BSc Criminology

BSc Criminology

New programme for 2019


An introduction to the subject of Criminology An introduction to the subject of Criminology
An introduction to the subject of Criminology London School of Economics and Political Science

       Why does crime occur?
       How can crime be controlled?
       What explains variation in criminal justice policies around the world? 

Criminology is the study of crime, order and criminal justice. It considers the causes, effects and control of criminal conduct and victimisation, as well as the design, implementation, effectiveness and broader social functions of criminal justice policies.

Housed in one of the top social policy departments in the world and delivered by widely recognised experts, the programme is at the cutting edge of criminology. Drawing on LSE’s exceptionally international outlook and thoroughly interdisciplinary scope, the programme brings together perspectives on a range of countries and from an array of disciplines, from sociology, psychology and political science, to law, history and anthropology, to offer high-quality training in a booming academic field. 

In the context of LSE’s BSc in Criminology, you will study real-world issues as diverse as street crime, gangs, riots, domestic violence, drug consumption and environmental crime. You will also explore the evolution and workings of criminal justice agencies such as the police, courts, prisons and probation, and about the impact different forms of criminal justice have on different social groups according to their age, gender, socio-economic status, ethnicity, citizenship status, sexual orientation, and mental health.

Based on a wide variety of methodological approaches and materials, including theory and empirical data in equal measure, the programme will equip you with sound research, critical and analytical skills. You will learn to investigate and evaluate political claims about the evolution, causes and consequences of crime, and to assess policy responses to it. 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.

Contact us

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7955 7367

Student story

Matthew Bedford

Degree: BSc Social Policy & Criminology

Matthew Bedford

Where are you from?

Born in France in la "La Ville Rose"-Toulouse. Originally English, though I completed my secondary education in Spain.

Why did you choose to study your degree?

I believe my decision to study Criminology stems from my desire to better comprehend the factors at play which contribute to widespread injustices within our legal system; understanding the cause of things is the first step towards positive change. Indeed, studying something that has fascinated me ever since a very young age has been a dream come true.

What do you enjoy most about your degree and being at the LSE?

Reviewing the major development stages of criminology, and the theoretical insights these brought with them, for this is the foundation if we are to advance contemporary understanding of offending; particularly with a transition to online environments. 

Moreover, LSE is home to world renown Criminologist, the vital academic advice received by my tutor-Tim Newburn- is something that I will forever be grateful for.

What are the benefits to studying in the Department of Social Policy?

The fact that the disciplines are so interlinked reinforces the knowledge that can be drawn from each field. The benefit of this is that as a student, it enables you to discuss 'crime issues' with professional experts from various fields of study which  bestows a great multi-disciplinary understanding. Indeed, I have found that professors within the Social Policy department are always happy to help.

What have been the benefits to studying your degree at a London university?

The LSE and indeed London in general are, if nothing else, multi-cultural melting pots; an environment I am accustomed to from my upbringing. This has been hugely beneficial in terms of preparation for the future, where there may be different dynamics brought into the workforce through diversity.

What career are you looking to follow after your degree?

I shall be pursuing an MSc in Criminal Justice Policy, here at the LSE. Following this I endeavour to work in insurance, within a cybercrime department.  Although, I am also heavily considering the new graduate scheme offered by the London Metropolitan Police which allows a direct entry after training as a Detective Constable.    

Recent research in the field of Criminology



Dr Leonidas Cheliotis is Director of the BSc Criminology. His research focuses on the political economy and social psychology of punishment, as well as on the implementation and consequences of penal and cognate policies. He has received various awards for his research, including, most recently, the 2016 Adam Podgòrecki Prize by the International Sociological Association's Research Committee on Sociology of Law. 

Listen to Dr Leonidas Cheliotis talk about his research on the penalisation of irregular migration in Europe here.



Professor Tim Newburn's research has spanned a number of areas including policing, restorative justice, youth justice, drugs and alcohol, comparative policy making and urban violence. He was the LSE’s lead on Reading the Riotstheir prize-winning research with the Guardian on the 2011 disorder.

Watch a video of Professor Tim Newburn's work on Riots here.



Dr Coretta Phillips's research interests lie in the field of race, ethnicity, crime and social policy. Coretta's book, The Multicultural Prison (2012) jointly won the Criminology Book Prize in 2013 and it was shortlisted for the BBC Radio 4 Thinking Allowed/British Sociological Association Award for Ethnography in 2014.

LIsten to Dr Coretta Phillips, talk about her empirical research in Rochester Young Offenders' Institution and Maidstone Prison here.



Dr Michael Shiner's research revolves around three related themes - deviance, crime control, and discrimination. Much of his work focuses on forms of behaviour that may be considered ‘deviant’, particularly drug use and suicide, and the meanings that are attached to such behaviours. Studies of peer education, drug treatment and mentoring have been followed by a stronger focus on the coercive apparatus of the state, with particular reference to drug law enforcement and police stop and search.

Read his Guardian profile here.

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