Undergraduate students walking in the Trent Building quadrangle

Criminology and Sociology BA

University Park Campus, Nottingham, UK

Course overview

How are societies organised? How and why are certain kinds of behaviour categorised as ‘crime’, and how should we respond? What has been the influence of the digital age on our society?  

You’ll address questions like this on our joint honours BA Criminology and Sociology, by studying a variety of modules from both subjects. You'll get to explore how society works both locally and globally. You’ll think about the causes of crime and how societies attempt to control it.  

With a wide range of optional modules, you can tailor your degree to your interests and career aspirations. Interested in policing, gender, social media, cults, or migration? With our degree, you'll gain a unique perspective on these topics and more.

Take part in the placements scheme for hands-on experience, putting your knowledge to the test in the real world. And why stop there? You can gain a global perspective by studying abroad in locations such as the Netherlands, Singapore, or the USA.

Whether you're looking to make an impact in the public, private or voluntary sector, our course will equip you with the tools you need to succeed. Come and unlock your potential - your future career awaits.

Indicative modules

Mandatory

Year 1

Criminology: Understanding Crime and Victimisation

Mandatory

Year 1

Introduction to the Criminal Justice 'System' in England and Wales

Mandatory

Year 1

Investigating Social Worlds

Mandatory

Year 1

Social Science Uncovered 1

Mandatory

Year 1

Social Science Uncovered 2

Mandatory

Year 1

Understanding Contemporary Society

Mandatory

Year 2

Classical Sociological Theory

Mandatory

Year 2

Contemporary Sociological Theory

Mandatory

Year 2

Contemporary Theories of Crime, Justice and Society

Mandatory

Year 2

Research Design and Practice (Qualitative Methods)

Mandatory

Year 2

Research Design and Practice (Quantitative Methods)

Optional

Year 2

China Beyond the Headlines

Optional

Year 2

Controversy: Experts, Post-Truth and Fake News

Optional

Year 2

Crime, Justice and Psychology

Optional

Year 2

Crime Stories: Crime, Justice and the Media

Optional

Year 2

Drugs, Substances and Addiction

Optional

Year 2

Police, Policing and the Police

Optional

Year 2

Prisons and Society

Optional

Year 2

Rehabilitation, Risk and Desistance

Optional

Year 2

Social Inequalities: Causes, Patterns and Change

Optional

Year 2

#Sociology: Identity, Self and Other in a Digital Age

Optional

Year 2

Sustainable International Social Policy

Optional

Year 2

The Body, the Self and Others

Optional

Year 2

Youth Crime and Justice

Mandatory

Year 3

Dissertation

Optional

Year 3

Analysing Public Policy

Optional

Year 3

Contemporary Developments in Welfare Policy

Optional

Year 3

Crimes and Harms of the Powerful

Optional

Year 3

Cults and New Religious Movements: Power, Belief and Conflict

Optional

Year 3

Cyber Crime

Optional

Year 3

Education and Society

Optional

Year 3

Exploring Social and Cultural Life Through Films

Optional

Year 3

Gender, the Family and Social Policy

Optional

Year 3

Migration and Transnationalism

Optional

Year 3

‘Race’, Ethnicity and Colonial Modernity

Optional

Year 3

Sensory Criminology

Optional

Year 3

Southern Criminology: Decolonising the Study of Crime and Justice

Optional

Year 3

Survey Design and Analysis

Optional

Year 3

Victimology

Optional

Year 3

War and State Violence

Information Icon

About modules

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer, but is not intended to be construed or relied on as a definitive list of what might be available in any given year. This content was last updated on Monday 29 January 2024.

Our teaching is delivered through several modes including lectures, seminars and workshops. Independent study is an important aspect of learning at university and you will be expected to undertake preparatory reading and/or research before you attend your classes.

Our staff deliver teaching that is essential for you to understand the key ideas and contemporary thinking in your discipline (known as core modules) and teaching that is more specialist and based on their own research expertise (known as optional modules). All students will be required to take specific core modules relevant for their programmes and be given flexibility in the optional modules they choose to fit with their own personal interests. Find out more by watching our optional module videos.

You can also visit our open days on demand to watch pre-recorded lectures and general talks and see some of our lecturers in action.

Teaching methods

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Masterclasses
  • Workshops

You will be assessed through a combination of methods including exams, essays, project work and presentations, as well as a final year dissertation. You will normally receive feedback within three weeks of submission to enable you to improve for next time.

At the end of each semester, you will meet with your personal tutor to discuss all of the assessments and help you identify areas for improvement.

Assessment methods

  • Coursework
  • Essays
  • Examinations
  • Presentations
  • Dissertation

A typical 20-credit module on the first year of the BA Criminology and Sociology will involve a weekly two-hour lecture and one-hour seminar, independent reading, seminar preparation and assessment activities. You will study six 20-credit modules in the first year.

A degree in criminology and sociology can provide a solid foundation for work in local or national government, or in voluntary associations engaged with the social issues deriving from criminal behaviour. You could also pursue a criminal justice career, in the police, prison or probation service.

Your personal tutor will oversee your academic and personal development, and will offer support with your studies and welfare. There are also regular careers talks and events on enhancing your CV.

In addition to the subject-specific knowledge that you will build throughout this course, you'll develop key transferable skills that are in high-demand by employers. These skills will benefit you in roles within local or national government, voluntary associations engaged with the social issues deriving from criminal behaviour, and with private companies with interests in security and risk assessment.

Graduate destinations

Our criminology and sociology degree can open doors to a career in various sectors including government, criminal justice, law enforcement, law practice and community safety.

Recent graduates are now working with the Youth Justice Board, Ministry of Justice and other governmental departments.

Average starting salary and career progression

85.70% of undergraduates from the Faculty of Social Sciences secured graduate level employment or further study within 15 months of graduation. The average annual starting salary for these graduates was £29,197.

HESA Graduate Outcomes (2017-2021 cohorts). The Graduate Outcomes % is calculated using The Guardian University Guide methodology. The average annual salary is based on graduates working full-time within the UK.

Studying for a degree at the University of Nottingham will provide you with the type of skills and experiences that will prove invaluable in any career, whichever direction you decide to take.

Throughout your time with us, our Careers and Employability Service can work with you to improve your employability skills even further; assisting with job or course applications, searching for appropriate work experience placements and hosting events to bring you closer to a wide range of prospective employers.

Have a look at our careers page for an overview of all the employability support and opportunities that we provide to current students.

The University of Nottingham is consistently named as one of the most targeted universities by Britain’s leading graduate employers (Ranked in the top ten in The Graduate Market in 2013-2020, High Fliers Research).

Trent Building in sunshine  June 2nd 2020 by Lisa Gilligan-Lee

Whether it’s the friendly and knowledgeable staff, the contact hours or the independent learning, this course has enlightened me. It has given me new platforms to discover and explore the intricacies of the social world. 

Kelly Waldorf

Criminology and Sociology BA

Course data

Open Day June 2022