Sociology and Criminology with a Foundation Year - BA (Hons)

UCAS Code:
Full Time (4 Years), Sandwich (5 Years)
September 2018

Clearing 2018

72 points

(or equivalent) is the minimum you will need to be considered for this course in Clearing.

Use the UCAS Tariff Calculator to work out your points.

0121 331 6777

Our Clearing hotline opens at 6am on Thursday 16 August.

Call us now

Social media

Get an offer or ask a question by direct messaging us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Message us

This BA (Hons) Sociology and Criminology with a Foundation Year is a four year programme with the option of you undertaking an additional year on an industrial placement.

This programme has been specifically designed to allow home and EU students, who do not initially meet the Birmingham City University entry requirements for our standard Sociology or Criminology degrees, to undertake additional level 3 study designed to ensure they are successful on their chosen degree programme.

The foundation year itself will equip you with the required knowledge and skills to proceed on to any of our undergraduate Sociology or Criminology degree programmes offered within the School of Social Sciences.

Why study a degree with a foundation year?

  • If you want the flexibility of a year’s study on a more general course to find out the best degree choice for you.
  • If you have changed your mind about your career since you chose your A-levels or BTECs and need to improve your skills in a different subject area.
  • If you would like extra time and support to help you build your knowledge, skills and confidence before starting a full degree. 
  • If you don’t quite meet our entry requirements but know you have the potential to succeed at university.

What's covered in the course?

This course will enable you to develop an understanding of society and social factors and how this affects crime and criminals, giving you a solid human understanding that will put you in a good position for range of careers or further study.

Combining sociology with the study of criminology gives you a chance to benefit from the cutting-edge thinking of the University’s Centre for Applied Criminology, a research Centre of Excellence. The recently launched Centre for Critical Social Research also brings sociological concerns to the fore.

The course introduces you to sociological theories and contexts allowing you to situate and to inform your studies in criminology with a focus on crime, criminals and the operation of criminal justice agencies.

You’ll develop communication and research skills through our wide range of assessments, as well as a clear understanding of social policy and criminology. 

Why Choose Us?

  • This course is designed to progress students who fall below normal entry requirement levels on to full Undergraduate degrees.
  • On all of our programmes you will gain a professional focus and real world experience of sociology, ensuring you are equipped to make an immediate impact in your career. You have the opportunity to embark on a year-long sandwich placement as part of your degree course.
  • The course’s professional relevance is supported by our close links with local criminal justice agencies, including Birmingham Community Safety Partnership and West Midlands Police Force. We have also worked with local schools youth work, family support, housing and advice agencies.
  • We have links with local voluntary, statutory and commercial organisations such as SIFA Fireside and NACRO, Women’s Aid and Citizen’s Advice Bureau among others giving you the chance to undertake a placement and develop your practical skills.
  • All our programmes have an international focus. This is embedded throughout the curriculum, giving you the opportunity to transform your experience with us into a global one. There are a variety of exciting possibilities open to you, ranging from our successful international travel scholarships scheme, through which you can spend a summer working for a charitable organisation overseas, to one of our many overseas study exchange programmes.
  • As a student on one of our undergraduate degrees, you will be able to benefit from our Graduate+ initiative. This three-year award programme enables you to gain award levels for all the extra-curricular activities you undertake so that you can stand out from the crowd on graduation.
  • The department is recognised for being at the forefront of sociological research, specialising in areas such as Black Studies, human rights and social identities.
  • You will share a common first year with Sociology BA (Hons), allowing you the opportunity to transfers onto the course in your second year.
  • Gain an understanding of the contemporary social world by practising a form of sociological inquiry that is informed, knowledge-applied, evidence-based and interdisciplinary.
  • You will study in our state-of-the-art City Centre Campus, ideally located for you to take advantage of our links to industry in the UK’s second city.
  • Employability is interwoven into every aspect of our course. Areas of employment for Sociology graduates can include: local and central government roles; publishing; market research and marketing; fundraising; youth, community and housing work; and voluntary / not-for-profit sector management.
  • Birmingham City University has just launched the UK's first Centre for Brexit Studies, researching all aspects of the UK's vote to leave the EU, including the impact it has on cultural identities both in Britain and in Europe.

Students outside Millennium Point

Open Days

Our next Open Day for this course will take place in Autumn 2018. Register your interest and we'll let you know details as soon as they are available.

Register your interest

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

*National Student Survey 2017

*DLHE 2016/17

Entry Requirements

72 points

(or equivalent) is the minimum you will need to be considered for this course in Clearing. Use the UCAS Tariff Calculator to work out your points.

0121 331 6777

Our Clearing hotline opens at 6am on Thursday 16 August.

Call us now

Social media

Get an offer or ask a question by direct messaging us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Message us

Alternative options

If you do not have 72 points, you may like to look at our other Social Sciences courses in Clearing

Or explore your options if you don’t have enough points for any of our courses.

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

Typical Offers

A Level BB or 80 UCAS points. A maximum of 2 subjects are considered.


BTEC DM or combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 80 UCAS points


GCSE GCSE English Language at grade 4 or above. Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment. Equivalent qualifications can be considered in lieu of GCSE subject as long as the required subject is covered.
View Equivalent GCSE Qualifications that will be considered
England, Wales and Northern Ireland
City and Guilds Level 2 Certificates in Adult Numeracy/ Adult Literacy Pass Adult Numeracy or Adult Literacy. Considered in lieu of GCSE English Language at grade 4. Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment.
Functional Skills/ Essential Skills level 2 Pass English. Considered in lieu of GCSE English Language at grade 4. Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment.
Irish Leaving Certificate (Ordinary Level) Minimum of 80 UCAS points. 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
English language requirements 2017/18
IELTS 6.0 overall with 5.5 minimum in all bands
Other accepted qualifications Visit our English language page
International Students

Entry requirements here

Worried about results?

Worried about your results?
Explore your options with Clearing

If you're worried about your exam results, changed your mind about your course choices or haven't applied yet - Clearing is a great time to explore your options. We explain what Clearing is and how it works.

Advice about Clearing 2018

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BA (Hons) Sep 2018 FT 4 Years £9,250 per year
Call Now
SW 5 Years £9,250 per year

International Students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BA (Hons) Sep 2018 FT 4 Years £12,000 per year

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form and equal opportunities PDF form instead. The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament up to a maximum of five per cent.

Places available to start in September 2018

If you'd like to start this course full-time this September, you can apply through Clearing.

0121 331 6777

Our Clearing hotline opens at 6am on Thursday 16 August.

Call us now

Social media

Get an offer or ask a question by direct messaging us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Message us

Want to start in September 2019?

You can apply via UCAS from 5 September 2018.

Year One

Developing Academic Skills for Success
20 credits
Developing Interpersonal Skills for Success
20 credits
Introduction to Sociology
20 credits
Foundation Practice Project
40 credits
Introduction to Crime and Punishment
20 credits

Year Two

Understanding Society
20 credits

This module provides you with an introduction to sociology, discussing key thinkers and how slavery, genocide and colonialism impacted on the making of the modern world. Through this module, you’ll develop key sociological skills, which you’ll continue to hone throughout the course.

Sociological Imagination
20 credits

This module will provide you with the tools to develop a critical awareness of a variety of sociological perspectives, encouraging you to link them to different learning outcomes. 

Researching Social Life
20 credits

You’ll be introduced to the principles of social research, gaining a sound knowledge and an understanding of sociology as a whole. You’ll look at research that has examined social institutions, changes and dynamics, as well as looking at contemporary social issues. You’ll sharpen your research clout and acquire a broad range of transferable skills. 

State and Society
20 credits

In this module, you will critically engage in policy case studies, use international comparisons and examine key policy agendas. You’ll learn about political influences, processes and ideologies, looking at migration, state policy and more. 

City, Community, Culture
20 credits

This module focuses on key theories of the city, including theories from Black sociologists, as well as providing you with the theories we’ve learnt from the city of Birmingham. You’ll learn to understand and study the city through ethnographic methods. 

Social Construction of Crime and Deviance
20 credits

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

Year Three

Classical Social Theory
20 credits

This module explores the key issues of classical social theory, liberalism, Marx’s critique of capitalism and Weber’s focus on religion and rationalisation. Through this module, you’ll understand the origins for different sociological theories. 

Exploring Popular Culture
20 credits

You will examine theories relevant to the study of cultural sociology, with a specific focus on topics such as race, gender, sexuality, music and media. You’ll consider how popular culture can act to confirm or resist dominant ideologies produced in society.

Beyond the Statistics: Researching Criminological Experiences Contemporary Social Theory
20 credits

This module will introduce you to a range of contemporary social and sociological theories, developing your knowledge and understanding of their origins. By the end of the module, you will have also acquired a range of transferrable and employability-related skills.

Prisons and Punishment
20 credits
Optional Modules
20 credits

The following optional modules are all worth 20 credits each:

  • Placement
  • Sociology of the Media
  • Race, Racism and Ethnicity
  • Crime, Media and Culture
  • Intelligence and Security since 1945
  • Forensic Science 

Final Year

Globalisation, People and Society
20 credits

This module provides you with an opportunity to explore concepts, research and debates in relation to globalisation, people and society. It explores the social consequences of globalisation, and creates an awareness of social possibility and constraint in present-day society.

Gender and Crime
20 credits

This module will explore the gendered nature of crime and criminal justice. In doing so, students will consider the gendered perspective of victims, perpetrators and those working within the Criminal Justice System. This module will draw on a broad theoretical framework; including feminist, psychological, biological and human rights perspectives.

Transnational Organised and Corporate Crime
20 credits
Integrative Project
40 credits

This module is your opportunity to undertake an applied, or library-based, piece of research in an area that is of particular interest and relevance to you. You’ll conduct extensive research, manage your own time and develop specialist knowledge of the area you’ve chosen to research.

Optional Modules
20 credits

The following optional modules are all worth 20 credits each:

  • Music and Society
  • Activism, Social Movements and Social Change
  • Black Arts Movement UK
  • Cyber Crime
  • Hate Crime
  • Human Rights

You have the flexibility to transfer to any standard undergraduate Sociology or Criminology programme offered within the School of Social Sciences after successful completion of your foundation year, including the option to transfer to the specialist Sociology or Criminology pathways when you successfully complete your second year if you choose to stay on this programme.  

The specialist pathways offered as part of the Sociology suite of programmes are:

BA (Hons) Sociology will explore patterns and processes of inequality, examine the structure and dynamics of social hierarchies and power relations and ask why and how people shape their identities and practice their lives. We encourage you to explore how sociological knowledge can connect individuals and how it can provide you with the skills needed to participate in debates not just about what society is but how it could be. 

BA (Hons) Black Studies will help you recognise and appreciate the achievements and movements of Black scholars, activists and communities. If you are interested in the history, popular cultures, artistic and social movements of people in the African diaspora, our new Black Studies course will provide you with the big picture perspective on this emerging discipline.

And the specialist pathways offered as part of the Criminology suite of programmes are:  

BA (Hons) Criminology aims to develop knowledge and understanding of the core schools of criminological thought, their historical and political foundations and practical application. Our curriculum offers you a variety of subjects, through which you will be able to develop your interests before focusing on specialised fields within Criminology that appeal to you as a student.

BA (Hons) Criminology and Security Studies 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. 

BA (Hons) Criminology, Policing and Investigation 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.

Further Study

Examples of further study opportunities include:

  • MA Criminology
  • PhD research degrees

We are also currently developing a Masters in Sociology which will be undergoing approval in the near future.

Enhancing employability skills

We recommend you get involved in the research seminars held by our research centres (such as the Centre for Critical Social Research and the Centre for Applied Criminology and the Centre for Critical Social Research), as well as encourage you to participate in the research these centres carry out.

Our new Graduate+ scheme will not only develop your broader employability skills, but will also enhance your work opportunities, your lifelong learning skills and a sense of belonging. 


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.

*DLHE 2016/17

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 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) Policing or BA (Hons) Criminology, Policing and Investigation degrees, 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. You will also benefit from facilities across the wider campus including the Parkside and Millennium Point buildings.

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

Andrew Dixon

Senior Lecturer

Andrew Dixon teaches at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels in the School of Social Sciences. He is presently the Erasmus (study abroad) tutor for the School.

Gary Hazeldine Profile Picture - 100x150

Dr Gary Hazeldine

Senior Lecturer in Sociology

Dr Gary Hazeldine has been a Lecturer and Senior Lecturer in Sociology at Birmingham City University since 2007. Prior to this he taught at the University of Brighton, the University of Sussex, and Manchester Metropolitan University.

Imran Awan profile picture

Professor Imran Awan

Professor and Co-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.

Eugene Nulman Staff Profile Picture 100x150

Dr Eugene Nulman

Senior Lecturer

Dr Eugene Nulman joined the Sociology division of the School of Social Sciences at Birmingham City University in 2015. He researched the policy outcomes of climate change activism in the UK for his PhD.