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Criminology - Combined Subjects (Major, Dual and Minor) BSc/BA (Hons) - University of Sunderland

Course overview

Throughout the course you will explore theories and approaches to understanding 'Criminology' and 'Criminal Justice', with the opprtunity to study modules relating to policing, punishment, youth crime and youth justice, and gendered violence.

This course also develops your skills as a social scientist through teaching you the philosophies and methods which are used in social research. You will apply these skills to analysing research carried out in criminal justice institutions including the criminal courts, the police, probation and prison services. You will have the time to voluntarily undertake placements in these areas outside of core teaching hours, with the help and support of Sunderland Futures.

95% of our students in the NSS 2015 said they were satisfied with the Criminology Programme and 100% of our students said that staff had made the subject interesting

You can combine criminology with any of the other subjects in the Combined Subjects Programme. Popular combinations are Criminology with Sociology and Criminology with Psychology.

The flexibility of combinations and the availability of a wide range of subjects offered at the University of Sunderland is unparalleled.

Combined subjects in Criminology at Sunderland provides students with a challenging programme of modules that examine theoretical perspectives on crime and criminality and contemporary issues and challenges within criminal justice. In addition to a strong theoretical thread of modules that run throughout the programme, students have the opportunity to take advantage of three strong subject specific pathways that build throughout the programme; policing and punishment, youth crime and justice, and gender and gendered violence, therefore enabling students to specialise and build expertise in relation to theory and practice.

Students benefit from studying a structured programme of research methods modules delivered at all stages of the degree which significantly enhances data analysis and management skills invaluable to employers working within the criminal justice sector, and in other public services.

Staff and students talk about the benefits of studying a combined subjects programme at the University of Sunderland:

Course content

Modules on this course include:

Year 1 (national level 4)

  • Introduction to Criminology (20 Credits)
  • Introduction to Criminal Justice (20 Credits)
  • Applied Qualitative Research in the Social Sciences (20 Credits) 

Optional modules

  • Inequality, Diversity and Society (20 Credits)
  • Crime, Surveillance and Social Control (20 Credits)

Year 2 (national level 5)

  • Theoretical Issues in Criminology (20 Credits)
  • Applied Quantitative Research in the Social Sciences (20 Credits)
  • Contemporary Criminal Justice (20 Credits)
  • Offender Management in Criminal Justice (20 Credits)

Optional modules

  • Gender, Diversity and Society (20 Credits)
  • Youth, Crime and Criminology (20 Credits)
  • Policing: Past, Present and Future(s) (20 Credits)

Final Year (national level 6)

  • Criminology Dissertation (40 Credits)
  • Re-imaging Crime and Criminology (20 Credits) 

Optional modules

  • Understanding Youth Justice in the UK (20 Credits)
  • Race, Racialisation and the Criminal Justice System (20 Credits)
  • Punishment and Society (20 Credits)
  • Violence, Gender and Society (20 Credits)

Teaching and assessment

Teaching methods include lectures, seminars, group work and e-learning. We encourage you to develop independent study skills. You will also have opportunities to present ideas to other students and develop concepts within groups.

As well as assessments that count towards your degree, there are also on-going assessments for feedback and consolidating your learning. Assessment methods include written coursework, projects, presentations and exams.

To find out more about modules, credits and how you will be assessed, please see how courses are taught. Information about our policies relating to student experience and quality assurance processes can be found on the Academic Services website.

Key Information Sets

All UK universities and colleges display Key Information Sets (KIS) on their undergraduate courses. The KIS gives you a quick overview of some standard information about a course, and has a link to more detailed information on Unistats.

The majority of our courses display the KIS directly on the course information page, as an animated image. However, because there are so many possible Combined Subjects combinations, the KIS for these courses are held on another page - click here to see the KIS for Criminology Combined Subjects.

Facilities & location

Course location

The course is based at the Priestman Building on City Campus, just a few minutes from the main Murray Library and close to Sunderland city centre. Thanks to a major renovation programme, the Priestman Building provides state-of-the-art teaching space and resources as part of a vibrant and outward-looking learning environment.

Software and technology

The University has invested in specialist software packages that facilitate rigorous social science. They include NVivo which allows deep levels of analysis of large volumes of data, and SPSS for surveys and data mining.

We also make full use of e-learning resources. Sunspace, our virtual learning environment, provides in-depth information about the course content as well as a range of relevant resources.

University Library Services

We've got thousands of books and e-books on social science topics, with many more titles available through the inter-library loan service. We also subscribe to a comprehensive range of print and electronic journals so you can access the most reliable and up-to-date academic and industry articles.

Some of the most important sources for your course include:

  • JSTOR (short for ‘Journal Storage’), which provides access to important journals across the humanities, social sciences and sciences
  • Project Muse, which provides over 180 full-text humanities and social sciences journals
  • SocINDEX with full-text articles, which is probably the world's most comprehensive and highest-quality sociology research database
  • Archival Sound Recordings with over 12,000 hours of recordings
  • Lexis, which provides access to legal information as well as full-text newspaper articles

IT provision

When it comes to IT provision you can take your pick from hundreds of PCs as well as Apple Macs in the David Goldman Informatics Centre and St Peter's Library. There are also free WiFi zones throughout the campus. If you have any problems, just ask the friendly helpdesk team.


Priestman Building

City Campus, Albion Place, Sunderland, SR1 3PZ

Entry requirements

Our typical offer is 120 UCAS points from a minimum of two A Levels or equivalent (e.g. 1 x AVCE double award). Read more on the new UCAS Tariff point system for 2017.

We accept a maximum of 6 points from Level 3 Key Skills qualifications.

We also require three passes at GCSE grade C or above, which must include Mathematics and English Language, or a minimum of Level 2 Key Skills in Communication and Application of Number.

If English is not your first language, please see our English language requirements.

Other acceptable qualifications

BTEC National: 120 points from a BTEC Certificate or Diploma.

Access Courses: We would require successful completion of an Access to Higher Education course that is accredited by the Quality Assurance Agency. We would also require a minimum of grade C in GCSE in Mathematics and English Language or the equivalent as part of your course.

Scottish Highers: Our typical offer is for 120 points.

Irish Leaving Certificate: Our typical offer is for 120 points.

International qualifications: Please call the Student Helpline for advice on other acceptable qualifications. The number from outside the UK is +44 191 515 3000.

Any other qualifications: If you have any other qualifications not listed here, you may still be eligible. Please contact the Student Helpline for advice: 0191 515 3000.

Returners to Learning: If you are a mature student, you may benefit from our dedicated Returners to Learning Progression Scheme. For further information email or call the Student Helpline: 0191 515 3000.

If you wish to be considered for direct entry to a different year of a course, please contact the Student Helpline: 0191 515 3000.

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)

If you feel you already know some of the topics covered in this course, either due to previous learning or from experience of work, then you may not need to study all of the course.

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) is the name given to the process of gaining credit towards a qualification because of something you have learnt in the past. If you are eligible for APL you won't have to learn the same topic again, and so you can be exempt from a module, set of modules or year of a course. 

Read more about APL in the Quality Handbook (.pdf). If you think you may be eligible for APL, please contact the course leader.

Fees & finance

Full-time fees

The annual fee is:

  • £9,250 if you are from the UK
  • £10,750 if you are from outside the UK

If you are not sure whether you qualify as a UK, EU or International student, please see the International section of this website.

Scholarships and bursaries may be available to you – please see the Fees and Funding section of this website for more information.

Employment & careers

The types of destinations of graduates from this course include police forces, the prison service, the probation service, youth justice agencies, crime and disorder reduction partnerships, the civil service, voluntary sector and non-governmental organisations, and policy or research institutions.

Guest Speakers

We have well-established links with organisations such as Northumbria Police, HM Prison Service, the Probation Service, youth offending teams, and victim support agencies. Through these links we organise a programme of guest speakers who help you relate academic theory to current trends and issues. It's all part of broadening your learning so that you're prepared not just for exams but for life.

Study Abroad

You can switch your studies to another country for one or two semesters during the second year. You can choose from over 150 Universities in 20 countries, either English-speaking (such as Australia, Canada and the USA) or non English-speaking (such as Argentina, Brazil and Japan). This gives you an opportunity to get a broader perspective on issues of criminology and gain international experience.

University Language Scheme

It is usually possible to take a module from the free University Language Scheme. This can be studied on top of your 120 credits or in some cases, can earn credits towards your degree.

Language skills increase your international mobility and you can choose between French, German, Spanish, Mandarin, Japanese and Arabic at a range of levels. If your first language is not English, please check with your tutor about entry requirements.

Staff and students talk about the benefits of the University Language Scheme:


The University of Sunderland is committed to ensuring that every student has an impressive range of opportunities to enhance their CV and gain valuable experience:

  • Work placements
  • Graduate internships
  • Studying abroad
  • Student Ambassador Scheme
  • Mentoring
  • Starting your own business
  • Student jobs and volunteering
  • Careers advice

For full details, please see our Employability page.

The Enterprise Place

If you have a good idea for a new business and have the dedication and motivation to make it happen, then we want to hear from you. The Enterprise Place, based on-campus at St Peter's Gate Business Centre, is the perfect environment for entrepreneurial students and graduates to turn their business ideas into reality. You will have access to free hot desk space, IT facilities, specialist advice and support and business mentors and networking opportunities.

To find out more about how we can help you start a business, please contact the University's Enterprise Team:

Tel: 0191 515 3751

Graduate Thomas talks about his achievement graduating and his experience in Sunderland:


Support for your learning

You can expect stimulating contact time that includes lectures, seminars and practical activities. There is also non-contact time when you will be studying on your own. If you have any particular problems with certain assignments, it’s usually possible to arrange one-to-one surgeries with tutors.

From the start of the course you will be allocated a Personal Tutor. You’ll meet your Tutor at agreed times throughout each year of the course. Personal Tutors encourage your personal development and are a useful point of contact for any queries about your course, extracurricular activities and issues where they can point you towards specialist services at the University. These include student counselling, financial advice and chaplaincy support.

Support for your development

To help ensure the course is meeting aspirations for personal development, we invite students to fill in questionnaires at the end of modules. This provides a structured way for you to keep us up-to-date with your views.

During your course, and particularly towards the end of it, we encourage you to make full use of the resources at our Careers & Employability Service. The Service helps you explore your options, clarify your ideas, develop a career focus and make effective applications.

Extracurricular activities

The University supports student-led initiatives that enhance the extracurricular activities available to you. Some of these are related to particular subjects while others allow you to pursue interests and social activities. It’s all part of the vibrant and life-changing atmosphere at the University of Sunderland.

For more information about all the support services you will have access to as a Sunderland student, please see Student support and guidance.

"The University of Sunderland not only helped me change my life but enabled me to begin my career."

Eve Harrison - Graduate L300 and M930

Eve Harrison - Graduate

Turning Point

"Studying Criminology and Sociology certainly paved the way for me into a career in social care.

"It gave me the confidence and theory I needed, including a module on substance misuse, to carry out the work I do now.

"On the practical side, my voluntary work as a Special Constable and a Youth Worker provided me with priceless insights into the real grass-roots.

"I can honestly say that the University of Sunderland not only helped me change my life but enabled me to begin my career at Turning Point, and I'm now helping change the lives of others."

"I would recommend studying here to anyone."

Danielle Yare - Combined Subjects, Psychology and Criminology

Danielle Yare

Graduate, Psychology & Criminology

"My combined degree has given me the opportunity to widen my prospects and opened many doors for my future career. The University of Sunderland has offered fantastic support throughout my time here and I would recommend studying here to anyone. I was given opportunities to practical work experience and volunteer work which complimented my degree massively."

Apply for this course

Interested in this course? Read our 7-step guide to applying to university, find all of the University of Sunderland's combined courses on UCAS and apply straightaway.


The UCAS Code will change depending on the combinations of subjects you choose to study. Download the UCAS codes combined subjects (.pdf) to see the offer from the University of Sunderland.‌

Want to know more about this course or the University of Sunderland? Download your personalised prospectus or come to our next Open Day to see the facilities and talk to academic staff:

    Next Open Day

  • Date: Thursday 23rd February 2017
  • Time: 3:00pm-8:00pm
  • Type: University Open Day
  • Location: Science Complex, City Campus, Sunderland SR1 3SD

Contact Sunderland

Programme Leader:
Jane Johnson

Contact the recruitment team for further information about studying at the University of Sunderland:

Recruitment Team
Telephone: 0191 515 3000 

The details

Course Name Criminology - Combined Subjects (Major, Dual and Minor)
UCAS Code See 'Contact & apply' page
Classification BA/BSc (Hons)
Course Mode Full-time
Course Level Undergraduate
Duration 3 years
Study Location On-campus (Sunderland)
Starting 18 September 2017
UK/EU Fee £9,250
Intl Fee £10,750

Entry requirements

120 points

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