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Politics and Criminology BA (Hons)

UCAS code: ML90

Examine the relationship between power, crime and social and political change as you combine the study of political systems, institutions and policy-making with all aspects of crime, its causes and criminal justice.


Course length: 3 years full-time
5 years part-time
Start dates: September 2023
Location: Edge Hill University
Example offers: BBC-BBB (A Level) or DMM (BTEC) View full entry criteria
Subject(s): Politics and International RelationsCriminology
Faculty: Arts and Sciences
Department: Law, Criminology and Policing
A lecturer addresses a group of students in a classroom.

This joint honours degree enables you to explore the inextricably linked disciplines of politics and criminology. You will gain a real-life understanding of the world of politics, looking at current practice in the UK, while also focusing on developments and changes around the world, discovering why we have certain structures and organisations, how they came to be formed and how they make and communicate decisions. Criminological theory and an exploration of the criminal justice process provide the context for exploring phenomena such as social, judicial and political responses to crime, the construction of crime and social deviance in the media, as well as crimes of the powerful, the politics of imprisonment and human rights. If you want to gain a unique insight into how political processes can shape the criminal justice system and vice versa, as well as how contemporary political issues can impact crime and crime reduction, then our politics degrees are for you. You will graduate with a set of key transferable skills including the ability to conduct research, craft a message to communicate a particular point of view and analyse and understand complex information.

Course features

  • International students can apply

  • Learn a language option available

  • Sandwich year option available

  • Studying abroad option available

  • Work placement opportunity

What you'll study

In Year 1 you will explore the foundations of political analysis and immerse yourself in political systems and institutions, while also gaining an overview of international relations. You will critically examine the core ideas central to the study of politics and develop an understanding of how politics works in practice. Criminological theory and the criminal justice process will be introduced and you will examine criminology in the context of a number of case studies of significant changes in society.

Compulsory modules:

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Criminology and the Modern World
Introduction to Criminological Theory
Introduction to International Relations
Introduction to Political Concepts and Theory
Introduction to Political Systems and Institutions
Introduction to the Criminal Justice Process

Year 2 focuses on European politics and compares the governments and politics of France, Germany, Poland, Greece and Italy. You will conduct an in-depth exploration of the policymaking process and choose from topics including voting and election systems, US politics, or the politics of migration. The broad theoretical knowledge you have gained in criminology will be enhanced through an in-depth study of critical criminological theory which will be applied to a range of contexts, such as the relationship between the media and criminal activity.

Compulsory modules:

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Comparative European Politics
Crime, Law and Society
Critical Criminological Theory
Policy Making and Researching Politics

One of:

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Crime, Media and Criminology
‘Race’, Crime and Criminology
Violence and Society
Language 1

One of:

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Contemporary US Politics
Elections and Voting Systems
Political Ideologies
Preparing for Work in Politics
The Politics of Migration
Language 1

Please note, if you wish to learn a language as integrated study in Year 2 of this degree, you can choose the Language 1 module instead of either a Politics or Criminology optional module. This means you would study one Politics option and the language module, or one Criminology option and the language module.

In Year 3 you will study political communication and have the opportunity to undertake a work placement in a political or politically-related field, produce some independent research, and focus on topics such as advanced parliamentary studies, political activism and the role of think tanks. Contemporary criminological themes, reflecting on varied subjects from crimes of the powerful to the politics of policing, imprisonment and human rights, bring further depth and specialism to your knowledge and skills. You will also have the opportunity to analyse the relationship between crime and place and reflect upon the discipline of criminology as a whole.

Compulsory modules:

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Politics Dissertation
Strategic Political Communications
The Politics of Policing
The Politics of Imprisonment

One of:

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Criminology and Philosophy
Crime and Place
Crimes of the Powerful 1
Crimes of the Powerful 2
Expanding the Criminological Imagination
Language 2

One of:

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A Is For Activism
Advanced Parliamentary Studies
Guns and Government: The Politics of Northern Ireland
Politics Work Placement
The Think Tank
Language 2

Please note, if you wish to learn a language as integrated study in Year 3 of this degree, you can choose the Language 2 module instead of either a Politics or Criminology optional module. This means you would study one Politics option and the language module, or one Criminology option and the language module.

Optional modules provide an element of choice within the course curriculum. The availability of optional modules may vary from year to year and will be subject to minimum student numbers being achieved. This means that the availability of specific optional modules cannot be guaranteed. Optional module selection may also be affected by timetabling requirements. Some restrictions on optional module choice or combinations of optional modules may apply.

How you'll study

The course includes a combination of lectures, tutorials, seminars and practical workshops. There will also be opportunities to participate in field trips, for example to the Scottish Parliament.

Timetables for your first week are normally available at the end of August prior to enrolment in September. You can expect to receive your timetable for the rest of the academic year during your first week. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week. Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities.

How you'll be assessed

Politics modules will be assessed through a combination of essays, reports, debates, presentations and practical work.

Most Criminology modules are assessed through a combination of coursework but other methods include presentations, article reviews, examinations, case studies and personal research.

Who will be teaching you

The programme is taught by academic experts and active practitioners in politics and criminology. The current research interests and specialisms of the programme team include political history, political communication, the politics of migration, voting and electoral systems, violence and terrorism, crimes of the powerful, the politics of policing and imprisonment, human rights and social justice, as well as the criminological imagination.

The programme team actively participate in debates and interviews in the media. The course also makes use of visiting speakers such as politicians and those working in politics.

Entry criteria

Entry requirements

Typical offer 112-120 UCAS Tariff points. No specific subjects are required.

Example offers

Qualification Requirement
A Level BBC-BBB.
BTEC Extended Diploma (or combination of BTEC QCF qualifications) Distinction, Merit, Merit (DMM).
T Level Overall grade of Merit.
International Baccalaureate (IB) We are happy to accept IB qualifications which achieve the required number of UCAS Tariff points.
Access to Higher Education Diploma 45 credits at Level 3, for example 15 credits at Distinction and 30 credits at Merit or 24 credits at Distinction and 21 credits at Merit. The required total can be attained from various credit combinations.

Please note, the above examples may differ from actual offers made. A combination of A Level and BTEC awards may also be accepted.

If you have a minimum of two A Levels (or equivalent), there is no maximum number of qualifications that we will accept UCAS points from. This includes additional qualifications such as Extended Project Qualification (EPQ), AS Levels that haven't been continued to A Level, and General Studies AS or A Level awards.

English language requirements

International students require IELTS 6.0, with a score no lower than 5.5 in each individual component, or an equivalent English language qualification.

If your current level of English is half a band, one band, or one-and-a-half bands lower, either overall or in one or two elements, you may want to consider our Pre-Sessional English course.

How to apply

Apply full-time

Apply online through UCAS

Read our guide to applying through UCAS to find out more about the application process.

Apply part-time

Apply directly to Edge Hill University

Complete our online application form if you want to study this course on a part-time basis.


Apply as an international student

Please see our international student pages for further information about how to apply as a prospective international student.

Should you accept an offer of a place to study with us and formally enrol as a student, you will be subject to the provisions of the regulations, rules, codes, conditions and policies which apply to our students. These are available at

Did you know?

If you join a full time undergraduate degree at Edge Hill University, we will guarantee you the offer of a room in our halls of residence for the first year of your course.

Discover our accommodation


An outside image of the law and psychology buildingThe £6million Law and Psychology building provides contemporary teaching and learning facilities for students in the School of Law, Criminology and Policing and the Department of Psychology.

The three-storey building includes a 250-seat lecture theatre, seminar and tutorial rooms, and social learning areas which encourage a more informal and interactive style of learning.

Where you'll study

Law and Psychology


Tuition fees

UK Full-Time


a year

UK Part-Time

£77 per credit

for 360 credits



a year

The UK tuition fee rate is subject to final Government approval for academic year 2023/24 entry. The University may administer a small inflationary rise in tuition fees, in line with Government policy, in subsequent academic years as you progress through the course.

EU/EEA and Swiss students who have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, as well as Irish nationals, may be eligible for the UK tuition fee rate.

Financial support

Subject to eligibility, UK students joining this course can apply for a Tuition Fee Loan from the Government to cover the full cost of tuition fees. UK students enrolling on the course may also be eligible to apply for additional funding to help with living costs.

Please view the relevant Money Matters guide for comprehensive information about the financial support available to eligible UK students.

EU/EEA and Swiss students who have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme may be eligible to apply for financial support. Irish nationals can ordinarily apply to Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI). If you are an EU student who does not have settled or pre-settled status, or are an international student from a non-EU country, please see our international student finance pages.

Your future career

Typical careers for politics graduates include working as a parliamentary researcher or caseworker, local government officer or think tank researcher. Many politics graduates also pursue careers working in journalism, public relations, public affairs, the civil service, voluntary sector or teaching (further training required).

Criminology graduates are well placed to pursue a career in social work, probation, youth justice, youth and community work, law and research, the police, prison service, criminal justice agencies, welfare rights, care and resettlement of offenders, civil liberties and outreach work with vulnerable groups.

Alternatively, you may wish to progress onto postgraduate study.

Course changes

Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this information, however our courses are subject to ongoing review and development. Changing circumstances may necessitate alteration to, or the cancellation of, courses.

Changes may be necessary to comply with the requirements of professional bodies, revisions to subject benchmarks statements, to keep courses updated and contemporary, or as a result of student feedback. We reserve the right to make variations if we consider such action to be necessary or in the best interests of students.

Track changes to this course

Download our course leaflet