The School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research is one of
the best in the country for teaching and research. Our academics are
internationally recognised for their expertise in criminological theory
and criminal justice policy.
Our degree programme
You are taught across disciplines including law, politics, psychology and social research.
In your first year you take introductory modules on criminology and
sociology. You can also choose from a range of options covering
contemporary culture, media and youth behaviours.
In your second and final years, you deepen your understanding of
crime and criminal justice. A wide range of options means you can focus
on what interests you: areas covered include drug culture, forensic
psychology, youth and crime, the sociology of imprisonment, and
terrorism and modern society.
Criminology is also available as a joint honours degree with
Sociology, Social Policy or Cultural Studies. You can also study
Criminology with Quantitative Research to gain a combination of
analytical skills and social sciences knowledge.
Our students have the opportunity to spend a year or a term abroad at one of our partner institutions in North America, Asia and Europe. You
don’t have to make a decision before you enrol at Kent but certain
The Social Studies Society is run by Kent students for anyone with an interest in Criminology, Sociology, Law, Social Policy, Economics and
Politics. Previous activities include the Criminal Justice in Action
guest speaker series.
There are events available throughout the year for students from the
School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research. These may
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 studies, group projects and individual and group tutorials.
Knowledge and understanding
You gain knowledge and understanding of:
- the principal concepts and theoretical approaches in criminology, sociology and social policy
- the social processes that shape contemporary society and the relationships between groups
- the key international policy developments around human rights
- contemporary issues and debates in specific areas of criminal justice
- the main sources of data about crime and social welfare and a grasp of the research methods used to collect and analyse data
- patterns of social diversity and inequality and their origins and consequences
- interdisciplinary approaches to issues in criminology and the ability to use ideas from other social sciences.
You develop the following intellectual skills:
- problem-solving and the ability to seek solutions to criminal issues and other social problems and individual needs
- research, including the ability to identify a research question and to collect and manipulate data to answer that question
- evaluation and analysis, to assess the outcomes of crime prevention and social policy intervention on individuals and communities
- sensitivity to the values and interests of others and to the dimensions of difference
- interpretation of both research data and official statistics
- identification and gathering of appropriate library and web-based resources, making judgements about their merits and using the available evidence to construct an argument to be presented orally or in writing.
You gain the following subject-specific skills:
- identification and use of theories and concepts in criminology and analysis of policies and practices
- seeking out and using statistical data relevant to issues of crime and sociological issues
- undertaking an investigation of an empirical issue, either on your own or with other students
- 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
- understanding the socio-legal context in which individuals and agencies operate.
You gain the following transferable skills:
- communication: communicating ideas and arguments to others, both in written and spoken form for both specialist and non-specialist audiences making short presentations to fellow students and staff; preparing essays and referencing the material quoted according to conventions in social policy
- numeracy: analysing and utilising basic statistical data drawn from research and official sources at a rudimentary level
- information technology: using IT to word process, conduct online searches, communicate by email and access data sources
- working with others: developing interpersonal and teamworking skills to enable you to work collaboratively, negotiate, listen and deliver results
- improving own learning: exploring own strengths and weaknesses; having an appetite for learning and being reflective, adaptive and collaborative in your approach; studying and learning independently, using library and internet sources; developing skills in time management by delivering academic work on time and to the required standard
- problem-solving: developing the ability to identify and define problems, exploring alternative solutions and discriminating between them.