Criminal Justice and Human Rights
School of Health and Society
In a nutshell
Criminology is concerned with what behaviour is defined as criminal and who has the power to define what constitutes crime. Criminology is commonly misconceived and confused with other subject areas, for example, forensic science. Although criminology does, of course, explore crime, the focus is on the causes of crime and deviant behaviour, how this affects society and how the criminal justice system responds to this, rather than on crime scene analysis, forensics and criminal investigation.
Criminology is a research-led degree and develops students into analytical and critical thinkers. It explores crime as a social construct, asking important questions such as: What are the individual and societal causes of crime and deviant behaviour? Who in society is more likely to commit a crime? Does offender rehabilitation work? Who is likely to become a victim of crime? Why are some dangerous behaviours criminal and others aren't? And how does media attention and reporting impact crime and deviance?
Criminologists are also interested in how to prevent crime, the purpose and effectiveness of punishment and how the criminal justice system can better respond to crime when it does take place.
- Develop strong skills in analytical and critical thinking
- Have the opportunity to study a range of cutting-edge issues relating to crime and justice
- Benefit from our strong links with criminal justice institutions and professionals working in the sector
- Be able to tailor the course to your interests through optional modules
- Be taught by research active staff who ensure that module content aligns with current social science happenings, controversies and debates.
- Have the opportunity to undertake a work placement module to gain first-hand experience
This is for you if...
You are fascinated by crime and its occurrence
You have a critical mind (with a sprinkling of scepticism)
You have a strong desire to help other people
You are naturally inquisitive and enjoy solving problems
You want to make a difference
You are able to think fast on your feet
All about the course
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 society. It uses the modular system to deliver an innovative curriculum with a wide range of optional subjects.
This degree draws upon the existing provision within Criminology at Salford, using work 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.
Year two and three
In your second 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 two and three, seven optional modules must be taken, a minimum of five from Criminology and a maximum of two from Sociology/Language. In year two 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 two or year three.
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.
Students on this course also have the opportunity to study a new module called ‘Inside-Out’. This module involves contact hours that are delivered inside HMP Forest Bank prison with ‘inside’ students, who are serving prisoners enrolled as University of Salford students for the duration of the module. Both the ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ students learn together throughout the module.
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.
Crime, Conflict and Society
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.
Becoming a Social Scientist
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.
Social Divisions and Inequality
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.
Culture, Power and Identity
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.
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.
Research Problems and Methods: Qualitatively better
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.
Research Problems and Methods: Making it count
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):
Gender, Crime and Criminal Justice
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.
Internet Risk and Security
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.
Intersectionality and Crime
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.
Policing and Social Control
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.
Prisons and Punishment
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.
Probation and Rehabilitation
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.
The Criminal Justice Process - Criminology
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. You will also have the opportunity to engage with professionals from each stage of the criminal justice process.
University Wide Language Programme
This module provides the opportunity to learn or develop a language with the University-wide language programme.
Violence in Society
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.
On this module you will learn about the many ways society is being transformed by digital technologies such as social media platforms and mobile apps, including how we work, how we communicate, and how we form relationships. You will discuss key ethical issues such as mass surveillance, cybercrime and ‘digital poverty’ and learn from organisations working to address these issues.
Sociology optional modules (these will run depending on staff availability):
Bodies: Biology to Blushing
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.
Culture and (Deviant) Leisure
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.
Human Rights, Genocide and Resistance
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 approaches to human rights, genocide and resistance.
Identities and Interactions
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’.
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.
Work: Practice and Reflection
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.
In addition to your Year 3 core module, you will also take four or five optional modules to bring the total modules for the year to 120. The list of optional modules is listed above under 'Year 2'.
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.
What will I be doing?
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 professionals working 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
- Placement - if you opt to take this optional placement module, you will have the opportunity to put what you have learnt into practice. Examples of previous placements providers include prisons, schools, community organisations, local government and the police force.
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.
A variety of assessment methods will be used, these include:
- Presentations (both group and individual)
- Dissertation (optional)
School of Health and Society
The School of Health and Society is a forward-thinking, dynamic school with a commitment to lifelong learning and real world impact.
Our courses are informed by the latest research and we work closely with organisations from both the public and private sector to ensure our teaching is at the forefront of practice.
What about after uni?
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:
- Legal professions
- Postgraduate courses, research and teaching
- Government advisory departments
- Investigating justice and victim support
- Prison service
- Probation service
Further study options:
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
- Local Prisons including Risley, Manchester, Forest Bank and Liverpool
- 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 your chosen field in order to understand the dynamics and constraints of applying your subject knowledge in the 'real world'.
What you need to know
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
ENGLISH LANGUAGE REQUIREMENTS
If you are an international student and not from a majority English speaking country, you will need IELTS 6.0 with no element below 5.0. We also accept a range of other English language qualifications. If you do not have the English language requirements, you could take the Pre-Sessional English course to gain entry onto this degree.
GCSE English Language/Literature and Mathematics at grade C/grade 4 or above. Level 2 equivalencies will also be accepted.
You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below.
UCAS tariff points
BTEC National Diploma
BTEC Higher National Diploma
Equivalent of 112 points
If applying to start from September 2024, you will need T Level - Merit
Applicants will be considered for entry into first year.
Access to HE
Irish Leaving Certificate
We accept qualifications from all around the world. Find your country to see a full list of entry requirements.
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.
To be considered for the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme you must have already achieved or be working towards GCSE Maths and English Grade C/4 (or equivalent).
|Type of study||Year||Fees|
|Full-time home||2023/24||£9,250per year|
|Full-time international||2023/24||£15,120per year|
|Full-time home||2024/25||£9,250per year|
|Full-time international||2024/25||£15,720per year|
You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.
Scholarships for international students
If you are a high-achieving international student, you may be eligible for one of our scholarships. Explore our International Scholarships.
All set? Let's apply
Course ID M900