This course is one of the first of its kind. It offers a thorough grounding in criminology and counselling – two disciplines which are vital to the criminal justice system. Criminology studies the causes of crime, the process of victimisation, the workings of the criminal justice system and the techniques for preventing crime. Counselling has an important and expanding role in attending to the victims of crime, addressing some of the causes of offending, reducing re-offending, seeking restorative justice, and alleviating stress among criminal justice practitioners.
You will learn from academic experts and experienced practitioners who regularly contribute to our modules. You will gain the skills to carry out your own research, to apply a critical mind to contemporary social problems, and to adopt an empathetic and supportive stance to those suffering from harm. You will have the opportunity to do a placement in a subject-relevant area, and to use the engagement with practitioners to reflect on, and develop, your career plans.
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 course draws upon the existing provision within criminology and counselling at Salford to provide you with a solid grounding in both. Core modules cover general theories and key studies in each discipline, together with criminological research methods and counselling techniques. The course uses the modular system to deliver an innovative curriculum, with a good range of optional subjects and a focus on employability. It is linked to research of international and national quality, and is responsive to your interests and needs.
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. You will explore the core dimensions of counselling and psychotherapy and consider the roles of human rights and ethics. 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 has theoretical and practical components. The theory lectures will explore the history of counselling and psychotherapy, and introduce the student to some key concepts in the work of Sigmund Freud and Carl Rogers. The skills element of this module introduces counselling and listening skills in a lively interactive workshop framework where students have the opportunity to work in pairs and groups. The aim is to develop the student’s appreciation of the nature of helping relationships and to define some central elements in them. Students will be introduced to ideas that have shaped counselling practice.
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.
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.
This module which will help you formulate a grounding in a fundamental aspect of counselling, that of ethical practice and the commitment to human rights. Using an enquiry based learning approach it provides an opportunity to develop knowledge of ethics and human rights in relation to the context of counselling and psychotherapy. You will be encouraged to work within small groups to explore ethical issues that can manifest within the therapeutic and other helping relationships and gain an understanding of the processes involved in approaching such issues.
In your second year you will build on these foundations by looking in more detail at different theoretical perspectives in criminology and studying research problems and methods. You will also train in intermediate counselling skills. Additionally, you will choose an optional criminology module (see the indicative list below).
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.
You will gain knowledge of the Rogerian Person-centred approach to counselling. You will be able to apply theory to practice, using counselling and listening skills. You will have opportunities to develop your self-awareness and interpersonal skills, relating these to theories of personality and personality change, as well as to theories associated with the person-centred approach.
You will be supported in extending your knowledge relating to counselling skills and how psychotherapeutic approaches can support people with mental health issues. You will deepen your ability to effectively use counselling skills, learn how to give and receive constructive feedback, and learn about the contexts within which counselling has developed and current exists.
In your third year you will take a compulsory module, which is an Independent Study module. You will also be able to choose two criminology optional modules and two counselling optional modules (from the indicative lists below).
Independent Study (choice of one of the following):
You will develop an area of interest through TWO pieces of extended Criminological prose, 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 criminology and work based activities. You will demonstrate an understanding of the importance of critical reflection.
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.
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.
This module explores major theories of bereavement and loss, critically appraising their strengths and limitations with regard to psychotherapeutic work. Particular types of loss are investigated such as sudden loss, cultural perspectives on loss, as well as models of attachment and loss. Therapeutic work with particular client groups is discussed and the impact that loss, in any of its forms, has on them.
You will gain an understanding as well as the skills acquisition of the application of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) Skills for mild to moderate Anxiety and Depression. The National Institute for Health Care and Excellence (NICE) identifies CBT as the therapy of choice for anxiety and depression. You will gain an understanding of how people are affected by anxiety and depression and other associated mental health issues.
You will gain an overview of the historical as well as the contemporary psychological understanding of mental health. You will understand the models of mental health disorders and the impact on how groups and individuals are treated in society.
The Expressive Therapies module offers both cognitive and experiential learning opportunities and offers ‘taster experiences’ of a range of different arts therapy approaches. A number of psychotherapies exist that offer more than just the verbal interchange of ‘talking therapies’. These approaches invite other channels of communication, as well as verbal interchange, as a means of accessing core or organismic experience. There are obvious advantages of such approaches to client groups who may not have the necessary verbal skills to describe their experience e.g. children, people with learning disabilities.
You can take a university language module in place of one Criminology option or one Counselling option.
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.
GCSE English and Mathematics at Grade C or above.
UCAS tariff points
BTEC National Diploma
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
International applicants will be required to show a proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.5 (with no element below 5.5) is proof of this. If you need to improve your written and spoken English, you might be interested in our English language courses.
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. These include:
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
Virtual Learning – resources such as literature, videos and podcasts are placed online for students to access
We have a variety of assessment methods, each tailored to the learning objectives of individual modules.
Essays (approximately 50% of all assessments)
The remaining 35% of assessment comprises:
Presentations (both group and individual)
A degree in Criminology and Counselling provides a strong foundation for a wide range of occupations from victim and witness support, prison, probation work, and community rehabilitation companies.
Our graduates have gone on to become victim support workers, prison officers, police officers, crime analysts, private security managers, youth offending workers, and to occupy a variety of roles in programmes focusing on drug use, domestic violence or other problems.
Some of our graduates also go on to complete a conversion qualification for a career in law while others do a postgraduate certificate in education and go into teaching.
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 practice 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 the University of Salford, 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, 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
Manchester and 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.
We have recently developed a brand new special counselling suite which will be used for training students to become professional counsellors and psychotherapists.
The suite, featuring therapeutic areas where one-to-one, family and group interactions can occur, will also shortly be available for members of the local community and the University is hoping to work with local charities which will be able to use the facility.
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