Programmes

BSc Criminology

  • Undergraduate
  • Department of Social Policy
  • UCAS code L611
  • Starting 2020
  • UK/EU full-time: Open from September
  • Overseas full-time: Open from September
  • Location: London

Criminology is the study of crime, order and criminal justice. It considers a broad range of topics related to lawbreaking and victimisation, including their causes, social impact and prevention.

The programme will investigate issues as diverse as street crime, gangs, riots, domestic violence, drug consumption and environmental crime. It will also explore the evolution and workings of criminal justice agencies such as the police, courts, prisons and probation. 

It will consider the impact of criminal justice on different social groups, including those differentiated on the basis of their age, gender, socio-economic status, ethnicity, sexuality, mental health and citizenship status.

At LSE, Criminology is taught as a multi-disciplinary subject, drawing on our staff's theoretical and empirical expertise in the areas of social policy, sociology, psychology, law, history and political science. You will develop sound research, critical and analytical skills, using a broad range of methodological approaches and a variety of materials, including empirical data and theory. You will learn to investigate and evaluate political claims and public policy responses to crime, its causes and its consequences.

This degree will prepare you for a career in social and public policy fields in all sectors (public, voluntary, and private), or more specifically within criminal justice organisations.

Visit our YouTube channel to view Department of Social Policy videos

 

Programme details

Key facts

 BSc Criminology
Academic year (2020/2021) 28 September 2020 to 18 June 2021
Application deadline 15 January 2020
Duration Three years full-time
Applications/offers/intake 2018 New programme for 2019
Tuition fee UK/EU fee: £9,250 for the first year
Overseas fee: £21,570 per year
Usual standard offer A-level: grades A A B
International Baccalaureate: Diploma with 37 points including 6 6 6 at Higher level
English language requirements Proof of your English language proficiency may be required

For more information about tuition fees, usual standard offers and entry requirements, see the fees and funding and assessing your application sections below.  

Assessing your application

We welcome applications from all suitably qualified prospective students and want to recruit students with the very best academic merit, potential and motivation, irrespective of their background. The programme guidance below should be read alongside our general entrance requirements information.

We carefully consider each application on an individual basis, taking into account all the information presented on the UCAS application form, including your:

- academic achievement (including predicted and achieved grades)
- subject combinations
- personal statement
- teacher’s reference
- educational circumstances

You may also have to provide evidence of your English proficiency, although you do not need to provide this at the time of your application to LSE. See our English language requirements page.

What we are looking for in an application for BSc Criminology

Academic achievement

Successful applicants for this programme are usually predicted to achieve or have already achieved a minimum of A A B in their A-levels (or 37 and above International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IB) points, with 6 6 6 at Higher level) and will have already achieved a strong set of GCSE grades including some at A (or 7) and A* (or 8-9), and GCSE (or equivalent) English Language and Mathematics no lower than B (or 6). We also consider your overall GCSE subject profile, and your AS grades, if available.

Competition for places at the School is high. This means that even if you are predicted or if you achieve the grades that meet our usual standard offer, this will not guarantee you an offer of admission. Usual standard offers are intended only as a guide, and in some cases applicants will be asked for grades which differ from this. 

We express our standard offers and where applicable, programme requirement, in terms of A-levels and the IB, but we consider applications from students with a range of qualifications including BTECs, Foundation Courses and Access to HE Diplomas as well as a wide range of international qualifications.  

Information about accepted international qualifications
Information about other accepted UK qualifications

Subject combinations

We consider the combination of subjects you have taken, as well as the individual scores. We believe a broad mix of traditional academic subjects to be the best preparation for studying at LSE and expect applicants to have at least two full A-levels or equivalent in these subjects.

There is no one ideal subject combination, however, as with all degree programmes at LSE, at least two traditional academic subjects are preferred. Common sixth form subject choices include a combination of Sociology, Psychology, History, Government and Politics, Religious Studies, English, Economics and Mathematics. 

If you have taken Mathematics, Further Mathematics and one other subject at A-level, this may be considered less competitive for this programme.

Find out more about subject combinations.

Personal characteristics, skills and attributes

For this programme, we are looking for students who demonstrate the following characteristics, skills and attributes: 

- an interest in contemporary social problems and their alleviation, including, but not limited to, crime
- an ability to ask incisive questions
- an ability to think and work independently
- an ability to read widely
- an ability to show initiative
- an ability to communicate with clarity 
- a creative and flexible approach to study
- intellectual curiosity
- motivation and capacity for hard work

Personal statement

In addition to demonstrating the above personal characteristics, skills and attributes, your statement should be original, interesting and well-written and should outline your enthusiasm and motivation for the programme.

You should explain whether there are any aspects of particular interest to you, how this relates to your current academic studies and what additional reading or relevant experiences you have had which have led you to apply. We are interested to hear your own thoughts or ideas on the topics you have encountered through your exploration of the subject at school or through other activities. Some suggestions for preliminary reading can be found above in the preliminary reading section, but there is no set list of activities we look for; instead we look for students who have made the most of the opportunities available to them to deepen their knowledge and understanding of their intended programme of study.

You can also mention extra-curricular activities such as sport, the arts or volunteering or any work experience you have undertaken. However, the main focus of an undergraduate degree at LSE is the in-depth academic study of a subject and we expect the majority of your personal statement to be spent discussing your academic interests.

Please also see our general guidance about writing personal statements. 

Programme structure and courses

This programme involves studying courses to the value of 12 units, plus LSE100. Please note that the LSE100 course is under review. 

You will have the opportunity to choose between a range of relevant options throughout this degree and can also take options from outside of the Department. In the third year, you will undertake your own focused dissertation-related work.

First year

There are two compulsory courses in the first year. In addition, you will choose between a range of options in sociology, and psychology. In addition, you will choose options from within social policy or can choose to take outside options. You will take LSE100 in the Lent term. Please note that the LSE100 course is under review.

(* denotes a half unit)

Crime and Society: Representations and Realities

Identities, Crime and Criminal Justice

Courses to the value of one unit from:
Policing and Security*
Politics and Crime*
Social Psychology
Foundations of Psychological Science
Provides an introduction to human cognition and behaviour, addressing foundational topics in psychological science.
Politics of Social Policy Making

Options from social policy or another department to the value of one unit

LSE100
Beginning in the Lent term of the first year and running through the Michaelmas term of the second year, LSE100 is compulsory for all LSE undergraduate students, and introduces you to the fundamental elements of thinking like a social scientist. Please note that the LSE100 course is under review.

Second year 

There are two compulsory courses in the second year. You will choose options to the value of two units from either criminology and other social policy courses or courses from another department. You will also take LSE100 in the Michaelmas term. Please note that the LSE100 course is under review.

Social Research for Policy Practice

Understanding Crime and Punishment

Options from criminology and other social policy courses or courses from another department to the value of two units.

LSE100
Beginning in the Lent term of the first year and running through the Michaelmas term of the second year, LSE100 is compulsory for all LSE undergraduate students, and introduces you to the fundamental elements of thinking like a social scientist. Please note that the LSE100 course is under review.

Third year

In the third year, you will undertake your own focused dissertation-related work. In addition, you will take two compulsory courses and choose between a range of options.

Dissertation
Students independently research a relevant topic of their own choice and design. 

Interrogating Criminological Research*

Criminological Controversies*

Options from criminology and other social policy courses or courses from another department to the value of two units.

The most up-to-date list of optional courses can be found in the Programme Regulations section of the current School Calendar.

You must note however that while care has been taken to ensure that this information is up-to-date and correct, a change of circumstances since publication may cause the School to change, suspend or withdraw a course or programme of study, or change the fees that apply to it. The School will neither be liable for information that after publication becomes inaccurate or irrelevant, nor for changing, suspending or withdrawing a course or programme of study due to exceptional circumstances or events outside of its control, which includes but is not limited to a lack of demand for a course or programme of study, industrial action, fire, flood or other environmental or physical damage to premises. 

You must also note that places are limited on some courses and/or subject to specific entry requirements. The School cannot therefore guarantee you a place. Please note that changes to programmes and courses can sometimes occur after you have accepted your offer of a place.  These changes are normally made in light of developments in the discipline or path-breaking research, or on the basis of student feedback.  Changes can take the form of altered course content, teaching formats or assessment modes. Any such changes are intended to enhance the student learning experience. You should visit the School’s Calendar, or contact the relevant academic department, for information on the availability and/or content of courses and programmes of study. Certain substantive changes will be listed on the updated undergraduate course and programme information page.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching

Lectures provide a broad overview of a topic, while classes allow you to explore key themes in greater detail in a small group setting. You will have weekly lectures and classes for each course component which in total amounts to a minimum of eight contact hours per week. Hours vary according to courses and you can view indicative details in the Calendar within the Teaching section of each course guide

Learning independently through reading, preparing for classes and completing assignments is an important element of the programme. You will be expected to do four to six hours of independent study per course.

You will be taught by academic staff and Graduate Teaching Assistants. You can view indicative details for the teacher responsible for each course in the relevant course guide.

You will be allocated an academic mentor who will guide and assist your learning. They keep a record of progress and monitor your attendance. You are advised to meet your academic mentor at least once a term. There are many opportunities to extend your learning outside the classroom and complement your academic studies at LSE. LSE LIFE is the School’s centre for academic, personal and professional development. Some of the services on offer include: guidance and hands-on practice of the key skills you will need to do well at LSE: effective reading, academic writing and critical thinking; workshops related to how to adapt to new or difficult situations, including development of skills for leadership, study/work/life balance and preparing for the world of work; and advice and practice on working in study groups and on cross-cultural communication and teamwork.

LSE is committed to enabling all students to achieve their full potential and the School’s Disability and Wellbeing Service provides a free, confidential service to all LSE students and is a first point of contact for all disabled students.

Your timetable

The lecture and seminar timetable is published in mid-August and the full academic timetable (lectures/seminars and undergraduate classes) is published by mid-September and is accessible via the LSE Timetables webpages.

Undergraduate student personal timetables are published in LSE for You (LFY). For personal timetables to appear, students must be registered at LSE, have successfully signed up for courses in LFY and ensured that their course selection does not contain unauthorised clashes.

Every effort is made to minimise changes after publication, once personal timetables have been published any changes are notified via email.

The standard teaching day runs from 09:00-18:00; Monday to Friday. Teaching for undergraduate students will not usually be scheduled after 12:00 on Wednesdays to allow for sports, volunteering and other extra-curricular events. 

Assessment

All taught courses are required to include formative coursework which is unassessed. It is designed to help prepare you for summative assessment which counts towards the course mark and to the degree award. LSE uses a range of formative assessment, such as essays, problem sets, case studies, reports, quizzes, mock exams and many others. The summative assessment for our courses are examinations at the end of the year. The exception to this is your Long Essay (Dissertation). Additionally, some courses include an assessed coursework component. Please note that assessment on individual courses can change year to year. An indication of the current formative coursework and summative assessment for each course can be found in the relevant course guide.

Feedback on coursework is an essential part of the teaching and learning experience at the School. Class teachers must mark formative coursework and return it with feedback to you normally within two weeks of submission (when the work is submitted on time). You will also receive feedback in the form of written comments on the essays that you write. You will also receive feedback on any summative coursework you are required to submit as part of the assessment for individual courses (except on the final version of submitted dissertations). You will normally receive this feedback before the examination period. You will also receive feedback in the form of written comments on the essays that you write. 

Find out more about LSE’s teaching and assessment methods

Preliminary reading

If you wish to gain further insight into social policy and sociology, you may be interested in some of the Department’s podcasts.

You may also like to look at one or more of the following books: 

T Newburn Criminology: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2018)

T Newburn Criminology (3rd edition, Routledge, 2017)

A Liebling, S Maruna and L McAra (eds) Oxford Handbook of Criminology (6th edition, Oxford University Press, 2017)

R Reiner Crime: The Mystery of a Common-Sense Concept (Polity Press, 2016)

N Lacey The Prisoners’ Dilemma: Political Economy and Punishment in Contemporary Democracies (Cambridge University Press, 2008)

D Downes and P Rock Understanding Deviance: A Guide to the Sociology of Crime and Rule-Breaking (6th edition, Oxford University Press, 2011)

S Cohen Visions of Social Control: Crime, Punishment and Classification (Polity Press, 1985)

H Dean Social Policy (2nd edition, Polity Press, 2012)

D Garland The Welfare State: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2016)

Careers

The skills you will develop by studying social policy are attractive to a range of employers. Our graduates have found work in a variety of industries including; politics and government, education and teaching, banking and finance, NGOs, charities and international development, as well as journalism, media and publishing, advertising marketing and PR, and accounting and auditing. 

Further information on graduate destinations for this programme

Coco McKeever

BSc Social Policy,  2011
Policy Adviser,  HM Treasury

Coco-McKeever170x230

Studying at LSE definitely helped my career as employers are very aware of its status. LSE has a great work ethic and everyone who is there, wants to be there and knows how lucky they are to be studying at one of the UK’s best universities. As London offers so many exciting social opportunities, doing well on your degree course requires a lot of dedication and discipline to not get distracted and get on with your work

Support for your career

Many leading organisations give careers presentations at the School during the year, and LSE Careers has a wide range of resources available to assist students in their job search.

Fees and funding

Every undergraduate student is charged a fee for each year of their programme.

The fee covers registration and examination fees payable to the School, lectures, classes and individual supervision, lectures given at other colleges under intercollegiate arrangements and, under current arrangements, membership of the Students' Union. It does not cover living costs or travel or fieldwork.

Tuition fees

UK/EU* students:

The 2020 tuition fee for new UK/EU students is £9,250 for the first year.

The UK/EU undergraduate fee may rise in line with inflation in subsequent years.

*The UK Government confirmed in May 2019 that the fee level for EU undergraduate new entrants in 2020/21 will be the same as Home UK for the duration of their undergraduate degree programme. Further information can be found on gov.uk website.

Overseas students:

The 2020 tuition fee for new overseas students is £21,570 per year.

The overseas tuition fee will remain at the same amount for each subsequent year of your full time study regardless of the length of your programme. This information applies to new overseas undergraduate entrants in 2020 only.

The amount of tuition fees you will need to pay, and any financial support you are eligible for, will depend on whether you are classified as a home (UK/EU) or overseas student, otherwise known as your fee status. LSE assesses your fee status based on guidelines provided by the Department of Education.

Scholarships, bursaries and loans

The School recognises that the cost of living in London may be higher than in your home town or country. LSE provides generous financial support, in the form of bursaries and scholarships to UK, EU and overseas students. 

In addition, UK Government support, in the form of loans, is available to UK and some EU students. Some overseas governments also offer funding.

Further information on tuition fees, cost of living, loans and scholarships.

UNISTATS Data

Every undergraduate programme of more than one year duration will have UNISTATS data. The data allows you to compare information about individual programmes at different higher education institutions.

Please note that programmes offered by different institutions with similar names can vary quite significantly. We recommend researching the programmes you are interested in and taking into account the programme structure, teaching and assessment methods, and support services available.

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