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Criminology and Sociology

Criminology and Sociology

BSc
  • UCAS code LM39
  • Option 3 years full time
  • Year of entry 2021

The course

Our Department of Law and Criminology has an intellectually challenging approach to research and education. Studying Criminology and Sociology at Royal Holloway means that you will learn from internationally renowned experts who will share their research and experience so that you gain invaluable skills, such as research and data analysis, which are highly sought after by employers. 

How does crime arise, and how does society deal with it? On this course you will explore issues of criminal behaviour, punishment and rehabilitation strategies while also examining the social forces that affect individuals and impact on their behaviour. Throughout the course you will be encouraged to focus on the causes of crime and the workings of the criminal justice system, and to understand a range of social problems and policy issues. 

Our balanced approach to research and teaching guarantees high quality teaching from subject leaders, cutting edge materials and intellectually challenging debates. You will receive individual attention and flexibility to acquire expertise within a specialist field, such as: youth and crime, war and terrorism, restorative justice and forensic psychology. In the final year you will complete a dissertation on a related topic of your choice.

Our flexible degree programmes enable you to apply to take a Placement Year, which can be spent studying abroad, working or carrying out voluntary work. You can even do all three if you want to (minimum of three months each)! To recognise the importance of this additional skills development and university experience, your Placement Year will be formally recognised on your degree certificate and will contribute to your overall result. Please note conditions may apply if your degree already includes an integrated year out, please contact the Careers & Employability Service for more information. Find out more

  • Develop a sound and extensive knowledge base in criminology and sociology.
  • Trained in research techniques.
  • Understand complex social problems.
  • Explore and evaluate policing practices and development.
  • Develop critical and independent thinking.

Core Modules

Year 1
  • This module provides you with a general introduction to criminology and forensic psychology. You will explore official, populist, sociological and psychological meanings of crime through study of the development of criminology as a distinctive field of research and scholarship. You will develop sociological understandings of crime and the history of punishment, before turning to forensic psychology and its contribution to understanding offending behaviours, punishment and rehabilitation. 

  • This module introduces you to the development, role, function and operation of the criminal justice system in England and Wales. You will examine the stages of the criminal justice process, and in doing so develop an understanding of the key debates around the punishment of offenders, the process of achieving justice for victims and the theoretical positions on the purpose of punishment. You will also be encouraged to think critically about the treatment of different social groups within the criminal justice process, such as youth offenders, those with mental disorders and white collar criminals. The module comprises of weekly lectures and seminars, where you will have the opportunity to discuss key debates and apply your knowledge of the criminal justice process to case studies.

  • This module introduces you to key classical and contemporary social theories, including the ‘founding fathers’ of continental European sociology (Durkheim, Marx, and Weber) and the originators of US sociology (including Parsons, Goffman, and Garfunkel).

  • This module explores contemporary social issues, including poverty, inequality, unemployment and discrimination. You will learn about the foundations of the welfare state as well as social policies in areas such as education, housing, health and family life. Key questions to be discussed include: What are the most important social problems in contemporary society? Is the welfare state in crisis? Why are young people more vulnerable to unemployment? How does the media influence our perceptions of social problems?

Year 2
  • This module provides you with an introduction to the philosophical issues in social research. You will look at ethics in social research and theory, quantitative versus qualitative methods, sampling, observation, interviewing, media analysis, and questionnaire design. You will be given the opportunity to work through the research process on a topic of independent study of your choosing.

  • This module introduces you to techniques of quantitative and qualitative data analysis and will equip you with the skills to design and carry out your own analyses.

  • This module will enable you to develop detailed and more critical understandings of core criminological theory and key issues within the discipline. Drawing on sociological, biological and psychological perspectives as a way of understanding criminal behaviour, you will consider key issues such as drug use, organised crime, white collar crime and terrorism. Lectures and seminars promote the application of these theoretical perspectives through case studies and empirical research.

  • This module provides you with a sociological analysis of contemporary society, helping you to understand major social and economic changes in the contemporary world through key sociological debates concerning, amongst others, the changing nature of the organisation of production and the changing nature of class. You will also examine the transformation of cultural forms in contemporary society and apply these theories to contemporary social issues.

Year 3
  • Dissertation

Optional Modules

There are a number of optional course modules available during your degree studies. The following is a selection of optional course modules that are likely to be available. Please note that although the College will keep changes to a minimum, new modules may be offered or existing modules may be withdrawn, for example, in response to a change in staff. Applicants will be informed if any significant changes need to be made.

Year 1
  • All modules are core
Year 2
  • Crime and the Law
  • Youth and Crime
  • Sociology of the Family
  • Youth in Society: The Sociology of Youth & Youth Culture
Year 3
  • In this module you will develop an understanding of different sociological approaches to the study of health and illness, with an awareness of the social patterning and causes of ill health. You will critically examine debates in the sociology of health and illness, considering factors such as social class, gender and ethnicity.

  • In this module you will develop an understanding of different sociological approaches to the study of health and illness, with an awareness of the social patterning and causes of ill health. You will critically examine debates in the sociology of health and illness, considering factors such as social class, gender and ethnicity.

  • In this module uou will develop an awareness of the changing position of the young in society, considering changing ideas about adolescence, youth and the transition to adulthood. You will gain an insight into the significance of delinquency and the representation of delinquent and deviant youth in the media, including gangs in Biritish society and youth riots in Britain.

  • In this module you will develop an understanding of youth culture and consider the key theoretical debates concerning youth subcultures. You will gain an insight into the interplay between gender and ethnicity in the formation of youth cultures and subcultures, including their representation in the media.

  • Crime, Media and Culture
  • In this module you will develop a historical and sociological understanding of the study of race, racism and ethnicity, with an awareness of the way in which these interact with other social divisions and inequalities. You will anylse the extent to which race and ethnicity are central to how society is organised and structured, with knowledge of the models of race relations and the relevance of geography and politics.

  • In this module you will develop an understanding of key debates in relation to children, society and risk, childhood, children's rights, citizenship and social harm. You will look at empirical and theoretical studies in these areas and understand the ways in which social policy, and criminal justics agencies, are adapting their responses to deal with crimes commited against children.

  • In this module you will develop an understanding of the different criminological, sociological and psychological appraoches to the study of terrorism. You will gain an oversight of terrorism within the content of current policy and global governance, with specific reference to international law and human rights. You will examine debates on the threats posed by terrorism, considering the emergence of the new terrorism in Britain.

  • In this module you will develop an understanding of terrorism on the global stage, examining different perspectives on its history and development, starting with the emergence of new terrorism in the post 9/11 era. You will analyse global repsonses to terrorism, considering the differentiated impact of terrorism on a global scale, and the way in which fear of terrorism can be used as an instrument of political power by various state agencies. 

  • In this module you will develop an understanding of the sociological analysis of popular music concentrating on, but not only covering, recorded popular music since the mid-1950s. You will gain an insight into the historical development of popular music within a social context, considering the relationships between music and mass society, music and youth culture, and the usage of popular music as a form of expression by the socially and economically marginalised, and as a from of protest.

  • In this module you will develop a knowledge of illicit drugs, their effects and how they have been used cross-culturally through time. You will gain an insight into the sociological and psychological theories that seeks to explain addiction and problem drug use, with practical knowledge of how drug users and drug markets have been controlled through policy, enforcement and legislation.

  • In this module you will develop an understanding of key sociological, psychological and criminal-legal approaches to gender and sexuality. You will think critically about how theories of gender and sexuality have informed the study of crime and shaped our understanding of sexual offences, and the relationship between gender, sexuality and criminal justice, from the 19thcentury to the present day. You will look at case studies that have shaped the study of gender, sexuality, and crime hisotrically and in the present day, such as the violations perpetrated against women through the diagnosis of 'hysteria', the development of the law of rape, sociological and psychological appraoches to sex offenders, and debates about the crimialisation of pornography.

  • This module will introduce you to sentencing, its key principles, and current issues, such as the need for a defensible penal policy, the effects of expansionism, the need for reductionism and the desire to abolish. You gain an overview of the different types of sentences currently available, considering the potential for discrimination in sentencing, and the role of victims in the sentencing process. You will look at penal policy and the current penal crisis, critically evaluating a particular area of sentencing and developing a policy paper to propose reform to the current penal policy.

  • This module explores the current procedures in the UK surrounding the treatment of witnesses and victims of crime. You will examine issues surrounding vulnerable people, children, adults, and older people with respect to the different professional responses required. You will look at victims and witnesses in a historical context, identifying milestones that highlight key development. You will consider the long term consequences of involvement in the legal system, and look at research on victims and witnesses from a wide range of disciplines.

  • In this module you will develop an understanding of the role, function and operation of prisons in England and Wales. You will think critically about the nature of imprisonment and the effectiveness of the prison system, using research, government reports, prisoners' account and other relevant sources to analyse recent policy initiatives.

The course is taught mainly through lectures, seminars and small group tutorials. Lectures provide a broad introduction to the subject matter and seminar groups allow an active exchange of ideas with your tutor and other students. Outside of scheduled teaching sessions, students work independently and collaboratively on researching topics in preparation for seminar discussions.

Course units are assessed by a combination of essays; oral presentations, end of year exams and, in the third year, an independent dissertation.

A Levels: ABB-BBB

Required subjects:

  • At least five GCSEs at grade A*-C or 9-4 including English and Mathematics.

Where an applicant is taking the EPQ alongside A - levels, the EPQ will be taken into consideration and result in lower A-level grades being required. Socio - economic factors which may have impacted an applicant's education will be taken into consideration and alternative offers may be made to these applicants.

English language requirements

All teaching at Royal Holloway is in English. You will therefore need to have good enough written and spoken English to cope with your studies right from the start.

The scores we require
  • IELTS: 6.5 overall. No subscore lower than 5.5.
  • Pearson Test of English: 61 overall. No subscore lower than 54.
  • Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English (ISE): ISE III.
  • Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) grade C.

Country-specific requirements

For more information about country-specific entry requirements for your country please visit here.

For international students who do not meet the direct entry requirements, we offer an International Foundation Year, run by Study Group at the Royal Holloway International Study Centre. Upon successful completion, you may progress on to selected undergraduate degree programmes at Royal Holloway, University of London.

A Criminology and Sociology degree at Royal Holloway, University of London can lead into a variety of career paths. You will become equipped with the knowledge, skills and experiences essential to advance your future career or move onto further study.

  • Graduates in recent years have entered many different fields including work with criminal justice agencies such as the Crown Prosecution Service, the police, probation service, youth custody and the prison service. 
  • The course also equips graduates for careers in the media, the voluntary sector, local government, the civil service and the private sector.  Graduates who do particularly well can go on to further study at postgraduate level and pursue careers in research and evaluation in academic and policy contexts.

Home (UK) students tuition fee per year*: £9,250

EU and International students tuition fee per year**: £17,700

Other essential costs***: There are no single associated costs greater than £50 per item on this course

How do I pay for it? Find out more about funding options, including loansscholarships and bursaries. UK students who have already taken out a tuition fee loan for undergraduate study should check their eligibility for additional funding directly with the relevant awards body.

*The tuition fee for UK undergraduates is controlled by Government regulations. For students starting a degree in the academic year 2020/21, the fee will be £9,250 for that year. The fee for UK undergraduates starting in 2021/22 has not yet been confirmed.

**The Government has confirmed that EU nationals starting a degree in 2020/21 will pay the same fee as UK students for the duration of their course. For EU nationals starting a degree in 2021/22, the UK Government has recently confirmed that you will not be eligible to pay the same fees as UK students, nor be eligible for funding from the Student Loans Company. This means you will be classified as an international student. At Royal Holloway, we wish to support those students affected by this change in status through this transition. For eligible EU students starting their course with us in September 2021, we will award an automatic fee reduction which brings your fee into line with the fee paid by UK students. This will apply for the duration of your course.

Fees for international students may increase year-on-year in line with the rate of inflation. The policy at Royal Holloway is that any increases in fees will not exceed 5% for continuing students. For further information see fees and funding and our terms and conditions. Fees shown above are for 2020/21 and are displayed for indicative purposes only.

***These estimated costs relate to studying this particular degree programme at Royal Holloway. Costs, such as accommodation, food, books and other learning materials and printing etc., have not been included.

Law, Criminology and Sociology Undergraduate Admissions

 

 

Admissions office: +44 (0)1784 414944

93% of our Law, Criminology and Sociology graduates are employed or go on to further study within six months of graduating

Source: DLHE, 2018

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