BA (Hons) Crime and Criminal Justice (HE6 top-up)

The University of Bolton’s BA (Hons) Crime and Criminal Justice (Top-up) degree investigates the approaches applied to crime, deviance and victimisation. Our industry experienced academic staff will support you to develop Honours-level skills in safeguarding the public, supporting victims, protecting the vulnerable, and helping to rehabilitate offenders.

Crime and Criminal Justice (HE6 top-up)

Key information


BA (Hons)

Mode of Study:



1 year


University of Bolton

UCAS code:


Start date:


Course Details

Crime is evolving. New technologies and more complex societal pressures are leading to new criminal activities. This Honours-level course is designed to educate future and present criminal justice professionals to ensure their readiness for the challenges of this changing crime environment. We’ll support you to extend your existing Level HE5 professional and academic knowledge and skills, ready to achieve the status of BA (Hons) Crime and Criminal Justice (Top-up) graduate. You can study advanced aspects of this fascinating field, enhance your professional skills, and boost your employability.

Focusing on areas of contemporary importance, including trafficking, sexual exploitation, gender violence, practices in the penal system, and philosophies and approaches to offender rehabilitation, we’ll guide you as you build your knowledge of the theoretical concepts and models that underpin research, policy and practice in criminal justice.

We’ll invite you to investigate the interrelationships between the individual, social, legal and political forces that shape both crime and how it is controlled. You’ll also explore the role of research and critical thought in producing new knowledge, applying existing knowledge in innovative ways, and driving evidence-based practice.

  • 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).
  • Our academic staff come from a diverse range of professional criminal justice backgrounds. They’ll support you to develop and enhance relevant competencies in evidence-based practice and apply them to your chosen area of criminal justice.
  • 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.
  • The course covers two of the four knowledge modules required by the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) as prerequisites for Probation Officer training. If you have not yet completed the other two required areas of knowledge, it may be possible to complete these are stand-alone professional development modules here at the University of Bolton. We’ll also encourage you to gain the relevant experience necessary, and can advise and support you as you approach potential placement providers.
  • We’ll work to help you to develop the high-level skills in research and critical thinking that successful and ambitious professionals use in the analysis of situations, construction and defence of persuasive arguments, production of high quality management reports, and in their application of evidence-based practice.
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.

  • Normally, you’ll have successfully completed a recognised criminal justice, crime or criminology-related qualification comprising at least 120 credits at HE4 and 120 credits at HE5. For example, you might have a Foundation Degree, Higher National Diploma (HND) or Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE) in a subject such as Police Studies, Public Services, Sociology, or Psychology & Criminology. If you have a relevant professional qualification and/or substantial experience in a relevant field of practice, then we’ll be delighted to consider your application.
  • It’s essential that your prior experience and learning is considered when deciding on any advanced standing to which you may be entitled. This process, known as Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL), may recognise qualifications you have already gained or evidence of relevant work experience you have undertaken.
  • You may be required to attend an interview and/or provide a portfolio of work.
  • To successfully complete the course, you’ll be required to undertake voluntary work with relevant organisations, unless you’re already in professional practice. The timing and amount of voluntary activity is flexible, but as a guideline we’d expect you to undertake 4-10 hours per week. 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.
  • 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 have recently completed a HND/Foundation Degree or have many years’ experience of working in the criminal justice sector, this fascinating degree offers to extend your already significant knowledge of crime and criminal justice ready to enhance your career opportunities 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 and plan for your future. 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.

Completing your Honours-level studies should prove valuable in helping you achieve your career goals.

What can I do with this qualification?

Our BA (Hons) Crime and Criminal Justice (Top-up) 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 year2021/222022/23
International Year of study Total
Entry year2021/222022/23

Important note regarding tuition fees for the 2021-2022 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 eligibility 2021-2022 policy 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 2021-2022 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 2021-2022 and its current rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework.


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

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

September start

Please apply through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) for September entry.

The online application form and guidance notes are available on the UCAS website.

You can apply for up to 5 courses through UCAS (at the same or different institutions) for a fee of £24. Alternatively, if you only wish to apply for a single course at a single institution then a reduced applicant's fee of £13 is applicable.

You will need the following information to complete your UCAS application form:

  • Institution Code Name: BOLTN

  • Institution Code Number: B44

UCAS - Universities and Colleges Admissions Service

Tel: 0870 1122211

January and other start dates

Applications for start dates other than September are made directly to the university via our online application process. Please click on your preferred start date below.

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.

How you apply is determined by your current location and what you are choosing to study:

  1. Apply direct to the University. Links for the next available intakes of this course are shown below. Please click the link which will direct you to the online application form. Please read the user guidance before completing this.
  2. Apply via one of our approved in-country referral partners. A list of our partners may be found on the International pages of this website.
  3. Apply via UCAS for courses starting in September only – visit

Should you have any queries please contact the International Team on +44 (0) 1204 903110 or email

University of Bolton Group Partners

Bolton College
University Technical College
University of Bolton

The University welcomes applications from our group partners and progressing students so we try to make our application process as simple and as fast as possible. By selecting the link for your chosen course 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.

Please ensure when you are asked to add a contact email address 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 you will be referred to apply via UCAS, which incurs a cost.

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. 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 report writing, essays, demonstrations, and presenting evidence. An essential element of assessment at Honours level is your dissertation – an in-depth research report that allows you to showcase your critical understanding of theoretical models and contemporary literature relevant to a specific area of thought or practice. Overall, 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.

  • 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 100%
Learning activities
LevelLearning activity
Level oneGuided 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

PGCE M Post Graduate Certificate in Education M 14+

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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
RiSE pos rgb logo
TEF Silver QQA Scheme Participant