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BA (Hons) Social Policy, Crime and Criminal Justice

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

Year of entry: 2020
Show year of entry: 2019

UCAS code

L433

Institution code

Y50

Length

3 years full-time

Typical offer

BBB (full entry requirements)

Start date

September 2020 (term dates)

UK/EU fees

£9,250 per year (2020/21)

International fees

£17,890 per year (2020/21)

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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.
Brilliant social life, awesome staff, great course content. The staff make the experience even better.
Jake (2016)

Fifth in the UK

For Social Policy in the Times Good University Guide 2018.

REF 2014

In the Times Higher Education's ranking of the 2014 Research Excellence Framework assessment which compares the research activity of all Social Policy and Social Work departments in the UK, York was ranked equal first in the UK for the impact of our research and third overall.

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

There are opportunities for you to spend time abroad during your course:

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 Introducing Criminal Justice and Crime and Society.

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:

Option modules

You'll choose one module from a range of options that we regularly update. 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.

Option modules

You'll choose three modules. Some examples of third year options are:

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 £17,890

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'll confirm more funding opportunities for students joining us in 2020/21 throughout the year.

Living costs

You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers additional costs that are not included in your tuition fee such as expenses for accommodation and study materials.

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 Excellence Framework Gold Award

“Students from all backgrounds achieve consistently outstanding outcomes”

The TEF Panel, Office for Students, June 2018

Our Gold Teaching Excellence Framework award demonstrates our commitment to the delivery of consistently outstanding teaching and learning for our students.

Teaching and assessment

You’ll study and learn with academics who are active researchers, experts in their field and have a passion for their subjects. 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 hours144 hours96 hours
Placement0 hours0 hours84 hours

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

The rest of your time on the course will be spent on independent study. This 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 1,200 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.

About our campus

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 Typical offer
A levels

BBB

Access to Higher Education Diploma 21 credits at Distinction and 24 credits at Merit or higher
BTEC National Extended Diploma DDM
Cambridge Pre-U M2, M2, M2
European Baccalaureate 75 percent overall
International Baccalaureate 31 points overall

English language

If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:

Qualification Minimum requirement
IELTS 6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 in each component
PTE Academic 61, with a minimum of 51 in each component
GCSE/IGCSE/O level English Language (as a first or second language) Grade C
C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency 176, with a minimum of 162 each component
TOEFL 87 overall, with a minimum of 17 in Listening, 18 in Reading, 20 in Speaking, 17 in Writing
Trinity ISE III Merit in all components

For more information see our undergraduate English language requirements.

If you've not met our English language requirements

You may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language courses. These courses will provide you with the level of English needed to meet the conditions of your offer.

The length of course you need to take depends on your current IELTS scores and how much you need to improve to reach our English language requirements.

After you've accepted your offer to study at York, we'll confirm which pre-sessional course you should apply to via You@York.

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

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Social Policy and Social Work

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