3 years full-time
A BA in Social Policy, Crime and Criminal Justice will give you a broad introduction to a range of social sciences as well as an understanding of the development of the criminal justice system and the welfare state.
A fundamental part of the degree is the work placement, offering you a chance to learn from professionals in a crime or criminal justice field.
This degree is ideal if you're interested in how crime is defined and how governments can deal with it, as well as how policies on crime and criminal justice relate to other areas of social policy.
Graduates are well equipped for careers in the police service, probation, the voluntary sector and agencies dealing with youth offending and other forms of crime.
Brilliant social life, awesome staff, great course content. The staff make the experience even better.Jake (2016)
Our academics explain how their research influences social policy at a national and global level.
You will receive a thorough grounding in social sciences, including sociology, social policy, economics and politics. You'll also study the development of the criminal justice system and the welfare state.
You'll study core modules designed specifically for this course and choose from a wide selection of optional modules developed specially by the Department, or choose from a wider range offered by other departments such as Politics or Sociology.
Between Years 2 and 3 you will undertake a placement, shadowing a professional working in a field relating to crime and criminal justice.
In your first year you'll study a range of core modules that give you a broad introduction to a range of applied social science, with specialist study introduced as part of the two modules Sociology of Crime and Deviance and Introducing Criminal Justice.
In addition to the above you will also need to complete our online Academic Integrity module. This covers some of the essential skills and knowledge which will help you to study independently and produce work of a high academic standard which is vital for success at York.
This module will:
In your second year you'll study three core modules as well as choosing one of our other second year modules.
Our core modules cover cultural aspects of criminology, criminal justice policy and social research methods:
Module options change on a regular basis to reflect the teaching and research interests of staff, as well as to ensure the degree is up-to-date. Examples of past modules for the second year include:
In the summer holiday before the third year starts you will undertake a work-shadowing placement that lasts around 80 hours. This will allow you to learn from professionals in a field related to crime and criminal justice. Examples of previous placements include: shadowing a criminal barrister, a youth offending team and workers in a drug rehabilitation unit. Watching professionals at work is a completely different learning experience which many students find useful in developing their dissertation and follow in the development of their own careers.
You'll choose three modules from our third year modules, these change regularly to reflect the teaching and research interests of our staff. Previous modules include:
The third year dissertation is a great opportunity to apply your knowledge and understanding in independent supervised research on a topic of your interest. Previous dissertation titles include:
There are many international opportunities for you to get involved with, including Worldwide Exchange at partner universities, Erasmus+ study placements in Europe, International Study Centres, Summer Schools and Travel Awards for independent projects.
This course gave me skills to analyse and further understand social issues as well as different perspective and ideologies. The placement helps you to choose what career path you would want later on.Josefina (2016)
In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework the Department of Social Policy and Social Work was placed third in the UK for research activity, with 100 percent of its research impact rated at the highest rank of 4*.
We emphasise small-group working: you'll mainly be taught in lectures of 50-100 students and take part in seminars of 12-15 people. In the second and third years the lecture groups will be smaller as you begin to specialise.
You'll also take part in group-based workshops and hear from external speakers about the latest issues in policy and practice.
You'll be assessed in a variety of ways, with emphasis on continuous assessment. The most common form of assessment is by essay, and you'll be supported with seminar sessions on writing academic essays. You may also be assessed by presentation, group workshop reports, data analysis exercises and portfolios of work. There is minimal use of closed examinations.
Your dissertation will be 10,000 words long and you'll be supported by a supervisor who specialises in the subject you're interested in.
A high proportion of our graduates are employed within six months. The nature of our degree means you can pursue career-related interests throughout your study and the work-based placement is a useful opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge and skills to future employers.
Typical career paths in crime and criminal justice systems include:
All applications must be made through UCAS.
We pay particular attention to your personal statement and we look for students who have an academic interest in society. This could come through family circumstances, employment or other contribution to society such as school clubs or volunteering.
You will not be invited to interview, but we invite you to attend a visit day in Spring term to give you an opportunity to learn more about us.
Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers
AABBB at Higher level
M2, M2, M2
Access to Higher Education
30 credits achieved from units awarded Merit or higher
BTEC Extended Diploma (QCF)
31 points overall
Irish Leaving Certificate
75 percent overall
Applicants whose first language is not English are normally asked to provide evidence of English language ability. Exceptions may be made where an applicant's other qualifications provide sufficient evidence of ability to use English in an academic setting at degree level.