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BASocial Policy and Criminology

University of Birmingham
United Kingdom, Birmingham
Tuition fee To be confirmed
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Do prisons do more harm than good? What is the relationship between poverty and crime?

Our Social Policy and Criminology joint honours degree will offer you an exciting opportunity to examine issues which strike at the heart of many contemporary political and media debates. This joint honours course combines popular degree subjects that offer complementary insights into a range of social problems and social harms. The course will enable you to consider the ways that different societies produce contrasting levels of ‘problems’ and ‘harms’, such as drug and alcohol addiction, homicide, homelessness and workplace injury. Students will be encouraged to consider the reasons why these are designated as being either ‘crimes’ or ‘social policy’ issues and therefore are dealt with through contrasting ‘welfare’ or ‘criminal justice’ responses.

Programme structure

Modules in the first year

The programme comprises a number of core modules designed to develop student’s knowledge and research skills and to support the progression to more independent forms of study.

Core modules

Introduction to Social Policy
Social Science, Social Problems and Social Policy
Social Research I
Introduction to Criminology
Violence in a Global Context
Plus one optional module of up to 20 credits.

Modules in the second year

Core modules

Policy Analysis
Social Research II
Criminal Justice Systems
Punishment in a Global Context
Optional modules

Students can choose either to apply for the 20-credit Doing Justice* Criminology module and 20 credits from the remaining options, or choose 40 credits from the following options:

Social Theory and Social Policy
Comparative Social Policy
Poverty, Wealth, Class and Inequality
Gender and Sexuality
Sociology of Race’ and Ethnicity – A Global Perspective
Social Policy and Disability
Terror, Threat and Security
Managing Health and Social Care
The Third Sector and Social Enterprise
Housing and Communities
Self and Society
Media and Society
Global Societies
*This module is limited in terms of the number of placements and requires students to apply.
Applicants must have secured 55% overall for their first year but successfully complete a pre-placement interview. Other placement opportunities are available via the Careers Service and Volunteering through the Guild of Students.

Modules in the third year

Core module


Optional modules
To balance your Joint Honours you must then select two Criminology modules from:

Harmful Societies: Crime, Social Harm and Social Justice
Youth Crime and Justice
Crime and the City

Plus two options from the following:

Prospects for Social Policy
From Beveridge to May
Quantitative Analysis I and Quantitative Analysis II
Migration and Super Diversity
Your Money and Your Life
Sociology of Personal Life
Divided Publics
Doing or Not Doing God? Religion, Policy and Politics
Sociology of Health and Illness
Political Sociology
Technology and Society
‘Freedom’, Control and Critique
Professional Development Module

Career opportunities

There are a number of job paths for you to take after graduating. There are graduate schemes in managing welfare services in health care, the third sector and local government which can be popular choices with our graduates. Since a degree in Social Policy is based upon how policy is made it is a great degree for working in the civil service, local government or for think tanks. Our graduate also gain students many transferable skills such as critical thinking, written and verbal communication and team work which give them the flexibility to go into a wide range of employment opportunities:

NHS management trainee scheme
Planning Officer
Charity co-ordinator
Marketing project manager
Social enterprise co-ordinator
Campaign manager for an MP
Youth worker
Communications officer
Graduate land buyer
Benefits Officer

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