Course information

UCAS code


Entry requirements

A-level: BBB
IB: 33 points overall with Three HL subjects at 655


3 years full-time



Course overview

Explore the nature of crime, why people are seen and labelled as criminal, and investigate the subject from a critical and sociological perspective.

We live in a complex, global, mobile and technologically sophisticated world, divided by inequality. How might we best investigate and understand crime and criminality?

Why study BA Criminology at Goldsmiths?

Explore the social and cultural construction of crime and criminality within a stimulating and dynamic sociology department.

You will be encouraged to challenge common sense assumptions about the nature of crime and criminality. You will be faced with questions about the form of crime now in a global context, and you will look at how ideas of crime and punishment – not only in legal texts, but also in novels, art, television police series and films – have changed over the last two hundred years. You will be invited to think about contemporary forms of policing in the context of ideas about human rights, and you will think about how notions of evidence in a criminal justice system have changed over the course of the modern period.

The programme is taught by experts in the social sciences, but also includes sessions with those involved with and who have experience of criminal justice.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact the Admissions Tutor, Dr Brett St Louis

What you'll study

What you study

This programme will allow you to consider the subject of criminology from a sociological perspective. You will study:

  • the history and development of criminology as a discipline
  • how our knowledge of crime and criminality is refracted through culture and how the media represent crime, law and social order
  • forms of government of crime and the policing of individuals, populations and territories
  • technologies of forensic policing, surveillance and security
  • crime as a global phenomenon and its policing in the context of global inequality, the movement of peoples, international trade, human rights and state violence
  • practical cases and stories from people working in and with experience of the criminal justice system
  • research methods for the empirical investigation of sociological and criminological topics

Our intention is that you consider the problem of crime from a critical perspective in the context of modern forms of power. You will develop a practical, but conceptually sophisticated, set of skills that will equip you for a range of careers in the sector and beyond.

Year 1 (credit level 4)

You take four core modules in the first year:

Year 1 core modules Module title Credits
  Policing the Nation State 30 credits
  Criminological Imaginations I 30 credits
  Modern Knowledge, Modern Power 30 credits
  Researching Society and Culture 1 15 credits

Year 2 (credit level 5)

You take these core modules:

Year 2 core modules Module title Credits
  The Making of the Modern World 15 credits
  Criminological Imaginations II 30 credits
  Researching Society and Culture 2 30 credits
  Criminal Justice in Context 15 credits
  Crimes Against Humanity 15 credits

You also choose one option module. Those available recently have included:

Year 2 option modules Module title Credits
  Sex, Drugs & Technology 15 credits
  Leisure, Culture and Society 15 credits
  Space, Place & Power 15 credits
  Art and Society 15 credits
  Organisations and Society 15 credits
  Culture, Representation and Difference 15 credits
  London 15 credits
  Marxism 15 credits
  The Body: Social Theory and Social Practice 15 credits
  Social Change and Political Action 15 credits
  Globalisation, Crime and Justice 15 credits
  Migration in Context 15 credits

Year 3 (credit level 6)

You take two compulsory modules:

Year 3 compulsory modules Module title Credits
  Contemporary Issues in Criminology 30 credits
  Dissertation 30 credits

You also choose option modules to the value of 60 credits. Modules recently available have included:

Year 3 option modules Module title Credits
  Race, Racism and Social Theory 15 credits
  Global Development and Underdevelopment 15 credits
  Sociology of Visuality 15 credits
  Childhood Matters: Society, Theory and Culture 15 credits
  Making Data Matter 15 credits
  Sociologies of Emerging Worlds 15 credits
  Privacy, Surveillance and Security 15 credits
  Philosophy, Politics and Alterity 15 credits
  Medicine, Culture and Critique 15 credits

Teaching style

This programme is mainly taught through scheduled learning - a mixture of lectures, seminars and workshops. You’ll also be expected to undertake a significant amount of independent study. This includes carrying out required and additional reading, preparing topics for discussion, and producing essays or project work.

The following information gives an indication of the typical proportions of learning and teaching for each year of this programme*:

  • Year 1 - 13% scheduled learning, 87% independent learning
  • Year 2 - 13% scheduled learning, 87% independent learning
  • Year 3 - 11% scheduled learning, 89% independent learning

How you’ll be assessed

You’ll be assessed by a variety of methods, depending on your module choices. These include coursework, examinations, group work and projects.

The following information gives an indication of how you can typically expect to be assessed on each year of this programme*:

  • Year 1 - 50% coursework, 50% written exam
  • Year 2 - 75% coursework, 25% written exam, 4% practical
  • Year 3 - 75% coursework, 25% written exam

*Please note that these are averages are based on enrolments for 2016/17. Each student’s time in teaching, learning and assessment activities will differ based on individual module choices.

Credits and levels of learning

An undergraduate honours degree is made up of 360 credits – 120 at Level 4, 120 at Level 5 and 120 at Level 6. If you are a full-time student, you will usually take Level 4 modules in the first year, Level 5 in the second, and Level 6 modules in your final year. A standard module is worth 30 credits. Some programmes also contain 15-credit half modules or can be made up of higher-value parts, such as a dissertation or a Major Project.

Download the programme specification, for the 2018-19 intake. If you would like an earlier version of the programme specification, please contact the Quality Office.

Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.

Entry requirements

We accept the following qualifications:

A-level: BBB
International Baccalaureate: 33 points overall with Three HL subjects at 655
Access: Pass with 45 Level 3 credits including 30 Distinctions and a number of merits/passes in subject-specific modules
Scottish qualifications: BBBBC (Higher) or BBC (Advanced Higher)
European Baccalaureate: 75%
Irish Leaving Certificate: H2 H2 H2 H2

We also accept a wide range of international qualifications. Find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world.

If English isn’t your first language, you will need an IELTS score of 6.0 with a 6.0 in writing and no element lower than 5.5 to study this programme. If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for degree-level study.

Fees & funding


Many of the areas you study in this degree are at the forefront of their discipline, and are taught by nationally and internationally recognised experts.

Staff who contribute to this programme include:

Dr Brian Alleyne

Professor Les Back

Dr Michaela Benson

Dr Abby Day

Dr Yasmin Gunaratnam

Dr David Hirsh

Dr Vik Loveday

Dhiraj Murthy

Dr Pam Odih

Dr Nirmal Puwar

Dr Alex Rhys-Taylor

Dr Alison Rooke

Dr Brett St Louis



This degree will help you develop a practical, but conceptually sophisticated, set of skills that will equip you for a range of careers. These skills include: 

  • Critical and analytical thinking
  • Awareness of social, political and cultural processes
  • Awareness of 'difference'
  • Communication skills
  • Thinking creatively



Sociologists enter careers that centre on the challenges and demands that members of a society face. This could be jobs in social services, education, criminal justice, welfare services, government, the voluntary sector, management, the creative industries, marketing and policy.

Sociology graduates at Goldsmiths go into a range of fields including:

  • Research in local government and the voluntary sector
  • Community work
  • Teaching
  • Women's rights


Students who achieve the best results during their undergraduate course may also get the chance to go on to postgraduate research for a higher degree with the aim of making a career in higher education either as a lecturer combining teaching with research or as a specialist researcher.

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths as well as specific Sociology employability. You can also find out more about the career paths open to you after graduation in our Sociology careers pages.