At Kent, Criminology and Cultural Studies are taught in the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research where you benefit from a large choice of specialist modules on race, social change, criminal justice, disability and the arts.
Our academics are internationally recognised for their expertise in criminological theory and criminal justice policy. They are regularly asked by the government to provide insight on matters relevant for current policy developments.
Our degree programme
In your first year, you study introductory modules on criminology, sociology, and cultural studies. You then learn how to conduct and apply qualitative and quantitative sociological research.
In your second and final years, you can choose from a range of options covering topics like contemporary culture, youth behaviours, digital media and the sociology of imprisonment.
There is also the option to take a dissertation module on a subject of your choice. This allows you to focus in detail on an area you are particularly passionate about.
Students undertaking criminology joint degrees have the opportunity of spending the second term of their third year at San Diego State University in California as part of an international exchange programme. While at San Diego State, University of Kent criminology exchange students can select from a number of module options delivered by the well-respected School of Public Affairs, which offers courses in fields such as criminal justice and criminology, public affairs and administration, and urban and transborder studies.
Please see our Go Abroad pages for information about spending a full year abroad at one of our partner institutions in North America, Asia or Europe.
You have access to a wide range of topical journals and books in hard copy and digital format through Kent’s Templeman Library. Your designated academic advisor provides guidance for your studies and academic development.
Our Student Learning Advisory Service also offers useful workshops on topics like essay writing and academic referencing.
There are a number of student-led societies which you may want to join such as: Socrates Society Feminist Society UKC Digital Media.
There are also events available throughout the year for students from the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research. These may include: research seminars and webcasts career development workshops informal lectures by guest experts followed by group discussion.
We use a variety of teaching methods, including lectures, case study analysis, group projects and presentations, and individual and group tutorials. Many module convenors also offer additional ‘clinic’ hours to help with the preparation of coursework and for exams.
Assessment is by a mixture of coursework and examinations; to view details for individual modules click the 'read more' link within each module listed in the course structure.
Knowledge and understanding
You gain knowledge and understanding of:
- the principal concepts and theoretical approaches in criminology and cultural studies
- the ways in which images and popular stereotypes of crime are constructed and represented
- the principles that underlie criminal justice policy, how they have changed over time and how they relate to the workings of particular agencies of welfare and crime control
- contemporary issues and debates in specific areas of criminology and cultural studies, particularly where these overlap
- the main sources of data about crime and social welfare and a grasp of the research methods used to collect and analyse data
- distinctive patterns of modern culture and the historical development and consequences of the split between 'elite' and 'popular' culture
- interdisciplinary approaches to issues in criminology and cultural studies and the ability to use ideas from other sources.
You develop the following intellectual skills:
- problem-solving and the ability to seek solutions to crime criminal behaviour and other social problems and individual needs
- research, including the ability to identify appropriate research questions in criminology and cultural studies and to collect and interpret data to answer such questions
- evaluation and analysis, to assess the outcomes of criminal justice, crime prevention and social policy intervention on individuals and communities
- sensitivity to the values and interests of others and to the dimensions of cultural difference
- interpretation, to analyse a range of cultural material from image to text, and understand wider contexts and implications.
You gain the following subject-specific skills:
- the identification and use of theories and concepts in criminology to analyse issues of crime and criminal justice
- the identification, use and application of cultural theories and concepts to the analysis of cultural processes and products in everyday life
- seeking out and use of statistical data relevant to issues of crime and criminal justice
- knowing how to use methods of cultural analysis in examining the content and presentation of different media and art forms
- understanding the nature and appropriate use, including the ethical implications, of diverse social research strategies and methods
- distinguishing between technical, normative, moral and political questions.
You gain the following transferable skills:
- studying and learning independently, using library and internet sources
- developing an appetite for learning and being reflective, adaptive and collaborative in your approach
- making short presentations to fellow students and staff
- communicating ideas and arguments to others, both in written and spoken form
- preparing essays and referencing the material quoted according to conventions in social policy
- using IT to wordprocess, conduct online searches, communicate by email and access data sources
- time management by delivering academic work on time and to the required standard
- working with others: developing interpersonal and teamworking skills to enable you to work collaboratively, negotiate, listen and deliver results.
The programme aims to:
- produce graduates with analytical and knowledge-based skills relevant to employment in the professions, public service and the private sector
- provide a broad knowledge and understanding of key concepts, debates and theoretical approaches in criminology and cultural studies, and the relationship between criminology and cultural studies, particularly the development in recent years of the overlap area of cultural criminology
- develop new areas of teaching in response to needs of the community
- promote an understanding of contemporary debates on cultural issues and the cultural aspects of political, economic and social issues
- provide an understanding of the historical processes that have shaped the distinctive peculiarities of modern western culture as it has emerged over the last two centuries, and the underlying patterns of meaning that can link what can otherwise seem to be very disparate phenomena
- understand the emergence of social problems (including crime) and the responses of welfare and criminal justice institutions, including analysis of the theoretical, political and economic underpinnings of these responses
- help students to link theoretical knowledge with empirical enquiry and to identify and understand different ideological positions
- develop problem-solving skills and an understanding of the nature and appropriate use of research methods used in social science research
- teach students key writing, research and communications skills
- give students the skills and abilities to enable them to become informed citizens, capable of participating in the policy process and equipped for a dynamic labour market.