University of Reading cookie policy

We use cookies on to improve your experience, monitor site performance and tailor content to you

Read our cookie policy to find out how to manage your cookie settings

Your learning experience

Our teaching is research-led and relevant to contemporary issues in crime and justice. Create your own pathway to follow a particular passion or explore a broad range of socio-legal topics.

You’ll learn through lectures, small group tutorials, seminars and independent study sessions, where you'll reflect on your learning. We also host visiting speakers who are involved in the administration of justice.


Discuss the general principles and theoretical framework of a topic in large group lectures. You'll then explore the topics further through independent study.

Lectures are delivered by experts from the School and sometimes include sessions with a guest speaker.


You will attend small, informal, discussion-based tutorials. A set of questions will be shared in advance and you will be expected to prepare your answers and participate in open discussion with your peers and tutor.

You will also engage in small-group seminars. Taking place in a workshop format, you will be asked to read or watch material in advance to stimulate group dialogue.

Support and guidance

You will receive strong academic and personal support throughout your degree to help you gain the most from your university experience.

We offer an induction programme, a dedicated Student Support Adviser, an excellent academic tutor system, and an established student peer support programme.

What you'll study

Our flexible degree allows you to follow your interests while gaining an understanding of the key concepts of criminology. You’ll learn processes of criminalisation and victimisation, causes and organisation of crime, crime management and prevention, interrelationship between crime, social inequalities and rights, official and unofficial responses to crime, and media representations of crime.

Criminology modules

We offer a variety of modules, including:

  • Prisons in Crisis: address the perpetual state of crisis that marks the modern prison
  • Critical Victimology: understand the experiences of victims in the administration of criminal justice and why so many victims feel let down by their experiences of policing, courts and punishment
  • Green Criminology and Climate Justice: discuss how criminology links to the conversation around climate change and justice.

Criminology topics

Other topics you’ll cover on the course include:

  • victims and victimisation
  • criminological theory
  • dilemmas and issues in criminal justice and research
  • politics of criminal justice policies (including activism)
  • financial crime.

Tailor your studies

BSc Criminology students carry out the core curriculum in the first and second year, with module choices in the second and final year. This means you could specialise in, for example, the links between social inequalities and criminal justice through studying:

  • youth justice
  • women’s crime and justice
  • race, ethnicity and justice
  • crimes of the powerful.

You can also undertake optional modules from other departments in the University.

Links with law

If you’re looking to pursue a career on the legal side of criminology and criminal justice, some of the skills and activities for law students may interest you.

You'll have the opportunity to learn key legal skills alongside the academic skills necessary for criminology.

Criminology students can also enter mooting competitions, taking on the role of counsel in a mock legal hearing or trial.

Find out more about mooting


Our BSc Criminology course

Explore crime and criminal justice – including causes, controls, and consequences – with our new BSc Criminology degree.


Why study criminology with us?

Our cutting-edge curriculum is taught by academics with many years' experience of influencing criminal justice policies. We hold unique partnerships with numerous penal reform organisations.


Life in the School

Learn in a friendly, inclusive law school where our practice-focused approach provides you with multiple opportunities to develop both personally and professionally.