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Criminology and Criminal Justice Top-Up BA (Hons)

About Studying at UCO
Key Information

Start date:September

Institutional code:O10

UCAS code:LL33

Duration:1 year

Course type: Full Time

Fees per year:£7500/ Part time - please contact HE Admissions Team

Additional costs per year:Trips may incur some cost

Entry Requirements

Applicants interested in applying to the BA (Hons) criminology and criminal justice must have competed the appropriate or equivalent course

Foundation Degree or

Diploma in Higher Education or a

Higher National Diploma at pass level in an appropriate subject Non-standard applications, industry professional qualifications, relevant work or life experience and who can demonstrable the ability to cope with and benefit from degree-level studies are considered on an individual basis and applicants may be interviewed.


BA (Hons) Criminology and Criminal Justice validated by University of Central Lancashire

It is our aim to provide you with an interesting and challenging study programme which will enrich your learning experience and help you succeed in your chosen career.

The BA (Hons) Criminology and Criminal Justice Top Up course is designed to ensure that you cover a broad range of modules, which will equip you for employment within the criminal justice. The programme offers modules, which combine a range of theoretical and practical elements designed to provide you with the skills needed in the workplace, as well as the academic rigour appropriate to a Higher Education programme. Today, potential employers are looking for people who have not only good degree results but also wider abilities.

At the end of the course, if successful, you will achieve a BA (Hons) Criminology and Criminal Justice Top Up, awarded by the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).

Course Content

Compulsory module

Dissertation (40 credits). 

The dissertation will provide an opportunity for students to undertake independent study in an area of their choice relating to criminology and criminal justice. Detailed guidance will be provided by your allocated dissertation supervisor

Optional Modules

Sex, violence and Strategies (20 credit). 

The module explores a variety of legislative and non-legislative approaches to violence against women in contemporary discourses. A thorough analysis of recent and planned government policy initiatives in the violence against women field is undertaken alongside engaging with existing feminist critiques. We examine feminist and other challenges to assumptions about the power of law reform to effect social change. These reforms are then considered in the context of domestic violence and sexual assault. By examining the role played by culture, ethnicity and sexuality in legal translations of various forms of violence against women, the module raises questions about the violence of law, especially its androcentrism, ethnocentrism and heterosexism. We then move on to discuss the appropriateness of formal criminalisation procedures and the introduction of the social harm perspective. The module is taught from a variety of critical perspectives underpinned most consistently by critical race feminism.

Crime and New Technologies (20 credit). 

In the early part of the module, students will examine cybercrime in addition to the global phenomenon of serious organised crime and terrorism. As the module progresses, students examine crime, criminal behaviour and the new genetics, and in particular, the impact of the Human Genome Project and theoretical links between the biological and social sciences. In the latter part of the module, students examine biosocial explanations for crime and criminal behaviour and post-postmodern attempts to conceptualise crime in relation to the ‘new’ technologies.

Human Trafficking and Modern Day Slavery (20 credit). 

The indicative module content divides into three distinct parts with interconnecting elements

Part 1: Understanding the historical, legal and theoretical framework. Demonstrates how slavery and trade in human beings have continued to evolve into new and more complex forms of un-free labour and exploitation; outlines how trafficking/ smuggling is a violation of the Human Rights Project; examines current definitions, ethical implications for researchers, methodological limitations and areas of world-wide research which attempts to measure the magnitude of the phenomenon.

Part 2: Human exploitation in context: outlines the diverse profile, motivations, forms, method and dehumanising practices of sophisticated transnational crime groups involved in the trade of vulnerable human beings; through the use of case studies, demonstrates how the notion of trafficking/smuggling is synonymous with the traffic for women for sexual exploitation and forced prostitution within the United Kingdom; confirms the horrendous and ‘hidden’ trade of children brought into and moved around the UK for various forms of commodity exploitation and fraud; Highlights how a lack of power, voice and citizenship have resulted in migrants and undocumented workers becoming the cheap labour force in the most dangerous, dirty and e-regulated industries in Britain.

Part 3: Unauthorised and Unwanted: addresses the role played by the war on human trafficking/smuggling in the exclusion and criminalisation of unauthorised migrants; the synthesis of migrant control and national security agendas and the implications of border policing practices for forced and unauthorised migrants. The module examines the overlapping use of the criminal justice confinement as a means of excluding the undeserving poor from society and as a sorting mechanism for managing trafficked people in Britain; reiterates why the elimination of human trafficking/smuggling must be at the centre of the struggle of social justice and human dignity; reinforces the conviction that local, national and international perspectives on human trafficking, exploitation and ‘modern-day slavery should be accorded true respect and consideration.

Crime at the Movies (20 credit). 

The module provides an in-depth investigation into the portrayal of crime in mainstream Hollywood cinema. It provides students with the skills and knowledge needed to undertake theoretically informed critical appraisals of mainstream cinematic representations of crime and criminality. In particular, the module will enable students to understand and analyse these cultural forms criminologically. The module includes an investigation of the underlying myths about crime and crime control in contemporary mainstream cinema and relates changes in cinematic representations to changes in the social contexts of their production and circulation, together with changing social discourses about crime. By focusing closely on a small number of selected films, students will learn to appreciate the cultural significance of crime and criminality in contemporary society and how representations of these infuse criminological discourses.

Humanity, Values and the Environment (20 Credit). 

This module covers a range of central ethical concepts and distinctions that are at play in the study of environmental ethics; economic decision making methods and their limitations; the main approaches to animal ethics; the main approaches to life based ethics; the main approaches to ecological integrity (or holistic) ethics; deep ecology; ecofeminisim and corporate and governmental responses to and responsibility for environmental change.

Diversity, Crime and Justice (20 Credit). 

The indicative module content divides into 3 distinct parts with interconnecting elements.

Part 1: Conceptualising diference and diversity: examines current definitions of diversity and inequality in contemporary society; introduces principles of cosmopolitan justice, criminal justice and social justice for diverse citizens from diverse societies in a globalised world and considers how to critically analyse and undertake ethical criminological research in diverse contexts.

Part 2: Diverse identities, experiences and [in]justice in context: Critically considers the diverse profiles, motivations, forms, methods and practices of diversity, crime and justice in contemporary society. Through the use of criminological theory, policy, practice and case studies, demonstrate how diversity in sexuality and gender identity can result in victimisation and criminalisation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, pansexual and transgendered people; explore how diversity, poverty, lack of power and citizenship impact on social, political and criminal justice responses to migrating populations; present an overview of injustice in relation to the abuse and neglect of aging people and responses to crimes committed by older offenders; critically discuss the issue of hate crimes in relation to physical/mental ability and religious beliefs; consider diversity in the content of experiencing gender violence and honour – based violence and criminal justice responses to victim’ and perpetrators of such crimes; put the diversity of youthful offending and victimisation into context; explore diversity and exploitation within local, national and international sex-work industries.

Part 3: Diversity and Reimaging Justice for all: Reconsiders the importance of cosmopolitan justice, criminal justice and social justice for diverse citizens from diverse societies; considers awareness of diversity issues within legal professions and criminal justice agencies, identify evidence of good practice and the impact of initiatives dedicated to raising awareness of everyone’s right to be fairly represented, heard and fairly treated; explore values and commitment to the Equality Act 2010 through the development and delivery of positive action in equality and diversity practices, and improvement in accessibility to legal professions and criminal justice agencies for the marginalised, disadvantaged and minority backgrounds.

*Please note it may not be possible to offer the full range of options every year. UCO will try to ensure that students are able to undertake their preferred option.

Placements and Work Experience

The course will include trips and employer engagement and guest lectures, voluntary work will be encouraged and voluntary opportunities provided with the likes of the probation service, rehabilitation charities, victim support organisations and positive steps.

What careers can the course lead to?

Graduates can pursue careers in areas such as the police, the probation service, prisons and branches of the Home Office such as the Border Agency and the Criminal Justice Social Work. Students might also consider community development work, youth offending teams, educational institutions and adult guidance work with ex-offenders. Paid employment in the voluntary sector is an increasingly important area with positions in victim support and women’s refuges etc.

Former students have gone on to work in probation services, situational crime prevention, as research assistants and undertake postgraduate study.

Teaching and Assessment methods

The course is delivered using a range of contemporary methods including traditional lectures, interactive lectures, workshops, seminars, debates, virtual learning and self-directed study.

The course is assessed using a range of methods; Essays, examinations, presentations, reflections and an 8,000 word dissertation.

Facilities particular to the course

The course is delivered at the UCO campus, benefits from small class sizes. Students will have access to the mock court room at UCLan. Students will also have access to the UCO research hub in the academic success centre that which has all the equipment and space needed to undertake their dissertation research.

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