We teach the law that matters. We are ‘freer, more daring and more experimental’ than a traditional law school, so your legal education is relevant and responsive to the needs of a changing society. Our approach is global in outlook, based on justice, and engaged with real-world problems.
Our LLB Law with Criminology provides you with a rigorous academic training in the discipline of law integrated with criminology. This gives you a thorough grounding in current issues in criminal law and criminal justice in a wider social context. We emphasise an awareness of how the law of England and Wales is placed in European and international frameworks.
You develop a critical awareness of the nature of law within its social, political and economic contexts. Not only will you learn legal rules, but you also consider the function of law in society, the philosophy of law, policy issues and law reform. You explore and debate the difficult questions such as should crime be punished? How do we prevent crime? Providing you with the ability to consider, evaluate and respond to alternative and, possibly, conflicting points of view.
You cover the key areas of law and criminology, as well as topics including:
- Government power
- Criminal liability
- Policing and punishment
- Crime and the media
- EU law
At Essex we specialise in commercial law, public law, and human rights law. We are ranked 51st for Law in the THE World University Rankings 2021, which is 13th in UK, and we are top 20 in the UK for research excellence (REF 2014).
You’re taught by criminologists and sociologists based in our Department of Sociology, ranked 9th in the UK for Sociology in the QS World University Rankings by Subject (2021) You receive training in criminological research methods including how to design a survey, how to map crime hotspots, conduct interviews and focus groups. You are also introduced to legal research methods.
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.
When you arrive at Essex, you can decide whether you would like to combine your course with a placement year. You will be responsible for finding your placement, but with support and guidance provided by both your department and the placements team.
If you complete a placement year you’ll only pay 20% of your usual tuition fee to Essex for that year.
Our expert staff
Our internationally diverse community of law staff and students gives us a breadth of cross-cultural perspectives and insights into law and justice around the world, including criminal justice. Many hold and have held positions with the UN, the UK government, and with EU and foreign governments.
Our criminology lecturing staff actively research at the cutting edge of their respective disciplines and wherever possible bring the very latest research findings into the classroom. All are prominent writers and the criminology team collectively authored the best-selling criminology textbook, ‘Criminology: A Sociological Introduction’, used on undergraduate courses across the country.
- Volunteer at the Essex Law Clinic where you can use your knowledge and skills to serve the community and help those most in need of legal services
- Gain commercial awareness at our Business and Legal Advice Clinic
- Work on key human rights projects at our Human Rights Clinic
- Participate in mooting competitions to develop your skills
- Test your mediation and negotiation skills in our Client Interviewing Competition
- Join our Model United Nations society, which can improve your skills of argumentation, oral presentation and research
- Network at our student-run Law Society, Human Rights Society, and Bar Society
- Take advantage of networking opportunities throughout the year with visiting law firms
- Our Centre for Criminology hosts expert speakers and practitioners
- Our unique Sociology Student Resource Centre helps with your studies, gives you access to examples of previous students’ work, and hosts workshops on research skills
- 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
At Essex we don’t just prepare you for the legal profession. We stimulate your desire to pursue justice and equip you with the skills and knowledge to become an agent for change, whatever career path you choose.
From the start of your course, we challenge you to think deeply, broadly and strategically about career paths. Over the first two years, alongside law subjects, you will take a career management module designed to help you identify personal strengths and goals, understand what employers (both within and outside law) are looking for and enhance your employability profile.
We also hold an annual law fair, attended by law firms and vocational qualification providers. Our graduates pursue careers in the law and in a wide range of other sectors including business and commerce, accountancy, insurance, banking, central and local government, academia, teaching, social work and the police force.
Our mantra is: be realistically ambitious. This involves understanding yourself and the rapidly changing and increasingly competitive graduate jobs market. Throughout your time at Essex, advisors in our Student Development Team, working closely with colleagues in our School, are available to help you formulate your career plan.
Why we’re great
- Our lecturers are experts who often work with the UN, the UK government, and with EU and foreign governments
- You can work alongside practising lawyers and gain real-life practical experience in our Essex Law Clinic
- You gain a unique perspective in both law and 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.