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BA (Hons) Criminology

Explore and evaluate how society tackles crime.

Develop your practical skills at simulated crime scenes

2020 entry requirements

Three A-levels at grades CCC or above.

Or BTEC triple grades MMM or above.

Or Access 23-36 with min 6D.

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

UCAS points 96

UCAS code 72H2

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

How to apply for this course

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, and able to debate at, the cutting edge of criminology.

You’ll develop your practical skills in our ‘crime scene house’ where you’ll work on simulated cases and reconstructed cold cases.

Small class sizes enable focused and personal tuition.

You’ll go on a range of field trips to criminal justice environments such as law courts, coroner courts, CCTV surveillance units and police custody suites and police stations.

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?

Are you a victim of crime?

How best do we support victims and offenders to prevent crime?

Do we have an obligation to victims of crime?

"I cannot tell you how excited we are to be working with the programme as there is a real shortage of qualified and experienced people in these fields that your programming is training and accrediting.”
Ian M. Arrow - Her Majesty's Coroner for the Exeter and Greater Devon District

What might you become?

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

Modules for this course

Course Snapshot

"In our first year we learnt about psychology in crime and the mindset of a criminal. We also learnt about the role of victims within the criminal justice system. This year we are learning about crime scene photography and how to take photos that can be used in court. There’s also 50 hours of research placement to set us up for our future careers. In the third year we’re going to learn about punishment, sentencing and how different countries handle crime. We will also learn about the ethics of being involved in criminal justice.
Jade - Second year, BA (Hons) Criminology


1st Year

You'll start out by developing an understanding of what constitutes a victim. You'll explore the construction of victimhood by the media and the criminal justice system, reviewing a variety of case studies on victimization.
Crime: Key questions and organisational responses
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.
Academic personal and professional development
This module helps you to make the step up to degree-level study. 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!
Thinkers in criminology: An introduction to theory
You'll study the philosophies of crime and deviance. You'll understand the key theories and theorists of crime and deviance and apply these criminological theories to criminal justice in practice.
Psychology in practice
You decide the content. Together we explore topics and questions which are of interest to the class.
Public Law
You'll study the history and principles of the British constitution and examine ‘common law’, tracking the development of human rights law, the scope of government authority and the workings of judicial review.

2nd Year

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.
Penology: Understanding punishment
Study philosophies of punishment. You'll ask 'Why punish?' and consider the impact of punishment and alternative approaches to punishment.
Criminal law
You'll be introduced to criminal law within a social science context asking questions such as: What constitutes crime? How are crimes are dealt with? What is the relationship between law and policy?
Crime and communities
What is the role of community? You'll consider contested definitions, criminalising the marginalized and approaches to dealing with the ‘mad, sad, and bad’. You'll learn about the criminalization of social policy, control of ‘difficult’ populations and social policy as crime causation.
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.
Crime, media and culture
You'll think about crime, culture and media; identifying the ‘everyday’, exploring the principles of cultural criminology and considering the media and the production of ‘news’.

3rd Year

Criminology Honours Project
The Honours Project is an individual piece of research on a topic of the 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.
Crime and the private space
Develop an in-depth understanding of what constitutes private, semi-public and public spaces and an critical appreciation of the social, cultural and legal limitations regarding private space. You'll review both historical and contemporary policy approaches to controlling crime and deviance in the private space, exploring multi-agency responses to crime.
Global Criminology
What is globalization? How does it feed and how is it affected by criminal activity? You'll explore key topics in international crime such as international databases (Europol, Interpol, FBI and UNESCO) and responses to crime on an international level and from international organisations.
Violent crime
You'll study definitions and theoretical approaches to violent crime, reviewing case studies of violence and violent crime. You'll understand violent crime from social, political and cultural perspectives.
Contemporary issues in crime and criminology
This module focuses on the theory that underpins policy making in the criminal justice system. You'll review a number of case studies which relate to hot topical issues, for example this might currently be knife crime.

Fees and funding

Fees UK students: £9,250 per annum

Fees for International students: £12,000 per annum

Additional costs:

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

Teaching and assessment

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.

Course leader

Dr Samantha Hauptman

Sam spent 6 years in administration at the South Carolina Department of Corrections first 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.

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Dr Hazel Bending

Senior Lecturer

View profile

Hazel is a chartered psychologist. She teaches psychology, mental health and wellbeing and reflective practice. Her research focuses on how students best learn; investigating how various techniques from using technology to wellbeing can enhance students’ experiences and skills.

Dr Sarah Gardner

Senior Lecturer

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Following the completion of my PhD in Organic Chemistry I worked for West Mercia Police in their fingerprint laboratory. From there I moved to the Home Office and conducted research into fingerprint enhancement techniques. I then changed direction and joined the Forensic Science Service and trained as a Forensic Biologist, running cases in the Violent and Sexually Motivated Crime teams. I have been an academic since 2008, starting at Kingston University in London, moving to Bond University in Australia and I have been at Marjon since 2019.

Linda Wilday

Laboratory Manager

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Linda is a biochemist with over thirty years’ experience of in research and deployments of new technologies.

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