Undergraduate BSc (Hons)

Criminology and Sociology

School of Health and Society





Three year

Five 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.

What is defined as crime? Who in society has the power to define this? What are the individual and societal causes of crime and deviant behaviour? Who in society is more likely to commit a crime? Can mass societal change influence criminal behaviour? How does media attention and reporting impact crime and deviance? How are social structures, such as social class, race and gender, related to the way we behave? And do they impact on the way we are treated by the criminal justice system? These are just some of the questions asked by Sociologists and Criminologists, and this joint degree is perfectly positioned to answer them. 

This interesting and stimulating Criminology and Sociology degree will provide you with a sound understanding of the key conceptual and substantive issues involved in the study of society, crime and criminal justice.  The degree will highlight the connections between personal troubles and public issues. You will learn how to apply critical thinking toward a range of global and local issues such as climate change, technological developments, poverty, unemployment, homelessness, racism, gender inequality, and power in society, and how these topics also relate to crime, criminalisation, and crime control.

Criminology and Sociology is a flexible degree, for the first year, everyone studies the same curriculum. In years two and three you will be able to select specific modules and curate your own pathway on a range of different Criminological and Sociological topics.  The degree will ground you in sociological and criminological theories, as well as provide you with key social research skills, both of which provide key knowledge and skills that open opportunities for a range of employment opportunities and career options.  

You will:

  • Develop your critical awareness skills, and be introduced to the nature and scope of research, both in the field and as a process of information generation.
  • Have the opportunity to study both historical and contemporary issues, ranging from the local to the global.
  • Be taught by internationally recognised lecturers working at the forefront of research.
  • Be able to tailor the course to your interests through optional modules.
  • Benefit from our strong links with community organisations, criminal justice institutions and professionals working in the sector.
  • 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 find yourself questioning and challenging conventional assumptions about the world we live in.


You enjoy challenging the status quo.


You want to make a difference and have a strong desire to help other people.


You want to tackle difficult questions, such as issues of poverty, immigration, privacy and social unrest.


You are interested in how society is changing, particularly due to major events such as COVID-19, protests against police brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement, that we have experienced in recent years.

Course details

All about the course

This degree is designed to give you a solid understanding of the general theories, typical methods and key studies of criminology and sociology, and to relate these to contemporary issues in society. Our innovative curriculum covers a wide range of optional subjects which serve the local community, and are linked to research of international and national quality. We have strong links with local criminal justice agencies, who work with us both in the classroom and outside.

You will learn how to examine 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 you with a deep criminological and sociological insight into the nature of social relations, crime and justice.

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.

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 two and three, six options must be taken, three from criminology and three from sociology/language. However you make your combination, in year two you must choose two options for semester two. Combined with your core modules this will give you a total of 120 credits. The optional 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 three: two in semester one and two in 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

Contemporary Challenges in Crime and Society

This module will explore contemporary global challenges and complexities in crime and society. Each week, the module will spotlight a distinct social issue, aiming to enhance awareness and provide students with the tools to comprehend, critically assess, and address responses at the local, national, international, and global levels. The focus extends to understanding how these responses generate new challenges. Furthermore, students will develop the ability to analyse and approach these issues drawing from various perspectives within the social sciences. Emphasis will be placed on cultivating a critical mindset, utilising theory and research to deepen comprehension. The module will prioritise workplace skills such as teamwork, project planning, and research capabilities. It will assess the significance of knowledge in a functioning society and equip students with academic skills essential for progressing in their degree. A key aspect of this module involves fostering cohort identity through discipline-specific seminar groups and collaborative group work. 

This module will utilise a blend of lectures, seminars, and practical workshops. Lectures will be delivered to the entire module cohort, followed by seminars conducted in subject-specific groups to foster cohort identity. The primary focus will be on enabling students to cultivate essential social science competencies and skills through both independent study and collaborative group activities. 

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.

Culture, Power and Deviance

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. 

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.

Social Justice in Action

This model explores a wide range of social justice issues such as racial injustice, poverty, gender inequality, ageism, LGBTIQ+ rights, migration, care, disability rights, crime and climate change. We will be looking at these issues on a local level and explore what is done in Greater Manchester to address them. For that purpose, we will look at what actions local authorities, statutory organisations, third-sector organisations and campaigning groups take to respond to social justice issues locally. A focus will be on the importance of advocacy and activism in challenging disadvantage and inequality and raising awareness of local issues.

Students will be encouraged to apply knowledge and study skills acquired in semester 1 (critical thinking, application of theory, research skills, group work, project planning) to assess awareness-raising campaigns and propose a campaign of change.  

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.

Understanding Criminology

The module introduces fundamental questions in criminology: What is crime? What causes crime? How does crime and criminal justice affect us? How should we best respond to criminal behaviour? In addressing these questions, key concepts will be explored. You will have the opportunity to choose a particular type of crime or deviance, then apply the various fundamental questions raised by the module week by week. The case studies will help you to apply concepts to contemporary issues. You will have the opportunity to consider different policy and practice solutions for criminal justice ‘industry’.

Year two

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.

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.

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.

Understanding the Social World

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.

In year two, you will take two of the following optional modules:

Critical Perspectives on Policing

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. 

Critical Victimology

This module offers students an opportunity to develop and apply knowledge on victimology, including causes, processing and responses to victimisation at individual, community and criminal justice levels. The criminological approaches (including theory) and (national and international) policy responses to victims and their needs are examined from a critical criminological approach. 

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%)

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.

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.

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.

Year three


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 choosing one core module, you will select four optional modules from the following list:

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.

Crime, Society and Racialisation

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.

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 students 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, the 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.

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.

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’.

Migration and Socio-Legal Dynamics

This module explores 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. Students 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, students will gain an understanding of the interconnectedness of various social identities and their impact on the migration process. Here, we will focus 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).

When exploring case studies and contemporary issues relating to migration, links will be made to historical contexts and processes of racialisation that shape discourses of migration. The lecturers will draw on their own experiences and research, and there will be guest lectures by other experts by experience. A mixed teaching approach will be used, with lectures, workshops and tutorials all delivered interactively.

Students will be introduced to and encouraged to access and use a range of sources, including: - academic texts, journal articles, web sites, policy documents/legislation, research findings, literature from pressure groups, media sources.  

Assessment will consist of any of the following:

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

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

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.

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 someone in the field
  • Student-directed study - where work is assigned and deadlines are 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 and Sociology 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 journalism.

You will be equipped with transferable practical skills including conducting research, delivering presentations, report writing and team work.

Graduates have gone on to work for the Racial Equality Council, the Civil Aviation Authority, the Disability Rights Commission, HM Prison Service, and the Probation Service. Other common career paths of our graduates include:

  • The Civil Service
  • Community, health and social work
  • Journalism and the media
  • Government advisory departments
  • Legal professions
  • Postgraduate courses, research and teaching
  • Government advisory departments
  • Investigating justice and victim support
  • Policing
  • Prison service
  • Policy and administration
  • 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.

A taste of what you could become

A policy analyst

A housing officer

A victim support worker

A youth worker

A social researcher

and more...

Career Links

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

  • Great 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 the field of your choice 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 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


If you are an international student and not from a majority English speaking country, you will need IELTS 6.0 with no element below 5.5. 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

112 points


If applying to start from September 2024, you will need T Level - Merit

Foundation Degree

Applicants will be considered for entry into year 4 (first year), having completed and passed a social science subject.

Access to HE

112 points

Scottish Highers

112 points

Irish Leaving Certificate

112 points

International Baccalaureate

30 points

Diploma in Foundation Studies (Sociology)

Overall pass

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 LM39

Institution S03