20 credits)
  • Global, State and Corporate Security (20 credits)
  • Learning From Experience (20 credits)
  • Introduction to Teaching (20 credits)
  • Penology and Prison (20 credits)
  • Police and Society (20 credits)
  • Youth Crime, Youth Justice (20 credits)
  • Work Placement Year (120 credits)
  • Study Year Abroad (120 credits)

Core modules

  • Dissertation (40 credits)
  • Ecological Justice and Climate Change Criminology (20 credits)

Optional modules

  • Cybercrime: Deviance, Crime and Terror (20 credits)
  • Political Extremism (20 credits)
  • Social Policy, Justice and Crime (20 credits)
  • State Crime (20 credits)
  • Dangerous Offenders and Public Protection (20 credits)
  • Policing: Law, Policy and Practice (20 credits)
  • Introduction to Teaching (20 credits)
  • Money Laundering and Compliance (20 credits)
  • Contemporary Terrorism and the Global Response (20 credits)
  • Gender and Crime (20 credits)
  • Miscarriages of Justice (20 credits)
  • Policing: Communities, Intelligence and information (20 credits)
  • Treatment and Rehabilitation of Offenders (20 credits)
  • Learning From Experience (20 credits)

Changes to course content

We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional modules may not run every year. If a module doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.


Teaching methods on this course include:

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Group discussions
  • Workshops

You can access all teaching resources on Moodle, our virtual learning environment, from anywhere with a web connection.

Teaching staff include experienced lecturers with expertise and specialisms in areas including: 

  • Environmental crimes and harms
  • Environmental justice and wildlife crime
  • International law
  • Research methods
  • Policy development

How you're assessed

You’ll be assessed through:

  • Essays
  • Reports
  • Presentations
  • Group projects and portfolios
  • Seminar participation and engagement
  • Dissertation

You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before doing assessments that count towards your final mark.

You can also get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

How you'll spend your time

One of the main differences between school or college and university is how much control you have over your learning.

At university, as well as spending time in timetabled teaching activities such as lectures, seminars and tutorials, you’ll do lots of independent study with support from our staff when you need it.

A typical week

We recommend you spend at least 35 hours a week studying for your degree. In your first year, you’ll be in timetabled teaching activities such as lectures, seminars and workshops for about 10 hours a week. The rest of the time you’ll do independent study such as research, reading, coursework and project work, alone or in a group with others from your course. You'll probably do more independent study and have less scheduled teaching in years 2 and 3, but this depends on which modules you choose.

Term dates

The academic year runs from September to June. There are breaks at Christmas and Easter.

See term dates

Supporting your learning

Personal tutor

Your personal tutor helps you make the transition to independent study and gives you academic and personal support throughout your time at university.

As well as regular scheduled meetings with your personal tutor, they're also available at set times during the week if you want to chat with them about anything that can't wait until your next scheduled meeting.

Learning development tutors

You'll have help from a team of faculty learning development tutors. They can help you improve and develop your academic skills and support you in any area of your study.

They can help with:

  • Improving your academic writing (for example, essays, reports, dissertations)
  • Delivering presentations (including observing and filming presentations)
  • Understanding and using assignment feedback
  • Managing your time and workload
  • Revision and exam techniques

Academic skills support

As well as support from faculty staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • academic writing
  • note taking
  • time management
  • critical thinking
  • presentation skills
  • referencing
  • working in groups
  • revision, memory and exam techniques

If you have a disability or need extra support, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) will give you help, support and advice.

Library support

Library staff are available in person or by email, phone or online chat to help you make the most of the University’s library resources. You can also request one-to-one appointments and get support from a librarian who specialises in your subject area.

The library is open 24 hours a day, every day, in term time.

Support with English

If English isn't your first language, you can do one of our English language courses to improve your written and spoken English language skills before starting your degree. Once you're here, you can take part in our free In-Sessional English (ISE) programme to improve your English further.

​Course costs and funding

Tuition fees 

  • UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • EU residents – £9,250 (including Transition Scholarship)
  • International students – to be confirmed (subject to annual increase)

Note these fees are based on courses starting in September 2021. We'll confirm 2022 fees here in autumn 2021.

Funding your studies

Find out how to fund your studies, including the scholarships and bursaries you could get. You can also find more about tuition fees and living costs, including what your tuition fees cover.

Applying from outside the UK? Find out about funding options for international students.

Additional course costs

These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.

Additional costs

Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.

You’ll study up to 8 modules a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each unit.

You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.

We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.


How to apply

To start this course in 2022, apply through UCAS. You'll need:

  • the UCAS course code – M931
  • our institution code – P80

If you'd prefer to apply directly, use our online application form.

You can also sign up to an Open Day to:

  • Tour our campus, facilities and halls of residence
  • Speak with lecturers and chat with our students
  • Get information about where to live, how to fund your studies and which clubs and societies to join

If you're new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.

How to apply from outside the UK

See the 'How to apply' section above for details of how to apply. You can also get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.

To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section. 

If you don't meet the English language requirements for this course yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.

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