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What causes crime? How can we deter or rehabilitate criminals? How does the media depict crime? How does the criminal justice system work and how should it evolve? These are some of the questions you’ll explore on this course.
Criminology draws on many disciplines including media studies, sociology, politics and psychology to help resolve some of society’s most important issues. By the time you graduate you’ll be able to contribute to the policy debate and find your way around the criminal justice world in a variety of jobs, from probation officer to journalist.
Individual modules, practical and theoretical, look at topics such as why we create laws and why people break them; strategies and policies for crime prevention and punishment; the public perception of crime; and the agencies, procedural frameworks and practices that exist throughout the criminal justice system and society at large.
We’ll bring things to life using true case studies, guest lecturers, court visits, conferences, placements and opportunities to shadow a crown court judge. You’ll gain a comprehensive introduction to the field, as well as personal and professional skills that you can use in any career.
Additionally you’ll be part of a wider community that includes sociologists, forensic scientists, psychologists and media specialists. Many of our staff our active researchers, contributing to our institutes and research groups, so you can be confident your course contains the latest developments.
You’ll have the opportunity to learn from leading academics and professionals throughout your course, along with:
- educational visits to local courts and the Old Bailey
- job-shadowing a Crown Court judge and other professionals in the criminal justice field
- guest lectures from Crown Prosecution Solicitors and other criminology specialists
- membership of the Criminology Society
- volunteering opportunities with local agencies including Crimestoppers
- attending criminology conferences.
Our graduates go on to successful careers in many fields, including the National Probation Service, the Police, the Prison Service, Youth Justice, the Home Office, scenes of crime work, the court system, social policy and academic research.
Modules & Assessment
Year one, core modules
Crime News and Criminology
Criminal Justice in England and Wales
History of Crime and Criminology
Media and Crime
Researching Social Issues
Year two, core modules
Trials and Errors: Justice in Court
Contemporary Issues in Prisons and Penology
Year three, core modules
Youth Justice Controversies
Criminology in Policy and Practice
We’ll assess your progress in many different ways, including case studies, presentations, essays, patchwork texts, portfolios, data analysis exercises, exams, group work and your major project.
Where you’ll study
In the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, we use our expertise and connections in Cambridge and beyond to nurture creativity through experimentation and risk-taking, and encourage critical thinking, in order to educate, entertain, inspire and understand, as well as to improve people’s lives.