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About the course

This unique course explores issues concerning the definition, nature and incidence of crime, and looks to use academic theory to find explanations for criminal behaviour. You’ll be given the opportunity to engage in debates on the nature of justice, examine a range of perspectives on areas like policing, investigation, prosecution and punishment, and consider the effectiveness, fairness and consequences of various institutional approaches to crime.

Criminological study at Solent starts with our programme of lectures and guest speakers. Past students have benefitted from talks delivered by criminal justice professionals and psychology practitioners, giving detailed insight into the industry and the careers it offers.

Previous years have seen students embark on a range of national and international study trips. These trips enabled students to visit local criminal justice facilities including the Old Bailey and the Houses of Parliament, as well as international sites of interest like the Pentagon and the Department of Homeland Security, USA.

This programme also encourages students to develop a range of transferable interpersonal and verbal communication skills through presentations, role-plays, debates, interviews and group work. These competencies are valued in a wide range of industries. 

Solent University’s criminology degree can help you to better understand the experience of crime victims, media representations of social problems and the effect of modern communications technology on the processes of law. This knowledge will position you well to pursue either further study or graduate employment.

If you apply for this course with a placement year, you have the opportunity to undertake a year in industry between your second and third years.
Placement year
You have the opportunity to study abroad in one of our partner universities for a semester on this course.
Study abroad
If you're not quite ready for a full undergraduate degree, there's alternative entry through one of our foundation years.
Foundation year available
As part of your studies you will have the opportunity to undertake a work experience placement.
Built in work experience placement
After successfully completing your studies, there's an opportunity to continue your studies at Solent.
Further studies
If you have an appropriate Level 5 qualification, you can top it up to a degree in just a year.
Top-up option

Past students have benefitted from various study trips, including an international excursion to Washington DC, USA.

What does this course lead to?

Whether you are working in the public or private sector, a career in criminal justice offers the chance to engage with some of the most challenging and fulfilling aspects of life in the twenty-first century.

You can make a real difference to someone’s quality of living, enhance community experience, be at the very cutting edge of technology and contribute to global developments.

Working as a cyber-security consultant, or with those suffering from addiction, helping the disadvantaged, or those deemed ‘dangerous’ or undesirable, you can have a perceptible impact on our society.

Who is this course for?

This course is well suited to students who are keen to study criminality, criminal justice, social issues and policing.

Graduates are well prepared for positions in the criminal justice sector, social care, mental health and community safety.

Facts and figures

UCAS codes icon

UCAS codes

Full Time

  • 4 Years Law & Criminology Foundation Year DDL2
  • 3 Years Standard Entry M930

Placement (480 credit course)

  • 4 Years Standard Entry L312
Fees icon

Fees and costs

Tuition fees

The 2020/21 fees are not yet available. For guidance, the 2019/20 fees were:
UK, EU and Channel Island full-time fees: £9,250 per year
International full-time fees: £12,875 per year
UK, EU and Channel Island placement year fees: £1,385
International placement year fees: £1,750

For further information, please visit our tuition fees page.

Other costs

While most course costs are covered by your tuition fees, some essential resources and optional extras may need to be paid for separately. These additional costs are listed below. For advice on budgeting and managing your money, please contact

The 2020/21 other costs are not yet available. For guidance, previous other costs have been:

Optional costs:

The course offers optional trips to all students to the USA and Strasbourg.

  • USA trip is around £1,400 - £1,500
  • Strasbourg trip is around £500

These will also be occasional trips to courts, police training etc. where students must pay for own transport and subsistence.

Study trips occur throughout the year, and although optional, prove very popular. Previous UK trips have included: Hampshire Police Training, Houses of Parliament, Sustainable Criminal Justice Solutions, Middle Temple, Southampton Crown Court, Old Bailey, The Ripper Tour, Team building YMCA activities, and various legal firms.

International trips include our annual USA and Brussels Trips. Further trips are being considered to Amsterdam and the Hague. These trips are typically three days in duration except the USA trip that has been 6-7 days. Costs are based on current air fares and hotel prices.

Bursaries and scholarships

Solent University offers a range of bursaries and scholarships that provide financial assistance or waive fees for tuition or accommodation. Each bursary or scholarship has specific eligibility criteria. Check out our bursaries and scholarships pages to find out more.

Key entry requirements icon

Key entry requirements

96 - 112 UCAS tariff points from A-levels or equivalent

  • A minimum of two completed A-levels, a BTEC Extended Diploma at MMM or BTEC Diploma at DM or equivalent qualification, or a combination of qualifications which comply with the minimum entry requirement of 96 UCAS points.
  • Direct entry into year two or three may be considered for this course.
  • Alternative entry to the course is available through the Law and Criminology Foundation Year.
  • If you are applying from outside the UK, find information about entry requirements, visas and agents for your country here.
  • For further information about UK, EU and international qualifications, please refer to our course entry requirement statement.

English language requirements

Applicants who do not have English as their first language will be required to demonstrate an approved level of proficiency in the use of the English language. The agreed minimum requirements for this course are:

  • IELTS minimum 6.0 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in each individual component
  • TOEFL IBT minimum 80 with a minimum of 19 in each individual component
  • or equivalent.

Qualifications are checked before enrolment, and international students must bring their original certificates or certified copies when coming to study at the University.

The University also offers a pre-sessional English programme for international students who wish to improve their level of English before starting a degree course.

Study location

East Park Terrace

Got a question about this course?

Contact our Ask Solent team: 023 8201 5066

How to apply

Any student applying for the first year of a full-time/sandwich undergraduate course must apply through UCAS (University and Colleges Admissions Service). This includes mature, overseas and EU students.

Nearly all schools and colleges offer their students the facility of applying electronically through the UCAS website using 'Apply'; it may also be used by those applying independently in the UK and overseas. This facility and all course information can be found on the UCAS website:

Your application should reach UCAS by 15 January if you hope to enter a course the following autumn. Early application is advised for the most popular subject areas. Late applications may be made until the end of June. The UCAS code for the University is S30, code name SOLNT.

Please click on the links below to apply through UCAS:

Mode of study
Full-time 3 years Apply
Placement year 4 years Apply

Law and Criminology Foundation Year route:

Mode of study
Full-time 4 years Apply
Placement year 5 years Apply

Top-up route:

We welcome applications from students currently studying a Foundation Degree, DipHE, HNC, HND or modules of an undergraduate degree course at another university, who wish to enter directly into Years 2 or 3 of one of our undergraduate degree courses. Please contact our admissions team for more information: contact us

How to apply

What you'll study

Year one

Core units
  • Society and Social Change
  • Criminological Research Methods and Skills 1
  • Criminal Processes and Responsibility
  • Understanding Criminology
  • Power, Politics and Policy
  • Key Perspectives in Criminology

Year two

Core units
  • Policing, Politics and Social Control
  • Contemporary Debates in Crime, Culture and Society
  • Crime Scene to Court: Criminal Evidence and Procedure
  • Critical Issues and Professional Practice in Criminal Justice
  • Criminological Research Methods and Skills 2
  • Critical Issues and Professional Practice in Criminal Investigation


  • Work placement

Please note: Not all optional units are guaranteed to run each year.

Year three

Core units
  • Dissertation Proposal and Dissertation
  • Global Perspectives on Crime and Justice


  • Terrorism and Political Violence
  • Youth Crime, Youth Justice
  • Dangerous Offenders
  • Gender, Crime and Justice
  • Security, Public Order and the State
  • Cybercrime and Security
  • Leadership and Management in Investigation and Policing
  • Crime, Risk, Community Safety
  • Alcohol, Drugs and Crime
  • Crime, Media, Culture
  • The Bloody Code: Control and Punishment
  • Crimes of the Powerful
  • Police, Law, Community

Please note: Not all optional units are guaranteed to run each year.


Web-based learning

Solent's virtual learning environment provides quick online access to assignments, lecture notes, suggested reading and other course information.

The Student Hub

The Student Hub is a central space where you can access all of the information and support you need during your time at University.

Professional and experienced staff can help resolve any query, and if they cannot answer the question themselves they will find the person who can.

Career support

Meet the course team

Simon Fox academic profile Simon Fox Head of Subject View profile
Rhodri Davies academic profile Rhodri Davies Senior Lecturer View profile
Mark Hayes academic profile Mark Hayes Senior Lecturer View profile
Esther Snell academic profile Esther Snell Senior Lecturer View profile
Dr Richard John academic profile Richard John Lecturer View profile
Des Thomas academic profile Des Thomas Associate Lecturer View profile

The university cannot guarantee any particular members of staff will teach specific aspects of the course in the future, but will endeavour to ensure the teaching team maintains their balance of experience and qualifications.


We provide a stimulating learning environment and access to state-of-the-art resources to help you make the most of your time with us. Flexible spaces, Wi-Fi facilities and learning zones all contribute to our lively and contemporary study environment at Solent.


The course’s curriculum has been designed in collaboration with Solent University’s industry partners. This helps to ensure that the course content meets the needs of employers.

Your future

Suitable roles for graduates include:
  • Police 
  • Youth offending teams 
  • Probation
  • Customs and excise
  • Crime analyst
  • Crime scene investigator 
  • Fraud investigation.

Industry links

Your course team has extensive criminal justice experience and ties to the professional world, giving you many opportunities to obtain work experience in criminal justice and related areas, including voluntary or temporary paid work, work shadowing and internships.

This external support has allowed the teaching team to design (and sometimes deliver) the course curriculum in collaboration with industry experts and criminal justice practitioners. Partner organisations include the Association of Chief Police Officers, Southampton City Council, Sustainable Criminal Justice Solutions, and several criminal justice-related charities.

You’ll also have access to a programme of regular guest lectures from a wide range of criminal justice professionals, giving detailed insight into the criminal justice system and careers in the field – this includes the police, courts, prisons, probation service, victims, youth justice services and cyber security.


Previous internships and work placements have included the Association of Chief Police Officers Criminal Records Office, the prison service and private companies such as Criminal Justice Solutions, as well as positions on criminal justice groups such as youth offender panels.

There are also work-shadowing and volunteering opportunities in a range of criminal justice settings, including the Special Constabulary, drugs and alcohol, youth and victim support services.

Graduate stories

Francesca's story

Francesca Hemsley - Local Fielding Police Officer

Units within criminology have specifically helped me gain a job after graduation. I was one of those students who never thought that unit work would directly help me after university, but I got proven wrong.

One specific unit that has helped me the most was Police, Law and Community. PLC has helped me gain a job within the Thames Valley Police. During the unit in final year you learn the practical side of policing, the legal side of policing (this includes powers to search, arrest and entry), crime reduction and prevention.

Another important area that has helped throughout PLC was the assessment that is 'competency based applications and interview'. This unit is the most important to attend as it is used throughout the criminal justice sector's interview process after university, not just the police. You may already be good at interviews but after this assessment you will be confident in attending any interview.

The area that was the most significant to me was crime reduction and prevention. This is one of the final presentations you will have to devise during your last weeks of university. It is a hands on presentation and quite frankly, the more work you do the better grade you will get! You will be using the website to analyse different areas around Southampton that are key crime spots and compose a project on the analysis of information that you have found. Its a chance to stand out and use all of the areas of criminology that you have studied over the past three years, from the less exciting theories to the more exciting ideas that you have that could reduce crime!

This unit has significantly helped me gain a job after university. I kept all my work from the PLC unit and presented it to Thames Valley Police in my interview to be a Policing Field Officer (someone who helps reduce crime and prioritise police attention to different areas).  The information that I had gained from this unit gave me the job over people who have been working within the Thames Valley Policing community for 15 years! I was a new graduate with hardly any experience in the criminal justice sector but because I had this unit under my belt, they valued this more than any other experience.

Its also a fun unit to learn, you learn a lot!

Further study

Enhance your career prospects by continuing your study at Solent.

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