Criminology and Sociology

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You are viewing this course for September start 2024

Taught in the oldest Law department in Wales, BSc Criminology and Sociology at Aberystwyth University is a fascinating subject that will provide you with an in-depth understanding of society and criminality. BSc Criminology and Sociology will give you an insight into criminology from a sociological perspective. You will be introduced to new perspectives on social inequality and social change that are taking place at both a local and international level. You will develop the specialist knowledge and analytical skillset needed for breaking into the public and social sectors, as well as the criminal justice system, or alternatively is a great starting block for further stud

Course Overview

The course is taught in both the Department of Law and Criminology and the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences. The teaching teams comprise of staff with expertise in both of the main disciplines, giving students a broad understanding of criminology and sociology and opportunities to engage with subjects such as law, human geography and criminal psychology. 

Choosing this course will enable you to delve deeper into the key concepts and theoretical approaches that are continuously developing within Criminology and Sociology. It will also allow you to examine the important connections between the two disciplines. The distinctive field-based approach to Sociology that we provide at Aberystwyth will help to highlight the significance of space and place for the study of crime. At the same time, the discipline of Criminology offers distinctive insights into the nature of social non-conformity, and as such can provide new ways of approaching key sociological concepts including stratification, integration, conflict and inequality. 

The Criminology component of this course provides a balanced coverage of theory, policy and practice issues in criminology and criminal justice studies, and all students in the Department are given the opportunity to take part in a criminal justice work experience placement. The Sociology component of the course provides a theoretically-driven, macro focus on social structures, institutions and group actors, and provides an effective way of contextualising more applied criminological topics. 

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).

Department of Geography and Earth Science: lecturers are all qualified to PhD level or working towards a PhD.

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
Essential Skills for Criminologists * LC13120 20
Introducing Sociological Research GS17120 20
Introduction to Criminology LC12220 20
Key Concepts in Sociology GS16120 20
Place and Identity GS14220 20
Thinking Sociologically GS15120 20

* Also available partially or entirely through the medium of Welsh


A degree in Criminology and Sociology will not only help you to develop a range of key transferable skills that are important for employment in general. BSc Criminology and Sociology provides an excellent academic foundation for careers in the criminal justice sector, including the Police, HM Prison and The National Probation Service, and youth justice. Completing the degree can also provide opportunities to work in crime or intelligence analysis, community care and social work, as well as in local, regional and national government agencies. 

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

  • an ability to communicate clearly and concisely written and oral form 
  • enhanced problem solving and creative thinking skills 
  • an ability to work independently and as a team member 
  • time management and organisation skills 
  • enhanced self-motivation and self-reliance 
  • transferable skills such as computer literacy and key research skills relating to both qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection and analysis

Career development opportunities while you study 

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

Enhance your employability prospects with GO Wales and our Year in Employment Scheme (YES) which are both managed by our Careers Service.  

Teaching & Learning

What will I learn? 

The teaching programme is designed to provide you with 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 have the opportunity to explore and discover the relationships between individuals, groups and social structures; social diversity, inequalities and deviancy; the role of institutions in mediating social life and in defining and controlling crime and deviancy; the distinctive character of Criminology and Sociology in relation to other forms of understanding; the relationship between the analysis of evidence and criminological/sociological arguments; and the importance of ethical issues in all forms of criminological and sociological data collection, analysis and argumentation. 

In your first year, you will be introduced to: sociological and psychological approaches to the study of criminal behaviour; the insights that criminal behaviour can provide into key sociological concepts; key concepts in Sociology; 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 sociological and criminological theory; research and criminal justice practice; enhance your criminology and sociology 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. 

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. 

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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