Key Course Information
A-Level Requirements *
Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Professional Year Out
Social Sciences, Education and Social Work
*Indicative Only. Please see the Course Entry Requirements section for details on subject specific or GCSE requirements.
Criminology focuses on the causes and consequences of crime, as well as how the criminal justice system responds to crime.
Criminologists are interested in how activities come to be defined as criminal, and why definitions of crime vary across countries and over time.
The subject includes a wide range of social and psychological theories that attempt to explain criminal behaviour and the effective operation of the criminal justice system.
Prizes: the highest achieving graduates are awarded the Lockheed Prize annually.
Research Bursaries: 15 dissertation bursaries (£ 250 per student) will be offered on a competitive basis to students undertaking quantitative research. These bursaries are to cover travelling and other minor expenses incurred.
Research-led Teaching: Criminology is taught by a group of internationally-recognised criminological researchers who specialise in areas such as criminal justice policy, prisons, community sanctions, drug use, youth justice, conflict and human rights.
Study Abroad: students can spend time studying in one of our linked Universities in Europe; for further information, please contact Dr Veronique Altglas (email@example.com).
In addition to the entrance requirements below, it is essential that you read the How We Choose Our Students pdf prior to submitting your UCAS application.
A-level: ABB or equivalent in an Access Course
Irish Leaving Certificate: H3H3H3H3H3H3/H2H3H3H3H3
All applicants: there are no specific subject requirements to study Criminology
If you are an international student and you do not meet the entrance requirements, you should consider a preparation course at INTO Queen's University Belfast, which will prepare you for successful study on these degree courses. INTO at Queen's is based on the University campus and offers a range of courses including the International Foundation in Business, Humanities and Social Science.
For students whose first language is not English
An IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each test component or an equivalent acceptable qualification, details of which are available at: http://go.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs
If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability to entry to this degree. Please click the links below for more information:
- English for University Study - an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
- Pre-sessional English - a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English
How To Apply
How to Apply
Applications for admission to full-time undergraduate and sandwich courses at the University should normally be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Full information can be obtained from the UCAS website at: www.ucas.com/apply.
When to Apply
UCAS will start processing applications for entry in Autumn 2017 from 1 September 2016.
The normal closing date for the receipt of applications is 15 January 2017.
For candidates applying to Oxford or Cambridge and for those whose choices include Medicine, Dentistry or Veterinary Medicine/Science the closing date is 15 October 2015.
Currently there are two intakes to Adult Nursing (one in September and the other in February).Those applying for entry in February 2016 should apply prior to 15 January 2015.
Applicants are advised to apply as early as is consistent with having made a careful and considered choice of institutions and courses.
Earlier applicants normally receive decisions more quickly, however, UCAS accepts that some applicants, especially those from outside the UK, may find this difficult. Late applications are, in practice, accepted by UCAS throughout the remainder of the application cycle, but you should understand that they are considered by institutions at their discretion, and there can be no guarantee that they will be given the same full level of consideration as applications received by the advisory closing date.
Take care to enter the details of the institutions and courses clearly and correctly on the application. For Queen's, the institution code name is QBELF and the institution code is Q75. These should be entered in the Choices section of your UCAS application. Please note a Campus Code is not required. For further information on applying to study at Queen’s, please click here.
Course Content (including module information)
Students are provided with a comprehensive introduction to Criminology. Students consider the ways in which crime and security shape the world around us. Highlights include study visits to local courts, prisons and shared public spaces.
Students undertake modules in criminological theory, crime and disorder and crime and society. Level 2 also provides training in research methodology.
Level 3 offers opportunities for in-depth study in areas such as penal policy, transitional justice, and youth crime. Students also undertake independent research under academic staff supervision.
These degrees provide students with opportunities for visiting criminal justice agencies and studying criminology in one of the most innovative and challenging research environments in Europe. Modules often draw on international comparisons with a strong Irish (North and South) emphasis.
Fees & Scholarships
There are different tuition fee and student financial support arrangements for students from Northern Ireland, those from England, Scotland and Wales (Great Britain), and those from the rest of the European Union. Higher education funding arrangements mean that students can study now and pay later.
Further details can be found on our fees and funding section.
Queen's works to ensure that all those who can benefit from a university education have the chance to do so, and a generous system of financial support is in place to help them. Each year Queen’s offer a range of scholarships and prize for new students. The most up to date listings are available here.
Learning and Teaching
At Queen’s, we aim to deliver a high quality learning environment that embeds intellectual curiosity, innovation and best practice in learning, teaching and student support to enable student to achieve their full academic potential.
On the BA (Hons.) in Criminology we do this by providing a range of learning experiences which enable our students to engage with subject experts, develop attributes and perspectives that will equip them for life and work in a global society and make use of innovative technologies and a world class library that enhances their development as independent, lifelong learners.
Criminology students at Queen's are taught in a dynamic academic environment by an award-winning teaching staff, in a School which was rated as one of the leading departments in the United Kingdom. The School is located within a recently renovated building, with state of the art teaching and learning facilities, together with dedicated student space including a large student common room.
Examples of the opportunities provided for learning on this course are:
- Lectures: introduce basic information about new topics as a starting point for further self-directed private study/reading. Lectures also provide opportunities to ask questions, gain some feedback and advice on assessments (normally delivered in large groups to all year group peers).
- Seminars/tutorials: Significant amounts of teaching are carried out in small groups (typically 10-20 students). These provide an opportunity for students to engage with academic staff who have specialist knowledge of the topic, to ask questions of them and to assess their own progress and understanding with the support of peers. You should also expect to make presentations and other contributions to these groups.
- Guest speakers: We work regularly with criminal justice agencies and people from these agencies regularly lecture on the course. As well as studying the academic and theoretical aspects of criminology, students have opportunities to hear from senior practitioners within the Police, Courts Custodial and Community Services.
- Self-directed study: This is an essential part of life as a Queen’s student when important private reading, engagement with e-learning resources, reflection on feedback to date and assignment research and preparation work is carried out.
- E-Learning technologies: Information associated with lectures and assignments is often communicated via a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) called Queen’s Online. A range of e-learning experiences are also embedded in the degree through, for example: online discussion forums; interactive media workshops in a flexible learning space; statistics and data analysis modules; podcasts and interactive web-based learning activities; opportunities to use IT programmes associated with project- based work etc.
- Practicals: In research method modulesyou will have opportunities to develop research design and technical skills and apply theoretical principles to real-life research contexts.
- Field Trips/Study Tours: Study visits and field trips are integrated into a number of core criminological modules. The purpose of these is to examine how buildings and the urban space around us is shaped by crime and our attempts to reduce it. These present opportunities to apply theoretical ideas and concepts within real world settings. Back in the classroom students present and discuss observations and ideas developed during the field trip.
- Supervised projects: In final year, you will be expected to carry out a significant piece of research on a topic that you have chosen. You will receive support from a supervisor who will guide you in terms of how to carry out your research and will provide feedback to you on a one-to-one basis and via email throughout the two semesters
- Personal Tutor: Undergraduates are allocated a Personal Tutor from their first day at the University. The Personal Tutor is available to them to give advice and support throughout their time at Queen’s. The Personal Tutor will meet with them on several occasions during the year to support their academic development.
- Peer Mentors: We offer a peer mentoring scheme for our BA students, which sees specially- trained second and third year students, under the guidance of staff and the Centre for Educational Development, help first year students settle into life at Queen’s through social events, small group or one-to-one informal support and learning skills workshops.
- Prizes: The highest achieving students in the school are awarded the annual Lockheed Prize. We also support our students entering essays to the annual Undergraduate Awards, for which one of our students received a prize in the Social Science category in 2011.
Public and private sector organisations involved in the control of crime continue to expand and the demand for criminology graduates is strong. The number and variety of career opportunities related to crime control have increased in recent years. As well as the traditional criminal justice agencies such as the police, probation service and the prison service: criminology graduates are also to be found working in a range of occupations, including the media, civil service, research, teaching, business, voluntary organisations and management. Criminology graduates are also to be found working in victim support organisations, rape crisis units and in other social care agencies. Some graduates build on the degree by undertaking further post-graduate training in fields such as policing, probation work, prison service, social work, law, human rights, social science research and teaching. Tailored careers advice and study guidance is available to all students throughout their time at Queen’s.
Studying for a Criminology degree at Queen’s will assist you in developing the core skills and employment-related experiences that are valued by employers, professional organisations and academic institutions. Graduates from this degree at Queen’s are well regarded by many employers (local, national and international) and over half of all graduate jobs are now open to graduates of any discipline.
The diversity of interests and topics covered in the discipline, plus the wide range of skills it equips you with, means that our students enter a wide range of careers on graduation. These include the public sector (e.g. social services, education, criminal justice, social work), private sector (e.g. market research, policy analysis, human resources), and third sector (e.g. policy analyst, researcher, youth support worker, charity fundraiser). A number of our students also go on to postgraduate study, on a full or part-time basis. The School has a strong post-graduate programme, offering both MA and PhD degrees. As Criminology is a relatively new degree pathway within Queen’s we do not have detailed destination statistics for our graduates.
Employer Links: We have an active and engaged Employers Forum, which is a panel composed of individuals of high ranking in organisations in fields directly relevant to our degree programmes, including G4S (the world leading provide of security solutions), the Police Service of Northern Ireland, Hastings Hotels, Craigavon District Council, and NI Community and Voluntary Association. The members of this panel advise staff in incorporating employability skills in the development of our degree programmes and in helping prepare our students for the world of work. They also contribute to advisory sessions for students on careers and employability.
You should also take a look at www.prospects.ac.uk for further information concerning the types of jobs that attract Criminology Graduates.
Further study is also an option open to Criminology graduates. Students can choose from a wide range of Masters programmes as well as a comprehensive list of research topics, see: http://www.qub.ac.uk/schools/SchoolofSociologySocialPolicySocialWork/Education/PostgraduateTaughtCourses
Other Career-related information: Queen’s is a member of the Russell Group and, therefore, one of the 20 universities most-targeted by leading graduate employers. As a Queen’s student, you will be advised and guided about career choice and through the Degree Plus initiative, you will have an opportunity to seek accreditation for skills development and experience gained through the wide range of extra-curricular activities on offer.
Our full employability statement can be viewed at: http://www.qub.ac.uk/directorates/sgc/careers/filestore/Filetoupload,284878,en.pdf
Degree Plus and other related initiatives: Recognising student diversity, promoting employability enhancements and other interests is part of the developmental experience at Queen’s. Students are encouraged to plan and build their own, personal skill and experiential profile through a range of activities including; recognised Queen’s Certificates, placements and other work experiences (at home or overseas), Erasmus study options elsewhere in Europe and learning development supports as well as involvement in wider university life through activities, such as clubs, societies, and sports.
Queen’s actively encourages this type of activity by offering students an additional qualification, the Degree Plus Award (and the related Researcher Plus Award for PhD and MPhil students). Degree Plus accredits wider experiential and skill development gained through extra-curricular activities that promote the enhancement of academic, career management, personal and employability skills in a variety of contexts. As part of the Award, students are also trained on how to reflect on the experience(s) and make the link between academic achievement, extracurricular activities, transferable skills and graduate employment. Participating students will also be trained in how to reflect on their skills and experiences and can gain an understanding of how to articulate the significance of these to others, e.g. employers.
Overall, these initiatives, and Degree Plus in particular, reward the energy, drive, determination and enthusiasm shown by students engaging in activities over-and-above the requirements of their academic studies. These qualities are amongst those valued highly by graduate employers. Further information is available at www.qub.ac.uk/degreeplus
Assessment & Feedback
Assessment (general): The way in which you are assessed will vary according to the Learning objectives of each module. Some modules are assessed solely through project work or written assignments. Others are assessed through a combination of coursework and end of semester examinations. Details of how each module is assessed are shown in the Student Handbook which is provided to all students during their first year induction. Following each element of assessed coursework, students are provided with detailed feedback on the quality of their written work and how they can improve future assignment.
Feedback (general): As you progress through your course you will receive general and specific feedback about your work from a variety of sources including lecturers, module co-ordinators, placement supervisors, personal tutors, advisers of study and your peers. As a university student, you will be expected to take a greater role in reflecting on this and taking the initiative in continuously improving the quality of your work. Feedback may be provided to you in a variety of forms including:
- Feedback provided via formal written comments and marks relating to work that you, as an individual or as part of a group, have submitted.
- Face to face comment. This may include occasions when you make use of the lecturers’ advertised “office hours” to help you to address a specific query.
- Placement employer comments or references.
- Online or emailed comment.
- General comments or question and answer opportunities at the end of a lecture, seminar or tutorial.
- Pre-submission advice regarding the standards you should aim for and common pitfalls to avoid. In some instances, this may be provided in the form of model answers or exemplars which you can review in your own time.
- Feedback and outcomes from practical classes.
- Comment and guidance provided by staff from specialist support services such as, Careers, Employability and Skills or the Learning Development Service.
Once you have reviewed your feedback, you are encouraged to identify and implement further improvements to the quality of your work.
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Other courses you may like
For entrance requirements
T: +44 (0)28 9097 3838
For course information
Dr Nicola Carr
School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work
T: +44 (0)28 9097 5965
For entrance requirements
T: +44 (0)28 9097 3838
For course information
Dr Nicola Carr
School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work
T: +44 (0)28 9097 5965
Latest Research Publications
The links below will take you to the latest Queen's Research publications in the PURE portal.