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BA Criminology with International Study
Explore today's criminal justice challenges in combination with a year abroad.

BA Criminology with International Study / Course details

Year of entry: 2019

Course description

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

You'll gain a real insight into how criminological knowledge is applied in a variety of sectors. 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.

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.

You'll apply for the International Exchange Programme in your second year of study.


We aim 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.

Through the international study component, we aim to help you 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

Learning Criminology Inside enables you to take your weekly seminars in a local prison to study a final year option alongside prison-based students. 

Paid placement opportunity

Apply for a paid Q-Step internship during the summer between Years 2 and 3.

Volunteer for the Legal Advice Centre

Gain insights into the legal profession while helping members of the public by volunteering at our Legal Advice Centre, which offers pro bono legal advice to the public, university staff and students. It is sponsored by major city firms and supported by University of Law solicitors and barristers who are quality marked by the Legal Services Commission.

Students are supervised by legal practitioners. The Centre aims to offer a reliable service to clients, many of whom have nowhere else to obtain legal advice. Read more about the Legal Advice Centre and the success of students who took on a case for redundant workers.

Connect with like-minded students

Benefit from networking and professional development opportunities through our student societies .

Study abroad

Gain experience of another culture and valuable connections by applying to  study abroad for the third year of your four-year degree.

Teaching and learning

You will learn through a variety of 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.

Find out more about teaching and learning .

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

Common compulsory course units allow you to develop an understanding of the sociological and psychological explanations for crime and criminal behaviour. Study the criminal justice system and criminal law alongside the 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 units for year 1

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Crime and Society LAWS10001 20 Mandatory
Criminological Research Methods LAWS10072 20 Mandatory
Criminal Law (Criminology) LAWS10082 20 Mandatory
Foundations of Criminal Justice LAWS10421 20 Mandatory
Psychology, Crime and Criminal Justice LAWS10432 20 Mandatory
Enhanced Study Skills for Criminology LAWS10441 20 Mandatory

Course content for year 2

Extend your understanding of criminological theory and your knowledge of the practices and techniques used in contemporary criminal justice systems. Develop your knowledge of specific patterns of crime and criminality, as well as your understanding of quantitative and qualitative research methods.

You will receive specialist data analysis training and study five 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 one of the following choices:

  • LAWS20701 Criminology and Criminal Justice in Action;
  • LAWS31101 Youth, Crime and Justice;
  • an option from the University College of Interdisciplinary Learning, eg UCOL21701 Security and Surveillance;
  • a free option from elsewhere in the Humanities Level 2 or Level 3;
  • Leadership in Action course unit;
  • another 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 Year 2 students are not permitted to take any Level 3 criminology course units, with the exception of LAWS31101 Youth, Crime and Justice.

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 Year 3, you will develop your knowledge of current research issues in selected areas of crime and criminal justice, 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 short or long 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. 

You must take either:

  • LAWS30620 Short Dissertation (20 credits) plus 100 credits of optional choices; or
  • LAWS30610 Long Dissertation (40 credits) plus 80 credits of optional choices.

Semester 1

  • LAWS20101 Jurisprudence
  • LAWS30091 Human Rights Law
  • LAWS30711 Counter Terrorism and Human Rights
  • LAWS30601 Drugs and Society
  • LAWS30641 Comparative Studies in Crime and Criminal Justice
  • LAWS31101 Youth, Crime and Justice
  • LAWS30661 From Imprisonment to Rehabilitation
  • LAWS31091 Law, Gender and Sexuality
  • LAWS30681 Sociology of Law
  • LAWS30491 Prosecution and Pre-Trial Process

Semester 2

  • LAWS20242 Crime, Law and History
  • LAWS31052 Criminology and Mass Violence
  • LAWS30082 Criminal Evidence
  • LAWS31172 Personality Disorder and Crime
  • LAWS31152 Crime Mapping
  • LAWS31142 White Collar and Corporate Crimes

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

An option from the University College of Interdisciplinary Learning, eg UCOL325211 From Sherlock Holmes to CSI: A History of Forensic Medicine.

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

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