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.
Adding a quantitative research minor to your programme opens your mind to new ways of
thinking. Starting with no assumed statistical
knowledge, you graduate with an advanced package of practical
quantitative skills alongside subject-specific knowledge in criminology and criminal justice.
Our degree programme
In your first year you take introductory modules on criminology,
sociology and quantitative skills. You can also choose from a range of
options covering contemporary culture, media and youth behaviours. You will also learn to think like a quantitative researcher, developing a critical eye for statistics and data analysis.
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.
You also move on to more advanced quantitative techniques, building on the foundations you have learnt in the first year. You develop an advanced skillset in quantitative methods that is extremely rare in graduates from non-mathematical disciplines.
In your final year, you choose either a dissertation with a
quantitative research focus or (providing you achieve the required
academic standard by the end of Stage 2) a placement module where you
can put your skills into practice.
Workplace experience is highly valued by employers, and the
placements offered through Kent see students completing meaningful,
applied quantitative analysis for business and organisations across a
range of sectors, giving you the opportunity to add concrete workplace
achievements to your CV.
Criminology is also available as a single honours programme without quantitative research. For details, see Criminology.
Or, you can take Criminology as part of a joint honours degree with Sociology, Social Policy or Cultural Studies.
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.
In addition to learning through lectures, seminars, workshops, project supervision, and statistics classes, students can carry out hands-on research in the ‘field’ through placements and field trips. Most modules are assessed by examination and coursework in equal measure.
Knowledge and understanding
You gain knowledge and understanding of:
- the origins and development of UK Criminal Justice Policy institutions
- the principal concepts and theoretical approaches in criminology
- the ways in which images of crime and notions of crime are constructed and represented
- the principles that underlie criminal justice, how they have changed over time and how they relate to the workings of particular agencies of crime control
- contemporary issues and debates in specific areas of criminology and criminal justice
- knowledge of the main sources of data about crime and a grasp of the research methods used to collect and analyse data
- understanding of interdisciplinary approaches to issues in criminology and the ability to use ideas from other social sciences
- understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of statistical techniques applied to the study of social issues
- cross-disciplinary understanding of advanced quantitative reasoning and application of these methods to the analysis of complex societal
- knowledge of how to abstract findings from the application of
quantitative research methods to examine essential features of complex
societal problems and provide a framework for assessment of contemporary institutional arrangements
- understanding of the value of comparative analysis across disciplines
- understanding and awareness of ethical implications of social sciences’ inquiry.
You develop the following intellectual skills:
- problem-solving skills and the ability to seek solutions to crime,
criminal behaviour and other social problems and individual needs
- data collection and research skills: ability to apply research and
inquiry techniques with critical awareness; ability to formulate
research questions and hypotheses across a range of different
disciplines; gather, organise and deploy evidence, data and information
from a variety of secondary and primary sources
- evaluative and analytical skills: to assess the outcomes of
criminal justice, crime prevention and social policy intervention on
individuals and communities; ability to evaluate and critically assess
quantitative evidence, both in its own right, and to assess how this
evidence is used in the arguments of others; ability to synthesise
relevant information across multiple forms of evidence and to integrate
these within a single account
- sensitivity to the values and interests of others and to the dimensions of difference
- quantitative: the appropriate use of analytical methods – including advanced methods – in handling, analysing and presenting statistical
data across relevant disciplines; ability to interpret both research
data and official statistics.
You gain the following subject-specific skills:
- identifying and using theories and concepts in criminology to analyse issues of crime and criminal justice
- handling and interpreting statistical data relevant to issues of crime and criminal justice
- 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
- communicating quantitative empirical findings effectively across disciplines and audiences
- constructing criminological arguments using quantitative empirical evidence
You gain the following transferable skills:
- studying and learning independently, using library and internet sources.
- having 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 word-process, conduct online searches, communicate by email and access data sources
- developing skills in time management by delivering academic work on time and to the required standard
- developing interpersonal and teamwork skills to enable you to work collaboratively, negotiate, listen and deliver results
- appropriately using analytical methods – including advanced methods – in handling, analysing and presenting statistical data in diverse
This programme aims to:
- provide a pioneering educational opportunity within the UK context
combined with student engagement in a range of disciplines, enabling
students to progress into high-level careers and related postgraduate
- provide a broad knowledge and understanding of key concepts,
debates and theoretical approaches in criminology which allow us to
understand the social and personal context of all aspects of crime,
victimisation and responses to crime
- develop new areas of teaching in response to needs of the community
- widen participation in higher education by offering various entry routes
- 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
- provide students with the statistical and analytical tools to
independently and successfully conduct advanced quantitative research
- help students make persuasive arguments using quantitative
research, and to critically assess the arguments made by others in the
course of social life
- help students link theoretical knowledge with empirical enquiry, so that they understand how to conduct and critique social research in the real world.