Criminal Justice and Criminology BA

Year of entry

2024 course information

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UCAS code
Start date
September 2023
Delivery type
On campus
3 years full time
Work placement
Study abroad
Typical A-level offer
AAB (specific subject requirements)
Typical Access to Leeds offer
Full entry requirements

Course overview

students studying in Liberty Building

Drawing on the world-leading research of the Centre for Criminal Justice Studies, this course will give you an advanced understanding of crime and its control.

You’ll explore the complex questions around why crime happens, how offenders should be dealt with and how crime can be prevented. You will examine the individual, social, legal and political forces that shape both crime and how it is controlled. In addition, you’ll study the workings of criminal justice agencies like the police, courts, prisons and probation as well as the private companies and voluntary groups who have increasing roles in offender management and crime prevention.

Core modules will give you a firm grounding in the substantive, methodological and theoretical components of criminology as well as related aspects of the disciplines of law, sociology and psychology. You will gain both the subject knowledge and research skills needed to understand and contribute to wider knowledge of crime and criminal justice. The course offers a range of optional modules to allow you to focus on topics that suit your interests and career ambitions.

Quantitative Research Methods (QRM) pathway

At the end of Year 2, you’ll have the opportunity to apply for a place on our BA Criminal Justice and Criminology with Quantitative Research Methods pathway. This pathway will help you develop advanced analytical skills, which are in high demand across the public, private, and third sectors. You will learn statistical analysis techniques and their application to real data (e.g. survey data, countries’ statistical data) using statistical software. You will also write a dissertation in which you will analyse quantitative data to examine questions about criminal justice or criminology.

You are not required to have done Mathematics at A level, this pathway is open to all students as long as you have attained an overall 2:1 in your second year, and a 2:1 in the Researching Crime and Criminal Justice module.

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Course details

Year 1 lays the foundations of your degree. You will explore crucial issues around how crime is defined, how it is measured and how key social issues impact upon it. You will also be introduced to main criminal justice institutions, and explore their main roles and values. You will develop the academic and research skills needed to study criminal justice at undergraduate level. By the end of year 1 you will be able to demonstrate a familiarity with the basic concepts, information, practical competencies and techniques which are standard features of the discipline.

Year 2 allows you to consolidate and extend what you have learned. You will build your understanding of criminological theory and, through learning about research methods, you will also gain valuable research skills and experiences. By the end of year 2 you will be able to apply generic and subject specific intellectual qualities to standard situations outside the context in which they were originally studied. You will also be able to appreciate and employ the main methods of enquiry in the subject and critically evaluate the appropriateness of different methods of enquiry.

In Year 3, you will build on the knowledge and skills acquired in year 1 and 2 to study Criminology and Criminal Justice in more depth. You will apply your knowledge and understanding in order to initiate and carry out an extended piece of work or project, making make appropriate use of scholarly reviews and primary sources. By the end of year 3 you will understand and demonstrate coherent and detailed subject knowledge and professional competencies, some of which will be informed by recent research/scholarship in the discipline.

Course structure

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.

For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Criminal Justice and Criminology BA in the course catalogue

Year 1 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Introduction to Criminal Justice 20
Criminal Justice Study Skills 10
Understanding Crime 20
Introduction to Criminal Law 20
Crime, Inequality and Social Issues 20
Forensic Psychology 10
Sociology of Modern Societies 20

Year 2 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Criminology: Theories and Concepts 20
Transnational and Comparative Criminology 20
Crime Prevention and Crime Science 20
Researching Crime and Criminal Justice (for undergraduates) 20

Year 2 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

You will choose 20 to 40 credits of optional modules in the school.

Module Name Credits
State of Emergency: Social science and the COVID-19 pandemic 20
International Human Rights Law 20
International Law 20
Youth Crime and Justice 20
Debates in Childhood and Youth 20
The Sociology of Culture 20

Year 2 discovery modules

Depending on the number of optional modules selected, you may also choose up to 20 credits of discovery modules.

Year 3 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Long Dissertation (Criminal Justice and Criminology) 40
Penology 20
Policing 20

Year 3 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

You will choose 20 to 40 credits of optional modules in the school.

Module Name Credits
State of Emergency: Social science and the COVID-19 pandemic 20
Cyberlaw: Law and the Regulation of the Information Society 20
Disability Law 20
Evidence 20
Gender and the Law 20
Crime, Law and Social Change: Crime and Criminal Justice in Historical Perspective 20
Disability and Development 20
State Crime and Immorality 20
Global Terrorism and Violence 20
Gender, Technologies and the Body 20

Year 3 discovery modules

Depending on the number of optional modules selected, you may also choose up to 20 credits of discovery modules.

Discovery modules

Throughout your degree you will benefit from a range of opportunities to expand your intellectual horizons outside or within your subject area.

This course gives you the opportunity to choose from a range of discovery modules. They’re a great way to tailor your study around your interests or career aspirations and help you stand out from the crowd when you graduate. Find out more about discovery modules on our Broadening webpages.

Learning and teaching

We use a wide range of learning and teaching methods, including lectures, seminars and workshops. These are complimented with learning resources on our virtual learning platform Minerva. There will also be opportunities to hear guest speakers from local criminal institutions and visit criminal justice agencies.

Independent learning is the basis of the course and you will spend much of your time reading around and researching the topics covered in your modules. We help you to develop academic skills throughout the course, and the University Library has extensive collections on Criminal Justice and Criminology that form a fantastic resource for your work.

On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.


Modules are assessed using various methods including individual coursework, group work, exams and research-based activities. Many assessments offer students choice providing opportunities to be assessed on topics of interest to them. The assessments offer students the opportunity to develop key transferable skills, including critical thinking, information gathering, academic writing, oral communication, analysis and evaluation.

Entry requirements

A-level: AAB excluding General Studies and Critical Thinking.

Two of your A-levels must be in traditional academic subjects. Please see our accepted subjects document to check your subjects.

If your choice of A-level subjects has been constrained by factors outside your control (such as if your school or college did not offer certain subjects), please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office to discuss your application.

Alternative offers will not be made for applicants taking the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) alongside A-levels.

GCSE: grade 5/B or above in English Language, or an appropriate English language qualification.

Alternative qualification

Access to HE Diploma

Complete 60 credits with 45 level 3 credits at Distinction Grade.



Cambridge Pre-U


International Baccalaureate

35 overall (6,5,5 higher).

Irish Leaving Certificate (higher Level)


Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

AAAAB overall (AB at advanced level).


We will consider T levels in appropriate subjects as they become available. In all cases applicants should have GCSE English at 4 or above.

Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the School’s Undergraduate Admissions Team.

Alternative entry

We’re committed to identifying the best possible applicants, regardless of personal circumstances or background.

Access to Leeds is an alternative admissions scheme which accepts applications from individuals who might be from low income households, in the first generation of their immediate family to apply to higher education, or have had their studies disrupted.

Find out more about Access to Leeds and alternative admissions.

Typical Access to Leeds offer:

If you do not have the formal qualifications for immediate entry to one of our degrees, we offer a foundation year for UK students who meet specific widening participation criteria. Learn more about the BA Social Science (foundation year).

Pathways to Law

Pathways to Law provides opportunities for students from state schools in England who are interested in a career in law and who will be the first generation of their family to go to university. It offers support to students from under-represented backgrounds throughout years 12 and 13 and into university. Find out more about Pathways to Law.


We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. For information contact the School of Law Undergraduate Admissions Team.

International foundation year

If you have the ability to study for a degree but don’t have the qualifications to enter directly to level one, you might consider studying a foundation year. We have formal links with the following foundation year programmes:

If you are applying from an alternative foundation year provider, please contact our admissions team to find out if your qualification is suitable for entry to our courses.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English
If you're an international student and you don't meet the English language requirements for this programme, you may be able to study our undergraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.


UK: £9,250 (per year)

International: £22,250 (per year)

Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2023/24 and 2024/25
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students are set by the UK Government and will remain capped at £9,250 for 2023/24 and 2024/25. The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation only as a consequence of future changes in Government legislation and as permitted by law.

Tuition fees for international undergraduate students starting in 2023/24 and 2024/25
Tuition fees for international students for 2023/24 and 2024/25 are available on individual course pages.

Tuition fees for a study abroad or work placement year
If you take a study abroad or work placement year, you’ll pay a reduced tuition fee during this period. For more information, see Study abroad and work placement tuition fees and loans.

Read more about paying fees and charges.

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more in our Undergraduate funding overview.


Apply to this course through UCAS. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.

We typically receive a high number of applications for this course. To ensure we treat all applications fairly and equitably, we review applications after the UCAS deadline before making a final decision. All applications received before the UCAS deadline are guaranteed equal consideration. Please see our Admissions Guidance page for more details as well as advice on personal statements.

International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK students. Our network of international representatives can help you with your application. If you’re unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Admissions policy

University of Leeds Taught Admissions Policy 2024

This course is taught by

School of Law

Contact us

School of Law Admissions Team


Career opportunities

This flexible degree will equip you with valuable subject knowledge and a wide range of transferable skills. It lends itself to careers in criminal justice, such as the police, prison or probation services, or as researchers in this area. Many of our graduates pursue postgraduate study in related fields.

We also see students pursue a wide range of careers, from the Civil Service to the media.

As a student in the School of Law we will provide you with a host of opportunities to help boost your career prospects; from developing skills in negotiating, hearing from prospective employers at specialist talks or career fairs or taking part in career mentoring. The support you will receive at the School of Law will help you kickstart your career, whether in criminal justice or another field.

Careers support

In the School of Law, we offer a range of careers support including criminal justice career and volunteering events and talks by prospective employers. We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

Leeds for Life is our unique approach to helping you make the most of University by supporting your academic and personal development. Find out more at the Leeds for Life website.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.

Study abroad and work placements

Study abroad

On this course you have the opportunity to apply to spend time abroad, usually as an extra academic year after your 2nd year of study. The University has partnerships with more than 300 universities worldwide and popular destinations for our students include Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Africa and Latin America.

Studying criminal justice and criminology in a different jurisdiction will provide you with a new perspective on your studies, as well as gaining an insight into life in another country with new social and cultural experiences.

Read more about Study Year Abroad.

Work placements

Practical work experience can help you decide on your career and improve your employability. On this course you have the option to apply to take a placement year module with organisations across the public, private and voluntary sectors in the UK, or overseas. The placement year take place after your 2nd year of study.

You can find out more about work experience on the Careers website.

Student profile: Heather Bradbury

Lecturers are approachable and extremely helpful, they often attend CrimSoc socials and always reply to emails. There’s mutual respect and the staff’s main priority is that students achieve their best
Find out more about Heather Bradbury's time at Leeds