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BA (Hons) Criminology and Law

Course overview

Start date

Subject area

Business and Law





On campus

Course summary

Criminology and Law are a perfect fit, combining a social science approach to crime with an understanding of core legal principles and institutions.

You’ll learn about the causes and consequences of crime through a study of the current theories, issues and debates, backed by an understanding of the criminal justice system and its institutions and roles such as the police, courts, prisons and probation service.

And you’ll explore the inter-relationships between the law, individuals and society, studying how the law fits into the social, political and cultural context of the society we live in.

You should note that this very popular course does not provide exemption from the academic stage of qualifying as a solicitor or barrister. Please see our LLB (Hons) Law with Criminology if this interests you.

UCAS points


Course options


UCAS code


Contact us

If you have any questions, talk to a member of our Applicant Enquiries team on +44 (0) 20 8223 3333 or email

Get in touch


student satisfaction

Our students gave us an 86% overall satisfaction rating in 2017's National Student Survey.

Learn from the best

Our criminology and law experts carry out world-leading research and are often in frequent demand by governments and the media to provide expert analysis, comment and advice.

Superb facilities

Study at our ultra-modern £33 million campus at University Square Stratford and you’ll benefit from superb facilities such as our dedicated chamber for moots and mock trials.

Enquire Visit UEL

Besnik Vrapil

Criminology and Law, (BA Hons)

It was fantastic - a really good course. I learned a huge amount and this backed up my practical work experience as a special constable. My degree was essential in helping me to get a full-time job with the Met and I’d encourage anyone to volunteer in the community early on as it really backs up your theoretical learning.

Entry requirements


New UCAS Points

A Level
Must include passes at A2 in at least two subjects.
Extended Diploma (QCF) or Diploma (QCF)
International Baccalaureate
Diploma with 25 points including a minimum of 15 points at Higher Level.
We would normally expect you to have Grade C in GCSE English and maths (See below for accepted equivalences)


(Including European Union)

We accept a range of qualifications from across the world. Please see our country pages for information on specific entry requirements for your country.


Access to HE Diploma (QAA approved) with 60 credits overall and 45 credits at Level 3

We will also consider the UEL Introduction to Law and Criminology short course 

Overall IELTS 6.0 with a minimum of 6.0 in Writing and Speaking; minimum 5.5 in Reading and Listening (or recognised equivalent).

Level 2 equivalences such as Level 2 Functional Skills in English / Maths, Level 2 Key Skills in Communication / Application of Number and Level 2 Adult Literacy / Adult Numeracy

As an inclusive university we recognise that applicants who have been out of education for some time may not have the formal qualifications usually required for entry to a course. We welcome applications from those who can demonstrate their enthusiasm and commitment to study and have relevant life/work experience that equips them to succeed on the course. We will assess this from the information provided in your application (particularly your personal statement) and may ask you to attend an interview or submit a piece of work to help us decide on your eligibility for the course. Our pre-entry Information Advice and Guidance Team are able to provide further advice on entry requirements and suitability for study.

You can speak to a member of our Applicant Enquiries team on +44 (0)20 8223 3333, Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm. Alternatively, you can visit our Information, Advice and Guidance centre. Please click here for details.

What you'll learn

This course will give you a comprehensive understanding of the law and its place in the criminal justice system.

In the first two years you’ll build firm foundations by studying the fundamentals of the subjects, taking modules that include the Introduction to Criminology and Criminal Justice, the Legal System and Legal Methods and Criminal Law.

In your final year you’ll be expected to complete a large, independently researched project on a relevant topic that interests you. Plus you’ll have a choice of 23 distinctive options to tailor the course to suit your motivations and interests.

These final-year options include Global Illicit Drug Trafficking, Civil and Criminal Litigation, Race, Ethnicity, Crime and Justice, and Introduction to Islamic Law.

You’ll be encouraged to ‘learn by doing’ by taking the chance to gain work experience and take an active role in student clubs and societies.

What you'll study and when

  • Introduction to Criminology and Criminal Justice (core)
  • Contemporary Issues of Youth Justice and Criminology (core)
  • The Legal System and Legal Methods (core)
  • Constitutional and Administrative Law (core)
  • Research Methods in Criminology (core)
  • Applied Criminology & Professional Practice (core)
  • Criminal Law (core)
  • Human Rights (core)
  • Project (option)
  • Global Illicit Drug Trafficking (optional)
  • Mentally-disordered Defendants & Suspects (optional)
  • Preventing and Correcting Offending Behaviour (optional)
  • Prison Studies (optional)
  • Terrorism Studies (optional)
  • Psychological Criminology (optional)
  • Race, Ethnicity, Crime and Justice (optional)
  • Youth Crime and Sub-culture (optional)
  • Work-based learning (optional)
  • Football Hooliganism (optional)
  • Surveillance, Technology and Society (optional)
  • Psychosocial Perspectives on Criminal Behaviour (optional)         
  • Civil and Criminal Litigation (optional)
  • Client Practice (optional)
  • Evidence (optional)
  • Human Rights in the Developing World (optional)
  • Intellectual Property Law (optional)
  • Introduction to Islamic Law (optional)
  • Immigration Law (optional)
  • Law and Society in Africa (optional)
  • Media Law (optional)
  • Public International Law (optional)

How you'll be assessed

We’ll assess you with a mixture of coursework and exams. Coursework includes essays, reflective reports, group and seminar presentations. You’ll be given plenty of feedback to help you improve.

You will also have the chance to complete a work-based learning module, where you’ll be assessed on your practical work, and in your final year you’ll complete a project based on independent research.

Course specification

How you will learn

Teaching methods vary throughout the course but you’ll find this variety to be stimulating and challenging. You’ll learn by lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops and individual supervision, supported by digital materials, notes and handbooks. 

You’ll be expected to do your own independent study to build on your learning. University is more demanding than school or college in what it expects from you, so you’ll need to be motivated to earn your degree.

Our lecturers have strong links with government, industry and the wider academic community, so you’ll have lots of opportunities to learn outside of the lecture theatre and seminar room.

If you play an active role throughout the course, joining in with debates and attending guest talks, conferences and events, you’ll enhance your learning and find that the more you put in, the more you get out.

You’ll be encouraged to volunteer or undertake work experience to broaden your experience and learn in ways that academic study alone can’t give you. And you may be expected to do some work in groups with other students to gain fresh perspectives.

Your future career

UEL Criminology and Law graduates have found work in a wide variety of roles, with some pursuing a career in related fields while others have used the transferable skills they learned to pursue other opportunities.

The course has a strong focus on preparing for employment, with a specific employability module in year two geared towards providing you with the best advice on preparing for the job market and applying for jobs.

Whether you decide to pursue a directly relevant career or not, you’ll learn skills that appeal to employers in any sector, including writing and presenting, the ability to make a case, meet deadlines and work independently.

Students have found jobs in a number of related areas, such as:

    ▪       The police, prison and probation services

    ▪       Central and local government

    ▪       Social work

    ▪       Voluntary organisations and charities.

Our graduates have also found roles in other fields, such as market research, journalism, teaching and other public-sector roles, or gone on to postgraduate study.

To enhance your career prospects, we run a dedicated employability programme for students in the School of Business and Law. Called 'Employ', it includes employability workshops, skills training sessions, guest speaker events, voluntary work, student ambassador roles and work experience opportunities.

You may also be interested in

  • Why study at UEL?

  • Student finance

  • Introduction to Law and Criminology

Related courses

Meet us in your country

Our international team travel overseas regularly to meet prospective students and attend recruitment fairs. Our academics also give regular lectures overseas and are happy to speak to prospective students. In addition, we have a large worldwide network of advisors who can provide guidance and support with applying to study at the University of East London.

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