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Graduates from this course have gained employment with a wide range of organisations

  • Criminal Justice Inspectorate
  • Institute for Conflict Research
  • Northern Ireland Prison Service
  • Enable Care Services
  • Drumgor Detached Youth Work Project

Graduates from this course are employed in many different roles

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


Important notice – campus change This course will move to the Belfast campus in September 2019.  Students will change campus part way through this course. Find out more

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


Study Criminology and Criminal Justice at Ulster University in the United Kingdom.

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

In this section


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 International Academic Studies DIAS

Find out more about placement awards


Teaching takes place over two, 12-week semesters. Contact hours during the teaching weeks are nine 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 2016
How to apply

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.

In this section

A level

The A Level requirement for this course is 300 UCAS tariff points (to include grades AB) - 320 UCAS tariff points (to include grades AB).


Overall BTEC award profile DDM (to include nine distinctions if the asking grades are set at 300 point, or ten distinctions if they are set at 320 points).

Irish Leaving Certificate

Overall Irish Leaving Certificate profile 300 UCSA tariff points (to include grades ABBBB) - 320 UCAS tariff points (to include grades AABBC).

Scottish Highers

The Scottish Highers requirement for this course is AABCC - AAABC.

Scottish Advanced Highers

The Scottish Advanced Highers requirement for this course is ABC - ABB.

International Baccalaureate

Overall International Baccalaureate profile minimum 26 points (13 at higher level) - 27 points (13 at higher level).

Access to Higher Education (HE)

Overall Access profile 70% - 72%.


GCSE profile to include GCSE 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.

Teaching and learning assessment

A variety of teaching and learning methods are used 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.

Exemptions and transferability

You will enter the course in year one. 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 one.

Careers & opportunities

In this section

Graduate employers

Graduates from this course have gained employment with a wide range of organisations. Here are some examples:

  • Criminal Justice Inspectorate
  • Institute for Conflict Research
  • Northern Ireland Prison Service
  • Enable Care Services
  • Drumgor Detached Youth Work Project

Job roles

Graduates from this course are employed in many different roles. Here are some examples:

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

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.

Academic profile

All members of the core criminology teaching team are either fellows or senior fellows of the United Kingdom's Higher Education Academy, which promotes excellence in higher education teaching. The team's commitment to teaching is further evidenced by the shortlisting of the State Crime e-Testimony Project, created by Dr Kristian Lasslett for the Times Higher Education Awards 2014 in the Outstanding ICT Initiative of the Year category, as well as Dr John Topping winning the Ulster University Student Union Learning and Teaching Award for Excellence in Feedback and Assessment, 2015.


Please apply via UCAS by 15 January. Visit

How to apply

Start dates

  • September 2016

Fees and funding

In this section

Fees (per year)

Northern Ireland & EU:
England, Scotland & Wales:

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 two student).

Criminology and Criminal Justice students can also be considered for the School of Criminology, Politics and Social Policy's 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

Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel and normal living are a part of university life. 

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them in the online prospectus. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.

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 wifi is also available on each of the campuses.

There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course. 

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

Please contact the course team for more information.


Faculty Office

028 9036 6184

Course Director

Dr Ruth McAlister

028 9036 8063


"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."