The University of Southampton
Social Sciences: Sociology, Social Policy & CriminologyPart of Social Sciences

LL63 BSc Sociology and Criminology

How do we make sense of the society around us, of how we shape it and how it shapes us? Why do we think that certain behaviours are good or bad? Why do we penalise individuals for specific actions and how does our perception of what is right or wrong change over time and between cultures?

When studying Sociology and Criminology together you will engage with question of how societies make and recognise social problems and how and when individuals are seen as deviant. Graduates establish careers as a forensic psychologist, police officer, psychologist or a role within government or the care and welfare industries.

Introducing your degree

Uncover the next breakthrough in the relationship between social behaviour and crime. Who commits crime and why? Are some groups more likely to engage in criminal behaviour than others? Why are some behaviours classified as crimes and social problems but not others? Enrol on our BSc Sociology and Criminology degree and investigate criminal justice studies and how these link to social inequalities and difference. Our graduates go onto a variety of careers, from roles within the criminal justice system to youth and social work.
The degree offers a high degree of flexibility allowing you to develop your own specialist research interests in the second and third years. Its prepares graduates for a career in a range of sectors, particularly in the management, planning and delivery of social and public services, as well as the criminal justice sector. It also offers an excellent foundation for professional training and postgraduate study.


What is this? (More Information) This information is based on historical data and may have been aggregated. Find out more.

You will be taught by experts who are active researchers and passionate about their subjects. They are also experienced teachers who enjoy engaging students. Moreover, we emphasise employability and practical applicability throughout the degree. A range of specialist options from other disciplines enables you to create a tailor made degree that is geared towards a variety of professional careers.

Through this programme you will develop:

  • A knowledge of central theoretical and methodological issues in the study of sociology.
    a detailed knowledge of selected areas of social life, and of patterns of stability and change within these areas
  • A knowledge of the discipline of criminology and its key theoretical perspectives and of the relationship between crime and processes of social change
  • An understanding of the criminal justice system, its institutions and those involved in the system and its representations, and the political, social and economic context within which it operates
  • Your capacity for the analysis of crime, criminal justice, criminal victimisation and personal and public responses to crime and deviance
  • Your capacity for the critical evaluation of theoretical perspectives and empirical evidence in sociology and criminology, and for the application of such perspectives and evidence in your own work
  • Your capacity to undertake independent enquiry into aspects of social life, using appropriate methodologies
  • Your skills in written and oral communication, the use of information technology, the analysis of quantitative and qualitative information, and in working co-operatively in groups to achieve designated outcomes
  • Your ability to work independently in identifying and analysing the subject of your enquiry.

View the programme specification document for this course

Programme Structure

The programme is normally studied over three years full-time, but may be taken on a part-time basis for a period of not less than four and not more than eight academic years. Study is undertaken at three levels (each corresponding to one year of full-time study). There are 30 study weeks in each year. The programme is divided into study modules, eight being taken at each level, four in each semester. Each modules has a credit value of 15 CATS (7.5 ECTS), and each level has a total CATS credit value of 120 (60 ECTS).

The current structure of the programme is set out below. (Please note that not all optional modules will necessarily be available in any given academic year. Details of which modules are available are available from the online programme catalogue

You will have to take 4 modules (60 credits) each semester (ie 8 modules (120 credits) in each year of the programme.

Of the modules shown against each year of your programme, some are compulsory (ie enrolment is automatic) and others are optional. Against each year, you are directed to which modules are compulsory and which are optional. The optional modules below constitute an indicative list. There will always be choice but the options might vary between years.

Key Facts

In the 2017 National Student Survey, of our BSc Sociology and Criminology students:

  • 100% were satisfied or very satisfied with the overall quality of their course
  • 100% agreed that staff are good at explaining things
  • 97% were satisfied and very satisfied with the organisation and management within their course
  • 95% were satisfied or very satisfied with the teaching on their course

Social science research draws on a number of major disciplines, including psychology, anthropology, criminology, sociology and areas of social policy, each of which contributes to our understanding of the social world in different ways.

Our exciting curriculum is delivered by experts from across the social sciences who are working at the forefront of their fields.

Entry Requirements

Typical entry requirements

Subject requirements

No specific subjects are required as the first year of the programme is designed to give you a basic knowledge of relevant social sciences disciplines.


GCSE maths and English at grade C or above.

A Levels:

ABB; for applicants taking the Extended Project Qualification, an alternative offer of BBB with an A in the EPQ will be made.


32 points overall, 16 at higher level

Alternative qualifications

We welcome applications from candidates offering qualifications other than A and AS levels (including BTEC, European Baccalaureate, International Baccalaureate, Irish Leaving Certificate and Scottish Highers). You will be expected to attain an equivalent standard to an A level applicant or an equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University. Contact us for further information on equivalencies for these qualifications and others not listed here.

International applications

We welcome applications from international students. Helpful information on applying, meeting a University representative in your country or improving your English language levels can be found on the International Office website. If English is not your first language, you will be required to pass an approved English test. We normally ask for a score of IELTS 6.5.

Please note that we cannot accept applicants from Greece on the basis of the Apolyterion alone; it must be supplemented by A levels or an equivalent qualification or an equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University.

Mature applicants

We welcome applications from mature students. If you will be over 21 at the start of your proposed degree programme, you are eligible for exemption from our normal entry requirements. However, you will be required to provide evidence of having completed recent serious and successful study (eg Access, Return to Study, Open University foundation courses) and of your capacity to pursue the course.

All students are required to have GCSE grade C in English and mathematics.

Where feasible, you will be called for an interview. You may find it helpful to discuss your plans with us before applying through UCAS. This will allow you to make sure your chosen course is right for you and give you time to pursue additional academic qualifications if required.

Contextual Admissions

The University of Southampton is committed to widening participation and ensuring that all students with the potential to succeed, regardless of their background, are encouraged to apply to study with us. The additional information gained through contextual data supports our admissions teams to recognise a student’s potential to succeed in the context of their background and experience. Students who flagged in this way will be made an offer which is lower than the typical offer for that programme.

A typical contextual offer is BBB from three A levels or an equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University.

Please see our contextual admissions pages for more information.


Selection process:

We usually make our decisions based on your UCAS form alone. Only candidates who require special consideration, for example on grounds of age or non-standard entry qualifications, are interviewed. We welcome applications from under-represented groups and from those with qualifications other than A-levels.



Please note:

In exceptional circumstances we will consider applicants for direct entry into the second year if they have met the entry criteria and have already completed part of the course at another institution. Please note that such requests are considered on an individual basis and at the discretion of the Admissions Tutor. We do not accept applicants for direct entry into Year 3.


This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.


Typical course content

The modules for the 3 year programme are below.

Year 1

Our first year programme will introduce you to sociology and criminology as academic disciplines; students will explore how "social problems" are constructed and how policies are chosen to address them. "Crime" is one key social problem. You will discuss how societies respond to it. You will also start your thorough study of social theory and research methods.

In addition to this, our Curriculum Innovation Programme offers our students the chance to take optional modules outside their core disciplines. This allows you to personalise your education, to develop new skills and knowledge for your future.

Optional modules in semester 1 or 2

In addition to the compulsory modules below you will chose two modules in Semester 1. Your available optional modules may come from disciplines across the university for example anthropology, sociology, social policy, demography, economics, politics and international relations, social statistics modern languages, law, psychology, physics, history etc.

Year 2

In your second year you will take four compulsory modules. In these you will study in detail qualitative and quantitative methods in order to be well prepared for your final year when you will conduct your own research as part of your dissertation. You will also study social theory and your criminology modules will illuminate how crime and deviance has been perceived and addressed in modern society.

In addition you will have the opportunity to take four optional modules from a list, one in the first semester and three in the second. One of these will need to be a Criminology module, one a Sociology module the remaining two will come from a broad range of disciplines across the university.

Year 3

In year three you will compare how different countries developed into industrial societies and how globalization changes them further; such processes produce social inequalities and in your criminology modules you will study how groups and societies identify victims. You will also conduct your individual research project in a double-module dissertation. In addition you will be asked to chose four modules from a wide range of options, most of which will be taught in student-led seminars.

Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide or website).

Fees & funding

Tuition fees

NameYear of entryMode of studyUK/EUInternationalChannel Islands
BSc Sociology and Criminology 2018Full-time£9,250£16,536£9,250
View the full list of course fees


Scholarships, bursaries or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

Explore funding opportunities

Costs associated with this course

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

There will also be further costs for the following, not purchasable from the University:

EquipmentApproved calculators: Candidates may use calculators in the examination room only as specified by the University and as permitted by the rubric of individual examination papers. The University approved model is Casio FX-570 This may be purchased from any source and no longer needs to carry the University logo.
StationeryYou will be expected to provide your own day-to-day stationery items, e.g. pens, pencils, notebooks, etc. Any specialist stationery items will be specified under the Additional Costs tab of the relevant module profile.
BooksWhere a module specifies core texts these should generally be available on the reserve list in the library. However due to demand, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from any source. Some modules suggest reading texts as optional background reading. The library may hold copies of such texts, or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies. Although not essential reading, you may benefit from the additional reading materials for the module.
Printing and copyingIn some cases, coursework such as essays; projects; dissertations will be submitted online. However, in some cases students will be asked to provide a printed copy. A list of the University printing costs can be found here:
PlacementsPlacements (including Study Abroad Programmes): Social Sciences partners with academic departments in a number of other countries to provide study abroad opportunities. Please contact the International Office for information about the expected costs of participating.
OtherOptional visits: Some modules may include optional visits (museums, conferences, prisons [Criminology]). You will normally be expected to cover any costs such as travel and admission, unless otherwise specified in the module profile.

In some cases you'll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

Career Opportunities

Employability is embedded into modules from the first year onwards and right from the first lecture. We explain the degree skills which are taught throughout the modules and offer a number of optional employability modules.

The skills you will acquire are in high demand. Our degrees are a passport to vocational and non-vocational careers alike, with recent graduates employed in education, local or regional government, social work, international organisations, the third sector and the media.

Read more about the careers and employability support we offer.

Learning & Assessment

Mechanisms for review and evaluation of teaching, learning, assessment and the curriculum:

  • Quinquennial module reviews;
  • Five yearly programme reviews;
  • Regular staff appraisal;
  • Peer observation of teaching;
  • External examiner reports;

Committees with responsibility for monitoring and evaluating quality and standards:

  • Sociology and Social Policy Undergraduate Programme Board
  • Board of Examiners;
  • Social Sciences Programme Board

Mechanisms for gaining student feedback:

  • Staff-Student Liaison Group
  • Module evaluation questionnaires.

Staff development

  • PhD as normal condition of appointment to permanent post;
  • Staff appraisal scheme;
  • Regular ‘half-days’ to discuss teaching issues;
  • Regular staff-student seminars;

Breakdown of study time and assessment

Proportion of time spent in scheduled learning, teaching and independent study
Learning, teaching and assessment stage123
Scheduled learning & teaching study19%18%13%
Independent study81%82%87%
Placement study0%0%0%
Proportion of assessment by method
Learning, teaching and assessment stage123
Written exam assessment63%30%31%
Practical exam assessment0%3%10%
Coursework assessment37%67%59%

Study Locations

Hartley Library

Highfield campus

Social Sciences is based on the main campus of the University in the M...Find out more

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