Criminology and Criminal Justice

Criminology and Criminal Justice is offered as a single subject degree, or in combination with another subject as a joint honours award.

Follow the links below for a brief summary of each available Criminology and Criminal Justice award, including information on the aims of various courses and their entry requirements. The School of Social, Historical and Political Studies offers:

The Institute of Community and Society in the Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing, offers BA (Hons) Criminology and Criminal Justice and Social Care.

Why study Criminology and Criminal Justice at Wolverhampton?

Criminology and Criminal Justice is the study of how crime is defined, why some people commit crime and what happens when they do. It is also the study of the police, the courts and penal system, as well as the study of the prevention and deterrence of criminal behaviour.

Crime and its impact are at the forefront of current political and social debate and a degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice will enable you to explore the reality behind the newspaper headlines and examine a topic which is relevant and has real, practical application in contemporary society.

During your course you will study criminological theories and gain an understanding of the policies and practices within the criminal justice system in England and Wales. You will study a wide range of topics covering the legal and sociological issues of criminology and criminal justice including, the operation of the criminal courts, punishment and sentencing, the policing of society, drugs policies, and social inequalities and the law.

You have the opportunity to undertake a research project on behalf of a relevant statutory or voluntary agency or you can undertake a piece of individual research on an area of criminology or criminal justice that particularly interests you.

What will I study?

Level 4 introduces you to Criminal Justice, Thinking About Crime and Research Methods. You will explore the relationship between Law and Society and examine how official knowledge about Crime, Punishment and Victimisation is constructed. Modules in Study Skills and Volunteering in the Community are also offered.

Level 5 gives you a deeper understanding of the Theories of Crime, Punishment, Sentencing and Inequality. You will explore the role of Police and Society and the history of the modern police force in the Criminal Justice System. You will also analyse principles of Criminal Liability through the examination of particular offences.

Level 6 investigates Contemporary Issues in Criminology and Criminal Justice (including issues in national and international illegal drug policy and sex crime), how crime is controlled/prevented, Terrorism and State Crime; looking at both the UK and global perspectives. An independently researched project will give you the opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge further, or you may opt to undertake a work placement for an organisation within the sector.


The School of Law, Social Science and Communications is one of the leading pioneers in the UK in the delivery of accredited community- based volunteering. Volunteering modules are available at levels 4 and 5 of the curriculum, ensuring all students can access these opportunities, should they wish to. Accredited volunteering offers students a unique learning experience, enabling them to combine academic learning with practical work-related experience and engage in activities which benefit community groups and organisations.

By taking these options, students are able to gain valuable employability skills and enhance their CV. Volunteering in the Curriculum, however, enables students to develop an understanding of employability as more than the acquisition of skills, but rather as a complex set of achievements which enrich academic learning and understanding about themselves, their values and vocation, and the communities in which they live.

Students who successfully complete volunteering modules are eligible for the University of Wolverhampton Volunteering Certificate. There are 5 levels of certification which are awarded in recognition of students' volunteering achievements and the employability skills they develop. For more information see the Volunteer Central website.