Applied Criminology

BA or BSc single honours or in combination with another subject Applied Criminology 2017/18

Year of entry

Our combined degree in Applied Criminology and Forensic Investigation has a 90% overall student satisfaction rating.

National Student Survey, 2016

Crime dominates the news and is a constant feature in entertainment media. You will learn to cast a critical eye over the processes of criminalisation and crime control and set these processes within wider social, economic and political contexts.  We place students at the centre of everything we do. Not only can you be assured of high quality research informed teaching, but also personal and study support.

We have developed close links with local, national and international criminal justice agencies to enhance our distinctive ‘applied’ focus to learning about crime. Through our ‘insights from practice’ initiative, you will experience a range of guest speakers who are professionals and practitioners working within the justice system.

Flexibility and choice are built into our Applied Criminology programmes.

At the end of the first year if you are a combined honours student you can choose to change the balance of your course so that criminology can be studied as a joint honours degree or as a minor or major subject. You are also able to continue into your second and third years as an Applied Criminology single honours student.

Choice is also provided through the range of exciting optional modules available.

“I just wanted to say a huge thank you for all your help and support in my endeavours to do well in Criminology. I have just received a job offer to train as a Probation Service Officer, which I have accepted.”

Adrian Hukin, graduate in Applied Criminology, 2015

If crime is an area of study which interests you then you are likely to enjoy studying Applied Criminology with us. Applied Criminology is an area of study which applies theoretical perspectives and research in crime and the criminal justice system to contemporary crime problems and debates. The course explores the nature, extent and causes of crime and the methods used to manage criminal behaviour.

“It was a great experience to study Applied Criminology at Canterbury Christ Church. The lecturers here were always approachable and easy to talk to. In addition, lecturers brought in a variety of perspectives, creating a well-rounded programme that was stimulating and balanced. I feel that the course creates graduates of a high calibre, enabling them to engage critically with a variety of issues, whilst increasing their employability particularly through the high level of transferable skills taught. I had a great three years, which has set me up for a career in any sector, including academia, but also private, public and charity sector work.”

Benedikt Lehmann, graduate in Applied Criminology, 2011

The three year full-time course moves from a thorough grounding in criminological issues and perspectives to an in-depth critical understanding and application of these ideas to contemporary crime problems. Applied Criminology can be studied as a single honours degree or in combination with other courses from across the University. This allows some flexibility and emphasises the multi-disciplinary nature of the degree. The course is built around a number of core modules engaging you in key themes, concepts, debates and a range of optional choices which explore crime topics in more depth and breadth.

You can study French, German, Italian, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish as part of, or alongside, your course.

more info


Work experience

You will be strongly encouraged and assisted in engaging in relevant volunteering activity during your degree. Criminology students have worked in prisons, probation, victim support, as youth panel members, in community policing, as special constables as well as for a variety of charities.  We have developed a third year optional module in which volunteering is part of the assessment process. 

“While studying for my degree I found my particular interest lay in areas concerning miscarriages of justice, prisons and criminal psychology. Through volunteering I was able to identify the specific field I was passionate about working in.

"I found working with offenders immensely interesting and fulfilling. In my final year a charity called CRI (Crime Reduction Initiative) which specialises in working with substance abusers to provide rehabilitation, treatment and care services in both prisons and the community, were advertising for a programme facilitator position in HMP Wormwood Scrubs, working alongside prisoners to address their substance misuse.

"My degree gave me an advantage due to the knowledge I had accumulated, but I felt that the added advantage was the experience I had gained whilst volunteering that helped secure me the role. My work has offered me experiences that would otherwise not have arisen. An example of this is when I was given the opportunity to appear on BBC Question Time.”

Charlotte Sherratt, graduate in Applied Criminology, 2010

Guest lecturers are an important part of our course, particularly during the third year. These are experts and professionals in the field who contribute to the applied nature of the course.

We have optional visits such as prison visits which are popular and provide additional insight into the workings of the justice system.

You will also have the opportunity to engage in the development of the course through our Criminology Student Forum and can play a full part in making sure that this is a course that listens to students.

Year one

Core modules

An Introduction to the Criminal Justice System (Core Applied Criminology Single Honours only)

This is a shared module for students across the School of Law, Criminal Justice and Computing. The main aim is to introduce you to the various stages of the justice process through a narrative timeline from committing a crime through to judicial conclusion. This illustrates the interdisciplinary nature of the justice process, including ideas such as what constitutes a crime, techniques of detection, policing, forensic investigation and legal perspectives.

Crime in Context

Develops your ability to analyse and comment upon various issues relevant to an understanding of crime and crime control. The module includes exploration of how crime is experienced through gender, ethnicity, social class and age together with wider structural issues. The extent to which crime is socially constructed is explored through analysis of crime statistics and the influence of the media.

Crimes, Punishments and Societies (Core Applied Criminology Single Honours only, optional Applied Criminology Combined Honours)

This module is an opportunity for you to explore some of the contextual issues that arise when exploring academic areas of criminology, criminal justice and policing. In particular this module is concerned with the different societal, historical, cultural, geographical and political contexts in which crime and justice occur.

Introduction to Criminological Thinking

Introduces you to the ways in which notions of crime and criminality are constructed, explained and understood. You will be introduced to the historical, social and cultural contexts of the development of criminology and the key shifts in criminological thinking about crime and the justice system. The approach is to break down theories into manageable units but also to recognise that theories overlap, develop over time and contradict one another. The focus is on a critical approach to the application of theories which have an impact on criminal justice policy and practice.

Law and Criminal Justice (Core for Applied Criminology Single Honours only, optional for Applied Criminology Combined Honours)

This module aims to introduce students to the criminal law and the criminal justice system in the UK. It will explore some of the basic legal principles necessary for understanding how the criminal law and criminal justice system operate. This module will also enable students to think critically about laws and legal processes by exploring how social and political factors can influence the interpretation and enforcement of the law.

Likely optional modules

Applied Criminology Single Honours students are offered optional modules in Criminal Psychology, Policing and Law from across the School of Law, Criminal Justice and Computing. These modules may change, but currently the following modules are offered in the first year and additional modules are offered in years one and two.

Crimes, Punishments and Societies (Core Applied Criminology Single Honours only, optional Applied Criminology Combined Honours)

This module is an opportunity for you to explore some of the contextual issues that arise when exploring academic areas of criminology, criminal justice and policing. In particular this module is concerned with the different societal, historical, cultural, geographical and political contexts in which crime and justice occur.

Psychology and Crime

Introduces you to key concepts in psychology and the relationship between psychology, criminology and sociology as well as criminal/forensic/legal psychology as a sub-discipline. The module considers how different psychological paradigms explain crime, and covers crime and development such as adolescent and persistent offending, risk and preventative factors and crime in groups. The module also looks at different types of offending, human aggression and sexual offending.

Law and Criminal Justice (Core for Applied Criminology Single Honours only, optional for Applied Criminology Combined Honours)

This module aims to introduce students to the criminal law and the criminal justice system in the UK. It will explore some of the basic legal principles necessary for understanding how the criminal law and criminal justice system operate. This module will also enable students to think critically about laws and legal processes by exploring how social and political factors can influence the interpretation and enforcement of the law.

Police Practice, Policy and Procedures 1

Provides you with the opportunity to develop knowledge and understanding of basic police practice, policy and procedures in England and Wales. The module considers issues such as the classification of offences, evidence gathering, search, arrest and detention. It is the first of three modules that embed components, enabling students to attain the Certificate in Knowledge of Policing (CKP) which accredits learning for pre-service, supporting flexible entry into the police service.

Year two

Core modules

Crime and Social Control

Builds on the theoretical knowledge of the year one module, Introduction to Criminological Thinking. The primary aim of this module is to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of formal and informal means of control in the historical and social context of crime and responses to crime.

Crime Offenders and Society

Builds on the issues introduced in Crime in Context in year one, and aims to develop your critical understanding of the nature of crime and the characteristics of specific types of crime. The complexity of crime as a problem is a central theme including addressing relatively under-addressed issues such as the criminalisation of certain groups, crimes committed by the state, organised crime and white collar crime.

Research Methods

This module is core for single honours students and optional for combined honours students.

This module addresses the purpose of research and highlights the ethical considerations important to high quality research. This is followed by a critical assessment of some of the key methods used, both quantitative and qualitative, for research design and generating and analysing criminological data.

Likely optional modules

Hate Crime

Introduces you to the concept of hate crime in its various forms including; race, religious, homophobic and disability hate crimes. The module examines the issues involved in hate crime and aims to develop your ability to identify relevant academic literature and to engage with the issues. There is particular reference to hate crime victimisation, legislation and the policing of hate crimes.

Media and Crime

Explores the relationship between media, crime and criminal justice. You will explore criminological theories related to media and develop an understanding of the significance of popular culture representations of crime and criminal justice within the public, political and cultural discourse.

Mental Health and Violence

This module gives you the opportunity to explore the relationship between mental health and violent crime, and how this is responded to by the criminal justice system and other institutions. You will learn about criminological and psychiatric research into the relationship between mental disorder and violent offending and the ideologies and practices that are central to the management and treatment of mentally disordered and violent offenders.

Year three

Core modules

Applications of Criminology

This module draws together knowledge and conceptual understanding from years one and two. It consists of a series of research-informed lectures designed to demonstrate the application of theory and research to our understanding of contemporary crime issues. It aims to enable you to apply a range of criminological theories methods and perspectives to in-depth examples of crime and criminal activity. It also explores the strengths and limitations of criminological research.

Youth Crime and Justice

Explores the changing discourses used to address the notion of youth, youth crime and justice. You will investigate contrasting media representations of youth crime and deviance and research in the area of youth offending. You will also explore the link between youth justice policy and legislation and the tension between different ideas about how youth crime should be approached and dealt with.

Individual Study (40 credits)

This module is core if you are a single honours student and optional if you are a student taking 80 credits in Applied Criminology. This module provides you with the opportunity to engage in in-depth study on a topic of your choice individually supervised by a member of the criminology team. It also provides an opportunity to apply your developing research skills and develop a critical appreciation of scholarship and methods of enquiry. There may also be an opportunity for you to undertake an empirical study (subject to achieving 60% plus in the Research Methods module).

Likely optional modules

Prisons and Penology

Examines the nature of prisons and their role in society. It focuses on the aims and objectives of the prison service set within a historical context. It looks at current debates about security, justice and control as well as the privatisation of prisons and prison performance. Central to these issues are questions about what prison is for and whether prison works.

Victims and Victimology

Examines sources of information about victims such as victim surveys, repeat victimisation and fear of crime. It covers theoretical perspectives including positivist, radical, critical and feminist approaches. It also looks at the place of the victim within the criminal justice system and how this has changed over time. It considers victim support initiatives and alternative forms of justice for victims.

Police Cultures and Societies

Explores the challenging notion of police culture and its effectiveness as a means of examining what police officers believe and how they act. It will look at how police culture has evolved through a number of stages and seek to explain the types of behaviour, the politicised dimensions of research into this area of study and the effectiveness of strategies used to transform occupational cultures within law enforcement agencies.

Crime in a Global Context

The aim of this module is to give you the opportunity to explore global criminological issues. You will be encouraged to consider the implications of globalisation on changing crime patterns. Issues included in this module are terrorism, war crimes, state crime, organised crime and human trafficking.

You will be encouraged to make the most of the volunteering and networking opportunities available throughout your degree course in order to enhance your employability. With the two strands of our criminology degree qualification including course specific and transferable skills, you will be provided with an excellent springboard to employment in occupations such as the police service, prison service, probation, charitable organisations and youth work. Further postgraduate study is also an option for Applied Criminology graduates.

“Just thought I'd say thanks! I can distinctly remember being an undergrad criminology student at Christ Church and thinking 'I want to publish something in the British Journal of Criminology someday' and now my first journal article is about to be published. I'll always be grateful for the wonderful teaching and enthusiasm, it really set me on my way.”

Thomas Rayman, graduate in Applied Criminology with Legal Studies, now PhD candidate


The 2017/18 annual tuition fees for this course are:

Full-time £9,250* £11,000**
Part-time £4,625 N/A

Tuition fees for all courses are payable on an annual basis, except where stated.

*Full-time courses which have a Foundation Year 0 will have a 2017/18 UK/EU tuition fee of £6,165 in Year 0.

**Tuition Fee Scholarship discounts of £1,500 are available to eligible overseas students. Visit the International webpages for further information.

Please read the 2017/18 Tuition Fee Statement for further information regarding 2017/18 tuition fees and year on year fee increases

Further information

Additional course costs

Although we aim to minimise any additional costs to students over and above the course tuition fee, there will be some additional costs which students are expected to meet.

Costs applicable to all students

Text books Own purchase text books
Travel to other sites Where travel to other sites is required, this will be payable by the student
Library Fees and Fines Where students fail to return loaned items within the required time they will be responsible for the cost of any Library Fees and Fines applicable
Printing & Photocopying The cost of printing and photocopying undertaken by students to support their individual learning are payable by the student
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire / photography are additional costs payable by the student

General principle policy

The University’s general principles policy for additional course fees are set out here

CategoryIncluded in the tuition feeAdditional cost to student
Field trips (including trips abroad and trips to museums, theatres, workshops etc) Yes, if the trip contributes to the course (whether it is part of an optional or compulsory module), but not including food and drink. Yes, if the trip is not an essential part of the course but is offered as an enhancement or enrichment activity, or for a student’s personal development.
Travel and accommodation costs for placements  No

Travel and accommodation costs for professional placements within the Education and Health & Wellbeing Faculties.

Travel and accommodation costs for other work placements. 
Text books No Own purchase text books.
DBS / Health checks No Yes
Professional Body registration No Yes
Travel to other sites (e.g. travel to swimming pool for lessons) No Yes
Clothing / Kit Yes, where the clothing / kit is essential for Health & Safety reasons. Yes, where the clothing is kept by the student and not essential for health and safety reasons.
Learning materials Essential learning materials (excluding text books) in connection with the course. Additional materials beyond the standard provision essential for the course or where the costs are determined by the student’s area of interest and the outputs are retained by the student.
Library fees and fines No Yes
Printing and photocopying No Yes
Social events No, unless the event forms an essential part of the course. Yes, unless the event forms an essential part of the course.
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire/ photography are additional costs payable by the student.

Our academic support in Applied Criminology has a 97% rating.

National Student Survey, 2015

Our Applied Criminology curriculum has been designed to provide a stimulating and supportive learning environment, which encourages you to progress from highly supported to autonomous learning. The aim is that you will be able to develop into a well-rounded professional able to respond and contribute to changing requirements in society at national and international levels.

We aim to provide creative and engaging teaching in order to foster a learning environment in which essential knowledge, values and skills in criminology are developed. By learning through research and inquiry-based approaches you will develop as a responsible and independent learner who can take a critical approach to knowledge and research and be motivated to engage in further study.

The emphasis is on creating a learning environment in which all students are recognised as having the potential to succeed, irrespective of their qualifications on entry to the course. This is achieved through recognising the social and cultural dimensions of learning, emphasising that learning is a partnership between teachers and students and ensuring that assessment and effective feedback is directly related to learning outcomes throughout the degree course.

Teaching methods include lectures, seminars and tutorials. Weekly lectures enable the efficient delivery of key themes and ideas and lend clarity to the structure of the topics studied. Imaginative and creative delivery of lecture material, including the use of diverse media sources, aims to inspire you to read and study further. Seminar discussions, usually provided within lecture sessions, provide interaction with staff and peers and the informed communication of ideas. This links with graduate communication skills and social working with others as well as emphasising the academic skills involved in private study.

Private study, involving reading and preparation for assessments will form the largest part of your studying time. One to one and small group tutorials are readily available to help to consolidate your understanding and focus on assessment issues and problem solving. You will also benefit from extensive use of the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) which allows for learning resources to be easily accessible and for dialogue with other students and staff.

Academic input

The criminology team consists of highly qualified academics with a range of expertise and experience. All members of our team hold doctoral and teaching qualifications and are research-active so that our students are taught by lecturers and senior lecturers qualified and experienced in delivering inspiring and research-informed teaching.

Examples of current academic staff include Dr Fahid Qurashi, whose research interests are in Islamophobia, hate crime and radicalisation. Dr Qurashi is module leader for Hate Crime and contributes lectures on terrorism and security studies to the course. Dr Qurashi has disseminated his research through a number of national and international knowledge exchange activities.

Dr Maryse Tennant is currently conducting research in prisons and is module leader for Prisons and Penology. Dr Tennant has presented research in the history of crime at conferences and published in academic journals.

Dr Dimitris Akrivos’ PhD research explored the media representation of suicide and currently teaches modules exploring the media and mental health. Dr Akrivos has presented his research on the media at national and international conferences. The research interests of other members of academic staff include bullying, cultural criminology, youth crime and transnational crime.

Criminology was ranked in the top 5 in the UK for Feedback.

The Guardian 2018 League

We use a variety of assessments designed to help you learn effectively and develop the skills needed for study and for employment. Typical assessments include essays, examinations, case studies, presentations (both in a group and individually), literature reviews and individual studies and extended essays. You will be expected to research assignments using library resources, including online resources and each module has a handbook with all the information needed to complete assignments including recommended readings.

We support your study through study skills sessions and we provide timely, helpful feed forward and feedback, with tutorial support as required, for assignments. This support addresses your individual needs in subject knowledge and understanding, study processes and skills development.

The Applied Criminology course adheres to and is guided by the Criminology Benchmark Statements, which define expectations as part of the UK Quality Code for Higher Education.


Full-time study

Apply via UCAS

Part-time study

Apply directly to us


Full-time study

Need some help?


For advice on completing your application please contact the Admissions Enquiry Team:

Tel:+44 (0)1227 782900


Contact our International Team

Fact file

UCAS code

  • M900 Applied Criminology

Institutional code

  • C10


  • 3 years full-time

    6 years part-time


  • September 2017

Entry requirements



More about

Print or share this page

Last edited: 24/08/2017 08:28:00