At the heart of criminology are three questions: what is crime? What is justice? What is punishment?
At Reading, you’ll learn how crime is defined by law, in public opinion and by powerful groups, and uncover the impact of crime on individuals, communities and societies. You’ll discuss why particular types of social problems are seen as criminal whereas others – such as environmental degradation or tax evasion – do not.
Criminology is a meeting point of many disciplines, including sociology, social policy, law, and philosophy, and covers an extremely wide range of issues, including:
rule-making and rule-breaking
rationales for punishment
explanations for offending.
Learn from criminology experts
Our academics contribute to global and UK policy development, and law and criminal justice reforms through their work with governments and regulatory agencies such as the Law Commission and the United Nations.
You’ll benefit from the research and teaching expertise of the School of Law, where 99% of our research is of international standing (Research Excellence Framework 2021, combining 4*, 3* and 2* submissions – Law).
Our contacts in the field of criminal justice and other relevant organisations help students gain practical experience through volunteering opportunities, placements and work experience. You can also participate in the School of Law’s popular mock trials, known as moots.
The study of criminology will prepare you for a diverse range of careers, such as in government and the Civil Service, criminal justice, social and charity work, non-governmental organisations, think tanks, and investigative journalism. Your law modules will also equip you for work or further study in the legal sector.