Criminology and Sociology

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You are viewing this course for September start 2022

BSc Criminology and Sociology at Aberystwyth University will enable you to critically evaluate ideas, concepts and approaches across the disciplines of both Criminology and Sociology.

This degree scheme will provide you with an in-depth understanding of society and criminality and will introduce you to new perspectives on social inequality and social change that are taking place both locally and internationally. Providing insight on criminology from a sociological perspective, our degree will give you the sophisticated 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 study.

Course Overview

Why should you study Criminology and Sociology at Aberystwyth University? 

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 have been and are developing within Criminology and Sociology. It will, moreover, 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.

During the duration of this course, you will have the opportunity to explore and discover the following:

  • 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
  • the importance of ethical issues in all forms of criminological and sociological data collection, analysis and argumentation.
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 - 2022

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
Introduction to Criminology LC12220 20
Key Concepts in Sociology GS16120 20
Place and Identity GS14220 20
Understanding Sameness and Difference 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 but will also provide specialist skills and knowledge relevant to a professional career in a criminal justice setting (eg police, probation or prison service).

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

  • an ability to communicate clearly and concisely in both written and oral forms
  • 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.

What opportunities are there as a student at the Department of Law and Criminology?

The fact that the scheme is part-taught by staff from the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences will allow students to benefit from the distinctive field-based approach to Sociology that we provide at Aberystwyth.

Find out about the various opportunities that our Careers Service offers.

Enhance your employability prospects with GO Wales and the Year in Employment Scheme managed by our Careers Service.

Course Content

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.

The breakdown below will provide you with an illustration of what you may study during the three year degree scheme.

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
  • basic research skills in criminology.

In your second and third years, 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
  • undertake a voluntary work placement in a criminal justice setting.

You will also choose from a long list of elective modules including:

  • Critical Perspectives on Imprisonment
  • Police, Policing and Society
  • Youth Crime and Youth Justice
  • Psychology and Crime
  • Everyday Social Worlds
  • Mobilities
  • Contemporary Global Migration
  • Nationalism and Society
  • Urban Risk and Resilience
  • The Global Countryside.

How will I be taught?

A wide variety of teaching methods are used. You will be taught through a combination of lectures, tutorials, seminars, workshops, practical classes and field classes. High-quality teaching and supervision will enable you to realise your full potential. You will be encouraged to take responsibility for your own learning and work on projects both individually and in groups.

A number of different types of assessment are used throughout the undergraduate programme. In addition to essays and written exams, you will undertake practical exercises (e.g. conducting a qualitative interview) and give individual and group presentations. You will receive constructive feedback on all coursework assignments.

You will be assigned a personal tutor, who will be the key contact when you have issues or queries.

There is an opportunity to complete a Personal Development Plan (PDP) at Aberystwyth. This is a structured process of self-appraisal, reflection, and planning, which will enable you to chart your personal, academic and professional development throughout your time at university. By recording your academic performance, and highlighting the skills you already have and those you will need for future employability, the PDP portfolio will equip you with the necessary tools to plan effectively, develop successful approaches to study, and consider your future career options and aspirations.

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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