BASS Philosophy and Criminology / Course details

Year of entry: 2020

Course description

BA Philosophy and Criminology is one of 15 pathways within the BA Social Sciences (BASS) degree.

BASS offers you the chance to sample a broad range of social sciences subjects before you decide what to specialise in. It is therefore ideal if you want to keep your options open or study specific topics, such as race, class, crime or religion, from a variety of different perspectives.

By giving you a broad foundation in the first year, during which you will study at least three subjects, it also gives you flexibility in choosing what subjects to concentrate on further.

Studying one or two main disciplines in the second and third years ensures that you gain a high level of knowledge in these by the end of your degree.

The six main subject areas are:

  • Criminology - The study of the causes and consequences of crime.
  • Philosophy - The study of fundamental questions such as the nature of knowledge, truth and values. Philosophy also encourages greater consideration of our reasoning, judgement and ethics.
  • Politics - The study of human organization, government and power. Politics examines and evaluates political systems and institutions.
  • Quantitative Methods - The study of data and analysis to understand the social world.
  • Social Anthropology - The study of societies and cultures across the globe in comparative perspective.
  • Sociology - The study of society and examines such issues as social inequalities and forms of everyday life.

Due to the flexibility of BASS, you are not tied to the course code you apply to through UCAS, and have the option to change after your first year.

Special features

Philosophy at Manchester is an exciting department and hosts a long history with distinguished past professors, including:

  • Samuel Alexander (1893-1925) a saintly philosopher and Manchester celebrity, who became a Professor of Philosophy at Manchester and remained active here, until his death.
  • Dorothy Emmet (1904-2000) a lecturer, reader and then Samuel Hall Professor of Philosophy at Manchester, and was also the Head of Department for over twenty years.
  • Michael Polanyi (1891-1976) a Hungarian-British polymath who made important contributions to philosophy, economics and chemistry.
  • Arthur Prior (1914-1969) a noted logician and philosopher who undertook pioneering work in intensional logic. 

Professional experience opportunity

Subject to you meeting course requirements, as a BA Social Sciences student at Manchester, you have the option of extending your studies and boosting your employability through a paid professional placement year.

If you are interested in the 'with Professional Experience' option, you may apply in your first or second year and, if successful, your course will be extended to four years. You will complete your placement in your third year, before returning to University to finish your final year.

Upon graduation, your degree title will be extended to include 'with Professional Experience', giving you the added advantage of relevant work experience when entering the competitive graduate jobs market.

Teaching and learning

Your course units feature formal lectures supported by smaller tutorials or seminars, in which you will be able to explore the contents of lectures and recommended reading in greater depth.

Tutorials and seminars are also key elements in improving your written and oral communication skills through group discussions, essay-writing, and presentations.

Students are assigned an Academic Advisor, a member of staff who takes a friendly interest in your progress and can advise you on selecting course units and career opportunities.

Coursework and assessment

The way that you study and are assessed can vary significantly depending on which course units you choose.

The range of methods is carefully designed to promote in-depth learning and understanding, including:

  • essays, coursework and other mid-term evaluations;
  • dissertations;
  • presentations and group projects;
  • exams.

Course content for year 1

Year 1 gives you a broad introduction to the social sciences, enabling you to make an informed choice of areas to specialise in for your second and third years.

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
Critical Thinking PHIL10041 20 Mandatory
Engaging With Social Research SOAN10081 20 Mandatory
An Introduction to Development Studies ECON10002 10 Optional
Microeconomics 1 ECON10221 10 Optional
Macroeconomics 1 ECON10252 10 Optional
Crime and Society LAWS10001 20 Optional
Criminological Research Methods LAWS10072 20 Optional
Criminal Law (Criminology) LAWS10082 20 Optional
Foundations of Criminal Justice LAWS10421 20 Optional
Psychology, Crime and Criminal Justice LAWS10432 20 Optional
Introduction to Ethics PHIL10021 20 Optional
History of Philosophy PHIL10402 20 Optional
Introduction to Metaphysics and Epistemology PHIL10622 20 Optional
Introduction to Philosophy of Mind PHIL10631 20 Optional
Introduction to Comparative Politics POLI10201 20 Optional
Introduction to Comparative Politics POLI10202 20 Optional
Making Sense of Politics POLI10301 20 Optional
British Politics: Power and the State POLI10401 20 Optional
Politics of the Global Economy POLI10502 20 Optional
Introduction to International Politics POLI10601 20 Optional
Introduction to Political Theory POLI10702 20 Optional
Power and Culture: Inequality in Everyday Life SOAN10301 10 Optional
Cultural Diversity in Global Perspective SOAN10312 10 Optional
Key Ideas in Social Anthropology SOAN10321 10 Optional
Intro to Ethnographic Reading in Social Anthropology SOAN10322 10 Optional
Regional Studies of Culture: 1 SOAN10331 20 Optional
Regional Studies of Culture: 2 SOAN10352 20 Optional
Introduction to Business Anthropology: Consumers, Companies and Culture SOAN10361 20 Optional
Anthropology Today - Making Sense of the Contemporary World SOAN10371 10 Optional
Anthropology Today Beyond Text SOAN10372 10 Optional
Study Skills (BA Econ/BASS) - semester 2 SOCS10902 10 Optional
Study Skills (BA Econ/BASS) - semester one SOCS10911 10 Optional
Social Inequalities in Contemporary Britain SOCY10401 20 Optional
Foundations of Social Thought SOCY10421 20 Optional
Contemporary Social Thought SOCY10432 20 Optional
Media, Culture & Society SOCY10441 20 Optional
Global Social Challenges SOCY10462 20 Optional
Sociology of Personal Life SOCY10471 20 Optional
Work, Organisations and Society SOCY10912 20 Optional
Understanding Social Media SOST10012 20 Optional
Measuring Inequalities (Unequal Societies) SOST10021 20 Optional
Applied Statistics for Social Scientists SOST10142 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 42 course units for year 1

Course content for year 2

In Year 2, you begin to specialise.

If you decide to specialise in one subject, you will take between 60-80 credits in it.

If you decide to specialise in two subjects, such as Philosophy and Criminology, you will take at least 40 credits in each.

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
Making Sense of Criminological Data LAWS20441 20 Mandatory
Modelling Criminological Data LAWS20452 20 Mandatory
20th Century Analytical Philosophy PHIL20242 20 Mandatory
Policing and the Police LAWS20051 20 Optional
Jurisprudence LAWS20101 20 Optional
Crime, Law and History LAWS20242 20 Optional
Public International Law LAWS20372 20 Optional
Explaining Crime and Deviance LAWS20412 20 Optional
Making Sense of Criminological Data LAWS20441 20 Optional
Modelling Criminological Data LAWS20452 20 Optional
Understanding Punishment LAWS20692 20 Optional
Criminology and Criminal Justice in Action LAWS20701 20 Optional
Youth, Crime and Justice LAWS31101 20 Optional
Philosophy of Religion PHIL20021 20 Optional
Formal Logic PHIL20041 20 Optional
Locke, Berkeley, Hume PHIL20211 20 Optional
Ethics PHIL20231 20 Optional
20th Century Analytical Philosophy PHIL20242 20 Optional
Philosophy of Science PHIL20262 20 Optional
Philosophy of Mind PHIL20272 20 Optional
Phenomenology PHIL20612 20 Optional
The Politics of (in)Security POLI20332 20 Optional
Questions About International Politics POLI20521 20 Optional
Politics & Society in Britain Since 1940: From Blitz to Brexit POLI20532 20 Optional
Arguing About Politics: Political Theory in the World POLI20602 20 Optional
The Politics of Globalisation POLI20711 20 Optional
The Politics of Development POLI20722 20 Optional
Gender and Politics in Comparative Perspective POLI20742 20 Optional
The Politics of Policy Making POLI20801 20 Optional
Ideals of Social Justice POLI20881 20 Optional
How to Conduct Politics Research POLI20902 20 Optional
Challenges for Democratic Politics POLI20961 20 Optional
Environmental Politics POLI20982 20 Optional
Comparative West European Politics POLI21001 20 Optional
Southern European Politics POLI21012 20 Optional
Asia-Pacific Security POLI21041 20 Optional
Anthropology of Kinship, Gender and Sex SOAN20802 20 Optional
Anthropology of Religion SOAN20811 20 Optional
Political and Economic Anthropology SOAN20821 20 Optional
Anthropological Theory SOAN20830 20 Optional
The Ethnographer's Craft SOAN20842 20 Optional
Materiality and Representation SOAN20852 20 Optional
Career Management Skills (BA Econ / BA Social Sciences) SOCS21002 10 Optional
Sociology of Popular Music SOCY20012 20 Optional
Work, Economy and Society SOCY20031 20 Optional
Social Network Analysis SOCY20041 20 Optional
Education and Society SOCY20052 20 Optional
Sociology of Science SOCY20081 20 Optional
Qualitative Research Design & Methods SOCY20091 20 Optional
Sustainability, Consumption & Global Responsibilities SOCY20232 20 Optional
New Media SOCY20241 20 Optional
Social Change in China SOCY20281 20 Optional
Self and Society SOCY20402 20 Optional
Social Thought From The Global South SOCY20501 20 Optional
Social Class and Inequality in Britain SOCY20602 20 Optional
Gender, Sexuality and Culture SOCY20892 20 Optional
Racism and Ethnicity in the UK SOCY20962 20 Optional
The Survey Method in Social Research SOST20012 20 Optional
Essentials of survey design and analysis SOST20022 20 Optional
Research Design & Statistical Inference SOST20031 20 Optional
Market Research SOST20041 10 Optional
Applied Statistics for Social Scientists SOST20142 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 62 course units for year 2

Course content for year 3

In Year 3, you pick your final areas of specialisation.

If you decide to specialise in one subject, you will take between 60-80 credits in it.

If you decide to specialise in two subjects, such as Philosophy and Criminology, you will take at least 40 credits in each.

Course content for year 4

If completing a year professional placement, you will take the Year 3 course content in Year 4.

Course units for year 4

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
Long Dissertation LAWS30610 40 Mandatory
Short Dissertation LAWS30620 20 Mandatory
Dissertation Semester 1 PHIL30001 20 Mandatory
Dissertation Semester 2 PHIL30002 20 Mandatory
Dissertation (40 credit) PHIL30030 40 Mandatory
Criminal Evidence LAWS30082 20 Optional
Mental Health Law LAWS30471 20 Optional
Drugs and Society LAWS30601 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
Youth, Crime and Justice LAWS31101 20 Optional
Personality Disorder and Crime LAWS31172 20 Optional
Philosophy of Social Science PHIL30022 20 Optional
Metaphysics PHIL30212 20 Optional
Issues in Epistemology PHIL30331 20 Optional
Language and Analysis PHIL30351 20 Optional
Philosophy of Psychology PHIL30362 20 Optional
Philosophy of Action PHIL30552 20 Optional
Philosophy of Music PHIL30632 20 Optional
Philosophy of Mathematics PHIL30721 20 Optional
Nietzsches Philosophical Psychology PHIL33262 20 Optional
The Politics of the European Union POLI30031 20 Optional
Russian Politics POLI30072 20 Optional
Chinese Politics POLI30181 20 Optional
Investigating British Politics Through Experiments POLI30182 20 Optional
The Politics and Philosophy of Nationalism POLI30192 20 Optional
Gender, Sex and Politics POLI30231 20 Optional
Elections and Voters in Britain POLI30241 20 Optional
Political Morality and Dirty Hands POLI30271 20 Optional
Public Policy Problems POLI30292 20 Optional
Ethical Issues in World Politics POLI30321 20 Optional
Political Ideologies in Modern Britain POLI30362 20 Optional
Power, Space & Popular Culture: Thinking Critically About Geopolitics POLI30461 20 Optional
Introduction to International Political Economy POLI30721 20 Optional
Gender, War & Militarism POLI30791 20 Optional
War and the Politics of Ethics POLI30822 20 Optional
War Memories and Reconciliation in East Asia POLI31011 20 Optional
Children, Family and Social Justice POLI31032 20 Optional
Understanding Political Choice in Britain POLI31042 20 Optional
American Politics: Why Do They Do That? POLI31061 20 Optional
The Politics of Climate Change POLI31071 20 Optional
Global Capitalism, Crisis and Revolt POLI31091 20 Optional
Contemporary Parliamentary Studies and the British Political Tradition POLI32042 20 Optional
Politics of Obscenity POLI32051 20 Optional
Postcolonial Politics POLI32062 20 Optional
The International Political Economy of Trade POLI32082 20 Optional
Sex, Bodies and Money: Gendering International Political Economy POLI32092 20 Optional
United States Foreign Policy: Dominance and Decline in a Complex World POLI32132 20 Optional
United Nations Security Council in Practice POLI32151 20 Optional
Race, Ethnicity, Migration POLI32162 20 Optional
Medical Anthropology SOAN30062 20 Optional
Anthropology of Development and Humanitarianism SOAN30111 20 Optional
Anthropology of the Arctic SOAN30241 20 Optional
Ethnic Encounters in Latin America SOAN30262 20 Optional
Anthropology of Britain SOAN30382 20 Optional
The Good Life: An Anthropology of Ethics SOAN30392 20 Optional
Screening Culture SOAN30791 20 Optional
Anthropology of Vision, Senses and Memory SOAN30811 20 Optional
Sociology of Human Animal Relations SOCY30042 20 Optional
Changing Social Attitudes SOCY30091 20 Optional
Housing & Home SOCY30122 20 Optional
Body and Society SOCY30141 20 Optional
Secrets, Lies & Mass Deception SOCY30152 20 Optional
Sociology of Cultural Participation and Cultural Policy SOCY30181 20 Optional
Material Culture: The Social Life of Things SOCY30191 20 Optional
A Sense of Inequality: Everyday Understandings of Inequality SOCY30241 20 Optional
Alternative Economies - Ordinary Economies SOCY30252 20 Optional
Multicultural Britain SOCY30272 20 Optional
Applications of Social Networks SOCY30292 20 Optional
Theory & Method in Demography SOST30012 20 Optional
Advanced Social Network Analysis SOST30022 20 Optional
Modelling Social Inequality SOST30031 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 77 course units for year 4

Disability support

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