Impatient to reduce crime?

You want to understand why crime happens. 

You’re prepared to challenge the accepted concepts of justice, punishment and social control and have a meaningful impact on society. At Essex we encourage you to question the prescribed and critique the accepted norms. Harnessing a criminological imagination will give you fresh eyes to view some of the today’s most pressing issues. If you're impatient to understand the nature of crime, welcome home! But be warned,  you will see the world in a completely different way.

Why study here?
  • You are taught by staff who conduct world-leading research and write the textbooks
  • 85% of our Department of Sociology graduates are in employment or further study (Graduate Outcomes 2022)
  • Top 25 for criminology (The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023)
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Chat with Emily, a BA Criminology with Social Psychology student

Fancy discovering what student life at Essex is like? Want to learn more about the department? Why not talk to Emily, a 2nd year student studying in the Department of Sociology

Chat with Emily
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What about Social Anthropology?

What motivates so many people to migrate from their own societies to others? Why are some cultures so different from others? Our BA Social Anthropology course combines sociological and anthropological approaches to the study of society, exploring how humans understand their social worlds in different ways.

Learn more about Social Anthropology at Essex
There are few things as enlightening as studying crime, criminals and criminal justice.

Although there are many different approaches to the subject, at Essex we take a sociological view. You critique ideas and concepts of justice, punishment and social control. Our courses are contemporary and informed by global theory. You study with other committed, engaged and motivated students, and have the opportunity to attend guest-speaker seminars, events and conferences. Impatient to understand crime? Welcome home!

Why study here?
  • Top 25 for criminology (The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023)
  • We pioneered sociologically informed approaches to criminology — Essex is where it all started
  • 91% of our postgraduates are in highly skilled employment (Graduate Outcomes 2022)
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Lisa's story

"My Grandad is my inspiration. He passed away when I was 10. He was very East London, very cockney. It sounds bad, but the glamorous side of crime interests me. We’d have story time and I’d be the first to run over and sit down! He’d start telling us about all these criminals, I didn’t know they were real stories and involved him. It sounds bad, but the glamorous side of crime interests me. Rather than get involved in it, I prefer to study it. I think that’s the better option."

Read Lisa's story
Our Centre for Criminology is a local and international centre of excellence for the study of criminology.

We attract research funding, produce world class research outputs and engage with local schools, colleges and businesses. With our integrated, four-year PhD, you follow our Sociological Research pathway in your first year. This provides Masters-level research training, before undertaking your PhD research. This course is also available for study on a full or part time basis. 

Why study here?
  • We are 2nd in UK for research power in sociology (Times Higher Education research power measure, Research Excellence Framework 2021).
  • We're ranked 16th for criminology in the UK according to the Times Good University Guide 2021
  • You work with world-leading scholars in an exciting and active research environment.
Alexandra's story

"I’ve been at Essex for my undergrad and my masters and now my PhD. I think the thing I’m most proud of is seeing the change in my mentality and my understanding. Not just of criminology and the things we have been studying specifically but how I was able to take that and apply it to different aspects of life and how that has completely changed my mindset and understanding of everything going on around me."

Read Alexandra's story
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We understand that deciding where and what to study is a very important decision for you. We'll make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the courses, services and facilities as described on our website. However, if we need to make material changes, for example due to significant disruption, or in response to COVID-19, we'll let our applicants and students know as soon as possible.