BA(Hons) Criminology and Law with Foundation Year

University Of East London

Program Overview

Criminology and Law are a perfect fit, combining a social science approach to crime with an understanding of core legal principles and institutions.


You'll learn about the causes and consequences of crime through a study of the current theories, issues and debates, backed by an understanding of the criminal justice system and its institutions and roles such as the police, courts, prisons and probation service.


And you'll explore the inter-relationships between the law, individuals and society, studying how the law fits into the social, political and cultural context of the society we live in.


You should note that this very popular course does not provide exemption from the academic stage of qualifying as a solicitor or barrister. Please see our LLB (Hons) Law with Criminology if this interests you.


The Level 3 course prepares students for successful transition to a wide range of honours degree courses in the complementary subject areas in the Law  and Criminology department within the Royal Docks School of Business and Law, including: 

  • LLB (Hons) Law
  • LLB (Hons) Law with Criminology 
  • LLB (Hons) Law with International Relations
  • LLB (Hons) Business Law 
  • BA (Hons) Criminology and Law 

LondonUnited Kingdom

  Course Duration

48 Months

  Tuition Fee

£ 13,740


IELTS: 5.5

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Foundation Year



Mental Wealth: Introduction to Legal Method


The module aims to introduce you to learning and studying in Higher Education, and to develop the skills needed for the successful study of law.


Introduction to Key Legal Concepts


The main aim of this module is to explain to you the key legal concepts and principles within the area of law.


Legal Communications


To provide you with the ability to effectively analyse legal materials and to construct legal arguments. To allow you to develop legal analysis and techniques necessary for the successful study of law.


Introduction to Digital Sociology


This module introduces you to Digital Sociology by exploring what it means to be a sociologist in the rapidly developing technological world. It will also introduce you to digital social research methods, asking what issues there are for social researchers in a digital society; what new material is available to social researchers; how social scientists can harness the new tools available to them and how they can navigate through this space in a secure, mindful and ethical way? 


Crime, Surveillance and Society

Globalisation and Society

Year 1


Mental Wealth: Introduction to Professional Studies


The aim of this module is to provide you with the skills and the ability to reflect on your learning alongside an understanding of the requirements for the successful study of law.


Introduction to Crime and Punishment

This module will introduce students to the key thinking and research, historically and presently, about the causes and consequences of crime on society. It will also examine and explore many of the key issues that face us when trying to understand how best to deal with those who commit crime. It will consider crime as a social construction, the construction of victims and perpetrators, and the ways in which crimes of the powerful are overlooked by focusing on working class groups. It will explore the relationship between the media and police and the ways in which they impact on meanings and perceptions of crime and criminals.


Legal Skills


The main aims of this module are twofold: to gain an understanding of the institutions and processes of the English legal system. Also, to provide you with the ability to effectively analyse legal materials and to allow the development of legal analysis skills and techniques.


Applied Criminology (Term 1)


The purpose of this module is to develop in the student general and subject specific core skills and knowledge appropriate to a criminology and criminal justice graduate. In the first instance, the module aims to encourage students to identify how criminology and criminal justice theory and research is applied in professional settings, and to identify the skills and attributes needed for successful professional practice. The Skills are explicit and are developed within the context of current professional practice in the criminology and criminal justice field. Students will have the opportunity to identify the skills they need and to record and evidence skills and knowledge acquisition through a supported Personal Development Planning process.


Criminal Justice Process (Term 2)


This module aims to provide essential knowledge and analysis of the criminal justice process and acts as a foundation for the other courses on the Criminology and Criminal Justice degree. You will be introduced to recent developments in criminal justice policy in relation to adult offenders and encouraged to engage critically in current debates.


Public Law


You will examine the core constitutional arrangements in the United Kingdom. You will explore the principles of constitutionalism and the role of the law in the regulation of government through an investigation of the structures of Government, the rule of law, the impact of Europe, the role of judicial review and human rights. You will also consider the relationship between citizens and the State with particular attention to constitutional reform.


Year 2


Mental Wealth: The Legal Professional


The aim of this module is to equip you with the understanding and knowledge of the requirements to become an effective legal professional.


Criminal Law


This module introduces you to the general principles of criminal law and the essential elements of criminal liability in England & Wales. You will learn how to work with criminal rules through the study of some key offence and defence definitions. You will also acquire the practical skills necessary to apply the criminal law and to evaluate its scope. Criminal law is a core module if you are on the LLB Law programmes.


Public Law II: Human Rights Proceedings

This module aims to provide a substantial introduction to the concepts of human rights and equality and their relevance to domestic law. It will explore the theory of rights and an understanding of human rights following the incorporation of certain Articles of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) by the Human Rights Act 1998. You will undertake a detailed examination of the provisions of the 1998 Act and attendant case law of both the domestic courts and the European Court of Human Rights. 


Crime and Social History


The primary aim will be to introduce students to the understanding of crime through the study of social history, focusing in particular on the emergence and growth of the modern 'crimino-legal complex'. Students will be made aware that throughout history the explanation of  'crime' and the concept of  'the criminal' has been constructed, and this construction is intimately connected to changes in philosophical and social ideas, and, economic and political forces. More specifically the course aims to introduce students from diverse disciplinary backgrounds to the benefits of thinking of crime in the context of social history. This will involve looking at philosophy, social theory and cultural studies as well as criminology. Students will finish the course with a clear understanding of the importance of social history for the discipline of criminology, as well as a command of key theoretical concepts such as modernity and for postmodernity.


Crime Policy into Practice (Term 2)


This module will firstly outline some of the key sociological theories of crime and deviance in post-modern society and the socio-cultural and political economic contexts in which they have emerged. It will then move on to examine and discuss the complex processes at play within contemporary society – driven by the media and the police – that has resulted in the trend toward the increasing criminalisation of social policy. In particular, it will explore the public anxieties and media fixations upon perceived social problems that soon become law and order problems, whereby the behaviour of large segments of the population (non –compliant individuals) is increasingly monitored and regulated by criminal or civil sanctions. Furthermore, the module will go on to detail the vast array of influences that impact on and inform crime policy as well as focusing on the ‘politics’ of justice practice: law enforcement, prisons and imprisonment, and offender management.


Policing and Society: Critical Perspectives


The module assists students to develop engagement with ideas beyond police investigation and operations by considering the wider social context of contemporary policing. Recent developments and current debates on police and policing are explored in relation to the demands created by modern diverse communities, seeking to help students develop independent thinking on the social consent given to the police role in dealing with crime as part of a criminal justice system.



Optional placement


This course offers the opportunity of year-long placement between years two and three. If you choose to take this option, you’ll spend your third year on a placement with a relevant company or organisation, adding valuable practical experience to your growing academic knowledge. 


The extra placement year means it will take four years to complete your studies, instead of three.


Year 3


Leadership Skills for Justice (MW) (Term 2)


This module provides you with the opportunity to build on Developing Skills for Justice and Essential Skills for Justice at Levels 4 and 5. You will develop core employability skills and acquire tangible evidence to support your employability narrative at interviews. You will develop and demonstrate skills in


  • he analysis of a problem
  • planning and organising a task/project, including time management
  • exercising judgement in the light of observed and published data
  • compiling a report,
  • teamwork and collaboration and
  • use of appropriate technologies.



Mental Wealth: Professional Standards & Ethics


The module aims to develop your understanding of the philosophical and jurisprudential relationship(s)between ethics, morality and the law; the values underpinning the legal system; and the regulation of the legal profession, via the legal ethics codes. This module is an introductory study of the professional and wider social duties lawyers owe to the Courts, their clients and the wider public.The aim of the module is to stimulate you to reflect upon the nature of legal ethics and to play an active role in the formation of your own professional ethics. This is achieved by equipping you with the introductory knowledge and understanding of what it means for lawyers to ‘behave ethically.’ By the end of this module, you will be able to recognise, debate and resolve ethical dilemmas, and demonstrate an awareness of potential ethical issues arising in a legal context.


Clinical Legal Education


This module will develop your practical legal skills and knowledge, as well as preparing you for the workplace, and/or any legal vocational courses.  As part of this module, you will undertake simulated activities to mirror what happens in practice, such as client interviews, advising clients, and drafting legal documents.  You will engage in the Law Clinic’s Information Leaflet project, and draft your own leaflets on topical legal issues, with a view to publishing these for the local community. You will gain knowledge of how a typical law practice runs. Finally, this module will provide you with an opportunity to gain invaluable experiential, reflective and ethical learning, as recommended by the relevant professional statutory regulatory bodies for the legal profession.


Company Law


To provide you with an in-depth and, on some aspects, a critical understanding of some of the major topics in Company Law; to develop an ability to analyse problems of some complexity and to apply principles to their solution.


Family Law


This module will provide you with a thorough knowledge and understanding of family law. This will be done through an examination of the law and the socio-legal and debates in and around the family.


Client Practice


This is a practical course that introduces you to a range of procedural and practical issues dealt with by lawyers. It includes examination of some of the more specialist areas of professional advisory work. The module aims to equip you with the necessary skills for effective practice in the selected areas. This module develops a wide range of range of skills and is particularly useful for those of you wishing to go into practice as lawyers or paralegals but the skills developed are highly transferable and will be very useful and attractive in a wide range of careers. This module may be taken with Civil & Criminal Litigation by students wishing to obtain the National Association of Licensed Paralegal's Higher Diploma in Paralegal Practice (available only to LLB students).


Civil & Criminal Litigation


This is a practical course that introduces you to a range of procedural and practical issues dealt with by lawyers. It includes examination of some of the more specialist areas of professional advisory work. We equip you with the necessary skills for effective practice in the selected areas. We develop a wide range of range of skills and this is particularly useful for you if you wish to go into practice as lawyers or paralegals, but the skills developed are highly transferable and will be very useful and attractive in a wide range of careers. This module may also be taken with Client Practice by those of you wishing to complete the National Association of Licensed Paralegal's Higher Diploma in Paralegal Practice (available to LLB students only).




This module will develop your knowledge and practical skills in the law of evidence. The main focus in this module will be on ‘criminal’ evidence. As part of this module, you will undertake practical drafting activities through the submission of (practice)skeleton arguments on the various substantive areas of law covered in this module. In addition, you will engage in advocacy training with a view to presenting your legal submissions at a hearing before a jury trial takes place, for example, to argue about the admissibility of evidence. The hearing on the voir dire, or ‘trial within a trial’, is the procedure whereby the court determines disputed preliminary facts. As a result, this module will enable you to develop the skills to effectively argue (both in writing and verbally) in a formal court setting. For students wishing to qualify for the Nigerian Bar course, this module must be taken in combination with Commercial Law.


Commercial Law


To provide you with a critical understanding of the types of commercial transactions and of their regulation by law; the nature of personal property and its transfer; Agency in commercial transactions.


Banking Law


This module will introduce you to the regulatory and private law aspects of banks and banking including both commercial banks and investment banks, as well as financial conglomerates (or complex groups) made up of banking, securities and insurance firms. Banks are among the most important financial institutions within any economy, nationally and internationally. This module examines basic aspects of law concerning the structure, operation and function of banks. The module is also taught on a comparative basis with reference to significant international standards as well as European and other national country models including in frontier markets in Africa and Asia. It is as such, not an exclusively UK module.


Consumer Law


Consumer Law builds on your knowledge of contract and tort law by considering the way the civil law operates to protect the consumer of goods and services. The focus is on everyday consumer problems,including faulty goods, disastrous holidays, mis-selling, and unsafe goods. You will examine rights and remedies provided by extensive case law and modern legislation together with enforcement methods such as the small claims court, ombudsmen schemes and arbitration. A practical approach is adopted throughout so you will develop the knowledge and skills required to advise and represent a client in a typical consumer dispute.


Employment Law


This course will examine the nature and detail of current individual employment law, set within an historical, political and economic context. The course is intended to give you a sound practical and theoretical grasp of the key issues and concepts in British and European employment law.


Corporate Governance & Ethics

  • To investigate the origins of modern corporations.
  • To establish your knowledge and critical understanding of contemporary economic globalisation, examining the most relevant issues related to trade, investment, and migration.
  • To establish your knowledge and critical understanding of the basic financial crime offences and examine the most relevant legal issues related to the perpetration of fraudulent and corrupt practices within the corporate world.
  • To introduce you to ethics, analysing some of the questions raised in moral philosophy and discuss the potential relationship between law, morality, and religion.
  • To examine the most relevant ethical issues from a perspective that is both internal and external to business.
  • To understand the concept of corporate social responsibility and distinguish between voluntary and legally binding corporate social responsibility solutions.

Human Rights & Equality


This module aims to further examine the law in the area of equality and human rights. You will explore the debates and complexities around the concepts of equality and human rights through an analysis of legal frameworks and comparative materials.


Law & Medical Ethics


The module allows you to analyse familiar principles of law, such as tort and crime, as they apply in a new and specific area, that of medical law and to develop your knowledge of legal and ethical issues arising out of medicine and health care. It will also give many your first taste of philosophy and ethics.


Sports Law


The module is designed to examine the impact of law on sports by a study of the legal regulation of sport and of legal aspects of sport as a commercial and cultural phenomenon. You are expected to engage in a critical analysis of legal issues raised.


Criminology Project


The purpose of the Project option is to offer you a space in which you may initiate and follow an in-depth academic inquiry, without a structured programme. If you enjoy thinking and working on your own and writing/rewriting essays this is suitable for you. You will have the opportunity to develop organisational and research skills by undertaking a piece of work of your own choice, which must be organised, researched and completed as a written project. You also need to be able to work well with a supervisor (a member of the Law School staff).


Psychological Criminology (Term 2)

The aim of this module is to provide you with an introduction to the developing relationship between psychology and criminology. You will combine the study and practice of forensic psychology and criminology, particularly in relation to police and court systems. You will be encouraged to critically appraise the relevance and efficacy of psychological and forensic studies of crime.


Cybercrime (Term 1)


The module aims to:


  • provide you with a critical introduction to the concept of cybercrime; · examine the impact of cybercrime on contemporary society, including a focus on key areas such as financial cybercrime, online abuse and hate, cyber terrorism;
  • provide you with the knowledge, understanding and skills to critically engage with debates and research about cybercrime, cyber-deviance , freedom and privacy;
  • provide you with the the skills to design and undertake a small research project in the cyber area

Race, Ethnicity, Crime and Justice (Term 1)


The module will aim to introduce students to the main theoretical discourses and empirical research pertaining to the bitterly contested and politically charged ‘race and crime’ debate. This module will explore from a historical perspective the social, economic and political forces that have: i) led to the widespread stereotyping and criminalisation of the black Caribbean community within the popular media and the academy ii) resulted in higher incidences of victimisation amongst black and Asian groups as a result of racist violence, and institutional racism as manifested throughout the criminal justice process. The module will initially outline and deconstruct those key theories pertaining to race – and the itinerant themes of racist thinking that were so central to the British imperial and colonial project – and ethnicity before going onto to examine the impact of post Second World War black and Asian settlement within Britain upon the race and crime debate. Whilst this module will look to explore issues of racism, ethnicity, crime and justice largely within the English context, where relevant the course will also look to draw upon the extensive American derived literature concerning the race and crime debate.


Youth Crime, Gangs and Sub-culture


The module will aim to introduce you to the main theoretical discourses and empirical research – both historically and within contemporary context – pertaining to the understanding of:


  • the diverse cultural formations adopted by young people 
  • subcultural (and post-subcultural) theories of youth culture with regards to explanations of crime and deviance 
  • youth transitions, social exclusion and crime 
  • of media representations of ‘deviant’ youth cultures / styles, and 
  • the contested notion of the emergence of violent street gangs in England’s urban centres.

Work-based learning (Term 1 and 2)


In keeping with the growing importance of flexible work-based learning, this module offers you the opportunity to develop transferable and lifelong learning skills by providing the opportunity for you to design your learning independently to suit your needs around work. Working with an allocated tutor, you will plan, negotiate and manage your own study. You will be able to examine appropriate learning of direct relevance and application to your workplace. The module aims to enhance organisational, personal and professional development within the work environment.


Policing and Criminal Investigation (Term 2)

The aim of this module is to enable you to develop an awareness of police investigation and to critically assess the role of the police in combating serious and organised crimes. You will look at how the police investigate and the governance and accountability arrangements that the police operate within. You will examine the policing response to murder including serial killings, child & domestic deaths, sexual offences, organised crime and an introduction to cyber-crimes. The legal constraints that the modern investigator operate within are explored along with history of investigations and how serious cases are solved. You will discuss the Police’s role within the wider Criminal Justice system.


Mentally Disordered Suspects, Defendants and Offenders


This module explores the connections between mental health, crime and justice, through a critical examination of the position of people with mental disorder and learning disabilities in the criminal justice system.


You will study issues such as the relationship between mental disorder and crime, vulnerability, deaths in custody, miscarriages of justice, indefinite detention and dangerousness; using a wide variety of sociological, policy and legal materials, including analysis of video and audio documentaries, charity and pressure group websites and blogs. You will also learn about the policy of diversion, engage in debates about whether people who commit crimes and are mentally disordered at the time can be considered criminally responsible, and whether they should be punished for their actions. We will look at arguments for preventive detention within the mental health system, forensic mental health care and High Security Hospitals.


This module will be of particular interest if you are considering a future career within the criminal justice, health and social care fields and will enable you to evidence key employability skills relevant to these sectors. You will acquire a practical understanding of the relevant legal and policy frameworks, and the rights and interests of those subject to legal control in both the mental health and criminal justice systems. You will also be able to reflect on the impact of those frameworks and engage in debate over their future reform through an understanding of competing social, legal and scientific theories about the relationship between mental disorder and criminality.

English Language requirements

Overall Academic IELTS 6.0 with a minimum of 6.0 in Writing and Speaking; minimum 5.5 in Reading and Listening (or recognised equivalent).

If you do not meet the academic English language requirements for your course, you may be eligible to enrol onto a pre-sessional English programme. The length of the course will depend on your current level of English and the requirements for your degree programme. 

International Fees Full time, 3/4 years
£13,740 Per year

UEL Criminology and Law graduates have found work in a wide variety of roles, with some pursuing a career in related fields while others have used the transferable skills they learned to pursue other opportunities.


The course has a strong focus on preparing for employment, with a specific employability module in year two geared towards providing you with the best advice on preparing for the job market and applying for jobs.


Whether you decide to pursue a directly relevant career or not, you’ll learn skills that appeal to employers in any sector, including writing and presenting, the ability to make a case, meet deadlines and work independently.


Students have found jobs in a number of related areas, such as:


  •  The police, prison and probation services
  • Central and local government
  •  Social work
  • Voluntary organisations and charities.


Our graduates have also found roles in other fields, such as market research, journalism, teaching and other public-sector roles, or gone on to postgraduate study.


To enhance your career prospects, we run a dedicated employability programme for students in the School of Business and Law. Called 'Employ', it includes employability workshops, skills training sessions, guest speaker events, voluntary work, student ambassador roles and work experience opportunities.

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