BSc Sociology and Criminology

UCAS codeLM39
Duration3 Years
Typical offerAAB-ABB; IB: 34-32
  • Law
  • Sociology
LocationTaught in Exeter Streatham (Exeter)


By studying Sociology and Criminology, you will investigate the causes of criminal behaviour as well as its consequences for victims and for society as a whole. You’ll pay particular attention to the role of criminal justice organisations in defining and responding to crime as a social problem.

The interdisciplinary nature of the programme will give you sociological, historical, political and psychological perspectives for understanding and responding to crime and deviance. You’ll explore theoretical, empirical and methodological issues associated with sociology and other fields of social research and develop skills in critical analysis. Optional modules will cover issues as diverse as forensic science, war crimes, ethics, addiction and human rights.

In studying Sociology you’ll develop an understanding of the contemporary world, human behaviour and the forces shaping society. You’ll examine social, political, historical, cultural and economic issues and study topics as diverse as class and social inequality, health and disability, globalisation, crime, countercultures, family life, gender and the development of cities.

Our Sociology modules are specially designed to help you develop an understanding of how societies, institutions and practices came into being, how they work and might change in the future. This highly relevant discipline is particularly concerned with social transformation and in developing an insight into the major challenges facing contemporary society.

Programme variations

Programme structure

The modules we outline here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.

The BSc Sociology and Criminology degree programme is made up of compulsory (core) and optional modules, which are worth 15 or 30 credits each. Full-time undergraduate students need to complete modules worth a total of 120 credits each year.

Depending on your programme you can take up to 30 credits each year in another subject, for instance a language or business module, to develop career-related skills or just widen your intellectual horizons.

Please note that modules offered are subject to change, depending on staff availability, timetabling, and demand.

Year 1

The first year gives you a foundational knowledge of sociological and criminological theory and concepts. You will also gain important analytical techniques that will be useful across a range of subjects and research tasks.

Compulsory modules

SOC1004Introduction to Social Data15
SOC1019Contemporary Society-Themes and Perspectives15
SOC1020Contemporary Society-Fields and Case Studies15
SOC1037Introduction to Social Analysis: Classical Social Theory15
SOC1038Introduction to Social Analysis: Contemporary Social Theory15
SOC1039Social Issues Part 1 - Introducing Crime and Deviance 15
SOC1040Social Issues: Part II - Themes in Criminology 15

Optional modules

You may elect to take a maximum of 15 credit options outside of Sociology, for example to develop skills attractive to employers such as language proficiency; to examine an issue you’ve covered in one of your Sociology modules from a different disciplinary perspective; or to widen your horizons and challenge yourself intellectually.

SOC1003Imagining Social Worlds: Texts15
SOC1004Introduction to Social Data15
SOC1008Imagining Social Worlds: Artefacts15
SOC1019Contemporary Society: Themes and Perspectives15
SOC1020Contemporary Society: Fields and Case Studies15
SOC1028Media and Society15
SOC1036Foucault-Discipline and Punish15
SOC1037Introduction to Social Analysis: Classical Social Theory0
SOC1038Introduction to Social Analysis: Contemporary Social Theory0
SOC1039Social Issues: Part I - Introducing Crime and Deviance15
SOC1040Social Issues: Part II - Themes in Criminology15
SOC1041Data Analysis in Social Science15
SOC1045Introduction to Criminal Justice15

Year 2

In the second year you will advance your grasp of sociological and criminological knowledge and methods through a set of compulsory modules. Optional modules enable you to develop specialist knowledge on a range of topics.

Compulsory modules

SOC2004Into the Field 15
SOC2050Knowing the Social: perception, memory and representation 15
SOC2005Theoretical Sociology 30

Optional modules

You will be able to choose 60 credits from a wide range of Sociology and Criminology options covering topics as diverse as counter cultures, health, media, forensic science, war crimes, ethics, addiction and human rights.  15 credits should come from level 2 Sociology options below and 30 credits of level 2 approved Criminology options:

SOC2016Gender and Society30
SOC2030Sociology of Art and Culture15
SOC2032Culture and Perception in Everyday Life15
SOC2035International Criminal Justice: Comparative Criminology 15
SOC2036International Criminal Justice: Application of Theory to Transnational and International Crime 15
SOC2038On Violence15
SOC2061Media in Society15
SOC2077Data Analysis in Social Science II15
SOC2078BEat: The Social Self as Consumer15
SOC2085Health, Illness and Bodies in Contemporary Society Part 1: Medicine and Social Control15
SOC2086Addiction 30
SOC2087Disability and Society 30
SOC2088Health, Illness and Bodies in Contemporary Society: Part 2: Bodies in Society15
SOC2091Immigration in Western Societies15
SOC2092Introduction to Terrorism Studies15
SOC2094Data Analysis in Social Science III15
SOC2096Cyborg Studies 15
SOC2097Environment and Society 15
SOC2098Sociology of Imprisonment15
SOC2102Education and Society15
SOC2107Culture and Wellbeing15
SOC2039Sociology of Family and Gender15
SOC2101Police and Policing15
SOC2109Philosophy with Children15

Year 2 Criminology optional modules

HIH2203ACrime and Society in England, 1500-180030
HIH2018AWar and Peace: Mass Violence and its aftermath in Independent Africa30
ARA2132Islamic Law and Society15
BIO2068Forensic Science30
ANT2086Addiction 30
THE2185Incarnation: topics in philosophical theology30
PHL2012Social Philosophy 15
SOC2035International Criminal Justice: Comparative Criminology 15
SOC2036International Criminal Justice: Application of Theory to Transnational and International Crime 15
POL2057Security Studies15
POL2097Behavioural Public Policy and the Nudge Agenda15
POL2099The Politics of Social Justice15
POL2061Philosophy of Law15
SOC2092Introduction to Terrorism Studies15
ANT2009Living cities: Migration, place and the politics of identities15
SOC2038On Violence15
SOC2061Media in Society15
SOC2098Sociology of Imprisonment15
SOC2101Police and Policing15

Year 3

The centre-point of the final year is the dissertation. This provides you with the opportunity to explore an area of interest and to demonstrate what you have learned over the previous years of your degree. You will also take up to three other specialist modules to create a programme of work fully reflecting your interests.

Compulsory modules

SOC3040Dissertation 30

Optional modules

You can choose 90 credits from a list of modules reflecting the research expertise of academic staff. You choose 45 credits Level 3 Sociology options and 45 credits approved Level 3 Criminology options.

Sociology Stage 3 modules

SOC3002On Violence15
SOC3016Gender and Society30
SOC3030Sociology of Art and Culture15
SOC3032Culture and Perception in Everyday Life15
SOC3034International Criminal Justice: Comparative Criminology 15
SOC3036International Criminal Justice: Application of Theory to Transnational and International Crime 15
SOC3078BEat: The Social Self as Consumer15
SOC3085Health, Illness and Bodies in Contemporary Society Part 1: Medicine and Social Control15
SOC3086Addiction 30
SOC3087Disability and Society 15
SOC3088Health, Illness and Bodies in Contemporary Society: Part 2: Bodies in Society15
SOC3091Immigration in Western Societies15
SOC3092Introduction to Terrorism Studies15
SOC3094Data Analysis in Social Science III15
SOC3096Cyborg Studies 15
SOC3097Environment and Society 15
SOC3098Sociology of Imprisonment15
SOC3102Education and Society15
SOC3106Media in Society30
SOC3107Culture and Wellbeing15
SOC3108Sociology of Family and Gender15
SOC3101Police and Policing15

Criminology approved Stage 3 modules

ANT3086Addiction 30
THE3185Incarnation: topics in philosophical theology30
PHL2012Social Philosophy 15
SOC3034International Criminal Justice: Comparative Criminology 15
SOC3036International Criminal Justice: Application of Theory to Transnational and International Crime 15
POL3061Philosophy of Law15
POL3193Women in the Criminal Justice System: Law, Policy and Institutions15
SOC3092Introduction to Terrorism Studies30
ANT3004Living cities: Migration, place and the politics of identities15
SOC3095On Violence30
SOC3002On Violence15
SOC3106Media in Society30
SOC3098Sociology of Imprisonment15

Entry requirements 2018

Typical offer

AAB-ABB; IB: 34-32

Additional selection criteria

We are looking for well-qualified students with a genuine interest in and enthusiasm for the subject.

We receive a large number of applications from well-qualified applicants and may not be able to make offers to all those applicants who have achieved or are predicted to achieve grades in line with the typical offer shown above.

In addition to the specific requirements listed above, we look for excellent A level* results/predictions and we may also take into account results up to and including GCSEs* and AS Levels* as part of our holistic assessment of an application.

*Equivalent qualifications will be considered. For more information about our equivalencies for specific qualifications please contact our Admissions Office.

Programmes with Study Abroad

Entry for programmes ‘with Study Abroad’ is offered on the basis that you will spend your time abroad at an institution where the teaching and examining is delivered in English. However, we also have partners that teach in French, Spanish and German. Should you wish to study at one of these institutions you will need to take modules through the Foreign Language Centre up to ‘Advanced’ standard in the appropriate language. In order to reach this standard before the year abroad, students usually need to have entered the University with the equivalent of a good GCSE or AS level (or higher) in that language.

International students

International students should check details of our English language requirements and may be interested in our Foundation programmes.

Further information

Please read the important information about our Typical offer.

For full and up-to-date information on applying to Exeter and entry requirements, including requirements for other types of qualification, please see the Applying section.

Learning and teaching

You’ll learn through lectures, seminars and practical exercises, with an increasing emphasis on seminar discussion and project work in the second and third years. You should expect around 10 contact hours per week in Year 1 and will need to plan additional hours of private study per module. Your total workload should average about 40 hours per week during term time.

Regular tutorials will give you the opportunity to discuss oral and written assignments with your tutor, together with a small group of other students. These personal contacts are very important in developing staff-student relations and for getting to know your fellow students. Our programmes help to develop skills and understanding so that you can take increasing responsibility for your learning in more specialised seminar-based modules.

We’re actively engaged in introducing new methods of learning and teaching, including increasing use of interactive computer-based approaches to learning through our virtual learning environment where the details of all modules are stored in an easily navigable website. You can access detailed information about modules and learning outcomes and interact through activities such as the discussion forums.

You’ll have the opportunity to work closely with academic staff who are at the cutting edge of research and academic debate and you’ll benefit from an innovative curriculum inspired by leading research.

A Personal Tutor will be assigned to you to give advice and guide you through your studies. The Student-Staff Liaison Committee gives you the chance to discuss and review the degree programmes, including existing and planned module content, through regular meetings with departmental staff.

Our undergraduates have established a popular Sociology Society which meets several times a year and organises a seminar series with members of staff to provide an arena outside the formal teaching structure in which staff and students can discuss sociological issues.


You must pass your first year assessment in order to progress to the second year, but the results do not count towards your degree classification. For three-year programmes, the assessments in the second and third years contribute to your final degree classification. 

Assessment includes formal exams and assessed coursework, including essays and projects as well as practical assignments and field work notebooks. Formal exams contribute about 40 per cent of your overall assessment.

Study abroad

A full year abroad, at one of our partner institutions, is generally taken in the third year of a four year degree programme. You can apply directly for the four-year 'with Study Abroad' programme, or transfer from another programme once you are at the University of Exeter. An opportunity to study for one semester at an overseas partner institution may also be available. More details about study abroad options and destinations can be found on the College of Social Sciences and International Studies study abroad web pages.


Our programmes not only give you an understanding of your subjects but also give you an excellent all round education. You will learn to understand other people's points of view, communicate your own position clearly and argue effectively. You will also learn to collect, assess and present evidence and to work independently and in groups.

You will learn transferrable skills suitable for a wide range of careers such as social research, marketing, media and culture, human resources management, teaching, management, development work, social work, and working for the military and emergency services.

Developing your skills and career prospects

We provide a range of support to help you develop skills attractive to employers. As a student within the College of Social Sciences and International Studies, you will be able to access a range of specific activities such as careers skills sessions and employer-led events, or seek bespoke advice and support from our College Employability Officer. The University of Exeter's Employability and Graduate Development Service also organises a busy schedule of activities including careers fairs, skills workshops, and training events, and can advise on graduate opportunities and volunteering. Visit our employability web page for more information.

You have the option to undertake a work placement through the Learning from Work Experience in Social Sciences module (SSI2001).

You will be encouraged to research and reflect on a range of work-related questions such as the nature of an organisation and your role within it, employment practices including induction, health and safety procedures, self-appraisal and continuing professional development.

By practising specific skills for employment, including the writing of CVs, application forms and supporting statements, you will become better prepared for the world of work beyond university.

Contact us

Streatham Campus, Exeter

WebEnquire online
Phone: +44 (0)1392 723192

Website: Visit the Sociology website