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BA Criminology with International Study / Course details

Year of entry: 2018

Course description

The BA Criminology with International Study offers a new opportunity to explore some of the challenges that face today criminal justice systems, as well as gaining specialised knowledge of criminology in another country by studying abroad in one of our partner institutions.

Understanding the causes and consequences of crime will enable you to contribute to discussions about how some of these problems might be remedied. Under the guidance of our extensive team of criminology experts, you will develop the necessary analytical skills to assess complex data related to experiences of criminality. You will also have the opportunity to take part in field trips and discussions with professionals to gain a real insight into how criminological knowledge is applied in a variety of sectors, as well as experiencing criminal justice teaching in a specific overseas country.

Studying a specialised degree in Criminology will enable you to develop skills relevant to a variety of key professions concerned with criminal justice and crime reduction, including the police, prisons, offender management, youth justice and victimisation.


The course aims to provide you with a knowledge and understanding of criminology and related disciplines at a breadth and depth appropriate to a first degree qualification. More generally, the course imparts an understanding of criminality and the institutions of criminal justice within their social, economic and political context and seeks to promote an appreciation of the role of justice and the `rule of law' in the criminal justice system.

We provide you with the opportunity to develop specialised knowledge and skills in certain areas of criminology and socio-legal studies. An important feature of the Manchester single honours course is the emphasis on understanding data analysis and research methodologies (qualitative and quantitative) - together with how theory, research and practice can combine effectively.

The ability to study abroad as part of your degree aims to enable you to develop knowledge and understanding of criminal justice systems in other countries and a comparative understanding of criminology and socio-legal concepts, theories and methods.

Special features

Learning Criminology Inside

In the final year of your BA Criminology degree you will have the opportunity to participate in `Learning Criminology Inside'. This initiative enables you to take your weekly seminars in a local prison to study a final year option alongside prison-based students. 

Legal Advice Centre

Gain insights into the legal profession, whilst helping members of the public with real life legal issues by volunteering at the Legal Advice Centre.

The School's Legal Advice Centre offers pro bono legal advice to the public, university staff and students. It is sponsored by major city firms and supported by the University of Law solicitors and barristers who are quality marked by the Legal Services Commission.

The Centre aims to provide practical experience for our students who are supervised by legal practitioners, and to offer a reliable service to its clients, who seek help with their legal problems and in many circumstances have nowhere else to obtain legal advice.  More about the Legal Advice Centre


Benefit from unique experiences, networking and professional development opportunities by getting involved with one of the School's many student societies.  More about student societies

Study Abroad

Gain experience of another culture as well as valuable overseas connections by studying abroad as part of your degree. Study abroad placements are available for one year between years 2 and 3, making your degree four years in total.  More information about studying abroad

Teaching and learning

We use a variety of teaching methods. The traditional university lecture is complemented by a range of other teaching methods including small group work, project work, independent study, workshops and seminars. We use internet resources to make material available to you wherever you are and whenever you need it. You will be encouraged to take responsibility for your own learning, for example by undertaking individual and group presentations. You will be encouraged to support and get support from your fellow students. During your time studying abroad, you will complete course units in your host university, taught in English, focusing on criminology.

Coursework and assessment

Methods of assessing your work are as varied as the teaching methods we use. In addition to the usual exams and essay, some of your work will be assessed through oral presentations, short exercises or written pieces such as book reviews, and project work. We are keen that learning also takes place through the detailed feedback we give you when assessing your work. You will get constructive comments, criticism, and suggestions for improvement on all your written and oral work. In this way we hope to make the process of learning a positive and enjoyable process.

Course content for year 1

In the first year you are introduced to sociological and psychological explanations of crime and criminal behaviour; you are given a foundation for understanding the criminal justice system and criminal law and you will become familiar with the evidentiary basis for theories of social behaviour. Compulsory course units include Crime and Society, Criminological Research Methods, Foundations of Criminal Justice, Psychology, Crime and Criminal Justice, and Criminal Law.

Course content for year 2

In year two we enable you to expand your knowledge of the range of theories and techniques in use in contemporary criminal justice systems. You will become familiar with specific patterns of crime and criminality and develop your understanding of quantitative and qualitative research methods. You will receive specialist data analysis training and study 5 compulsory 20 credit course units including Explaining Crime and Deviance, Making Sense of Criminological Data, Modelling Criminological Data, Policing and the Police and Understanding Punishment.

A further optional 20 credits can be studied from either:

LAWS 20701 Criminology and Criminal Justice in Action


LAWS 31101 Youth, Crime and Justice

OR an option from the University College of Interdisciplinary Learning (for example,  UCOL21701 Security and Surveillance )

OR  a Free option from elsewhere in the Humanities Level 2 or Level 3

OR  Leadership in Action course unit

OR  other course unit(s) approved individually by the Programme Director (check pre-requisites for course units). Normally only one 20 credit course unit in this category will be approved, but in the case of students taking part in overseas exchanges, greater flexibility is permitted. Please note that 2 nd  year students are not permitted to take any level 3 criminology course units, with the exception of LAWS 31101 Youth Justice and Juvenile Delinquency.

Course content for year 3

Your third year of study will be completed in a host University in another country in Europe or further afield. You will normally be expected to complete Criminology course units during this period of study but, depending on the options available at the host University, you may also pursue other subjects of interest.

Course content for year 4

In the final year, your knowledge of current research issues in selected areas of crime and criminal justice will be developed, together with a further understanding and appreciation of the inter-relationships between crime, law, criminal justice, and society. The final year also allows you the opportunity to develop specialised knowledge in particular areas of criminology and/or law. A range of specialist options is available on a wide range of criminological topics. A key element of final year work is the opportunity to undertake a dissertation. The dissertation allows you to develop an extended piece of writing on a research topic that really interests you; perhaps doing fieldwork and then analysing and making sense of the data that you have collected. You will be supported by experienced academic staff. 



LAWS 30620 Short Dissertation (20 Credits)


LAWS 30610 Long Dissertation (40 Credits)


To do 100 credits of optional choices, as listed, if taking LAWS 30620 Short Dissertation


To do 80 credits of optional choices, as listed if taking LAWS 30610 Long Dissertation

Semester 1

LAWS 20101 Jurisprudence

LAWS 30091 Human Rights Law

LAWS 30711 Counter Terrorism and Human Rights

LAWS 30601 Drugs and Society

LAWS 30641 Comparative Studies in Crime and Criminal Justice

LAWS 31101 Youth, Crime and Justice

LAWS 30661 From Imprisonment to Rehabilitation

LAWS 31091 Law, Gender and Sexuality

LAWS 30681 Sociology of Law

LAWS 30491 Prosecution and Pre-Trial Process

Semester 2

LAWS 20242 Crime, Law and History

LAWS 31052 Criminology and Mass Violence

LAWS 30082 Criminal Evidence

LAWS 31172 Personality Disorder and Crime

LAWS 31152 Crime Mapping

LAWS 31142 White Collar and Corporate Crimes (new title)

Free option from Humanities Level 2 or Level 3 list,  OR  Leadership in Action course unit; or other course unit(s) approved individually by the Programme Director. 

An option from the University College of Interdisciplinary Learning (for example, UCOL 325211 From Sherlock Holmes to CSI: A history of forensic medicine).

Please note that only ONE 20 credit level 2 module may be taken in final year, and the Leadership in Action course unit counts as a level 2 module.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: