Criminology and Criminal Justice

BSc (Hons)

2023/24 Full-time Undergraduate course


Bachelor of Science with Honours


Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences


School of Applied Social and Policy Sciences


Belfast campus

UCAS code:

The UCAS code for Ulster University is U20

Start date:

September 2023

With this degree you could become:

  • Youth Support Worker
  • Prison Officer
  • Police
  • Policy Worker
  • Research Analyst
  • HMRC
  • Research Intern

Graduates from this course are now working for:

  • Criminal Justice Inspectorate
  • Institute for Conflict Research
  • Northern Ireland Prison Service
  • Enable Care Services
  • PriceWaterhouseCoopers
  • PSNI


Criminology and criminal justice addresses crime, deviance and its control through an applied, interesting and intellectually challenging curriculum.


The BSc Hons Criminology and Criminal Justice degree and the Criminology minor degrees aim to provide you with a knowledge of key criminological concepts, theoretical approaches and the necessary knowledge and skills required to undertake criminological research. The course aims to enable you to demonstrate understanding of the criminal justice system and the political, social and economic context within which it operates. You will be supported in developing a professional attitude and a responsibility for individual learning and team work.

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About this course


Criminology as an area of study has a lengthy pedigree and you will be presented throughout the course with a range of ideas and theories from several different disciplines including law, public policy, social policy and economics. You will study criminological concepts and issues related to criminal justice such as crime and deviance, victims, policing, sentencing and punishment and emergent ideas on state and corporate crime and cybercrime. These, coupled with knowledge of institutions and structures, will provide you with a wider understanding of behaviour and activity within the criminal justice system.

The degree will provide you with the opportunity to gain a combination of theoretical knowledge and a range of skills necessary for employment in organisations with a criminal justice focus within the private, voluntary and statutory sectors.

Associate awards

Diploma in Professional Practice DPP

Diploma in International Academic Studies DIAS


Teaching takes place over two 12 week semesters. Contact hours during the teaching weeks are 9 hours a week, supplemented by at least 25 hours of independent study. In final year students have additional dissertation supervision sessions and throughout the course students have access to their studies advisor and year tutor when the need arises. All course team staff are available for individual consultation at set times and by arrangement.

Start dates

  • September 2023

Teaching, Learning and Assessment

A variety of teaching and learning methods are used on the degree including lectures, seminars, supervised group-work sessions, directed reading, blended learning using Blackboard Learn, case study work, directed electronic information retrieval, independent learning, and a work-based-learning opportunity to impart knowledge and understanding of the subject. In addition, a broad range of assessment methods are utilised to measure knowledge and understanding of the subject, including academic essays; report writing; policy analysis/policy brief-writing; directed seminar discussions, small-group project work; writing and delivering seminar papers; presentations; online tests; the dissertation, e-portfolios, blogs and unseen examinations.

The content for each course is summarised on the relevant course page, along with an overview of the modules that make up the course.

Each course is approved by the University and meets the expectations of:

Attendance and Independent Study

As part of your course induction, you will be provided with details of the organisation and management of the course, including attendance and assessment requirements - usually in the form of a timetable. For full-time courses, the precise timetable for each semester is not confirmed until near the start date and may be subject to change in the early weeks as all courses settle into their planned patterns. For part-time courses which require attendance on particular days and times, an expectation of the days of attendance will often be included in the letter of offer. A course handbook is also made available.

Courses comprise modules for which the notional effort involved is indicated by its credit rating. Each credit point represents 10 hours of student effort. Undergraduate courses typically contain 10- or 20-credit modules and postgraduate course typically 15- or 30-credit modules.

The normal study load expectation for an undergraduate full-time course of study in the standard academic year is 120 credit points. This amounts to around 36-42 hours of expected teaching and learning per week, inclusive of attendance requirements for lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical work, fieldwork or other scheduled classes, private study, and assessment. Part-time study load is the same as full-time pro-rata, with each credit point representing 10 hours of student effort.

Postgraduate Masters courses typically comprise 180 credits, taken in three semesters when studied full-time. A Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) comprises 60 credits and can usually be completed on a part-time basis in one year. A 120-credit Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) can usually be completed on a part-time basis in two years.

Class contact times vary by course and type of module. Typically, for a module predominantly delivered through lectures you can expect at least 3 contact hours per week (lectures/seminars/tutorials). Laboratory classes often require a greater intensity of attendance in blocks. Some modules may combine lecture and laboratory. The precise model will depend on the course you apply for and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. Prospective students will be consulted about any significant changes.


Assessment methods vary and are defined explicitly in each module. Assessment can be via one method or a combination e.g. examination and coursework . Assessment is designed to assess your achievement of the module’s stated learning outcomes. You can expect to receive timely feedback on all coursework assessment. The precise assessment will depend on the module and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.

Coursework can take many forms, for example: essay, report, seminar paper, test, presentation, dissertation, design, artefacts, portfolio, journal, group work. The precise form and combination of assessment will depend on the course you apply for and the module. Details will be made available in advance through induction, the course handbook, the module specification and the assessment timetable. The details are subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.

Normally, a module will have four learning outcomes, and no more than two items of assessment. An item of assessment can comprise more than one task. The notional workload and the equivalence across types of assessment is standardised.

Calculation of the Final Award

The class of Honours awarded in Bachelor’s degrees is usually determined by calculation of an aggregate mark based on performance across the modules at Levels 5 and 6 (which correspond to the second and third year of full-time attendance).

Level 6 modules contribute 70% of the aggregate mark and Level 5 contributes 30% to the calculation of the class of the award. Classification of integrated Masters degrees with Honours include a Level 7 component. The calculation in this case is: 50% Level 7, 30% Level 6, 20% Level 5. At least half the Level 5 modules must be studied at the University for Level 5 to be included in the calculation of the class.

All other qualifications have an overall grade determined by results in modules from the final level of study. In Masters degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.

Figures correct for academic year 2019-2020.

Academic profile

The University employs over 1,000 suitably qualified and experienced academic staff - 59% have PhDs in their subject field and many have professional body recognition.

Courses are taught by staff who are Professors (25%), Readers, Senior Lecturers (20%) or Lecturers (55%).

We require most academic staff to be qualified to teach in higher education: 82% hold either Postgraduate Certificates in Higher Education Practice or higher. Most academic staff (81%) are accredited fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) by Advanced HE - the university sector professional body for teaching and learning. Many academic and technical staff hold other professional body designations related to their subject or scholarly practice.

The profiles of many academic staff can be found on the University’s departmental websites and give a detailed insight into the range of staffing and expertise.  The precise staffing for a course will depend on the department(s) involved and the availability and management of staff.  This is subject to change annually and is confirmed in the timetable issued at the start of the course.

Occasionally, teaching may be supplemented by suitably qualified part-time staff (usually qualified researchers) and specialist guest lecturers. In these cases, all staff are inducted, mostly through our staff development programme ‘First Steps to Teaching’. In some cases, usually for provision in one of our out-centres, Recognised University Teachers are involved, supported by the University in suitable professional development for teaching.

Figures correct for academic year 2021-2022.

Belfast campus


High quality apartment living in Belfast city centre adjacent to the university campus.

Find out more - information about accommodation  

Student Wellbeing

At Student Wellbeing we provide many services to help students through their time at Ulster University.

Find out more - information about student wellbeing  

Belfast Campus Location

Campus Address

Ulster University,
2-24 York Street,
BT15 1AP

T: 02870 123 456


Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.

Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.

Year one

Law for Criminologists

Year: 1

The overall aim of this module is to introduce criminology students to basic legal skills and how to use those effectively. Specifically, the objectives of this module are to teach the sources of law; how to find the law and to use legal materials to present reasoned arguments orally or in writing and to instil an ability to communicate effectively in a variety of forms. The skills and knowledge learnt in this module will be fundamental to all modules studied on the degree programme. Further this module will assist with one of the goals of developing students as independent learners.

From Crime Scene to Court

Year: 1

Crime is an ever-pervasive social problem in contemporary society and forensic science has a role to play in the fight against crime. This module provides students with a basic introduction to forensic science starting with an understanding of what forensic science is, how it has developed over the years, how crime scene and forensic examination are carried out, the principles behind these investigations, the potential value such investigations may have in criminal investigations, courtroom procedures in relation to forensic evidence and the role of the expert witness. The module will also foster the cultivation of the criminal skills needed to evaluate the contribution of forensic science to the criminal justice system and will provide an important foundation of knowledge and skills for the criminology and criminal justice degree.

Exploring Criminology

Year: 1

The module provides students with an opportunity to consider, reflect on and develop key skills that will provide the basis from successful study on the course. It provides an opportunity to consider personal strengths and learning styles, and to develop strategies to obtain maximum benefit from these.

Introduction to Crime and Deviance

Year: 1

Crime and deviance are rarely out of the news with frequent media warnings, for example of rises in `anti-social behaviour'. This module encourages students to look beneath the headlines and examine social constructions of crime. Ideas about `crime' and `deviance' vary over time and place and the module explores popular discourses on these themes. Methods of measuring crime are critically assessed and the fear of crime is explored. The module introduces students to criminology as a discipline and to key theoretical traditions. Students are supported in developing the critical skills needed to evaluate competing perspectives. The module provides a foundation of knowledge and skills for the criminology and criminal justice, and criminology minor degree programmes.

Crime and Criminal Justice

Year: 1

This module will explore crime and its control through an analysis of specific crime problems and the response of the criminal justice system to these problems, drawing upon an array of national and international research evidence, and current developments. Students will be introduced to major offending patterns in Northern Ireland and the United Kingdom. Consideration will also be given to the agencies, and policy frameworks, around which crime control is organised.

Theories of Crime and Criminalisation

Year: 1

This module provides an overview of recent developments in criminological explanations of crime and criminalisation. These developments are explored and critically evaluated via contemporary issues such as gender & crime, cyber psychology, community safety & social control, and race that face today's society.

Year two

State Crime

Year: 2

This module seeks to explore the definition and nature of state crime in criminological and political discourse. It aims to develop a critical understanding of the nature of the state and the scale and type of crimes committed by state agents and agencies. A range of state crimes will be explored in both the domestic and international spheres. The module will explore forms of state crime as techniques of 'coercive governance' and will use examples from both democratic and authoritarian regimes.

Research Methods for Criminologists

Year: 2

The research methods module has a direct link to the students' preparation for their undergraduate dissertations. The module considers the key research strategies and designs in the field of criminology and criminal justice and then examines various quantitative and qualitative research methods. Central to the module is practical skills acquisition using data analysis software packages to interrogate primary and secondary data in the social sciences. The module concludes with an examination of ethical issues which must be considered in advance of embarking on primary research in the dissertation.

Sentencing and Punishment

Year: 2

This module examines the relationship between sentencing theory, principle, policy, and practice. Consideration is given to how sentences are constructed, and the range of sentencing technologies available to the courts. Additionally, a variety of theoretical approaches are utilised to explore the broader social impact sentencing and punishment has on communities at a regional, national, and international level.

Policing and Society

Year: 2

This module explores the characteristics, dynamics and underpinning factors that exist between policing and society. Historically, policing has been the subject of much debate both nationally and internationally, with the delivery of policing services, and, how they are perceived by the community focal points for discussion. Through the policing institutions in Northern Ireland and England and Wales this module will examine how various social, cultural and political forces impact upon the police and the community they serve. It is also important to consider the role of the community in the context of `policing' and examine the various techniques employed by civil society to address issues pertaining to community safety and the fear of crime. The module will also consider the emergence of new crimes in the form of `internet and organised crime' and determine the implications on the relationship between society and the police.

Young People, Crime & Justice

Year: 2

This module provides an overview of the history and development of the modern youth justice system in GB and NI. It explores sociological and criminological concepts relating to 'childhood' 'adolescence' and 'juvenile delinquency'. The module explores crime committed by young people, its causes, consequences and treatment and the victimisation of young people. It critically analyses current debates and issues regarding youth crime and youth justice within a children's rights framework.

Applied Criminology and Professional Practice

Year: 2

The teaching/learning content is developed in collaboration with employers and professional practitioners. By engaging these stakeholders in curriculum development and delivery, the module offers content that is applied, practice oriented and work related. Developed in this way, the module content consists of most up-to-date knowledge and understandings in the criminal justice system. The content for practical exercises is provided by professionals and employers engaged in the module and offer students the opportunity to apply their learning, knowledge and skills in enquiry-based, problem-solving tasks.

To encompass the broad purview of Criminology and Criminal Justice into practice-oriented learning, the curriculum is based on the work of professionals in the Criminal Justice Inspection. The broad purview of the Criminal Justice Inspection provides the professional context within which to situate applied learning of criminal justice. The curriculum draws on the role of the Criminal Justice Inspection, mirroring the inspection process to engage students in enquiry and problem solving around real-life criminal justice issues.

In a simulated scenario, students are commissioned by the Criminal Justice Inspection to conduct an evaluation of a specific area and/or service in the criminal justice system. Students will be engaged in simulated consultations facilitated collaboratively with relevant agencies and organisations, review of prearranged policies and practices, collation and analysis of information, project management and critical decision making.

Policing & the Law

Year: 2

This module is optional

This module is designed to explore the law and institutions involved in policing and to set policing in a legal context. Thus it will consider the role and powers of the office of constable and the legal framework within which a policing service is delivered including the constraints and obligations on police officers and a police service. It will allow for discussion and challenge in regard to ideas about how policing is and ought to be conducted.

The Comparative Politics of Democracy and Dictatorship

Year: 2

This module is optional

This course is about how, and why, a regime becomes either a democracy or a dictatorship. Can democracy survive in an agrarian society or a 'divided' society? Was Barrington-Moore correct when he made the observation 'no bourgeois, no democracy'? Is oil inevitably a curse (for democrats) and a blessing (for dictators)? How can a democratic government manage its 'praetorian problem': the risk of military coup? This course examines theories of regimes origin and survival in a range of case studies from across world regions.

Restorative Justice

Year: 2

This module is optional

This module provides students, who are new to restorative justice with an understanding of key theories. The module addresses principles of restorative practice. It also considers the community, policy and legal frameworks in which restorative justice may be located.

Victims of Crime

Year: 2

This module is optional

This module further develops analytical skills in criminology and criminal justice. It evaluates, in the national and international context, the experiences, and the actual and potential role of victims of crime within the criminal justice system and explores whether they should be afforded a greater role.

Exploring Crime and the Media

Year: 2

This module is optional

Crime and media explores the nature of media influence on crime, the criminal justice
system and the role that the media plays in influencing the public's perception of crime and
criminality. Specifically this module develops analytical and critical skills in exploring and
understanding the conflicting and at times ambiguous relationship between crime and the
media in the twenty first century.

Environmental Crime, Harm and Justice

Year: 2

This module is optional

This module is intended:

• To introduce students to the principles of environmental protection and governance.

• To engage students with critical debates from green criminology that challenge the conventional notions of crime, deviance and justice.

• To promote student awareness and understanding of issues relating to environmental harm and justice.

• To foster the development of applied knowledge of environmental protection, regulation and governance.

Policy for Children and Families

Year: 2

This module is optional

This module covers major debates, perspectives and challenges associated with children and families. It will consider policy and services for children's well-being and recent reviews of children's services including child protection services and key areas of provision. Students will examine perspectives on policy, child poverty, mixed economy of care, partnership and inter-agency work and children's participation and rights.

Year three

Criminology Abroad

Year: 3

This module is optional

This module provides an opportunity to undertake an extended period of study outside the UK. It is a required module for all criminology students on an intercalary study abroad year between second and final year. It is not open to non-study abroad students. Students will develop an enhanced understanding of the academic discipline of criminology and criminal justice whilst generating educational and cultural networks.

Criminology Applied Placement and Learning

Year: 3

This module is optional

This module provides undergraduate students with an opportunity to gain structured and professional work experience, in a work-based learning environment, as part of their planned programme of study. This experience allows students to develop, refine and reflect on their key personal and professional skills. The placement should significantly support the development of the student's employability skills, preparation for final year and enhance their employability journey.

Year four


Year: 4

This module is designed to allow students to conduct an effective critical investigation of an area of concern or interest in the field of criminology and criminal justice, and to write a report on that investigation. Students will draw upon skills and knowledge acquired from taught modules and demonstrate their research skills acquired in the research methods module.

Crime, Social Order and Social Control

Year: 4

The state has traditionally been viewed as being responsible for managing crime and policing in society. However, this is much more complex and varied than would initially seem obvious. This module will explore and evaluate public and community security from a number of perspectives, providing students with a wider appreciation of how policing is undertaken outside that of traditional state and police perspectives. This will involve an examination of the many configurations which contribute to broader conceptions of policing and security within modern society. Furthermore, the module will provide an understanding of the fact that the state police are but one of many auspices and agencies who contribute to the governance of security as part of common and diverse public demands for policing provision.

Prisons, Punishment and Power

Year: 4

This module includes an overview of the history of imprisonment as a form of punishment; the development of the prison system in the UK; discussion of key debates and current issues regarding imprisonment nationally and internationally. The module also covers the history, development of and current issues regarding imprisonment in Northern Ireland.

Preparing for your Criminology Dissertation

Year: 4

Teaching is based on a mixture of short lectures, groupwork, and one-to-one advice from the teaching team. Former students will give presentations based on their experience of doing the dissertation at Ulster.

Surveillance and the Law

Year: 4

This module is optional

This module explores and evaluates the legal framework within which surveillance operates in the United Kingdom. Considering the role of surveillance in society, the relationship between surveillance, privacy rights and fair trial rights is evaluated with specific reference to data protection, interception of communications, directed and intrusive surveillance, official secrecy, the security and intelligence services and recent developments in relation to identity and identity theft.

Transforming Violence

Year: 4

This module is optional

This module focuses on how conflicts develop and escalate into violence, with a emphasis on deeply divided societies, post-colonial contexts and/or where there is political violence. The module will explore dynamics of conflict at the individual, inter and intra-group level. The module will critically reflect on types of conflict interventions applying these to real world examples such as combating violent extremism,and preventing reoccurrence through truth commissions.

Crime and the Media

Year: 4

This module is optional

Crime and media explores the nature of media influence on crime, the criminal justice system and the role that the media plays in influencing the public's perception of crime and criminality. Specifically this module develops analytical and critical skills in exploring and understanding the conflicting and at times ambiguous relationship between crime and the media in the twenty first century.

Terrorism and Political Violence

Year: 4

This module is optional

Since the late 1960s, acts of terrorism have become more numerous and wide-ranging. The attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in September 2001 and the following incidents elsewhere, notably in Madrid and London, have given impetus to the study of terrorism and political violence, not in only in academic circles but also amongst policy-makers. Furthermore, there is a more heightened awareness in the general public about the `war against terrorism'. The module involves consideration of the debate over the definition of terrorism and political violence; psychological, sociological and other social science theories of terrorism and political violence; the symbiotic relationship between terrorists, terrorism and the mass media; the character of state terrorism; trans-national and international terrorism including past trends and future prospects and single-issue terrorism. The module also examines and assesses counter-terrorism (police, intelligence and legal) measures/responses by the state, both for their effectiveness and for their implications for civil liberty in liberal-democracies.

Psychology and Crime

Year: 4

This module is optional

Crime and criminal justice as well as issues of law and order remain topical in contemporary society. This module will provide students a unique opportunity to investigate the workings of the criminal mind and what motivates an individual to commit crime. This module aims to introduce students to the principal theories and applications of psychology within the field of criminology. It enables students to develop a critical understanding of how psychological theory is applied to various criminological settings, which include youth crime; weapon carrying; arson and sexual crimes; psychopaths and serial killers, and criminal profiling.

Green Criminology and Environmental Crime

Year: 4

This module is optional

This module offers students the opportunity to study contemporary issues in criminology, with particular reference to green criminology, environmental crime and justice. It provides the opportunity to understand the nature of how crime is defined and considered outside of academia. It looks at real world issues and discusses the various, and at times, conflicting approaches undertaken by criminologists. Students are encouraged to critically evaluate criminological evidence and to make links with criminological theory and issues raised.

Gender, Sexuality, Crime and Justice

Year: 4

This module is optional

This module will assist students to develop skills in understanding how different theories, concepts, methodological tools and data influence the ways in which we respond to gender and crime. The establishment of a more victim centred approach, and changes to offender management, will form the key elements of the module. Case studies will show how practitioners and policy makers are responding to the extensive reforms within the criminal justice and prison system.


Year: 4

This module is optional

Increasing connectivity to the Internet has resulted in a growing amount of crime and deviance taking place in cyberspace. This cybercrime module examines a series of cyber enabled and cyber dependent crimes, the motivations of online offenders and how such crimes may be investigated and subsequently prevented. It examines the complex nature of cyber legislation in Europe and explores the difficulties of policing cyber activity on the surface and dark web. By the end of the module students will be able to evaluate the uncertainties, ambiguities and limits currently encountered in trying to regulate the Internet and digital technology.

Global Crime

Year: 4

This module is optional

This module examines the various criminal dimensions of contemporary globalisation, their
global extent and significance and the roles they play in shaping the socio-economic
conditions and development trajectories of key global regions. It also considers various responses to global crime and evaluates their success as well as exploring the relationship between global crime and
popular culture. Students will understand issues relating to a) Spatial and temporal patterns of global crime; b) the link between different forms of organised crime and globalisation; and c) the key critiques of crime control measures.

Drugs and Crime

Year: 4

This module is optional

This module offers students the opportunity to study contemporary issues in criminology, with particular reference to drugs use; its consumption, regulation and criminalisation. It provides the opportunity to understand the nature of how drug use and crime are defined and considered inside and outside of academia. It looks at real world issues and discusses the various, and at times, conflicting approaches undertaken by criminologists. Students are encouraged to critically evaluate criminological evidence and to make links with criminological theory and issues raised.

Rehabilitation and Desistance from Crime

Year: 4

This module is optional

Rehabilitation and Desistance from Crime will introduce students to some of the key concepts and debates in the field of desistance studies. The module will encourage an appraisal of the relationships between rehabilitation, risk and resettlement in penal philosophy, policy and practice. Students will engage with debates on 'what works' in rehabilitative practice, and examine how desistance from crime can be supported, or stymied, by criminal justice processes.

Migration, 'Race' and Ethnicity

Year: 4

This module is optional

This module introduces students to a range of debates related to migration, racism and ethnicity with a focus on the United Kingdom and Ireland. Historical developments are reviewed but the focus is in current policy debates and perspectives. This includes international and national governance of migration flows and citizenship processes. Key policy areas covered include: immigration, refugee and asylum processes, equality and human rights.

Standard entry conditions

We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.

A level

The A Level requirement for this course is BBB*.

* Applicants can satisfy the requirement for the third A-Level Grade by substituting a combination of alternative qualifications recognised by the University.

Applied General Qualifications

Overall BTEC QCF Extended Diploma award profile DDD.


BTEC Level 3 RQF National Extended Diploma with profile DDM.

You may also meet the course entry requirements with combinations of different qualifications to the same standard. Examples of combinations include:

A levels with BTEC Level 3 QCF Subsidiary Diploma or BTEC RQF National Extended Certificate

A level with BTEC Level 3 QCF Diploma or BTEC Level 3 RQF National Diploma.

For further information on the entry requirements for this course please contact the administrator as listed in Contact details.

Irish Leaving Certificate

120 UCAS Tariff points to include a minimum of five subjects (four of which must be at Higher Level) to include English at H6 if studied at Higher Level or 04 if studied at Ordinary level.

Irish Leaving Certificate UCAS Equivalency

Scottish Highers

The Scottish Highers requirement for this course is grades BBBCC.

Scottish Advanced Highers

The Scottish Advanced Highers requirement for this course is grades CCC.

International Baccalaureate

Overall International Baccalaureate profile minimum 26 points (13 at higher level).

Access to Higher Education (HE)

Pass Access Course (120 credits) with an overall mark of 65%.


GCSE Profile to include CGSE English Language grade C or above (or equivalent).

English Language Requirements

English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.

Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.

Exemptions and transferability

You will enter Year 1. However, if you can provide evidence of previous relevant study, you may, in exceptional circumstances, be permitted exemption from a restricted number of modules in Year 1.

Careers & opportunities

Graduate employers

Graduates from this course are now working for:

  • Criminal Justice Inspectorate
  • Institute for Conflict Research
  • Northern Ireland Prison Service
  • Enable Care Services
  • PriceWaterhouseCoopers
  • PSNI

Job roles

With this degree you could become:

  • Youth Support Worker
  • Prison Officer
  • Police
  • Policy Worker
  • Research Analyst
  • HMRC
  • Research Intern

Career options

The course seeks to equip you for a variety of careers within organisations with a criminal justice or public policy focus, in the private, voluntary and statutory sectors. It also prepares you for a range of postgraduate opportunities in related fields.

Work placement / study abroad

Opportunities to study abroad include the Erasmus scheme and International Student Exchange Programme.

Whilst there is no formal work placement, there is a compulsory work based learning opportunity, entitled work volunteering and criminological issues for students who have secured two hours per week (or equivalent) volunteering or work experience for the duration of the 12 week module. The module aims to inform students about developments within current criminal justice policy and to encourage them to critically assess the role of their chosen organisation within this context and future employability.


Start dates

  • September 2023

Fees and funding

2023/24 Fees

Fees for entry in 2023/24 have not yet been set. See our tuition fees page for the current fees for 2022/23 entry.

Scholarships, awards and prizes

The Criminology and Criminal Justice degree has two awards sponsored by the Criminal Justice Inspection Northern Ireland:

  • Best Undergraduate Dissertation in Criminology and Criminal Justice Award
  • Outstanding Criminology and Criminal Justice Student Award (for a Year 2 student)

Criminology and Criminal Justice students can also be considered for the School of Applied Social & Policy Sciences' Global Studies Award for the best dissertation with an international focus. Additionally, Criminology and Criminal Justice students are encouraged to submit their final year work to The Undergraduate Awards, an international awards programme which recognises creativity, excellence and innovative thinking within student coursework. We have had a number of entries which have been highly commended.

Additional mandatory costs

It is important to remember that costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges) and normal living will need to be covered in addition to tuition fees.

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses (in addition to tuition fees) we make every effort to highlight them above. We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals, as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free Wi-Fi are also available on each of the campuses.

There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.

Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as a part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs, as well as tuition fees.

See the tuition fees on our student guide for most up to date costs.


  1. The University endeavours to deliver courses and programmes of study in accordance with the description set out in this prospectus. The University’s prospectus is produced at the earliest possible date in order to provide maximum assistance to individuals considering applying for a course of study offered by the University. The University makes every effort to ensure that the information contained in the prospectus is accurate but it is possible that some changes will occur between the date of printing and the start of the academic year to which it relates. Please note that the University’s website is the most up-to-date source of information regarding courses and facilities and we strongly recommend that you always visit the website before making any commitments.
  2. Although reasonable steps are taken to provide the programmes and services described, the University cannot guarantee the provision of any course or facility and the University may make variations to the contents or methods of delivery of courses, discontinue, merge or combine courses and introduce new courses if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Such circumstances include (but are not limited to) industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key staff, changes in legislation or government policy including changes, if any, resulting from the UK departing the European Union, withdrawal or reduction of funding or other circumstances beyond the University’s reasonable control.
  3. If the University discontinues any courses, it will use its best endeavours to provide a suitable alternative course. In addition, courses may change during the course of study and in such circumstances the University will normally undertake a consultation process prior to any such changes being introduced and seek to ensure that no student is unreasonably prejudiced as a consequence of any such change.
  4. The University does not accept responsibility (other than through the negligence of the University, its staff or agents), for the consequences of any modification or cancellation of any course, or part of a course, offered by the University but will take into consideration the effects on individual students and seek to minimise the impact of such effects where reasonably practicable.
  5. The University cannot accept any liability for disruption to its provision of educational or other services caused by circumstances beyond its control, but the University will take all reasonable steps to minimise the resultant disruption to such services.


"It is very evident that staff work closely together as part of a very strong team and strive to help the students in any way possible".

"When need help it is provided efficiently. Tutors and lecturers are all approachable".

"Brilliant teachers. Interesting topics".