BA Criminology / Course details

Year of entry: 2020

Course description

Karen Kei Ching Ho

Choosing to study criminology at The University of Manchester was easy because it has a great location and high employment rate for graduates.

It also contains a broad range of research material for students and the course content is slightly different from other universities which focus on different aspects of the criminal justice system.

Karen Kei Ching Ho / BA Criminology

Our BA Criminology course will enable you to understand why crime has become a dominant social problem, and how crime and criminal behaviour are related to other social issues.

While gaining a real insight into how criminological knowledge is applied in a variety of sectors, you will learn how we can best research the challenges that face the criminal justice system.

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.

Special features

Hannah Watts

In Year 2, I was fortunate enough to take part in a Q-Step internship at the Home Office in London.

I had an eight-week paid placement where I worked on current projects around domestic homicides, child sexual abuse and cyber bullying. This really opened my eyes to the importance of social research and the influence this can have on policy.

Hannah Watts / MRes Criminology student and BA Criminology graduate

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. This is an excellent opportunity to gain work experience and make future contacts. Recent placements included the Home Office, Ministry of Justice, and the College of Policing.

Connect with like-minded students

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

Study abroad

Benefit from the chance to  study abroad for a semester, gaining experience of another culture and valuable connections.

Teaching and learning

Formal based contact hours consisting of lectures and seminars, amount to between 10 and 12 hours per week. You will to spend in the region of 40 hours per week studying inclusive of lectures and seminars.

Lectures are delivered to a large cohort of students, covering an overview of a particular subject. Seminars are small groups of up to 12 students and an academic member of staff. You will discuss and present aspects of a legal topic which you are learning. You are expected to prepare in advance for the discussion and you are also required to submit written work for each subject.

We also offer skills sessions throughout the year, working in conjunction with local and international lawyers and our Careers Service to enhance our students' academic learning progress and employability. 

If you take the study abroad route, you will complete course units in your host university, taught in English, which may focus on Criminology subjects, or include other topics of interest.

In addition, weekly in-sessional classes are offered to help students with English research and essay-writing skills.

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 essays, 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

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

Course units for year 2

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
Policing and the Police LAWS20051 20 Mandatory
Explaining Crime and Deviance LAWS20412 20 Mandatory
Making Sense of Criminological Data LAWS20441 20 Mandatory
Modelling Criminological Data LAWS20452 20 Mandatory
Understanding Punishment LAWS20692 20 Mandatory
Criminology and Criminal Justice in Action LAWS20701 20 Optional
Youth, Crime and Justice LAWS31101 20 Optional

Course content for year 3

Course units for year 3

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
Jurisprudence LAWS20101 20 Optional
Crime, Law and History LAWS20242 20 Optional
Criminal Evidence LAWS30082 20 Optional
Human Rights LAWS30091 20 Optional
Drugs and Society LAWS30601 20 Optional
Long Dissertation LAWS30610 40 Optional
Short Dissertation LAWS30620 20 Optional
Comparative Studies in Crime and Criminal Justice LAWS30641 20 Optional
From Imprisonment to Rehabilitation LAWS30661 20 Optional
Sociology of Law LAWS30681 20 Optional
Victims, Crime and Justice LAWS30792 20 Optional
Serious and Organised Crime LAWS30811 20 Optional
Criminology and Mass Violence LAWS31052 20 Optional
Miscarriages of Justice LAWS31062 20 Optional
Law, Gender and Sexuality LAWS31091 20 Optional
Youth, Crime and Justice LAWS31101 20 Optional
Personality Disorder and Crime LAWS31172 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 17 course units for year 3

What our students say

Read profiles of our students to find out about their experiences of studying at Manchester.


While you study with the School of Law you will have access to first-class facilities to interact, work and practice your skills. Both Law and Criminology students can volunteer in the working in the award winning Legal Advice Centre

Here, you can work on real legal cases with solicitors and barristers, to refine your practical application of law.

Volunteering in our Miscarriages of Justice Review Centre enables you to work to support clients' claims of innocence, giving you the practical insight you need, to start your career. Working alongside legal experts, you will gain access and review real case files. This unique first-hand experience of this area of criminal justice allows you to connect and engage with experienced practicing lawyers.

Find out more on the Facilities page.

Disability support

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