Criminology and Security Studies - BA (Hons)

UCAS Code:
Part-time: apply direct to the University
Full Time (3 Years), Sandwich (4 Years), Part Time (5 Years)
September 2017

As the first University in the UK to offer a combined degree in criminology and security studies, we are able to give you a truly unique experience.

This course combines Criminology with the study of Security, allowing you to examine - in your introductory first year -a range of subjects such as intelligence, terrorism, nationalism, modern day conflict, weapons of mass destruction and the role of the United Nations in modern day international security. This will equip you with a wide range of knowledge about both national and international politics, and how politics can create both security and insecurity for citizens of the United Kingdom. 

What's covered in the course?

In your second and third years, this wide knowledge base will be built upon as you specialise in your learning. Your knowledge of the core ideas in Criminology will be re-enforced throughout these two years, and you will learn more about topics such as the role of MI5 and MI6, extremism, terrorism and counter-terrorism, the Middle East and conflict in the modern world, and International Relations.

Together these two years will provide you with a well-rounded knowledge of the political and historical issues which are leading to continued conflict and instability in the world today. This is an exciting and dynamic course whose modules directly reflect what is happening around the world and which is at the cutting edge of current scholarship. 

Why Choose Us?

  • We were the first UK University to offer the joint Criminology and Security Studies degree.
  • We have strong links with relevant local and national agencies, including West Midlands Police.
  • Regular guest lectures by members of organisations such like the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, Military Intelligence and counter-terrorism units.
  • You’ll be taught by academics who are established in the field and who regularly work with both the public and private sectors to provide expert advice on these topics. 

This course is subject to approval

Student ambassador helps Open Day visitor

Open Day - 19 November 2016

Our next University-wide Open Day will take place on Saturday 19 November 2016. Come along to find out more about our courses and see our facilities.

Register now

This course is open to International students

School of Social Sciences

Discover the School of Social Sciences

Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.

Visit the School website

Where our students go

Our students have gone on to work with companies such as:

  • Capita
  • Home Office
  • Procurement People

And in jobs such as:

  • Graduate Case Handler
  • Immigration officer
  • Recruitment consultant

Entry Requirements

We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.

Typical Offers

A Level BBC or 112 UCAS points from a minimum of 2 subjects


BTEC D*D* or combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 112 UCAS points


GCSE GCSE English Language at grade 4 or above. Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment. Equivalent qualifications will be considered.
View Equivalent GCSE Qualifications that will be considered
England, Wales and Northern Ireland
Functional Skills/ Essential Skills level 2 Pass English Language. Considered in lieu of GCSE English language at grade C+. Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment.
Irish Leaving Certificate (Ordinary Level) BBBCC Must include English language. Required at the point of enrolment.

Other acceptable UK Qualifications

Please select a qualification from the drop-down list to view our entry requirements:

If you have a qualification that is not listed, please contact the Course Enquiries Team

EU / International students
EU/Non-EU (International) Qualifications Requirements 2017/18
IELTS 6.0 overall with 5.5 minimum in all bands

The UCAS tariff has changed

If you're considering applying for this course to start in September 2017 onwards, it's important to know that the UCAS tariff system has changed.

UCAS tariff points – the points system most universities use to compare different qualifications – has introduced a new system on how points are calculated. This will be different to what you may have seen if you have applied or looked at undergraduate courses previously.

More about the new tariff

From A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BA (Hons) Sep 2017 FT 3 Years £9,250 per year Apply via UCAS
SW 4 Years £9,250 per year Apply via UCAS
PT 5 Years £1,542 per 20-credit module

International Students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BA (Hons) Sep 2017 FT 3 Years £12,000 per year Apply via UCAS
SW 4 Years £12,000 per year Apply via UCAS

The University reserves the right to increase fees broadly in line with increases in inflation, or to reflect changes in government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.

Guidance for UK/EU students


UK and EU students applying for most undergraduate degree courses in the UK will need to apply through UCAS.

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.

Applying through UCAS
 Register with UCAS
 Login to UCAS
 Complete your details
 Select your course
 Write a personal statement
 Get a reference
 Pay your application fee
 Send UCAS your application

Non-EU (International) students

There are three ways to apply:

1) Direct to the University

You will need to complete our International Application Form and submit it together with scan copies of your original academic transcripts and certificates.

2) Through a country representative

Our in-country representatives can help you make your application and apply for a visa. They can also offer advice on travel, living in the UK and studying abroad.

3) Through UCAS

If you are applying for an undergraduate degree or a Higher National Diploma (HND), you can apply through the UK’s Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

You can request a printed form from your school or nearest British Council office. You will be charged for applying through UCAS. Birmingham City University’s UCAS code is B25 BCITY.

Additional costs

There are no compulsory additional costs or charges associated with studying on this course. While you may choose to purchase personal copies of text books, all our key text books are available from our library or online (subject to normal library loan and online access arrangements).

Based on the past experience of our students, you might find it helpful to set aside about £50 for each year of your studies for your personal stationery and study materials. All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.

Your personal statement

Your personal statement is a highly important part of your application. It gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.

Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:

Course choice

Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?

Career plans

If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.

Work experience

Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.

School or college experience

Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.

Non-accredited skills or achievement

eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.

You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.

Get more information on writing personal statements.

This course is available part-time

Got any questions?

Search our Frequently Asked Questions for a range of information about our courses and studying here.

Loans and Grants

Financial Support

We offer further information on possible undergraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.

Year One

On Crimes and Punishment: An Introduction to Criminological Theory
20 credits

This module explores and examines the origins of criminology, some of its historical debates, concepts, literature and research.  It will outline what are often considered the core perspectives and theories related to crime and criminality, whilst introducing students to the history and development of criminology as an academic discipline. 

Doing Criminological Research
20 credits

This module introduces students to both qualitative and quantitative criminological research methods, allowing students to develop a basic understanding of how to design research appropriately in relation to a specific topic.

This module will equip students to:

  • Develop an understanding of the relationship between theories and methods
  • Understand a range of research methods and methods of analysis
  • Develop the critical analyses and practical skills that are required to carry out research.
Crime in its Historical and Political Context
20 credits

This module is important in setting a foundation for students in understanding the political and historical contexts of crime and the response of the State to it.  It will provide an understanding of contemporary institutions and policies within the structure of criminal justice/Criminology, and show their development in historical practice and experience.

Security Studies: The Essentials
20 credits

This module aims to introduce students to the subject area known as Security Studies. The module will give a broad overview of the subject area, its key debates and some of the theories which are part of it. This is all achieved through the consideration of current world security issues.

Social Construction of Crime and Deviance
20 credits

This module will examine the ways in which criminological and sociological theorising helps us to challenge common sense in order to widen our understanding of a) ‘deviant’ identities and b) the operation of social control. 

Policing, Investigation and Society
20 credits

This module allows students the opportunity to develop a key understanding of policing and criminological concepts, and theoretical approaches which have been developed in relation to models of policing.  It will allow students an opportunity to examine and conceptualise some of the key debates around crime, policy, human rights, crime prevention, security, and policing. 

Year Two

War and Conflict in the Modern World
20 credits

This module aims to examine the changing nature of power in global politics since the end of the Cold War by examining different aspects of contemporary conflict.

Advanced Criminological Research
20 credits

This core module provides you with the opportunity to develop a more in-depth knowledge and understanding of the different procedures used for qualitative data collection, analysis, interpretation and presentation. Students will be encouraged to think critically about the diverse assumptions that underpin criminological research, with a wider focus on the historical and political framework within which Criminology is situated.

Intelligence and Security Post-1945
20 credits

The module aims to develop an understanding of the role of intelligence agencies in combating insecurity with particular reference to Britain. 

Prisons and Punishment
20 credits

This module is designed to develop your understanding of the emergence and development of key theories of punishment through an exploration of the history of penal theory and its contemporary challenges and controversies. 

Terrorism Theory
20 credits

This module will provide students with a detailed look at the theory and development of terrorism through an engagement with contemporary history and current affairs.  Definitions, causes and different “categories” of terrorism will be addressed over the course of the module to help you develop an ability to engage critically with this topic.    

Optional Modules
20 credits

The following optional modules are all worth 20 credits each:

  • Youth, Crime and Justice
  • Forensic Science
  • Working in Criminal Justice

Final Year

Britain and Terrorism
20 credits

The module examines a range of terrorist threats from some anti-colonial groups the British encountered in the final days of the Empire, through to the conflict in Northern Ireland and finally those driven by Islamic extremism.

The War on Terror
20 credits

The module aims to provide an understanding of the development of US security policy in the light of the 9/11 attacks by examining the range of domestic and external factors which have shaped the American declared ‘War on Terror’ and the success of that policy in augmenting or eroding American security both abroad and at home.

Dissertation / Live Project / Placement
40 credits

You will be given the choice to put together a dissertation or a live project for your 40 credits final year module. Alternatively, you can opt to take on an industry placement.

Optional Modules
20 credits

The following optional modules are all worth 20 credits each:

  • Homicide
  • Hate Crime
  • Cyber Crime
  • Gender and Crime

Trips and visits

You’ll have the opportunity to gain a practical insight into the ways which security concerns have shaped the history and politics of the United Kingdom through several trips.

The first of these trips will see you visit the birthplace of code breaking in the United Kingdom – Bletchley Park. On this trip you will deepen your knowledge of spies, intelligence and code breaking and will learn how these things contributed to victory in WWII.

The second of these trips will see you spend several days in Dublin, Republic of Ireland. While there, you will explore the turbulent history of UK-Irish relations and will have the opportunity to learn about how Ireland gained its independence from the United Kingdom, as well as the role the British security establishment played in both this period of history and the on-going British-Irish relationship. 

Student stories

Ruth Simmuth

I was very indecisive before I came to university and had originally applied to do a different course at Birmingham City University. I had always had an interest in issues surrounding security, crime and punishment and as a result I was drawn to Criminology and Security Studies. I decided to go for it and contacted the University on clearing day, which led me to where I am now.

Overseas opportunities

You can gain international insight and experience a new culture with our Erasmus exchange programme. Students have spent a term at a number of major institutions, including the University of San Diego in the USA, as well as destinations in Cyprus and Denmark.

Further Study

If you’re looking to continue your study following the completion of your course, some of our students have gone on to complete an MA in Criminology.

We also have an exciting, new opportunity, from September 2017, for students to progress to our MA in Security Studies.

Enhancing Employability Skills

This course is suitable if you wish to embark on a criminal justice-related career, including jobs in security services, police, revenue and customs, probation, youth justice, community safety and the prison service, as well as the voluntary sector. It’s also suitable for serving police officers and civilian support staff, customs officers, prison officers, and those working in the Immigration and Nationality Service.

This course has also improved the career prospects of serving military personnel and is suitable to both currently serving and recently retired members of the armed forces.

Part-time study in Criminology is often followed by people who are already employed within the criminal justice system and who are intending to improve their career prospects.

You’ll also develop transferable skills such as analysis and decision making, commercial awareness, accessing information, problem solving, and cultural and political awareness.

These skills are appropriate to a range of careers from teaching to retail management.

We have partnered with the national charity New Bridge to offer undergraduate students the unique opportunity to gain experience in a variety of voluntary roles. You’ll be given an insight into prison systems and the realities of life in prison, while at the same time enhancing your skills and experience ready for future employment.

You’ll also gain valuable experience through our Employability Challenge Weeks, as well as our Leadership Challenge programme. Both give you the chance to apply your skills to innovative and exciting projects, industry talks and workshops. You’ll also receive guidance on how to complete application forms and how to write effective CVs.


You’ll have the opportunity throughout your study to work with a number of organisations such as Centro Safetravel, Citizens Advice Bureau and Victim Support.

Criminology student Leonie Folan is currently working on The Priority and Prolific Offender (PPO) Scheme, which is available to students who choose to take the third year Working in Criminal Justice module.

“I am gaining valuable experience in multi-agency working which is something the government are increasingly investing in in terms of offender management and rehabilitation,” Leonie says. “Once the employment with the PPO Scheme ends, I hope to continue working in offender rehabilitation, most likely with a third sector organisation.”

More about our placement opportunities...


OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.

It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.


BCU Graduate+

Through our courses we give you the skills and experience needed to get a head start when applying for jobs. But we offer something extra too – Graduate+.

Our unique programme gives you the chance to develop valuable skills outside of the more formal classroom learning. We award points for Graduate+ activities (including firewalking!) and these can be put towards a final Graduate+ award.

More about Graduate+

Graduate jobs

The main sectors employing leavers are public administration and defence, and compulsory social security, with employers including Birmingham City Council and Sandwell Homes, in positions such as Family Support Worker and Antisocial Behaviour Officer.

International Students

Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.

The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.

Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:

Birmingham City University is a professional university, which provides vocational programmes taught using applied teaching methods.

We welcome international students who wish to enhance their career prospects and provide a full range of support and guidance services to enable you to optimise your potential.

Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC)

International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.


BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.

Learn more about BCUIC

Curzon facilities eatery
Curzon facilities staircase
Curzon facilities student hub

Our Facilities

We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities.

The Curzon Building

This course is based at our City Centre Campus – and specifically The Curzon Building, alongside other social sciences, law, business and English students.

The £63m building offers students a unique social learning space, including a dedicated student hub incorporating student support services, in the heart of Birmingham’s Eastside development.

Realistic, simulated environments include two mock court rooms, a Magistrates' and Crown Court, and an interviewing suite. We’re also exploring the use of virtual environments as a way to develop case study analysis.

For those studying on the BA (Hons) Criminology, Policing and Investigation pathway, you’ll experience simulations of police interviewing environments for both suspects and witnesses, with access to tape recording and video playback analysis.

Crime investigation files are prepared using computer-based technology, and the crime data analysis requirements of the degree are supported by appropriate statistical and analytical software.

Psychology students can look forward to using state-of-the-art equipment as well, including the latest in eye-tracking software, and our new EEG machine, all geared towards giving you true hands-on experience with tools you’ll be using in your later career.

The Curzon Building also features:

  • An impressive new library with access to over 65 million full text items and stunning views of Eastside City Park
  • Your Students’ Union which is located in a beautifully restored 19th century pub, The Eagle and Ball
  • A modern 300-seat food court with space to study and socialise
  • Brand new, accessible IT facilities with full Office365 for all students for free
  • Shared facilities with the wider campus including the recently opened Parkside Building and Millennium Point

Imran Awan profile picture

Dr Imran Awan

Associate Professor and Deputy Director of the Centre for Applied Criminology

Imran's areas of expertise are based around the impact of Islamophobia and the effects of counter-terrorism. As well as being a regular face in the media, Imran is a government advisor for the Cross-Government Working Group on Anti-Muslim Hatred.

Dr John Bahadur Lamb

Lecturer in Criminology and Security Studies and Admissions Tutor

John Bahadur Lamb has been a member of staff at Birmingham City University since 2010, first in a part time capacity and then full time from January 2013. In 2014, he was nominated for Extra Mile awards at Birmingham City University for his teaching.

Dr Andrew Whiting

Lecturer in Security Studies and Criminology

Dr Andrew Whiting’s current research is conducted across two main areas: Investigating the role of expert discourse in the production of cyber-security knowledge, and investigating the impact of UK counter-terrorism and counter-extremism policies and practices.

Arantza Gomez Arana Profile Picture

Dr Arantza Gomez Arana


Dr Arantza Gomez Arana joined Birmingham City University as a fulltime Lecturer in September 2014. She previously worked as a Research Associate at the University of Glasgow where she completed her PhD in 2011. 

Emma Kelly

Programme Director and Lecturer in Criminology

Emma Kelly is Programme Director for Criminology, Policing and Investigation, and Security Studies at Birmingham City University.

UK prospective students:

UK enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5595

EU / International prospective students:

International enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5389

Already applied?

Email the applications team

+44 (0)121 331 6295