Criminology and Sociology (BSc Econ)

Criminology and Sociology gives students the opportunity to combine study of crime, deviance and victimisation with study of wider society and the social processes within it.

The School of Social Sciences is an interdisciplinary centre of high quality teaching and research. Students will enjoy superb teaching and staff-student relationships, whilst harbouring vital transferable skills for a global economy.

Key facts

UCAS CodeLM39
Entry pointSeptember 2016
Duration3 years
Typical places availableThe School typically has 280 places available
Typical applications receivedThe School typically receives 1250 applications
Typical A level offerABB-BBB, excluding General Studies
Typical Welsh Baccalaureate offerGrade A in the Core, plus grades BB at A level
Typical International Baccalaureate offer34 points
Other qualificationsApplications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome. Specific admissions and selection criteria for this degree programme can be found online.

Detailed alternative entry requirements are available for this course.
QAA subject benchmark

Sociology, Criminology

Admissions tutor(s)

Dr Miguel Arribas-ayllon, Course Administrator

Dr Miguel Arribas-ayllon, Admissions Tutor

Important Legal Information: The programme information currently being published in Course Finder is under review and may be subject to change. The final programme information is due to be published in June 2016 and will be the definitive programme outline which the University intends to offer. Applicants are advised to check the definitive programme information after the update, to ensure that the programme meets their needs.

The School of Social Sciences is an established centre for teaching and researching Criminology and Sociology.

Criminology is the field of study which focuses on crime, victimisation and responses to crime and deviance. Criminology is both a theoretical and an empirical subject. It has its roots in several social science disciplines, and staff adopt an interdisciplinary approach to their teaching and research. In particular, sociological, psychological and political approaches are explored in the undergraduate Criminology curriculum. The degree also provides students with a thorough grounding in criminological research methods and practice.

Sociology is concerned with the study of society, culture and institutions and is one of the disciplines central to making sense of globalisation and social change. Change is intrinsic to social life, and this drives sociology's dynamic character. Studying Sociology will help you understand and question some of the important transformations that we hear talked about in the media: including changes in family life, the worlds of work, culture and leisure, new technologies, social inequalities, children and childhood, sexualities and much more besides.

Both theory and method are central to this joint degree. Modules draw upon a wide range of qualitative, observational, statistical, historical and comparative data and methods to investigate crime and its control and the nature of human social life. Students will benefit from the impressive range of theory and research methods expertise within the School of Social Sciences. Studying Criminology and Sociology together offers the chance to obtain an excellent grounding in contemporary theories, policies, methods and debates whilst also developing a wide range of transferable skills. It means you will be able to identify, understand and critique the evidence-base of much current public, civic and crime policy.

The School of Social Sciences is in a unique position to offer the Criminology and Sociology joint programme within an interdisciplinary social sciences context.   Criminology and Sociology in Cardiff is set within a dynamic and exciting research-inspired environment which our undergraduate students are introduced to. For example final year students usually undertake a dissertation in Criminology or Sociology supervised by experts in their field.

The programme provides an excellent starting point from which to participate effectively in the research and policy process, and to become equipped for a dynamic labour market. It also provides the foundation to develop a range of careers in crime control, social welfare, public policy, social research and related areas.  Thus career destinations are varied and include policing, probation, security services, human resources, health, social services - and research within local and national government.

Year one

Year two

Module titleModule codeCredits
Social Research MethodsSI003020 credits
Responses To CrimeSI020220 credits
Offending and VictimisationSI020120 credits
Social TheorySI006620 credits

Year three

For year three, students will have a choice of modules, but will be expected to take at least 40 credits from each the following groups:

For Criminology:

  • Diversity, Crime and Criminal Justice
  • Prisons and Community Sanctions
  • Policing: Theory, Evidence and Policy

For Sociology:

  • Globalisation and Social Change
  • Metropolis : Urban Life and Consumer Culture
  • New Frontiers in Sociology
  • Science, Risk and Resistance in a Global Age
  • Power, Culture and Identity
  • Sociology of Health, Illness and Medicine

All other modules are optional.

The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

In the School of Social Sciences you will learn from scholars who are shaping the future of their fields. Our courses reflect both the core ideas of their disciplines and contemporary debates, theories and research.

In year one you will lay the foundations for later specialist study, taking a number of core modules and following a study skills programme designed to help you make the transition to higher education. In years two and three, you will be encouraged to study and learn more independently, giving you the opportunity to read more widely and to develop your own interests

Assessment methods vary from module to module but, across the degree scheme as a whole, you can expect a mixture of exams, essays, practical work, presentations, and individual and group projects. Depending on your degree scheme, you may also undertake a final year dissertation that will give you the opportunity to focus on one topic in depth and further develop your research and analytic skills.

As social science develops in response to the social world, so too our curriculum changes.  Our students play an important role in these developments, with the Staff-Student Panel being consulted about major changes and all students completing module evaluations and an annual student survey.

In 2013/14, 95% of School of Social Science graduates who were available for work reported they were in employment and/or further study within six months of graduation.

Turning theory into practical application and providing experience of the working world are important facets of preparing our graduates for life outside of education.

We encourage our students to think about life beyond University from day one, offering modules and support to give you a competitive advantage on graduating.

Our dedicated Placements Manager offers advice on available work placements, internships, work experience and opportunities to enhance your CV and broaden your horizons. Support with job applications and interview techniques is also available.

Duration

3 Year(s)

Next intake

September 2016

Places available

Typical places available

The School of Social Sciences admits over 340 students to their undergraduate degree programmes every year.

Applications received

Typical applications received

1,500

Accreditations

QAA subject benchmark

QAA subject benchmark

Sociology, Criminology

Overview and aims of this course/programme

Cardiff School of Social Sciences is an established centre for teaching and researching Criminology and Sociology.

Criminology is the field of study which focuses on crime, victimisation and responses to crime and deviance. Criminology is both a theoretical and an empirical subject. It has its roots in several social science disciplines, and staff adopt an interdisciplinary approach to their teaching and research. In particular, sociological, psychological and political approaches are explored in the undergraduate Criminology curriculum. The degree also provides students with a thorough grounding in criminological research methods and practice. 

Sociology is concerned with the study of society, culture and institutions and is one of the disciplines central to making sense of globalisation and social change. Change is intrinsic to social life, and this drives sociology's dynamic character. Studying Sociology will help you understand and question some of the important transformations that we hear talked about in the media: including changes in family life, the worlds of work, culture and leisure, new technologies, social inequalities, children and childhood, sexualities and much more besides.

Both theory and method are central to this joint pathway. Modules draw upon a wide range of qualitative, observational, statistical, historical and comparative data and methods to investigate crime and its control and the nature of human social life. Students will benefit from the impressive range of theory and research methods expertise within the School of Social Sciences. Studying Criminology and Sociology together offers the chance to obtain an excellent grounding in contemporary theories, policies, methods and debates whilst also developing a wide range of transferable skills. It means you will be able to identify, understand and critique the evidence-base of much current public, civic and crime policy.

The School of Social Sciences is in a unique position to offer the Criminology and Sociology joint programme within an interdisciplinary social sciences context.   Criminology and Sociology in Cardiff is set within a world-class research and teaching culture. Our undergraduate students are introduced to the challenge and excitement of being part of a research-led environment and final year students usually undertake a dissertation in Criminology or Sociology.

The programme provides an excellent starting point from which to participate effectively in the research and policy process, and to become equipped for a dynamic labour market. It also provides the foundation to develop a range of careers in crime control, social welfare, public policy, social research and related areas.  Thus career destinations are varied and include policing, probation, security services, human resources, health, social services - and research within local and national government.

Degree programmes in SOCSI reflect the National Qualification Framework and benchmark standards of the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) (www.qaa.ac.uk). 

What should I know about year five?

Most modules are 20 credits. Students are expected to allocate 200 hours of study time to each of them: this is made up of lectures (22-24 hrs in Years 2 and 3, 44-48 in Year 1), tutorials/seminars/workshops (8-10 hours), independent study and time spent on assessment tasks. Students should attend all lectures and are required to attend all seminars.

Students are expected to adhere to the Cardiff University policy on Dignity at Work and Study, which can be found at: http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/govrn/cocom/equalityanddiversity/dignityatwork/index.html

Students are also expected to maintain regular contact with the personal tutor and, where appropriate, inform the School of any extenuating circumstances that might affect their academic performance.

In SOCSI we take the responsibility we share with you to support your learning seriously and if you have any particular requirements it is important that you let us know. In some instances you may just want to talk to your personal tutor or a member of the teaching team on a particular module. We also have a Disabilities contact and work closely with the Student Support Service.

How is this course/programme structured?

This is a 3 year full time programme, consisting of 120 credits a year.

What should I know about year four?

No specific equipment required

What should I know about year three?

Students will acquire and develop a range of skills, including both discipline specific and generic employability skills. These include: communicating and presenting oral and written information, arguments and ideas (individually and as part of a team); using ICT (word processing, data bases, internet communication, information retrieval and on-line searches); interpreting and presenting relevant numerical information through compulsory year 1 and 2 research methods modules; demonstrating interpersonal skills to enable team/group work; recognising, recording and communicating skills and knowledge to achieve personal/career goals; managing learning and performance (including time management); demonstrating a commitment to continuing learning and development.

If you choose the dissertation module, this provides a means to further develop and demonstrate a broad range of skills.  The outcomes of the dissertation will be made available to a wider audience at a conference when you will be expected to make a presentation of your work. The research project provides the opportunity for independent study supported by an academic supervisor. Supervision sessions provide the opportunity to negotiate individual learning outcomes. This will develop collaborative, time-management, communication and presentational skills.

What should I know about the preliminary year?

Each year of study consist of 120 credits, usually taught as six 20 credit modules. In each academic year, there will be a number of core modules that provide the essential foundation for the degree scheme plus a number of optional modules that allow you to tailor your academic work to your own strengths and interests. In the third year, students have the opportunity to undertake a dissertation. The dissertation is counted as a double module and provides the opportunity for independent study and research supported by an academic supervisor.

A diverse range of teaching and learning styles are used throughout the degree. Students will attend lectures, participate in tutorials or seminars and carry out practical tasks as individual or group activities. Seminar and practical work is particularly important as it provides an opportunity to student to obtain feedback on their progress and understanding throughout the academic year.

You will receive formal feedback on your assessments in a variety of ways. You will receive individual, written feedback on coursework, the purpose of which is to improve your understanding of the subject and develop transferable skills that can be applied elsewhere. General feedback will also be given on examinations, with individual feedback available for students who have failed the module and require a resit. Many modules also offer formative assessments, which enable you to develop your skills and obtain feedback without affecting your final module mark.

Some teaching will take place within the School of Social Sciences and some will be in other locations within the University campus.

What should I know about year one?

Each of the taught modules within the programme will be assessed using one or more of the following in-course assessments:

  • Essays and coursework;
  • Formal seen and unseen examinations;
  • Class tests;
  • Written reports;
  • Group presentations
  • Oral presentations;
  • Dissertation.

There are also opportunities for formative assessment: assessments which do not formally count towards the final grade and are therefore an opportunity for you to gain insight and feedback on your progress. We place a particular emphasis on formative assessment in the first year.

Arrangements may be made to vary or substitute assessments for students with disabilities.

Other information

Students will be allocated a personal tutor for the duration of their studies. Tutors make themselves available for scheduled meetings to discuss progress and provide advice and guidance, but they can also be called upon when needed.

All modules within the programme make use of Cardiff University’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) Blackboard, on which students will find course materials, links to related materials and information relating to assessment tasks. Additional module-specific support is provided by seminar tutors, lecturers and/or module convenors. Support for the dissertation is provided by a supervisor who will meet with students regularly.

Opportunities for students to reflect on their abilities and performance are also made available via the University’s central services, which include:

  • Academic and Skills Development Centre: http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/academicskills/
  • Information Literacy Resource Bank: https://ilrb.cf.ac.uk/
  • Careers Advice and Guidance: http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/careers/

Distinctive features

A typical graduate from this programme will be able to:

  • critically assess evidence from a range of social science disciplines
  • demonstrate systematic and critical understanding of crime and its control, some of it in specialist areas, and informed by current criminological thinking and developments
  • describe and evaluate the principles that underlie criminal justice policy and crime control strategies, how they have changed over time, and how they relate to the workings of particular agencies of crime control
  • demonstrate an awareness of social context, the nature of social processes and social diversity and inequality
  • demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between individuals, groups and social institutions
  • understand the social processes underpinning social change
  • recognise the potential uncertainty, ambiguity and limits of knowledge in criminology and sociology
  • select and use accurately techniques of social scientific analysis and enquiry
  • critically analyse an appropriate range of criminological and sociological literature and research findings
  • interrogate assumptions and theories of research
  • interrogate your own assumptions using appropriate principles
  • compare and contrast examples of criminological and social theory and research
  • apply research principles and practice to own coursework
  • analyse primary and secondary data (both qualitative and quantitative)
  • explore systematically and critically the ways in which images and notions of crime are constructed and represented
  • plan research and be able to conduct your own piece of criminological or sociological research
  • assess a range of criminological and sociological perspectives
  • advocate a balanced and possibly a counter-factual point of view
  • demonstrate an understanding of the significance of the limitations of criminological and social theory and research
  • apply social scientific research skills to the interrogation of evidence relating to criminological and sociological  issues
  • synthesise primary and secondary data (both qualitative and quantitative)
  • communicate and present oral and written complex information, arguments and ideas (individually and as part of a team)
  • use ICT (word processing, data bases, internet communication, information retrieval and on-line searches)
  • interpret and present relevant numerical information through compulsory year 1 and 2 research methods modules.
  • demonstrate interpersonal skills to enable team/group work (including, for example, team work, planning, negotiating and target setting)
  • recognise, record and communicate your skills and knowledge to achieve your personal/career goals
  • manage  your  own learning and performance (including time management)
  • demonstrate a commitment to continuing learning and development

How will I be taught?

The distinctive features of the Scheme include:

- the opportunity for students to learn in a School that was ranked 3rd in the UK for research quality in sociology and 5th for education in the 2014 Research Excellent Framework (REF)

- the involvement of research-active staff in Scheme design and delivery

- the emphasis on independent learning in a research-led environment

- the variety of modules on offer in a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary School

- progression through core and specialist option modules

- Involvement with the Welsh branch of the British Society of Criminology, the Centre for Crime Law and Justice and the Welsh Centre for Crime and Social Justice

- the emphasis on developing practical research skills that will serve students well in the future.

Admissions tutors

Dr Miguel Arribas-ayllon, Course Administrator

Dr Miguel Arribas-ayllon, Admissions Tutor


Key Information Sets (KIS) make it easy for prospective students to compare information about full or part time undergraduate courses, and are available on the Unistats website.

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