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 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


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

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.

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.

Quote from module leader Dr Kelly Lockwood

Hear about our Inside Out module from graduate Jessica
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

This module provides an introduction 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 social 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

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.

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.

Optional modules for years two and three (these will run depending on staff availability). In Year two you will take two optional modules. 

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.

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.

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.

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’.

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 (only available in year three)

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 working in each stage of the criminal justice process.

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.

Visual Representation

This module examines a variety of themes and issues – practical, substantive, theoretical, methodological, textual and ethical- about the use of visual materials to account for social phenomena. You will address these matters through a range of work in sociology, anthropology and cultural studies.

Intersectionality and Crime (only available in year three)

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.

University Wide Language Programme

This module provides the opportunity to learn or develop a language with the University-wide language programme.

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.

Sociology of Health and Illness

This module explores how sociological theory can be applied to understanding health inequalities, health behaviours an experiences of health and illness. In particular, it focuses on social patterns of health & illness: which groups are at more risk than others and why? It also examines power, institutions and autonomy in relation to health and illness including the NHS, technology & EHealth, as well as issues around power and decision making.

Year three, choose one core module from:

Extended Essays

You will develop an area of interest through two pieces of extended criminological prose, without having to meet the demands of research-based activity associated with the Dissertation, examining topics of your choice.


You will 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 core module, you will select four optional modules in Year 3 - these are in the full optional module list under 'Year 2' above. 

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)


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

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.

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

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Enrolment dates

September 2024

UCAS information

Course ID LM39

Institution S03