A man wearing a black hoodie spraying graffiti on a wall in an abandoned house.

BA(Hons) Criminology and Sociology (with Foundation Year)

Entry year
Course code
School of Social Sciences
Tariff points
Four years full-time; five years sandwich; part-time
Full-time; sandwich; part-time
Programme leader
Dr Darren Ellis

Clearing applicants who do not meet the standard requirements as specified on the Entry tab may be considered.

Please call our Clearing helpline on +44 (0)117 32 83333 for further advice or you can apply online.

Page last updated 10 July 2024


Get to the heart of real-world issues relating to crime and justice while developing your own insights and ideas to help improve people's lives.

Why study criminology and sociology?

Studying the relationship of people and society, with crime and justice, gives us a better understanding of what shapes people's behaviour, beliefs and attitudes.

By looking at the cultural, political, economic and human factors involved, we can look for more effective ways to tackle criminal behaviour and reduce its impact on individuals and society.

The knowledge base and skills these subjects give you will set you up strongly for many different career paths.

Why UWE Bristol?

BA(Hons) Criminology and Sociology (with Foundation Year) lets you devote an equal amount of time to studying these two related subjects.

Through a broad mix of modules, and the support of our staff who are leaders in their field, you'll engage with real issues, and develop fresh insights and solutions to address crime and support the people affected by it.

Learn to evaluate evidence, approach issues from multiple perspectives, and build your expertise in research, analysis and communication.

You'll carry out your own research projects, hear from guest speakers, and take part in work-based learning through our links with organisations such as the Bristol Youth Education Service, Gloucester Community Services and Avon and Somerset police.

Activities such as volunteering, placements and internships will deepen your professional skills and knowledge further, to make you highly sought after when you graduate.

Where can it take me?

The broad skills and industry-focused experience you'll gain will make you attractive to a wide range of employers.

You could pursue a career in research, education, social work, charity work and counselling, or work in the justice, legal or media sectors.

You could also keep studying, and go on to do a postgraduate course or research degree.



The optional modules listed are those that are most likely to be available, but they may be subject to change.

Year zero (Foundation year)

All Foundation Year students study together and will take four compulsory modules covering introductions to Sociology, Criminology, Philosophy, Politics and International Relations, Psychology, and university level academic and study skills.

This will ensure that you have the necessary grounding across all the social science disciplines, enabling you to develop a range of perspectives that will enrich your learning at Year one and beyond.

You'll study:

  • Essentials of Academic Practice
  • Exploring the Social World and the Problems of Crime
  • From Plato to Nato
  • People and Social Science.

You normally need to pass your foundation year before going into Year one.

Year one

You'll study:

  • Foundations in Social Theory
  • Introduction to Criminological Theory
  • Critical Thinking (Sociology and Criminology)
  • Sociological Practice - Becoming a Social Scientist*
  • Introduction to Criminal Justice
  • Understanding Crime.

*Accredited by the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM).

Year two

You'll study:

  • Theorising Social Life
  • Nature and Use of Research (Sociology) or Nature and Use of Research (Criminology)
  • Developing Self and Society (Sociology) or Criminology in Action:Engaging in the Real World
  • Contemporary Perspectives in Criminology.

Plus, up to two optional module from (indicative titles as follows):

  • Gender and Society
  • Criminal Psychology
  • Angels or Demons?: Understanding and Managing Youth Offending
  • Drugs, Crime and Society
  • Prisons
  • Crime, Media and Culture
  • Difference': 'Race', Ethnicity and Diversity in Contemporary Society
  • Contemporary Issues in Policing
  • Beliefs and Society
  • Crime Prevention
  • Mental Health, Crime and Criminal Justice
  • Transgression.

Placement year (if applicable)

If you study on the four-year (sandwich) course, you'll spend a year away from the University on a work or study placement after Year two.

Depending on which you choose, you'll either complete a placement learning or learning and development module.

See the Placements and Fees sections for more information.

Final year

You'll study:

  • Social Project and Placement Module or Criminology Project or Criminology Partnership Project
  • Transnational Crime and Comparitive Criminology.

Plus, optional module criminology or sociology options:

  • Protest, Policing and Public Order.

Plus, optional sociology modules from (the number depending on credit requirements) (indicative titles as follows):

  • Stop, Look, Listen! A Sociology of Culture
  • Childhood Disorder and Disordered Childhood
  • Seeing and Society: Applied Visual Sociology
  • Digital Media and Society
  • Contemporary Critiques of Modern Society
  • Sustainable Futures: Environment and Society in an Age of Crisis
  • Family Problems - Problem Families: Psycho-Social Perspectives on Domestic and Community Life
  • Psychoanalysis, Society and the Irrational
  • Religion and Society
  • The Sociology of Madness and Mental Disorders.

Or optional criminology modules from (the number depending on credit requirements) (indicative titles as follows):

  • Terrorism: History, Myths and Policy
  • Victims and Victimology
  • Risk and Risk Management
  • Punishment and Human Rights
  • Hate Crimes: Offending, Victimisation and Policing
  • Gender, Sex and Social Control
  • Illegal Drugs: Problems, Markets and Policy
  • Green Criminology: Environment, Crime and Justice
  • Missing People: Lost Identities and Social Harm
  • Organised Crime.

This structure is for full-time students only. Part-time students study the same modules but the delivery pattern will be different.

The University continually enhances our offer by responding to feedback from our students and other stakeholders, ensuring the curriculum is kept up to date and our graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need for the real world. This may result in changes to the course. If changes to your course are approved, we'll inform you.

Learning and Teaching

Learn through a balanced mix of lectures, seminars, workshops, online tutorials, media presentations, project work and reflective diaries.

Work with experienced and enthusiastic academics who are leaders in their field and incorporate their research into their teaching, to give you access to the latest ideas.

Attend regular presentations from visiting practitioners and guest lecturers so you can learn about industry challenges and best practice.

Carry out your own criminological research, focusing on real-world issues that link into your future career.

You'll learn how to think critically, interpret data and evaluate evidence, as well as developing skills in report writing, argumentation and making balanced judgements.

We offer modules that differ in learning approach, so you can choose those that match your style.

Your tutors will be on hand to support you, and you'll have your own personal academic tutor, as a mentor and guide.

See our full glossary of learning and teaching terms.

Approximate percentage of time you'll spend in different learning activities*:

YearScheduled learning and teaching studyIndependent studyPlacement study

*Calculated from compulsory and optional modules (where applicable) each year

Community and public projects

Benefit from our close links with local schools, to take part in education-focused projects, apply your knowledge and engage with the local community.

Get involved in our Social Science in the City series of events, which engage the public in research and ideas being pursued across the University.

Study time

During your degree, you'll have at least 12 hours of teaching and related activities each week.


We'll assess you using essays, seminar presentations, timed assignments, group and individual projects, web-based assignments, formal unseen exams, seen exams, computer-based conferencing, timed assignments, literature reviews, and group and individual projects.

Learn more about assessments.

Approximate percentage of marks awarded by each assessment method*:

YearWritten exam assessmentCoursework assessmentPractical exam assessment

*Calculated from compulsory and optional modules (where applicable) each year



Students who go on work experience tend to graduate with better degrees. Experience also hones your skills, industry knowledge and professional network, making you a sought after graduate.

We have links with lots of organisations. Past students have worked with organisations including the Alzheimer's Society, Avon and Somerset Police Service, Bristol Fair Trade Network, Bristol Refugee Rights, Tamarind Grove, Lifeskills Centre and The Big Issue.

We also offer volunteering and other work-based experiences, to deepen your knowledge and skills.

You'll get help to find a placement and support throughout from staff within the School and our award-winning careers service.

Study year abroad 

You'll also have opportunities to study overseas on courses that are taught in English and are relevant to your degree. The study year abroad is not a paid placement. 

Study facilities

Learn in our modern, well-equipped facilities within the School, including our university library, open 24 hours a day, which has spaces for silent and group study and rooms you can book. 

You'll have use of books, trade press, academic journals, and industry databases both on and off campus.

Learn more about UWE Bristol's facilities and resources.

Take a Virtual Tour of the Psychology, Sociology and Criminology facilities and see what's on offer here for you.



An excellent range of options for all of the Bristol campuses and the city centre.


A stunning city for student living with all the qualities to make you want to stay.

Sports, societies and activities

There is more to your experience here than study. Choose to make the most of it and try new things.

Health and Wellbeing

We provide support in the way you need it.

Campus and facilities

Discover our campuses and the wealth of facilities provided for our students.


Careers / Further study

BA(Hons) in Criminology and Sociology gives you an understanding of people, society and social groups that will equip you to make a valuable contribution whatever career you choose.

Our graduates are in demand by employers for their understanding of individuals, social institutions and processes. And their research, IT literacy and numeracy skills.

Many choose to work in the public sector in local or central government, the civil service, healthcare, the justice service or education. Others go into journalism, politics, public relations or HR.

You could also go on to postgraduate study or a research degree.

Get inspired

Our award-winning careers service will develop your employment potential through career coaching and find you graduate jobs, placements and global opportunities.

We can also help find local volunteering and community opportunities, provide support for entrepreneurial activity and get you access to employer events.

Visit our employability pages to learn more about careers, employers and what our students are doing six months after graduating.


Supplementary fee information

Your overall entitlement to funding is based on how long the course is that you're registered on. Standard funding is allocated based on the standard number of years that your course lasts, plus one additional year.

You'll apply for funding each year that you study and Student Finance will take into account how long the course is in each year that you apply. So if you register for the five year course and then transfer to the four year course, the number of years you can apply for funding will change. Student Finance will reassess your funding based on how many years you have been in study, not just those years for which you received student finance.

Always seek advice before taking any action that may have implications for your funding.

Learn more about funding.

Additional costs

This refers to items you could need during your studies that aren't covered by the standard tuition fee. These could be materials, textbooks, travel, clothing, software or printing.

Learn more about costs.


Typical offers

  • Tariff points: 48
  • Contextual tariff: See our contextual offers page.
  • GCSE: Grade C/4 in English and Mathematics, or equivalent.
  • English Language Requirement:

    International and EU applicants are required to have a minimum overall IELTS (Academic) score of 6.0 with 5.5 in each component (or approved equivalent*).*The university accepts a large number of UK and International Qualifications in place of IELTS. You can find details of acceptable tests and the required grades you will need in our English Language section. Please visit our English language requirements page.

  • A-level subjects: No specific subjects required.
  • EDEXCEL (BTEC) Diploma: No specific subjects required.

    For information on required Guided Learning Hours please see our minimum entry requirements page.

  • Access: No specific subjects required.
  • Baccalaureate IB: No specific subjects required.
  • Irish Highers: No specific subjects required.
  • T Levels: No specific subjects required.

Entry requirements

If you exceed the entry requirements you may be eligible for BA(Hons) Criminology and Sociology.

International applicants

If you are an international student your recommended route of study for this degree is through our International College, which upon successful completion to the required level and with good attendance, guarantees entry to Year one of the degree.

Read more about entry requirements.

How to apply

Read more about undergraduate applications.

For further information


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