BA (Hons) Criminology and Sociology

Learn to 'think like a criminologist' alongside the theory of social science. We’re ranked 1st in Scotland for Criminology (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023) and 3rd in Scotland for Sociology (The Complete University Guide 2023).

Criminology and Sociology

Key facts

  • Award BA (Hons)
  • Start date January 2023, September 2023, January 2024
  • Application deadline For January 2023 entry: students who require a visa must apply by 30 September 2022
  • Duration 48 months
  • Mode of study full time
  • Delivery on campus
  • UCAS Code LM39

Overview

Choose our Criminology and Sociology degree and you’ll benefit from studying two closely related disciplines; with training both in criminology and the theory and methods of applied social science. Learn how to ‘think like a criminologist’ and apply criminology to the context of modern life, social diversity and inequalities in society. Criminologists are interested in how activities are defined as criminal, explanations for crime and social reactions to crime.

You’ll explore fascinating questions surrounding the criminal justice system, the social contexts of crime, and the relationship between behaviour and punishment. Why and how do people break the law? How can the criminal justice system define this, and how do we police, prosecute and punish people?

Our Criminology and Sociology course reflects the latest developments in social research and is taught by experts in their fields. 

Top reasons to study with us

Entry requirements

Year 1 entry – Four-year honours

SQA Highers
AABB - by the end of S5
AABBB - by the end of S6

GCE A-levels
BBB

IB Diploma
30 points

BTEC (Level 3)
DDM

Widening access students
Widening access students may be eligible for an adjusted offer of entry. To find out if this applies to you go to our widening access pages.

Care-experienced applicants will be guaranteed an offer of a place if they meet the minimum entry requirements.

Year 2 entry – Three-year honours

SQA Advanced Highers
ABB

GCE A-levels
ABB

IB Diploma
35 points

Essential subjects
Sociology

Other Scottish qualifications

Scottish HNC/HND
Year one minimum entry - Bs in graded units.

Access courses
University of Stirling access course - for mature students only. You must pass the course with 50% or above.

SWAP access course - for mature students only. Please check the SWAP progression routes document for details.

Email our Admissions Team for advice about other access courses.

Foundation Apprenticeships
Considered to be equivalent to 1 Higher at Grade B

Other qualifications

English, Welsh and Northern Irish HNC/HND
Merits and Distinctions

English, Welsh and Northern Irish access courses
Access to Higher Education - 60 credits, minimum 45 at QCF Level 3, pass at 60% or above.

Email our Admissions Team for advice about other access courses.

International entry requirements

Advanced entry

Year 2 and Year 3 entry
Entry into Year 2 or Year 3 may be possible depending on your HNC/HND course. To find out more go to our articulation pages.

Other qualifications
Advanced entry may by possible depending on your qualifications. To find out more go to our advanced entry pages.

Additional information

General entrance requirements apply

If you’ve taken exams over two sittings, repeated an exam, or been upgraded, the entrance requirements may be higher.

Other routes of entry

If you’re an international student and don’t meet the academic and English-language requirements for entry onto this degree, there are other options to prepare you. You could take our International Foundation programme. Delivered by INTO University of Stirling on our campus, you can benefit from excellent teaching and supportive English language training. Successful completion of the International Foundation in Media, Humanities and Social Sciences provides guaranteed progression to Year 2 of this degree.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:

  • IELTS Academic or UKVI 6.0 with 5.5 in each skill
  • Cambridge C1 Advanced (CAE) 169 overall with a minimum of 162 in each sub-skill
  • Cambridge C2 Proficiency (CPE) 180 overall with a minimum of 162 in each sub-skill
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic) 60 overall with a minimum of 59 in each sub-skill
  • IBT TOEFL 78 overall with a minimum of 17 in listening, 18 in reading, 20 in speaking and 17 in writing
  • IBT TOEFL Special Home Edition 78 overall with a minimum of 17 in listening, 18 in reading, 20 in speaking and 17 in writing
  • Trinity ISE II Pass overall and Pass in each sub-skill, ISE III Pass overall and in all sub-skills, ISE IV Pass overall and in all sub-skills
  • Aptis (4 skills) CEFR B2 overall and B2 in all sub-skills
  • LanguageCert International ESOL B2 Communicator -  Pass with minimum 33 in each sub-skill

Last updated: 23 August 2022

You must also check the specific English language requirements for your country.

For more information on ways that you can meet our English language requirements, including options to waive the requirement, please read our information on English language requirements.

Pre-sessional English language courses

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner INTO University of Stirling offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to this degree.

Find out more about our pre-sessional English language courses

Course details

In Semesters 1-4, you’ll take the following core modules:

  • Social Differentiation - the effects that differences in gender, age, ethnicity and status have on the way in which people are treated in different societies.
  • Social Problems - contemporary social issues and policy responses including crime, white collar crime and immigration crime.
  • Understanding Social Policy - historical and theoretical perspectives on social policy analysis including crime policy.
  • The Development of Social Theory: An Introduction to Classical and Contemporary Social Theory
  • Crime and Criminal Justice - the architecture of the criminal justice system, and evidence on, and explanations for, crime and offending.

You’ll also take additional modules in any subject in semesters 1-4.

In Semesters 5-8, you’ll take two core modules:

  • The Research Process is split into two modules.
    The first is an introduction to a range of research methods and a number of issues relating to the exploration of the social world. In the second, you’ll gain a deeper practical and theoretical understanding of research methods in sociology and social policy.

You'll also choose seven advanced option modules, which could include: Sociology of Childhood; Crimes of the Powerful; Social Stratification; Punishment and Society; Social Networks and Social Connections; Crime Trends; Work and Society; Drugs Crime and Society; or Gender, Crime and Justice. When you reach your final year of the Honours degree, you'll undertake a research dissertation.

Modules

The module information below provides an example of the types of course module you may study. The details listed are for the current academic year (September 2022). Modules and start dates are regularly reviewed and may be subject to change in future years.

Course details

Teaching

Teaching is delivered through lectures, workshops and small discussion groups.

Year 1 modules aim to bridge the gap between school and university study through coursework assessments. You’ll also receive tuition in both qualitative and quantitative research methods, which is invaluable for your Year 4 dissertation.

All students in our Faculty have a named personal tutor to provide general and academic support throughout the four years of their degree.

Assessment

Assessment for each module is usually based on a combination of coursework and examinations, for example, one essay (30 percent) and an examination (70 percent). The final-year dissertation counts for three modules. Your dissertation gives you the opportunity to put research methods you’ve studied into practice and focus on a particular interest.

Classroom hours

Typically, each module involves of two lectures plus one workshop per week.

Study abroad

As a University of Stirling student you’ll have the opportunity to broaden your horizons and study abroad through our well-established connections with several international universities.

Find out more about studying abroad.

Contact

Dr Ian McIntosh, Course Director

+44 (0)1786 467699
sspc@stir.ac.uk

Fees and funding

Fees and costs

Academic year: 2022/23 2023/24
Scottish students £1,820* £1,820 *
Students from England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland £9,250 £9,250
European Union students £15,900 £16,400
Overseas students (non-EU) £15,900 £16,400

Scottish students

* This fee is set by the Scottish Government and is subject to change.

You will be charged the annual tuition fee each year when you enrol.

Although you’re liable for annual tuition fees, students domiciled in Scotland can apply to the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) to have tuition fees paid by the Scottish Government on their behalf. If you’re unsure of your fee status, you can check your eligibility.

If you need to take additional modules or resit modules, you’ll be liable for an additional fee.

For more information on courses invoiced on an annual fee basis, please read our tuition fee policy.

Students from England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland

This tuition fee may be subject to change depending on guidance provided by the UK Government.

You will be charged the annual fee each year when you enrol. Your fees will be held at the same level throughout your course.

You can apply for financial assistance, including a loan to cover the full cost of your tuition fees, from your relevant funding body. Students from the Republic of Ireland are eligible for a tuition fee loan of up to £9,250 from the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS).

We also offer additional funding – such as our Honours Year Scholarship – for students from England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland. See our funding opportunities below for more information.

If you need to take additional modules or resit modules, you will be liable for an additional fee.

For more information on courses invoiced on an annual fee basis, please read our tuition fee policy.

European Union students

For EU students starting studies in academic year 2022/23, we will award an automatic scholarship of up to £30k over the duration of your course. This is subject to eligibility criteria.

Students from the Republic of Ireland should see the fee and funding information under England, Wales, NI and Republic of Ireland.

You will be charged the annual fee each year when you enrol. Your fees will be held at the same level throughout your course.

If you need to take additional modules or resit modules, you will be liable for an additional fee.

For more information on courses invoiced on an annual fee basis, please read our tuition fee policy.

Overseas students (non-EU)

You will be charged the annual fee each year when you enrol. Your fees will be held at the same level throughout your course.

If you need to take additional modules or resit modules, you will be liable for an additional fee.

For more information on courses invoiced on an annual fee basis, please read our tuition fee policy.

Additional costs

There are some instances where additional fees may apply. Depending on your chosen course, you may need to pay additional costs, for example for field trips. Learn more about additional fees.

Funding opportunities

See what funding opportunities and loans are available to help you with tuition and living costs.

Students domiciled in Scotland

The University of Stirling offers undergraduate funding opportunities for students domiciled in Scotland. To find out if you’re eligible to apply for an award, use our scholarship finder.

EU students

For EU students starting studies in academic year 2022/23, we will award an automatic scholarship of up to £30k over the duration of your course. This is subject to eligibility criteria.

Students domiciled in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland

The Undergraduate Choice Scholarship provides a £1,000 cash award to all students from England, Wales, Northern Ireland or Republic of Ireland who meet the conditions of their offer and select the University of Stirling as their Firm or Insurance choice on UCAS.

The University also offers the Undergraduate Merit Scholarship, which is awarded to selected students and provides a £1,000 cash award per year for years 1-3 of study. To be considered for the Merit Scholarship, students require a minimum of AAB at A-level or equivalent.

In addition, students from England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland who enter in year 1 and progress successfully through years 2 and 3 will receive our Honours Year Scholarship, which covers the cost of undergraduate tuition fees in the Honours year of study.

You don’t need to apply for the awards listed above - we'll automatically identify your eligibility as part of the admissions process.

To explore other scholarships and learn more about funding opportunities, use our scholarship finder.

Students domiciled overseas

The University of Stirling offers generous undergraduate funding opportunities for overseas students. To find out if you're eligible to apply for an award, use our scholarship finder.

Cost of living

If you’re domiciled in the UK, you can typically apply to your relevant funding body for help with living costs. This usually takes the form of student loans, grants or bursaries, and the amount awarded depends upon your personal circumstances and household income.

EU and overseas students won’t normally be able to claim living support through SAAS or other UK public funding bodies. You should contact the relevant authority in your country to find out if you’re eligible to receive support.

Find out about the cost of living for students at Stirling.

Payment options

We aim to be as flexible as possible, and offer a wide range of payment methods - including the option to pay fees by instalments. Learn more about how to pay.

After you graduate

What can you do with a Criminology and Sociology degree?

As a Criminology and Sociology graduate, you’ll leave with the critical thinking, analytical and communication skills that are valued by many employers throughout the private, public and voluntary sectors. Also you’ll have the perfect training required for jobs related to crime, justice and welfare, such as a probation officer, police officer, youth worker and community development worker.

  • Stirling Criminology, Sociology and Social Policy graduates have a higher-than-average employment rate in degree relevant careers (in the UK)

Our Criminology and Sociology degree provides you with excellent training if you’re considering a career in areas such as:

  • the police
  • prison service
  • probation
  • social work
  • community care
  • the law
  • human rights agencies
  • youth work
  • charitable foundations

The analytical and critical-thinking skills you’ll develop, are also ideal for going into research, data-science and policy-related roles.

Employability skills

As well as subject-based knowledge, you’ll graduate with employable skills, particularly in critical thinking, analysis, problem-solving and communication. The ability to solve problems effectively is valuable for numerous careers. This means you’ll be able to use information and generate new ideas that can transform business decisions.

Companies we work with

You’ll benefit from our strong links with other organisations situated on the University of Stirling campus. These include the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research, The Scottish Institute for Policing Research, and the Salvation Army Centre for Addiction Services and Research.

Discover Uni

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What our students said

Kate Penton-Voak
Kate Penton-Voak
England
BA (Hons) Criminology and Sociology
The University offered me the Careers and Employability Internship, which allowed me to have a paid internship for a year alongside my studies, as opposed to in the holidays.
Read Kate's story
Megan McCulloch
Scotland
BA (Hons) Criminology and Sociology
My favourite part about the course has been the variety of topics covered, I have taken modules ranging from Criminal Law to Social Stratification and I've been able to get a taste of the many different career paths that can be pursued with this degree.
Read Megan's story

Flexible study

This course is not available as a combined degree.