Undergraduate BSc (Hons)


School of Health and Society





Three year

Six year

Next enrolment

September 2024


In a nutshell

Please note that this programme is currently in the process of being reviewed, and the content of the programme may be subject to changes.

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? How does crime and punishment differ Internationally? Research-informed teaching covers contemporary areas such as terrorism, migration, crime and the Internet, Global Crime and Environmental Justice. 

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. 

You will:

  • 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

options available


students accepted

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

Course details

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.

Year one

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.

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. 

Probation Officer Fast-Track Training Pathway

Please note, if you wish to qualify for fast-track postgraduate Probation Officer Training (PQiP) you must complete ALL of the following four modules:

  • Theoretical Criminology
  • Probation and Rehabilitation
  • Prisons and Punishment
  • The Criminal Justice Process
Year one

Criminal Justice and Human Rights

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.

Thinking Sociologically

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 two and optional modules

Theoretical Criminology

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):

Critical Approaches to (Counter)Terrorism

Terrorism has become the issue of our times, and it has been at the heart of a reordering of society and the world at large. Key to this reordering has been the notion of ‘new terrorism’: that post 9/11 terrorism is of a ‘new’ form. This module provides you with a systematic understanding of terrorism and counterterrorism in the twenty-first century. It interrogates the ‘new terrorism’ thesis, charts the development & expansion of counterterrorism with ‘soft-power’ techniques, and analyses UK counter-terrorism policing practice and policy. Finally, this module analyses the way in which UK counterterrorism has influenced and shaped national security policies across the world. 

Assessment will consist of either of the following:

- 3,500 word essay
- Oral presentation

Digital Society

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.

Environmental Justice

We live in a globally responsible world where decisions taken at a local level inevitably have a global impact. Addressing issues of environmental concern through a lens of social justice, this module invites you to think critically about the most pressing issue of our life – the Climate Crisis and you will examine this through both a Sociological and Criminological lens, emphasising the ‘Local to Global’ policy-making across subjects as interconnected as, climate change and activism, environmental ideology and Eco-Fascism, human rights, and the rural/urban divide. During this module, you will become equipped with the knowledge, skills, and tools to analyse the complex interactions between environmental and social systems, and to advocate for a more sustainable and equitable future. 

Assessment will consist of the following:

- Individual Podcast interview (100%)

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.

Globalisation, Society and Crime

The module content is divided into two key themes. The first explores society in a global context including issues of identity, culture and economics. Path dependencies with the colonial era are also considered, with a focus on the divisions and inequalities that exist between the Global North and the Global South. Theme two considers how, in the context of such a globalised world, crime and social harm are experienced, managed and theoretically understood. 

Assessment will consist of either of the following:

- 2,500 word essay
- Video presentation

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.

Migration and Socio-Legal Dynamics

You will explore the complex interconnections within the field of migration studies and human rights, as related to various identities, i.e. gender, sexuality, religion, race and ethnicity. In this module, you will be introduced to a range of theoretical approaches and critically examine the socio-legal frameworks, policies, and ethical dilemmas surrounding the rights of migrants, refugees, and displaced communities. By employing an intersectional and multi-layered analytical approach, you will gain understanding of the interconnectedness of various social identities and their impact on the migration process. Here, focus will be placed on particular case-studies such as children and young people, women and queer migrants, and their experiences in hostile migration environments (such as the UK and EU). 

Assessment will consist of any of the following:

- Portfolio (100%)
- 3,500 word essay (100%)
- Individual pre-recorded presentation (alternative assessment) - 20min (100%)

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.

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.

Connected Lives

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’.

Year three core modules (choice of one of the following)

Extended Essay

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:

  • Lectures
  • 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:

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

Alongside traditional forms of assessment, you will also be engaging with innovative forms such as video blogs, podcasts and presentations.

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.

Employment and stats

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
  • Policing
  • Prison service
  • Probation service

Roles you could go into include:

Policy Analyst: You may work for governmental bodies, NGOs, or international organizations, where you can contribute to the development and evaluation of policies.

Human Rights Advocate: You may choose to work directly with human rights organizations, advocating for the rights of migrants and displaced communities. This role involves monitoring and reporting on human rights violations, providing legal support, and campaigning for policy change.

Community Organiser: You may choose to work at the grassroots level, organising communities of migrants and refugees to empower them, provide support services, and advocate for their rights within local contexts.

Educator: You may choose to become educators; teaching courses on migration studies, human rights, and social justice in academic institutions or community settings. They can inspire future generations to critically engage with migration issues and contribute to positive change.

Further study options:

A taste of what you could become

an Intelligence Officer

a Prison or Probation Officer

a Prison Case Worker

a Youth Worker

a Teacher

and more...

Career Links

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.

These industry collaborations benefit students in several ways:

  • Practical Experience: Students can gain valuable hands-on experience through internships, research projects, and workshops with industry partners, enhancing their employability and providing real-world context to theoretical knowledge.
  • Networking Opportunities: Engagement with industry partners would allow students to build professional networks and connect with potential employers, enhancing their career prospects and access to job opportunities in the field of migration studies and human rights.
  • Access to Resources: Collaboration with reputable organisations would provide students with access to a wide range of resources, including research publications, databases, and expert insights, enriching their learning experience and facilitating informed analysis of migration-related issues.


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


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.

Standard entry requirements


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

112 points

A level

112 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

Foundation Degree

Applicants will be considered for entry into first year.

Access to HE

112 points

Scottish Highers

112 points

Irish Leaving Certificate

112 points

International Baccalaureate

30 points

International Students

We accept qualifications from all around the world. Find your country to see a full list of entry requirements.

Alternative 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).

How much?

Type of study Year Fees
Full-time home 2024/25 £9,250.00per year
Full-time international 2024/25 £15,720.00per year

Additional costs

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.


Apply now

All set? Let's apply

Still have some questions? Register for one of our Open Days or contact us:

By email: enquiries@salford.ac.uk
By phone: +44 (0)161 295 4545

Enrolment dates

September 2024

UCAS information

Course ID M900

Institution S03