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Teaching Excellence Framework 2023 - Gold Award

BA (Hons) Criminology

Explore the causes and consequences of crime and criminality whilst investigating how society reacts and responds to crime and victimisation. Understand various approaches to reducing crime.

Police officers managing a crowd

Explore the causes and consequences of crime

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Full-time Part-time

Entry requirements

Three A-levels at grades CCC or above

Or BTEC triple grades MMM or above

Or Access 23-45 D/M with min 6D

Or T level P (C+)

And GCSE English Language, Maths and a Science at grade 4 or grade C or above

UCAS points 96

UCAS code 72H2

UCAS institution code P63

Duration Three years full-time or part-time options available

Any questions?

Contact Charley Lumley, our Applicant Support Coordinator, if you have any questions. Email and Charley will get back to you.

Course Summary

Crime is everywhere – in the news, at the cinema, on our TV screens, and in the books we read. This course offers you the opportunity to look behind the headlines to explore the complexity of a subject which fascinates and worries us in equal measure.

You will study crime from a variety of perspectives ranging from seemingly simple questions such as ‘what is crime?’ to considering the impact of the media on our understanding of crime and the way we deal with crimes such as youth violence and domestic abuse. As a Marjon criminology graduate you will have a thorough understanding of the social, political and cultural nature of crime as well as how crime is addressed locally, nationally and globally.

You’ll see how your learning is applied in real world settings via our strong working relationships with a range of crime related and criminal justice organisations including Devon and Cornwall Police, The British Red Cross, various drug and alcohol service providers and HM Prison Service.

Why this course at Marjon?

The tutors have all worked inside the criminal justice system

You’ll also learn from guest lecturers who are currently working in the field

Our teaching is always led by the latest research, so you’ll be well informed about the cutting edge of criminology

Opportunities for exchange, study abroad, internships and work shadowing

Small class sizes enable focused and personal tuition

Field trips to criminal justice environments such as law courts, coroner courts, CCTV surveillance units, police custody suites and police stations

Modules for this course

Course Snapshot

Criminology at Marjon allows us to study criminology and crime in varying contexts. We are able to learn about the perspective of a victim, how crimes affect communities and even what is considered a crime in different times and spaces. It offers us the opportunity to learn about crime in a historical context to show how it has changed during a third year module which allows you to use current issues and discuss them in class. The course covers a wide variety of modules, some of which have law contexts and some more hard hitting such as Counter Terrorism. Most, if not all modules, allow you to personalise your learning by choosing assignment and presentation topics, which means you can cater to your own interests, and makes the course engaging and enjoyable.
Rebekah - Third year, BA (Hons) Criminology

1st Year

Crime and the criminal justice system
This module focuses on the challenges of defining and responding to crime and deviance. You'll consider the punishment of crime and learn about the criminal justice system in England and Wales.
Social problems
By investigating the contemporary causes and consequences of social problems, this module will provide students with a greater insight into how problems are perceived by wider society. We will consider the processes by which these problems are “socially constructed” and the resulting policies and programs that are designed to solve them through an exploration of the interconnectedness of various social issues (such as homelessness, domestic abuse, poverty, etc.).
Academic personal and professional development
You'll reflect on your own academic, personal and professional aspirations and plan for the personal development needed to achieve these. We'll help you to develop a broad understanding of careers available to criminologists. You'll learn how to manage yourself and your work at university, how to access and create resources, and how to develop the core knowledge, skills and attributes needed to become an enterprising Marjon graduate!
Criminological theory
You will explore the philosophies of crime and deviance. You will also study the key theories and theorists of crime and deviance, and apply these criminological theories to criminal justice in practice.
Victims and victimology
You'll discover the complex nature of victimisation and victimhood, and the impact of the criminal justice system on victims. You will also gain an understanding of the experiences and impact of criminal victimisation.
Criminal Law
This module introduces students to criminal law within a social science context. It will provide students with a broad understanding of what constitutes crime, how crimes are defined and dealt within the criminal justice system and the role of criminal law in society.

2nd Year

Understanding punishment: prisons and penology
In this module, you will study the philosophy of punishment. You will investigate how and why society punishes and explore the impact of punishment and alternative approaches to punishment.
Police and policing
This module is all about the police - the history and development of the police, the changing nature and role of policing, and policing by consent. You'll also explore questions around arming the police and future policing developments.
Research methods
In this module you'll undertake an original piece of research, learning the process of research design, quantitative and qualitative research methodologies, literature review and how to analyse and writing up your research findings.
Globalisation and crime
What is globalisation? How is criminal activity influenced by globalisation? You'll explore key topics in international crime and responses to crime on an international level, focusing on the intersection between globalization, crime, and justice.
Designing safe communities
This module was created in order to improve our understanding of the modern implications of environmental criminology. The student will develop an understanding of the key theories and concepts associated with geographic criminology, and its contributions to police investigations and crime prevention techniques. We also focus on the environmental analysis of cyberspace, geo-profiling and designing safe communities- physical and online.
Understanding violence
Violent crime often triggers social outcry and political response when targeted towards vulnerable groups within society. However, the notion of violent crime moves beyond the obvious offending into areas such chastisement of children, violence in social disorder, domestic violence, state violence and violence against nature. Drawing on theoretical considerations from sociological, penological and psychological fields of knowledge alongside political, social and media reactions, the module offers a multi-disciplinary view on this form of offending. The aim of this module is to explore the range of violent offending currently criminalised within and beyond the criminal justice system, the social and political responses to such offending and the treatment of violent offenders. 

3rd Year

Criminology honours project
The honours project is an individual piece of research on a topic of your choice related to criminology. You'll ask a research question and design your research, which is to include a literature review, data collection, data analysis and reporting. You'll write it all up to produce your dissertation.
Investigative psychology
The psychological study of crime, criminals and victims within an investigative framework is known as criminal or investigative psychology. The module explores different ways investigative psychology contributes to police training, investigations and interviewing, as well as their contribution to understanding evidence in the courtroom. Drawing on theoretical and practical considerations from global fields of knowledge alongside political, social and media reactions, the module offers a multi-disciplinary view on investigative psychology and its applications.
Security and counter-terrorism
This module provides knowledge and critical understanding of national and global security challenges. It prepares students to undertake effective evaluation of real world reports and research in the field of security and counter-terrorism.
Understanding violence
This module explores different forms of violence and prevention mechanisms, inter alia interpersonal, cultural, systemic, political. It focuses on our modern understanding of violence and violent behaviour, theoretical approaches, culture, environment, and pro-active and re-active actions against violence and violent crime.
Contemporary issues in crime and criminology
This module focuses on a variety of contemporary issues explored through a criminological lens. You will study issues such as migration, organised crime, social exclusion, media impact/influence, social control, human trafficking and societal reaction to crime.

Current students say...

Charlotte Dyer

“I really value the experience the lecturers have had in the Criminal Justice System, it is extremely useful to be able to hear about real life experiences and to go on trips such as the Magistrates Court. It is also great that we have guest speakers to talk to us about the work they do within their specialised fields. The lectures and essays challenge you in order to help you reach your full potential and the lecturers help you to learn.”

Lauren Wray

“I think the crime scene photography is great because of the practical element. I’m getting opportunities to learn about all aspects of Criminology and to do a research placement with the police.”

Jade Ledwith

“I’ve been able to experience what court life is like by doing my placement with criminal defence solicitors. My researching and writing have improved massively. I am a more confident person now than when I started this course.”

This course is perfect if you’re curious about

What is crime?

Why is there crime in the first place?

Who commits crime?

Why do some people become criminals and others do not?

How best do we support victims?

How can we prevent crime and make our communities safer?


What might you become?

There is a myriad of opportunities for graduates with a degree in criminology, these include community development worker, civil service, court, social worker, police officer, prison officer, probation officer and youth worker.

How you’ll be taught and assessed?

How will you be taught?

Includes lectures, seminars, simulated scenarios, group and individual tutorials as well as site visits and guest lecturers form senior professionals in the justice fields.

How will you be assessed?

Assessment methods are varied and include portfolios, essays and reports.  There are two end of semester exams and you will be appraised based on your participation in the class room and in groups.

 Samantha Hauptman

Dr Samantha Hauptman

Course leader

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Sam has spent over 10 years teaching criminal justice and sociology in Higher Education. Prior to that she worked for six years in administration at the South Carolina Department of Corrections, working with youthful offenders, victims and eventually in educational programming. She teaches a broad range of classes and has a variety of research interests including globalization, criminal and social deviance, social control, and immigration. She is the author of The Criminalization of Immigration: The Post 9/11 Moral Panic (2013) and co-author of the forthcoming publication: Security and the State in the Era of Globalization: Criminology in the XXI Century.

Fees and funding

Fees UK students: £9,250 per annum

Fees for International students: £12,500 per annum

This fee covers your tuition and access to course-specific equipment and facilities, as well associated services including access to the library, study skills support, IT support, student support and wellbeing services and membership of the Student Union. There may be additional costs by course.

Additional costs:

Students are required to self-fund travel costs associated with placements and an annual trip within the UK.

Funding available for this course

Our Student Funding Advisors offer confidential and impartial advice about your funding options.

Learn more


Damien Hackney


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David Moore

Programme Lead

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Currently serving police sergeant with over 26 years of experience. 9 years lecturing. Policing experience includes - response, neighbourhood, training and assessing officers, burglary squad, interview teams, custody, evidence review, licensing in both urban and rural police areas. Recently used forensic science in developing effective crime prevention within policing. Recipient of the Plymouth Police Commander's Mayflower Memorial Award in 2019. Recently received national recognition for work around the developing evaluation and investigative working practices around drink spiking offences in the UK

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