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Criminology with Security

BSc (Hons)

School - School of Health and Society

Subject area - Sociology and Criminology

UCAS Code: M906

Start Date(s): September


Three years full-time
Up to six 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:

  • Gain a specialist degree, not widely available elsewhere
  • Be taught by internationally recognised lecturers
  • Benefit from our excellent links with local policing/security agencies
  • Have the opportunity to undertake a placement
  • Part-time study option
  • Work/industrial placement opportunity
  • International students can apply

Course Summary

One of the first of its kind, this course responds to recent events, both nationally and internationally, which highlight the importance of security in preventing, controlling and responding to all forms of crime, whether originating in local, national or transnational contexts. International in its outlook, this course covers global security issues, including terrorism and transnational crime.

This course will give you a thorough grounding in the disciplines of criminology and security.  Criminology involves critical examination of 'crime' and 'deviance' and the processes through which the criminal justice system responds to these phenomena. This course also addresses the nature of threats to security, how states seek to manage and neutralise those threats, and how security is situated within the wider theory and practice of international politics.

You will have an industry-relevant and industry-informed learning experience, being taught by nationally and internationally recognised researchers and industry partners. You will have the opportunity to undertake an assessed industry placement or research-based dissertation. You will have the opportunity to study a language module and/or spend up to a year on a study abroad exchange placement.

You will gain the critical awareness, subject knowledge and industry experience required to advance in a competitive graduate market.

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.

Year 1                

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.                        
This module introduces students to key political concepts and ideologies and uses them in the study of international politics and the history of international relations. Concepts such as state, power, politics, nation, sovereignty and rights; and ideologies such as conservatism and liberalism; are used in everyday speech. But they are complex ideas with contested meanings, yet central to analysis in Security, Politics and International Relations. The module examines these ideas and applies them to significant developments in international politics such as the attempts to construct lasting arrangements for peace in the wake of major conflicts.                  
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 students to the academic disciplines of security studies, intelligence studies and terrorism studies. Students will study the historical evolution of the idea and practice of security, intelligence and terrorism in the 20th and 21st centuries.                  

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 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.                

Core Modules                

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.                        
On this module students will examine the main security challenges facing states, their institutions and societies today. Students will gain knowledge of and assess the principal security actors, the current threats to national and international security, and the approaches that states and other institutions have taken to achieve, enhance and maintain security.            

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.                        
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 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.                        
It is the aim of this module is to provide 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.            
You will gain an understanding of rehabilitation and personal change, developing a critical appreciation of how dominant theoretical approaches underpin professional practice in criminal justice. You will consider the development of probation services and related interventions (including substance misuse) in their historical, cultural, political and conceptual contexts and develop an understanding of the relationship between rehabilitation and diversity. You will be encouraged to take a critical, reflexive approach and consider the purposes and challenges of delivering rehabilitation in the penal system,    substance misuse services and related industry.                    

Security optional modules (these will run depending on staff availability):                            

On this module you will gain a comprehensive view of the nature of modern conflicts with irregular non-state forces. You will examine the main motivations and worldviews of terrorist and insurgent groups, and the main theories of Western counterterrorism and counterinsurgency. By the end of the module you will be able to analyse counterinsurgency and counterterrorism campaigns, and understand the dynamics of state support for irregular violent movements.                        
This module examines the British intelligence community from the birth of the Security Service (MI5) and the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS or MI6) in 1909 through to the 1994 Intelligence Services Act. You will explore its activities primarily within the context of British domestic policy, while considering the links between the worlds of intelligence and politics.                        
Studying political corruption in detail you will explore the dynamics and impact of this problem for western democracies through key theories and case studies.                        
This module allows you to examine Britain’s varied involvement in counter-insurgency operations since 1945. After an initial engagement with the theories and principles of insurgency and counter-insurgency, the module will cover the cases of Kenya, Malaya, Northern Ireland, Britain’s continuing involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan, and some lesser known cases.                        
This module offers an introduction into the Arab Israeli conflict since the beginning of the 20th century by examining the main events and actors that have helped shape its course. You will also undertake a computer-based simulation where you can decide on issues of war and peace from the perspectives of the Israeli Prime Minister and Palestinian President.                        
On this module you will critically engage with ideas concerning social and cultural issues associated with risk and security regarding the uses of the internet.                        
On this module you will gain a critical insight into the concepts of risk, threat and vulnerability. You will explore the variations in risks, threats and vulnerabilities across different domains: events, transport, business and personal safety and study techniques for preventing or mitigating risks, developing resilience and effective business continuity.                        
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.  

In year two, as part of the Erasmus or the non-EU exchange programme, students may undertake one semester (60 credits) or two semesters (120 credits) of study at a foreign university and transfer that credit to Salford as part of their degree requirements. The list of approved universities and programmes is available from the Programme Leader.

Year 3                            

In year three, you may choose from one of three pathways:                         

Pathway 1

Semester one: Two 20 credit optional modules

Semester two: Two 20 credit optional modules

Plus 40 credit Criminology Dissertation or Placement. 

(N.B. Two options must be from Criminology and two from Security Studies)

Pathway 2

Semester one: Criminology Extended Essay plus two 20 credit optional modules

Semester two: Three 20 credit optional modules

(N.B. Three options must be from Criminology and two from Security Studies)

Pathway 3

Semester one: Three 20 credit optional modules

Semester two: Criminology Extended Essay plus two 20 credit optional modules

(N.B. Three options must be from Criminology and two from Security Studies)

Core modules (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 A minimum of two grade Bs and one grade C in appropriate subjects. General studies is accepted
BTEC National Diploma DMM
BTEC Higher National Diploma Equivalent of 104-112 points
Foundation Degree Applicants will be considered for entry into first year.
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 positively welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to successfully pursue a programme of study in higher education. Students who do not have the traditional entry requirements may be able to apply through the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme. Support in preparing for the written assessment is available from the University.

English Language Requirements

International applicants will be required to show a proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.0 (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.

Applicant profile

This course is suitable for:

  • Students who have completed A levels or equivalent qualifications or mature students wanting to retrain and who want to gain an in-depth understanding of crime: its occurrence, how it is explained, and how 'criminals' are processed by the criminal justice system
  • People with a critical mind (and a sprinkling of scepticism). This course will require you to think about things in ways that look beyond the taken-for-granted assumptions
  • Those with a willingness to develop their understanding via reading and engaging with the sources that leading academics have written
  • Professionals working in the policing, security, community safety and criminal justice sectors who would like to update and develop their knowledge and obtain an academic qualification to enhance their professional development

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/workshops - 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


Core modules are assessed as follows:

  • Exams: 32%
  • Essays: 29%
  • Portfolios: 28%
  • Presentations (both group and individual): 6%
  • Reports: 5%

Similar approaches are taken to assessment in the optional modules, although there are also options to be assessed via poster presentation, however the proportion will vary according to the options chosen.

In your final year you will choose one independent (20 or 40 credit) study module. These are assessed via:

  • Extended Essay (100%)
  • Dissertation (100%)

Work: Practice and Reflection – Presentation (40%) and Portfolio (60%)


You will be well-placed to gain employment in any field that demands analytical and communication skills but, in particular, this course responds to the needs of the security, policing, community safety and criminal justice sectors.

Criminology with Security is a new programme. Graduates from our Criminology programmes have gone on to become victim support workers, prison officers, police officers, crime analysts, private security managers, compliance officers, youth offending workers, and to occupy a variety of roles in programmes focusing on drug use, domestic violence or other social problems. By combining Criminology with Security you will be well-placed for similar positions to these but you will also develop both the subject expertise and skills that can be used for practice in the growing security sector, including the UK’s National Crime Agency, the military, intelligence services, private security companies, as well as criminal justice and third-sector bodies and international organisations such as the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe.

Some common career paths of our graduates include:

  • Legal professions
  • Postgraduate courses, research and teaching
  • Government advisory departments
  • Investigating justice and victim support
  • Policing
  • Prison service
  • Probation service

Links with Industry

We have close associations with industry and professional bodies such as:

  • Greater Manchester Police
  • HMP Risely
  • HMP Manchester
  • HMP Forest Bank
  • Greater Manchester Probation Authority
  • HMP Liverpool
  • Manchester Magistrates Court
  • Salford – Youth Offending Team
  • Crown Prosecution Service – Northwest Division

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

Placement Opportunities

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'.

Placement Opportunities

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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