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BScCriminology and Sociology

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Overview

Our School of Law has an intellectually challenging approach to research and education. Studying Criminology and Sociology at Royal Holloway means that you will learn from internationally renowned experts who will share their research and experience so that you gain invaluable skills, such as research and data analysis, which are highly sought after by employers.

How does crime arise, and how does society deal with it? On this course you will explore issues of criminal behaviour, punishment and rehabilitation strategies while also examining the social forces that affect individuals and impact on their behaviour. Throughout the course you will be encouraged to focus on the causes of crime and the workings of the criminal justice system, and to understand a range of social problems and policy issues.

Our balanced approach to research and teaching guarantees high quality teaching from subject leaders, cutting edge materials and intellectually challenging debates. You will receive individual attention and flexibility to acquire expertise within a specialist field, such as: youth and crime, war and terrorism, restorative justice and forensic psychology. In the final year you will complete a dissertation on a related topic of your choice.

Programme structure

Year 1

Criminology: Introduction to Criminology
This module provides you with a general introduction to criminology and forensic psychology. You will explore official, populist, sociological and psychological meanings of crime through study of the development of criminology as a distinctive field of research and scholarship. You will develop sociological understandings of crime and the history of punishment, before turning to forensic psychology and its contribution to understanding offending behaviours, punishment and rehabilitation.

Criminology: Criminal Justice System
This module introduces you to the development, role, function and operation of the criminal justice system in England and Wales. You will examine the stages of the criminal justice process, and in doing so develop an understanding of the key debates around the punishment of offenders, the process of achieving justice for victims and the theoretical positions on the purpose of punishment. You will also be encouraged to think critically about the treatment of different social groups within the criminal justice process, such as youth offenders, those with mental disorders and white collar criminals. The module comprises of weekly lectures and seminars, where you will have the opportunity to discuss key debates and apply your knowledge of the criminal justice process to case studies.

Sociology: Introduction to Sociology
This module introduces you to key classical and contemporary social theories, including the ‘founding fathers’ of continental European sociology (Durkheim, Marx, and Weber) and the originators of US sociology (including Parsons, Goffman, and Garfunkel).

Sociology: Social Problems and Social Policy
This module explores contemporary social issues, including poverty, inequality, unemployment and discrimination. You will learn about the foundations of the welfare state as well as social policies in areas such as education, housing, health and family life. Key questions to be discussed include: What are the most important social problems in contemporary society? Is the welfare state in crisis? Why are young people more vulnerable to unemployment? How does the media influence our perceptions of social problems?

Year 2

Criminology: Research Methods for Social Scientists
This module provides you with an introduction to the philosophical issues in social research. You will look at ethics in social research and theory, quantitative versus qualitative methods, sampling, observation, interviewing, media analysis, and questionnaire design. You will be given the opportunity to work through the research process on a topic of independent study of your choosing.

Criminology: Data Analysis
This module introduces you to techniques of quantitative and qualitative data analysis and will equip you with the skills to design and carry out your own analyses.

Criminology: Key Perspectives and Debates in Criminology
This module will enable you to develop detailed and more critical understandings of core criminological theory and key issues within the discipline. Drawing on sociological, biological and psychological perspectives as a way of understanding criminal behaviour, you will consider key issues such as drug use, organised crime, white collar crime and terrorism. Lectures and seminars promote the application of these theoretical perspectives through case studies and empirical research.

Sociology: Sociology of Contemporary Society
This module provides you with a sociological analysis of contemporary society, helping you to understand major social and economic changes in the contemporary world through key sociological debates concerning, amongst others, the changing nature of the organisation of production and the changing nature of class. You will also examine the transformation of cultural forms in contemporary society and apply these theories to contemporary social issues.

Year 3

All modules are optional

Optional modules

In addition to these mandatory course units there are a number of optional course units available during your degree studies. The following is a selection of optional course units that are likely to be available. Please note that although the College will keep changes to a minimum, new units may be offered or existing units may be withdrawn, for example, in response to a change in staff. Applicants will be informed if any significant changes need to be made.

Career opportunities

A Criminology and Sociology degree at Royal Holloway, University of London can lead into a variety of career paths. Your will become equipped with the knowledge, skills and experiences essential to advance your future career or move onto further study.

Apply now! Fall semester 2021/22
This intake is not applicable

We are currently NOT ACCEPTING applications from NON-EU countries, except Georgia and Serbia.

Application deadlines apply to citizens of: United States

Apply now! Fall semester 2021/22
This intake is not applicable

We are currently NOT ACCEPTING applications from NON-EU countries, except Georgia and Serbia.

Application deadlines apply to citizens of: United States