BA (Hons) Criminal Justice


Program Description

Our Criminal Justice degree allows you to gain a better understanding of the causes, consequences and prevention of crime from social, legal, political and personal perspectives. Through exploring criminal behaviour and how it’s controlled within society, you will gain a sound understanding of the relationship between criminal justice and social justice.

Course Overview

Arden University’s online BA (Hons) Criminal Justice programme will provide you with a detailed understanding of criminal behaviour and the justice system. Develop your understanding of the causes and consequences of crime, and the prevention methods currently in use.

Arden’s flexible study mode allows you to develop your social, psychological, and legal knowledge around your existing commitments. This programme will equip you with a sound understanding of criminal justice to help take you closer to your career goals.

The full range of programmes offered by Arden features a strong focus on employability, practical skills, and career success. This programme has been developed to help you understand crime from a variety of perspectives, and give you the skills for a career in the justice system.

Course Modules

Level 4

Skills for Interdisciplinary Study
Develop your skills as a learner, and look at problems from different perspectives. After an introduction to your online academic community and the key skills needed for the programme, you will improve the personal skills sought by employers.

Crime & Society
From the 1700s to current thinking about crime and criminal justice, this module introduces the study of criminology. This ‘rendezvous discipline’ mixes sociology, psychology, law, and political philosophy, and you will encounter theories and models relating to crime and criminal justice. This module will explore explanatory factors such as class and education and sub-branches such as victimology.

Criminal Justice System
This introduction explores the concept and consequences of the England and Wales Criminal Justice System. You’ll discuss implications of age, race, and class, alongside competing views on purposes of policing, prosecution, courts and correctional services. From property and cybercrime to modern slavery, this module tackles the complexities of criminal justice.

English Legal System
Learn the differences between case law and legislation, and analyse how Parliament and the legal system work in conjunction. You’ll also develop your legal vocabulary, in order to understand the judiciary, delegated legislation, and categories of law in England and Wales.

Criminal Law
This module explains the differences between case law and legislation and gives you the opportunity to analyse how the legal system, parliament, and the EU work together. You’ll be introduced to some necessary legal jargon to understand categories of law, the judiciary, and delegated legislation.

Inequalities in the Modern World
Explore the inequalities of society and their impact on human well-being. You’ll examine the paradox between right-wing ‘meritocracy’ theories, and how specific factors such as age, gender, and class influence health policy, workplace experiences, and educational success. This module focuses on the use of prejudice and discrimination to justify unequal treatment and provides an understanding of how these injustices marginalise and stigmatise people.

Level 5

Research and Ethics in Action
This module gives you the chance to showcase your abilities through a piece of work of your own design. You’ll determine the methodology, develop a range of skills, and consider the ethical issues of the work you are undertaking. Later, you’ll include this in a practical way as you work towards your final project.

Contemporary Debates in Criminology
Crime and justice are regularly discussed in the media. This module considers a range of current topics, from hate crime, global organised crime and terrorism, the age of criminal responsibility, and miscarriages of justice. Beneath these topics are deeper issues of social exclusion, civil liberty versus surveillance, and the integrity of police investigations.

Civil Liberties & Human Rights
This module explores human rights in greater depth, to look at the relationship between individuals and the state, which rights and freedoms we really have, and how much power the police really wield.

Environmental Criminology
Two uses of the term environmental relate to urban crime and ‘green criminology’. The first asks how globalisation, gentrification, and urban renewal affect crime rates, whilst the second looks at conservation, pollution, illegal trade in rare species, and ecological disasters.

Policing and Police Powers
The variety of police work carried out in England and Wales, including the wider implications of youth and community relationships, is the focus of this module. You’ll examine international aspects of policing, public order, recruitment, and the balance of surveillance vs civil liberties.

Abnormality & The Deviant Other
You will learn about two opposing schools of sociological theory; do we unconsciously conform to social norms, or can we think independently and challenge the system? You’ll look at definitions of abnormal, deviant, and criminal, comparing these to media exaggerations, and focus part of your attention on a topical case study.

Level 6

This module explores the technological developments making cases of online fraud and other instances of cybercrime more common. You will consider how these cases link to other areas of the criminal justice system, and other aspects learned on this programme.

Youth Justice
Explore the ways our society deals with instances of criminal behaviour in young people, beginning with a study of the historical development of the youth justice system. Using all main, contemporary schools of thought, you will analyse the youth justice system of today.

Crime Prevention
Previously considered as falling into administrative and policy areas, this module applies the latest criminological ideas to practical aspects of crime prevention. Here, you will debate the strengths and weaknesses of these approaches, the merits of situational vs social measures in crime prevention, and how communities and the environment affect policing and crime control.

Law of Evidence
Using important cases, including the Human Rights Act 1998, you will consider how the collection of evidence takes place, how it can be used, and what is defined as proof in this module.

Research Planning & Project
This final module gives you the opportunity to specialise in an area of the programme that has most interested you. With your supervising tutor, you will determine an interdisciplinary area related to your degree to research. You will need to incorporate all the skills acquired in the programme to complete this major work.

What Our Students Say:


"I’ve wanted to be a solicitor for a long time and there is no way I can do that without a degree. I’m also fascinated by the law and justice; it’s a hard subject and I like a challenge. ‘With the cost of higher education, I couldn’t afford to give up my work; by studying online I can work full time and do a full-time degree."

Richard Wing,

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for this course you must normally have:

  • Two subjects at GCE A-Level or equivalent, plus passes at grade C or above in three subjects at GCSE level or equivalent; OR
  • Completed a recognised Access Programme or equivalent
  • For students whose prior learning was not taught in English: IELTS 6.0 or equivalent (no less than 5.5 in any element).
If You Have Work Experience

We positively encourage and consider applications from those able to demonstrate their motivation to study the programme. We will ask for your personal statement, along with your CV and references in support of your application.

Last updated Aug 2020

About the School

Here at Arden University, we believe that everyone everywhere should have access to the higher education they deserve. Whether you already hold a post-secondary degree or are just beginning your journ ... Read More

Here at Arden University, we believe that everyone everywhere should have access to the higher education they deserve. Whether you already hold a post-secondary degree or are just beginning your journey into higher education, Arden has the tools and the passion to help provide you with a truly engaging and beneficial learning experience. Read less