You will join one of the oldest university criminology departments in the world where we produce pioneering research to support policy development at a national and international level.
Why study BA Criminology at Middlesex?
Your studies will be framed by research from within our Crime and Conflict Research Centre (CCRC) where our areas of expertise include youth crime; community safety strategies; and inter-ethnic conflict.
“The knowledge, experience, and skills that I gained were the most enjoyable aspect of my degree at Middlesex.”
Andrew Serghides, BA Criminology student
Our degree blends theory with practice through placements within criminology focused organisations and work-based projects, which frame your knowledge with real life case study examples from within the criminal justice system. Criminology is constantly debated in government, the media and across wider society. It is the ideal subject for those keen to pursue a career in the criminal justice system, or to progress to postgraduate study in a related field.
- We offer a year-long paid placement option between years two and three without accruing additional tuition fees
- Our excellent links with criminology focused organisations in London ensure you can secure prestigious placement opportunities and gain excellent professional experience while you study
- Our specialist teaching approach offers high levels of student support, ensuring you achieve excellent academic results
- Year 1
- Crime and Control in Social Context (30 Credits) - Compulsory
- The objective of this module is to introduce students to a number of key criminological concepts and issues. More specifically, it aims to introduce students to: a key factors that influence official definitions and societal perceptions of crime and deviance; b the differing involvement of identifiable social groups in crime and deviance; c the differing levels of victimisation amongst such groups, and c the main reasons behind these differences. Also, the module aims to introduce students to sources of information on crime, deviance and victimisation and to a number of specific types of crimes.
- Explaining Crime (30 Credits) - Compulsory
- This module is designed to introduce students to the major theoretical perspectives that have emerged in the discipline of Criminology over the past 200 - 300 years and enable students to apply these theories to concrete examples of crime. It considers how historical context, political influence and basic philosophical differences on such questions as what it is to be human have influenced the development of criminological perspectives. It will introduce students to the academic research that underpins different theories and help them to understand the key arguments and reflect upon the relative merits of each theory through engagement with relevant literature.
- Skills and Methods in Criminology and Sociology (30 Credits) - Compulsory
- This module will instruct students on the skills required to undertake an undergraduate degree in either sociology or criminology, and on the basic components of social science research. A main component of this module will be a year-long research project, where students will be asked to explore the social profile of their own communities, by exploring ONS-census and Met Police data, as well as other relevant sources. Students are required to build a profile of their community and in doing so will develop key research and academic skills required to complete their degree. Many of these skills will have relevance beyond their degree, and will be attractive to future employers.
- Understanding Contemporary Society: Issues and Debates (30 Credits) - Compulsory
- This module provides an introduction for first year sociology and criminology students to the study of contemporary society. The module engages key issues and debates that constitute the subject matter, while introducing students to the themes and perspectives that inform social inquiry. Students will also engage with core approaches to understanding contemporary society and the social relations that comprise it.
- Year 2
- Approaches to Research in the Social Sciences (30 Credits) - Compulsory
- The module aims to develop students evaluative abilities regarding quantitative and qualitative research methodologies as well as to introduce them to the underlying philosophical and ethical principles of social research. It aims to make clear the links between theory, method and data, to define what data is within different research paradigms and the various ways of generating and analysing it, and to understand and critique published research. Emphasis is placed on developing awareness and critique of secondary sources. The module also aims to prepare students for the development of a proposal for their final year dissertation project. Throughout the module students will apply the various components of research methods to the specific subject of the programme they are studying.
- Criminology in Late Modernity (30 Credits) - Compulsory
- This module introduces students to recent developments in criminological theory and research. It has two central objectives: first, it aims to familiarise students with a substantial range of contemporary theoretical perspectives in criminology. Second, it is intended to introduce students to central themes and substantive concerns central to current criminological research. In particular, the course focuses on the consequences of globalisation and neoliberal politics on patterns of crime and social control in the Global North. Learning outcomes are assessed through a series of formative and summative coursework.
- Institutions of Criminal Justice (30 Credits) - Compulsory
- This module provides an introduction to key criminal justice institutions and agencies and an understanding of contemporary criminal justice issues. The main focus of the module is on the criminal justice system in England and Wales, though other material is drawn upon for European and international comparative purposes. At the end of the module students should be familiar with recent and current policy issues and debates relating to the different criminal justice institutions, such as pluralised policing and the extended police family, contemporary crime investigation, sentencing in the criminal courts, and reform of the prison and probation systems.
- Urban Criminology (30 Credits) - Compulsory
- The module begins with the classic distinction between mechanical and organic solidarity in the work of Durkheim. The module uses the city as a unit of analysis to study the interplay between urban space, city residents, economics, cultural identity in late-modern society, the blurred lines between legal and illegal leisure/pleasure industries, and entrepreneurial criminal opportunity. In this way it draws upon the discipline of urban sociology criminology and the classic studies of urban and social life that emanated from the Chicago School in the 1930s and 40s. The course offers an important appreciation of ethnographic research and social ecology in relation to criminal activity, policing and the control of crime in the urban setting. The module is also conceptual in that it asks students to conceive and re-conceive of the city in terms of its representation in film in relation to crime. The module will make much of the idea that city life has certain aspects which make it peculiarly suited to personal reinvention, entrepreneurial activity and transgressive opportunity and how this accounts for a lot of what counts as crime in contemporary society.
- Year 3
- Children as Victims and Offenders (30 Credits) - Optional
- This module examines and critically appraises the issue of children as victims and offenders. It explores the functions, roles and responsibilities of a variety of agencies whose task is to protect children and to work with those in trouble with the law, and enables students to develop a critical understanding of the issues underpinning policy and practice in these fields with particular attention to the importance of and problems associated with multi-agency working. The first part of the module focuses on children as victims of physical, sexual and emotional abuse noting the relatively recent discovery of these crimes, examining the high profile cases and enquiries which have accompanied this process and explaining current legislation relating to and the organisation of child protection in England and Wales. The second part of the module turns to how the criminal justice system regards and deals with young people if they break the law. It provides students with a detailed knowledge of how Youth Offending Teams YOT s are structured and operate and contains a strong practice focus. Many students wish to move on to working with young people in the criminal justice system on graduation and the module is designed to acquaint them with the knowledge and skills required in this field.
- Dissertation (30 Credits) - Compulsory
- This module aims to synthesise learning from the criminology programmes of study, providing an opportunity for students to study independently and investigate a topic in depth, in accordance with the Criminology Benchmark Statement. It fosters academic curiosity, an inquiry based approach, and the employment and application of research skills thus facilitating the development of a higher level of theorising. Students will select a topic of personal interest on which they wish to undertake an in-depth study. They will manage their own learning during this module, with the support of an allocated supervisor for this period of independent study. Further, students in criminology will have criminology specific dissertation workshops to support their independent study; and formative assessments during the dissertation year to assist with the development and completion of the dissertation.
- Drugs, Crime and Criminal Justice (30 Credits) - Optional
- This module aims to introduce students to the contemporary debates surrounding drugs, drug use and its control. It will develop students knowledge and understanding of the processes involved in social definitions of drugs and drug users and their skills in applying criminological theories to drug issues. It aims to facilitate critical analysis and evaluation of the laws, policies and institutions of drugs control and their social, economic and political contexts. The module also aims to foster and develop students critical interest in the reform of drugs control policy.
- Environmental Justice and Green Criminology (30 Credits) - Optional
- The module investigates perspectives on green criminology, and crimes against the environment and animals. It considers environmental and green offending, the regulation of environmental problems, and global perspectives on green crimes and crimes affecting ecosystems. It introduces students to ideas in green criminology, particularly theoretical debates on animal rights and the legal personhood of animals, and the prosecution of environmental crime. The module also examines the link between violence towards animals and violence towards humans and the extent to which animal abuse might be seen as an indicator of future violent offending or anti-social behaviour. The module develops an understanding of theoretical concepts and practical considerations in environmental justice, the enforcement of environmental and species legislation and the application of a green perspective to criminal justice.
- Gangs and Group Offending (30 Credits) - Optional
- This module critically examines the concepts of serious group offending and in particular the growing phenomenon of gangs. The existence and prevalence of gangs is contested academically and by practitioners. The module will consider classic and contemporary theories as to why gangs form and thrive in places; the challenges of defining gangs as opposed to street cultures and peer groups will be considered. Issues such as risks and motivations for joining, membership, behaviours, territoriality, recruitment, levels of violence, criminal activity, gender, links to organised crime, deprivation and globalisation are all pertinent topics addressed in the module. Key issues are identified and critically reviewed such as divergent experiences between the USA and the UK, race, gender, and partner/agency involvement. The module takes a left realist approach notably in consideration of recent police and practitioner strategies and initiatives under development regarding desistance, prevention and intervention models.
- Justice, Punishment and Human Rights (30 Credits) - Optional
- The objective of this module is to equip students with an understanding of the complex function of punishment as a practice and institution. More specifically, it aims a to create a critical awareness of the influence of country specific values and circumstances as well as of global developments on the formulation of criminal justice, its responses to crime, deviance and public insecurity, on its modes of punishment and their utility, and b to foster an appreciation of the human rights issues that different punishment measures and criminal justice responses can give rise to.
- Organised and White Collar Crime (30 Credits) - Optional
- This module will introduce students to the critical debates on Organised Crime and Corporate Offenders. They also become acquainted with the issues of defining these areas of criminality and the problems of conducting meaningful research. The module will begin with explanations of how social, political and economic conditions allowed organised crime to develop and discuss the links with White Collar and Corporate Crime.
- Violent Crime (30 Credits) - Optional
- This module aims to discuss the dynamics of interpersonal violence and its control. This module will enable students to explore and learn about the social and spatial parameters of violent crime; the possible causes and explanations for why violent crime happens; theoretical and layperson perspectives on violence; the forms that violence can take; and how violence can be gendered.
What will you study?
You will focus on the theoretical concepts of crime and criminality and gain a thorough grounding in the important elements of criminology that will enable you to progress to postgraduate study, or begin your career within a criminal justice setting.
You will learn to understand the factors that influence criminological research, policy and practice. Throughout the course you will take part in active debates affecting policy, in areas such as the relationship between the police and the public, reform of the prison and probation services, and the working of the criminal courts. We also use current events in the media to stimulate theoretical, philosophical and political debates, which will help to sharpen your critical thinking skills.
Our close links with key criminal justice agencies such as the police, the probation service, and youth offending teams means you take part in real life projects from within the system, which can support and inform your thinking and help you produce original and progressive academic work.
What will you gain?
A degree in Criminology allows you to develop a suite of professional skills to equip you for success in your career journey, such as analytical and research skills; written and oral communication; and IT skills.
You will develop excellent awareness of how policy is created, interpreted and implemented, and how this informs society. You will also be able to draw on a wide range of criminological theories and concepts in order to develop a debate or discussion and to justify your conclusions.
You will develop advanced analytical skills that will enable you to critically evaluate a wide range of materials including theory and policies, strategies, and operational plans.
You can find more information about this course in the programme specification.
Teaching and learning
You will attend lectures, workshops, seminars and one-to-one tutorials, and will work on weekly assignments, practical exercises and presentations. You will supplement all this with your own independent study, and will do a dissertation in your final year.
You can opt to extend the course by a year, and spend the third year doing a paid work placement, which we will help you to find. This could be in a prison, a local authority, a research institution or even with the Home Office. We also offer a Special Constabulary module.
You will be assessed through exams, portfolios, essays and reports.
We normally make offers on a minimum of 260 UCAS tariff points, Advanced and Progression Diplomas at Equivalent to the above.
For a comprehensive list of qualifications accepted by Middlesex, see further information under entry requirements
English language requirements
You must have competence in English language and we normally require Grade C GCSE or an equivalent qualification. The most common English Language requirements for international students are IELTS 6.0 (with minimum 5.5 in all four components) or TOEFL internet based 72 (with at least 17 in listening & writing, 20 in speaking and 18 in reading).
Middlesex also offers an Intensive Academic English course (Pre-Sessional) that ranges from 5-17 weeks depending on your level of English. Successful completion of this course would meet English language entry requirements. For more information on applying for the pre-sessional please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
International students from outside the EU can make a direct application. We have a network of regional offices across the world to assist you with your application. They have worked with people from your region coming to Middlesex before and can help. Read more on international applications
What are the career options with a degree in Criminology?
Middlesex Criminology graduates have been successful at gaining employment in a wide range of organisations, including the following: The Metropolitan Police, The National Offender Management Service, Jural Legal Services, the Crown Prosecution Service, the Court Service, and local government community safety, youth services, housing and environmental services, and drug and alcohol support services.
Many of our graduates have gone on to develop careers in a wide range of third sector organisations including those that deal with victim support, offender and drug rehabilitation, and community based private projects often with the young and the elderly.
What about work placements?
Alongside placements, we encourage students to participate in community based voluntary work. We work with employers to enable students to take on part time voluntary work to develop their professional skills.
For example, Dr Anthony Goodman developed a pioneering opportunity with Les Quinn of the Islington Youth Offending Team (YOT) to enable students to gain experience with young Offenders. Since employers increasingly require prior experience this allows students to become more marketable when seeking employment once they have graduated.
What support is available?
Our Employability Service can help you to develop your employability skills and get some valuable work experience. We provide workshops, events and one to one support with job hunting, CVs, covering letters and networking. We also support you in securing part-time work, placements, internships, and volunteering opportunities, and offer an enterprise support service for those looking to start their own business. Find out more here.
What our students say:
BA Criminology student
“I have always been interested in understanding criminal behaviour, and wanted to gain a theoretical understanding to add to, and improve on, my previous policing perception. I particularly enjoyed the 'Institutions of Criminal Justice' module which required court visits to both Magistrates' and Crown Courts. However, on the whole, the knowledge, experience, and skill that I have gained throughout the course are collectively the most enjoyable aspect of my undergraduate degree at Middlesex.”
“Prior to studying Criminology, I was sure that I wanted to join the Metropolitan Police. While this remains an option for the future, my current priority lies in further education and I am presently looking at applying for a GDL (Graduate Diploma in Law).”