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Criminology BSc (Hons)

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What is Criminology BSc (Hons)?

On our course you’ll engage with the everyday experiences of dealing with crime: the impacts on the victim, the implications for society, forensic investigation, policing in the community, the workings of the criminal justice system, and approaches to preventing and deterring criminal behaviour. Explore the causes and implications of different types of crime, including environmental crime, homicide, sexual violence and crimes against humanity.

Our lecturers include a leading expert who advises the police on domestic violence and homicide and makes regular media appearance including the BBC’s Panorama.

Study style

Alongside lectures and seminars, you’ll learn through teamwork activities and research projects.

You’ll investigate scenarios in our crime scene houses, collecting and analysing evidence and discovering how it is presented in court. You’ll have access to a forensic interviewing suite and virtual reality equipment to study issues such as the reliability of eye-witness testimony. In your first year you’ll develop your knowledge and skills on a GB-based residential field week. Later on your course you can choose to attend an international fieldtrip, recent destinations include Bosnia, Canada and South Africa. During your course you’ll contribute to an ongoing research project which has been influencing crime-prevention initiatives in the local community, and you can also gain academic credit through work experience with a police force, local authority or charitable organisation. You’ll be invited to join our special interest groups – the Homicide Research Group, the Sexual Violence Research Group, and the Prisons Study Group – where staff and students collaborate in research and investigation. We also encourage students to help the police tackle anti-social behaviour by volunteering for the Student Community Patrol.

Get Criminology BSc (Hons) course updates and hear more about studying with us.

Entry requirements

    • 112 tariff points (calculate your points at

      Your points must include at least 2 A Levels, BTEC or equivalent qualifications, for example:
      BBC at A levels, DMM at BTEC or use a combination of qualifications to achieve the required tariff.

      If your course has a fast-track option that you’re applying to, you’ll also need to pass an entry interview.

    • We welcome applications from mature students (aged 21 and over) and do not necessarily require the same academic qualifications as school leaving applicants though the entry requirements still apply.

      Some courses require several years of working experiences in the relevant industry.

    • English and Maths Grade 4/C in GCSE (or equivalent) are normally required.

Course modules


Fees and costs

See the further details of fees and potential extra costs when studying a course at the University of Gloucestershire.
Start date Location UCAS code Fee (UK)
per year
Fee (international)
per year
Sep 2021 Francis Close Hall, Cheltenham M900 £9,250 £14,700
Sep 2022 Francis Close Hall, Cheltenham M900 TBC TBC
Sep 2023 Francis Close Hall, Cheltenham M900 TBC TBC

Possible careers

Graduates from this course can go on to to work in:

  • the police
  • the prison service
  • the youth service
  • community and victim support organisations
  • local authorities.

Industry links

To develop your skills for employment, and gain academic credit at the same time, you can complete a short internship in the workplace. Our students have worked with Gloucestershire Constabulary, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Gloucestershire, Restorative Gloucestershire, Advocacy After Fatal Domestic Abuse, Youth Justice Services, Police Service Northern Ireland, Gloucester City Safe and Humber College (Canada).

Make a difference with your research

Students are encouraged to join the Homicide Research Group, led by Professor Jane Monckton Smith, to analyse real cases. Published research from this group has been influential in shaping police response to stalking and domestic violence.

A lecturer on the Criminology course talking to students in the Crime Scene House garden, all are wearing hazmat suits and standing behind tape

Learn from leading practitioners

Recent guest lecturers have included the Police and Crime Commissioner for Gloucestershire, former chief constables, professionals who work with victims of domestic violence, plus members of Thames Valley Anti-terrorism Unit, Youth Justice Services, Metropolitan Police Service and HM Prison Service.

Prison officer showing a student around a prison

Develop practical skills through mock crime scene investigations

You’ll learn how a crime scene should be managed, and how forensic teams collect, preserve and analyse evidence.

Student wearing forensic suit at mock crime scene

Trips and experiences

In your first year you’ll study the relevance of criminology on a GB-based residential field week. In your second or third year you could choose to take a field week module to a location such as Canada, South Africa or Bosnia where you will learn about some of the distinctive challenges facing those societies, and different features of their criminal justice systems.

To develop your skills for employment you can complete a short internship in the workplace.

Our links with Gloucestershire Constabulary mean you can also experience community policing first-hand, working as part of the Student Community Patrol which helps to keep people safe while they enjoy Cheltenham’s nightlife.

"I’m a project officer within the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner"

“I support the delivery of the Police and Crime Plan. I work with community groups to create a safer Gloucestershire. As part of my degree, I volunteered with Cheltenham West End Partnership. I worked on projects to integrate diverse communities. I really enjoyed seeing the positive difference effective community engagement makes. It made me realise that I want to work with the community in this way.”

Joanna Szymanska, Criminology graduate

A graduate stands in front of a police station

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