BA Criminology with International Study / Course details

Year of entry: 2020

Course description

BA Criminology with International Study 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. Delivered with support from some of the key criminal justice agencies, this course will allow you to recognise and develop methodological, academic and practical skills that will enhance your professional development.

In your third year, you will study abroad at one of our partner universities, following the selection process in year 2. The year abroad will give you a unique experience and broaden your horizon. This academically rewarding and culturally enriching experience will challenge your existing knowledge by introducing you to new perspectives and ideas.

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. This is an excellent opportunity to gain work experience and make future contacts, whilst putting the skills you learn in you degree into practice. 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

You will study abroad in your 3rd year, gaining experience of another culture, legal and educational system as well as valuable international connections. Eligibility criteria apply.

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. 

During your year abroad (3rd year), you will study Criminology subjects in your host university, you also have the opportunity to study some course units outside your main area of study. Most of our partner universities teach in English, but you can also study in a foreign language.

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.

Your year abroad will be assessed while you are there, as well as continuous assessment in Manchester.

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.

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.

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

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 4, 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.

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: