BA (Hons) Sociology with Criminology

  • UCAS
  • Entry requirements
    A-level: BBB
    IB: 33 points overall with Three HL subjects at 655
  • Length
    3 years full time
  • Department

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

Modules & structure

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. 

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:


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

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:

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.

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:

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


Assessment consists of coursework, extended essays, reports, presentations, practice based projects or essays/logs, group projects, reflective essays, and seen and unseen written examinations.

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. 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

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

Equivalent qualifications
We accept a wide range of qualifications equivalent to the ones listed above. This includes:

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

If your qualifications are from another country, find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world

English language requirements
If English isn’t your first language, you’ll need to meet our English language requirements to study with us. 

For this programme we require:

IELTS 6.0 with a 6.0 in writing and no element lower than 5.5

If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for degree-level study.

Read more about our general entrance requirements


Sociology at Goldsmiths is ranked:
1st in London* 6th in the UK and 37th in the world**
9th in the UK for the quality of our research**


The Department of Sociology at Goldsmiths is active, contemporary and inventive. We are interested in everything from the ‘global’ issues of poverty and injustice to the ‘micro’ issues of cultural identity and the presentation of self in a digital world.

Our staff are some of the top academics in the world for this discipline – they’re the pioneers who are pushing boundaries and challenging the status quo. They’ve played a key role in developing social research methods, setting agendas in social and cultural policy, and linking theory to practice.

Through their world-leading research you’ll be at the forefront of current debates and will be encouraged to see the world differently.

Find out more about the Department of Sociology.

*Guardian University Guide League Tables 2017
**QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017
***Research Excellence Framework 2014, Times Higher Education research intensity subject rankings


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

Learning & teaching

On this degree you'll attend lecturesseminarsworkshops and tutorials where you'll hear about ideas and concepts related to specific topics, and where you'll be encouraged to discuss and debate the issues raised. This will enhance your academic knowledge of the subject, and will improve your communication skills.

But this is just a small proportion of what we expect you to do on the degree. For each hour of taught learning in lectures and seminars, we expect you to complete another 5-6 hours of independent study. This typically involves carrying out required and additional reading, preparing topics for discussion, or producing essays or project work.

This emphasis on independent learning is very important at Goldsmiths. We don't just want you to accept what we tell you without question. We want you to be inspired to read more, to develop your own ideas, and to find the evidence that will back them up. Independent study requires excellent motivation and time management skills. These skills will stay with you for life, and are the kind of transferable skills that are highly sought after by employers. 

Learning and teaching on this degree will take place through:

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Workshops
  • Tutorials
  • Independent learning
  • Presentations
  • Assessments

Find out more about these learning and teaching approaches

Skills & careers

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.

Fees & funding

Related content links

University statistics for this course