Sociology and Criminology (BA)
Studying Sociology and Criminology (BA) will enable you to make sense of a world undergoing unprecedented social change and uncertainty. This unique programme emphasises the way in which social cleavages such as race, gender and class intersect with the study of crime and criminal justice in an international context. Combining these subjects will give you a thorough, yet broad understanding of the surrounding issues and concepts that relate to questions of justice and criminalisation today.
Drawing on established strengths within our Sociology Department, you will explore a variety of areas: culture and ethnic identities, geo-political conflict, gender, environmentalism, social movements, sexuality, social theory, state crime, terrorism and modern society, punishment and community justice, youth crime, youth justice, policing, and issues of security in a global context.
Criminology asks the key questions: Why do people commit crime? Can crime be prevented? How should we respond to crime? Is the criminal justice system just? Sociology asks similar questions in relation to the social conditions in which crime and justice take place. In this programme, we will look at the social structures highlighted by the implementation of the criminal justice system and invite you to imagine possibilities of societies without prisons and punishment. You will search for answers to these questions and challenges by examining the police, the courts, prisons and society as a whole.
In your first year, you will study five core modules and choose up to three options. In your second year you will study four core modules and up to four options and your third year comprises up to six options and a dissertation in Sociology and Criminology. The dissertation will be on a topic area of your choosing, developed and agreed upon with your supervisor. Within your course regulations, we will permit you to choose modules from any Department, subject to our approval and provided that you satisfy the pre-requisites or other requirements for that module and that the offering department permits you to take the module. The final degree classification is determined by your second and final year marks and each contributes 50%.
You will normally take eight different modules in each year, which are taught via lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops, group work and independent study.
In your first year, you will have 10–11 hours of formal contact time per week, helping you adjust to university life, and thereafter usually 8 hours per week.
Seminars involve smaller groups of 15–17 students, which include some of our joint honours students, giving you the chance to make friends across complementary disciplines. We have a strong personal tutoring system and staff have weekly Advice and Feedback hours in which you can meet with them on a one-to-one basis.
You will be assessed by a combination of essays, reports, podcasts, reflective writing and unseen exams. To support your assessment, you will submit class essays during the year and receive extensive feedback. In the final year, you write a 10,000-word dissertation on a sociological topic of your choice, with one-to-one supervision from staff. This prepares you for the needs of working life by consolidating core and transferable skills, and supports further academic study at MA and PhD level.
Your final degree classification is based on your performance across the modules taken in your second and third years. The final degree classification is determined by your second and final year marks and each contributes 50%.
There is an option to spend part of the second year studying abroad at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. You may be based at either the University’s Melbourne campus or at its campus in Malaysia.
You will spend the first term of your second year studying at Warwick and will travel to Australia in February to join Monash for the start of its second semester (which spans Warwick’s second and third terms). This arrangement is the integrated terms abroad variant of the course.
During your time abroad you will study approved modules/units and will undertake assessments which you will need to pass. The credit gained from this study is used to contribute towards your final degree classification awarded by Warwick. You may also choose to spend a year studying or working abroad (e.g. as part of the ERASMUS scheme).
Marks gained from such study do not count towards the overall Warwick degree but recognition of the time spent abroad is recorded on the HEAR.
A level: ABB
BTEC: We welcome applications from students taking BTEC qualifications, either alone or in combination with A levels. Our typical BTEC offers are as follows:
BTEC Level 3 Extended Certificate plus 2 A-Levels: D plus AB
BTEC Level 3 National Diploma plus 1 A-Level: DD plus A
BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma: D*DD
Our standard GCSE requirements
All applicants must possess a minimum level of competence in the English Language and in Mathematics/Science. A pass at Grade C or above, or Grade 4 or above in GCSE English Language and in Mathematics or a Science, or an equivalent qualification, satisfies this University requirement.
Additional requirements: You will also need to meet our English Language requirements.
Contextual data and differential offers
Warwick may make differential offers to students in a number of circumstances. These include students participating in the Realising Opportunities programme, or who meet two of the contextual data criteria. Differential offers will be one or two grades below Warwick’s standard offer (to a minimum of BBB).
- Warwick International Foundation Programme (IFP)
All students who successfully complete the Warwick IFP and apply to Warwick through UCAS will receive a guaranteed conditional offer for a related undergraduate programme (selected courses only). For full details of standard offers and conditions visit the IFP website.
- We welcome applications from students with other internationally recognised qualifications. For more information please visit the international entry requirements page.
Taking a gap year
Applications for deferred entry welcomed.
We do not typically interview applicants. Offers are made based on your UCAS form which includes predicted and actual grades, your personal statement and school reference.
History of Sociological Thought
What holds societies together? How do societies change? And how is politics in the conventional sense affected by factors such as class, status, ethnicity or religion, or the state of the economy? These are some of the questions that you'll engage with when you consider the history of sociological thought. You'll gain skills of research, analysis and debate by considering to what extent sociology may be considered a science and how the evolution of sociological thought has been shaped by events and the cultural, economic and political problems of the day.
Criminology: Theories and Concepts
This module will develop your understanding of key criminological perspectives and will encourage you to reflect on different assumptions and ideologies behind these different perspectives. It will equip you to be able to apply criminological theory to a broad range of contemporary problems of crime, social inequality disorder and social harm.
Researching Society and Culture
What is society and how do you study it? Is human behaviour governed by rules similar to the natural world that you can study objectively? Or do human beings consciously act upon their environment and change the world through creativity and intelligence, driven by their own understanding and motivations.
You'll be introduced to the core ideas behind sociological research and the practical tools to undertake research yourself. As well as looking at some of the key qualitative methods (e.g. interviews, ethnography, discourse analysis), you’ll also examine the political, ethical and practical issues that social research inevitably entails.
Crime and Society
This module will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the relationship between crime, its social context and current issues in the socio-political global context of crime and punishment. You will explore the sociological approaches to crime, victimisation and punishment through categories such as class, gender, ethnicity, mobility and space. You will develop the necessary analytical, theoretical and critical skills to examine contemporary problems and debates in the fields of criminalisation and justice.
Introduction to Social Analytics in Social Inequalities Research
Designing and Conducting Social Research
This module will teach you the core concepts and practical skills to undertake qualitative social research in academic and professional settings. These include research design, ethnography, in-depth interviewing, documents and discourse. As well as practical skills, you’ll investigate how social research has changed in recent decades, considering:
• ethical questions when researching life online
• how (and whether you should) study Twitter
• effects of social media on social interactions
• how to engage diverse audiences
You'll also gain analytical skills to critically evaluate previous research, and develop your ability to collect and analyse data using a range of qualitative methods.
Gender, Crime and Justice
This module will develop the necessary analytical, theoretical and critical skills to analyse the complex relationship between gender and crime in contemporary society. You will be presented with a range of theoretical and conceptual issues around the theme of gender, crime and justice including feminist writing on the meaning and relevance of gender. The course will highlight some of the key issues when exploring crime, victimisation and criminal justice in relation to gender.
Modern Social Theory
This module will introduce you to the main thinkers and movements in critical social theory. Topics include Marxism, post-structuralism, class and culture. The changing conceptualisation of power and class is a focus throughout the module. This helps you to see how the different theoretical approaches relate to each other, and to historical and political events.
Advanced Theory in Criminology and Social Justice
This module aims to critically engage students with core theories and major advances in criminological theory. Key issues and advances within core areas of theoretical criminology will be explored, including: classicism and neo-classicism; feminist criminology; abolitionism, post-colonial criminology and queer criminology, for example. Our concerns will be linked to existential and ethical questions about: crime, justice, poverty, welfare and social activism. Finally, the module will address the extent to which it is possible to create and sustain a ‘progressive’ agenda for the future of criminal justice.
Examples of optional modules/options for current students
International Perspectives on Gender; Sociology of Gender; Life of Media: Past, Present and Future; Practice and Interpretation of Quantitative Research; War, Memory and Society; Commercial Cultures in Global Capitalism; Race, Resistance and Modernity; Punishment, Justice and Control; Racism and Xenophobia; Feminist Pedagogy Feminist Activism; The Sociology of Urban Life
Helping you find the right career
Our department has a dedicated professionally qualified Senior Careers Consultant who works within Student Careers and Skills to help you as an individual. Additionally your Senior Careers Consultant offers impartial advice and guidance together with workshops and events, tailored to our department, throughout the year. Previous examples of workshops and events include:
- Make Your Mark - Careers with a degree in Sociology
- Working for More than Profit
- Warwick careers fairs throughout the year
- Your Sociological future: Sociology Alumni Evening
- My Sociological Future- What next? Career planning for undecided Sociology finalists
Find out more about our Careers & Skills Services here.
Degree of Bachelor of Arts (BA)
3 years full-time
28 September 2020
Location of study
University of Warwick, Coventry
Find out more about fees and funding
Additional course costs
There may be costs associated with other items or services such as academic texts, course notes, and trips associated with your course. Students who choose to complete a work placement will pay reduced tuition fees for their third year.
This information is applicable for 2020 entry.
Given the interval between the publication of courses and enrolment, some of the information may change. It is important to check our website before you apply. Please read our terms and conditions to find out more.
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