Cardiff School of Education & Social Policy>Courses>Criminology - BSc (Hons) Degree

Criminology - BSc (Hons) Degree

Entry Year

​Have you ever wondered what motivates people to commit crime? Have you thought about how society shapes our understanding of crime and criminals? Have you pondered about the victims and how they are treated within the criminal justice system?

The Cardiff Met BSc (Hons) Criminology degree combines both theoretical and empirical study into a modern programme that will challenge the way you look at the study of crime.

In addition to learning about the underpinning philosophies and theories that explore crime as an academic field of study, BSc (Hons) Criminology students will explore the evidence base for these theories and philosophies, and potentially contribute towards our developing understanding in a range of cutting-edge topics.

Studying Criminology at Cardiff Met, you will focus on three key strands that are woven throughout the degree which include Criminology Theories, the fundamentals of the Criminal Justice System and Emerging Disciplines in contemporary Criminology.

The second-year placement will provide graduates with an outstanding opportunity to gain invaluable work experience in appropriate and relevant industries, in addition to a range of voluntary opportunities available throughout your study. The ILM Level 5 Leadership and Management qualification that accompanies the degree will help you to stand out from the crowd when it comes to graduate outcomes, following completion.​​

Foundation Year

This degree can be studied as a three-year full-time degree or a four-year full-time degree that includes a year of foundational study. Our foundation year is intended to prepare you for your subsequent years of studying, offering you the chance to strengthen your skills, knowledge and confidence.

The foundation year will be relevant to:

  1. Students who aspire to enrol onto the first year of a social science-based honours degree programme, who have not achieved the standard entry requirements to enter at year one of the chosen degree.
  2. Students who have not studied subjects that provide the necessary background within the scientific disciplines required to enter at year one of the chosen degree.

Find out more about the foundation year.

Please note: You will need to apply using a specific UCAS code if you wish to undertake the 4 years including foundation. Please refer to Key Course Information at the bottom of this page.

Studying Criminology at Cardiff Met

​The ​Cardiff Met degree in Criminology centres itself around three key strands that are woven throughout levels 4, 5, and 6.

Strand one, criminological theories, covers the core ideas and philosophies that make criminology a distinct subject area. You will explore a range of important concepts from pre-classical and classical theories of criminology, through to contemporary and emerging theories that are shaping the future of the subject area.

Strand two, the criminal justice system, will explore the fundamentals of how different legal systems and agencies are structured in the UK and abroad. You will learn how different laws are made and how different legal systems work together and sometimes clash, how individuals are treated in the criminal justice system, and take an in-depth look at our prison and youth justice systems.

Strand three, emerging disciplines, explores a range of cutting-edge and important emerging disciplines in contemporary studies in criminology, such as the impact of mental illness and neurodiversity on individuals and agencies in the criminal justice system, how green and sustainable criminology shapes our understanding of social harms and criminality as applied to the natural world and how gender, race, and queer criminology are leading the way in shaping our critical understanding of society. You will also learn about other increasingly important subjects such as counterterrorism, cybercrime, and how our prison systems are evolving to meet ever changing needs.

Course Content

The Cardiff Met BSc (Hons) Criminology consists of 360 credits taken over three years.

  • Year 1 you will study 6 core modules.
  • Year 2 you will study 5 core modules, with 1 additional optional module chosen by you.
  • Year 3 will also contain 5 core modules, with 1 additional optional module chosen by you.

Year 1

  • Foundations of criminological theory.
  • Exploring the criminal justice system.
  • Understanding Criminal Research.
  • Crime, Control, and Prevention.
  • Working with people in a social context.
  • The psychology of crime.

Year 2

*In year 2, you will complete a compulsory supported work placement in industry with one of our partner organisations. This placement will be assessed via a Level 5 Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) Leadership and Management qualification, that will enable you to leave with an additional, nationally recognised qualification at level 5.

Core Modules

  • Comparative systems of criminal justice.
  • Green, rural, and wildlife criminology.
  • Mental illness, neurodiversity, and crime.
  • Doing criminological research.
  • Placement Module*

Optional Modules

  • Applications of psychology to criminology.
  • Threat, risk, and harm.

Year 3

Core Modules

  • Individual evidence-based practice.
  • The race and gender of criminology.
  • Punishment, prisons, and penology.
  • Homicide and violent crime.

Optional Modules

  • Counter terrorism.
  • Cybercrime and society.

Learning & Teaching

We use a variety of teaching approaches designed to accommodate a range of learning needs. This includes workshops, seminars, lectures, and virtual learning environments. Students will also be presented with simulated complex practical problems, which they are required to analyse and create an appropriate response. These simulated exercises are designed to develop problem solving and decision-making skills. You will use our crime house to take part in a variety of simulated learning opportunities; this will include use of our simulated crime scene house, custody suite, observation and surveillance room, mock court, and interview suite.

Contact Hours

Each 20-credit module has approximately 200 hours of study attached to it, delivered over a semester. Typically, 48 of these hours will be delivered in taught sessions such as lectures, seminars, and workshops, usually scheduled as 4 hours per week (per module). Approximately 52 hours are assigned for directed study and preparation tasks which are set weekly as part of the taught sessions and the remaining 100 hours are self-directed study, where students undertake the reading required for the module and complete their required assessment. As the Cardiff Met Degree in Criminology is taught over two semesters per academic year, you will study three 20-credit modules, side-by-side, per semester.


Every student is assigned a personal tutor when they begin the course, and this tutor supports them for the entirety of their degree. There are scheduled tutorial meetings that students attend, but tutors are also available to students outside the scheduled meetings. The university has well-established student support provision for students who have additional learning needs and is equipped to deal with any issues that arise during a student’s studies.

Technology and Facilities

The modules are supported using the University’s Virtual Learning Environment, Moodle, which is web based and so is accessible anywhere via the internet. All course-based material is held here, including lecture and seminar presentations, assessment information and additional reading or resources. Tutors also use Moodle to email students with information and updates.


Staff are research active, and you will benefit from this directly through the teaching. Some of the current research interests include investigating the decision-making processes of crime scene investigators, how green and sustainable criminology can impact the education of policing students, the use of therapeutic Lego play to benefit intermediaries during the interview process, and the use of reading interventions in prisons.

The staff on this programme are from a variety of backgrounds, with both national and international experience within their specialisms. They are committed to providing a high quality, supportive learning environment. A range of contemporary pedagogical approaches will be incorporated in the delivery of each module. Our staff have a range of backgrounds including supporting alternative education, working with families to prevent indoctrination and radicalisation, extensive policing backgrounds including operational and strategic level practice, crime scene investigation, advanced suspect interviewing, and working to combat cartel and international organised criminal activities.


The Cardiff Met degree in Criminology will be taught across both the Cyncoed and Llandaff campuses, where students will benefit from a range of facilities.

Cyncoed is a busy campus that offers on-site accommodation, excellent sporting facilities and a purpose-built Campus Centre, including an on-site shop, coffee bars and refectory. We also have a simulated crime scene house, custody suite, an observation and surveillance suite, suspect interview room, psychology laboratory, drama studio, and plenty of outdoor space. While on the Cyncoed campus, students will benefit from being taught alongside our BA (Hons) Professional Policing students and gain additional insights and access to students aspiring to achieve this landmark qualification in modern policing.

Llandaff is a busy and bustling campus. With millions of pounds of recent investment, it offers state-of-the art learning facilities for our students. At the Llandaff Campus students will learn in our Moot Court room, simulating elements of a criminal trial alongside Cardiff Met LLB (Hons) Law students.


Assessments are interesting and varied and are closely mapped to the guidelines of the 2022 QAA Benchmarks in Criminology. Assessments are designed to provide authentic experiences for the students to demonstrate the real-world competencies they would be required to use in professional contexts.

The assessments are completed on either an individual or group basis. Modules have integrated assessments: critical essays, exhibitions, portfolios and live scenarios. These all focus on developing students’ knowledge, understanding and skills, to demonstrate their ability to match the real-world competencies.

Students are given the submission dates for assessments at the start of each module, as well as an assessment overview grid for the whole of the academic year to help them plan and manage their time effectively. Students receive individual feedback on their work that identifies strengths and areas for improvement.

Employability & Careers

The second-year placement will provide graduates with an outstanding opportunity to gain invaluable work experience in appropriate and relevant industries. The ILM Level 5 Leadership and Management qualification that accompanies the degree will help you to stand out from the crowd when it comes to graduate outcomes, following the completion of your degree. In addition to this, you will gain valuable insight into real-world opportunities from a range of guest speakers and fieldtrips to a variety of locations.

What can I do with my degree?

The Cardiff Met BSc (Hons) Criminology degree will prepare you for a variety of roles within the criminal justice sector and beyond. Whilst traditional destinations might include employment in,

  • Police Service roles, such as police officer, detective, police staff, etc.
  • Probation service,
  • Prison Service,
  • The UK courts, and a variety of other similar roles.

Other opportunities could include, but are certainly not limited to, working with

  • HM Revenue & Customs,
  • Border Force,
  • Social Services,
  • Working as a teacher or lecturer,
  • Central or Local Government roles,
  • Charities.

There is also the potential for further study, including postgraduate routes such as,

  • The Cardiff Met PGCE,
  • Taught Master’s Degrees, such as the Cardiff Met Master’s in Education and Psychology
  • Research Based Master’s degrees, such as an MRes,
  • Doctoral Study, such as PhD or EDd.

Entry Requirements & How to Apply

Typical Offers

​The following requirements are based on typical offers relevant to entering year 1 of the degree.

If you do not meet these entry requirements, we also offer a Foundation Year which allows progression to Year 1 upon successful completion.​

  • Tariff points: 96-112
  • Contextual offer: See our contextual offers page.
  • GCSE: Five GCSEs at Grade C / 4 or above to include English Language / Welsh First Language, Mathematics / Mathematics – Numeracy.
  • English Language Requirement: Academic IELTS 6.0 overall with at least 5.5 in all elements, or equivalent.
  • A level subjects: Minimum three A levels to include grades BCC. No specific subjects required. Welsh Baccalaureate – Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate considered as a third subject.
  • BTEC National / Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma: MMM-DMM
  • T Level: Merit.
  • Access to Higher Education Diploma: No specific subjects required.
  • International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma: No specific subjects required.
  • Irish Leaving Certificate: 3 x H2. No specific subjects required. Higher level subjects only considered with a minimum grade H4.
  • Scottish Advanced Highers: Grade CD. No specific subjects required. Scottish Highers are also considered, either on their own or in combination with Advanced Highers.

Combinations of the above qualifications are accepted if they meet our minimum requirements. If your qualifications aren’t listed, please contact Admissions or refer to the UCAS Course Search.

Further information on Overseas qualifications can be found here.

If you are a mature applicant, have relevant experience or RPL that you would like us to consider, please contact Admissions.

How to Apply

Further information on how to apply can be found here.

Contact Us

For general enquiries please contact the Admissions Team on 029 2041 6044, email or tweet us @CMetAdmissions.

For course specific enquiries, please contact the programme director Daniel Williams

We endeavour to deliver courses as described and will not normally make changes to courses, such as course title, content, delivery, and teaching provision. However, it may be necessary for the university to make changes in the course provision before or after enrolment. It reserves the right to make variations to content or delivery methods, including discontinuation or merging courses if such action is considered necessary. Please read our Terms and Conditions for the full information.

Key Course Information

​UCAS Codes:
M800 - 3-year degree
M80F - 4-year degree (including foundation year)

Place of Study:
Cyncoed Campus

Cardiff School of Education and Social Policy

Course Length:
​Three years full-time.
Four years full-time if undertaking foundation year.
Six years part-time.​

Crime House

Our dedicated Crime House facilities include a custody suite, observation and surveillance suite, and victim and suspect interview room, which provide you with critical simulated learning opportunities to put the knowledge and skills you learn into practice.