How can crime be prevented? Why and how should crime be punished? What motivates people to commit a crime? Criminologists engage with some of the most important and controversial issues, facing societies today.
Taught in partnership with our Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies, this course explores crime and society, alongside counselling which examines the nature of emotional difficulties and human relationships. You learn to be more effective in your interpersonal functioning and to offer a mature, empathic and sensitive presence to employers and those that you work with.
You study an exciting range of topics including:
- Criminal justice systems
- Crime and media
- Mental health and treatment
- Skills for counselling
- The counselling relationship
You receive training in sociological research methods including how to design a survey, conduct interviews and focus groups. Through modules delivered by the Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies you’re introduced to key concepts of psychodynamic thinking which is relevant for counselling. You gain insight into the unconscious dynamics in individuals and groups and develop listening and observation, self-reflectiveness and communication skills. You’re taught by criminologists and sociologists in our Department of Sociology. Our counselling experts in our Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies offer a clinical and academic approach and are acclaimed professors, clinicians and practitioners who can offer relevant, practical experience. You have the opportunity to gain practical experience and to pursue a year studying abroad or completing a work placement which can help in future employment. You can also complete a supervised dissertation on a topic that inspires you, encouraging you to think differently and connect with live issues and debates, preparing you for your graduate career.
Your education extends beyond the university campus. We support you in expanding your education through offering the opportunity to spend a year or a term studying abroad at one of our partner universities. The four-year version of our degree allows you to spend the third year abroad or employed on a placement abroad, while otherwise remaining identical to the three-year course.
Studying abroad allows you to experience other cultures and languages, to broaden your degree socially and academically, and to demonstrate to employers that you are mature, adaptable, and organised.
If you spend a full year abroad you’ll only pay 15% of your usual tuition fee to Essex for that year. You won’t pay any tuition fees to your host university.
You can also undertake a placement year in which you gain relevant work experience within an external business, giving you a competitive edge in the graduate job market and providing you with key contacts within the industry. You will be responsible for finding your placement, but with support and guidance provided by both your department and our placements team.
Our expert staff
You may already be familiar with our academics before you meet them in lectures.
Our academics believe in doing research that matters and makes a difference; whether it’s the battle between big data and human rights or the policing of sex workers, we embed our innovative and sometimes controversial research into your course.
As well as publishing core texts and bestselling books, our academics often appear on TV and radio. Recent examples include Professor Mike Roper on The Psychology of War for the BBC World Service and Professor Pam Cox in her BBC TWO series Shopgirls: The True Story of Life Behind the Counter. Others engage with politics and policy making, such as those running our specialist centres for Migration Studies and Criminology.
- Our Centre for Criminology hosts expert speakers and practitioners
- A unique Student Study Centre where you can get help with your studies, access examples of previous students’ work, and attend workshops on research skills
- The common room is open all day Monday-Friday, has a hot drinks vending machine, water cooler and microwave as well as a small number of lockers available
- Links with the Institute of Social and Economic Research, which conducts large-scale survey projects and has its own library, and the UK Data Archive, which stores national research data like the British Crime Survey
- Our students’ Sociology Society, a forum for the exchange of ideas, arranging talks by visiting speakers, introducing you to various career pathways, and organising debates
- The Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies has its own dedicated library of specialist texts which inform and influence our research
- Free evening Open Seminars on topics relevant to psychoanalysis which are open to students, staff and members of the public.
Careers linked to criminology are varied. This course provides a strong foundation for a career in counselling, probation work, police work and other careers.
Our recent graduates have gone on to work in a wide range of high-profile careers including:
- Therapeutic Services
- Police Officer
- National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children
- Social care
We also work with the University’s Student Development Team to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.
Why we’re great
- We’re ranked 18th in the UK for criminology (Guardian University Guide 2022)
- 16th for criminology (The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021)
- You develop skills for a career in counselling alongside gaining an in depth insight into criminology
We offer a flexible course structure with a mixture of core/compulsory modules, and optional modules chosen from lists.
Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field. The course content is therefore reviewed on an annual basis to ensure our courses remain up-to-date so modules listed are subject to change.
Teaching and learning disclaimer
Following the impact of the pandemic, we made changes to our teaching and assessment to ensure our current students could continue with their studies uninterrupted and safely. These changes included courses being taught through blended delivery, normally including some face-to-face teaching, online provision, or a combination of both across the year.
The teaching and assessment methods listed show what is currently approved for 2022 entry; changes may be necessary if, by the beginning of this course, we need to adapt the way we’re delivering them due to the external environment, and to allow you to continue to receive the best education possible safely and seamlessly.
On a placement year you gain relevant work experience within an external business or organisation, giving you a competitive edge in the graduate job market and providing you with key contacts within the industry. The rest of your course remains identical to the three-year degree.
On your year abroad, you have the opportunity to experience other cultures and languages, to broaden your degree socially and academically, and to demonstrate to employers that you are mature, adaptable, and organised. The rest of your course remains identical to the three-year degree.
- Teaching is arranged to allow a lot of freedom in how you organise your learning experience, with a focus on discussion and problem-solving
- Lab sessions to improve technical research skills
- You will be assessed through a combination of written coursework and end-of-year examinations