BA (Hons) Criminology with Foundation Year

Criminology

BA (Hons) & Foundation Year

Summary

Study level
Award
Part time
4 years+
Location
Online
Faculty of Social Science

Course Overview

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.

This course is subject to validation.

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Course details and modules

This foundation year course will provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to successfully complete a full undergraduate degree in criminology, even if you've been out of education for some time or don't meet the requirements for standard entry. You'll develop key academic skills needed for university study in areas such as maths, data, research, presentation, academic referencing, and more.

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.

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

Modules

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.

  • Introduction to Numeracy, Data & IT (20 credits)
  • Introducing Research Skills (20 credits)
  • Ethics, Working Collaboratively & Values (20 credits)
  • Academic Skills Practice (20 credits)
  • Crime and Law in Context (20 credits)
  • Psychology of Everyday Life (20 credits)
  • 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. You’ll also have the opportunity to learn how to get your research published and start building your professional portfolio.

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.

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

Part-time online learning

How does it work?

Studying the BA (Hons) Criminology with Foundation Year 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 with Foundation Year 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
  • Career services through Abintegro to ready you for your future career
  • 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.

Eligibility

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

  • At least 3 x GCSEs or 45 credits at Level 2 or equivalent. If your qualifications are older than 3 years, we will also ask to see a professional CV.
  • If you do not meet these requirements, you may be considered based on a minimum of 12 months of professional work experience evidenced by a CV and reference.
  • We also offer this course as a standard bachelor’s degree without foundation year. To view the course details, please click here.

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

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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 with Foundation Year do for me?

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:

  • The knowledge and academic study skills needed to succeed at university.
  • 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, or probation)
  • Criminal investigative services
  • Government, social, or community services
  • Voluntary sector ​
  • Working with charities
  • NGOs (non-governmental organisations)
  • Work with the Home Office
  • Higher Education

Industry skills

  

In line with most other criminology courses offered by UK universities, this course is not accredited by a professional body. 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.