BSc Criminology provides students with an understanding of crime and related social harms and the analysis of public policy interventions that contribute towards a safer society.

You will be introduced to a range of topics, including gender-based violence, youth justice, segregation and inequality, migration, drugs, globalisation and harm, as well as corporate and state harm.

You can choose to study criminology as a three-year degree, as a four-year degree course with a year spent studying at an overseas university, or you can pair your course with studies in quantitative research methods.

Why study Criminology at Bristol?

Criminology at the University of Bristol is located in the School for Policy Studies, ranked second in the UK social policy subject area by the Guardian University Guide 2020.

Units are delivered by a team of internationally renowned academics who share their collective expertise in policy-making, the policy process and policy evaluation relating to crime and social harm.

Global and comparative perspectives inform many of our units to ensure that you receive a broad appreciation of the international dimensions to criminology. Where possible, we make links between academic enquiry and practice, for example by organising visits to the criminal courts and inviting practitioners to visit the University to speak.

You will be joining a friendly department that provides a supportive environment in which you are encouraged to flourish as an independent, active learner. You will be taught by lecturers who are passionate about their subjects and who use their research to inform their teaching, meaning your study is relevant and up-to-date.

Download the Criminology leaflet (PDF, 163kB)

What kind of student would this course suit?

The inter- and multi-disciplinary nature of our criminology degrees makes them ideal for students who want to develop a broad and holistic understanding of crime and related social harms. They would suit anyone who has interest in understanding these social phenomena and how public policies and other interventions can make society safer.

Our criminology courses provide an ideal platform for anyone wishing to pursue a career in criminal justice or the legal system.

How is this course taught and assessed?

Teaching methods include traditional lectures, interactive lectures, classes or seminars, tutorials and clinics. You will develop transferable skills through working with others in small groups and giving presentations.

Our Work and Work Placement unit offers the opportunity to gain real-life experience in criminal justice agencies and a range of organisations, working with offenders or victims.

We place a strong emphasis on the role of assessment and feedback in helping you develop through your study. Every unit includes both formative and summative assessment. Methods of assessment include unseen examinations, extended essays and structured written assignments. The 10,000-word dissertation offers the opportunity to conduct a piece of research independently with the support of an academic supervisor.

What are my career prospects?

There are a wide variety of career options for criminology graduates. You may choose a vocational career, entering careers in law, the prison service, youth work or social work. Alternatively, you may use the skills you have developed in business, human resources or the finance sector. You may also progress to further study.

Find out more about what our students do after graduating.


Important disclaimer information about our courses.

Every day my inbox is flooded with opportunities – internships, research projects, extra-curricular activities – all of which are the University getting students involved. The University is constantly updating its facilities, which reinforces its friendly and inclusive environment.

Alexandra (LLB Law)

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