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Overview

The UWS BA Criminal Justice is the only degree of its kind in Scotland. It prepares you for employment in: 

  • the police and prison services 
  • criminal courts and the fiscal service 
  • the third sector criminal justice services 
  • restorative justice and mediation 
  • community safety 
  • working with offenders, victims and witnesses and general administration and management. 

 

Crime and its understanding are important high-profile issues in modern societies. 

In this degree, you will study: 

  • Criminal Justice Theory 
  • Criminal Justice Research 
  • Criminal Justice Policy 
  • Criminal Justice Processes and Institutions 

 

The course will focus not only on Scotland, but the United Kingdom, Europe and beyond. You will also acquire a range of key transferable critical, analytical and evaluative skills. 

Entry Requirements

What qualifications do you need? 

We welcome Scottish, UK and international students and consider all applicants on an individual basis.
 
Don’t worry if your qualifications are not listed here, we take a range of factors into account when assessing your application and are happy to consider other alternative combinations of qualifications and experience.
 
If you are applying with an EU or non-EU qualification, please check our Undergraduate Entry Requirements page which gives more information about country-specific entry requirements.

Year 1

  • Scottish Highers: BBBC or 102 UCAS Tariff points 
  • A levels: CCC or 96 UCAS Tariff points 
  • Irish Leaving Certificate: H3 H3 H3 H4
  • International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma: 24 points (4, 4, at HL) 
  • Scottish Wider Access Programme: Access to Humanities BBB with Higher English or Comm4 and Literature 1
  • SQA HNC / BTEC Level 4 HNC: Social Sciences or Social Studies or Legal Studies

Year 2

  • SQA HNC / BTEC Level 4 HNC / CertHE: Social Sciences or Social Studies or Legal Services with Criminology & Policing
  • SQA HND / BTEC Level 5 HND: Social Sciences or Social Studies or another relevant discipline

Year 3

  • SQA HND / BTEC Level 5 HND: Social Sciences or Social Studies (with a B in the Graded Unit)

English Language Requirements

English language requirements for most courses

For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level. The qualifications below must have been gained within two years of the start of your course.

General English language requirements at UWS: International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training)

  • overall score 6.0
  • no sub-test less than 5.5

Common equivalent English language qualifications

All stated English tests are acceptable for admission for both home/EU and international students for this programme:

  • CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): 176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
  • CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English): 176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
  • Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English: ISEII with the minimum of a Pass in all sub-tests

 

IELTS Score Exceptions (DBA, Certificate of Higher Education, PhD, etc.)

For our research degrees (MRes, MPhil, PhD, DBA, DProf), applicants are required to have an IELTS score as follows:

  • overall score of 6.5
  • no sub-test less than 6.0


For Health, Nursing & Midwifery courses that lead to professional registration with the Nursing & Midwifery Council, applicants are required to have an IELTS score as follows:

  • overall score of 7.0
  • no sub-test less than 7.0


For our Certificate of Higher Education courses, applicants are required to have an IELTS score as follows:

  • overall score of 5.0
  • no sub-test less than 4.5

 

Pre-sessional courses

Applicants who do not meet the minimum English language requirements have the option to study one of our preparatory and pre-sessional English courses. The UWS courses available are:

  • 10 week pre-sessional - entry criteria UKVI IELTS 5.0 with no element below 4.5.
  • 5 week pre-sessional - entry criteria UKVI IELTS 5.5 with no element below 5.5.
  • English Language for University Study - entry criteria UKVI IELTS with score of 4.0 in all elements (10 month course), or 4.5 with no score below 4.0 (7 month course).

Course details

Develop expertise across criminal justice theory, research and policy. 

The BA (Hons) Criminal Justice  is a full-time programme and you will study the concepts, theories, structures, organisations, processes and practices involved with the prevention, investigation and prosecution of crime, the workings of the criminal law and criminal court system and the treatment of offenders. 

Guest speakers also form part of the programme to further deepen your understanding of the subject. The programme recently ran a Criminal Justice Employment Information Day which was attended by the Scottish Prison Service, Police Scotland, SACRO, Victim Support and Turning Point Scotland.

Year 1

Year 1 you will be introduced to the historical, legal and philosophical context of criminal justice.

Year 2

Year 2 you will deepen your understanding of the theoretical debates within criminal justice and learn more about the research process. 

Year 3

Year 3 you will develop an applied and critical approach to criminal justice issues, such as prisons, policing and youth justice. Some students will have the opportunity to focus their studies in the area of Policing.

Year 4

Year 4 (Honours) you will carry out a research dissertation on a criminal justice topic (or policing topic for students on the bracketed award), as well as deepening your knowledge of contemporary issues and debates through specialist optional modules.

Course Structure

Find out more about the structure, learning outcomes, compulsory and optional modules in this course.

Course Structure (17/18)

Career prospects

Jobs

This degree, the only one of its kind in Scotland, will prepare you for employment in the police and prison services, criminal courts and the fiscal, third sector criminal justice services and in roles such as general administration and management. 

Graduates will also find opportunities in restorative justice and mediation, community safety and working with offenders, victims and witnesses.

Undergraduate Tuition Fees 2017/2018

Scottish campuses non-lab-based 2017/18

Scottish & EU

£1,820 per year of study

English, Northern Irish & Welsh

£9,250 per year of study

Channel Islands & Isle of Man

£9,250 per year of study

International (Non-EU)

£12,300 per year of study

More on current & future tuition fees

Additional Costs & Sources of Funding

The cost of attending university is an investment in your future career.
 
In addition to tuition fees and living expenses, some courses involve extra costs like study materials, field trips, equipment and uniforms.
 
Fortunately, there is a great deal of financial support available to help students meet the cost of their study. This ranges from:

  • statutory government loans to pay for tuition fees
  • scholarships for Scottish, EU and International (non-EU) students
  • bursaries to help towards living expenses

 
The sections below provide details of additional costs that your course may involve along with any financial support that may be available.
 
You can also find additional information in our Undergraduate Money, Fees & Funding section.

Additional Costs

Students on certain degrees will incur some additional costs not covered by their tuition fees. These could be for things like specialist equipment, study materials, work placements, graduation, membership of relevant organisations or costs related to carrying out fieldwork.

For students on course with an element of fieldwork, there may also be extra costs for travel and accommodation.

Please contact the course leader for details of the additional costs associated with this course.

Tuition Fees & Living Cost Support

Tuition Fees & Additional Costs

Tuition fees are calculated based on where you are from and what you are studying. Some courses also involve additional costs, such as mandatory field trips, equipment or studying abroad.

Find out how much it will cost you to study at UWS as an undergraduate student.

Funding for Scottish Students

Scottish students studying at undergraduate level at UWS are entitled to various funds and support towards tuition fees and living costs.

Find out more.

Funding for English, Welsh & Northern Irish Students

English, Welsh and Northern Irish students studying at undergraduate level at UWS are entitled to various funds and support towards tuition fees and living costs.

Find out more.

Funding for EU Students

EU students studying at undergraduate level of UWS may be eligible for SAAS funding, as well as support to meet the costs of childcare and various sources of additional funding.

Find our more.

Funding for International Students

There are several scholarship and incentive schemes available to international students studying at undergraduate level at UWS, as well as support to meet the costs of childcare and various sources of additional funding.

Find out more.

Other Financial Support

Discretionary & Childcare Funds

UWS administer a range of discretionary and childcare funds. These are designed to support students who are experiencing financial difficulty or struggling to meet the costs of childcare.

Find out more.

Benefits & Tax Credits

Becoming a student can have an impact on your entitlement to certain benefits. It may mean you are no longer eligible to claim a benefit you have been receiving, or your new income from student funding may affect the amount you are able to receive.

Find out more.

Additional Financial Support

If there isn’t a statutory source of funding for you or your course, or you are in need of additional financial support, you may wish to consider more alternative sources of funding such as trust funds and scholarships.

Find out more.

Money & Debt Advice

Choosing to become a student can have a big impact on your budget and you may need to reassess your spending to account for a reduced income. We’ve put together some guidance to help you manage your money and make the right financial choices for you and your family.

Find out more.

HOW TO APPLY

All UK and EU applicants for undergraduate study, not applying through an agent or partner, must apply through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service).

UCAS codes for UWS

  • Institution name: UWS
  • Institution code: U40

GO TO UCAS


If you are applying from a non-EU/EEA country for entry to one of our Bachelor’s degree courses in September, and have not applied already via UCAS, or have not applied to another UK university, then you may apply via our dedicated online application system.

For more information on when and how to apply to study at UWS please refer to our Undergraduate Application Guide.


An ATAS certificate is not required for overseas students applying for this course.

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Course Leader

Geraldine O’Donnell

Social Sciences

Unistats

Unistats draws together comparable information in areas students have identified as important in making decisions about what and where to study. The core information it contains is called the Key Information Set.

UWS Undergraduate students studying at Ayr Campus

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We will always try to make sure that we publish accurate course information but we do not accept responsibility for any mistakes or omissions. We will also try to make sure that we deliver our courses in line with our published information. However, we may not always be able to do so and you can find further information about this in our enrolment terms and conditions.