Criminology and American Studies (4 years)

Study mode:On campus Study type:Full-time Languages: English
Local:$ 9 k / Year(s) Foreign:$ 12 k / Year(s) Deadline: Jan 15, 2024
301–350 place StudyQA ranking:4047 Duration:48 months

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BA Criminology and American (United States) Studies offers you academic concentrations in criminology provided by our Department of Sociology (which was ranked first in the UK in the last Research Assessment Exercise in December 2008) with other American studies options. You also spend a year abroad, studying at a university in the United States.

This course gives you an excellent understanding of the global patterns increasingly found in criminal justice policies and criminal offences. We take a social view of crime, a view which links crime to issues of power, resources, rights, (in)equality, governance and culture. This leads us to ask, for example, why certain groups of people are more likely than others to become offenders, why certain kinds of offenders are more likely than others to be caught, how some governments commit state crime and why so many people are simultaneously fearful of, yet fascinated by, crime.

As a first-year student, you take three compulsory modules: Introduction to Crime, Law and Society, Introduction to the United States and Sociology and the Modern World. There are a range of optional modules and you would normally spend your third year at a US university with the possibility of completing an internship in a criminal justice agency. In your second and fourth years, you take a combination of criminology, US studies and other modules.

We teach through large-group lectures and smaller-group seminars and classes. You can contribute in many ways, for example, by analysing set readings, giving presentations or completing research tasks. Some modules have their own websites where you can download powerpoints and podcasts, and contribute to online discussions. One module - Crime, Policy and Social Justice requires you to undertake consultancy-style evaluations of real-world criminal justice practice.

A criminology-linked qualification with a comparative element can lead to a career in the criminal justice system or in other areas such as project management, international policy evaluation, counselling or lobbying.

Detailed Course Facts

Application deadline January 15 Tuition fee
  • GBP 9000 Year (EEA)
  • GBP 11950 Year (Non-EEA)
Start date October 2015 Duration full-time 48 months Languages Take an IELTS test
  • English
Delivery mode On Campus Educational variant Full-time

Course Content

Our courses are characterised by choice and flexibility. Studying at Essex is about discovering yourself, so your course combines compulsory ('core') and optional modules to ensure you gain key knowledge in the discipline while having as much freedom as possible to explore your own interests. Our modules change from year to year in response to new developments and innovation, but our module directory can show you which modules are available to our current students.

Example structure

Because of our interdisciplinary approach, many of our courses offer a wide selection of available modules, often including options from departments other than your own. Your course content will therefore depend on your own unique interests, but the structure below gives an example of what’s available to you.

Year 1

  • The Enlightenment
  • Introduction to Crime, Law and Society
  • Introduction to US – Sociology
  • Introduction to US - Politics
  • Introduction to US - Literature
  • Introduction to US – History

Year 2

  • American Studies 2nd year Seminar
  • Social Entrepreneurs, Sustainability and Community Action
  • Doing Research for a BA Dissertation
  • Sociology of Crime and Control
  • Crime, Media and Culture
  • Punishment, Justice and Modernity

Year 3

Year abroad at a university in the United States

Year 4

  • American Society: Ethnic Encounters in the Making of the USA
  • Globalisation and Crime
  • The American Presidency
  • Final Year Dissertation

English Language Requirements

IELTS band : 6

To study at this university, you have to speak English. We advice you to

take an IELTS test. More About IELTS


  • A-levels: ABB-BBB, including A-level subjects which require demonstration of essay writing skills
  • GCSE English: C
  • IB: 32-30 points (we consider IB certificates at the Higher level on a case-by-case basis)
  • Achievement of the Access to HE Diploma with a minimum of 6 level three credits at distinction and the remainder at merit (or above) or achievement of the Access to HE Diploma with a minimum of 45 level three credits at merit (or above).

English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 6.0 overall with minimum 5.5 in each component (or equivalent). Different requirements apply for second year entry.

Work Experience

No work experience is required.

Related Scholarships*

  • Academic Excellence Scholarship

    "The Academic Excellence Scholarship can provide up to a 50 % reduction in tuition per semester. These scholarships will be renewed if the student maintains superior academic performance during each semester of their 3-year Bachelor programme. The scholarship will be directly applied to the student’s tuition fees."

  • Access Bursary

    Bursary for UK students all subjects where the variable tuition fee rate is payable.

  • Alumni Bursary

    Alumni Bursary for UK Undergraduate students

* The scholarships shown on this page are suggestions first and foremost. They could be offered by other organisations than University of Essex.


For up-to-date information on funding opportunities at the University of Essex please visit:

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