Skip to main content

Undergraduate Criminology

The BA Criminology degree programme involves studying crime, deviance and criminal justice in relation to wider society and focuses on both national and international topics. There is a strong emphasis on contemporary issues, such as youth justice and cybercrime, as well as on providing students with an understanding of theories of crime and justice.

We encourage students to take a questioning approach to these issues. Criminology is strongly engaged with the real world and criminologists contribute to shaping the knowledge and practice of criminal justice agencies and relevant voluntary organisations, as well as to criminal justice policy. Criminology at Durham involves considering urgent and important questions such as ‘what should count as a crime?’, and ‘how those convicted of crimes should be punished?’

In studying Criminology, you will acquire a wider range of transferable skills that are crucial for broader personal and professional development. These skills include the capacity to assemble and evaluate evidence, to think quickly and to write efficiently, and to construct persuasive arguments. Studying at Durham also enables you to work with recognised international and national experts within specific fields of Criminology.

It is also possible to study Criminology as part of the BA Combined Honours in Social Sciences

University student
The Criminology programme included an option to participate in the “Inside-Out Programme”, a third-year module that encourages collaborative learning within a safe environment, between the students at Durham and individuals incarcerated in local prisons. I wrote my dissertation on the challenges of employment that individuals experience, following incarceration within a women’s prison and was overwhelmed by the support offered to me to research a project that I felt so passionate about.

Ruth McMullan
Criminology Graduate 2020
University student
Criminology is a people-oriented course; it encourages students to consider the issues affecting society and communities and studying minorities and marginalised groups and challenging and breaking social stereotypes. The staff are amazing! They are knowledgeable and very experienced. With their support I gained a placement in the Centre for Change, Durham Drug and Alcohol Recovery Centre, which has motivated me to explore further drug-related issues and social services at postgraduate level.

Shujing Shi
Criminology Graduate 2020
University student
Studying criminology at Durham has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. The department is dedicated to pushing you to your best and does so in supportive and approachable ways. The criminology programme has greatly broadened my academic interests and has challenged me to critically analyse social structures and constructs. A particular highlight was studying criminal justice collaboratively with incarcerated individuals in the Inside Out programme. I will never forget this!

Jack Simmonds
Criminology Graduate 2020
University student
I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience studying Criminology at Durham. I particularly appreciated the amount of real-life context given to our studies, through engagement with the local police, prisons and court, and interaction with local and national criminal justice groups. The staff go above and beyond, and take a real interest in our studies. I feel lucky to have been taught by world-leading experts in their field in particular within the Centre for Research into Violence and Abuse

Chelsea Lowdon
Criminology Graduate 2020
University student
My experience within the Department of Sociology has exceeded all expectations! The Criminology programme is stimulating, topical and enriching. The Department of Sociology at Durham stands out because it is made up of truly inspiring people that make it their goal to help you fulfil your potential and succeed. Their constant dedication to us students is impressive. They inspire us students to work hard and be passionate about what we do. I’m so grateful!

Giulia Ferranti
Criminology Graduate 2020