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You are viewing this course for September start 2024

Taught in the oldest Law department in Wales, BSc Criminology at Aberystwyth University is a fascinating subject that explores the meaning of crime and why certain behaviours are regarded as criminal. Join us in the Department of Law & Criminology in Aberystwyth and you will explore the consequences of being labelled ‘criminal’, and how society responds to criminal behaviour by detecting, punishing and rehabilitating individuals who commit offences. You will also consider the impact of crime and criminality on victims and society in general. BSc Criminology is multidisciplinary in nature and therefore when studying Crime Causation and Crime Reduction you will draw information from a diverse range of disciplines, including Psychology, Sociology and Law. On completion of your degree, you will possess a portfolio of skills essential for pursuing a professional career in areas such as Policing, Prisons and Youth Justice. 

Course Overview

The BSc Criminology degree provides a balanced coverage of theory, policy and practice issues in criminology and criminal justice studies. The course draws upon sociological, psychological and legal theories and real-world examples to explore the causes of crime, how crime is defined, and why certain behaviours are regarded as criminal. It explores a wide variety of criminological perspectives, ranging from the emergence of Classical Criminology, all the way up to new and ever-growing fields at the forefront of criminology, such as green crime and wildlife crime. 

The current teaching team comprises staff with expertise in the main disciplines that inform criminological study, such as psychology, sociology and law, and you will be taught by criminologists who are actively engaged in research. 

Our modules are continually revised and updated to reflect recent changes in patterns of criminal behaviour and crime policy responses. Modules in criminology research methods will provide you with cutting-edge technical and analytical skills necessary to engage in contemporary debates surrounding policies and practices designed to prevent crime. 

There are opportunities to undertake a criminal justice placement, you can undertake supervised independent criminological research, and we have an excellent working relationship with local criminal justice agencies. 

Our Staff

Department of Law and Criminology lecturers are mostly either qualified to PHD level or have professional experience and qualifications as practicing lawyers. Many staff also have a PGCE (Higher Education).

Modules September start - 2024

Please note: The modules listed below are those currently intended for delivery during the next academic year and may be subject to change. They are included here to give an indication of how the course is structured.


Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Crime Control and Prevention * LC10320 20
Criminal Law * LC10520 20
Essential Skills for Criminologists * LC13120 20
Introduction to Criminology LC12220 20
Legal and Criminal Justice Systems * LC10120 20


Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Criminology in Action LC14120 20
Foundations of Psychology LC13620 20

* Also available partially or entirely through the medium of Welsh


BSc Criminology provides an excellent academic foundation for careers in the criminal justice sector, including the Police, HM Prison Service, the National Probation Service, and youth justice. Completing this degree can also provide opportunities to work in crime or intelligence analysis, community care and social work. 

 Your future is important to us and our degrees will equip you with the following: 

  • the confidence to select and deploy the most appropriate range of legal methodologies 
  • the ability to write and communicate with a range of audiences, evaluating and organising information 
  • the ability to gather, assimilate and interpret a wealth of legal information quickly and accurately 
  • the ability to express ideas and communicate information in a clear and structured manner, in both written and oral form 
  • effective problem-solving and creative thinking skills 
  • the ability to work independently 
  • time-management and organisational skills, including the ability to meet deadlines 
  • self-motivation and self-reliance 
  • team-working skills, with the ability to discuss concepts in groups, accommodating different ideas and reaching agreement 
  • research skills. 

Career development opportunities while you study 

Discover more about the various opportunities that our Aberystwyth University Careers Service offers. 

Enhance your employability prospects with our Year in Employment Scheme and Career Readiness Support Programme.

Teaching & Learning

What will I learn? 

The teaching programme is designed to provide you with a detailed insight into the nature and causes of crime and help you develop a critical understanding of the politics of criminal justice policy. You will also develop an understanding of the impact that crime has on individuals, communities and society as well as learn about the current challenges facing the criminal justice system. 

In your first year you will be introduced to: sociological and psychological approaches to the study of criminal behaviour; criminal law and the workings of the criminal justice system; and basic research skills in criminology. 

In your second and final year you will have the opportunity to: develop your understanding of the relationship between theory, research and criminal justice practice; enhance your criminology research skills; conduct independent research on a topic of your own choosing; and undertake a voluntary work placement in a criminal justice setting. 

You will also choose from a long list of elective modules that cover topics such as critical perspectives on imprisonment; police, policing and society; youth crime and youth justice; and psychology and crime. 

How will I be taught? 

You will be taught through a combination of innovative and high-quality lectures, tutorials and seminars. 

Our lectures will introduce you to key concepts and relevant up-to-date information. You will also have access to recorded versions of lectures. 

Our tutorials and seminars are an opportunity for you to discuss specific legal themes or topics, and to evaluate and obtain feedback on your individual learning while at the same time improving your construction of legal arguments. 

How will I be assessed? 

You will be assessed through essays, exams, study logs or portfolios and oral presentations including mooting exercises. 

A personal tutor will be assigned to you for the duration of your degree course. Your personal tutor will be your key contact if you have any issues or queries. 

Student Testimonials

Criminology is a really interesting course, combining lots of different elements such as history and psychology in order to understand crime and the criminal justice system. There is a wide range of interesting modules to study, including elements of criminology, victims and crime control and prevention. Robert Wade

The Criminology department is so welcoming! Staff and students know you by name, so every lecture, every seminar, and every interaction is personal. This makes it feel like they really care. The staff go above and beyond... You really couldn't ask more of them. Sam

Aberystwyth was the best place for me to study through the medium of Welsh. I could do the whole of my first year in Welsh and a lot of optional modules too. The staff were so supportive and were always on hand when I needed. Angharad

Typical Entry Requirements

UCAS Tariff 120 - 96

A Levels BBB-CCC

GCSE requirements (minimum grade C/4):
English or Welsh

BTEC National Diploma:

International Baccalaureate:

European Baccalaureate:
75%-65% overall

English Language Requirements:
See our Undergraduate English Language Requirements for this course. Pre-sessional English Programmes are also available for students who do not meet our English Language Requirements.

Country Specific Entry Requirements:
International students whose qualification is not listed on this page, can check our Country Specific Entry Requirements for further information.

The University welcomes undergraduate applications from students studying the Access to Higher Education Diploma or T-level qualifications, provided that relevant subject content and learning outcomes are met. We are not able to accept Access to Higher Education Diplomas or T-levels as a general qualification for every undergraduate degree course.
Our inclusive admissions policy values breadth as well as depth of study. Applicants are selected on their own individual merits and offers can vary. If you would like to check the eligibility of your qualifications before submitting an application, please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for advice and guidance.

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