BA (Hons) Crime and Criminal Justice

The University of Bolton’s BA (Hons) Crime and Criminal Justice degree investigates the approaches applied to crime, deviance and victimisation. Our industry experienced academic staff will support you to develop core skills in working with offenders, crime intelligence, investigation and interviewing, crime scene management, preparing for court and presenting a case profile.

Crime and Criminal Justice

Key information


BA (Hons)

Mode of Study:



3 years


University of Bolton

UCAS points:


UCAS code:


Start date:

To be confirmed

Course Details

Crime is evolving. New technologies and more complex societal pressures are leading to new criminal activities. Our BA (Hons) Crime and Criminal Justice degree is designed to educate future criminal justice professionals. We offer you the deep understanding of the causes of crime, criminal behaviour and how to combat crime that are needed for a career safeguarding the public, supporting victims, protecting the vulnerable, and helping to rehabilitate offenders.

We’ll guide you as you investigate the individual, social, legal and political forces that shape both crime and how it is controlled, as well as the interrelationships between research, theory, policy and practice in criminal justice. Areas such as criminal investigation, multi-agency working, ethics and diversity, the penal system, mental health, human rights, social justice, restorative justice, community safety, poverty, and safeguarding people at risk will be addressed, along with specific crimes such as human trafficking, modern slavery, gender and domestic violence, hate crime and terrorism, youth crime, illegal drug use and anti-social behaviour.

Our academic staff come from a diverse range of professional criminal justice backgrounds. They will encourage and support you to develop the practical skills, academic knowledge, and personal qualities (such as grit and resilience) needed to succeed in this dynamic sector.

  • Our Criminology courses are ranked first in the North West of England for teaching quality and student experience for the second year running by The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022.
  • Also, The Complete University Guide 2022 ranks us second in the UK and first in England for student satisfaction for Sociology (which includes our Crime and Criminal Justice courses).
  • You’ll have the opportunity to learn interviewing techniques from experienced specialists.
  • We work closely with organisations such as the College of Policing, the Crown Prosecution Service, Public Health England, the Home Office, and Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service, ensuring our course offers a truly holistic view of crime and criminal justice in the UK and fosters a culture of multi-disciplinary working and information sharing between agencies.
  • If you’re an experienced criminal justice professional, you may be eligible for exemptions from certain modules based on your prior experience or qualifications. Please ask about our Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) process.
  • The course covers the four knowledge modules required by the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) as prerequisites for Probation Officer training. We’ll encourage you to gain the relevant experience necessary, and can advise and support you as you approach potential placement providers.
  • We offer opportunities for you to visit criminal justice workplaces, such as prisons, law courts, police stations and rehabilitation centres so you can gain a first-hand understanding of these environments and how they operate.
  • We work with experienced forensics professionals who have been responsible for training Scenes of Crime Officers (SOCOs) for the police, and offer you the chance to visit crime scene training locations to learn about securing crime scenes and evidence collection and preservation.
Key Features
  • The criminal justice sector offers a wide range of rewarding and challenging careers. We’ll support you to gain both the professional and personal skills to succeed, coaching you in areas like critical thinking, evaluation and analysis, self-reflection, cultural sensitivity and developing mental resilience.
  • We’ll also support you to gain vital academic and lifelong learning skills so that you are well prepared to research new innovations, apply your knowledge in new ways, and keep abreast of shifts in policy and practice in the criminal justice sector throughout your career.
  • Our professionally experienced tutors bring their wealth of on-the-job expertise and practical knowledge into their research, teaching and one-to-one advice, ensuring you’re able to benefit from a wide range of highly informed criminal justice perspectives.
  • We prefer to keep seminar and practical classes relatively small, so that you have plenty of opportunities to ask us questions and get help, as well as benefit from the ideas and support offered by your classmates.
  • We’re committed to helping you develop your employability and career network. You’ll be encouraged to attend guest lectures and undertake volunteering activities that enhance your learning, help you make contacts in the industry, and contribute to your professional development.
  • As well as helping you to develop academic and technical professional skills, we’ll focus on preparing you for the emotional and psychological demands of criminal justice work, and the intense situations you may face during your career.
  • By choosing to study with us, you'll have the chance to enjoy Bolton's many shops, bars, restaurants and leisure facilities. Manchester, one of the UK's most multicultural and lively cities, is less than 20 minutes away by train. Not forgetting, the North West of England is renowned for its beautiful countryside, coastline and heritage. This makes Bolton an ideal base from which to explore some of the best cultural and outdoor activities the UK offers.

  • 112 UCAS points. We accept a full range of qualifications that carry UCAS points, including A-levels, BTECs and T levels. Please see our guide to the UCAS Tariff for examples of how to achieve these points. For most courses, we are also able to consider non-tariffable qualifications.
  • Any subjects are acceptable at Level 3. Social science and public service-related subjects are preferred.
  • You should also have five GCSEs at grade C or above or grade 4 to 9 (or equivalent), including English and Mathematics.
  • If you don’t have the above qualifications but possess relevant vocational experience in the criminal justice sector, we’ll be delighted to consider your application.
  • To successfully complete the course, you'll be required to undertake voluntary work with relevant organisations. The timing and amount of voluntary activity is flexible, but as a guideline, we'd expect you to undertake 4-10 hours per week, in addition to the employability module elements of the course. These voluntary activities will involve regular unsupervised access to children, vulnerable adults and/or sensitive data, also known as regulated activity. The organisations will therefore require an Enhanced Disclosure certificate from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). Charges are payable to cover the cost of the DBS Enhanced Disclosure application and annual registration with the online Update Service. You don't need to apply for DBS Enhanced Disclosure before starting the course.
  • You may be required to attend an interview and/or provide a portfolio of work.
  • If English isn’t your first language, you’ll also need IELTS 6.0 with no less than 5.5 in any band (or equivalent). We also accept a range of other English language qualifications – please visit our English Language Requirements web page for more details.
  • Please note that this course is subject to the University of Bolton's Fitness to Practise procedure.

Where changes are made to material information contained in this course description or a decision is taken to suspend a course between the offer of admissions and enrolment, we will inform applicants at the earliest possible opportunity and will outline the various options available to the applicant.

Whether you are new to the field or have many years’ experience of working in the criminal justice sector, this fascinating degree offers you a wide ranging, yet detailed, view of crime and criminal justice in preparation for a career in this demanding yet rewarding sector.

On successful completion of this course you’ll have an in-depth theoretical and applied knowledge and understanding of crime and its consequences, an extensive knowledge of the criminal justice system, and a keen understanding of contemporary social issues and problems. You’ll also have a valuable range of skills and competencies specific to practice in the criminal justice sector, along with transferable skills that are attractive to employers in any sector. These include the ability to present and develop a cohesive argument, IT skills, research and problem-solving skills, communication skills and team-working skills.

We’ll encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. Professional development planning is an essential part of the course, and we’ll help you to explore potential career paths through discussion and one-to-one meetings with staff. We’ll also organise presentations from a host of different crime and criminal justice organisations, who will explain the services they provide, the careers available in their sector, and how you may be able to help them and gain valuable experience and knowledge by volunteering with their organisation.

Exploring the workings of criminal justice agencies, like the police, courts, prisons and probation service, as well as the wider roles in offender management and crime prevention being taken over by private companies and voluntary groups, will likely help you identify and focus on potential career paths. Undertaking relevant practical voluntary experience can help confirm your career choice, build your skills and enhance your employability.

What can I do with this qualification?

Our BA (Hons) Crime and Criminal Justice course has been designed to meet the needs of the criminal justice sector, which includes a wide range of public, private and not-for-profit organisations that provide crime prevention, victim support, and offender management and rehabilitation services.

As a graduate, you’ll be prepared to work for a variety of criminal justice organisations, such as the Police Service, Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service, British Transport Police, related private sector providers such as Serco and G4S, and for charities working in areas such as victim support. You may also be attracted to roles offered by security and intelligence agencies such as the Ministry of Defence, the UK Border Force, and Immigration Enforcement, or seek employment in related fields such as Trading Standards and HM Revenue and Customs.

Graduates may move on to postgraduate or professional study, such as a Master’s degree in Social Work, a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) if you wish to work as a teacher, or the LLM Common Professional Examination if you are interested in becoming a lawyer.

Alternative career options

Graduates can also use the qualification as a stepping stone to enter a range of other careers, and for some of these roles, both relevant experience and/or postgraduate study may be required. Some of these roles include:

  • Magistrate
  • Social work
  • Public health and safeguarding
  • Teaching and education
  • International aid/development
  • Mentoring
  • Health promotion
  • Behaviour management
  • Work with refugee and asylum seekers
  • Advice work
  • Community safety
  • Family support
  • Political research
  • Charity and advice work
  • Human Resources

Course fees
Home Fees Year of study Total
Entry year2024/252025/262026/272027/28
International Year of study Total
Entry year2024/252025/262026/272027/28

Important note regarding tuition fees for the 2023-2024 academic year: EU nationals who meet residency requirements (have settled or pre-settled status) may be eligible for 'Home' fee status. If you do not meet these residency requirements, overseas fees will apply. Irish citizens living in the UK or Ireland will be eligible for 'Home' fee status under the Common Travel Area arrangement. Please read the student finance for EU students web page on for information.

The fees for a student's course of study will be set for the normal duration of that course subject only to inflationary increases – measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) recorded in March each year to take effect for subsequent start dates.

For 2023-2024 entry, the maximum government approved undergraduate tuition fee for UK students is £9,250 per year. The University is able to charge this fee subject to an approved Access and Participation Plan for 2023-2024 and its current rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework.


Click here for more information about the scholarships and bursaries available to University of Bolton students.

For details of how to apply for this course, please choose your status from the options below:

Please contact Admissions by telephone on 01204 903903 or email

University of Bolton
Deane Road
Bolton, BL3 5AB
United Kingdom

Tel: 01204 903903

The University welcomes applications from international students from all over the world. We try to make the application process as simple and as fast as possible for our international applicants.

This course is not currently accepting international online applications.

Please contact Admissions by telephone on 01204 903903 or email

University of Bolton
Deane Road
Bolton, BL3 5AB
United Kingdom

Tel: 01204 903903

University of Bolton Group Partners

Bolton College
University Collegiate School
Alliance Learning
University of Bolton

For valued members of the University of Bolton Group and progressing students, we try to make our application process as simple and as fast as possible.

If you have carefully considered your course and institution choices and decided that this course is the best option for you, you may apply free of charge to the University. By selecting the appropriate link from the list shown below, you will be taken directly to our online application form. Please read the user guidance before completing this, and ensure you upload all supporting documents such as certificates and your personal statement when you apply.

When you are asked to add a contact email address, please ensure you add your college/university email account address as well as your personal address. If you do not add your college address as your contact address, we will be unable to identify you as a partner and offer you the benefits of being part of our group.

NOTE: You cannot apply both through UCAS and directly to Bolton. Submitting an application to any university through UCAS during the same academic year will void any direct application you make to Bolton.

For courses starting in September, please be aware that we are required to share your information with UCAS if we accept you on this course. We will create a simplified UCAS acceptance record on your behalf and return this to UCAS. By submitting your application directly to the University of Bolton, you agree to these terms.

If you are ready to apply directly, please select your chosen start date from the list below.

Before applying, please read the entry requirements section of this page.

If your course runs at multiple locations or has various start dates, please be sure to select the correct application link from the list below.

Before beginning your application, you should have the following information to hand:

  • Details of the educational establishments you attended and dates

  • Your certificates for the qualifications you are using to gain entry to the course – you will need to enter the completion date and upload copies

  • Details of any employment history, including name, address, dates and role

  • Personal statement – this can be either input into the relevant field or uploaded separately

  • Details including email addresses of two referees, at least one of which should be someone who can provide an academic reference

Please make sure any documents you wish to upload in support of your application are in pdf or jpeg format. Personal statements may be word documents.

Please ensure your data is correct at each stage of the application before you proceed to the next page. If you use the back button at any time during the application, you should check the validity of the data you have already inputted.

If you experience difficulties during the application process, contact the Undergraduate Admissions Team on 01204 903394 or

We look forward to receiving your application and you continuing your academic journey with us!

The School of Law at the University of Bolton is led by professionally qualified and specialist staff with a wide range of experience in practice, teaching and research. Teaching and learning on our BA (Hons) Crime and Criminal Justice course is supported by a variety of methods. You can expect lectures, seminars, workshops, practical role play and direct study.

In the majority of modules, formal lectures are used to introduce a topic, with follow-up small group seminars where you’re encouraged to explore this knowledge in greater depth. We’ll offer additional tutorials, ensuring you have space to ask questions or seek individual help. Independent learning is essential for the course and you should spend much of your time reading around and researching the topics covered in your modules.

We’ll also offer you chances to hear guest speakers from local criminal institutions and visit criminal justice agencies. Moreover, you’ll be strongly encouraged to undertake voluntary activities that support your studies and give you opportunities to gain first-hand experience and practical skills in criminal justice environments.

In terms of assessment, we aim to provide creative ways for you to demonstrate your theoretical and practical knowledge. You can expect assessments to involve exams, report writing, essays, demonstrations, and presenting evidence and practical forensic crime scene role play using appropriate technology and environments (including police crime scenes and specialist court mock-ups). Some assessments will contribute to your final module mark and allow you to demonstrate that you’ve met the learning outcomes, while others are designed to help you identify areas that need extra attention on your part, or where you need extra support from your tutors.


The modules listed below may be a mixture of compulsory and optional. You may not have the opportunity to study all the modules shown as part of the course.

  • Historical Perspectives of Criminal Justice and Academic Development
  • Introduction to Criminology and Social Policy
  • Ethics and Diversity in the Justice System
  • Group Dynamics and Team Working
  • Criminal Investigation Process: Suspect to Sentence
  • Using Research: Evidence Based Practice
  • Perspectives on Criminal Justice
  • Mental Health and Criminal Justice
  • Youth Crime and Juvenile Justice System
  • Crime and Criminal Behaviours
  • Employability and Career Development
  • Researching Criminal Justice: Project Propsal
  • Rehabilitation: Philosophies and Approaches
  • Criminal Justice: Safeguarding People at Risk
  • Honours Project
  • Practices within the Penal System
  • Gender Violence and Society
Assessment methods
LevelAssesment method
Level oneCoursework 90%, Practical exams 10%
Level twoCoursework 86%, Practical exams 14%
Level threeCoursework 100%
Learning activities
LevelLearning activity
Level oneGuided independent study 67%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 33%
Level twoGuided independent study 72%, Placement/study abroad 9%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 19%
Level threeGuided independent study 83%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 17%


The university will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver your course as described in its published material and the programme specification for the academic year in which you begin your course. The university considers changes to courses very carefully and the university will minimise any changes. Please be aware that our courses are subject to review on an ongoing basis and changes may be necessary due to legitimate staffing, financial, regulatory and academic reasons. The content of course modules and mode of associated assessments may be updated on an annual basis. This is to ensure that all modules are up-to-date and responsive to employment and sector needs. The published course material and the programme specification contain indicative ‘optional modules’ that may be subject to change due to circumstances outside of our control. For this reason, we cannot guarantee to run any specific optional module.

The academic staff detailed above teach across a range of courses in this subject area and may not teach on this course specifically.

Programme Contacts

Wendy Bateman
Programme Leader

+44 (0)1204 903679

Enquiry Team
University of Bolton

+44 (0)1204 903903

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Postgraduate Options

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Help Centre

We have the answers to your questions, find all the advice and support in one place.

Part of the University of Bolton Group

Bolton college
Alliance learning
Anderton centre2
QQA Scheme Participant