Are you interested in a future career in criminology but aren’t sure if you’re ready for university study? Arden University’s BA (Hons) Criminology with Foundation Year will provide you with the support you need to complete your full degree with confidence, all while preparing you for rewarding careers across the criminology sector.
This course takes a modern, digital-first approach to the study of criminology, equipping you with cutting-edge skills in what is becoming an increasingly tech-driven sector. The course covers knowledge and best practices both in the UK and internationally, providing you with up-to-date, relevant skills applicable to criminal justice systems around the world. You’ll explore all the essentials of criminology, helping you understand the societal factors that perpetuate crime, as well as appropriate responses for upholding social justice.
The team behind the course are experienced practitioners and academics with a wealth of knowledge and published research in their respective fields. Your learning material will incorporate the latest trends, events, and advancements in the field to ensure you graduate with transferable skills that meet the current and future needs of the sector. And because you’ll tackle some of today’s most pressing and complex criminology topics, just a few of these skills include critical thinking, reflection, and analysis. You’ll also start developing industry links through regular webinars and guest speaker events, where you will learn how to apply your new skills in practice.
This course shares its foundation year and Level 4 modules with our BA (Hons) Criminology with Cybercrime. After completing your first two years of study, you’ll have the option to switch over to this pathway if you decide it better matches your career goals. You can visit the BA (Hons) Criminology with Cybercrime course page here.
Arden's foundation year modules have been designed to give you a tailored and fully supportive introduction to university study. This first year of study will prepare you for success in higher education by introducing you to the academic skills and subject-specific knowledge required to excel in your chosen degree subject.
The course has been designed with a clear applied focus to reflect the real-world criminal justice skills you need to succeed. In alignment with the UK’s Ministry of Justice Digital Strategy 2025, your modules take a digital and globally focused approach, equipping you with the digital and critical analytical tools required for working in roles across the sector, including courts, policing, probation, prison, and victims’ services.
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.
You have between 4 to 12 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 4 to 6 years.
Your studies will begin by reviewing key preparatory academic study skills, followed by an introduction to both criminology and cybercrime at Level 4. At Level 5, you will have the opportunity to choose one of these pathways, in which your remaining modules will help you learn the latest sector-specific skills needed by employers. Explore the cybercrime specialisation here.
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. You’ll also have the opportunity to learn how to get your research published and start building your professional portfolio.
You’ll have the chance to contribute to the Criminology and Social Science Research journal. That means by contributing you could see your own work in print and even have it publicised across the university's website and social media accounts.
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 with Foundation Year, you should normally have:
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.
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.
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.
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.
You’ll graduate from this course with real practical insight into today’s evolving criminology field that you’ll be able to apply immediately to your future role. Just some of the things you’ll learn include:
During your Foundation Year, you'll get comprehensive support and preparation for your university journey, including:
Introduction and preparation: our Foundation Year courses introduce you to university-level teaching, learning, and assessment methods. You'll develop essential study skills, research techniques, and critical thinking abilities, laying a strong foundation for your degree studies.
Personalised support: our academic staff will guide you throughout your Foundation Year. They'll ensure a smooth transition into your degree programme, providing the support you need every step of the way.
Direct relevance to your future degree: your programme content is carefully designed to align with Arden's degree courses. Studying a Foundation Year will equip you with subject-specific knowledge and interdisciplinary exploration, establishing a solid base for your chosen degree.
Improved degree outcomes: we prioritise not only your academic preparation but also your success. By boosting your confidence, academic skills, and understanding of the subjects, we empower you to achieve the best possible degree outcomes and expand your career opportunities.
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:
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.
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.