BSc (Hons)

Crime and Criminology

A modern study of crime, justice and punishment

Star Course Overview

Why take this course?

This is a distance learning degree concerned with criminology, criminal justice, crime and deviance, allowing you to learn about, and better understand, a broad range of issues relating to crime, justice and punishment. It provides a rigorous study of an exciting topic which is regularly in the news and about which we all have views.

Alongside your study, you will be offered teaching and support in academic skills and how to work within our distance learning model. There are no formal entry qualifications, beyond showing that you will be able to complete the course. We are keen to broaden the range of people who study with us, and offer a system to convert your prior learning in work or volunteering into university credit. Those who have completed an appropriate Foundation degree can do the final year of this course and gain a full honours degree.

Distance Learning Brochure

What will I experience?

On this course you can:

  • Explore the issues, debates and arguments associated with crime, control and punishment.
  • Follow a distance learning course designed to allow you to combine study and work, progressing at your own pace and your own location, with our online learning materials.
  • Gain university credit for your relevant prior learning and experience, allowing you to complete a stage, and therefore the course, in a shorter period.
  • Earn the Certificate of Knowledge in Policing, vital to a career in a UK police force.

Students can also exit after 18 months of study and achieve a nationally recognised Certificate of Higher Education or exit after 36 months and achieve a nationally recognised Diploma of Higher Education.

What opportunities might it lead to?

The BSc (hons) Crime and Criminology degree has relevance to a wide variety of occupations. In particular there are units offered on the degree that if you successfully complete would speed the process (and cost) of you becoming a police or Probation officer. In relation to the former by completing the unit called Police, Law and Community covers what you would study as part of the initial police training. In relation to becoming a Probation officer taking 4 particular units would equate to the Knowledge Modules which are required to commence Probation officer training. In regards to both please see further information below.

Other relevant occupations would be things such as crime prevention and community safety, security, youth justice, crime analysts and research, victim support, post-conviction support and work related to the courts and legal system. 

How do I apply?

Complete the University's online application form (not a UCAS form). All applicants should apply as soon as possible to reserve a place and ensure adequate preparations are made for the start of your studies.

Steven Barrett, BSc (Hons) Crime and Criminology student

It is a comfort to know that we are taught by subject experts who are academic 'heavy hitters'.

Steven Barrett, BSc (Hons) Crime and Criminology student

Key Facts

4.5 years part time distance learning. Start date: September.
The UCAS tariff for 2017 entry has changed. See how this affects your tariff score ENTRY
Access to this course is open to all individuals subject to the approval of the course leader. See full entry requirements

We accept UCAS points from other qualifications. See full details and English Language qualifications

UK/EU/Channel Islands/Isle of Man and International students
2016/17 entry: part time: £3,000 p/a* and £1,500* in year 5
2017/18 entry: part time: £3,080 p/a* and £1,540* in year 5

*Tuition fee may be subject to annual increase.

View tuition fee terms and conditions
View additional course costs

+44 (0)23 9284 3148
Institute of Criminal Justice Studies
Programme specification (PT, DL)


BSc (Hons) Crime and Criminology

Find out from current students what this degree involves and how they’ve found studying with us.

Browse all courses in Law and Criminology

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Light bulb Structure & Teaching

Stage one


  • Introduction to Criminal Justice
  • Introduction to Criminal Law and Legal Studies
  • Introduction to Research Skills
  • Social Context of Policing
  • Studying Criminology
  • Understanding Criminology

Stage two


  • Issues in Criminal Justice
  • Issues in Criminology
  • Penology
  • Research Methods

Choice of two options from:

  • Crime, Media and Culture
  • Frameworks of Investigation
  • Fundamentals of Forensic Investigation
  • Global State & Corporate Security
  • Hate Crime
  • Investigation: Psychology and Law
  • Rehabilitation of Offenders
  • The Fraud Problem
  • Youth Crime, Youth Justice
  • Police, Law and Community (successful completion leads to Certificate of Knowledge in Policing)

Stage three


  • Dissertation
  • Contemporary Criminologies
  • Victimology - Victimisation and The Criminal Justice System

Choice of two options from:

  • Contemporary International Policing Systems
  • Corporate Security
  • Counter-Terrorism & UK National Security
  • Criminal Justice and Minority Groups
  • Critical issues in Public Protection Policing
  • Dangerousness and Dangerous Offenders
  • Gender and Crime
  • Internet Risk and Security
  • Interviewing and Evidence
  • Major Crime Investigation: Success & Failure
  • Organised Crime
  • Private Policing

Teaching and Assessment

This course is delivered by supported distance learning. You will receive high-quality course materials via Moodle, our online learning environment, and begin your studies with  ‘Studying Criminology’, a unit that addresses many of the things you will be anxious about, such as how to write and structure an academic essay, where and how to undertake research. You will not be alone, as Moodle enables you to chat with fellow students in the same position as yourself, to discuss and present your work, and to keep in contact with tutors.

Induction material received at the beginning of the course will introduce you to the online learning environment and the distance learning facilities offered by the University Library. The university also provides help through the Academic Skills Unit and also resources available through the university library. The support uses a range of methods and supplies responsive, proactive online and telephone support. The Institute also holds two annual events in Portsmouth which you are invited to attend. A two day induction and re-induction event takes place in September and a Study Conference in late January. This is an opportunity for you to meet the staff and other students who you have worked with and to sample more traditional forms of learning such as lectures and tutorials.

Computer use

You will need to have use of a computer and access to the internet. You do not need to be especially computer literate, although typing skills are obviously useful.

Course materials, discussions and seminars are contained in an online learning environment called Moodle. The tools and resources available in Moodle are designed to guide and support your learning and study. You can to access the resources in Moodle whenever or wherever you are (as long as you have access to the internet).

You will be introduced and shown how to access and make use of the tools and resources in Moodle during the induction period though ongoing support and assistance is available throughout your study on the course.

If you don’t have access to the internet you will be at a disadvantage since you won’t be able to make use of the tools and resources available. Moodle is designed to be used via a computer. You may be able to access some of the resources through a tablet or smart phone but the functionality will be limited and slower than if you use a computer.

How are you assessed?

All the units in this course are assessed by essays and reports. Essay titles are provided at the beginning of the academic year. Unit materials often contain interactive exercises to encourage you to think and write about the issues being discussed, to test and encourage your learning.

You will receive feedback on your assessed essays, which will indicate what you need to do to obtain better marks in your next essay, alongside the criteria against which your essay was marked. As marks obtained in the first year do not count towards the classification of the degree, you will have time to hone your essay writing skills.

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Monitor Facilities & Features


The Institute of Criminal Justice Studies was founded in 1992 and has since grown to comprise 50 academic staff and more than 1,800 students. Now an internationally-renowned focal point for the study of crime and criminal justice processes, it draws together expertise in criminological analysis, applied psychology, police governance and management, victimology, penology, risk and security.

Professional Links

Our extensive experience and close professional relationships with the police service and criminal justice agencies ensure that our courses reflect the changing needs of the profession. You may benefit from these links by hearing guest speakers, listening to leading-edge research and being helped to find professional work placements.

Distance Learning

Our distinctive approach to well-supported distance learning, robust procedures for the accreditation of prior learning, and modular award framework not only help facilitate access to higher education but also offer flexible and transferable platforms for life-long learning.

Certificate of Knowledge in Policing

The Institute is an accredited provider of the CKP qualification, a prerequisite to applying for a UK police career. Read more: Certificate in Knowledge of Policing.

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Mortarboard Careers & Opportunities

Career prospects

Where next?
Where next?

Current students have roles in various areas of the justice and law enforcement such as magistrates, police officers and airport security. Others are employed in work which is unrelated to criminology. Your study will lead to a broad range of academic skills that are valuable in many professions both in and beyond the criminal justice sector. The University’s Careers Service can offer further advice for those seeking new employment challenges.

Initial training

Prepare for criminal justice careers
Prepare for criminal justice careers

You will have the opportunity to choose an option called Police, Law and Community, which covers the Certificate of Knowledge in Policing, part of the national framework for initial police training syllabus. This includes police and criminal law, police powers and police procedures. A number of police forces in the South of England (and in the future probably more elsewhere) now recognise this unit as a 'pre-join' qualification for those wishing to join the police service. Therefore if you successfully complete it, it  can be used as a basis of application to become a police officer (please note that forces normally require a minimum performance level in examinations). 

This course also offers four units that are equivalent to the four knowledge modules demanded by the Probation Officer training framework (Community Justice Learning). More information on the Community Justice Learning framework can be found at or

Career planning

Career planning
Career planning
6.04 minutes

To make sure you take the right steps on your career path, we’re here to give you help, support and advice throughout your study. Even after you’ve graduated, we continue to give you support for up to five years.

Employers tell us that they want graduates to be able to demonstrate certain skills when they come out of university. Our courses take account of this. We make sure we prepare you for employment through work-related learning, projects, placements and working in simulated environments that are designed to prepare you for the working world.

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Apply now

Online application form

Apply direct using our online form

Your application will be received by the University's Admissions Team before being transferred to individual departments for consideration and processing.

Visiting opportunities for distance learners


If you want to know more about undergraduate distance learning courses in ICJS, you will be welcome at our Virtual Open Days, where you will have the opportunity to ask questions of the academic and administrative staff. Dates for our Virtual Open Days in 2017 are to be confirmed.

Visiting opportunities

Postgraduate Information Days are held twice a year and give you the opportunity to visit the University and meet with subject tutors. Our Postgraduate Information Days for 2016 entry have now finished.

Book now

International Students

Staff from our international Office regularly attend overseas exhibitions. To find out more about these and our visits to your region see our International Office exhibitions page.

Fees and Funding

Find out more about fees and funding available to you at Portsmouth.