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BA (Hons) Social Policy, Crime and Criminal Justice

Real-world social science with a focus on crime and criminal justice

2018/19 entry

Show 2017/18 entry

UCAS code

L433

Institution code

Y50

Length

3 years full-time

Typical offer

BBB (full entry requirements)

Start date

September 2018 (term dates)

UK/EU fees

Fees for 2018/19 to be confirmed. See fees and funding.

International fees

£16,620 per year (2018/19)

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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.

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Our academics explain how their research influences social policy at a national and global level.
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Brilliant social life, awesome staff, great course content. The staff make the experience even better.
Jake (2016)

REF 2014

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*.

Fifth in the UK

For Social Policy in the Guardian University Guide 2018

Module choice

Our wide range of modules allows you to tailor the degree to your interests

Course content

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.

Study abroad

Spend a few weeks or a whole summer on a short course, volunteering programme, or career-related summer school with one of our international partners.

Year 1

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.

  • Introducing Criminal Justice: the politics of the criminal justice system and an introduction to the agencies of the criminal justice system. It will introduce you to key institutional knowledge about how justice is delivered and the challenges this poses in the 21st century.
  • Sociology of Crime and Deviance: how criminal behaviours and trends can most usefully be understood and explained. It explores key questions like what counts as crime and how can we make sense of why it happens in society.
  • Introducing Social Policy: key areas of social policy provision and the role of different actors in the production and distribution of welfare in the UK and beyond.
  • Politics and Economics for Social Policy: the exercise of power, political ideas and policy outcomes in the context of British political institutions. It will introduce you to key concepts in economics and their application to social policy problems.

Academic integrity module

In addition to the above you will also need to complete our online Academic Integrity module.

Year 2

In your second year you'll study three core modules as well as choosing one of our other second year modules.

Core modules

Our core modules cover cultural aspects of criminology, criminal justice policy and social research methods:

Optional modules

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:

Year 3

Placement

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.

Modules

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:

Dissertation

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:

  • Legal high groups on the internet - the creation of new organised deviant groups
  • Mad, Bad or Sad? Theories of why women kill
  • Fear of violent victimisation among young men
  • To what extent is the use of discretion exercised by the British Police detrimental to ethnic minorities
  • Crime in the NHS: how does it affect ethical policy and practice
  • The protection of sex trade victims in South Korea
  • Surveillance: 'nineteen eighty-four' and beyond.

Please note, modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.

Learning by design

Every course at York has been designed to provide clear and ambitious learning outcomes. These learning outcomes give you an understanding of what you will be able to do at the end of the course. We develop each course by designing modules that grow your abilities towards the learning outcomes and help you to explain what you can offer to employers. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

Students who complete this course will be able to:

  • Analyse and evaluate policy to develop informed judgements through a critical understanding of the ways in which social, political, economic and institutional interests shape social problems and societal responses.
  • Design policy for effective delivery and outcome, drawing on understanding of the policy making process and applying theories and concepts from the social sciences to real world problems.
  • Retrieve, generate, interpret and critically assess qualitative and quantitative data using appropriate research methods, digital resources and policy-relevant analytical techniques to investigate social questions, assess evidence and produce reasoned written accounts of social policy enquiry.
  • Engage with policy debate at local, national and global level, synthesising complex material and communicating ideas effectively to peers, policy actors, practitioners and client groups across a range of professional settings, both in writing and verbally, using up-to-date visual presentation techniques.
  • Work effectively in multidisciplinary teams by acknowledging competing interpretations of social issues, and by recognising the value of collaborative and participatory approaches to problem-solving and the shaping of policy solutions.
  • Recognise the drivers of social inequalities and the differential impact of policies on social groups and contribute to the pursuit of social progress through sensitivity to the diversity of human needs.

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees

UK/EU International
£9,250 (2017/18)

Fees for 2018/19 are subject to increase in line with government policy. Updated fees information will be published as soon as possible after the government announcement.
£16,620

UK/EU or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK, EU or international student.

Fees for subsequent years

  • UK/EU: further increases within the government fee cap will apply in subsequent academic years. We will notify you of any increase as soon as we can.
  • International: fees for international students are subject to annual increases. Increases are currently capped at 2% per annum.

More information

For more information about tuition fees, any reduced fees for study abroad and work placement years, scholarships, tuition fee loans, maintenance loans and living costs see undergraduate fees and funding.

Funding

We offer a number of scholarships to help cover tuition fees and living costs.

Home/EU students

International students

Living costs

You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers accommodation costs and estimated social costs.

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)

Teaching and assessment

You’ll work with world‐leading academics who’ll challenge you to think independently and excel in all that you do. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

Teaching format

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. 

Overall workload

As a guide, students on this course typically spend their time as follows:

Year 1Year 2Year 3
Lectures and seminars180 hours
(15%)
144 hours
(12%)
96 hours
(8%)
Independent study1020 hours
(85%)
1056 hours
(88%)
1020 hours
(85%)
Placement0 hours
(0%)
0 hours
(0%)
84 hours
(7%)

The figures above are based on data from 2016/17.

Independent study may include preparation for lectures and seminars, follow up work, wider reading, practice completion of assessment tasks, or revision. Everyone learns at a different rate, so the number of hours will vary from person to person. In UK higher education the expectation is that full-time students will spend 1200 hours a year learning.

Teaching location

You will be based in the Department of Social Policy and Social Work which is on Campus West. Teaching will take place at various locations across Campus West, including Derwent and Alcuin.

Course location

Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.

Assessment and feedback

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. 

 

Percentage of the course typically assessed by coursework and exams

Year 1Year 2Year 3
Written exams13%0%0%
Coursework82%87%100%
Practical exams5%13%0%

The figures above are based on data from 2016/17.

Careers and skills

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.

Career opportunities

Typical career paths in crime and criminal justice systems include:

  • police
  • solicitor or barrister (via Law conversion courses)
  • probation officer
  • prison service
  • courts service
  • government departments and agencies
  • youth offending teams.

Transferable skills

  • Communications skills
  • Critical thinking
  • Data analysis
  • Time management
  • Project management
  • Independent study and research
  • Teamwork skills.

Entry requirements

Qualification Grade
A levels

BBB. We accept General Studies and Critical Thinking.

Access to Higher Education Diploma 21 credits at Distinction and 24 credits at Merit or higher
BTEC BTEC National Extended Diploma (QCF): DDM
Cambridge Pre-U M2, M2, M2
European Baccalaureate 75 percent overall
International Baccalaureate 31 points overall
Irish leaving Certificate H3, H3, H3, H3, H3, H3
Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers AABBB at Higher level

English language

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.

  • IELTS: score of 6.5 overall, with 5.5 or better in each section
  • Pearson PTE Academic: 61 overall with no less than 51 in all components
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): grade C
  • Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE): grade A

Other accepted tests and qualifications

Applying

To apply to York, you will need to complete an online application via UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service).

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.

Next steps

Contact us

Contact our admissions team if you have any questions

Learn more

Social Policy and Social Work

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