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Criminology and Sociology

BSc (Hons)

School - School of Health and Society

Subject area - Sociology and Criminology

UCAS Code: LM39

Start Date(s): September


Three years full-time
Five years part-time


UK - £9,250 per year

Part-time - Your annual fee will be calculated pro rata to the full-time fee according to the number of credits you are studying.

International - £12,660 per year

In Brief:

  • You will have the opportunity to study both historical and contemporary issues, ranging from the local to the global
  • You will be taught by internationally recognised lecturers working at the forefront of research
  • We have strong links with local criminal justice agencies, who work with us both in the classroom and outside
  • Part-time study option
  • Overseas study available
  • Work/industrial placement opportunity
  • International students can apply

Course Summary

Sociologists are interested in how society is created and in how human beings form social relationships and interact with each other. They are especially keen to understand the social world in greater depth and challenge common sense assumptions.

Criminology is a related discipline that examines 'crime' and 'deviance', and the processes through which the criminal justice system responds to these phenomena.

Studying criminology and sociology at Salford will provide you with a sound understanding of the key conceptual and substantive issues involved in the study of society, crime and criminal justice.

This course will develop your critical awareness skills, and introduce you to the nature and scope of research, both in the field and as a process of information generation. You will also be able to connect to key institutions and 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.

“While studying Criminology and Sociology I had the chance to study part of my second year in Detroit, USA. This was an amazing opportunity as it allowed me to experience a different culture, make new friends, meet different types of people and build my confidence to take on new challenges in my future.

I currently work as a Management Information Officer for a local authority within children’s services for looked after children. The skills I learnt at Salford have helped me progress and develop within my current role and past jobs.”

Holly Bryan, BSc (Hons) Criminology and Sociology graduate

Course Details

This degree is designed to acquaint you with the general theories, typical methods and key studies of criminology [especially sociological criminology], and sociology, 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 the interests and needs of today's students.

It draws upon the existing provision within Criminology and Sociology at Salford, using the diverse work in the School on the major role played by various social institutions, and in particular, examines how crime, deviance, justice, law, regulation, surveillance and punishment are constructed, maintained and disturb the social order at all levels. Our aim is to provide a deep criminological and sociological insight into the nature of social relations, crime and justice.

Course Structure

Year 1    

In your first year, all modules are compulsory. Here you will examine modules covering key criminological and sociological issues. We will also equip you with the study skills needed to get the best out of your degree, and introduce you to both the nature and scope of research within criminology.    

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 insight into the issues which are comprised in the question of 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 social 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.      

Year 2    

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 sociology.

Across years 2 and 3, six options must be taken, three from Criminology and three from Sociology/Language. However you make your combination, in year 2 you must choose 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 the key schools of thought in sociological inquiry and evaluate the contribution of sociological inquiry to social life. You will analyse the relationships between individuals and their social settings and groups, and critically compare different sociological approaches and their implications for understanding the dynamics of social structures.      
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):    

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.      
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.      
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.      
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.      
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’.      
The aim of this module is to give you 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 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.      
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.      
You have the option to study a foreign language through the UWLP, 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.      

Year 3    

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 in Semester 1 and two in Semester 2.    

Core module (choice of one of the following):    

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 examine a Sociological or Criminological topic of your choice in an independent piece of research, exploring an area of your own academic, professional or personal interest.      
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.

Entry Requirements

Qualification Entry requirements
Diploma in Foundation Studies (Sociology) Overall pass
You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below.
GCSE English Language/Literature and Mathematics at grade C/grade 4 or above. Level 2 equivalencies will also be accepted.
UCAS tariff points 104-112 points
GCE A level 104-112 points
BTEC National Diploma DMM
BTEC Higher National Diploma Equivalent of 104-112 points
Foundation Degree Applicants will be considered for entry into year 4 (first year), having completed and passed a social science subject.
Scottish Highers 104-112 points
Irish Leaving Certificate 104-112 points
International Baccalaureate 30 points
Access to HE 104 ucas points from Access to HE Dip

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 requirement 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 and 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.

Applicant profile

An ideal student would have:

  • An interest in how and why crime occurs in society, and how society responds to that crime and the ‘criminal’
  • 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 sociologists and criminologists have written

Fees and Funding


Fees 2019-20

Type of Study Fee
Full-time £9,250 per year
Part-time Your annual fee will be calculated pro rata to the full-time fee according to the number of credits you are studying.
Full-time International £12,660 per year

Fees 2018-19

Type of Study Fee
Full-time £9,250 per year
Part-time Your annual fee will be calculated pro rata to the full-time fee according to the number of credits you are studying.
Full-time International £12,300 per year

Additional costs

You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.


We use a variety of teaching and learning methods to cater for all styles of learning. This includes:

  • Lectures
  • 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:

  • Essays
  • Exams
  • Presentations (both group and individual)
  • Reports
  • Dissertation (optional)


Career Prospects

Career paths of our graduates include:

  • Community, health a social work
  • Postgraduate courses, research and teaching
  • Government advisory departments
  • Investigating justice and victim support
  • Policing
  • Policy and administration

Alumni Profile

Holly Bryan, Sociology and Criminology Graduate

"My time at Salford was a time in my life that I will never forget and has lead me to have opportunities in life that I might not have had otherwise.  Whilst studying Criminology and Sociology I had the chance to study part of my second year in Detroit, USA. This was an amazing opportunity as it allowed me to experience a different culture, make new friends, meet different types of people and build my confidence to take on new challenges in my future. I have since been back to Detroit three times to visit my friends there and have had many come and visit here. 

I currently work as a Management Information Officer for a local authority within children’s services for looked after children. Although this Job is not directly linked to Criminology and Sociology the skills I learnt whilst at Salford have helped me progress and develop within my current role and past jobs."

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:

  • Great Manchester Police
  • HMP Risely
  • HMP Manchester
  • HMP Forest Bank
  • Greater Manchester Probation Authority
  • HMP Liverpool
  • 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’.

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