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

A Criminology and Law degree student holding a criminology and law textbook
Entry year
Course code
Bristol Law School
Tariff points
Four years full-time; five years sandwich
Full-time; sandwich
Programme leader
Deborah Kinnear

This course is open for applications

Page last updated 12 May 2023


Get access to advanced computing systems, laboratories, mock courtrooms and simulations that give you real-world experience to succeed in your career.

Why study criminology and law?

Studying criminology gives you a deep understanding of offending and victimisation and the realities of societies' responses to crime. This knowledge both complements and critically contextualises the study of the laws through which criminal justice is applied. You'll develop an understanding of how law is applied, which will benefit you whether you wish to practise criminal law or work in the criminal justice system.

Why UWE Bristol?

BA(Hons) Criminology and Law allows you to explore modules spanning criminal justice, such as criminal law, crime patterns, policing, media, youth, drugs, terrorism, serious offending and penology. You'll gain a solid grounding in criminological research methods and practice plus you'll develop valuable legal skills such as mooting and negotiating.

Our course gives you real-world insight and you'll develop professional abilities through community engagement and work-based learning. You'll study law and criminology equally in your first year and then have the option to change to a major in law or criminology from Year two.

Where can it take me?

If you decide to specialise in law by studying our LLB(Hons) Law with Criminology, it'll provide a good foundation for those students who go on to sit the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE).

For those students who aspire to be barristers, our LLB(Hons) Law with Business includes the core subjects which you'll need to satisfy the academic stage of training before studying the Bar Training Course (BTC).

As a full service Law School, you can study the LLM/PGDip Bar Training Course (BTC), PGDip Bar Training Course (BTC) (two part), PGDip/PGCert Solicitors Training Course (SQE prep) and LLM/PGDip Solicitors Training Course (SQE Prep) with us at UWE Bristol.



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

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

Year zero (foundation year)

You will study:

  • Becoming a Professional
  • Introduction to Organisation, Enterprise and Management 
  • Economics and Accounting for the Real World
  • Introduction to Law in a Social, Business and Global Context.

Year one

You will study the following law modules:

  • Criminal Law
  • Foundations for Law.

Plus, the following criminology modules:

  • Introduction to Criminal Justice
  • Introduction to Criminological Theory
  • Understanding Crime. 

After Year one, you can continue to study BA(Hons) Criminology and Law, or change to LLB(Hons) Law with Criminology or BA(Hons) Criminology with Law.

If you decide to change to LLB(Hons) Law with Criminology or BA(Hons) Criminology with Law, the course structure will differ from the one below, as some of the modules will be different. For further information, please contact the programme leader.

Year two

You will study:

  • Criminology in Action: Engaging in the Real World
  • Nature and Use of Research (Criminology).

Plus, two optional law modules from:

  • Criminal Procedure and Punishment
  • Cyberlaw
  • Forensic Evidence
  • Land Law
  • Law of Torts
  • Migration Law and Policy
  • Sexual Offences and Offending: Criminal Justice Responses.

And optional criminology modules (the number depending on credit requirements) from:

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

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 placement after Year two.

You will complete a placement learning module.

See the Placements and Fees sections for more information.

Final year

You will study:

  • Transnational Crime and Comparative Criminology
  • Law Project*.

Plus, optional law modules (the number depending on credit requirement) from:

  • Criminal Justice
  • European Human Rights
  • European Union Law
  • Family Law
  • Gender and the Law
  • Law of Evidence
  • Law of Financial Crime and Regulation
  • Layering in Practice
  • Medical Law and Practice.

And optional criminology modules (the number depending on credit requirement) from:

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

*You'll only study this module if you've completed the placement year.

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 will inform you.

Learning and Teaching

Our student-centred learning approach supports you to develop the skills you need to have a successful legal career. Our modules take different learning approaches, so you can choose those that match your style best. After Year one, you can continue to study criminology and law combined, or change to LLB(Hons) Law with Criminology or BA(Hons) Criminology with Law.

You'll be allocated an academic personal tutor who will support you academically throughout your degree.

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.

See our full glossary of learning and teaching terms.

Study time

During your degree, you'll have 12 hours of teaching with a lecturer each week. If you choose to do a dissertation, you'll get another nine hours of classes, as well as individual contact with the staff member supervising the module. In Year one and Year two, you'll receive one hour of peer assisted learning (PAL) each week. 

All students can access the Academic Success Centre (ASC) for workshops and one-to-one sessions with tutors.


You'll be assessed using problem and essay questions, exams, research-based assessments, reflection on skills acquisition, report writing, portfolio submissions and presentations.

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

Learn more about assessments.



We encourage you to do a 40-week paid work placement in the UK or overseas, supported by an award-winning placement team. You'll gain valuable real-world experience, develop key skills and increase your employability on graduation.

If you choose the four year (sandwich) course, you'll spend a year away from the University on a work placement after Year two. In addition to this you can study the final year 'Law in Action' module where you'll gain experience in a local law firm or voluntary organisation for one day a week. Previous students have worked with Bristol Law CentreWatkins SolicitorsRed Cross, Death Row, Citizens Advice and local schools.


Field trips are an important part of your studies, particularly our annual visit to Lincoln's Inn where you'll dine in court with barristers and judges and learn more about this exciting career. Other study visits include the Houses of Parliament, European Court of Justice, World Trade Organisation and magic circle law firms.

Study facilities

You'll study in our £55m Bristol Business School building, where you'll have access to modern learning spaces, including a dedicated law resource room. Mock courtrooms help you practise legal submissions, take part in recorded mock trials and gain experience of being in court.

Practical criminology sessions are held in our well-equipped teaching laboratory, where technicians show you how to use advanced computing systems, statistical software and analytic instrumentation.

In our specialist library, you can access books, trade press, academic journals, and industry databases both on and off campus.

Learn more about UWE Bristol's facilities and resources.

Pro Bono Unit

You'll have opportunities to engage in Pro Bono work, where you'll volunteer to help the local community.

Supervised by academics and practitioners, you'll work on cases and provide legal advice through projects such as The Innocence Project, Elderlaw, the UWE Street Law Programme and schools mentoring scheme.

Get a feel for the Psychology, Sociology and Criminology facilities we have on offer here from wherever you are.

Pro Bono Unit

You'll have opportunities to engage in Pro Bono work through your degree, volunteering your time to help the local community.

Supervised by academics and practitioners, you'll work on cases and provide legal advice through projects such as The Innocence Project, Elderlaw, the UWE Bristol Street Law Programme and schools mentoring scheme.



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

Criminology and Law students are highly valued by employers due to their broad skillset and knowledge base. This degree combination leads naturally to a career in criminal law. If you major in law, you could pursue a career as a solicitor, barrister, legal adviser, legal executive or paralegal. You could also begin a career in HR, finance, teaching, advice and charity work or the public sector.

Many students train as a barrister or solicitor through the LLM/PGDip Bar Training Course (BTC), PGDip Bar Training Course (BTC) (two part), PGDip/PGCert Solicitors Training Course (SQE prep) or LLM/PGDip Solicitors Training Course (SQE Prep) or undertake one of our LLMs. If you major in criminology, you could go into research, education, social work, counselling, charity work and healthcare. There are also opportunities with the police, prison and court services, as well as the legal sector.

Get inspired

Our award-winning Careers Service helps you develop your employment potential through career coaching, a vacancy service for internships, placements, jobs, global opportunities, volunteering and community activity plus support for entrepreneurial activity, and access to employer events.

Learn more about our graduate destinations.


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 Literature or Language and Mathematics, or equivalent. We do not accept Level 2 Key Skills, Functional Skills or Certificates in Adult Numeracy and Literacy as alternatives to GCSEs.
  • 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 Law.

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.

Read more about international applications and key international deadline dates.

For further information


UWE Main Campus

You may also be interested in