Program Overview

The Bachelor of Criminal Justice (BCJ) is the first degree of its kind in Aotearoa, combining multidisciplinary academic study with a strong vocational focus.

Criminal Justice studies take a 360-degree look at the criminal justice system and its processes, including governance, enforcement, rehabilitation, and improvement. The degree draws together UC’s expertise in criminology, sociology, developmental and behavioural psychology, policing, criminal law and procedure, and human services.

  • Strong links with employers in the crime and justice fields gives you the chance to work closely with current policies and legislation.
  • Enjoy learning from courses across criminology, sociology, developmental and behavioural psychology, criminal law and procedure, policing, and human services.
  • Join student club CRIMSOC and meet like-minded students dedicated to Criminal Justice.

ChristchurchNew Zealand

  Course Duration

36 Months

  Tuition Fee

NZ$ 32,150



Book your study abroad counselling today !
By submitting you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy.

The Bachelor of Criminal Justice requires 360 points:

  • 255 or 270 points of compulsory courses (depending on courses chosen at second year)
  • at least 90 points from a prescribed list of courses
  • 15 points from the Bachelor of Criminal Justice or from other degrees.
  • A minimum of 135 points must be from courses above 100-level, with at least 90 points at 300-level.

The degree takes 3 years of full-time study, or can be studied part-time for up to 10 years.

First year

In the first year all courses are compulsory, to a total of 120 points (with another 15 points of 100-level compulsory courses usually taken in the second year).

Second year

In the second year you will take either 75 or 90 compulsory 200-level points. The difference in points depends on whether you take CRJU202 Criminal Law and Procedure (15 points) or LAWS202 Criminal Law (30 points). The remaining 15 or 30 points at 200-level will be selected from the prescribed list of courses.

Third year

At third year there are 45 points of compulsory courses, with a choice of 60 points at 200 and 300-level from the prescribed list. A final 15-point course at 200 or 300-level can also be completed from the list, or from courses in any other degree at UC.

Double degrees

It is possible to combine a Bachelor of Criminal Justice degree with other degrees, such as the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Laws, or Bachelor of Science.

The BCJ is a multidisciplinary degree that includes study across different subject areas and options to select topics of interest, including criminal behaviour, rehabilitation, human ethics, and many more.

See ‘How do I plan my degree?’ above for an example degree structure diagram.

Compulsory courses

Year 1


  • CRJU101 Introduction to Criminal Justice
  • CRJU150 Legal Method in the Criminal Justice Context
  • CRJU160 Legal Issues in the New Zealand Criminal Justice System
  • HSRV103 Violence in Society
  • HSRV104 Youth Realities
  • PSYC105 Introductory Psychology – Brain, Behaviour and Cognition
  • PSYC106 Introductory Psychology – Social, Personality and Developmental
  • MAOR108 Te Patu a Maui: The Treaty of Waitangi - Facing and Overcoming Colonisation OR MAOR165 Tuakiri: Culture and Identity
  • If enrolled in the double degree BCJ and Bachelor of Laws, LAWS101 Legal System: Legal Method and Institutions is taken instead of CRJU150 and CRJU160.

Year 2

  • HSRV210 Gender, Crime and Social Theory
  • MAOR219 Te Tiriti: The Treaty of Waitangi
  • SOCI293 The History of Gangs in New Zealand
  • PHIL139 Ethics, Politics and Justice
  • CRJU201 Crime and Justice OR SOCI218 Crime and Justice
  • CRJU202 Criminal Law and Procedure OR if enrolled in the double degree BCJ and Bachelor of Laws and admitted to second year Law, LAW202 Criminal Law

Year 3

  • CRJU301 Sentencing Theory and Practice OR LAWS366 Sentencing Theory and Practice
  • CRJU302 Prisons and Corrections OR SOCI358 Prisons and Corrections
  • Optional courses
  • Complete at least 90 points from this list of course options. At least 45 points must be at 300-level.
  • One other 15-point course at 200-level or 300-level can also be chosen from the list, or can be chosen from courses from any other UC degree.

These courses are completed during the second and third years of study.

The BCJ does not require a background in any specific subject at secondary school and is open to anyone with entry to the University.




Academic with an average score of 6.0, with a minimum of 5.5 in reading, writing, listening and speaking


Total minimum score of 80, with at least 19 in reading, writing and listening. Please note UC only accepts TOEFL iBT scores from a single test date, not MyBest scores.


With a minimum score of 550 and TWE with a minimum score of 4.5


Level 2 with a minimum C+ grade


minimum score of 169 with at least 162 in reading, writing, listening and speaking

Pearson Test of English (Academic)

PTE with an overall score of 46 and no PTE communicative skills score below 36


Level 4 - Academic endorsement


 Overall mark of 8/10 with nothing less than a 7 being scored in a single category.


B2 Communicator (LRWS) overall with High Pass


English New Zealand Accredited Pathway Assessment Level 2 (with no skill lower than Level 1)


This is an indicative fee - total tuition fee will be dependent on your course selection (banded) - $ 32,150

  • Practical experience examining our justice system and identifying opportunities for reform.
  • Opportunity to increase your skills while working.
  • Graduates work in probation and parole, forensics, public and private investigation and security, social work, criminal justice policy, the police, and more.
Book your study abroad counselling today !
By submitting you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy.