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 how societies are organised, and how people are united and divided. Within the context of modern forms of power, examine the nature of crime and criminality from a critical, sociological perspective.

We live in a complex, global, mobile and technologically sophisticated world divided by inequality. How do we make sense of modern society, and how might we investigate crime and criminality?

Why study BA Sociology with Criminology at Goldsmiths?

This degree is aimed at those who want to understand how modern societies are structured, but also for those with an interest in questions about crime and criminality. You will learn how to investigate how and why people do what they do and you will learn how social conduct is patterned and shaped.

The degree looks at how societies have changed over time, and the formation of the types of global, technologically complex societies with which we are familiar today. It is in this context that you will think about modern forms of crime and criminality.

Honorary degree for Howie Becker - the piano-playing sociologist who changed how we think about deviance

Professor Howard “Howie” Becker has been a world-renowned figure in the field of sociology for more than five decades. Now in his eighties, he continues to write, lecture, play music, and shape a new generation of scholars. On Thursday 10 September he received an Honorary Degree from Goldsmiths, University of London.

Read more about this here.

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:

  • ideas about the growth and development of the modern state
  • theories of the formation of modern society and culture
  • 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
  • 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. 

Year 1 (credit level 4)

The first year of this programme will introduce you year to sociological knowledge and training, but it will also offer an understanding of criminology in the context of the nation state.

You study four core modules:


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

Year 2 (credit level 5)

The second year will give you the chance to explore crime and criminology in a global context, considering crime and global inequality, migration, international relations and trade, and state crimes and human rights. This learning will help to frame your third-year dissertation research.

You study the following core modules:

Year 2 core modules Module title Credits
  Criminal Justice in Context 15 credits
  Crimes Against Humanity 15 credits
  Researching Society and Culture 2 30 credits
  Central Issues in Sociological Analysis 15 credits
  The Making of the Modern World 15 credits

You also choose up to 30 credits of optional modules from a range offered in the Department.

Year 3 (credit level 6)

Your final year will be a mixture of core and option modules as well as an in-depth dissertation in a subject area of your choice.

The core modules include:

Module title Credits
  Contemporary Social Theory and Society 30 credits

You study option modules to the value of 60 credits. Option modules offered recently include:

Year 3 option modules Module title Credits
  Privacy, Surveillance and Security 15 credits
  Race, Racism and Social Theory 15 credits
  Sociology of Visuality 15 credits
  Sociologies of Emerging Worlds 15 credits
  Citizenship and Human Rights 15 credits
  Global Development and Underdevelopment 15 credits
  Childhood Matters: Society, Theory and Culture 15 credits
  Migration, Gender and Social Reproduction 15 credits
  Why Music Matters for Sociology 30 credits
  Thinking Animals 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 - 25% coursework, 75% written exam
  • Year 2 - 75% coursework, 25% written exam
  • 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


The programme will provide an excellent base for careers in:

  • Civil society organisations
  • Human rights organisations
  • Policing and probation work
  • A range of research, planning and policy-oriented careers

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.


Over the last three years, some of the graduate level careers for Goldsmiths Sociology graduates have been:


  • Events co-ordinator
  • Grants officer
  • Housing and welfare officer
  • Learning support worker
  • Local Government graduate trainee
  • Marketing Manager
  • Personnel manager and officer
  • Public relations officer
  • Researcher
  • Social and youth worker
  • Sustainability officer


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.

Read more about possible career options on our Sociology careers pages and by checking out options for Sociology Employability Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths.