Black Lives Matter Protest. BSc (Hons) Sociology with Criminology.
Mode of Study
3 years Full-time, 4 years sandwich with work placement
Start Date
September 2022


Understand society and gain expertise in how crime impacts all of us on this BSc (Hons) Sociology with Criminology degree. 

Two thirds of this course is based in sociology and one third in criminology. You'll use social theory to explore the complexities of society and learn about different theories of crime. In your second and third year, you can choose from an extremely wide range of module options to tailor the course to your interests. For example, you can focus on areas like race and racism, gender inequality, or environmental crime.

You’ll be exposed to current debates about sociology and criminology, and develop your critical thinking and research skills. 

You’ll explore the criminal justice system, environments that cultivate crime, and victim support. And you’ll examine the impact of crime on family, professional prospects and different generations.

After graduating, you could have a career in the police and probation service. Other roles you could go onto include social researcher, detention custody officer and investigative analyst.

TEF Gold Teaching Excellence Framework

Entry requirements​

Entry requirements for BSc (Hons) Sociology with Criminology

Typical offers

See full entry requirements and other qualifications we accept

English language requirements
  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

See alternative English language qualifications

We also accept other standard English tests and qualifications, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of your course.

If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

What you'll experience

On this degree course, you can:

  • Gain pre-entry qualifications for a career in probation work
  • Apply your knowledge during a one-year placement in a criminal justice organisation
  • Have the chance to study abroad at one of our partner universities in Europe
  • Benefit from the Learning From Experience (LiFE) option – you'll earn credits towards your degree through your work, volunteer and research placements
  • Get an in-depth understanding of sociological theory and apply this to contemporary issues
  • Learn how people's life histories relate to wider social structures
  • Get an understanding of theories of crime and criminology
  • Understand and critically analyse notions of justice
  • Assess competing perspectives on society and crime, making rational arguments based on evidence
  • Develop analytical, communication and social research skills
  • Have the opportunity to study certain modules as part of the Probation Pathway, which allows you to enter the Probation Service as a trainee probation officer after the course

Careers and opportunities

After this Sociology with Criminology degree course, our Careers and Employability team will help you get started on the career ladder and support for you for up to 5 years after you leave the University.

What can I do with a Sociology with Criminology degree?

After the course, you'll have the knowledge and skills to pursue a career or further training in areas such as:

  • teaching and lecturing
  • research
  • health and social care
  • advertising
  • marketing and media
  • local government
  • counselling
  • voluntary services
  • human resources and recruitment
  • business administration and personnel management
  • law enforcement
  • probation

You can also take optional specialist modules that prepare you for entry into the police force or probation service.

What jobs can I do with a Sociology with Criminology degree?

Job roles you could take on include:

  • probation officer
  • police officer
  • lecturer
  • teacher
  • civil servant
  • social researcher
  • human resource manager
  • counsellor
  • charity worker
  • campaigner

Work experience and career planning

To give you the best chance of securing the ideal job when you graduate, our Careers and Employability service can help you find relevant work experience during your course.

We'll work with you to identify placements, internships, voluntary roles and freelancing opportunities that will complement your studies and allow you to use the skills you've learnt.

Students have already taken up volunteer placements with Victim Support, a consumer advice agency and the British Council.

We'll also be available to help, advise and support you for up to 5 years as you advance in your career.

This course allows you to take the Learning From Experience (LiFE) option. This means you can earn credits towards your degree for work, volunteer and research placements that you do alongside your study.

What you'll study on this BSc (Hons) Sociology with Criminology degree course

Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits.

In each year, you need to study modules worth a total of 120 credits. For example, four modules worth 20 credits and one module worth 40 credits.


Core sociology modules in this year are:

  • Developing your Sociological Imagination
  • Theorising Social Life
  • Research Design and Analysis

Core criminology modules in this year are:

  • Criminal Justice
  • Understanding Criminology

There are no optional modules in this year.

Core modules in this year are:

  • Doing Sociological Research (sociology)
  • Questioning Criminology (criminology)

You'll also need to choose 3 optional sociology modules and 1 criminology module.

Optional sociology modules in this year are:

  • Consumer Society: Critical Themes and Issues
  • Digital Cultures: Exploring the Digital in the Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Emotions and Social Life
  • Equality or Liberation? Theorising Social Justice
  • Family, Career and Generation
  • Family, Career and Generation
  • Gender and Sexuality
  • Health, Wellbeing and Happiness
  • Modernity and Globalisation
  • Nationalism and Migration: Chaos, Crisis and the Everyday
  • Race and Racism
  • Risk and Society
  • Social Power, Elites and Dissent
  • Sociology of Culture: Taste, Value and Celebrity
  • Sociology of Religion
  • The Body: Sociological Perspectives
  • The Sociology of Education
  • Understanding Personal Life
  • Work, Employment and Society

Optional criminology modules are:

  • Crime and the Media
  • Crimes of the Powerful 
  • Cultural Criminology
  • Gang crime
  • Global Environmental Justice
  • Global, State and Corporate Security
  • Hate Crime
  • Learning from Experience
  • Modern Foreign Language
  • Penology and Prison
  • Police, Law and Community
  • Police, Law and Community
  • Policing and Society
  • Principles of Economic Crime Investigation
  • Researching Criminology
  • Victims of Crime: Key Players in Criminal Justice
  • Wildlife Crime: Threats and Response
  • Youth Crime, Youth Justice

After your second year, you can do an optional work placement year to get valuable longer-term work experience in the industry.

Examples of placement organisations include:

  • Why Me? Restorative Justice
  • SEK International School, Spain
  • Aurora New Dawn – a charity giving safety, support, advocacy and empowerment to survivors of domestic abuse, sexual violence and stalking

We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your aspirations. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year.

Core modules in this year are:

  • Sociology Dissertation or Major Project

You'll also need to choose 2 optional sociology modules and 2 criminology modules.

Optional sociology modules in this year are:

  • Challenging Global Inequality
  • Consumer Society: Critical Themes and Issues
  • Emotions and Social Life
  • Equality or Liberation? Theorising Social Justice
  • Family, Career and Generation
  • Food, Culture and Society
  • Gender and Sexuality
  • Health, Wellbeing and Happiness
  • Introduction to Teaching
  • Learning from Experience
  • Nationalism and Migration: Chaos, Crisis and the Everyday
  • Race and Racism
  • Social Power, Elites and Dissent
  • Sociology of Culture: Taste, Value and Celebrity
  • Sociology of Religion
  • The Body: Sociological Perspectives
  • Understanding Personal Life

Optional criminology modules are:

  • Black Criminology, Race and the Criminal Justice System
  • Contemporary Terrorism and the Global Response
  • Crime and New Technologies: Theory and Practice
  • Critical Penal Studies
  • Dangerous Offender and Public Protection
  • Economic Crime and Fraud Examination
  • Forensic Psychology and Mental Health
  • Gender and Crime
  • Green Crime and Environmental Justice
  • Intelligence Analysis
  • Miscarriages of Justice
  • Money Laundering and Compliance
  • Policing: Communities, Intelligence and Information
  • Policing: Law, Policy and Practice
  • Political Extremism
  • Professional Development: Recruiters and Candidates
  • Social Policy, Justice and Crime
  • State Crime
  • Treatment and Rehabilitation of Offenders

Changes to course content

We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional modules may not run every year. If a module doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

How you're assessed

You'll be assessed through:

  • written essays
  • group and individual presentations
  • group and individual projects
  • seminar participation
  • examinations
  • a 10,000 word dissertation

You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.


Teaching methods on this course include:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • one-to-one tutorials
  • workshops

There's an emphasis on participation on this course, you'll take part in group debates and discussions, and gain experience in research and interviewing techniques.

How you'll spend your time

One of the main differences between school or college and university is how much control you have over your learning. At university, as well as spending time in timetabled teaching activities such as lectures, seminars and tutorials, you’ll do lots of independent study with support from our staff when you need it.

A typical week

We recommend you spend at least 35 hours a week studying for your Sociology with Criminology degree. In your first year, you’ll be in timetabled teaching activities such as lectures, seminars and tutorials for about 10 hours a week. The rest of the time you’ll do independent study such as research, reading, coursework and project work, alone or in a group with others from your course. You'll probably do more independent study and have less scheduled teaching in years 2 and 3, but this depends on which modules you choose.

Most timetabled teaching takes place during the day, Monday to Friday. You may occasionally need to go to University and course events in the evenings. There’s usually no teaching on Wednesday afternoons.

Term dates

The academic year runs from September to June. There are breaks at Christmas and Easter.

See term dates

Supporting your learning

The amount of timetabled teaching you'll get on your degree might be less than what you're used to at school or college, but you'll also get support via video, phone and face-to-face from teaching and support staff when you need it. These include the following people and services:

Personal tutor

Your personal tutor helps you make the transition to independent study and gives you academic and personal support throughout your time at university.

As well as regular scheduled meetings with your personal tutor, they're also available at set times during the week if you want to chat with them about anything that can't wait until your next scheduled meeting.

Learning development tutors

You'll have help from a team of faculty learning development tutors. They can help you improve and develop your academic skills and support you in any area of your study.

They can help with:

  • Improving your academic writing (for example, essays, reports, dissertations)
  • Delivering presentations (including observing and filming presentations)
  • Understanding and using assignment feedback
  • Managing your time and workload
  • Revision and exam techniques

Academic skills support

As well as support from faculty staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • academic writing
  • note taking
  • time management
  • critical thinking
  • presentation skills
  • referencing
  • working in groups
  • revision, memory and exam techniques

If you have a disability or need extra support, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) will give you help, support and advice.

Library support

Library staff are available in person or by email, phone or online chat to help you make the most of the University’s library resources. You can also request one-to-one appointments and get support from a librarian who specialises in your subject area.

The library is open 24 hours a day, every day, in term time.

Support with English

If English isn't your first language, you can do one of our English language courses to improve your written and spoken English language skills before starting your degree. Once you're here, you can take part in our free In-Sessional English (ISE) programme to improve your English further.

​Course costs and funding

Tuition fees (2022 start)

  • UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • EU students – £9,250 a year (including Transition Scholarship – may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £16,200 per year (subject to annual increase)

Funding your studies

Find out how to fund your studies, including the scholarships and bursaries you could get. You can also find more about tuition fees and living costs, including what your tuition fees cover.

Applying from outside the UK? Find out about funding options for international students.

Additional course costs

These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.

Additional costs

Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.

You’ll study up to 6 modules a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each module.

You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.

We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.


How to apply

To start this course in 2022, apply through UCAS. You'll need:

  • the UCAS course code – LM40
  • our institution code – P80

If you'd prefer to apply directly, use our online application form.

You can also sign up to an Open Day to:

  • Tour our campus, facilities and halls of residence
  • Speak with lecturers and chat with our students 
  • Get information about where to live, how to fund your studies and which clubs and societies to join

If you're new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.

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