Politics and Criminology BSc(Hons) 2017-18

This course also available for 2018-19 entry

Want to join us in September? You can now apply via Clearing

Student Story, Politics at Huddersfield, Future Career Options, Study Abroad Opportunities, Graduate Story, Student Story

About the course

Crime exists in every world economy and the nature of crime is constantly changing. This means, however, that demand for understanding crime and for crime reduction and control is high, and continues to rise as societies attempt to address criminal behaviours.

The world of politics is inextricably linked to crime, justice and policing. By studying these two closely related disciplines together, you'll have the chance to develop a strong understanding of political processes, the criminal justice system, and the linkages between the two.

You'll have the opportunity to gain valuable experience by undertaking a work placement (in a field such as youth justice, charitable organisations, education, the media or politics).

Our lecturing team will be able to offer you in-depth critical assessment of social and political change drawing on their research and you will be encouraged to develop your own debating and research skills in a supportive atmosphere.

You'll be helped to prepare for a range of future careers.

Why study Politics and Criminology at Huddersfield?

  • We're ranked 4th in the country for Politics by The Guardian's University Guide 2016.

  • In the 2015 National Student Survey, Politics studies at Huddersfield received a 100% satisfaction score.

  • Our exchange programme could give you the opportunity to study abroad for a term in Europe, the USA or South East Asia.

  • You'll have the opportunity to benefit from an extensive programme of extra-curricular activities, potentially including special guest lectures delivered by MPs and other political figures, student-led debates, politics blogging and the active Student Politics Society.

  • Your second year work placement in a political environment means that you'll be helped to prepare for your chosen career following graduation.

UCAS code:

Start date:
18 / 09 / 2017


3 years full-time

Course type:

Full Time

Course content

This course offers you the opportunity to explore two disciplines with a clear affinity. Criminology is the study of crime, disorder and crime reduction. Politics offers a critical understanding of political processes and institutions at national and international level. It also analyses the ideas and philosophies behind contemporary social and political debates.

You'll analyse popular conceptions of crime in the media, and focus on criminal action ranging from petty theft to state sponsored terrorism. The course aims to give you the theoretical grounding and relevant knowledge to develop critical analysis skills both in relation to contemporary political issues and to the workings of the criminal justice system.

With option modules in your second and third years, you'll be able to lead your studies and select areas that interest you.

Through the ‘Professional Work Placement' module in year 2, you'll have the chance to apply your learning and knowledge in a professional setting, via a practical work-based experience.

Throughout your course, you'll be supported to develop a range of analytical tools beneficial to your future career prospects.

Read on for details of each core and option module.

Year 1

Core modules:

Exploring the Social Sciences

This module guides you through the process of exploring social science subjects at university and develops your ability to be a successful student. You’ll have the opportunity to strengthen your academic study skills, as well as your knowledge of research approaches and methods, using subject-specific topics and case studies. You’ll explore ways to assess your learning needs, set learning goals, develop learning action plans and produce effective academic assignments. You’ll also be introduced to the philosophies, methods and ethics of social research processes. Assessment on this module is through coursework.

Introduction to Criminology and Criminal Justice

You'll be introduced to the key areas of study within crime, criminology and criminal justice. The module is assessed through three pieces of coursework. Firstly your understanding of crime, antisocial behaviour and criminal law will be assessed in a workbook (worth 25% of module marks). Secondly you'll consider the functions and decision-making involved in the criminal justice system through a group poster presentation (worth 35% of module marks). You'll also explore some of the key theories that have been proposed to explain why people commit crime in a seen exam (worth 40% of module marks).

Introduction to Politics

This module introduces you to conceptual and empirical issues in British and international politics. Through a group presentation (worth 20% of module marks) and coursework (worth 30% of module marks) you will explore evolution and reform in modern British politics, particularly through the lens of theories of the state. You will also be encouraged to explore the ‘global’ as a realm of politics and engage with core debates and analytical frameworks through a final exam (worth 50% of module marks)

Year 2

Core modules:

Democracy and Democratisation

This module examines how democracy works in both theory and practice. You'll explore various contrasting models of democracy, plus a number of political and social challenges to democracy through written coursework (worth 35% of module marks). You'll then examine how political researchers have analysed the global spread of democracy, through written coursework (worth 35% of module marks). Both aspects of this module will be assessed through an exam (worth 30% of module marks).

Professional Work Placement Module

This module gives you the opportunity to gain practical work experience within a political environment, which aims to enhance your academic and personal career development. You'll undertake a 15 day (90 hour) placement which will be assessed through two pieces of coursework. Firstly you'll complete an online reflective blog of your experiences (worth 40% of module marks). Secondly you'll produce a written assignment (worth 60% of module marks) based on your experience, which links theory with practice by demonstrating an awareness of how your academic learning and placement were integrated in a chosen policy area.

Option modules:

Choose 60 module credits from a list which may include-

Explaining and Responding to Crime

This module explores the explanations for crime and disorder, which you will relate to the ways that society responds to crime. These issues will be set in a social, political, theoretical and historical context. You will be assessed through two pieces of coursework, where you will complete a theory-based essay and compile a crime prevention strategy document.

The Police and Policing

You'll focus on the evolution of the police and policing functions in England and Wales, through written coursework, producing a timeline of key policing events. You will also compare policing in England and Wales with that of another country for example France, Russia and the USA, through written coursework.

Violent Crime

You'll explore the nature, variety and extent of violent crime and its prevention (for example terrorism, homicide, work-placed bullying, and stalking). You'll demonstrate your knowledge of theoretical explanations for violent crime and violence prevention methods through an unseen exam.

Organised and International Crime

You’ll explore two aspects of organised crime. Firstly, you'll study white-collar, financial crimes and the damaging impact that they can have on the economy of a country. Secondly you’ll examine how organised crime can drive people trafficking and trading of drugs and illegal arms, which enables ‘rogue’ states to wage war on their own people. Finally you‘ll explore how both kinds of crime relate to your own life. You’ll be assessed through a 2 hour unseen examination.

Working with offenders and Victims

You‘ll be introduced to critical perspectives of the methods and processes of work undertaken with offenders and victims within the criminal justice process. This will include an exploration of factors that may influence criminal offending and how these may be addressed with strategies to reduce and manage offending through coursework involving an oral presentation. You’ll also explore patterns of victimisation and repeat victimisation and strategies to address the needs of victims through written coursework.

Doing Criminological Research

You’ll build on your foundation year of study in research methods to explore in greater depth how to design, conduct and analyse different forms of criminological research in preparation for your independent final year research project. You’ll be provided with the opportunity to gain hands-on experience of doing and analysing criminological research alongside theoretical study of research methodologies and design. You’ll be assessed through coursework on your understanding of the research process, quantitative and qualitative data.

Year 3

Core module:

Final Year Project for the Social Sciences

You'll research a topic of your choice in depth, giving you the opportunity to develop your own research interests. Drawing on the area you have chosen to study, you'll engage with issues of project design and research methods. You'll be assessed through two pieces of coursework. Firstly through an oral presentation (worth 10% of module marks) you'll discuss your project proposal. You'll then produce a dissertation (worth 90% of module marks) about your research topic. You’ll receive individual support from a dedicated staff member in supervision sessions, which will include providing feedback on up to 25% of the final draft of the project (if submitted by an agreed date)

Politics option modules:

Choose two from a list which may include-

Humanity 2.0: Living and Participating in the Digital Age

This module will allow you to explore the impact that the digital age has had on society and the possibilities it holds for greater enhancement. It invites you to reflect upon your assumptions about the use of technology in society, and what barriers exist to full citizenship participation within society. You will be assessed in two ways. Firstly you will create a multimedia presentation as coursework to reflect upon the nature of technology in society, and secondly you will write a 3,000 word essay analysing how the citizen should operate within the digital age.

Film and Cinema

This module is a great choice if you have an interest or maybe even a passion for film, and want to explore the ways in which cultural, economic, sociological, and political issues have been represented from the 1960s to the present day. You'll watch specific films and then have a combination of lectures and workshops focused on each one to guide your learning. The module is assessed via coursework, starting with a short review (worth 10% of module marks), progressing to a scene analysis (worth 15% of module marks) and finishing with a written case study (worth 75% of module marks).

The Government and Politics of Europe

You'll examine the history, structure and impact of the European Union (EU) and delve into broader trends in European politics. Through coursework involving an essay you'll explore the reasons for European integration and learn about the structure of the EU and the workings of its institutions, including Parliament, Commission and Council of Ministers. You'll also analyse areas of contention in EU politics and assess the impact of the EU on its citizens, domestic member state politics and international affairs. Wider issues such as expansion and the question of democratic accountability will also be considered and assessed through an in-class test.

Conflict Resolution and Terrorism

Through this module you'll be supported to develop a critical understanding of the ways in which terrorism has been defined. You'll demonstrate this understanding through coursework, involving a written assignment. Debates about legitimacy and political violence will be applied to a number of case studies, allowing you to explore the motivations of different groups who have used violence as a political strategy. This will be assessed through an exam.

Criminology option modules:

Choose two from a list which may include-

Contemporary and Comparative Criminology

You'll be encouraged to critically consider contemporary and newly emerging issues and debates within criminology, through coursework involving a written case study of your choice. You'll be introduced to the field of comparative criminology by exploring key criminological problems in England and Wales within the context of historical and international comparisons of crime patterns and trends, criminal justice policy, practice and theoretical developments. Example topics include prostitution, the illegal trade in endangered species, management of sex offenders, genocide and people trafficking.

Experiencing Punishment and the Penal System

You'll be encouraged to critically examine the adult penal or 'punishment' system in England and Wales. You'll focus on how people working and caught in the system experience this, exploring areas such as prison subcultures, effects of imprisonment on family members and how prisoners cope with life inside. Through coursework involving an oral presentation you'll consider the diversity of experiences alongside a theoretical consideration of these experiences in the context of the formal structures and role of the system, assessed through coursework involving a written assignment.

Offenders and Mental Disorder

In this module you'll be supported to develop your knowledge of the relationship between mental illness and criminal activity. You'll explore a range of mental illnesses and disorders as a cause of offending through a written coursework assignment, and will have the opportunity to consider the links between theory and practice by completing a written coursework assignment on the appropriateness of treatment for offenders within the forensic mental health system.

Profiling and investigating Serious Crime

You'll be introduced to the field of serious crime (for example murder, serial murder and sex offences), offender profiling and the associated police investigation process in the UK. You'll have the opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge of offender profiling by producing written coursework and the criminal investigation process through an unseen exam.

Substance Misuse and Crime

In this module you'll be supported to develop your knowledge of the relationship between substance misuse and criminal activity. You'll be encouraged to consider the nature of addiction and substance taking as a cause of crime and examine a range of illegal substances through a written coursework assignment and will have the opportunity to consider the links between theory and practice by completing coursework in the form of a case-study based written assignment exploring legislation, policy and treatment options for an individual with a drug or alcohol dependency.

Important information

We will always try to deliver your course as described on this web page. However, sometimes we may have to make changes as set out below.

We review all optional modules each year and change them to reflect the expertise of our staff, current trends in research and as a result of student feedback. We will always ensure that you have a range of options to choose from and we will let students know in good time the options available for them to choose for the following year.

We will only change core modules for a course if it is necessary for us to do so, for example to maintain course accreditation. We will let you know about any such changes as soon as possible, usually before you begin the relevant academic year.

Sometimes we have to make changes to other aspects of a course or how it is delivered. We only make these changes if they are for reasons outside of our control, or where they are for our students’ benefit. Again, we will let you know about any such changes as soon as possible, usually before the relevant academic year. Our regulations set out our procedure which we will follow when we need to make any such changes.

When you enrol as a student of the University, your study and time with us will be governed by a framework of regulations, policies and procedures, which form the basis of your agreement with us. These include regulations regarding the assessment of your course, academic integrity, your conduct (including attendance) and disciplinary procedure, fees and finance and compliance with visa requirements (where relevant). It is important that you familiarise yourself with these as you will be asked to agree to abide by them when you join us as a student. You will find a guide to the key terms here, where you will also find links to the full text of each of the regulations, policies and procedures referred to.

The Higher Education Funding Council for England is the principal regulator for the University.


The course includes a compulsory 90 hour (15 day) work placement in your second year.

Previous placement providers have included working within the public sector or with charitable and other voluntary organisations. By combining academic rigour with the development of vocational skills, you will be supported to enter the employment market with confidence.

Career opportunities

90% of graduates from courses in this subject area go on to work and/or further study within six months of graduating.

Previous Huddersfield Politics graduates have gone on to roles relating to operations, education, media, human resources, marketing, business development, finance and IT in organisations including West Yorkshire Police, the Department for Work and Pensions, Local Government Association, Microsoft, Kirklees Council and Deloitte.*

*Source: LinkedIn

Teaching and assessment

You will be taught through seminars, group work, lectures, presentations, written reports, case studies and individual tuition.

Assessment will include coursework, practice/ competency based learning and examination.

14.3% of the study time on this course is spent in lectures, seminars, tutorials etc.

Your module specification/course handbook will provide full details of the assessment criteria applying to your course.

Feedback (usually written) is normally provided on all coursework submissions within three term time weeks – unless the submission was made towards the end of the session in which case feedback would be available on request after the formal publication of results. Feedback on exam performance/final coursework is available on request after the publication of results.

Huddersfield is the UK's only university where 100% of the permanent teaching staff are fellows of the Higher Education Academy.*

*Permanent staff, after probation: some recently appointed colleagues will only obtain recognition in the months after their arrival in Huddersfield, once they have started teaching.

How much will it cost me?

The full-time undergraduate tuition fee for 17/18 entry is £9250.

Tuition fees will cover the cost of your study at the University as well as charges for registration, tuition, supervision and examinations. For more information about funding, fees and finance for UK/EU students, including what your tuition fee covers, please see Fees and Finance. Please note that tuition fees for subsequent years of study may rise in line with inflation (RPI-X).

If you are an international student coming to study at the University of Huddersfield, please visit the International Fees and Finance pages for full details of tuition fees and support available.

Please email the Student Finance or call 01484 472210 for more information about fees and finance.


If you are an international student (including EU) you can check if you meet our entry requirements (both academic and English language) by visiting our country pages.

If you do not meet the entry requirements you can consider completing a degree preparation programme (if you are from a country outside of the EU) at the University's International Study Centre (ISC). You can call the ISC on +44 (0) 1273 339333 to discuss your options. You can also complete the online application form or to ask a question please fill in the enquiry form and talk to one of our multi-lingual Student Enrolment Advisers.

If your English language is not at the required level (IELTS 6.0 overall), we have a range of Pre-Sessional English programmes that you can enrol on before starting your degree programme. You will not need to take an IELTS test after completing one of our Pre-Sessional English programmes.

How to apply

We hope you're interested in what you've seen and want to apply to join us. Please take a look at the information on what to do next.

Research community

Research plays an important role in informing all our teaching and learning activities. Through research our staff remain up-to-date with the latest developments in their field, which means you develop knowledge and skills that are current and highly relevant to industry. For more information, see the Research section of our website.

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