Criminology and Policing BA (Hons)

Full-time undergraduate (3 years, 4 years with foundation year)





Develop your understanding of current issues in criminology and policing on our full-time degree course in Cambridge. Choose to study abroad for a semester and go on field trips in the UK or Europe. Jump-start your career in the criminal justice sector with practical modules on crime, policing, youth justice, the prison system and public service.

Full description


We work with employers to make sure you graduate with the knowledge, skills and abilities they need. They help us review what we teach and how we teach it – and they offer hands-on, practical opportunities to learn through work-based projects, internships or placements. 

Our BA (Hons) Criminology and Policing will help you develop the skills and knowledge necessary for careers in many areas connected to the criminal justice system, including the police force, probation, prisons and youth justice. You will also be well equipped for work in the Border Force; the military; security; local government; and work in the public sector generally. If you are already working within the sector, it will allow you to progress your career to graduate level.

Our optional modules also give you the chance to study a language, allowing you to prepare for work in an international context.

You might also choose to continue your studies on a postgraduate course, such as our MA Contemporary Policing, MA Sociology, MA Criminology, or MA International Relations.

Modules & assessment

Level 3 (foundation year)

  • Foundation in Law and Policing
    This module will provide students with the necessary skills to begin studying at level 4 in courses related to Law, Policing and Criminology. Students will be introduced to the core skills necessary to succeed in higher education, including thinking critically, researching and referencing appropriately, demonstrating appropriate numeracy and ICT skills, and communicating effectively verbally and in writing. Students will also be introduced to specific concepts related to their degree programmes including an introduction to the English legal system, business law, criminal law and the criminal justice system and ethics. Real-world examples of the law in action will be highlighted, and students will practice applying the law to case studies. The module is made up of the following eight constituent elements: Interactive Learning Skills and Communication (ILSC); Information Communication Technology (ICT); Critical Thinking; Composition and Style; Ethics; Fundamentals of Law; Business Law; Criminal Law.

Year one, core modules

  • Crime News and Criminology
    Crime is a major area of public policy and political debate. We are both fascinated by crime while afraid of it and eager to prevent it. Criminals can be portrayed as heroes, anti-heroes, victims or villains. Nevertheless, they are represented and understood as somehow 'other'. Despite these contrasting and confusing ideas, crime is an everyday experience, about which many of us have strong opinions. You will be encouraged to question how crime and deviance have shaped our thoughts, drawing upon its portrayal in the news, as well as fears of crime, political responses and crime prevention initiatives. You will be introduced to concepts that contribute to the social construction of crime, such as 'newsworthiness', 'criminogenic media' and moral panics, as well as some basic building blocks of Criminology itself. You will examine and discuss the types of crimes that are prevalent in the media news and consider current criminal justice issues and cases. In addition, you will decipher official statistics, such as those emerging from the Crime Survey for England and Wales, Police recorded crimes and conviction data, in order to establish a balanced view of the extent of crime in England and Wales. You will examine crime data (statistics, case studies, crime rates etc) and the sources from which they are gathered. Such data analysis will provide a framework for contextualising material that is often (partially and mis-) represented in the media, within an academic and realistic context. Each week, in a separate timetabled workshop following the lecture, you will research various current crime news media (radio, TV, newspapers, internet, blogs, wikis, journals etc) and analyse the construction of the news, the sources of information, the writing style of the genre and the public debate which often follows news. The aim of this section is to provide you with the key skills necessary to study at undergraduate level. You will carry out structured tasks each week, and develop a writing style through a variety of weekly exercises and diagnostic essays. The assessments will allow you to demonstrate understanding and begin to develop critical thinking skills (through the diagnostic essay), as well as understanding and application skills.
  • Criminal Justice in England and Wales
    Criminal Justice in England and Wales will introduce you to the criminal justice system in this country, taking you through the key elements of the justice system: Police, Courts, Prisons, Probation, and the Youth Justice System. Each week, you will be introduced to a different stage of the system and unpack some of the critical issues that are discussed in this area. For example you will learn about the role of police, and the benefits that a policing system provides, while also looking at the controversial aspects of policing, such as racism and the ongoing debate about how much force the police should use. You will also discuss the statement ‘prison works’ and examine the shifting landscape of the prison system in the context of overcrowding and privatization. During the research skills workshops, you will learn how to critically assess research on the criminal justice system, developing evaluation skills and knowledge of research methods in the process. You will learn how research is undertaken and have the chance to do this yourself in relation to issues of criminal justice, such as public attitudes to various elements of the criminal justice system. By the end of Criminal Justice in England and Wales, you will be able to demonstrate an appreciation of the complicated position of victims and offenders in England and Wales. You will be taught in weekly two hour lecture/workshops and one hour ‘research evaluation skills’ workshop. Your assessment will comprise a portfolio of work discussing the strengths and weaknesses of the criminal justice system.
  • Introduction to Policing
    This module will develop your understanding of the origins of the modern Police Service and the nature of Police work in the broadest sense, including the social and political environment from which modern policing emerged and in which it currently operates. You will learn how and why the Police Service developed, the cultural and political ethos behind the service, and the legal and ethical frameworks that inform the sector. You will also study the demands placed on Police Forces and their officers, staff and volunteers, including potential developments in the future, and critically consider how the internet and digital media will effect changes to the policing landscape by facilitating the commission of existing crime types. You will also consider emerging types of new criminal activity, and responses that may be required from law enforcers to combat these, grounding this academically through a critical engagement with the debates and controversies that surround policing. To support this module and your continuing studies, you will develop and maintain a reflective learning log that will be used as the basis of tutorial work and your formative assessment. Throughout the Semester you will be assessed via a portfolio of tasks that will provide opportunities for formative feedback, including traditional assessment methods such as a short essay, in-class test and a presentation, as well as maintaining a blog as a reflective diary. You will be taught by weekly lecture and seminar.
  • Media, Society and Crime
    Media representations of crime are a matter of public interest as well as political debate. The way the media treats crime has important implications for public perceptions of crime, criminals and the processes of the criminal justice system. Should crime always be newsworthy? How objective is the presentation of crime in the media? With the use of specific examples, you will examine key issues in traditional and new media, to provide you with an understanding of changing social norms and expectations in relation to crime and the media formats through which it is discussed and portrayed. You will explore the ways in which media shapes our perception of crime and critically examine the theoretical perspectives on media and propaganda. In addition, you will explore the construction of crime news and the role of politics and ideology in this context. You will explore the fictional and factual representation of youths and sex in the media; the fear of crime; contemporary surveillance culture; the analysis of relevant statistics, and the use of propaganda techniques. You will examine these issues through the use of case studies, reports, and theory. You will be expected to select one or more case studies in order to develop analytical skills as well as presentation skills during the seminars. The selected case study will build a foundation for the essay. In the essay you will develop techniques to evaluate debates about the relations between media, society and crime, as well as public perceptions. This module is taught by lectures and seminars and will be assessed by a pass-fail seminar presentation equivalent to 1000 words, a media review of 2000 words, and an essay of 2000 words.

Year two, core modules

  • Making A Difference
    Making a difference in the world begins with the belief that you can do something that doesn’t just benefit yourself. The easiest way to think about making a difference in the world is to inspire one person first. It’s a simple, measurable and an achievable goal that will show you what’s possible. However, in order to make a difference in the world, you will be required to demonstrate that you have the credentials to defend your ideas and your goals. In ‘Making a Difference’ you will learn about how to combine key aspects of entrepreneurialism with research methods in order to present an airtight and thoroughly evaluated plan or pitch through which you will be able to demonstrate how you can make a difference in the world. You will study four short stand-alone options within one module, through which you will become equipped to consider, research, pitch and evaluate an idea that could potentially make a positive contribution to society. The module will be taught in four-week blocks, comprising a blend of class-based and online delivery. Each option will be assessed separately at the end of each four-week block. Researching Social Sciences (Trimester 1, 2nd block) and Project Prep (Trimester 2, 1st block) are compulsory elements. In addition, you will choose one other option to study each trimester through which you will apply your research methods in preparation for your major project.
  • Evidence-Based Policing
    Evidence-Based policing as a concept is not new: it draws on the same principles as the medical profession, in which doctors make decisions on how to treat patients based on the most up-to-date evidence. However it is widely accepted that policing and police practices as a whole are not based on rigorous evidence. Due to growing demand and financial pressures Evidence-Based Policing has become an attractive option for police agencies with its promise of using limited resources more efficiently and effectively by focusing on those strategies and tactics that reduce crime. This module will give you an overview of the 'rise' of Evidence-Based Policing, and a theoretical understanding of Evidence-Based Policing by allowing you to explore its three key principles: Targeting, tracking, and testing. You will discover what 'evidence' is by taking part in an in-depth discussion and an analysis of recent experiments on 'hotspots' policing and the use of body-worn video. You will also explore the steps agencies can take to embed Evidence-Based Policing in organisations and the challenges they face. You will be taught by weekly lecture and seminar, and assessed through an essay examining the implementation and effectiveness of Evidence-Based Policing and a case study report evaluating a research project.

Year two, optional modules

  • Violence: Theories and Causes of Crime
    You are a member of the Home Office Research Group who has been asked to write a briefing for the Minister. Identify one form of violence and write a report to explain a) the nature of the problem, b) the potential causes, and c) the implications of these causes. To do this, you will need to define your chosen form of violence, assess the evidence of its prevalence and how it tends to occur, as well as drawing on the contrasting theories as to the causes. Finally, you should introduce some of the potential implications of these causes, which may be that a current policy should be stopped or that a new one should be started. You will be assessed through a 2,500 word case study.
  • Violence: Realities and Impact of Crime
    Each week in the seminars, you will be given a case study scenario in which you are a practitioner or policymaker who is seeking to respond to a specific violent crime. You will receive an abridged outline of the relevant policy guidance and must identify the best practice response in the scenario, including a consideration of the barriers and complexities in fulfilling the guidelines. You will then choose three of the five case study scenarios to write up into your portfolio. In each one, you will outline the specifics of the case, the best practice guidance, and the potential challenges to implementing the guidance. You will then identify the actions you would take in each case, and reflect upon why these actions would show that you are a good practitioner.
  • Trials and Errors: Justice in Court
    Trials and Errors will introduce you to the concept of miscarriages of justice and wrongful conviction. Each week, you will learn about some of the key barriers to ‘justice’ and critically examine controversial aspects of the criminal justice system; for example the mass production of guilty pleas, jury trials, expert witnesses and ‘trial by media’. You will draw upon a range of case studies to examine these issues, developing a theoretical understanding that is rooted in real-world examples. By the end of Trials and Errors, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge of the court process and how it can go wrong, as well as the strength and weaknesses of key aspects of the English and Welsh system. Trials and Errors will be delivered in weekly two hour lecture/workshops and one hour seminars. You will have the opportunity to present your ideas in class. Your assessment will comprise an essay and an in-class test.
  • Intoxicants and Intoxication
    This module will introduce you to the sociological and historical analysis of the place of intoxicants, and the role of intoxication, in society. It incorporates a broad range of themes: production and distribution; regulation, control and the law; substance use, misuse and addiction; gender and intoxication; and socio-economic changes in the place of intoxicants in societies (e.g. work, time and alcohol use). You will gain an understanding of the broad historical and cultural differences in the meanings ascribed to intoxicants and intoxication and engage in problem-based learning scenarios. You will develop analytical skills in identifying how substances, who consumes them, and the place/time they are consumed change, and that they are shifting targets of problematisation in society. Theoretical approaches to understanding the role of intoxicants and intoxication in society will be explored, including moral regulation theory, governmentality, and gender performativity; focusing for example on alcohol, cannabis, New Psychoactive Substances, and heroin. You will gain an insight into how one phenomenon, that of intoxicants and intoxication, can act as an observational lens through which a wide range of sociological issues can be examined, including gender, age, social class, disorder, offending and regulation. Intoxicants and intoxication will be delivered in weekly one-hour lectures and one-hour seminars. The assessments will combine academic skills (an essay), through which you can develop your critical analytical skills, and real-life writing contexts (a policy analysis blog), which will be useful for you in determining how to write and critique existing policy for a diverse audience.
  • Resilience and Emergency Management
    Bringing together all the skills you've learned on the Public Service Foundation Degree course, this module will task you with identifying and understanding how the emergency services prepare for and operate at major disasters. You'll look at the ways government and emergency services prepare for and react to major disasters, and consider the advantages and difficulties of the multi-agency approach. Working in teams, you'll solve problems and come up with innovative preparations for, and take part in, major disaster exercises. You'll need to take a reflexive and critical view on the work of government and the emergency services to identify strengths and weaknesses in the current preparation for disasters.
  • Leadership in Policing and Criminal Justice
    On this module you will develop your critical view of the Criminal Justice Sector in a broad sense, by studying current perspectives on leadership and management in the public sector and how these relate to the ever-changing political, social and economic contexts in which they operate. You will discuss the importance of effective management and leadership, and the impact of these on an organisation, starting by investigating leadership and management as concepts and tracking their history and development, before considering how they currently impact on the public sector as a whole and on individual organisations such as the police and how this is related to contemporary issues and debates. You will also consider debates about equality and diversity relevant to leadership. You will attend weekly lectures and seminars, and your assessment will comprise an in-class test, in which you will demonstrate your understanding of some of the key issues and topics, and a case study of a particular aspect of leadership and/management in the criminal justice sector.
  • Globalisation and Security
    Globalisation and Security is your opportunity to explore, analyse, and critique issues of crime and criminology as they impact on a global, national, and human scale. Over the course of the module we will use a wide range of recent real-world scenarios, policies, and the relevant academic literature to encourage and develop your understanding of the effects of globalisation on perpetrators of crime, victims of crime and the cultural context in which they live. You will also have the opportunity to hypothesise on the potential future issues brought forth by the process of globalisation. On completion of the module, you will have the skills to interpret the diverse and complex causes of, and responses to, the perpetration of crime on a global basis. You will also be able to creatively consider potential future issues and innovative solutions to problems inherent to our world. The assessments for Globalisation and Security will include a peer-assessed formative case study, and a summative problem-solving critique of current responses to global, national and human issues of crime and security.
  • Revolving Doors: Punishment and Rehabilitation
    Revolving Doors: Punishment and Rehabilitation will introduce you to the key debates surrounding penology, prisons and alternatives to imprisonment. Each week, you will learn about a different issue relating to the justification of punishment, the prison system, rehabilitation, and alternatives, such as community service, probation and parole. You will examine different theories of justice that inform contested debates about issues such as culpability, sentence lengths and the penal environment. You will also hear about a range of contemporary issues affecting prisons, in particular the growing number of ageing prisoners, how mental health issues are dealt with, and the rise in prisoner violence and radicalisation. The module will enable you to be able to demonstrate knowledge of the theories underlying punishment, prisons and rehabilitation. It will be delivered in weekly one hour lectures and one hour seminars. The assessment will comprise an essay that gives you the opportunity to explore what an ‘effective’ sanction looks like, and a chance to review and appraise a current rehabilitative programme.
  • Policing Vulnerability
    National policing priorities are increasingly focused on harm, risk and vulnerability. This shift has come about as a response to several factors, including austerity, changes to demand and the types of crime committed, the growing crisis in mental health and the responses to that, and also to the rise of evidence-based policing and the categorisation and measurement of harm. In Policing Vulnerability, you will examine the nature of ‘vulnerability’ in the context of policing and the criminal justice system. You will compare definitions of vulnerability, and risk factors for victimisation and criminalisation. You will examine policy, legislation and guidance around the treatment of vulnerability, including in areas where rights can clash. You will then explore in depth a number of particular current areas, such as digitally facilitated crimes and the policing of mental illness. The assessment is a single case study of police response to vulnerability, to include an assessment of the legislation and guidance around a particular area of vulnerability, and a critical analysis of a force response to an incident.
  • Cybercrime and Policing
    Cybercrimes are becoming increasingly prevalent in western society, and their policing and control progressively problematic. You will have the opportunity to explore the risks that modern cybercrimes pose to individuals, organisations and the nation state, and examine how authorities both locally and transnationally have attempted to police new digital patterns of criminality. The module is taught in two, discreet halves, with the first exploring the development of new ‘cyber-dependent’ crimes that exist solely as a product of new internet technologies. The second half will examine the emergence of ‘cyber-enabled crimes’ involving the reconstitution of established and traditional crimes such as human trafficking, organised crime, terrorism and hate crime that been irrevocably changed by virtue of their online ‘digitisation’. Within each of the topics covered in the module, you will have the chance to explore cutting edge cyber-crime case studies against a backdrop of the challenges that authorities have faced when attempting to police these crimes both locally and transnationally. In addition, you will examine the impact of the Dark Web and Tor Network, and how these continue to evade traditional policing styles. You will learn about the facilitation of radicalisation and terrorism, othering and stigmatisation, transnational crime, migration and human trafficking and the policing and security strategies that have been developed to combat and prevent them. You will examine the topics within online digital settings, which will provide you with insights that will deepen and complement other taught modules that adopt an ‘offline’ approach when investigating crime and policing. You will achieve an understanding of a wide range of cybercrimes, their sociological and criminological conceptualisation and the key modes of policing, punishment and control designed to reduce and contain their risk. The module is taught by lecture/seminar format using computer-based work for seminars. You will be assessed via a formative and summative assessment using an essay-based format.

Year three, core modules

  • Undergraduate Major Project
    The individual final Major Project module allows you to engage in a substantial piece of individual research, focused on a topic relevant to your specific discipline. Normally the topic will be agreed in consultation with academic staff and an appropriate supervisor will be appointed to supervise you in your chosen topic. The topic may also be drawn from a variety of sources including: Anglia Ruskin research groups, previous or current work experience, the company in which you are currently employed, or a professional subject of specific interest (if suitable supervision is available). The project topic will be assessed for suitability to ensure sufficient academic challenge and satisfactory supervision by an academic member of staff. The chosen topic will require you to identify and formulate problems and issues, conduct literature reviews, evaluate information, investigate and adopt suitable development methodologies, determine solutions, develop software and/or media artefacts as appropriate, process data, critically appraise and present your findings. Regular meetings with the project supervisor and or/group workshops should take place, so that the project is closely monitored and steered in the right direction. The assessment will normally include a substantial written report, including a bibliography.
  • Politics and Public Service
    On this module, you'll address the ideas that lie behind political approaches to public services and explore the relationship between these ideas and policy. You'll also examine the development of ideological approaches to public services, focusing on some broad approaches, namely, Welfarism, Neoliberalism and 'modernisation', each of which results in the eventual application of political ideology.
  • Criminology in Policy and Practice
    The objects of the Criminological enquiry – crime, policing, justice, punishment, fear, victims, control, order, security – have come to occupy a prominent and disputed place in the lives and consciousness of citizens and governing authorities. Your career may be determined upon how well you understand the system that you seek to work in. In this module, you will consider how criminological theory has informed the landscape of crime, order and control and impacted legislation, policy and practice. You will examine the political, economic and social contexts in which criminological research is shaped and carried out in order to usefully inform criminal justice policy. For example, you will consider complex issues such as balancing policing in the age of austerity against the growth of punitive populism, or allocating resources effectively between the prevention of terrorism or violence against women and girls. Scrutinising institutions such as the police, county councils and victim-focused charities, you will examine some of the tensions that exist within them such as decision-making, agenda-setting and resource allocation. You will think critically about the processes that are involved in turning ideas into action, building ‘joint working’ initiatives and managing policy implementation. Furthermore, you will consider some of the wider criminological issues you have studied in relation to the criminal justice work setting – how do cultural, political and patriarchal attitudes affect the shape of agenda-setting, and what could be the impact of vicarious trauma upon the agents whom we put so much trust? Criminology in policy and practice will provide you with the skills necessary to connect your degree with the criminal justice sector, its policies and practices. The module will be delivered by lectures and workshops, and your assessment will consist of a report and an essay.

Year three, optional modules

  • Negotiating Sex and Gender: accounts & accountability
    We are taught how to develop skills in communicating transactions in most life-situations, and when we fail to negotiate them satisfactorily we inevitably feel disappointed, betrayed or deceived. However, we are arguably less skilled at understanding the continuum of sexuality, unwanted sex, casual sex and sexual relationships. In this module you will examine the way certain sexual activities have come to be defined and regulated as sex crimes and how particular definitions generate specific legal responses and treatments. You will consider the notion that sex can be understood through a continuum of negotiations from casual sex, marriage, prostitution, through to rape. Through in depth analysis of case studies, you will learn to recognise sexual misconduct, its underlying theories and its consequences from the perspectives of offenders, victims, society and the law, and design a rape prevention scheme or public awareness campaign. Rape ‘stereotypes’ will be juxtaposed against attrition throughout the criminal justice process. You will examine the potential of the media and how internet technologies contribute to the increasingly problematic policing of sexually explicit materials and protection of children. Aspects of the international sex trade will be examined, in particular the problem of sexual exploitation. Whilst tying together the themes of the module, you will consider legal barriers to justice alongside the growing body of evidence that calls for action to recognise all forms of violence against women in order to prioritise the prevention of further victimisation. You should be thoroughly prepared for the weekly lectures and seminars. You will be assessed through a 2500 word essay, which will consider a particular dimension of the continuum of violence, public and work harassment and traditional legal ‘justice’ that women’s experiences are compartmentalised and judged.
  • Comparative and Global Criminal Justice
    Comparative and Global Criminal Justice will introduce you to the profound economic, political, social and technological developments in the world since the late 1980s. These developments fuelled by globalisation have had huge implications for international criminal justice. You will examine the constant tension between the local and international notions of justice that these social changes have created. You will also critically analyse the ways comparative criminal justice researchers are studying international crimes and global justice issues such as genocide, gender-based violence, terrorism, human trafficking, capital punishment, and child labour. Importantly, you will develop skills necessary to analyse effectively criminal justice issues from a global perspective and be exposed to global institutions and organisation at the forefront of global justice issues. You will attend a one hour lecture and a one hour seminar each week, and be prepared for weekly discussions on key global justice issues.
  • Investigative Psychology
    The psychological study of crime, criminals and victims within a legal framework is known as criminal or forensic psychology. On this module, you'll examine the role that psychology and psychological perspectives can play in the criminal justice process, paying particular attention to the application of psychology to police investigations including the collection, examination and use of investigative information and evidence, as well as to the role of the psychologist in the court room. You'll explore the different ways criminal psychologists contribute to police training, investigations and interviewing as well as their contribution to understanding evidence in the courtroom and how juries process that evidence. You'll also examine and evaluate the challenges and pitfalls of giving such advice. You’ll look at actual case studies designed to familiarise you with the types of criminal cases and associated outputs produced by criminal psychologists in a real world setting. You'll be assessed by way of a poster presentation on an aspect of offender profiling and through a profiling method evaluation.
  • Organised Crime
    Organised Crime begins with a discussion of the UN 2030 sustainability goals and you will identify policies and practices, justifying why they have to be challenged in these uncertain times. You must be prepared to research and discuss controversial cases relating to organised crime and the far-reaching, and often hidden impact that they can have on society, the economy and policing jurisdictions. You will consider the nature and shape of criminal networks, and the potential immunity that power and influence can wield. You will critically evaluate the potential exploitative opportunities that are available to criminal networks, focusing on particular selected recent examples of white collar crimes, environmental crimes and corporate crimes each week. For the assignment, you will select a relevant theme and explore it within a variety of social, political, media, legal and cultural contexts. You will test your adaptability skills by facilitating discussion of organised crimes from a range of social contexts; and cultivate an understanding of a variety of ‘voices of authority’. You will be assessed by way of 2000 word speech exercise in which you will write three speeches on one selected theme, addressed to three contrasting audiences, and a presentation of one of them.
  • Neighbourhood Policing and Community Safety
    Neighbourhood policing is a British model of community policing that has become deeply embedded in policing practice in the UK. You will examine community and neighbourhood policing and the theoretical and empirical evidence upon which these models are based. You will also explore the nature, theories and research evidence around crime prevention and community safety, including the emergence of anti-social behaviour as a distinct concept with its own set of social and policing responses. You will explore common themes in neighbourhood and community policing, such as visibility and foot patrol, community engagement, problem-solving and partnership working. You will relate the themes to research evidence regarding police legitimacy and public confidence, and evaluate various neighbourhood policing practices in the context of limited resources. You will also engage with theoretical perspectives on crime prevention and social control as well as the research evidence on what works to prevent crime. Your assessment will comprise a 1,000 word report on a given element of community policing and a 2,000 word essay.
  • Police and Counter-terrorism
    Perceptions of rising extremism and growing insecurity have increased the opportunities for tighter and arguably more invidious forms of social control in western societies in the rhetorical 'war on terror'. On this module you will identify and critically examine terror-related issues through criminal justice, criminological and legal perspectives. You will investigate the shift from 'old' terrorism to 'new' terrorism, and apply a range of theoretical perspectives to selected cases of 21st century domestic and international terrorism. You will contrast various typologies of terrorist, such as the 'home-grown', the 'lone-wolf', religious extremist, animal rights activist or neo-Nazi, and consider the various types of media coverage that each category attracts. Counter-terrorist measures will be evaluated in relation to a number of factors, such as prejudice, propaganda, nationalism, xenophobia and religion. You will critically evaluate concepts such as universal human rights, freedom of speech, radicalisation, axis of evil and war on terror, and apply them to examples of strategies that have been utilised and justified in the international 'war against terror'. You will attend a one hour lecture and one hour seminar each week for the whole trimester.
  • Youth Crime and Aggression
    Youth, Crime and Aggression has been designed to allow you to build on your previous two years of work to think critically about the Youth Justice System and its place in the wider context of the criminal justice system. In this module, you will critically evaluate the youth justice system in England and Wales. You will identify areas of tensions and contradictions within the youth justice system. You will compare and contrast theories explaining youth crime and youth culture. You will also analyse competing strategies in youth justice and their outcomes, discussing recent developments in youth justice legislation, policy and practice, which will teach you to evaluate current practices in youth justice issues. Within this module, you will explore recent developments and key innovations in the youth justice system and their implications for the rights of young offenders and their victims. This module will run weekly two-hour lectures and a one-hour seminar. You are required to have a good understanding of criminological theories and their histories and be thoroughly prepared for weekly discussions by completing the essential reading ahead of lecture/seminar. You will be assessed by way of a theoretical essay of 2500 words.
  • Concepts of Good and Evil
    What role, if any, does the concept of evil play in our moral vocabulary? Is it a narrowly theological notion or does it usefully describe certain kinds of act and/or character? On this module, you'll examine contemporary accounts of evil, as well as looking at the concept of evil in the history of philosophy from Leibniz to the present. In addition to considering theoretical discussions of evil, you'll also consider phenomena such as war and terrorism and ask whether the concept of evil helps us to understand them.
  • Race, Racism and Cultural Identity
    On this module, you'll explore the sociology of 'race', racism and ethnic divisions. You'll consider three related themes: the social origins and significance of racial and ethnic divisions, the varied causes, contexts and consequences of racism and antiracism, and the cultural consequences of migration. Although your primary substantive focus will be on race relations in contemporary Britain, you will also draw insights from historical and international comparisons. You'll also attend a series of student-led workshops, in which you'll apply sociological knowledge and understanding to current questions of 'race' politics and policy. The topics of these workshop will relate to key module themes, such as: the collection and use of racialised data in the criminal justice system, debates about the usefulness of the concept of institutional racism, and globalised Islam.
  • Sport, Globalisation and International politics
    This module will develop your understanding of the relationship between sport, processes of globalisation, and the sphere of international politics. Broadly speaking, the key themes that you'll consider are ideology, power and control. More specifically, you'll be introduced to a set of key theoretical and conceptual insights relating to globalisation, nationalism and commercialisation early in the module. In later lectures and seminars, you'll apply these insights to particular instances from the sporting world. Specific topics you'll consider include 'race' and racism in sport; the Workers' Sport movement, the role of sport in the colonisation of Africa, the history and politics of FIFA, and a number of national case studies including Catalonia and South Africa. You'll be assessed through a 3,000 word essay.


Modules are subject to change and availability.

You’ll be assessed using a range of methods depending on the nature of the module. These include essays; portfolios; problem-solving activities; case studies; blogs; policy documents; presentations; and a major research project.

Where you'll study

Your department and faculty

At the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, we believe in thinking critically about the past, present and future to challenge perceptions and better understand communities and people.

With expertise from gender issues to literary analysis to exploring how the past has shaped our modern world, all our staff members are active researchers. This is reflected in our teaching, allowing us to support our students with the latest theories and practices, as well as essential employability advice.

Where can I study?

Lord Ashcroft Building on our Cambridge campus

Our campus is close to the centre of Cambridge, often described as the perfect student city.

Explore our Cambridge campus


You’ll have the chance to access talks and seminars at the University of Cambridge’s Institute of Criminology, with which we have close and supportive links.

Study abroad

You can apply to study abroad for one semester, and get funding to help you cover the cost.

Fees & funding

Course fees

UK students starting 2021/22 (per year)


International students starting 2021/22 (per year)


How do I pay my fees?

Tuition fee loan

UK students (and EU students starting a course before 1 August 2021) can take out a tuition fee loan, which you won’t need to start repaying until after your graduate. Or there's the option to pay your fees upfront.

Loans and fee payments

International students

You can pay your tuition fees upfront, in full or in two instalments. We will also ask you for a deposit of £4,000 or a sponsorship letter. Details will be in your offer letter.

Paying your fees


We offer a fantastic range of ARU scholarships, which provide extra financial support while you’re at university. Some of these cover all or part of your tuition fees.

Explore ARU scholarships

Funding for UK & EU students

Most new undergraduate students can apply for government funding to support their studies and university life. This includes EU students starting a course before 1 August 2021.

Government funding includes Tuition Fee Loans and Maintenance Loans. There are additional grants available for specific groups of students, such as those with disabilities or dependants.

We also offer a range of ARU scholarships, which can provide extra financial support while you’re at university.

Funding for international students

We offer a number of scholarships, as well as an early payment discount. Explore your options:

Entry requirements

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  • 96 UCAS Tariff points from a minimum of 2 A Levels (or equivalent).
  • 3 GCSEs at grade C, or grade 4, or above which must include English Language or English Literature.
  • If English is not your first language you will be expected to demonstrate a certificated level of proficiency of at least IELTS 6.0 (Academic level) or equivalent English Language qualification, as recognised by Anglia Ruskin University.

Whether you're studying entirely online or through a blend of face-to-face and online learning in September 2020, you'll need a computer and reliable internet access to successfully engage with your course. Before starting the course, we recommend that you check our technical requirements for online learning.

International students

We welcome applications from international and EU students, and accept a range of international qualifications.

Whether you're studying entirely online or through a blend of face-to-face and online learning from September 2020, you'll need a computer and reliable internet access to successfully engage with your course. Before starting the course, we recommend that you check our technical requirements for online learning.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you'll need to make sure you meet our English language requirements for undergraduate courses.

Improving your English language skills

If you don't meet our English language requirements, we offer a range of courses which could help you achieve the level required for entry onto a degree course.

We also provide our own English Language Proficiency Test (ELPT) in the UK and overseas. To find out if we are planning to hold an ELPT in your country, contact our country managers.

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UK and EU students

Apply for 2021

UCAScode: L311

Apply through UCAS

International students

Applicants from outside the UK and EU, apply to ARU

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