There can be no crime without society. Combining the specialist study of criminology with a broad approach to sociological questions, our course emboldens you to study crime, criminals, and criminal justice within wider social contexts. Understanding society is key to understand every other phenomenon within it, including crime.
How do we understand crime? How can it be prevented? Why should crime be punished, and how should we go about it? This course also allows you to apply sociological theories to criminology asking questions like these. Criminologists and sociologists engage with some of the most pressing issues, decisions and dilemmas facing societies today. On our course you explore the nature of crime, criminal justice and punishment within wider social contexts. You will also explore how society deals with the past and the present, with issues such as colonialism and post-colonialism and the future of human rights as the backbone of every analysis.
Guided by our expert staff who specialise in social theory, colonial history, terrorism, organised crime, prisons, drug abuse, and crime in the media, you explore how criminal activity interlinks with age, gender, and social concepts such as power and identity.
You will study areas including:
You explore some of the most important and significant debates in contemporary social theory, learning to think analytically about theoretical questions. You discover the importance of social theory in developing a politically engaged understanding of concepts such as post-structuralism, feminism and actor-network theory.
You are taught by a team of award-winning internationally renowned scholars widely regarded as leading experts in their fields.
Criminology at Essex is led by Professor Eamonn Carrabine, Professor Pamela Cox, Dr Isabel Crowhurst, Professor Pete Fussey, Dr Anna Sergi, Professor Nigel South, Dr Darren Thiel and Dr Jackie Turton.
All staff are actively engaged in research at the cutting edge of their respective fields of interest and specialism and bring the very latest developments and findings into the classroom. All are prominent writers and the criminology team collectively author the best-selling criminology textbook, Criminology: A Sociological Introduction (now in its 3rd edition), used on undergraduate courses across the country.
Our staff have worked at local, national and international level with bodies from local councils and the Home Office, to Amnesty International and the United Nations.
This course provides excellent preparation for further academic study, and many of our postgraduates go on to successful academic careers, both in the UK and overseas.
Others have established careers in non-governmental organisations, local authorities, specialist think tanks, government departments, charities, media production, and research organisations.
We work with the University’s Careers Services to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.
A 2:2 degree, or international equivalent, in a social science or Humanities subject or, another discipline which must include at least two humanities or social science modules which can include the research project/dissertation)..
Applications from students with a degree below a 2:2 or equivalent or a non-social sciences degree will be considered dependent on any relevant professional or voluntary experience, previous modules studied and/or personal statement.
We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Get in touch with any questions you may have about the qualifications we accept. Remember to tell us about the qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.
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Most of our courses combine compulsory and optional modules, giving you freedom to pursue your own interests. All of the modules listed below provide an example of what is on offer from the current academic year. Our Programme Specification provides further details of the course structure for the current academic year.
Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field, therefore to ensure your course is as relevant and up-to-date as possible your core module structure may be subject to change.
The example structure below is representative of this course if taken full-time. If you choose to study part-time, the modules will be split across 2 years.
Fees will increase for each academic year of study.
We hold Open Days for all our applicants throughout the year. Our Colchester Campus events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex, and give you the chance to:
If the dates of our organised events aren’t suitable for you, feel free to get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.
We aim to respond to applications within two weeks. If we are able to offer you a place, you will be contacted via email.
For information on our deadline to apply for this course, please see our ‘how to apply’ information.
Home to 15,000 students from more than 130 countries, our Colchester Campus is the largest of our three sites, making us one of the most internationally diverse campuses on the planet - we like to think of ourselves as the world in one place.
The Campus is set within 200 acres of beautiful parkland, located two miles from the historic town centre of Colchester – England's oldest recorded town. Our Colchester Campus is also easily reached from London and Stansted Airport in under one hour.
If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tour allows you to explore the Colchester Campus from the comfort of your home. Check out our accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.
Our staff travel the world to speak to people about the courses on offer at Essex. Take a look at our list of exhibition dates to see if we’ll be near you in the future.
At Essex we pride ourselves on being a welcoming and inclusive student community. We offer a wide range of support to individuals and groups of student members who may have specific requirements, interests or responsibilities.
The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include, but are not limited to: strikes, other industrial action, staff illness, severe weather, fire, civil commotion, riot, invasion, terrorist attack or threat of terrorist attack (whether declared or not), natural disaster, restrictions imposed by government or public authorities, epidemic or pandemic disease, failure of public utilities or transport systems or the withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.
The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.
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