Criminology is a discipline that examines 'crime' and 'deviance', and the processes through which the criminal justice system responds to these phenomena. Criminology also considers how certain behaviours come to be defined as criminal or deviant in the first place, and how definitions of a 'crime' and 'criminal' differ significantly across time and space. Studying criminology at Salford will provide you with a sound understanding of the key conceptual and substantive issues involved in the study of crime and criminal justice.
This course will develop your critical awareness skills, and introduce you to the nature and scope of criminological research. You will also be able to connect to key institutions and criminal justice practitioners.
We also offer this degree with an additional Foundation Year, making it a four year degree. Please see our Social Sciences Foundation Year webpage for more details on this.
This degree is designed to acquaint you with the general theories, typical methods and key studies of criminology (especially sociological criminology) and to indicate their application to issues in contemporary societies. It uses the modular system to deliver an innovative curriculum, with a wide range of optional subjects, which serves the local community, is linked to research of international and national quality, and is responsive to your interests and needs.
This degree draws upon the existing provision within Criminology at Salford, using the diverse work in the School on the major role played by crime, deviance, justice, law, regulation, surveillance and punishment in the construction, maintenance and disturbance of the social order at all levels. Our aim is to provide a deep criminological insight into the nature of crime and justice.
In your first year, all modules are compulsory. Here you will examine key criminological issues and institutions and some of the key sociological underpinnings to Criminology. We will also equip you with study skills and introduce you to the nature and scope of social research.
You will be introduced to the form, key features and purpose of the institutions of the contemporary criminal justice system in England and Wales and begin an exploration of the issues relating to justice and civil liberties.
You will be introduced to the key foundational issues, ideas, and ways of thinking within criminology. You will explore the various relationships between crime and society drawing upon contemporary, historical and comparative evidence and demonstrate links between particular theories and concepts and their implications for research methodology and crime policy.
This module introduces you to the ways in which sociologists and criminologists work and aims to develop the critical, interpretive, reflective and academic skills required to succeed on the programme.
You will be introduced to social scientific concepts and theories about the nature of social divisions, diversity and social inequality in advanced industrial societies. You will develop an understanding of evidence about major forms of social division and their causes and social consequences and compare alternative explanations of complexity and differentiation in contemporary society.
You will become familiar with sociological approaches to the understanding of culture, and the relationship between culture, power and identity. You will examine the social and cultural construction of identity and consider the formation of collective and individual identity, as forces of control and opportunity.
You will develop knowledge of the major forms of sociological reasoning and the ability to think sociologically about the major problems and issues in society and social life. You will gain an understanding of key concepts in sociology and of the contribution of sociological inquiry to explaining social dynamics.
In your second year and third years you will build on these foundations by looking in more detail at different theoretical perspectives in criminology and studying research problems and methods.
Across years 2 and 3, seven options must be taken, a minimum of five from Criminology and a maximum of two from Sociology/Language. In year 2 you must choose one option for Semester 1 and two options for Semester 2. Combined with your core modules this will give you a total of 120 credits. The modules listed below are usually offered every year, so could be taken either in year 2 or year 3.
You will develop an understanding of the range of theories of crime and criminal justice and locate the key issues of criminology within their socio-political and historical context. You will gain a knowledge of the most important theories, and their relevance for understanding crime matters in contemporary society.
You will develop an understanding of competing methodological approaches to social research. The focus throughout this module will be on learning and experiencing applied methods to address “real world” research social problems. You will gain a working knowledge, and practical experience of, alternative methods of collecting, reporting and presenting qualitative data.
You will gain an understanding of the survey research process, including forming a suitable research question, operationalisation, and types of sampling strategy. You will gain knowledge of key concepts in quantitative research, including statistical significance and probability and practical experience of alternative methods of analysing qualitative data.
Criminology optional modules (these will run depending on staff availability):
This module offers a broad introduction to the gendered dimensions of crime/criminality, criminal victimisation, criminal justice, and penology, and of the gendered theorising which attempts to account for this. It looks at the significance of gender to our understandings of and responses to crime and deviant behaviour.
You will develop an understanding of how and why people become victims and of the relationship between victimisation and social and cultural variables. You will critically explore the place of the victim in the criminal justice system, and how they are processed.
You will gain an understanding of the construction of deviant labels based on variables of ethnicity, gender and youth, and the relationship between these labels and crime. You will engage with issues surrounding experiences of crime and encounters with the criminal justice system. You will also compare crime policies on a national and international scale and look at a number of historical and contemporary case-studies.
You will be introduced to issues surrounding the policing and social control in the past, in contemporary society and in the future, and analyse how social control and surveillance are manifested. You will identify the implications for policing and social control studies on wider sociology as well as policy and practice.
You will develop an understanding of the evolution of the modern prison and of the relationship between prisons, probation, the courts and the media and the economic and social environment in which they operate. You will gain an understanding of the impacts of punishment with regard to age, gender and ethnicity and consider criminal justice institutions, policies, and practices in their contexts.
An overview of the conceptualisation of “violence”. You will examine debates concerning violence in various aspects of life, consider the contemporary debates surrounding violence in a range of contexts, trace the development of theorisations of violence and consider ethical, methodological and practical issues involved in the researching of violence.
The typical criminal trial is primarily a contest between the prosecution and the defence over whether or not a crime was committed and whether the accused is guilty. Each side uses narrative, rhetorical and argumentative strategies to construct its own version of the events and to present claims about the guilt or innocence of the defendant. Judges and juries must also do the same when they pronounce on a case, and third parties such as the public or the media often engage in a similar exercise. This module examines the strategies used to construct guilt and innocence, paying particular attention to their sociological underpinnings. Case studies will be an important part of the module’s content, and there will be presentations by prosecutorial, defence and judicial professionals.
You will gain an overview of the philosophy, nature, significance, outcomes and consequences of the criminal justice process and explore how it functions. You will think critically about key aspects of the criminal justice process and examine the interaction between different actors and agencies involved, and between the criminal justice process and politics, the community and the media.
Sociology optional modules (these will run depending on staff availability):
This module aims to denaturalise your understanding of the body and promote a sociological conception of both biology and human emotion. You will become familiar with sociologically thinking about the body, including the gendering and racialisation of bodies and you will explore the impact of modern genetics and other technological advancements on contemporary social life.
You will be introduced to different forms of social connections, from gemenschaft to gesellschaft, and explore the meanings, practices and roles of family, friendship, kinship, and community within the context of capitals, localities, and policy debates.
You will gain an understanding of the features of interactionist sociology and recognise how interactionist sociology differs from other ways of studying the social world. You will look at the ways in which theoretical approaches can be applied in areas such as socialisation and education, work and employment, and health and illness, and gain an understanding of the problems and opportunities of ‘working in a tradition’.
This module addresses the complex and often paradoxical relationships between human rights, extreme human rights abuses, particularly genocide, and resistance to such abuses. Its distinctiveness lies in providing students with interdisciplinary, theoretically informed and case studies grounded approaches to human rights, genocide and resistance.
It is the aim of this module is to you with an understanding of the role and location of popular culture, consumption, leisure and media and within contemporary society. You will consider the historical processes, theoretical and political debates, underlying and informing the nature of these practices, institutions and texts, as well as our understandings of these.
This module will introduce you to some of the key issues and debates in the fields of medical sociology and sociology of health and illness. It will give you an awareness of the diversity of approaches to health and illness within sociology, and enquire into the connection between health and illness and major social structures and divisions within contemporary British society.
This module examines a variety of themes and issues – practical, substantive, theoretical, methodological, textual and ethical- about the use of visual materials to account for social phenomena. You will address these matters through a range of work in sociology, anthropology and cultural studies.
You have the option to study a foreign language through the UWLP (University Wide Language Programme), which is practical in content and available at four levels (stages): Stage 1 (complete beginner), Stage 2 (Grade A*-C at GCSE), Stage 3 (Grade C or below at AS level), Stage 4 (Grade D or below at A2 level). The lower stages help you cope with everyday situations abroad or when dealing with visitors to this country, and the higher stages enable you to use the language in more professional contexts.
You have one core module in the third year – for this you must choose one of the independent study options (see below). You then have to choose four optional modules from the lists above to complete your 120 credits for year 3: two for Semester one and two for Semester two.
You will develop an area of interest through an extended Sociological or Criminological essay, without having to meet the demands of research-based activity associated with the Dissertation, examining topics of your choice.
You will engage in work based learning, making practical and conceptual connections between the academic study of sociology and criminology and work based activities. You will demonstrate an understanding of the importance of critical reflection.
Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.
Diploma in Foundation Studies (Sociology)
Access to HE
104 UCAS points
GCSE English and Mathematics at Grade C or above.
UCAS tariff points
GCE A level
A minimum of two grade Bs and one grade C in appropriate subjects. General studies is accepted
BTEC National Diploma
BTEC Higher National Diploma
Equivalent of 104-112 points
Applicants will be considered for entry into first year.
Irish Leaving Certificate
Salford Alternative Entry Scheme (SAES)
We welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to pursue the course successfully. Once we have received your application we will assess it and recommend it for SAES if you are an eligible candidate.
There are two different routes through the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme and applicants will be directed to the one appropriate for their course. Assessment will either be through a review of prior learning or through a formal test.
English Language Requirements
The English language requirement for this course is an IELTS average score of 6 or above, and for each component, 5 or above. For further information check the international entry requirements for all our courses here.
At the University of Salford we have developed a policy, a process and practices that help you to put together a claim for entry or credit by matching your current or prior learning against the specific requirements of a particular course. So if you have no formal qualifications but plenty of experience in the area you may still be considered for entry to the course.
An ideal student would have:
An interest in crime and its occurrence, especially how it is explained, and how 'criminals' are processed by the criminal justice system
A critical mind (with a sprinkling of scepticism). This will require you to think about things in ways that look beyond the taken-for-granted assumptions
A willingness to develop your understanding via reading and engaging with the books that leading criminologists have written.
We use a variety of teaching and learning methods to cater for all styles of learning. This includes:
Tutorials - usually in groups
Seminars- in groups and based on a lecture subject or allocated reading
Presentations - including those given from someone in the field
Student-directed study - where work is assigned and deadlines given
Site visits - where you can gain a working insight into criminal justice institutions
We place emphasis on the acquisition of individual transferable skills as well as the development of knowledge and skills important to those working in field.
We also have a virtual teaching and learning resource, called 'Blackboard'. We will post module handbooks, summaries of lectures, messages to students and any other relevant materials on Blackboard. You will be enrolled for modules on Blackboard, and can access the corresponding web pages, both on - and off-campus.
This course also offers additional opportunities and support. This includes:
Wordscope - This is an innovative course of ten 1.5 hour workshops, designed to improve the skill and accuracy with which you use language. It's not just for people who think they may need to brush up on their writing skills. It's also for good writers who want to be excellent. Our figures show that, on average, students who successfully complete the Wordscope course improve their grades by a whole degree class. This means that if a student was regularly achieving marks in the 2:2 range (50-59%), after completing Wordscope, their marks would rise to the 2:1 range (60-69%). Infact, a significant proportion of student achieving first class degrees successfully completed a Wordscope course during their time with us.
Personal Tutors - We have a strong record of pastoral and academic care for students. In addition to the academic curriculum, we operate a robust personal tutoring system which enables regular one-to-one contact with a tutor to discuss your progress. Upon your arrival at Salford, you will be allocated a personal tutor. The personal tutor is an academic staff member who acts as your first point of contact for any queries or difficulties that you may encounter in a personal or academic context. Personal tutors meet with you regularly throughout the year. In addition, they keep weekly office hours during teaching weeks, when they are available to offer support and advice.
Erasmus and Exchange Programme - The exchange schemes with universities abroad provide opportunities to study overseas, and help create a cosmopolitan environment within the School. Foreign exchanges are optional, and students may spend one semester (half an academic year) or two semesters (a full academic year) at one of our partner institutions. Currently, we offer exchanges to the following places: Marie Curie University in Poland; the Turkish Police Academy; San Diego State University; Wayne State University in Detroit, USA; and City University Hong Kong. Exchanges take place in your second year of study and you do not need to be fluent in a foreign language: you will study in an English Department, where the teaching is delivered in English. Our students report that study abroad provides a fascinating insight into how the subject is viewed and taught by other cultures, and in general, our students describe their exchange experiences very positively. These overseas opportunities are invaluable for helping our students get ahead in the jobs market, and guarantee that you will have something interesting to talk about in an interview! Grants and bursaries are available to help with travel expenses.
A variety of assessment methods will be used, these include:
Presentations (both group and individiual)
A degree in Criminology provides a strong foundation for a range of occupations from policing, prison, probation work, journalism and social administration. It is also a good general social sciences degree providing you with the skills vital in jobs such as administration, public service, research and television.
Some common career paths of our graduates include:
Postgraduate courses, research and teaching
Government advisory departments
Investigating justice and victim support
I studied Criminology and Sociology at the University of Salford. I found the course fascinating and it thoroughly engaged and inspired me to pursue a career within this field. I particularly enjoyed learning about the different circumstances people may have which influence them to commit crime; looking at high profile cases; and putting my knowledge into practise by looking at how guilt and innocence are constructed. This interest led on to a successful career in the criminal justice system. Due to the qualifications and experience I gained during my time at Salford University, I went on to do my teaching qualification in order to teach within the criminal justice sector. My degree gave me the preparation to get a job teaching in various prisons, which was challenging but highly rewarding. I now manage and run the education department within a bail hostel, devising the curriculum to motivate, engage and teach people who have been released from prison. I teach various subjects to enable my students to gain employment and to help them become rehabilitated. I thoroughly love my job, as every day is different and highly rewarding. All this became possible due to the excellent tutors I had at Salford University, which inspired me to pursue a career in a subject that I loved.
Links with Industry
This course responds to the needs of the criminal justice sector, in developing both subject expertise and skills that can be used for practice in the field. We have close associations with industry and professional bodies such as:
Greater Manchester Police
HMP Forest Bank
Greater Manchester Probation Authority
Salford Magistrates Court
Salford – Youth Offending Team.
This provides you with a number of benefits such as field visits, attendance at national and international conferences, portfolio surgeries, guest speakers, workshops and placements.
Placements and voluntary work are also available. These offer the opportunity for you to undertake a period of professional practice within industry in order to understand the dynamics and constraints of applying your subject knowledge in the 'real world'.