Criminology and Sociology BSc (Hons) - 2024/5

Awarding body

University of Surrey

Teaching institute

University of Surrey


FHEQ Level 6

Final award and programme/pathway title

BSc (Hons) Criminology and Sociology

Subsidiary award(s)

Award Title
Ord Criminology and Sociology
DipHE Criminology and Sociology
CertHE Criminology and Sociology

Modes of study

Route code Credits and ECTS Credits
Full-time ULE10005 360 credits and 180 ECTS credits
Full-time with PTY ULE10005 480 credits and 240 ECTS credits

QAA Subject benchmark statement (if applicable)

Criminology (Bachelor), Sociology

Other internal and / or external reference points


Faculty and Department / School

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences - Sociology

Programme Leader

AKRIVOS Dimitris (Sociology)

Date of production/revision of spec


Educational aims of the programme

  • To promote flexibility and individual choice throughout the programme, allowing students to exercise greater agency in their learning and developing professional and confident graduates;
  • To provide a curriculum that empowers students to realise their intellectual, professional, and personal potential through a transformative learning journey;
  • To foster a stimulating, challenging, coherent, and supportive learning and teaching environment, grounded in high-quality content, delivery, resources, and expertise;
  • To deliver a well-rounded education in the fundamental concepts, theories, and principles of criminology and sociology, with applications across various substantive areas, including crime causation, crime prevention, the criminal justice system, deviance, inequalities and social justice;
  • To equip students with a diverse set of academic skills and analytical tools to assess and conduct research, involving both quantitative and qualitative data, on contemporary criminological and sociological issues.

Programme learning outcomes

Attributes Developed Awards Ref.
Understand the key concepts, theories, principles, and practices of Criminology and Sociology, and their application across a range of relevant substantive areas. K BSc (Hons)
Demonstrate the ability to use a range of analytical tools to evaluate and conduct research on contemporary issues relating to social inequalities, crime, and deviance as well as their societal implications. KT BSc (Hons)
Demonstrate the skill to use quantitative and qualitative research methods to explore causes and policy responses to crime and other social issues. KT BSc (Hons)
Demonstrate critical, inquisitive, and independent thought when examining criminological and sociological issues. K BSc (Hons)
Demonstrate a broad range of communicative, analytical, organisational, and other skills and capabilities valuable to employers, and have the confidence and knowledge to apply these skills after graduation. CPT BSc (Hons)
Identify, critically assess, and apply key concepts in Criminology and Sociology to a range of relevant substantive areas, recognising the interplay between these disciplines. KC Ord
Distinguish between and evaluate different methodological approaches to the study of crime, deviance and other social phenomena. C Ord
Synthesise and evaluate data from a variety of primary and secondary sources. CPT Ord
Evaluate the relationship between criminological and sociological theories and empirical evidence. KC Ord
Critically evaluate, contrast and challenge different theoretical approaches within the disciplines of Criminology and Sociology. KC DipHE
Develop social, cultural and ethical awareness as well as the ability to apply this to real-life contexts after graduation. KCT CertHE
Develop informed views on global social issues relating to crime and deviance, including those pertaining to social/environmental well-being and sustainability. T CertHE
Communicate ideas, principles, and theories through oral, written, and visual means. T BSc (Hons)
Identify and solve problems, both individually and as part of a team. CT BSc (Hons)
Work towards targets under pressure through discipline and careful organisation. T BSc (Hons)
Demonstrate effective application of digital technologies for a variety of generic and subject-specific purposes. T BSc (Hons)
Apply and present numerical/statistical and textual/visual data in an appropriate way. PT BSc (Hons)
Carry out a set of responsibilities in a work environment (for those who undertake a professional placement year only). KP BSc (Hons)
Consider the applicability of sociological knowledge, skills and competencies for relevant career destinations and reflect on emerging professional development needs and aspirations. T Ord
Design and conduct independent research using a variety of qualitative and quantitative methods, including through the use of relevant digital technologies. CT Ord
Produce, manage, and analyse quantitative and qualitative data. C Ord
Locate, evaluate, and apply appropriate criminological and sociological theories and concepts to inform both data production and analysis. C Ord
Work individually and as part of a group to critically reflect upon key debates in Criminology and Sociology and substantive crime/deviance-related matters. CT Ord
The ability to apply critical thinking, appropriately utilise key concepts and theories, and the sophisticated application of research to the production of an extended piece of work (written dissertation or similar). CP DipHE

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Programme structure


This Bachelor's Degree (Honours) programme is studied full-time over three academic years, consisting of 360 credits (120 credits at FHEQ levels 4, 5 and 6). All modules are semester based and worth 15 credits with the exception of project, practice based and dissertation modules.
Possible exit awards include:
- Bachelor's Degree (Ordinary) (300 credits)
- Diploma of Higher Education (240 credits)
- Certificate of Higher Education (120 credits)

Full-time with PTY

This Bachelor's Degree (Honours) programme is studied full-time over four academic years, consisting of 480 credits (120 credits at FHEQ levels 4, 5, 6 and the optional professional training year). All modules are semester based and worth 15 credits with the exception of project, practice based and dissertation modules.
Possible exit awards include:
- Bachelor's Degree (Ordinary) (300 credits)
- Diploma of Higher Education (240 credits)
- Certificate of Higher Education (120 credits)

Programme Adjustments (if applicable)



Year 3 - FHEQ Level 6

Module Selection for Year 3 - FHEQ Level 6

Students must select three optional modules in semester 1 and two optional modules in semester 2. Across the two semesters (i.e. over the whole year), students must select at least two and a maximum of three criminology modules (C), and at least two sociology modules (S).

Year 2 (with PTY) - FHEQ Level 5

Module Selection for Year 2 (with PTY) - FHEQ Level 5

Students must select two optional modules in each semester. Across the two semesters (i.e. over the whole year), students must select at least two and a maximum of three criminology modules (C), and at least one sociology module (S).

Year 3 (with PTY) - FHEQ Level 6

Module Selection for Year 3 (with PTY) - FHEQ Level 6

Students must select three optional modules in semester 1 and two optional modules in semester 2. Across the two semesters (i.e. over the whole year), students must select at least two and a maximum of three criminology modules (C), and at least two sociology modules (S).

Professional Training Year (PTY) - Professional Training Year

Module Selection for Professional Training Year (PTY) - Professional Training Year

Students taking the PTY Year must choose one of the following modules; SOCP010, SOCP011 or SOCP012

Opportunities for placements / work related learning / collaborative activity

Associate Tutor(s) / Guest Speakers / Visiting Academics Y
Professional Training Year (PTY) Y
Placement(s) (study or work that are not part of PTY) N
Clinical Placement(s) (that are not part of the PTY scheme) N
Study exchange (Level 5) Y
Dual degree N

Other information

Students may also transfer from the BSc in Criminology and Sociology to the BSc in Sociology, or the BSc in Media, Culture and Society during semester 1 of FHEQ Level 4, subject to the approval of the relevant Programme Leader.

At Level 4, the programme provides a robust foundation in the respective disciplines, nurturing students¿ criminological and sociological imagination. This is achieved through a set of six introductory and compulsory modules, through which students have opportunities to familiarise themselves with relevant key concepts, theories, research methods, and a diverse array of substantive topics and issues. One of these modules (¿Becoming a Criminologist¿) focuses on the development of essential academic skills and seeks to equip students with the foundational tools and critical thinking abilities necessary for rigorous academic inquiry in the fields of Criminology and Sociology.

At Level 5, students delve deeper into more specific areas of criminology and sociology through four compulsory modules addressing global social challenges, advanced concepts, theories of justice and punishment, and research methods. They also have the flexibility to choose four elective modules (two to three for criminology and at least one for sociology) from a selection of twelve options (six per semester). This gives students the opportunity to tailor their learning experience to areas of specific interest which align with their future aspirations.

Level P, the optional placement year, provides a unique opportunity for a full academic year dedicated to a work or study-abroad placement or a combination of both. This experience enhances professional development, cultivates employability skills, and enriches students¿ CVs, preparing them for diverse career pathways.

Level 6 fosters a more flexible approach, allowing students to specialise in areas of criminology and sociology that resonate with their individual passions and career plans. The curriculum includes a year-long Final Year Project module, offering students the chance to explore a criminological or sociological theme of particular interest. Additionally, they can choose five elective modules (two to three for criminology and at least two for sociology) from a selection of thirteen options (seven in Semester 1 and six in Semester 2), enabling a more in-depth focus on topics aligned with their preferences. Graduates accumulating 360 credits earn a BSc (Hons), while those with 300 credits receive a BSc (Ord), 240 credits result in a Dip HE, and 120 credits in a Cert HE.

The Department of Sociology is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability, and Resourcefulness and Resilience:

i. Global and cultural capabilities

Recognising and understanding the significance and impact of diversity and lived experiences in the study of crime as a social phenomenon is crucial for students in this programme. By the same token, it is also vital that students develop a critical appreciation of the global, cultural, socio-political, historical, and comparative contexts within which crime and the delivery of justice take place. As such, the central issues of social justice, inclusivity, fairness, equality and diversity permeate the programme, with a view to providing students with opportunities to develop their global and cultural awareness and intelligence. This is achieved through module content and delivery, peer-to-peer learning, the range of assessment strategies, and the creation of a learning community in which students of different ethnic, cultural and social backgrounds are encouraged to come together and explore the benefits of supporting one another in the course of their university journey. Individually and collectively, these approaches are intended to promote critical thinking and discussion in relation to these defining issues (including identifying and exploring different international perspectives on comparable social problems).

More, specifically, students will be actively encouraged to share experiences and knowledge from their own backgrounds and cultures, respect and value different experiences and perspectives, and come to appreciate the value of recognising and appreciating diverse perspectives. Students are therefore expected to embark on the programme with an open mind and a willingness to learn, to engage in discussion, and to broaden their understanding of these aspects of the subject area, and the lived experiences of others. By the completion of the programme, students are expected to have gained specialised and applicable knowledge that will enable them to develop their critical thinking skills; empower them with the ability to recognise ethnocentrism; give them the confidence to identify and challenge inequalities and discrimination; and foster empathy. Finally, students will also have the option to study abroad as part of their PTY year, with all of the active and engaging global and cultural experiences this brings to the student experience.

The process of ¿decolonising¿ the curriculum is also vital in ensuring students develop their global and cultural capabilities. This ¿decolonisation¿ will involve acknowledging and rectifying the biases, power imbalances, and marginalisation of non-Western perspectives within the curriculum. Students will have opportunities to critically examine and challenge the prevailing Eurocentric perspectives and knowledge systems that have historically dominated the fields of criminology and sociology. This will be achieved by diversifying the range of voices and perspectives represented in the readings, module materials, selected case studies and guest speakers invited. Incorporating theories and research from scholars of different cultural backgrounds and regions will foster a more inclusive and comprehensive understanding of crime, justice and relevant social issues. Furthermore, ¿decolonising¿ the curriculum will also involve actively engaging with the historical and ongoing impact of colonialism, imperialism, and systemic inequalities on crime, criminal justice, and social structures. By centring the experiences and voices of marginalised communities and promoting critical analysis of power dynamics, a decolonised curriculum is expected to create a more equitable and inclusive learning environment for students.
ii. Digital capabilities

The BSc in Criminology and Sociology programme places a strong emphasis on developing students' digital skills and fostering confidence in their digital capabilities. Throughout their academic journey, students will actively utilize the University's Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) as well as a wide range of digital resources and online databases. As a result, programme content will require and cultivate a level of digital proficiency demonstrated through meaningful engagement with course materials, assessments, and online library catalogues. To enhance accessibility, all teaching materials and key content will be made available in multimedia formats through SurreyLearn.

In addition to general student engagement with digital tools, the programme offers specific modules that provide focused opportunities for students to develop specific digital competencies. Core modules like Crime and Society (SOC1035) but also specialised optional modules like Crime and Technology (SOC2066) and Cyber-Crime and Cyber-Security (SOC3075) will employ teaching and assessment strategies that facilitate discussions on theories of digital environments, virtual identities and cyber-deviance. A wide range of modules in the programme will also encourage students¿ practical engagement with digital platforms and software (SurreyLearn as well as Panopto, Box of Broadcasts National, Turnitin, RefWorks¿), employ synchronous and asynchronous online methods of teaching delivery, utilise digital communication tools such as Microsoft Outlook and Teams and introduce students to research software packages like SPSS, R and NVivo. By the completion of their academic journey, students will have had multiple opportunities to develop and reflect on their digital capabilities. They will also have acquired valuable insights into managing their digital presence and identity through online interactions, as well as appreciating the impact of digital technologies on social justice and the conceptualisation of relevant social issues.

iii. Employability

Students at the University of Surrey are supported in the development of their employability skills by the Employability and Careers team which was awarded the ¿best in class¿ careers service at the National University Employability Awards in 2022. Students are provided with access to helpful resources and services including one-to-one appointments, advice on interview techniques, CV writing, personality and psychometric tests, mock interview practice, and workshops on using social media apps such as LinkedIn to find graduate roles. Throughout the year, the Employability team also run a varied programme of careers-related events, including careers fairs and employer-led workshops.

As far as the BSc in Criminology and Sociology is concerned, the learning and assessment strategies of the modules forming part of the programme also place significant emphasis on equipping students with a range of key employability skills so as to empower graduates and maximise their career prospects. Throughout their academic journey, students are encouraged to engage in practical experiences that bridge theory with real-world applications. Internships, work placements and the Professional Training Year provide students with invaluable opportunities to witness first-hand the inner workings of professional life in the fields (and intersections) of criminology and sociology ¿ among others, in criminal justice agencies, policy organisations, and research institutions. Through these experiences, students not only deepen their subject proficiency but also develop their technical, teamwork and leadership skills while cultivating a sense of responsibility and empathy towards societal issues.

Within the classroom, students are encouraged to think critically, ask challenging questions, and engage in stimulating discussions. They learn to communicate their ideas effectively and deliver persuasive presentations, fostering their confidence in public speaking. Collaborating with peers on group projects nurtures their teamwork skills, mirroring the collaborative nature of professional environments they will encounter.

Moreover, in order to truly prepare students for the demands of the professional world, tutors design assessments that mirror real-life scenarios. These authentic assessments challenge students to apply their theoretical knowledge, critical thinking skills, and problem-solving abilities to practical situations. By tackling these assessments, students develop a deeper understanding of the complexities of their fields of study and refine their professional competencies. They also develop their written communication skills, learning to articulate their thoughts eloquently by producing well-structured reports, essays, and research papers. In that way, students acquire the ability to convey complex concepts in a concise and compelling manner, ensuring their ideas resonate with others. Students are also encouraged to conduct independent research as part of their final-year project. Engaging in data collection, analysis, and interpretation hones their research abilities, which are highly valued in both academic and professional settings.

To provide students with a comprehensive understanding of career prospects, tutors also invite speakers from the industry to share their experiences and insights. These guest speakers expose students to diverse career paths, industry trends, and emerging opportunities. By hearing directly from professionals, students gain a realistic glimpse into the skills and attributes required for success in their chosen fields. Students¿ employability skills are further developed through employer visits and field trips. These excursions enable students to witness the day-to-day operations of different organisations, interact with professionals, and gain valuable insights into industry practices and career pathways.

Finally, as discussed in the ¿Digital Capabilities, section, students are also encouraged to immerse themselves in the digital realm. They develop digital literacy and proficiency in utilising various virtual learning platforms and databases, research and referencing software, and other technological tools. With a good understanding of the digital landscape, students can navigate the ever-changing technological landscape with ease, adapting to emerging trends and staying ahead of the curve.

iv. Resourcefulness and Resilience

Throughout their academic journey, students will be fully supported and guided to become resourceful and resilient (RR) learners. However, student engagement requires independence, perseverance, and the development of self-efficacy, which underpin becoming a genuinely resourceful student. The range of modules and the need to integrate into various types of classroom settings, practical activities, individual and collaborative tasks, and online environments, will help to facilitate students¿ self-management skills. Specifically, high levels of active and independent learning will be evident throughout the programme.

Building on what was mentioned in the previous section on ¿Employability¿, tutors create opportunities for discussions centred around RR, drawing on industry connections and alumni to provide insights into RR in real-world contexts. They organise guest lectures, inviting professionals from various fields to share their experiences and providing students with practical examples and case studies that demonstrate the application of RR in professional settings. In addition, tutors utilise subject-relevant materials in their modules so as to further support students in becoming RR learners. It is vital that tutors work closely with the Wellbeing team to identify materials that effectively illustrate RR concepts to ensure the content aligns with the learning objectives of the programme. These discussions and exposure to real-world examples contribute to the development of students' confidence, adaptability, and problem-solving abilities.

Moreover, academic skills are embedded in the curriculum to support students in critical thinking and analysis. Assignments and projects require students to evaluate information critically, gather evidence, and draw well-reasoned conclusions. This process cultivates resourcefulness as students learn to adapt their research strategies, explore various sources, and think creatively to overcome obstacles. By persisting through research challenges and incorporating feedback, students develop resilience in their ability to navigate complex academic tasks. There is also significant emphasis on the development of written and oral communication skills throughout the programme so as to enable students to express their ideas effectively. Through writing assignments, delivering presentations, and participating in class discussions, students develop the ability to articulate their thoughts, engage in constructive dialogue, and adapt their communication style to different contexts. These skills nurture resourcefulness by empowering students to express themselves confidently and persuasively, while also fostering resilience in their ability to communicate their ideas with clarity and adapt their approach based on the feedback they receive.

The programme also recognises the importance of time management and organisation in developing RR learners. In the context of the introductory skills module ¿Becoming a Criminology¿ but also throughout their academic journey, students are encouraged and provided with extensive guidance by their tutors and the University¿s Academic Skills and Development team on how to develop effective strategies for managing their workload, setting priorities, and adapting their plans when faced with unexpected challenges. By mastering these skills, students learn to navigate competing demands, stay focused, and bounce back from setbacks with an organised and proactive approach.

Collaborative activities and group projects are also integrated into various modules, providing opportunities for students to develop teamwork and interpersonal skills. Through collaboration, students learn to leverage diverse perspectives, communicate effectively, and adapt their strategies to achieve common goals. Working in teams fosters resourcefulness by encouraging students to draw upon the strengths of their peers and find innovative solutions. It also promotes resilience as students learn to navigate group dynamics, resolve conflicts, and adapt to different working styles.

Further opportunities to develop RR skills are also available through PTY and other, shorter, placement provisions, both in terms of the supported process of acquiring a position, and ensuring successful completion of the PTY, with the support of a personal tutor. In addition, the final year research project enables students to gain particular skills in leadership, resourcefulness, and problem-solving through the navigation of ethical considerations, and working in a professional and collaborative partnership with their supervisor.

Upon completion of the programme, students will have benefited from a network of support, and will have become independent and resourceful learners who are able to appropriately apply confidence, reflection, critical thinking and analysis, and problem-solving skills.

v. Sustainability

The concept of sustainability is inextricably intertwined with social and political inequalities. Understanding these inequalities is essential in explaining crime/deviance and in assessing societal reactions and policy responses to them. Sustainability is an overarching theme in the BSc in Criminology and Sociology programme, permeating modules both at macro and micro levels. It involves an embedded comprehension of sustainability concepts, an awareness of ethical considerations, the capacity to identify and challenge social inequality, the cultivation of a shared responsibility mindset, and an understanding of the broader impact of globalisation. Introductory modules like Conceptualising the Social World (SOC1052) and Explaining Crime and Deviance (SOC1048) invite students to consider the social dimensions of sustainability and explore how social structures, institutions, and inequalities intersect with environmental and economic concerns. In addition, through specialised modules like Exploring Environmental Crime (SOC2082), students have the opportunity to discuss in depth issues around environmental crime and relevant social harms. By exploring the links between sustainability and their chosen fields of study, students acquire a sound grasp of the increasing threats to sustainability while assessing the effectiveness of existing policies, regulations, and interventions and considering new ways to promote sustainable practices.

Drawing inspiration from the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the programme's design incorporates the principles outlined in the SDGs. These goals serve as a global call to action, emphasising the need to address poverty, enhance health and education, reduce inequality, foster economic growth, combat climate change, and preserve natural ecosystems. Throughout the programme, students deepen their awareness of these issues through their learning experiences, with authentic activities and assessments playing a crucial role in this process. While all 17 goals have varying degrees of relevance to the programme, particular emphasis is placed on Goal 10, which focuses on reducing inequality within and among countries, and Goal 16, which aims to promote peaceful and inclusive societies and ensure access to justice. Goal 5 on promoting gender equality is also of particular importance, with students being given the opportunity to be part of the Department of Sociology¿s Athena Swan team and contribute to the organisation of relevant departmental events.

The Final Year project offers a significant opportunity for students to delve deeply into ethical considerations. Through their individual research projects, students engage with the ethical dimensions specific to their areas of study. This process allows them to showcase their future leadership potential and equips them with transferable skills that, as discussed in the previous section, can enhance their employability across various fields. By the completion of the programme, students are expected to have developed the confidence and competence to address societal inequalities and promote inclusive and sustainable practices in their future endeavours.

Quality assurance

The Regulations and Codes of Practice for taught programmes can be found at:

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2024/5 academic year.