BSc Criminology & Social Policy

Course Overview

Criminology is one of the most diverse, stimulating and challenging subjects offered at university. It draws on several academic disciplines - psychology, sociology, social policy, law and even biology - to investigate some of the most pressing social problems of our time: what are the causes of crime and what should we do about it? Why are some forms of misconduct defined as crime and others not? How best can we support victims of crime?
You can study Criminology in Swansea as the core subject of the Single Honours BSc (Hons) in Criminology and Criminal Justice, or as a Joint Honours subject in combination with Social Policy or Law.

Key Features

All criminology undergraduates at Swansea are members of a thriving and multicultural academic community where the interests of students (both pastoral and academic) are given the highest priority. All teaching is conducted within a relaxed and supportive environment with a clear emphasis on the skills necessary to succeed in the world of employment. The quality of teaching within the Department of Criminology has been recognised by the achievement of an overall student satisfaction rate of 90% in the National Student Survey 2012 (NSS).

Our students and staff work closely together to develop effective learning processes and to enhance the student experience. We were both proud and delighted when the Criminology department was awarded the 2012 British Society of Criminology National Award for Teaching Excellence in Criminology, in recognition of our work on the undergraduate programme.


Disclaimer: Module selection options may change.


The Department of Criminology offers its students the opportunity to acquire knowledge and understanding across a range of key criminological and criminal justice topics. To keep pace with and reflect such a developing and ever-changing area of policy and thought, degree scheme content is kept under regular review; last year, for example, we introduced a new module for our third year students, Serious Crime & Social Harm, which considers issues such as terrorism and human trafficking.

With student employability in mind, we have also introduced a Careers-focused module at level one, Careers for Criminologists, and have developed a work placements scheme involving a range of different agencies (e.g. courts; police; youth justice teams) for students at the end of level two.

There is also an emphasis on providing personal development opportunities for students across the programme, including group working, formal presentations and seminar discussions, which develop skills such as team working, peer learning, formalized presentation abilities, report writing, independent research, critical evaluation and use of ICT.

Entry Requirements

Three good A2 Levels are expected; Access and other qualifications are considered and reflect the standard expected at A Level.


  • BSc Criminology & Social Policy: grades BBB

Desirable subjects: English Language &/or Literature; History; Law; Sociology; Psychology; Geography; Philosophy.

Welsh Baccalaureate pass is considered equivalent to grade A at A2 level.

We do not include A-level General Studies in our offers.

BTEC Diploma:

- in a related subject (eg Law; Uniformed Public Services).

  • · Grades DDM (for all three degree schemes)

Access to Higher Education Diploma:

  • BSc Criminology & Criminal Justice & BSc Criminology & Social Policy: pass at level 3, to include 18 Distinctions, 18 Merits, & Merit in the integrated project.

How To Apply

Find out how to apply as an UK or EU student

The UCAS institution code for Swansea University is: SWAN S93

how to apply as an international student

Tuition Fees

Annual tuition fees for entry in the academic year 2017/18 are as follows:

UK/EU International
BSc (Hons) Full-time £9,000 £12,950

Tuition fees for years of study after your first year are subject to an increase of 3% for International students and at the capped fee rate as set by the UK Government for UK/EU students.

You can find further information on fees and how to pay on our tuition fees page.

You may be eligible for funding to help support your study. To find out about scholarships, bursaries and other funding opportunities that are available please visit the University's scholarships and bursaries page.

Current students: You can find further information of your fee costs on our tuition fees page.

Additional Costs

The tuition fees do not cover the costs of purchasing books or stationery, printing, thesis binding or photocopying costs.

There are no mandatory additional costs specified for this course.

Course Structure and Modules

Each year you study modules totalling 120 credits. We have an exciting and diverse range of compulsory and optional modules; further information can be found here:

Graduate Employability and Careers

We are committed to helping our students pursue their chosen career. For those interested in working in the criminal justice system, there is a work placements scheme which includes placements at various local agencies such as the Youth Offending Team, the Crown Court, South Wales Police and the local Substance Misuse Action Team. 

The Department periodically invites Criminal Justice practitioners including youth justice officers, prison officers and probation officers to deliver sessions and to discuss employability issues. The University also participates in a Summer School at the University of Central Oklahoma, which includes a Counter-Terrorism and Criminal Justice placement. Our students receive careers advice from personal tutors and the Department has also introduced a first year module that focuses on how to develop a career after obtaining a Criminology Degree.

Example destinations* of some of our recent graduates:

  • Ealing Metropolitan Police
  • Thames Valley Community Rehabilitation Company
  • New Pathways
  • Carmarthenshire Youth & Children’s Association

Examples of further study* followed by our graduates:

  • MA Applied Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • BSc Mental Health Nursing

 *Sourced from the DLHE survey 2013/14.


Student Quotes

A FLEXIBLE CHOICE OF MODULES: Rhianna Jones, Level 3 student:

“Studying Criminology at Swansea University has been a fantastic experience; I have made many lasting friendships and have been exposed to so many new opportunities. Every member of staff in the Criminology Department is very approachable and will go out of their way to support you with both academic and personal matters. The course structure is brilliant, encompassing lectures, seminars, presentations and workshops, which give a more varied learning experience. The flexibility of choosing some of your own modules gives you the freedom to develop the course around your interests. I would highly recommend studying Criminology at Swansea University to anyone.”

Social Activites

The Criminology Department has a Staff/Student Consultative Committee. The Committee has been established to enhance student participation in decision-making. Our student representatives have established a Criminology Society; its membership comprises undergraduate students and staff members in the Criminology Department and it has a presence on Facebook. Students also have the opportunity to participate in dedicated course-related Facebook and Twitter blogs.

A Buddy Scheme has been established as a partnership between the Criminology Society and the Staff/Student Consultative Committee, with the aim of making the transition into university life as easy and stress-free as possible. Immediately upon starting at the university first years will be paired with either a second or third year student who will provide support in academic and social matters. The Scheme seeks to make first years more comfortable in Swansea, strengthen relationships between the year groups and give the buddies meaningful skills that they can apply later in life.

Disability services

The Criminology Department has a designated disability officer who liaises with the Disability Services team to promote the wellbeing of our students.

Research-led teaching

Academic staff members within the Criminology Department are all research active and they have research interests in wide ranging areas including: youth Justice policy and practice; community based supervision, sex offender policy and treatment; sex work policy; antisocial behaviour policy; substance use, and ‘white-collar’ crime. Staff members infuse their lectures with their wealth of research experience and our students benefit from the insights gained from lectures that draw on sometimes cutting edge research. Research-led teaching can also ensure that the degree we offer is relevant to the real world.

Contact Us

Undergraduate admissions enquiries:  

Tel: +44(0)1792 606056 Dr Anthony Charles (Admissions tutor)

Tel: +44(0)1792 606341 Samantha Duffy (Administrative Officer)

For EU/International enquiries please click the following link :

Tel: 00 44 (0) 1792 602600