Criminology, Investigation and Policing
UCAS tariff points
Years of Entry
Leeds City Campus
Study abroad
Study Mode
Full time (4 years)

Course overview

Are you interested in why people commit crime? Do you want to explore what society does to reduce offending?

Criminology combines sociological and psychological approaches to understanding deviant behaviour and society’s response to criminal acts.

You’ll explore a wide range of topics, from examining the role of the media in how we understand crime and justice, to explanations for serious violent crime by both individuals and the state.

This four-year course includes an initial full-time Foundation Year and offers an alternative route into university and gaining a degree.

This route is for you if you do not have the necessary qualifications or don’t yet feel ready to begin degree-level study, or are returning to education and would like some support to get up to speed with learning in a university setting.

The Foundation Year in Criminology, Policing and Sociology will allow you to develop your academic skills and confidence as well as introduce you to key concepts, debates and skills that will support and inform your subsequent years of undergraduate study.

Following successful completion of your Foundation Year, you’ll progress onto Year 1 of our Criminology BA (Hons) degree.

The Student Contract

About this course

During your Foundation Year, you will undertake modules to enable you to enhance your academic skills and equip you with the tools you’ll need to study with confidence. You’ll carry out a personal project so you can study an area of interest related to your chosen future subject specialisation.

You'll be introduced to key concepts and theories in criminology, policing and sociology including patterns of crime, issues in modern day policing and social inequalities. You'll also examine how policymakers are responding to key societal problems and apply sociological and criminological theories to social problems, such as criminality and inequality. 

Following successful completion of the Foundation Year, you’ll progress onto the first year of our Criminology BA (Hons) degree.

We’ll look at ethical issues arising from historical and cultural differences in the definition and management of crime, as well as how to understand people at the margins of both society and criminal justice, such as women and young people.

Experience is crucial, so you’ll put theory into practice on your professional work placements. You’ll benefit from our links with local criminal justice agencies and other networks, which will give you the chance to gain degree-relevant work experience.

By the time you graduate, you’ll have a thorough knowledge of how the Criminal Justice System works, including how society is policed and individuals are punished.

Using the key theories and practices of criminology, you’ll also develop critical thinking skills that will enable you to ask key questions about crime, deviance and social control.

Why study with us?

  • Build your self-confidence, academic skills and core subject knowledge in preparation for progression onto degree-level study.
  • Learn from the experts. Our courses are developed and taught by active researchers within the field of criminology.
  • Take charge of your learning through group discussions and collaboration.
  • We work closely with criminal justice practitioners, ensuring your course content blends theory and applied criminology.
  • You’ll be assessed through various methods, such as coursework, debates, presentations, posters and more, but not via exams.

Course Modules

You will study a variety of modules across your programme of study. The module details given below are subject to change and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

Foundation Year

During your Foundation Year, you'll study four core modules.

Academic Skills and Studying with Confidence (core)

We'll help you develop core academic skills such as using electronic resources, planning and note-taking, communication skills related to essay and report writing and delivering presentations.

You'll learn to manage your time, prioritise tasks and manage stress, and become more confident in engaging with collaborative learning, debates, discussions and critical reflection.

Professional Development and Project (core)

In the first semester you'll get support through personal tutoring and learning hub liaison.

You'll study areas of interest related to your chosen degree specialisation so subject content will be tailored to you.

You'll have workshop-based tuition covering assessments and projects.

You'll focus on existing academic literature and secondary sources in your project, and you can negotiate what format you present your work in.

Foundations in Sociology and Policing (core)

You'll look at social inequalities in society, how they can be explained, and current trends and issues in modern-day policing.

You'll draw on the work of sociologists, academics and criminologists to investigate these issues.

We'll cover concepts such as socialisation, norms and values, social control, status, inequality, crime, deviance, victimisation, retribution and non-crime-related social trends.

We'll try to address social problems, including inequality and criminality, and explore topical areas related to sociology, policing and crime.

Foundations in Criminology (core)

You'll look at patterns of crime, social control, deviance, victimisation, the media and punishments.

We'll examine crime statistics, self-report studies and non-crime-related social trends.

You'll try to make sense of these areas using introductory-level theories from key academics and criminologists.

You'll also review how policy-makers attempt to address social problems such as criminality.

Year 1

During your first year, you'll study four modules.

Introduction to Criminology (core)

Explore and examine the origins of criminology, some of its historical debates, concepts, literature and research.

You'll look at the core perspectives and theories related to crime and criminality.

Find out about the history and development of criminology as an academic discipline.

Violence in Society (core)

Explore criminological understandings and situations of violence in society.

We'll cover the types, characteristics, and forms of violence and violent acts within society.

You'll distinguish between individual acts to organised actions of groups and states, all whilst unpacking the ambiguous content and perception of violence.

You'll give due consideration to the frequently neglected victims of violence.

The module framework includes criminology, sociology, psychology, law, cultural studies, political science and sociobiology.

Policing and Protecting the State (core)

Learn about policing UK society, starting with the history of police development, roles and structures, and addressing modern day criminal activity.

You'll explore how police maintain trust and confidence in communities, and the impact on modern criminal behaviours.

We'll cover policing strategies, internal police cultures - looking at areas including gender and race - and how attitudes have changed over time.

You'll also examine criminological theories to understand how and why crime is committed and its relationship to police interventions.

Social Science Skills (core)

Learn the basics of social research, academic writing, presenting and professional development.

Combine your learning from personal experience with an ability to engage in an empathic, ethical and compassionate way.

Reflect on and develop your employability profile, find and apply for placements, and complete a Professional Challenge Project or work placement at the end of semester two.

In the second semester, you'll begin to understand the importance of social research by examining how sociological data may be collected, analysed, displayed and explained effectively.

You'll look at different ways of communicating research and identify the methods used by historical and contemporary criminologists and sociologists.

You'll get advice throughout the year relating to the professional application of your skills.

You'll have regular personal tutor meetings, giving you more personal support and professional skill development.

Year 2

During your second year, you'll study four core modules.

Crime, Media and Culture (core)

Understand why we view criminals and crime in certain ways, due to cultural factors and the media.

Think critically about crime, crime control and its media coverage.

We'll look at contemporary criminological theories, exploring how crime is constructed and defined by subcultures, the nation-state, the criminal justice system and corporations.

We'll also explore how these theories help us interpret media depictions of crime and crime control.

You'll analyse how mainstream media and social media shape our collective (mis)understanding of a range of crime and crime control.

Organised Crime (core)

Explore how police, partner agencies and government bodies combat transnational and corporate crime that transcend regional, national and international boundaries.

You'll discover how law enforcement and government bodies have to work together to prevent and detect these often clandestine crimes.

We'll explore the exchange of weapons, drugs and stolen property, and the exploitation of people through human trafficking and modern day slavery.

Scrutinise the infiltration of governments and businesses through fraud, corruption and money laundering.

We'll also look at how technology and the internet facilitate transnational crimes.

Victimology (core)

Get an understanding of the history and theories of victimology, the term 'victim' and the social construction of victims.

You'll reflect on the relationship between social inequalities and victimisation in domestic violence, hate crime, sexual violence and corporate crime.

Learn about victimology theories and the experiences and interactions of the victim for both the crime and the criminal justice system.

You'll be encouraged to think critically of the term 'victim' and consider how to improve the victim's experiences.

Research Methods and Professional Placement (core)

You'll explore how to collect, analyse, display and explain social science research data.

You'll find out what it means to be research literate and how to apply this to employment, policies and organisational considerations.

We'll focus on qualitative and mixed methodology in one semester and quantitative methodology in another semester.

You'll look at different ways to communicate research and identify methods used by social scientists.

You'll be able to critically evaluate the strength of research findings and identify appropriate ethical considerations.

You'll also develop skills to plan and begin an independent research project.

You'll finish the module with a six-week professional placement, using your research methods skills and knowledge to think about how research may inform the approaches taken in the workplace.

You can opt to do at least 60 hours of volunteer work instead, spreading out your placement activity over two semesters.

Year 3

During your final year, you'll study two core modules and will be required to choose two option modules.

Dissertation (core)

Your final year dissertation project is the culmination of your studies.

It's an independent project guided by the support of your supervisor.

It can either be a theoretical-based piece of work, investigating a particular issue within social sciences, or you can take on a piece of primary research.

It should bring together knowledge and understanding from other modules to create a research project that could generate new knowledge, or develops our understanding of the topic.

The proposal for the research project undertaken in SOC 6044 will have been developed and assessed within SOC 5042 Contemporary Research 2.

Professional Learning Through Work (core)

You'll have a flexible range of opportunities to enhance your professional skills and graduate opportunities as this module will be tailored to each student's development.

You'll apply the theoretical understanding you've been developing throughout your degree to a chosen professional context. This could include a work-based project or skills development approach where you will identify and address specific gaps in your portfolio of graduate-level skills.

Justice, Punishment and Human Rights (option)

Critically explore concepts, debates, literature and research on justice, punishment and human rights.

You'll consider whether the criminal justice system balances these three elements.

In the first semester, you'll explore the history of punishment. You'll assess the importance of protecting human rights within punishment and look at the work of philosophers including John Locke, Jeremy Bentham and Michel Foucault.

In the second semester, you'll critically analyse the philosophies of punishment -
deterrence, incapacitation, rehabilitation and retribution - underpinning the criminal justice system.

Crimes of the 21st Century (option)

We'll explore how much criminological theory can help us understand criminality and harm in the 21st century.

We've already seen dramatic transformations with protests and uprisings, climate change, a global financial crisis and the birth of social media and the dark web.

You'll critically assess which theories can help us understand and respond to the negative consequences of these changes, and why we are willing to inflict harm on others and ourselves.

Policing Priorities (option)

You'll develop an in-depth understand of 21st century policing issues such as cybercrime and terrorism.

We'll explore the role of intelligence agencies and how effective they are at fighting security issues in Britain.

You'll get a critical awareness of the role of police and agencies such as the National Crime Agency and British Security Service (MI5).

Gender and Society (option)

You'll analyse political and cultural texts covering historical, critical and contextual approaches to gender.

You'll examine the way gender is performed, consumed and contested.

We'll look at issues concerning power, gender and identity, examining debates on the social construction of gender.

Genocide Studies (option)

Get a critical introduction to the interdisciplinary field of Genocide Studies.

You'll explore case studies relating to historical and contemporary instances of genocide, and interrogate the memorialisation of genocide.

You'll evaluate international legal mechanisms of genocide prevention.

We may address themes including the relationship of genocide to cognate categories in international legal discourse such as crimes against humanity and ‘ethnic cleansing’, sociological, criminological and social-psychological approaches to perpetration, the aftermath of genocide and the emerging concept of ecocide.

Professional work placements

Experience matters. That's why we include professional work placements with every undergraduate degree.

How does it work?

Careers and Placements will work with you to find your perfect placement or help you arrange your own, whether that's in Leeds, another part of the UK or even abroad. You will be able to take part in a series of workshops, events and live ‘employer challenges’ to boost your confidence and prepare you for your placement.

During your placement, you will have an opportunity to gain degree-relevant work experience, build your knowledge of career sectors and secure valuable employer references and industry contacts. This experience will help you to shape your career decisions and find the right path for you.

Our students have completed placements in a wide range of roles and organisations, including forensic hospitals, HM Prison Service, the Police National Computer, Leeds City Council anti-social behaviour projects, crime prevention projects, charities that support ex-prisoners, the homeless and drug and alcohol abusers, and educational providers for children with behavioural problems.

To find out how we can help you make your career ambitions a reality, visit:

Professional Work Placements

Entry Requirements

Leeds Trinity University is committed to recruiting students with talent and potential and who we feel will benefit greatly from their academic and non-academic experiences here. We treat every application on its own merits; we value highly the experience you illustrate in your personal statement.

Information about the large range of qualifications we accept, including A-Levels, BTECs and T Levels, can be found on our entry requirements page. If you need additional advice or are taking qualifications that are not covered in the information supplied, please contact our Admissions Office.

Entry requirements for this course:
UCAS tariff48
GCSE requirementsGCSE in English Language at grade C or 4 (or higher) will be required

Applications are welcome from mature students with few formal qualifications.

Any previous relevant work experience and learning will be assessed and, where appropriate, we may offer an alternative way to assess suitability to study.

This course is not available to students on a Student Route Visa.

Fees and finance


UK Home Students:

Tuition fees cost £9,250 a year for this course in 2023/2024.

Part-time tuition fees will be prorated accordingly to the number of credits you're studying.

Depending on government policy, tuition fees may change in future years.

Living costs, e.g. accommodation, travel, food, will also need to be taken into consideration.

Leeds Trinity offers a range of bursaries and scholarships to help support students while you study.

Additional costs

We advise students that there may be additional course costs in addition to annual tuition fees. These include:

  • Books - recommended and required reading lists will be provided at the start of your course. All the books and e-books are available from our Library to borrow but you may choose to purchase your own.
  • Print costs - the University provides students with a £6 printing credit each academic year which can be topped up either on campus or online.

How to apply

For full-time undergraduate courses, you apply through UCAS. That's the University and Colleges Admissions Service.

On your application form, you'll need to know our institution code - it's L24 - and the course code. If you click through to the UCAS website using the button below, it'll take you to the right place with all the information you need.

You'll need to write a personal statement - we've prepared a guide to help you.

You can now submit your application for 2024. The UCAS application deadline for courses starting in September 2024 is 31 January 2024

There's lots more information about the application process on the UCAS website, or you can get in touch with our admissions team who will be happy to help:

This course is not available to students on a Student Route Visa.

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