Our BA (Hons) Criminology and Criminal Justice degree is a broad-based programme of study that explores both the social and personal aspects of crime. It examines some of the most serious concerns we face as a society, such as: What causes crime and criminal behaviour? Can crime be prevented? How and why should we punish offenders? How does criminal justice link to social justice? The course requires a critical engagement with criminology theory, research methods and the history of crime and punishment.
You gain an understanding of the social and personal aspects of crime, develop critical thinking skills, and become confident in your ability to analyse and reflect upon different sociological, legal and economic theories. You also gain transferable skills in research, time management and written communication.
The Bachelors degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice is made up of the following modules and, upon completion, is equal to a total of 360 credits.
Level 4 modules:
- Fundamentals of Effective Learning (15 credits)*
- The Legal System (15 credits)*
- Crime and Society (15 credits)*
- Dealing with Offending Behaviour (15 credits)*
- Introduction to Psychology (15 credits)*
- Introduction to Offender Profiling (15 credits)*
- Introduction to Criminology (15 credits)*
- Justice and Punishment (15 credits)*
Level 5 modules:
- Criminology (15 credits)*
- Risk Assessment and Management (15 credits)*
- Forensic and Criminal Psychology (15 credits)*
- Criminal Investigation (15 credits)
- Youth Crime and Justice (15 credits)
- Prisons and Penology (15 credits)
- Substance Misuse and Crime (15 credits)
- Probation and Community Justice (15 credits)
Level 6 modules:
- Victimology and Criminal Victimisation (15 credits)*
- Criminal Justice in the Information Age: Cyber Crime and Security (15 credits)*
- Criminal Behaviour and Deviance (15 credits)*
- The Economics of Crime (15 credits)*
- Research Methods (15 credits)*
- Policing (15 credits)*
- Criminal Justice Research Project (30 credits)*
* These modules are core and must be passed in order to achieve the award.
Learning and assessment
Studying online gives you the freedom to study when and where it suits you - at home, during your lunch hour or anywhere else you have internet access.
All of our online courses have an indicative study duration which is a guide to how long your course will take to complete. The actual duration may be longer or shorter depending on your speed of study, study options chosen and module availability. It's possible to complete your studies faster than the indicative course duration by doubling up on modules at certain times; however, minimum study durations do apply.
All of our courses have regular start dates throughout the year. Our academic year is organised into modules, typically with a one- or two-week break between modules and a structured three-week break for the Christmas period. Students will receive a course timetable during the application process.
Teaching methods and style
As we are a 100% online university, we utilise a virtual learning environment instead of a traditional campus. The system tracks and manages the learning process in real-time and provides you with immediate access to your learning materials.
This learning platform allows both students and tutors to actively take part in real-time conversations and you can listen to, and view, live lectures and seminars over the internet. All courses are delivered in English only.
You are supported throughout your course by a dedicated Student Adviser and have the opportunity to regularly interact with fellow students and your tutor. To ensure you receive the support you need from your tutor, we cap our class sizes at 20 students.
We adopt an assignment-based approach to assessment instead of exams. Criminology and criminal justice assignments are based on real-life work experience and assessed by tutors on an ongoing basis.
You are always aware of your current provisional grade right from the start of the programme, allowing you to evaluate the success of your current study methods and clearly identify areas to improve.
We believe that this transparency gives you the information you need to make the most of your course. We achieve this by:
- showing your marks clearly in your gradebook, which can be viewed whenever you log onto the learning platform
- the rapid turnaround of work assessed to ensure that your gradebook is always up to date
- assessing your work throughout the module rather than waiting for end of year exams
- ensuring you have regular contact with your Student Adviser
- the simplicity and transparency in the design of our assessment criteria
We also have a policy of ensuring that work submitted by students is authentic. As well as the fact that all work is frequently assessed, we use a well-established electronic monitoring system to check for plagiarism.
On successful completion of your Bachelors degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice, you will be invited to attend a graduation ceremony at the University of Essex, Colchester Campus.
We are dedicated to improving employability amongst our graduates. Our online courses give you the opportunity to improve your career prospects and earning potential with a mix of key skills that are directly transferable to the workplace.
Careers linked to criminology and criminal justice are very varied and this course provides excellent training for work within the police, probation, prisons, youth work, youth offending services and private and voluntary sectors. Other opportunities include roles within criminal justice services such as court custody officers and drug or alcohol workers. Students have also moved into civil service, journalism or professional positions within the voluntary sector such as fund-raisers and project managers.