Black Lives Matter Protest. BSc (Hons) Sociology with Criminology.
Mode of Study
3 years Full-time, 4 years sandwich with work placement
Start Date
September 2022


People are not born criminals. On this course, you’ll explore how human relationships and social structures influence behaviour. You’ll discover how power dynamics and inequalities create crime. And you’ll see people who break and enforce the law in a new light.

With many diverse options to choose from, you can tailor this BSc (Hons) Sociology with Criminology degree around topics that fascinate you – from identity issues, such as race and sexuality, to issues of experience, such as happiness, gang crime or serial killing. 

Modules are taught by experts who draw directly from their research activity – to give you the latest knowledge in the field.

Course highlights

  • Explore topics informed by our latest research, from a curriculum constantly updated to reflect new ideas in areas as diverse as black studies, gender, class and inequality
  • Learn how to persuade others through evidence-based argument, by taking a critical look at different ideas of society, crime and justice
  • Go beyond issues of crime to explore the human experience more broadly – from migration to inequalities, from food to celebrity culture
  • Practice analysing human behaviour through social research, so you can gain insights to help improve people’s wellbeing
  • Customise your degree to match your ambitions: some modules reduce the amount of time you’d need to train for a policing career or as a probation officer 
Prague city view

Study abroad year

Between your second and third year you can choose to study abroad at one of our partner universities in Europe, Asia, Australia or North America. All classes are delivered in English and you'll still be able to get both your tuition fee and maintenance loans. You may also qualify for a government travel grant.

"Students that go abroad are more likely to obtain first-class honours [and] more likely to be in graduate employment than their non-mobile peers."

Universities UK International: 'Gone International, Rising Aspirations', 2019

TEF Gold Teaching Excellence Framework

Entry requirements​

Entry requirements for BSc (Hons) Sociology with Criminology

Typical offers

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.

Careers and opportunities

Studying a combination of sociology and criminology opens up a wide range of potential careers, both in and out of the criminal justice system. Whether you’re attracted to careers that involve working closely with other people, or roles that call for rigorous and structured thinking, you’ll be well prepared.

This is because you’ll graduate with a set of skills that are transferable to all kinds of professions. Those skills include:

  • insight into people and social dynamics
  • critical thinking and analysis
  • qualitative and quantitative research
  • the ability to shape and communicate an argument

For proof that a wide range of employers value these skills, look at the diversity of roles our recent graduates have taken on. They include: police officer, recruitment consultant, litigation paralegal, digital forensics assistant and victim support caseworker.

What areas can you work in with a sociology with criminology degree?

You’ll graduate ready to pursue a career or further training in areas such as:

  • health and social care
  • law enforcement
  • probation
  • counselling
  • advertising, marketing and media
  • teaching and lecturing
  • human resources and recruitment
  • business administration and personnel management

You could also progress into research-related jobs or pursue further research and study at postgraduate level.

Nathan is supporting some of our City’s most vulnerable people in his graduate role

"We’re all scared of the long-term effects of the pandemic, but seeing the ways it has disproportionately hit certain people in our society is concerning. Without charities like The Roberts Centre, a lot of families just wouldn’t get the help they desperately need."

Discover Nathan's inspiring story

What jobs can you do with a sociology with criminology degree?

Job roles you could take on include:

  • social researcher
  • probation officer
  • investigative analyst
  • police officer
  • human resource manager
  • counsellor
  • teacher
  • charity worker
  • detention custody officer

Placement year (optional)

After your second year of study, you can choose to do a paid work placement year in the UK or overseas. This lets you put your new skills to work while developing valuable links with employers.

It’s fantastic for your CV and will really help you stand out when applying for jobs after graduation.

We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your aspirations – whatever they might be. For example, a recent student joined an anti-poaching operation in South Africa.

Mentoring and support throughout your placement will help you to get the most from the experience.

You can also spend this year studying overseas at one of our partner universities in Europe. 

What you'll study on this BSc (Hons) Sociology with Criminology degree course

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.


Core modules in this year include:

  • Criminal Justice – 20 credits
  • Developing Your Sociological Imagination – 40 credits
  • Enrichment – 0 credits
  • Research Design and Analysis – 20 credits
  • Theorising Social Life – 20 credits
  • Understanding Criminology – 20 credits

There are no optional modules in this year.

Core modules in this year include:

  • Doing Sociological Research – 20 credits
  • Enrichment – 0 credits
  • Questioning Criminology – 20 credits

Optional modules in this year include:

  • Challenging Global Inequality – 20 credits
  • Community Justice – 20 credits
  • Consumer Society: Critical Themes and Issues – 20 credits
  • Crime and the Media – 20 credits
  • Crimes of the Powerful – 20 credits
  • Cultural Criminology – 20 credits
  • Emotions and Social Life – 20 credits
  • Equality or Liberation? Theorising Social Justice – 20 credits
  • Family, Career and Generation – 20 credits
  • Food, Culture, and Society – 20 credits
  • Gang Crime – 20 credits
  • Gender and Sexuality – 20 credits
  • Global Environmental Justice – 20 credits
  • Global, State and Corporate Security – 20 credits
  • Hate Crime – 20 credits
  • Health, Wellbeing, and Happiness – 20 credits
  • Learning from Experience – 20 credits
  • Modern Foreign Language (Institution-wide Language Programme) – 20 credits
  • Modernity and Globalisation – 20 credits
  • Nationalism and Migration: Chaos, Crisis And the Everyday – 20 credits
  • Penology and Prison – 20 credits
  • Police, Law and Community – 20 credits
  • Policing and Society – 20 credits
  • Principles of Economic Crime Investigation – 20 credits
  • Race and Racism – 20 credits
  • Researching Criminology – 20 credits
  • Risk and Society – 20 credits
  • Social Power, Elites and Dissent – 20 credits
  • Sociology of Culture: Taste, Value and Celebrity – 20 credits
  • Sociology of Religion – 20 credits
  • The Body: Sociological Perspectives – 20 credits
  • The Sociology of Education – 20 credits
  • Understanding Personal Life – 20 credits
  • Victims of Crime: Key Players in Criminal Justice – 20 credits
  • Wildlife Crime: Threats and Response – 20 credits
  • Work, Employment and Society – 20 credits
  • Youth Crime, Youth Justice – 20 credits

After your second year, you can do an optional work placement year to get valuable longer-term work experience in the industry.

Examples of placement organisations include:

  • Why Me? Restorative Justice
  • SEK International School, Spain
  • Aurora New Dawn – a charity giving safety, support, advocacy and empowerment to survivors of domestic abuse, sexual violence and stalking

We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your aspirations. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year.

Core modules in this year are:

  • Sociology Dissertation or Major Project – 40 credits

You'll also need to choose 2 optional sociology modules and 2 criminology modules.

Optional sociology modules in this year are:

  • Challenging Global Inequality – 20 credits
  • Consumer Society: Critical Themes and Issues – 20 credits
  • Emotions and Social Life – 20 credits
  • Equality or Liberation? Theorising Social Justice – 20 credits
  • Family, Career and Generation – 20 credits
  • Food, Culture and Society – 20 credits
  • Gender and Sexuality – 20 credits
  • Health, Wellbeing and Happiness – 20 credits
  • Introduction to Teaching – 20 credits
  • Nationalism and Migration: Chaos, Crisis and the Everyday – 20 credits
  • Professional Development – 20 credits
  • Professional Experience: Recruiters and Candidates – 20 credits
  • Race and Racism – 20 credits
  • Social Power, Elites and Dissent – 20 credits
  • Sociology of Culture: Taste, Value and Celebrity – 20 credits
  • Sociology of Religion – 20 credits
  • The Body: Sociological Perspectives – 20 credits
  • Understanding Personal Life – 20 credits

Optional criminology modules are:

  • Black Criminology, Race and the Criminal Justice System – 20 credits
  • Contemporary Terrorism and the Global Response – 20 credits
  • Crime and New Technologies: Theory and Practice – 20 credits
  • Critical Penal Studies – 20 credits
  • Dangerous Offender and Public Protection – 20 credits
  • Economic Crime and Fraud Examination – 20 credits
  • Forensic Psychology and Mental Health – 20 credits
  • Gender and Crime – 20 credits
  • Green Crime and Environmental Justice – 20 credits
  • Intelligence Analysis – 20 credits
  • Miscarriages of Justice – 20 credits
  • Money Laundering and Compliance – 20 credits
  • Policing: Communities, Intelligence and Information – 20 credits
  • Policing: Law, Policy and Practice – 20 credits
  • Political Extremism – 20 credits
  • Professional Development: Recruiters and Candidates
  • Social Policy, Justice and Crime – 20 credits
  • State Crime – 20 credits
  • Treatment and Rehabilitation of Offenders – 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.

How you're assessed

You'll be assessed through:

  • written essays
  • group and individual presentations
  • group and individual projects
  • seminar participation
  • examinations
  • a 10,000 word dissertation

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


Teaching methods on this course include:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • one-to-one tutorials
  • workshops
  • events, talks and visits

There's an emphasis on participation on this course, you'll take part in group debates and discussions, and gain experience in research and interviewing techniques.

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 Sociology with Criminology degree. In your first year, you’ll be in timetabled teaching activities such as lectures, seminars and tutorials 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.

Most timetabled teaching takes place during the day, Monday to Friday. You may occasionally need to go to University and course events in the evenings. There’s usually no teaching on Wednesday afternoons.

Term dates

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

See term dates

Supporting your learning

The amount of timetabled teaching you'll get on your degree might be less than what you're used to at school or college, but you'll also get support via video, phone and face-to-face from teaching and support staff when you need it. These include the following people and services:

Types of support

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

You'll have regular contact with your personal tutor in learning activities or scheduled meetings. You can also make an appointment with them if you need extra support.

If you need support with software and equipment or you want to learn additional skills (including skills not covered on your course), our creative skills tutors provide free workshops, activities and one-on-one tutorials. Skills you can learn include life drawing, film camera operation and video production.

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 require extra support because of a disability or additional learning need our specialist team can help you.

They'll help you to:

  • discuss and agree on reasonable adjustments
  • liaise with other University services and facilities, such as the library
  • access specialist study skills and strategies tutors, and assistive technology tutors, on a 1-to-1 basis or in groups
  • liaise with external services

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.

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 (2022 start)

  • UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • EU students – £9,250 a year (including Transition Scholarship – may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £16,200 per year (subject to annual increase)

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 6 modules a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each module.

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 – LM40
  • 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.

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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