Black Lives Matter Protest. BSc (Hons) Sociology with Criminology.

UCAS code


Mode of Study



3 years full-time, 4 years sandwich with work placement

Start date

September 2023, September 2024


People are not born criminals. On this course, you’ll explore how human relationships and social structures influence behaviour. You’ll discover how power dynamics and inequalities create crime. And you’ll see people who break and enforce the law in a new light.

With many diverse options to choose from, you can tailor this BSc (Hons) Sociology with Criminology degree around topics that fascinate you – from identity issues, such as race and sexuality, to issues of experience, such as happiness, gang crime or serial killing. 

Modules are taught by experts who draw directly from their research activity – to give you the latest knowledge in the field.

Course highlights

  • Explore topics informed by our latest research, from a curriculum constantly updated to reflect new ideas in areas as diverse as black studies, gender, class and sexuality
  • Learn how to persuade others through evidence-based argument, by taking a critical look at different ideas of society, crime and justice
  • Be taught by leading criminologists and sociologists whose research tackles issues relating to offending behaviour and inequality
  • Go beyond issues of crime to explore the human experience more broadly – from migration to inequalities, from food to celebrity culture
  • Work with students from other courses to consider possible solutions to environmental and social challenges faced by communities around the world
  • Practice analysing human behaviour through social research, so you can gain insights to help improve people’s wellbeing
  • Customise your degree to match your ambitions – some modules reduce the amount of time you’d need to train for a policing career or as a probation officer 

Recognised by:

The module Economic Crime and Fraud Examination is recognised by ACFE (a global professional body for counter fraud professionals) and undertaking it provides opportunities for full-time students to complete the Certified Fraud Examiner qualification at a subsidised rate.

Courses in Sociology

Hear our students and lecturers explain the benefits of studying a sociology course with us.

Chloe: I think I wanted to study sociology because it's got so many different components that you can't find it not interesting.

Dr Joseph Burridge: We offer three courses: Sociology, Sociology with Psychology and Sociology with Criminology.

Dr Rusten Menard: On our sociology courses, we offer a broad range of topics.

Joseph: Social inequalities and injustices, gender and sexuality, about race and racism, about nationalism, about the emotions, about food. It's a very versatile course.

Abby: At uni, it's interesting because everybody comes from a range of different places. You kind of learn about things that can relate to your life and people in your classes lives.

Rusten: It makes me feel amazing that students can connect their everyday experiences to these much larger topics that we're all dealing with on an everyday basis, even though we don't know that we are.

Joseph: There's a range of reasons that students will study the course, but I think that the most important one is that they're interested in understanding society and also wanting to change it.

Chloe: We’ll be sat in the seminar and everyone from different corners of the room is bringing in their own opinion.

Rusten: There are so many different kinds of jobs that our students go into, such as HR, marketing, the 

Abby: charities sector, non-government organisations, 

Asan: a higher education lecturer, a social researcher.

Chloe: I went and did a month out in Tanzania and I was working in a school there and I got picked to do that because I did sociology.

I chose to study at the University of Portsmouth because I just love the city as a whole.

Asan: It's a beautiful city. There’s lots to do here. There's always somewhere I could go.

Chloe: It's great that you can have that city environment with the kind of fast pace of life but you can walk 15 minutes up the road and be on a beach, relaxing, having an ice cream.

Asan: All the lecturers, the staff, they're very knowledgeable. You can go to them for anything. You can tell when your lecturer is really excited about the topic and that makes you feel more excited about the topic too.

Joseph: The thing I enjoy most, I think is the student journey. Meeting them on that very first day, they're fresh to the institution and then seeing them develop over the three or four years that they're here and ultimately seeing them graduate and, you know, having them come back and tell us how they're getting on and what they're doing. That's one of the most rewarding parts of it.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for BSc (Hons) Sociology with Criminology

Typical offers

  • A levels – ABB–BBC
  • UCAS points – 112–128 points, including a minimum of 2 A levels or equivalent (calculate your UCAS points
  • T levels – Merit
  • BTECs (Extended Diplomas) – DDM–DMM

You may need to have studied specific subjects – 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.

Typical offers

  • A levels – ABB–BBC
  • UCAS points – 112-128 points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent (calculate your UCAS points)
  • T-levels – Merit
  • BTECs (Extended Diplomas) – DDM–DMM
  • International Baccalaureate – 25–26

You may need to have studied specific subjects – find full entry requirements and other qualifications we accept at UCAS.

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.

Careers and opportunities

Studying a combination of sociology and criminology opens up a wide range of potential careers, both in and out of the criminal justice system. Whether you’re attracted to careers that involve working closely with other people, or roles that call for rigorous and structured thinking, you’ll be well prepared.

This is because you’ll graduate with a set of skills that are transferable to all kinds of professions. Those skills include:

  • insight into people and social dynamics
  • critical thinking and analysis
  • qualitative and quantitative research
  • the ability to shape and communicate an argument

For proof that a wide range of employers value these skills, look at the diversity of roles our recent graduates have taken on. They include: police officer, recruitment consultant, litigation paralegal, digital forensics assistant and victim support caseworker.

What areas can you work in with a sociology with criminology degree?

You’ll graduate ready to pursue a career or further training in areas such as:

  • health and social care
  • law enforcement
  • probation
  • counselling
  • advertising, marketing and media
  • teaching and lecturing
  • human resources and recruitment
  • business administration and personnel management

You could also progress into research-related jobs or pursue further research and study at postgraduate level.

What jobs can you do with a sociology with criminology degree?

Job roles you could take on include:

  • social researcher
  • probation officer
  • investigative analyst
  • police officer
  • human resource manager
  • counsellor
  • teacher
  • charity worker
  • detention custody officer
Female student at computer

Ongoing career support – up to 5 years after you graduate

Get experience while you study, with support to find part-time jobs, volunteering opportunities, and work experience.

Towards the end of your degree and for up to five years after graduation, you’ll receive one-to-one support from our Graduate Recruitment Consultancy to help you find your perfect role.

Placement year (optional)

After your second year of study, you can choose to do a paid work placement year in the UK or overseas. This lets you put your new skills to work while developing valuable links with employers.

It’s fantastic for your CV and will really help you stand out when applying for jobs after graduation.

We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your aspirations – whatever they might be. For example, a recent student joined an anti-poaching operation in South Africa.

Mentoring and support throughout your placement will help you to get the most from the experience.

You can also spend this year studying overseas at one of our partner universities in Europe. 

Prague cityscape

Study abroad year

Between your second and third year, you can choose to study abroad at one of our partner universities in Europe, Asia, Australia or North America. All classes are delivered in English and you'll still be able to get both your tuition fee and maintenance loans. You may also qualify for a government travel grant.


"Students that go abroad are more likely to obtain first-class honours [and] more likely to be in graduate employment than their non-mobile peers."


Universities UK International: 'Gone International, Rising Aspirations', 2019

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 modules in this year include:

  • Criminal Justice – 20 credits
  • Developing Your Sociological Imagination – 40 credits
  • Research Design and Analysis – 20 credits
  • Theorising Social Life – 20 credits
  • Understanding Criminology – 20 credits

There are no optional modules in this year.

Core modules in this year include:

  • Doing Sociological Research – 20 credits
  • Questioning Criminology – 20 credits

Optional modules in this year include (20 credits each):

  • Challenging Global Inequality
  • Consumer Society: Critical Themes and Issues 
  • Crimes of the Powerful 
  • Digital Cultures: Exploring the Digital in the Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Emotions and Social Life
  • Empire and its Afterlives in Britain, Europe and Africa
  • Engaged Citizenship in Humanities and Social Sciences 
  • Equality or Liberation? Theorising Social Justice 
  • Family, Career and Generation
  • Food, Culture, and Society 
  • Gang Crime 
  • Gender and Sexuality
  • Global Environmental Justice 
  • Global Security
  • Global, State and Corporate Security 
  • Hate Crime 
  • Health, Wellbeing, and Happiness
  • Intercultural Perspectives on Communication
  • Marketing and Communication
  • Modern Foreign Language (Institution-wide Language Programme) 
  • Modernity and Globalisation 
  • Nationalism and Migration: Chaos, Crisis And the Everyday
  • News, Discourse and Media
  • Penology and Prison 
  • Police, Law and Community 
  • Policing and Society 
  • Principles of Economic Crime Investigation 
  • Professional Experience 
  • Race and Racism 
  • Researching Criminology 
  • Risk and Society 
  • Social Power, Elites and Dissent 
  • Sociology of Culture: Taste, Value and Celebrity
  • Space, Place and Being
  • The Sociology of Education
  • Transitional Justice and Human Rights
  • Understanding Personal Life 
  • Victims of Crime: Key Players in Criminal Justice 
  • Wildlife Crime: Threats and Response
  • Work, Employment and Society 
  • 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 – 40 credits

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

Optional sociology modules in this year are (20 credits each):

  • 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 
  • Nationalism and Migration: Chaos, Crisis and the Everyday 
  • Professional Development 
  • Professional Experience: Recruiters and Candidates 
  • Race and Racism 
  • Social Power, Elites and Dissent 
  • Sociology of Culture: Taste, Value and Celebrity
  • 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 
  • Dangerous Offenders and Public Protection
  • Economic Crime and Fraud Examination 
  • 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
  • Treatment and Rehabilitation of Offenders
  • True Crime - The Making of a Genre

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, course content is revised and regularly reviewed.  This may result in changes being made in order to reflect developments in research, learning from practice and changes in policy at both national and local levels.

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
  • events, talks and visits

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.

Teaching staff profiles

Laura Hyman

Ms Laura Hyman

Senior Lecturer

School of Area Studies, Sociology, History, Politics, and Literature

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

PhD Supervisor

Read more

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.

We use a blended learning approach to teaching, which means you’ll take part in both face-to-face and online activities during your studies.  As well as attending your timetabled classes you'll study independently in your free time, supported by staff and our virtual learning environment, Moodle.

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 to enhance your learning experience and help you succeed. You can build your personalised network of support from the following people and services:

Types of support

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 meeting.

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

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.

Our online Learning Well mini-course will help you plan for managing the challenges of learning and student life, so you can fulfil your potential and have a great student experience.

You can get personal, emotional and mental health support from our Student Wellbeing Service, in person and online. This includes 1–2–1 support as well as courses and workshops that help you better manage stress, anxiety or depression.

If you require extra support because of a disability or additional learning need our specialist team can help you.

They'll help you to

  • discuss and agree on reasonable adjustments
  • liaise with other University services and facilities, such as the library
  • access specialist study skills and strategies tutors, and assistive technology tutors, on a 1-to-1 basis or in groups
  • liaise with external services

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.

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 (2023 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 – £17,200 per year (subject to annual increase)

Tuition fees (2024 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 – £18,100 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 show your accommodation options and highlight 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.

If you take a placement year or study abroad year, tuition fees for that year are as follows:

  • UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £925 a year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • EU students – £925 a year, including Transition Scholarship (may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £1,800 a year (subject to annual increase)


How to apply

To start this course in September 2023, please apply through Clearing.

Got your results? Apply online now

Alternatively, call our Clearing Hotline on +44 (0)23 9284 8074 or visit our Clearing Hub to chat with us online.

Our Clearing Hotline is open:

  • 9am–5pm Monday to Thursday
  • 9am–4pm Fridays 
  • 8am–8pm Thursday 17 August (A Level/T level results day) 
  • 8am–7pm Friday 18 August 
  • 10am–3pm Saturday 19 August 

Waiting for your results?

Visit our Clearing Hub for the latest information and to request a results day call back.

International students

We welcome Clearing applications from international students and you can apply in exactly the same way as UK students do.

Applying for year 2 or 3

If you've already completed part of this course with us or another university and would like to apply for the second or third year, please apply here.

To start this course in 2024, 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.