BSc (Hons) Criminology and Criminal Justice

If you’re interested in studying crime, criminality, victimisation and the criminal justice system, the BSc (Hons) Criminology and Criminal Justice is for you. You will develop a critical awareness of theory and practice in criminology, and understand the social context of crime and how it is managed. You will also learn how agencies operate within the criminal justice system.

We have strong links with criminal justice agencies and offer modules that reflect the current nature of this subject, often inviting guest speakers to talk to you about their work. As well as volunteering opportunities, you can complete a work placement module, which could help you secure employment when you graduate.

Find us on Twitter @USWCriminology

2021/22 update: Blended learning approach for USW courses.

[Update excludes online-only courses].

The wellbeing and health and safety of our students and staff is paramount to us. We are committed to delivering all of our courses and services as safely as possible. Due to the pandemic, the methods and activities adopted for the coming year may differ from those previously published and may be subject to further change through the course of your study if such change is necessary due to public health concerns, health and safety guidance or in response to Government Guidelines. USW is committed to providing you with a fantastic student experience and a wealth of support, and you can hear how students have benefitted from this approach here: Learn more about blended learning.

UCAS Code Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
M901 Full-time 3 Years September Treforest A
UCAS Code Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
M901 Full-time 3 Years September Treforest A

Year One: Criminology Degree

  • Researching Crime and Justice I
  • Understanding Criminal Justice
  • Criminological Theory
  • Understanding Crime, Victims and Society
  • Contemporary Crime
  • Crime, Vice and Lowlife in the Nineteenth Century

Year Two: Criminology Degree

  • Policing
  • Riots, Protest and Public Disorder
  • Researching Crime and Justice II
  • Contemporary Issues in Substance Misuse
  • Professional Practice 
  • Penology: Punishment, Prisons and Offender Management

Year Three: Criminology Degree

You will study:

  • Understanding Homicide
  • Comparative Criminology

You will also have the opportunity to choose optional modules from the below:

  • Critical Issues in Criminal Investigations
  • Terrorism, Security and the War on Terror
  • Women and Criminal Justice
  • Contemporary Issues in Youth and Crime
  • Dissertation

Foundation Year

The BSc (Hons) Criminology and Criminal Justice is also available as a four year course including an integrated foundation year, and is designed for students who do not currently meet admissions criteria for direct entry onto the degree. You will start by completing a foundation year, which provides well structured support, allowing you to develop your skills and knowledge before continuing onto the three year degree programme.For more information please email [email protected] 


Subject to revalidation from 2021
This course is subject to revalidation, this means it is under review as part of the University’s standard quality assurance and enhancement processes. Course and module content is indicative and may change through the revalidation process. As soon as the course is revalidated, the details will be confirmed and published on the University website.
In the unlikely event the course does not go ahead as planned, or is significantly amended, we will write to inform you. If this happens, we’ll help you to find a suitable alternative course either at USW or at another provider.


Most modules involve a combination of lectures and discussion-based or practical seminars, which will develop your ability to form arguments and tackle specific problems. You will also complete reading, library and topic-related research, project work, and preparation for presentations.

We have expert practitioner guest speakers and encourage students to attend British Society of Criminology (Wales and West) branch talks. 

Research-informed teaching

The Centre for Criminology has a long history of research on the probation service and custodial institutions, and related topics such as the rehabilitation and resettlement of offenders, effectiveness and accountability in policy and practice, inter-agency partnerships and relationships between the criminal justice system, the Third Sector and the UK and Welsh governments. It also conducts high-quality research into the use of drugs and alcohol, violence and homicide, and criminal investigation.


You will usually have to complete coursework as you progress, and normally sit exams at the end of each academic year.


The University also offers a work experience placement module to help to enhance your employability which could include opportunities through a range of voluntary and statutory criminal justice agencies.


Featured Lecturer:
Dr Cheryl Allsop

Dr Cheryl Allsop

Dr Cheryl Allsop's research focuses on cold case investigations, missing people investigations, vulnerable missing people, no-body murders and unidentified found remains. She leads the USW Innocence Project and the USW Cold Case Unit, working with and on behalf of the families of the missing. Dr Allsop is the author of Cold Case Reviews: DNA, Detective Work and Unsolved Major Crimes which analyses how long-term unsolved murders and unsolved stranger rapes are investigated years after the crimes were committed. The book examines how and why cold case investigations have become an established component of police investigative practice, the role of specialist expertise used, in particular DNA profiling techniques and technologies, and the investigative skills required to finally detect cold cases. The book is based on original fieldwork with one major crime review team as they investigated cold case murders and cold case stranger rapes. 

The entry criteria below shows the qualification range within which the University will make offers. Most offers we make are at the top of the range, but we take all aspects of an application into consideration and applicants receive a personalised offer. Combinations of qualifications are acceptable and other qualifications not listed here may also be acceptable.

Typical A-Level Offer

BCC - CDD (this is equivalent to 104-80 UCAS tariff points).

Typical Welsh BACC Offer

Pass the Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate Diploma with Grade C/D in the Skills Challenge Certificate and BC - CD at A Level (this is equivalent to 104-80 UCAS tariff points).

Typical BTEC Offer

BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction Merit Merit - Merit Merit Pass (this is equivalent to 112-80 UCAS tariff points).

Typical IB Offer

Pass the International Baccalaureate Diploma with a minimum score of 29 overall including 5 or above in English at standard level

Typical Access to HE Offer

Pass the Access to HE Diploma and obtain a minimum of 80 UCAS tariff points.

Additional Requirements

GCSEs: The University normally requires a minimum 5 GCSEs including Mathematics/Numeracy and English at Grade C or Grade 4 or above, or their equivalent, but consideration is given to individual circumstances. 

International Entry Requirements

We also welcome international applications with equivalent qualifications. Please visit the country specific pages on our international website for exact details.

English Requirements

In general, international applicants will need to have achieved an overall IELTS grade of 6.0 with a minimum score of 5.5 in each component.

However, if you have previously studied through the medium of English IELTS might not be required, but please visit the country specific page on our international website for exact details. If your country is not featured please contact us.

Full-time fees are per year. Part-time fees are per 20 credits. Once enrolled, the fee will remain at the same rate throughout the duration of your study on this course.

Find out how to pay your tuition fees in full or by payment plan.

This course is eligible under the Enhanced Learning Credits scheme for Ex-Armed Forces personnel.

International Scholarships are available for self-funding international students.

August 2021 - July 2022 Fees

  • Full-time UK:  £9000

  • Full-time International:  £13800 

August 2022 - July 2023 Fees

  • Full-time UK: TBC

  • Full-time International: TBC

Additional Costs

Students have access to a wide range of resources including textbooks, publications, and computers in the University’s library and via online resources. In most cases they are more than sufficient to complete a course of study. Where there are additional costs, either obligatory or optional, these are detailed below. Of course students may choose to purchase their own additional personal resources/tools over and above those listed to support their studies at their own expense. All stationery and printing costs are at a student’s own expense.

* Obligatory

Item Cost
DBS £53.20
For 2nd year students electing to do the Professional Practice module where their placement requires it. The fee covers the cost of the enhanced check, online admin fees and the post office checks.
Placement expenses: work placement £0 - £300
2nd year students can undertake a period of work placement if they take the Professional Practice module. Students undertaking placement may incur costs associated with travel and expected workplace attire will vary according to the placement.
Other : Text books £0 - £200
Text books will be available in the library, but students may wish to purchase their own copies.

UK and EU students

Apply via UCAS if you are a UK/EU residing applicant, applying for year one of a full-time undergraduate degree, Foundation Year, Foundation Degree or HND and you have not applied through UCAS before. If you are applying to study part-time, to top up your Foundation Degree or HND, or to transfer to USW from another institution, please apply directly

International students

Apply directly to the University if you live outside the UK/EU. 

Apply now 

Admissions statement

Criminology graduates have gone on to successful careers in the criminal justice system across the UK. Popular routes include the police, prison, probation, protection and victim support services. There are also opportunities in areas related to the justice system such as social work, drug and housing agencies, and pupil referral units. Many graduates also progress to postgraduate study and research in the social sciences.

This criminology degree is designed to develop a range of transferable skills that can be applied in a variety of related working environments. These include: the ability to present arguments orally, visually and in writing, the ability to analyse quantitative and qualitative data, and the ability to evaluate reports and other research publications. As a graduate with a criminology degree you will be eligible for membership of the British Society of Criminology. The Society aims to further the interests of people who are engaged in criminology in the UK.

Many students progress on to a criminology PhD or criminology research degree.

Our Careers and Employability Service

As a USW student, you will have access to advice from the Careers and Employability Service throughout your studies and after you graduate.