Criminology, Policing and Investigation - BA (Hons)

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

This degree offers an in-depth study of policing and investigation, helping you develop knowledge and understanding of the core schools of criminological thought, their historical and political foundations and practical application. This new curriculum offers a varied yet focused choice of subjects through which you will be able to develop your interests within the specialised field of criminology.

The course's professional relevance is supported by its close links with local and national criminal justice agencies, such as Midland police forces and community safety partnerships.

This course is delivered by expert staff in the fields of policing, security studies and criminology, and you will enjoy regular guest lectures from highly influential voices in the discipline. This includes Bas Javid, the current Head of Operations in the East Birmingham Police Force, who has over 20 years experience in the Police. He has previously worked in the Royal Navy, and held the post of Detective Chief Inspector, Senior Investigation Officer and Superintendent. 

Specialist facilities include realistic, simulated environments such as two mock courtrooms (Magistrates’ and Crown) and an interviewing suite to simulate police interviewing environments for both suspects and witnesses, with access to tape recording and video playback analysis.

You will benefit from well-established links with a variety of external bodies, including police forces, charities, pressure groups, criminal justice agencies, criminal rehabilitation probation service and prisons.

Why Choose Us?

  • The course offers a unique opportunity to explore the history and development of policing in England and Wales. This provides a broad context which students can use to understand the difficulties faced by constabularies today.
  • The course’s professional relevance is supported by our close links with local criminal justice agencies, including West Midlands Police and Birmingham Community Safety Partnership.
  • You’ll get the opportunity to benefit from the focus on employability; you’ll be actively encouraged to take part in debates and visits such as the unique debate with high-security prisoners at HMP Grendon, along with the option of taking on voluntary work in your final year.
  • School of Social Sciences’ research in prisons has helped rehabilitate prisoners, improving their employability and reducing reoffending.
  • The School’s research is also leading the way on how we understand and respond to diverse offenders and prisoners.

This course is subject to approval

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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:

  • Caremark

And in jobs such as:

  • Care Assistant
  • Support Worker

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.

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. 

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. 

Year Two

History of Policing in England and Wales
20 credits

The module examines the origins and subsequent development of Policing in England and Wales since the early 19th Century. Its major points of focus are the political, economic, social and legal factors which gave rise to the creation of the Police and the effect of these factors on the subsequent growth and development of the police until the present day. 

Contemporary Policing in England and Wales
20 credits

This module is designed to introduce you to some of the contemporary debates surrounding policing and the police in England and Wales. This module explores recent events which have challenged popular ideas of the police and policing. 

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.

Applied Investigative Techniques
20 credits

This module will explore a range of methodologies for analysing crime and directing criminal investigations, such as criminal intelligence analysis; statistical analysis; data gathering; and, offender profiling techniques. 

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

The Ethics of Investigation
20 credits

This module examines some of the contemporary debates that surround the concept and practice of police ethics, with a particular focus on criminal investigation. 

Lie to Me; Essential Criminal Justice Interviewing Skills
20 credits

This module will explore essential criminal justice interviewing skills for practice in England and Wales. This modules is designed to have direct relevance to the workplace should you seek to work in the criminal justice arena in the future.  

Policing Priorities
20 credits

This module aims to familiarise you with the process required when applying to join the police. The module will achieve this by providing you with a practical and theoretical understanding of the skills required to successfully pass both the assessment centre exercises and written application all English and Welsh police forces ask applicants to undertake. 

Dissertation / Live Project / Placement
20 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 processes of the criminal justice system through self-organised visits to prisons, courts and police establishments.

We’re the only university in the country to hold an annual debate at high-security prison HMP Grendon. This unique opportunity offers criminology students the chance to gain an exceptional insight into how criminological theory and practice combine, through direct interaction with inmates.

A day in the life of a Criminology student.... 

Student stories

Matthew Popo

While I knew that I wanted to study I was still unsure about what course I wanted to undertake. It wasn’t until I looked back on my own life and observed the life of my peers that I realised the most substantial problem within young people within the inner city was crime.

I chose to enter university and study Criminology, to further study recognised theories into why young people fell into certain groups and how they can move away from crime and deviant lifestyles through education and getting the right help and advice.

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.

David Wilson at The Future of Murder

The Future of Murder

Crime is changing and social media is altering how killers operate. Our academics, Professor David Wilson and Dr Elizabeth Yardley, debated what murder looks like in the 21st Century during our free Future of Murder talk. They were joined by columnist Erwin James, a convicted murderer, and prison governor Jamie Bennett.

Watch again

This course is suitable if you wish to embark on a criminal justice-related career, including jobs in the 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 Naturalisation Service.

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 courses 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

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.

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.

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