Criminology and Social Studies

BSc (Hons) Criminology and Social Studies with Foundation Year

TARIFF: 32 - 56
  • Study Mode: Full time
  • Location: High Wycombe
  • Duration: Four Years
  • Start Date: September 2022

You can also study this course:

Are you interested in learning how to develop solution focussed approaches to social problems relevant to the criminal justice system? Do you want to establish a career in the criminal justice system and related social sectors?
Our BSc (Hons) Criminology and Social Studies programme will offer you a unique opportunity to study the social and societal factors underlying and influencing crime, criminal justice and associated social problems.
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Open Days

We understand that when it comes to deciding where you’d like to study, there are a lot of things to consider. Come along to our Open Day and discover why BNU could be the place for you. You can find out more about your course, meet the course team, and get all your questions answered.

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Application Guide

For everything you need to know about applying, check out our Application Guide. You can find useful information for each stage of your application journey – from before you even apply to what to do if you receive an offer, and everything in between.   

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Students' Union

At BNU, we believe in putting our students first. That’s why we’re the only university in the UK to offer free access to such a diverse and exciting range of activities through our SU – all to enrich your university experience. 

Why study this subject?

Who commits crimes, why do they commit them, what is the impact, and how do we prevent them?  

Criminology and Social Studies delves into what are the factors influencing crime, criminal justice and the associated issues in society.  Crime affects everyone so you could turn your desire for answers into a rewarding and successful career with the right teaching and learning experiences.

It could lead to a role in the Criminal Justice System including the courts, prisons and probation services, the civil service or voluntary and third sector organisations such as drug and alcohol services.

Why study at Buckinghamshire New University?

Studying this course at Buckinghamshire New University will give you the opportunity to learn with highly experienced and qualified staff who will work with you to develop new skills and knowledge. Throughout the course, we place a strong emphasis on social ‘praxis’ - developing solutions to social problems.

We will equip you with the necessary skills, knowledge and understanding to work in any setting where developing strategies for positive, transformative change are useful and required. This is the course to do if you are interested in understanding the present moment in our societies.

What facilities can I use?

Our library is packed with all the information you need for your assessments and there’s plenty of room to knuckle down for some quiet study.

Whilst studying with us you will also use our BucksAnywhere web service, which provides access to many of the software applications you use for learning and studying. BucksAnywhere can be used from your own device or from a University owned PC or laptop, from any location.

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What will I study?

The course is tuned to the most current of social issues surrounding crime and criminal justice in our contemporary world, such as the issues around the Black Lives Matters movement.

You will develop critical thinking around such issues as the ways policing and criminal justice are situated within wider social inequalities and injustices, and also how social change for justice can be achieved through social movements, often via the latest digital technologies.

This course also includes an integrated employability module which will give you the opportunity to volunteer in an organisation relevant to your degree and interests. This module is unique in preparing students for potential careers through workplace experience.

You will also have the opportunity to work with external organisations and employers if you opt to do an Applied Dissertation at Level 6. The Applied Dissertation allows you to identify a ‘real world’ issue with employers, which you will go on to research and devise solutions to. This gives you a unique opportunity to apply your learning in ways useful to employers, therefore increasing your employability upon graduation.

How will I be taught and assessed?

This course is offered as a four-year programme, including an initial Foundation Year. The Foundation Year will allow you to develop your academic study skills and build confidence in your abilities, identifying your own strengths and development needs for progression onto an undergraduate degree.

Our programme is attendance-based and includes various teaching activities such as:

  • Lectures
  • Interactive use of the Virtual Learning Environment
  • Seminars and workshops
  • Independent study
  • Field Trips
  • Employment forums.

There are a variety of assessment styles on this course, which at all three levels are designed to mirror ‘real world’ criminological and sociological issues as well as providing you with the opportunity to demonstrate the skills you have acquired.

Some of these assessment methods include:

  • Poster presentations
  • Reports
  • Blogs
  • Portfolios
  • Media products
  • More traditional forms of assessment.

Placements Plus

BNU is a Placements Plus university. So, whatever degree you do, you can be sure there’ll be plenty of industry-relevant opportunities on offer, to help you get into your chosen field.

We’ll also prepare you for work beforehand, with special skills for work training, further boosting your CV, and building skills employers will value. In recognition of the value we place on these skills we have incorporated this experience into your study time.

Placements Plus is all about helping you get some valuable experience under your belt while you’re a student, to increase your choices later, and help you get the graduate-level job you want.

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Useful documents

BSc (Hons) Criminology and Social Studies Programme Specification

What are the course entry requirements?

A typical offer will require a UCAS tariff score of: 32 - 56

Applicants who do not meet the minimum requirements for the 3-year undergraduate programme, or those who do not feel fully prepared for a Level 4 course, will be considered for the 4-year programme including a Foundation Year. If you wish to enquire further, please send your query along with any academic evidence or references to

Find out more about our General Entry Requirements.



This provides a guide of the modules that make up your course. You can find more information about how your course is structured on our Academic Advice section.

Year 1 Modules

Ways of Knowing about the Social World

Preparing for Success, Knowledge and Creativity

Preparing for Success, Self-Development and Responsibility

Inquiry based learning

Year 2 Modules

Introduction to Criminology: The Concept of Crime

Introduction to Criminology: The History of Punishment

Criminal Justice Process

Political Ideologies in Society

Making Sense of Society: The Sociological Imagination

Making Sense of Society: Understanding the Social World

Media, Communication and Society

Policy and Strategy

Year 3 Modules

Qualitative Research Methods for Social Scientists

Quantitative Research Methods for Social Scientists

Social Justice

Gender, Sexuality and Society

Forms of Crime: Crime in Late Modernity

Employability and Professional Development

Race, Ethnicity and Migration

Citizenship, Community and Welfare (option)

Power and Political Institutions (option)

Year 4 Modules

Dissertation/ Applied Dissertation

Globalisation and Contemporary Societies

Leadership and Change

Criminal Justice Policy (option)

Comparative Criminal Justice (option)

Cybercrime (option)

Disability and Mental Health in the Criminal Justice System (option)

Radicalisation and Terrorism (option)

Ageing well through the life course (option)

What are the tuition fees


Home, Academic Year 2022 - 2023

£9,250 per year


Overseas/International, Academic Year 2022 - 2023

£14,250 per year

The University is unable to accept any new applications from students who require sponsorship for a student visa to start in September 2022. This is due to the overwhelming popularity of our courses and visa processing timeframes.  Applications are still being taken from students who are already in the UK and hold the right to study.

From September 2022, those students living in the UK or Republic of Ireland, and EU nationals with settled status in the UK, will be considered Home students.

Most courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees.

You could benefit from financial support through a bursary or scholarship during your time as a student. For more details visit our financial support, bursaries and scholarships section.

Questions about fees?

Contact our Enquiries Team:

0330 123 2023

What are my career prospects?

Throughout your time with us we’ll support you on the route to your chosen career. We’ll help you to develop crucial skills, encouraging you to become enterprising, employable and good leaders. We also help you find employment after graduation. Have a look at our Careers and Employability pages to find out more.

Our BSc (Hons) Criminology and Social Studies course will help prepare you for a range of career possibilities. Typically, graduating students will focus on roles in various branches of the Criminal Justice System (e.g. the courts, prisons, probation services etc.), and relevant social sectors and organisations (e.g. public sector; civil service; voluntary and third sector organisations such as drug and alcohol services).

Graduates can also choose to study for a postgraduate course.

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Dr David Black
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