Undergraduate BSc (Hons)

Criminology with Security

School of Health and Society





Three year

Six year

Next enrolment

September 2023


In a nutshell


Criminology is concerned with what behaviour is defined as crime and who has the power to define what constitutes crime. Criminology is commonly misconceived and confused with other subject areas like 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 other 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.

Our Criminology with Security programme is one of the first of its kind, combining security, intelligence and terrorism studies with criminological theory. This course responds to recent global events which highlight the importance of security in preventing, controlling and responding to all forms of crime, whether originating in local, national or transnational contexts. You will explore the role of security services, such as MI5 and MI6, the challenges and threats societies face today and the approaches that different states and other institutions have taken to achieve, enhance and maintain security.

You will:

  • Have the opportunity to study a range of cutting-edge issues relating to crime and security
  • Benefit from our strong links with criminal justice and security agencies 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
  • Develop strong analytical and critical thinking skills

options available


students accepted

This is for you if...


You are fascinated by crime and its occurence


You are prepared to challenge your own assumptions and views


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 interested in the role security plays in preventing, responding to and controlling criminal behaviour

Course details

All about the course

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

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

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.

In your second year and third years you will build on these foundations by looking in more detail at different theoretical perspectives in criminology and studying research problems and methods. 

Across years two and three, seven options must be taken, a minimum of five from criminology and a maximum of two from security/language. In year two you must choose one option for semester one and 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 and can be taken either in year two or year three. 

Year one

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.

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.

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.

International Politics 1

This module introduces students to key political concepts and ideologies and uses them in the study of international politics and the history of international relations. Concepts such as state, power, politics, nation, sovereignty and rights; and ideologies such as conservatism and liberalism; are used in everyday speech but they are complex ideas with contested meanings, yet central to analysis in security, politics and international relations. The module examines these ideas and applies them to significant developments in international politics such as the attempts to construct lasting arrangements for peace in the wake of major conflicts.

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.

Introduction to Security, Intelligence and Terrorism Studies

This module introduces various conceptualisations of ‘intelligence studies’, ‘terrorism studies’ and ‘security studies’. You then analyse the historical evolution of the idea and practice of security, intelligence and terrorism in the 20th and 21st centuries.  The theoretical discussion is illustrated by case studies and examples form current policy debates around terrorism and intelligence.

Year two - core 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.

Contemporary Security

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

Year two and three optional modules - Criminology

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.

Understanding Victims and Victimisation

You will develop an understanding of how and why people become victims and of the relationship between victimisation and social and cultural variables. You will critically explore the place of the victim in the criminal justice system, and how they are processed.

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.

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.

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. 

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.

Constructing Guilt and Innocence

The typical criminal trial is primarily a contest between the prosecution and the defence over whether or not a crime was committed and whether the accused is guilty.  Each side uses narrative, rhetorical and argumentative strategies to construct its own version of the events and to present claims about the guilt or innocence of the defendant. Judges and juries must also do the same when they pronounce on a case, and third parties such as the public or the media often engage in a similar exercise. This module examines the strategies used to construct guilt and innocence, paying particular attention to their sociological underpinnings. Case studies will be an important part of the module’s content, and there will be presentations by prosecutorial, defence and judicial professionals.

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.

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.

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.

Year two and three optional modules - Security

Terrorism and Irregular Conflict

On this module you will gain a comprehensive view of the nature of modern conflicts with irregular non-state forces. You will examine the main motivations and worldviews of terrorist and insurgent groups, and the main theories of Western counterterrorism and counterinsurgency. By the end of the module you will be able to analyse counterinsurgency and counterterrorism campaigns, and understand the dynamics of state support for irregular violent movements.

Intelligence, Security and Politics in Britain 1909-1994

This module examines the British intelligence community from the birth of the Security Service (MI5) and the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS or MI6) in 1909 through to the 1994 Intelligence Services Act. You will explore its activities primarily within the context of British domestic policy, while considering the links between the worlds of intelligence and politics.

Corruption in Contemporary Politics

Studying political corruption in detail you will explore the dynamics and impact of this problem for western democracies through key theories and case studies.

British Counter-Insurgency Since 1945

This module allows you to examine Britain’s varied involvement in counter-insurgency operations since 1945. After an initial engagement with the theories and principles of insurgency and counter-insurgency, the module will cover the cases of Kenya, Malaya, Northern Ireland, Britain’s continuing involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan, and some lesser known cases.

Arab-Israeli Conflict

This module offers an introduction into the Arab Israeli conflict since the beginning of the 20th century by examining the main events and actors that have helped shape its course. You will also undertake a computer-based simulation where you can decide on issues of war and peace from the perspectives of the Israeli Prime Minister and Palestinian President.

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.

Business Continuity, Resilience and Risk Management for Security

On this module you will gain a critical insight into the concepts of risk, threat and vulnerability. You will explore the variations in risks, threats and vulnerabilities across different domains: events, transport, business and personal safety and study techniques for preventing or mitigating risks, developing resilience and effective business continuity.

Foreign Language (offered by UWLP)

You have the option to study a foreign language through the UWLP (University Wide Language Programme), which is practical in content and available at four levels (stages): Stage 1 (complete beginner), Stage 2 (Grade A*-C at GCSE), Stage 3 (Grade C or below at AS level), Stage 4 (Grade D or below at A2 level). The lower stages help you cope with everyday situations abroad or when dealing with visitors to this country, and the higher stages enable you to use the language in more professional contexts.

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

Britain and the Cold War

Using newly declassified archival material, oral testimony and popular film and television, the module charts Britain’s Cold War, both at home and abroad, from its origins through to the collapse of the Soviet Union. The story is told through the eyes of those working in Britain’s ‘secret state’ – intelligence officials and Whitehall Mandarins – through to ‘fellow-travellers’ and the fantasy world of James Bond. Subjects covered include Britain’s covert struggle against the Soviet Union, nuclear deterrence, popular media and the Cold War, and the recently released plans for World War III and the post-apocalyptic survival of the United Kingdom.

Politics and the Internet

This module assesses the growing influence of internet on democracy and politics. The study of the internet is placed in context of the evolution of media technologies over past thirty years. In doing so, you examine whether the internet: is stimulating more global protest movements and also new form of terrorism; is a liberation technology potential undermining the power of authoritarian regimes; or alternatively is a tool for increased surveillance and control; is changing the nature of lections and election campaigning. These issues are explored through case studies such as: the rise of Corbyn in the Labour Party and the role played by social media or, how the rise of so-called fake news is impacting on political debate.

Global Environmental Politics

This module explores the development and evolution of international environmental regimes and the impact on key issues such as: climate change, air pollution, whaling and fisheries, food and agriculture, hazardous waste, biodiversity and the management of oceans and seas. You will learn about politics of environmental protection and economic development, including North-South divisions in global negotiations. 

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 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.

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/workshops - in groups and based on a lecture subject or allocated reading
  • Presentations - including those given from someone in the field
  • Student-directed study - where work is assigned and deadlines given
  • Site visits - where you can gain a working insight into criminal justice institutions
  • Virtual Learning – resources such as literature, videos and podcasts are placed online for students to access
  • 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.


Core modules are assessed as follows:

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

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

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

  • Extended essay (100%)
  • Dissertation (100%)

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

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?

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

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

Some common career paths of our graduates include:

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

A taste of what you could become

An intelligence analyst, A policy officer

A surveillance officer, A law enforcement officer

A border control officer, A probation officer

A custody officer, A counter terrorism advisor

A probation officer, A security risk analyst

and more...

Career Links

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
  • Manchester Magistrates Court
  • Salford – Youth Offending Team
  • Crown Prosecution Service – Northwest Division

This provides you with a number of benefits such as field visits, attendance at national and international conferences, portfolio surgeries, guest speakers, workshops and placements.


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


This course is suitable for:

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


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

Diploma in Foundation Studies (Sociology)

Overall Pass


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 levels

112 points 

BTEC National Diploma


Access to HE

112 points

BTEC Higher National Diploma

112 points

Foundation Degree

Applicants will be considered for entry into first year.

Scottish Highers

112 points

International Baccalaureate

30 points

Irish Leaving Certificate

112 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 2023/24 £9,250per year
Full-time international 2023/24 £15,120per 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 2023

September 2024

UCAS information

Course ID M906

Institution S03