BA (Hons) Criminology


Study level
Full time
3 years
Part time
3 years+
London, Birmingham, Manchester or Online
Faculty of Social Science

What makes Arden University special?

Education for everyone, everywhere
Whether you're constrained by location, cost, time, or other life commitments, we're passionate about giving you access to higher education that fits into your busy, modern life.
Where to study
You decide how and where to study
We offer a wide range of flexible undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in both our online and blended study modes.
Full support both online and on-site
We're also proud to offer non-standard entry, meaning your work experience and previous qualifications are taken into account when assessing your application.
Strong focus on employability
You will gain in-depth subject knowledge and transferable skills that employers from a huge range of industries will value. Many of our courses at Arden are also accredited by leading professional bodies in the UK.

Course Overview

Are you interested in the causes and consequences of crime and deviant behaviour in modern society? Arden University’s BA (Hons) Criminology will equip you with the knowledge and tools to understand the ever-evolving concept of crime within society and the intricate mechanisms of the criminal justice system.

Our criminology programme empowers you to develop a theoretical grasp of behaviour, victimisation, the socio-legal landscape, and societal responses to crime. You’ll also examine the inner workings of the criminal justice system, media portrayals of crime and victimisation, the societal approach to crime, and the future of social control. All these dimensions, and more, are comprehensively explored through the lens of global criminological theories, complemented with insights from related disciplines like psychology and sociology. 

Throughout the course, you’ll delve into a diverse spectrum of criminal activities, victimisation experiences, and miscarriages of justice. From in-depth examinations of serial killers and violent offenders to probing pivotal cases such as Zahid Mubarak, Stephen Lawrence, Sarah Everard, and Mark Duggan, our programme offers a comprehensive exploration of today’s criminal justice system. This will prepare you for potential careers as a police or probation officer, or roles in human rights, criminal investigation, or intelligence services.

The team behind the course are academics, practitioners, and researchers with experiences encompassing a wide spectrum of areas such as victim support, crime prevention, case management, social care, and much more. This dynamic blend of experience guarantees you’ll acquire the competencies needed to not only address the present challenges of the sector but also anticipate its future demands.

Why choose Arden?
Video • 1 min

Quick tools

Explore your modules
Explore your brochure
Download the course brochure to take a look at your course modules and syllabus content.
Download brochure
Fast track your career with Arden
Speak to an advisor
Want to speak to one of our subject experts? Our advisors are ready to answer your questions! Click below to get started.
Show me how
Career development resources
You'll have online access to a huge range of career development tools from the day you start studying.
Learn more

Course details and modules

The course has been designed with a clear applied focus to reflect the real-world criminal justice skills you need to succeed. Your modules cover areas such as state and corporate crime, intelligence policing, terrorism, human trafficking, serious and organised crime, cybersecurity, serial killers, contemporary policing issues, and more. This holistic approach ensures you gain the practical insights necessary to excel in the ever-evolving landscape of criminal justice.

Just some of the fascinating modules you’ll study on this course include:

Crimes of the Powerful

Examine state-driven and state-corporate illegal activities, from police brutality to corporate corruption. Investigate hidden aspects of criminology through cases like genocide and white-collar crime, shedding light on the dynamics of power.

Defending the Realm

Explore intelligence policing, its role in decision-making, and its challenges in combating global crime. Understand the complexities of intelligence operations by analysing real-world cases like Operational Forte and Morecambe Bay's Cockling Disaster.

Policing Priorities

Trace the evolution of policing through history to the present day. Navigate issues like policing by consent, police culture, safeguarding, and the changing landscape of policing, providing a comprehensive understanding of modern policing dynamics.

Laura Pearson

For me personally, I feel that the support network as a whole is exceptional. It's not just one particular part of Arden either. It's not just the students, and it's not just student support, it's everything, all combined. Everyone is on the same page. The inclusion portal now is fabulous, I love it, you know, I got really excited when I saw that.

Laura Pearson
Criminology/Sociology student


You have between 3 to 9 years to complete this course, which means you can take up to 3 years to complete each level. Most of our students, however, aim to complete their studies within 3 to 6 years.

Your studies will begin at Level 4 with an introduction to both criminology and cybercrime. You’ll then have the opportunity to choose one of these pathways at Level 5, in which your remaining modules will help you learn the latest sector-specific skills needed by employers.  Explore the cybercrime specialisation here.

  • Becoming a Criminologist​ (20 credits)
  • A History of Crime and Punishment​ (20 credits)
  • Crime, Media, and Culture​ (20 credits)
  • Cybercrime: The Essentials ​(20 credits)
  • Policing Priorities​ (20 credits)
  • Working within the Criminal Justice System (20 credits)
  • The Prison​ (20 credits)
  • Youth Crime and Justice (20 credits)​
  • Defending the Realm​ (20 credits)
  • Green Criminology​ (20 credits)
  • Researching the Field​ (20 credits)
  • Crimes of the Powerful (20 credits)
  • Serial Killers​ (20 credits)
  • Victimology​ (20 credits)
  • Miscarriages of Justice​ (20 credits)
  • Professional Practice: A case study (20 credits)
  • Dissertation (40 credits)​


Authentic assessments. No exams.

No exams in sight! You’ll find that our innovative assessments have a real-world focus and are embedded with real skills you can use in your future career.

Study support

Custom-made support for your criminology degree studies

Alongside the extensive support available to all students studying with Arden, this course features its own personalised support system to help you succeed with your studies. This includes:

  • Engagement checks to ensure you have the tools and support for assignment submissions.
  • Academic personal tutor scheme for personalised support and guidance.
  • Weekly virtual programme team lead drop-ins for any questions you have.
  • Assessment workshops to clarify assessment requirements, marking criteria, and learning objectives.
  • Formative submission opportunities and feedback across all modules. 
  • Office hours with module leaders, including a booking system for 1:1 support.
  • Additional academic support workshops in collaboration with our library and academic skills tutors.

Gain real-world experience while you study

Through unique Arden initiatives, this degree gives you the chance to gain all-important experience to help you stand out from the crowd.

- Virtual Programme Group (VPG): Through VPG, students have the chance to collaborate with the Programme Development Team in the school to shape our programmes. Selected students will provide invaluable feedback to the team, playing a crucial role in shaping new degrees.

- Volunteer Lecturing Assistant (VLA): As a VLA, you will work alongside our teaching staff, gaining valuable teaching experience at the higher education level, building confidence, and contributing to the vibrant learning community here at Arden. You’ll be supported by academics who will offer guidance, training, and support. 

- Volunteer Research Assistant (VRA): As a VRA, you will assist Arden teaching staff or our partner organisations with ongoing projects, developing your skills in research design and application with the support of a member of our staff. This will also help you build your network within the research environment.

Study options

Ryan-Jay Walsh

Having flexible study is so important to me… I’ve had to do last-minute school runs to drop my nephews off, but Arden has been so understanding and the flexibility of study suits my life perfectly.

Ryan-Jay Walsh
BA (Hons) Criminology and Psychology

Full-time blended learning

How does it work?

When you choose our blended learning study mode, each week you’ll have eight hours of timetabled classes spread over two days at the Arden campus of your choice. This is combined with around 25 hours of independent study, which takes place through ilearn, our university campus in the cloud. ilearn contains all the resources you need to study successfully. As a blended learning student, you’ll also have access to our Library Portal, an extensive digital library with thousands of journal titles, eBooks, and a range of academic and industry databases that you can use to research and gain in-depth information on your area of study. At Arden, all of your course materials are provided free of charge, removing the need for you to buy expensive textbooks to study your degree successfully.

Blended learning is the best option for students who prefer the structure of regular face-to-face classes with their tutor and fellow classmates, and is particularly suited to students who live within commuting or driving distance of one of our UK campuses.

If you're a student from England who is enrolling on a blended learning course with Arden (based in one of our UK campuses) then you can apply for a Tuition Fee Loan and Maintenance Loan to help pay for your living expenses. You can find more information on our fees and funding page. If you're a student from Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland you can find information about obtaining a student loan to cover your costs from your student finance body.

Learn more about blended learning

Part-time online learning

How does it work?

Studying the BA (Hons) Criminology online gives you the ultimate in convenience. You can enrol with Arden from anywhere in the world and study your degree from the comfort of home, without the requirement to attend classes in a physical location. 

Our online students study their degree through ilearn, Arden’s university campus in the cloud.  ilearn provides everything you need to study at university. As well as receiving regular feedback and guidance from your course tutor, you’ll be studying with like-minded students who you can meet with through our Unitu community, and you’ll have access to community message boards to discuss your course and the topics being raised within it. You’ll also have access to our online Library Portal. The portal includes an extensive digital library including thousands of journal titles, eBooks, and academic and industry databases which you can use to research your assignments and projects. All of these materials are provided to you free of charge and contain all the research information you’ll need to complete your degree with us.

Online learning students resident in the UK can apply for a Maintenance Loan if they cannot attend their course in person because of a disability. Please find more information on our fees and funding page. If you're a student from Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland you can find information on Living Cost Loans from your student finance body.

Learn more about online learning

Introducing your Digital Backpack

Once you’ve enrolled on your Criminology degree with Arden you’ll get access to your Digital Backpack, a toolkit of digital resources we’ve put together to help you succeed during your time studying with us.

Here are some of the digital resources you’ll have available throughout your course:

  • Office 365 subscription
  • Integrated zoom video conferencing
  • Careers support in-person and online available through Arden Futures, your careers platform, to help you throughout your career journey whether you are a Career Starter, Changer or Developer
  • Free online access to our Library Portal, which includes thousands of eBooks and journals, as well as industry databases which we’ve carefully hand-picked to support your studies – all yours for free while you study with us
  • Subscription to Togetherall for an abundance of mental health support

Entry requirements

At Arden University we consider applications on a case by case basis. If you have significant work experience, have qualifications you have gained elsewhere, or a degree or qualification that isn't a clear pathway to this degree - we are more than happy to discuss your application.


To be eligible for our BA (Hons) Criminology, you should normally have:

  • Two subjects at GCE A level or equivalent, plus passes at grade C or above in three subjects at GCSE level or equivalent; OR​
  • Completed a recognised Access Programme or equivalent.
  • If you don’t currently hold the above qualifications, we also offer this course with an additional foundation year, designed for students who need extra support when starting their degree course.

We’re also happy to consider an application from you if you can show us that you have relevant work experience that required critical thinking and analysis skills. We’ll ask you for a personal statement that demonstrates your motivation and ability to study this degree, along with references and evidence of your previous work experience.

English proficiency

  • IELTS 6.0 (no less than 5.5 in any element); or TOEFL iBT 80; or equivalent
  • Alternatively, evidence you have previously studied in English, such as a letter to show that the Medium of Instruction was in English, can be accepted.

We also offer an internal English test for applicants who are unable to provide the above evidence of English proficiency. More information can be found here.

Before you start studying

Whilst you can read your study materials on your smart phone or tablet, to make the most of your learning experience, you will need access to a laptop or computer (we recommend one running the latest version of Windows), and a good stable internet connection.

Course fees and funding

Find your country

Use the dropdown above to find course fees and funding information for your country. If you can’t find information for your country in the dropdown, visit our International support page.

Meet the faculty

Dr Emma Winlow

Dr. Emma Winlow obtained her undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Criminology and Crime & Justice from the University of Chester and completed her PhD at the University of Gloucestershire. A public criminologist, Emma has extensive leadership and management experience in higher education and is passionate about accessibility, inclusion, and employability in teaching and learning. She established the School of Criminal Justice with these practices in mind. Emma is also a member of the British Society of Criminology and the British Society of Criminology's Teaching and Learning Network.

Dr Emma Winlow
Head of School - Criminal Justice

Career prospects

This course provides you with the foundations you need for further study in the field and a range of universal, transferable skills that will allow you to apply your knowledge across diverse sectors.

What will the BA (Hons) Criminology do for me?

You’ll graduate from this course with real practical insight into today’s evolving criminal justice field that you’ll be able to apply immediately to your future role. Just some of the things you’ll learn include:

  • The different causes, patterns, consequences, and responses to crime across the UK and globally.
  • Real-world criminal justice expertise directly from lecturers with a wealth of experience in their fields.
  • The modern digital and analytical tools needed to work across courts, policing, probation, prison, and victims’ services.
  • Skills applicable to a range of exciting career opportunities across the sector. 

What can I do after Arden University?

By earning a degree in criminology, you’ll be well-positioned for a range of exciting opportunities once you graduate. As well as the possibility of continuing on to further study at the master’s level, your degree will open doors in areas such as:

  • Criminal justice system (police, prison, the courts, or probation)
  • Criminal investigation
  • Criminal Justice research
  • Government, social, or community services
  • Voluntary sector ​
  • Working with charities
  • NGOs (non-governmental organisations)
  • Work with the home office
  • Higher education

Industry skills


The course stands out in that the topics you’ll study have a global focus that is relevant anywhere in the world. Avoiding the Western-centric focus of many undergraduate criminology courses, your course content will give you experience and knowledge you can apply to careers both at home and internationally.

Campaign for Social Science

Arden University is a member of the Campaign for Social Science. 

The Campaign demonstrates how social science improves public policy, society, and all our lives. It highlights the value of applied social science research and advocates for its greater use in decision-making and in government. It is supported by a coalition of universities, social science societies, and publishers.

As a member, Arden receives access to case studies, research into the value provided by social sciences, and insights into the employability of social science graduates. Through this, you will gain a better understanding of the skills you are learning and their value to employers.

LinkedIn Learning

All Arden students will have free access to LinkedIn Learning through the Library Portal. LinkedIn Learning is a video-based online learning platform offering over 16,500 expert-led courses across a wide range of subjects including business, technology, and creative skills.

With LinkedIn Learning, you can:

  • Pursue curated learning pathways aligned with our curriculum and your career goals.
  • Add value to your LinkedIn profile by showcasing your newly acquired skills.
  • Personalise content based on skills relevant to your chosen career path, interests and prior learning.