We’re looking forward to welcoming you to the School of Law, Criminology & Policing. Before you join us to study BA (Hons) Criminology, we’ve gathered together a range of course related activities to help you feel prepared for your university studies. These include suggested reading, useful websites and some great things to do right now. Read on to find out more.
You’ll be given lots of information about which textbooks to read and introduced to the University Library, as well as the many ebooks we have for you to access, when you begin your studies in September.
In the meantime, there’s one text book you might like to read before starting your degree if you can. We don’t recommend rushing out to buy texts before you arrive. But if you can pick this up second hand, borrow from a library or access online, we suggest the following:
- Newburn, T (2017) Criminology, 3rd Edition, Routledge
During your first week, you’ll be provided with electronic copies of the academic programme handbook and an administrative rules and procedures handbook. The contents of each will be explained during your first formal introductory sessions. You’ll also be required to attend a range of introductory sessions where tutors and other staff members will provide you with guidance on how to access and use our virtual learning platform, Blackboard, our library, and the roles of various colleagues in the School and Departments, such as your personal tutor.
You’ll also be provided with a handbook for each individual module that will include details of the aims and outcomes for each module. These will include details of the teaching and learning methods, assessment methods and weightings, assessment criteria, details on coursework submission and feedback dates and procedures, extension procedures, module attendance requirements and details of the title and contents of your weekly module lectures and weekly seminar/workshop tasks and the supporting reading for each topic comprehensive reading list of key texts.
- British Society of Criminology Blog. Explores current issues on crime, criminology and criminal justice
- Serial. A true crime podcast series which delves into a new true crime story in each episode
- They Walk Among Us. An award-winning weekly UK true crime podcast covering a broad range of cases, produced in partnership with the Law & Crime Podcast network
- UK True Crime Podcast. Posts weekly episodes, offering new perspectives and insights on true crime stories in the UK
- University of Oxford Centre for Criminology. Hosts a series of criminology podcasts and blogs discussing a wide-range of issues in criminology and criminal justice
Things to do over summer
Here are some suggestions about what it would be good for you to do before you formally begin your studies. These are just suggestions and you won’t be examined on these. But learning is something that doesn’t just take place in formal settings. In fact, most of what you learn at university should be from what you read, listen to, and watch by yourself.
Especially, but not only, documentaries. Some are more easily available than others and some you’d have to pay for. We’d recommend, for example:
This is an excellent Netflix film about how the mass incarceration of Black people in the United States has come about historically and how it mirrors the slavery of the nineteenth century. Brilliant. The Dirty Money series on Netflix is also very good on aspects of crimes of the powerful.
- The House I Live In.
This is a powerful documentary by Eugene Jarecki about the failure of the ‘war on drugs’. It argues that the war on drugs has led to massive harm in the United States and globally.
- Before the Flood, An Inconvenient Truth, Our Planet and A Plastic Ocean
All really interesting and powerful films about environmental crisis. Of course there is also a wealth of documentary material now emerging about the pandemic. It has been argued for some time now that disruption of natural environments and closer proximity of humans and non-human species has elevated the potential for these pandemics. It’s how Ebola, Sars and coronavirus pandemics each originated. This isn’t new. Human diseases have long emerged from such inter-species interaction (the smallpox that nearly wiped out indigenous Americans for example was originally transferred from animals to humans in Europe – by the time Europeans invaded the Americas they had developed immunity,. But the native population hadn’t). But the ever greater pressure that humans put on the environment for land, the greater the danger.
- Capitalism a Love Story, Inside Job and Too Big to Fail.
These are all worth watching to develop an understanding of the financial crisis of 2008 – the response to which included tripling your tuition fees. Again, most of what happened was attributable to legal practices and values. A number of criminologists / zemiologists would argue that such destruction should not have been permitted to happen. It is interesting that many of the top people who pursued policies that led to the crisis have seen their careers rise, rather than fall.
- Auschwitz, Nazis and the Final Solution and Nazis: A Warning from History
These are both very good documentary series you should be able to find online.
- The Corporation
An online documentary that was released alongside a very good book of the same name by Joel Bakan. They both examine how the normal structure and legal status of corporations have led to massive harms. Free online.
- The War You Don’t See
By John Pilger. This is available free on his website johnpilger.com. It is a searing indictment of lying and deceit by government and media that manufactured public consent for the Iraq war.
- Fourteen Days in May
A harrowing fly on the wall documentary about an American prisoner on Death Row. Brilliant and agonising. Don’t watch it alone.
As a Criminology student, you’ll need to have a good knowledge and understanding of current events (at home and abroad) so getting into the habit of paying attention to news and political events will certainly help you with your studies.
- Get into the habit of reading a good quality, broadsheet newspaper on a daily basis; The Guardian is a good choice. The ‘i’ newspaper is a cheap and effective way of getting across current events.
- Listen to news programmes on radio and television, especially the extended news programmes which provide more analysis, such as Newsnight and Channel 4 News
- Watch good quality documentaries (such as Dispatches or Unreported World).
It might be worth seeing of you can borrow or get access to some zemiological or related material. Look up the titles below online and see which of them interests you. Don’t spend much money – try and get them through your library if you can. If not, borrow them once you get here. Textbooks are not included here. You can read those when you arrive. Don’t spoil your summer.
- Crimes of the Powerful: A Reader by Vicky Cooper and Dave Whyte
- The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Color-blindness by Michelle Alexander
- Ignorance, Power and Harm: Agnotology and the Criminological Imagination by Alana Barton and Howard Davis
- This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs the Climate by Naomi Klein
- Criminal Records:The Use and Abuse of Music by Eleanor Peters
- Inequality and the 1% or Peak Inequality by Danny Dorling
- Austerity: The History of a Dangerous Idea by Mark Blyth.
But if you really want to look at general textbooks before you arrive, these two are good:
- Croall H (2011) Crime and Society in Britain, 2nd Ed, Pearson
- Muncie J & McLaughlin E (2013) Sage Dictionary of Criminology, 3rd Ed, Sage
As you watch or read, ask yourselves these questions:
- What are the harms that are being described? How are people or planet adversely effected?
- Can I identify anything that might be considered to be causal factors in creating this harm?
- Do these harms arise because of deviance? Or conformity and obedience?
Join our community
Follow our School and our student societies on social media so that you can start connecting with your colleagues and chat to current students about their experiences.
Connect with us on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is the largest professional networking site with over 610 million members worldwide. It’s very useful for networking and securing opportunities.
Find advice on creating a LinkedIn profile.
Once you have created your profile, join our School group and connect with your lecturers and your colleagues, along with employers as you progress through your degree so that you gradually build your network.
Think of the future
Beginning your degree is the first step on your career journey and it is never too early to start thinking about your future career. Within our School we have a dedicated careers advisor – Emma Bonati – who is on hand to help you with all things career related. Emma and the Careers Team can assist with matters such as: developing a CV, writing a job application, securing part-time work etc.
Before you join us in September, start to get familiar with the Edge Hill Careers Team. You can also follow them on socials for regular updates: @ehucareers
Volunteering is a valuable way to not only achieve personal development but also to build transferable and specific skills sought by employers. Find more advice on volunteering.
If you’re unsure of where your degree can take you – don’t worry. Your Personal Tutor, lecturers, the Careers Team and the Work Placements Team are all here to offer advice and support to help you on your journey and throughout your studies. You’ll be invited to numerous workshops, panel events and careers fairs where you can interact with employers, build connections and learn about possible career pathways.