• Study mode: Full Time
  • Location: High Wycombe
  • Duration: Four Years
  • Start Date: September 2021

Course Overview

This course is offered as a four year programme, including an initial Foundation Year. The Foundation Year will allow you to develop your academic study skills and build confidence in your abilities, identifying your own strengths and development needs for progression onto an undergraduate degree.

Are you interested in learning how to develop solution focussed approaches to social problems relevant to the criminal justice system? Do you want to establish a career in the criminal justice system and related social sectors? Our BSc (Hons) Criminology and Social Studies programme will offer you a unique opportunity to study the social and societal factors underlying and influencing crime, criminal justice and associated social problems.

Studying this course at Bucks will give you the opportunity to learn with highly experienced and qualified staff who will work with you to develop new skills and knowledge. Throughout the course, we place a strong emphasis on social ‘praxis’ - developing solutions to social problems.

We will equip you with the necessary skills, knowledge and understanding to work in any setting where developing strategies for positive, transformative change are useful and required. This is the course to do if you are interested in understanding the present moment in our societies.

The course is tuned to the most current of social issues surrounding crime and criminal justice in our contemporary world, such as the issues around the Black Lives Matters movement.

You will develop critical thinking around such issues as the ways policing and criminal justice are situated within wider social inequalities and injustices, and also how social change for justice can be achieved through social movements, often via the latest digital technologies.

This course is also available through Full Time delivery.

More placements, more choices

Bucks is a Placements Plus university. So, whatever degree you do, you can be sure there’ll be plenty of industry-relevant opportunities on offer, to help you get into your chosen field.

We’ll also prepare you for work beforehand, with special skills for work training, further boosting your CV, and building skills employers will value. In recognition of the value we place on these skills we have incorporated this experience into your study time.

Placements Plus is all about helping you get some valuable experience under your belt while you’re a student. To increase your choices later, and help you get the graduate-level job you want.

Course Details


This course includes highly current modules which will give you the opportunity to develop your knowledge, understanding and skills in areas such as ‘Social Justice’, ‘Political Ideologies in Society’ and ‘Media, Communication and Society’.

You will learn from an experienced team of academics qualified in a wide variety of highly related areas: criminology, sociology, social policy and politics.

You will also have the opportunity to interact with practitioners and experience external settings to recognise the application of your learning.

Our programme is attendance-based and includes various teaching activities such as:

  • Lectures
  • Interactive use of the Virtual Learning Environment
  • Seminars and workshops
  • Independent study
  • Field Trips
  • Employment forums.

There are a variety of assessment styles on this course, which at all three levels are designed to mirror ‘real world’ criminological and sociological issues as well as providing you with the opportunity to demonstrate the skills you have acquired.

Some of these assessment methods include:

  • Poster presentations
  • Reports
  • Blogs
  • Portfolios
  • Media products
  • More traditional forms of assessment.

This course also includes an integrated employability module which will give you the opportunity to volunteer in an organisation relevant to your degree and interests. This module is unique in preparing students for potential careers through workplace experience.

You will also have the opportunity to work with external organisations and employers if you opt to do an Applied Dissertation at Level 6. The Applied Dissertation allows you to identify a ‘real world’ issue with employers, which you will go on to research and devise solutions to. This gives you a unique opportunity to apply your learning in ways useful to employers, therefore increasing your employability upon graduation.

What are the course entry requirements?

Applicants who do not meet the minimum requirements for the 3-year undergraduate programme, or those who do not feel fully prepared for a Level 4 course, will be considered for the 4-year programme including a Foundation Year. If you wish to enquire further, please send your query along with any academic evidence or references to admissions@bucks.ac.uk

Find out more about our General Entry Requirements.

Course Modules

Module Map

This module map provides a list of the modules that make up your course. You can find more information about how your course is structured on our Academic Advice section.

The modules available on this course are as follows:

Foundation Year Modules

  • Ways of Knowing about the Social World
  • Preparing for Success, Knowledge and Creativity
  • Preparing for Success, Self-Development and Responsibility
  • Inquiry based learning

Year 1 Modules

  • Introduction to Criminology: The Concept of Crime
  • Introduction to Criminology: The History of Punishment
  • Criminal Justice Process
  • Political Ideologies in Society
  • Making Sense of Society: The Sociological Imagination
  • Making Sense of Society: Understanding the Social World
  • Media, Communication and Society
  • Policy and Strategy

Year 2 Modules

  • Qualitative Research Methods for Social Scientists
  • Quantitative Research Methods for Social Scientists
  • Social Justice
  • Gender, Sexuality and Society
  • Forms of Crime: Crime in Late Modernity
  • Employability and Professional Development
  • ‘Race’, ethnicity and Migration
  • Citizenship, Community and Welfare (option)
  • Power and Political Institutions (option)

Year 3 Modules

  • Dissertation/ Applied Dissertation
  • Globalisation and Contemporary Societies
  • Leadership and Change
  • Criminal Justice Policy (option)
  • Comparative Criminal Justice (option)
  • Cybercrime (option)
  • Disability and Mental Health in the Criminal Justice System (option)
  • Radicalisation and Terrorism (option)
  • Ageing well through the life course (option)


How much does it cost

Full Time Home and EU, Academic Year 2021-2022: £9,250 per year

Full Time International, Academic Year 2021-2022: £13,750 per year

Most courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees.

You could benefit from financial support through a bursary or scholarship during your time as a student. For more details visit our financial support, bursaries and scholarships section.

Questions about fees?

Contact our Enquiries Team:
0330 123 2023

How do I apply?

For application details please visit bucks.ac.uk/applying-to-bucks


What are my career prospects

The programme offers both a subject-specific and a generic knowledge base, skills and competences that will enable you to pursue a career in any of the applied criminology   professions as well as those in the social sectors surrounding criminal justice. It is also recognised that many criminology and social science students will choose from a wide range of graduate career options.

Typically, graduating students will focus on roles in various branches of the Criminal Justice System (e.g. the courts, prisons, probation services etc.), and relevant social sectors and organisations (e.g. public sector; civil service; voluntary and third sector organisations such as drug and alcohol services).

You can also choose to continue with further postgraduate education following your degree.

The Big Deal

At Bucks, we believe in putting our students first. That’s why our Students’ Union have developed our exclusive ‘Big Deal’ package. We’re the only university in the UK to offer free access to such a diverse and exciting range of activities – all to enrich the university experience.

We offer FREE events and entertainment, additional skills workshops, sports, recreational activities, societies and paid student rep schemes. All at one of the top 10 Students’ Unions in the UK.  It’s a big deal!

We are proud that our exciting and dynamic students’ union is ranked in the top three in the UK for representing student’s academic interests (NSS 2020). It’s a big deal!

Want to find out more? Visit our Students’ Union page or watch our video.