BA (Hons) Criminology and Sociology


Program Description

During our Criminology and Sociology distance learning course, you will explore the phenomenon of crime. You will explore its causes, consequences, enforcement and the social implications it has on society. Studying both subjects will give you an insight into the world of social values and behaviours, looking at crime in a wider social context by understanding how individuals and institutions respond to it. 

Course Overview

Arden University’s online BA (Hons) Criminology & Sociology programme will give you the skills and knowledge to take the next step in your career in the field of criminology. Look deeply into issues of policing, police powers, and youth justice.

Arden’s flexible study mode allows you to study your degree while still having time for work and family. This programme will equip you with a sound understanding of the relationship between these two exciting fields and will help take you closer to your career goals.


Career Fast-Track: Free Master's

At Arden University, we’re dedicated to your readiness for the future workplace, and are committed to helping you gain the skills and qualifications you need as you progress in your professional life. Our Fast-Track Your Career promise has been developed to allow you to pursue your master’s degree with us completely free of charge once you have successfully completed your Arden undergraduate degree course. 

 On successful completion of your bachelor’s course, you can simply apply for the Arden master’s degree of your choice, either via Distance (online) or Blended Learning, and you’ll then be able to progress with your postgraduate education completely free of any additional course tuition fees.  The only requirement is that you meet the entry standards for your chosen master’s course, and enrol within two years of completing your bachelor’s degree.


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 also explores explanatory factors such as class and education and sub-branches such as victimology.

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.

Introduction to Sociology
This module introduces some key thinkers such as Karl Marx, Max Weber, Michel Foucault, and Anthony Giddens, highlighting their central theories of sociology. Through these ideas, combined with aspects of our backgrounds, you will begin to understand how we interact, and how our ideas of normal are a complex set of learned codes and rules.

Medicalisation of the Self
With health issues a regular feature of the news, this module considers how the human body has become a subject of control and surveillance. You’ll learn about the origins of the welfare state, and discover how responsibility for human welfare changes between the individual and the state. Examine the ethics of genetic engineering, the ‘rules’ of a healthy society, and rights regarding healthcare access.

Inequalities in the Modern World
You’ll look at how inequalities impact human wellbeing and development and understand how a range of factors can affect everything from health policies, to workplace experiences, and their ability to succeed in the education system. This module examines how prejudice and discrimination are used to justify unequal treatment of individuals, and the stigma and alienation felt as a result.

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 will 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.

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.

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.

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

Protests, Mass Movements & Rebellion
In this module, you’ll look at the ways social movements shape our societies, how and why people come together for a common cause. You’ll study the contexts in which protest movements form, through past events and those emerging as you study, including the ‘cycle of struggles’ that gave rise to the Arab Spring and Occupy movements. You will develop an understanding of the political and economic forces affecting you and your place in the world.

Level 6

This module explores the technological developments of 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.

Consumer Society & The Commodification of Beings
This module examines how neoliberal ideas introduced in the 1970s have fundamentally changed our society and economy. You’ll explore how humans have become both consumers and commodities, such as the ways products have been displaced by brands, and how people use brands and celebrities to shape their own identity. You’ll discuss how the influence of some major brands affects original thinking.

Insecurity & Precariousness in the Globalised World
Taking a look at topical issues, such as how austerity measures have affected Greece, the UK and USA, you’ll explore how the global economy has changed our lives in this module. Examine the ways products and investments move around the world, creating wealth and reinforcing poverty, and arguably dividing countries and individuals into ‘winners’ and ‘losers’.

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 have been able to study from home and from the hospital which has been a blessing [and] I am relieved and happy to finally be on track with my dream career choice [...] I'd definitely encourage Distance Learning with Arden to anybody."

Emma-Louise Smith,
Arden University

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 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 Dec 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