You’ll study criminal justice as well as criminology. But what is the difference between the two? Criminal justice refers to established systems for dealing with crime. You’ll learn how the police and Crown Prosecution Service come together to investigate crime. You’ll explore limits of the magistrates’ courts. How a jury and judge prosecute in the crown court. The powers of the high courts to overturn a guilty verdict. It’s also about punishment - detention centres, prisons, probation, and community sentencing. Are they all needed? Is one more effective that the other?
In criminology, you’ll look at the social, economic, and psychological side of crime. How does offending behaviour affect society? Learn victim psychology, and attitudes towards anti-social behaviour. Compare cultural perspectives on what is seen as crime or just considered deviance. You will gain a solid understanding in both fields and how they come together to thwart crime.
At one time in history, theft was considered to be in your genes. It was in your blood to steal! In your first year, you will learn how attitudes towards crime and punishment have evolved. You’ll explore the stages of the justice system, from arrest to release. You’ll explore the schemes in place to reintegrate ex-offenders back into society. You’ll recognise its strengths. Challenge its weaknesses. We have moved on from the brutalities of hanging. But are prison sentences harsh enough?
In your second year, you’ll specialise in an area that fascinates you. Want to know more about the psychology of crime? Question if psychology can be used to shape how the public see criminality. Or what about the race and crime debate? Look at the evidence on media stereotyping. Explore how this could lead to an increase in criminalising minority ethnic people. There are 117 prisons in England and only 12 of those are female. Explore feminist theories on gender, victimisation, and offending.
Work placement/ study abroad option
Between your second and final year, you’ll have the possibility to study abroad or do a work placement for up to a year. Not only will this give you an amazing experience to talk about but will also give your CV a boost. If you’d rather go straight to your final year, that’s absolutely fine too.
Shape your entire third year. Choose all your modules. You could explore how the media report crime events. Compare social moral panics to the official statistics. What about the ‘war on drugs’? Is there an increasing social acceptance of recreational drug use? Does this justify harsher governing? Gangs. War crimes. Rehabilitating offenders. Your discussions will be endless. Your detailed research will inform your opinions. And we want you to debate them. Choose a topic. Gather your research. Analyse your readings. Use your final year project to produce a thought-provoking study. Challenge the system. Tell us how you believe we could make a fairer society.