School of Law

BA Criminal Justice and Criminology

We are delighted to be ranked 3rd in the UK for Criminology (The Guardian University Guide, 2018)

This information is for 2019 entry - to see the information for 2018 entry please go to the 2018 programme page

Drawing on the world-leading research of the Centre for Criminal Justice Studies, this course will give you an advanced understanding of crime and its control.

You’ll explore the complex questions around why crime happens, how offenders should be dealt with and how crime can be prevented. You will examine the individual, social, legal and political forces that shape both crime and how it is controlled. In addition, you’ll study the workings of criminal justice agencies like the police, courts, prisons and probation as well as the private companies and voluntary groups who have increasing roles in offender management and crime prevention.

Core modules will give you a firm grounding in the substantive, methodological and theoretical components of criminology as well as related aspects of the disciplines of law, sociology and psychology. You will gain both the subject knowledge and research skills needed to understand and contribute to wider knowledge of crime and criminal justice. From anti-social behaviour to war crimes and from drug use to terrorism, the range of optional modules on offer will also allow you to focus on topics that suit your interests and career ambitions.


Heather Bradbury
Lecturers are approachable and extremely helpful, they often attend CrimSoc socials and always reply to emails. There’s mutual respect and the staff’s main priority is that students achieve their best

Heather Bradbury

Criminal Justice and Criminology BA

Year one lays the foundations of your degree. You’ll explore crucial issues around how crime is defined, how it is measured and how key social issues, such as inequality, impact upon it. You’ll be introduced to the study of criminal law, sociology and forensic psychology. You’ll develop the academic and research skills needed to study criminal justice at undergraduate level.

Year two allows to consolidate and extend what you have learned. You’ll build your understanding of criminological theory and, through learning about research methods, you will also gain valuable research skills and experiences. To give you a different perspective on criminal justice, further compulsory modules will examine crime prevention and crime science, as well as evolving issues of transnational and international crime. Optional modules will allow you to explore a wide range of related topics in the social sciences, from youth crime to race and ethnicity studies.

In year three, the core modules will give you in-depth knowledge of policing institutions and operations in the UK, in addition to penology – the study of how offenders are punished. You’ll also choose from further optional modules, exploring diverse topics including crime history, mass atrocities, technology and crime, and sex work. In addition, the year culminates with your dissertation – an independent research project on a topic of your choice, which allows you to demonstrate your knowledge and skills.

Course structure

These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

Year 1

Compulsory modules

  • Introduction to Criminal Justice 20 credits
  • Criminal Justice Study Skills 10 credits
  • Understanding Crime 20 credits
  • Introduction to Criminal Law 20 credits
  • Crime, Inequality and Social Issues 20 credits
  • Forensic Psychology 10 credits
  • Sociology of Modern Societies 20 credits

Discovery modules

  • You may choose up to 20 credits of discovery modules credits

Year 2

Compulsory modules

  • Criminology: Theories and Concepts 20 credits
  • Transnational and Comparative Criminology 20 credits
  • Crime Prevention and Crime Science 20 credits
  • Researching Crime and Criminal Justice (for undergraduates) 20 credits
  • Crime Prevention: Offender Decision-Making and Crime Science 20 credits

Optional modules

  • Youth Crime and Justice 20 credits
  • Disability Studies: An Introduction 20 credits
  • The Sociology of Gender 20 credits
  • Crime, Race and Ethnicity 20 credits
  • Urban Disorders, Social Divisions and Social Control 20 credits

Discovery modules

  • You may choose up to 20 credits of discovery modules credits

Year 3

Compulsory modules

  • Long Dissertation (Criminal Justice and Criminology) 40 credits
  • Penology 20 credits
  • Policing 20 credits

Optional modules

  • Crime, Law and Social Change: Crime and Criminal Justice in Historical Perspective 20 credits
  • Technology, Crime and Justice 20 credits
  • Mass Atrocities and Criminal Justice 20 credits
  • Critical Mixed Race Studies - Global Perspectives 20 credits
  • State Crime and Immorality 20 credits
  • Class in Everyday Life 20 credits

Discovery modules

  • You may choose up to 20 credits of discovery modules credits

For more information on typical modules, read Criminal Justice and Criminology BA in the course catalogue

Broadening your academic horizons

At Leeds we want you to benefit from the depth and breadth of the University's expertise, to prepare you for success in an ever-changing and challenging world. This course gives you the opportunity to broaden your learning by studying discovery modules. Find out more on the Broadening webpages.

Learning and teaching

We use a wide range of learning and teaching methods, including seminars and workshops where you can discuss in greater depth the topics introduced in traditional lectures. There will also be chances to hear guest speakers from local criminal institutions and visit criminal justice agencies.

However, independent learning is the basis of the course and you will spend much of your time reading around and researching the topics covered in your modules. We help you to develop academic skills through modules such as Criminal Justice Study Skills, and the University Library has extensive collections on Criminal Justice and Criminology that form a fantastic resource for your work.


Modules are assessed using various methods including exams, coursework, group presentations and research-based activities. In your final year, you’ll also submit a 12,000 word dissertation.

Entry requirements

A-level: AAB excluding General Studies and Critical Thinking.

Two of your A-levels must be in traditional academic subjects. Please see our Accepted A-level subjects document to check your subjects.

If your choice of A-level subjects has been constrained by factors outside your control (such as if your school or college did not offer certain subjects), please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office to discuss your application.

GCSE: grade B or above in English Language, or an appropriate English language qualification.

When an applicant is taking the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) this can be considered alongside A-levels and may attract an alternative offer in addition to the standard offer. If you are taking A-levels, this would be ABB at A-level including grade A in the EPQ.

Alternate Qualifications

Access to HE Diploma

Complete 60 credits with 45 level 3 credits at Distinction Grade.



Cambridge Pre-U


International Baccalaureate

35 overall (6,5,5 higher).

Irish Highers (Leaving Certificate)


Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

AAAAB overall (AB at advanced level).

Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the Schools Undergraduate Admissions Team.

Alternative entry

Were committed to identifying the best possible applicants, regardless of personal circumstances or background.

Access to Leeds is an alternative admissions scheme which accepts applications from individuals who might be from low income households, in the first generation of their immediate family to apply to higher education, or have had their studies disrupted.

Find out more about Access to Leeds and alternative admissions.


We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. For information contact the School of Law Undergraduate Admissions Team.

International foundation year

If you have the ability to study for a degree but don’t have the qualifications to enter directly to level one, you might consider studying a foundation year. We have formal links with the following foundation year programmes:

If you are applying from an alternative foundation year provider, please contact our admissions team to find out if your qualification is suitable for entry to our courses.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

International students who do not meet the English language requirements for the programme may be able to study an English for Academic Purposes pre-sessional course with a progression route to the degree programme. For information and entry requirements, read Pre-sessional programmes.

How to apply

Apply to this course through UCAS. The institution code for the University of Leeds is L23. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.

International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK/EU students. Our network of international representatives can help you with your application. If youre unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Admissions policy

School of Law Undergraduate Admissions Policy


UK/EU: To be confirmed

International: To be confirmed

For UK and non-UK EU full-time students starting in 2018, the fee for 2018/19 will be £9,250. 

The fee for undergraduate students starting in 2019 will be confirmed in September 2018.

The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation, and as permitted by law. For example, the increase of 2.8% in 2017/18 was based on the government’s forecast for the RPI-X measure of inflation.

The UK government has confirmed that non-UK EU students in 2018-19 will have home fee status and be eligible for UK government student loans. The UK government has not confirmed the situation for future years, so keep checking our website for updates.

If you take a study abroad or work placement year, youll pay a reduced tuition fee during this period. For more information, see Study abroad and work placement tuition fees and loans.

Read more about paying fees and charges.

Additional cost information

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more in our Undergraduate funding overview.

Career opportunities

This flexible degree will equip you with valuable subject knowledge and a wide range of transferable skills. It lends itself to careers in criminal justice, such as the police, prison or probation services, or as researchers in this area. Many of our graduates pursue postgraduate study in related fields.

We also see students pursue a wide range of careers, from the civil service to the media.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. Thats one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

Leeds for Life is our unique approach to helping you make the most of University by supporting your academic and personal development. Find out more at the Leeds for Life website.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.

Placement opportunities

Study abroad

On this course you can apply to extend your degree by a year and spend Year 3 studying at one of our partner institutions abroad.

You could study at one of three partner universities – currently Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, Griffiths University in Brisbane, Australia, and Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.

Studying criminal justice and criminology in a different jurisdiction will provide you with a new perspective on your studies, as well as gaining an insight into life in another country with new social and cultural experiences.

Work placements

Practical work experience can help you decide on your career and improve your employability. On this course you have the option to apply to take a placement year module with organisations across the public, private and voluntary sectors in the UK, or overseas.

Find out more about work experience on the Careers website.

© Copyright Leeds 2018