BA (Hons) Criminal Justice
Why study Criminal Justice at Liverpool John Moores University?
- Taught by lecturers with frontline experience and international reputations for research and writing
- Visits to courts, prisons and local agencies to see the criminal justice system in action
- Wide range of career paths, from police to prison officer to drug support worker
- Highly vocational course with opportunities for volunteering and work placements
- Dedicated careers advisor and graduate development centre to help you search for employment
- International Foundation Year course available offering direct progression onto this degree programme - visit LJMU's International Study Centre to find out more
About your course
The BA (Hons) Criminal Justice at Liverpool John Moores University is informed by extensive links with criminal justice system practitioners and delivered by expert academics with frontline experience.
Your studies focus on ‘the now’ and you will critically consider key contemporary criminal justice issues within modern British society. You will be able to see the criminal justice system in action by visiting courts, prisons and a variety of criminal justice agencies, by undertaking fieldwork or work placements and by being actively encouraged to seek out voluntary work.
"I started the Criminal Justice course with no prior study or experience. I can’t emphasise enough how much it has changed the person I am today – I am much more open-minded, and it has really challenged me to view things from a different perspective. I always thought I wanted to go into the Police Service however, I now want to help people stuck in the ‘Justice’ system and actually helping them break the cycle of the revolving door in and out of criminal justice."
Fees and funding
There are many ways to fund study for home and international students
The fees quoted above cover registration, tuition, supervision, assessment and examinations as well as:
- Library membership with access to printed, multimedia and digital resources
- Access to programme-appropriate software
- Library and student IT support
- Free on-campus wifi via eduroam
Although not all of the following are compulsory/relevant, you should keep in mind the costs of:
- accommodation and living expenditure
- books (should you wish to have your own copies)
- printing, photocopying and stationery
- PC/laptop (should you prefer to purchase your own for independent study and online learning activities)
- mobile phone/tablet (to access online services)
- field trips (travel and activity costs)
- placements (travel expenses and living costs)
- student visas (international students only)
- study abroad opportunities (travel costs, accommodation, visas and immunisations)
- academic conferences (travel costs)
- professional-body membership
- graduation (gown hire etc)
There are many ways to fund study for home and international students. From loans to International Scholarships and subject-specific funding, you’ll find all of the information you need on our specialist funding pages.
This BA (Hons) degree will open the door to a wide range of career paths linked to criminal justice.
Career opportunities in the criminal justice field are wide and varied and recent graduates are working as:
- police officers
- community support officers
- trainee probation officers
- probation service assistants
- arrest referral and bail support team workers
- drug and alcohol support workers
- prison officers
- social workers
- youth workers
- victim/witness support workers
Student Futures - Careers, Employability and Enterprise Service
We are committed to ensuring all our students experience a transformation in their employability skills and mindset and their career trajectory. A wide range of opportunities and support is available to you, within and beyond your course.
Every undergraduate curriculum includes Future Focus during Level 4, an e-learning resource and workshop designed to help you to develop your talents, passion and purpose. It will enable you to become more proactive, adaptable and resilient in your awareness and approach to career possibilities.
Every student has access to Careers Zone 24/7, LJMU’s state-of-the-art suite of online tools, resources and jobs board. There are opportunities for flexible, paid and part-time work through Unitemps, LJMU’s in-house recruitment service, ensuring students can build experience whilst they study.
One-to-one careers and employability advice is available via our campus-based Careers Zones to accelerate your job search and applications, CV and interview technique. Themed careers and employability workshops, a programme of employer events and recruitment fairs run throughout the year and students have the opportunity to hear from a range of alumni who openly share their own onward experience.
Student Futures work with businesses to create opportunities for fully funded internships which help students increase their network within the Liverpool City Region and beyond. Our Start-Up Hub can help you to grow your enterprise skills and to research, plan and start your own business or become a freelancer.
A suite of learning experiences, services and opportunities is available to final year students to help ensure you leave with a great onward plan. You can access LJMU’s Careers, Employability and Enterprise Services after you graduate and return for one-to-one support for life.
LJMU aims to make international opportunities available to every student. You may be able to study abroad as part of your degree at one of our 100+ partner universities across the world. You could also complete a work placement or apply for one of our prestigious worldwide internship programmes. If you wanted to go abroad for a shorter amount of time, you could attend one of our 1-4 week long summer schools.
Our Go Citizen Scheme can help with costs towards volunteering, individual projects or unpaid placements anywhere in the world. With all of these opportunities at your feet, why wouldn’t you take up the chance to go abroad?
Find out more about the opportunities we have available via our Instagram @ljmuglobalopps or email us at: email@example.com.
A life-changing experience
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Fees, funding and scholarships
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What you will study on this degree
Please see guidance on core and option modules for further information on what you will study.
Further guidance on modules
Modules are designated core or option in accordance with professional body requirements, as applicable, and LJMU’s Academic Framework Regulations.
Whilst you are required to study core modules, optional modules may also be included to provide you with an element of choice within the programme. The availability of optional modules may vary from year to year and will be subject to meeting minimum student numbers.
Where changes to modules are necessary these will be communicated as appropriate.
Crime, Law and Criminalisation I
This module aims to provide a critical discussion of the basic substantive criminal law (in terms of relevant case and statute law), but also aims to relate the substantive criminal law to its application in the criminal justice process in practice, as well as to its socio-legal context in wider society. You will be able to provide an understanding of the basic principles by which responsibility in the criminal law is assessed, and the socio-legal context underpinning these principle through lectures, workshops and online activity.
History of Crime and Criminal Justice
This module introduces you to the history of crime and crime control. It aims to provide you with the historical background essential for an understanding of contemporary criminal justice, and examines the historical context for current criminological debates. The module encourages you to begin to think critically about the history of crime and criminal justice and provides an introduction to historical sources and methodology, as well as an analysis of the background to contemporary debates.
Criminal Justice System
The module aims to explore the criminal justice process in England and Wales. You will learn about: police powers, including the power to stop and search; crime control and due process models of policing; sentencing and punishment.
This module will provide you with an understanding of historical and contemporary criminological theories and highlight how these have shaped and influenced the modern day criminal justice system and responses to crime and deviance.
Media, Public and Criminal Justice
This module introduces you to the relationship between the media, the public and issues of criminal justice. It will demonstrate how the media influences 'common sense' assumptions and political decision making around crime and justice. It will also highlight the importance of 'the public' in the contemporary criminal justice sphere. You will develop a fundamental understanding of the interactions and relationships that exist between the media, the public and issues of crime and justice.
Personal and Academic Development In Criminal Justice
In this module you will develop your academic skills in writing and critical analysis. The module will develop your awareness of sources of information that are presented using a variety of media. Through the development of team working skills you will also have an improved understanding of the court system in England and Wales.
Injustices in a 'Just' System
This module will encourage you to critically reflect on the concepts of injustice and justice, inequality, poverty, power and powerlessness. You will be encouraged to think about how these concepts impact on the experience of people processed through and experiencing the system of justice.
Decision Making in Criminal Justice
This module will build on your knowledge of the decision making process in criminal justice in England and Wales.
Professional Development in Criminal Justice
The aim of this module is to provide you with the ability to develop self-awareness and identify skills to improve their employability in criminal justice and allied areas. You will also gain an understanding of the relationship between theory, policy and the experience of practice in various criminal justice agencies.
An Introduction to Penology
This module allows you to pursue a more in-depth study of two of the main criminal justice institutions, Prison and Probation services. The design and delivery surrounding their administration has remained the subject of intense debate and controversy throughout their history. Therefore, you will be encouraged to critically engage with these debates taking into consideration the theory, policy, and practice which surrounds community and custodial interventions.
Criminal Justice Policy, Practice and the Evidence Base
This module provides you with a critical awareness of how policy has developed in the criminal justice system in England and Wales. You are introduced to the theories and concepts of policy formation and you will consider case studies of the creation, implementation and delivery of criminal justice policy across the sector. The module will help you develop your critical thinking skills in reflecting upon the impact of criminal justice practice. The sessions will discuss all key institutions within criminal justice work – the police, probation, prisons, youth justice, and courts – and engages with significant pieces of policy and legislation that continue to shape how the criminal justice system functions.
The overall aim of this module is to develop a more meaningful understanding of victims of crime and to critically explore their role and experiences within the criminal justice system. You will develop a critical appreciation of the conceptual development of victims and victimology as an academic discipline and also evaluate the notions of victimhood and explore challenges for victim service provision.
Criminal Justice Research
This module covers the range of research methodologies, both qualitative and quantitative, used within criminal justice and the researching of crime. You will be provided with an overview of the development of research and evaluation within criminal justice in the last 50 years, and why it is so important. The course allows you to consider the practical and ethical considerations in research, and allows you to develop skills in producing a literature review and research proposal for an original project.
Contemporary Issues in Prisons and Probation
The aim of this module is to enable you to develop your learning and understanding of penology building on the introductory course at level 5. You will be given the opportunity to critically evaluate and consider contemporary issues in penology with a clear focus on the theory, policy and practice which surrounds community and custodial interventions.
This module will provide you with a critical understanding of the position of youth in society today, the relationship between youth and crime, and the range of ways in which criminal justice responds to youth crime in England and Wales. It will provide you with knowledge of the past and current policy and legislation relating to young people. You will have the opportunity to develop practice skills of assessing seriousness, suitability and risk assessment in relation to offences and sentences for young people, as well as oral presentation skills by preparing and completing the module's assessed presentation.
Substance Use, Society and Criminal Justice
This module aims to provide you with a broad understanding of the sociocultural place of substance use. It will investigate different paradigms and perspectives on substance (mis)use and explore relevant drug policy. The module will also seek to provide a comprehension of how we practically respond to substance use via treatment interventions.
The dissertation module requires you to select a problem or issue within criminal justice, to locate this within existing literature, and to conduct independent research generating data which forms the basis of a written thesis. You will be allocated an individual supervisor and support will be available throughout the process.
Regulation, Harm and Victimisation
Within this module, you will be introduced to the area of governance, regulation and regulatory bodies in the context of non-conventional harm and victimisation. You will also be able to critically investigate non-conventional harm and victimisation and explore and apply concepts such as regulation, accountability and justice.
Comparative Criminal Justice
The overall aim of this module is to examine the practices, policies, and philosophies of criminal justice in different cultural and geographical contexts and provide an overview of different types of criminal justice systems around the globe. This module will therefore provide a critical understanding of the development of alternative justice processes across the globe.
Terrorism and Counter Terrorism
In this module you will examine the key concepts in relation to terrorism and explore a number of key issues including definitions of terrorism, ideologies, typology, group structures, tactics, methods of operation, target selection, state response, use of technologies, funding and media impact. You will also explore the concept of, and delivery of, counter terrorism initiatives with a focus on the measures being adopted within the United Kingdom, drawing on comparative counter-terrorism strategies from the US and Canada.
The overall aim of the course is to develop a more meaningful understanding of the police as an organisation and to critically explore the role policing plays within wider understandings of crime and criminology. The course seeks to help students develop a critical appreciation of the historical and conceptual development of modern policing, evaluate notions of contemporary police work and explore future challenges for service provision. The lectures, seminar exercises and reading for the course will encourage engagement with competing understandings of policing and will seek to prompt students to begin to critically anaylse learning material. Placing the police within their appropriate socio-political context will also ensure students develop a full appreciation of the dynamic and multi-faceted challenges facing the workings of one of the key institutions of criminal justice.The module gives students an understanding of contemporary policing methods, evaluating how the police service has attempted to respond to changes in society. In doing so the module examines the concept of a 'police service' borne out of the rejection of notions of a 'police force'. On completing the course students will have a broad knowledge of the general role of policing, and how the organisation links in with other agencies of the criminal justice system. The module provides students with a global understanding of contemporary policing in the 21st century, critically exploring the concepts of 'partnership', privatization, pluralisation, diversity and positions them all within the challenges presented by contemporary (global) socio-political contexts.
Sex, Crime And Society
To develop a knowledge and understanding of the principles, policies and doctrines relating to the criminalisation and de-criminalisation of sexual, and sexually-related, behaviour within society. To provide a critical analysis of the rationale for, and scope of, a selective range of sexual offences in their socio-legal context. To provide a critical awareness of the issues and challenges involved in applying relevant legal principles to legal scenarios.As the phenomenon of sexual offences does not exist in a vacuum, the module will evaluate critically those offences from a variety of perspectives: historical and modern; social/cultural; ethical and moral; political. Within these contexts, the criminalisation of sexual behaviour will be evaluated and the law applied critically to specific factual situations. There will be consideration of the ongoing dynamic development of sexual offences, including the rationale for and effectiveness of reform, and comparative analyses.
Teaching and work-related learning
Excellent facilities and learning resources
We adopt an active blended learning approach, meaning you will experience a combination of face-to-face and online learning during your time at LJMU. This enables you to experience a rich and diverse learning experience and engage fully with your studies. Our approach ensures that you can easily access support from your personal tutor, either by meeting them on-campus or via a video call to suit your needs.
You will spend around 12 hours per week in the classroom, and around 25 hours working independently, including three hours preparing for each lecture and tutorial, two hours for each of your module assignments, and volunteering time. As the course progresses, the modules become more focused on preparing you for work in the criminal justice system and in your final year you will be able to specialise in the areas that interest you most, whether they be vocational or more abstract topics.
The second year ‘Professional Development in Criminal Justice’ module, for instance, includes mock job interviews and CV writing assessments, and in your final year you get the chance to perform real-life fieldwork or secure work placements in your own area of interest.
We also strongly encourage you to seek out voluntary work at all stages of the programme, as the experience will significantly enhance your CV and put you in a strong position once you start to compete on the open job market. A member of staff will advise you about specific work-related opportunities and act as a link mentor, liaising with local organisations on your behalf.
Support and guidance
Dedicated personal tutor, plus study skills support
Our staff are committed to making sure you get the most out of your three years at LJMU and encourage you to come to them for advice and guidance. For example, your personal tutor and module leaders will meet you on a one-to-one basis if you wish to discuss course-related issues or an assessment, and your link mentor will help you to secure a work placement or volunteering position.
There is plenty of support available throughout the assessment process too. On top of the support offered by academic staff, you will be given written guidelines, hints and tips and there will be revision and recap sessions for all modules as well as study support classes.
Assessment varies depending on the modules you choose, but will usually include a combination of exams and coursework.
We acknowledge that every student is unique and may perform differently depending on how they are being assessed, and so a variety of assessment methods are used. They include: group presentations (some pre-recorded and edited by students); assessed teaching sessions led by groups of students; exams (seen/unseen and online multiple choice); written work (essays, literature reviews, reports); and practical assessments (e.g. court reports, mock interviews and CVs).
Once you have completed an assessment, feedback is given within three working weeks of submission, so that you can promptly discuss your marks with your tutor and establish where you are performing well and areas for improvement.
Our staff are committed to the highest standards of teaching and learning
Dr Noel Cross
Dr Noel Cross
I am programme leader for the BA Criminal Justice and LLB Law and Criminal Justice programmes in the School of Justice Studies at LJMU. I have worked at LJMU for 18 years now, having joined as a Senior Lecturer in Criminal Justice in September 2002, before becoming Principal Lecturer and Programme Leader in Criminal Justice in April 2011, and then Senior Lecturer and Programme Leader in November 2019
<div>I am very interested, in both teaching and research terms, in how the criminal law is applied in criminal justice practice, and in philosophical debates on the form and functions of criminal law.</div>
What you can expect from your School
Based within the John Foster Building, in the Mount Pleasant Campus, the School of Justice Studies is a leading provider of education in Policing Studies, Criminology and Criminal Justice. We provide specific training for policing students wishing to enter the service as a graduate recruit. The John Foster Building has many outstanding facilities, including well-equipped IT Suites, a light-filled Student Common Room and dedicated study areas. At the back of the John Foster Building is the Aldham Robarts Library, which gives 24 hour access to an exceptional range of materials to support your studies.
Please choose your qualifications below to view requirements
Minimum points required from qualifications: 112
GCSE and equivalents
Prior to starting the programme applicants must have obtained Grade C or Grade 4 or above in English Language and Mathematics GCSE or an approved alternative qualification below:
- Key Skills Level 2 in English/ Maths
- NVQ Level 2 Functional skills in Maths and English Writing and or Reading
- Skills for Life Level 2 in Numeracy/English
- Higher Diploma in Maths/ English
- Functional Skills Level 2 in Maths/ English
- Northern Ireland Essential Skills Level 2 in Communication or Application of Number
- Welsh GCSE in Maths or Numeracy
- Wales Essential Skills Level 2 in Communication or Application of Number
- Minimum number of A Levels required: 2
- Is general studies acceptable? Yes
- Average A Level offer: BBC
- Are AS level awards acceptable? Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
- Maximum AS Level points accepted: 20
- T Level requirements:
112 UCAS Tariff points from a relevant subject
- National Certificate (RQF): Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
- National Extended Certificate: Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
- National Diploma (RQF): Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
- National Diploma subjects / grades required: D*D* if studied on its own or to the total of 112 UCAS points if combined with other qualifications
- National Extended Diploma (RQF): Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
- National Extended Diploma subjects / grades required: DMM if studied on its own or to the total of 112 UCAS points if combined with other qualifications
Access to Higher Education Diploma
- Access to Higher Education Diploma acceptability: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
- Further information: Access programme must have been taken be in a relevant subject area, minimum of 24 Distinctions and 12 Merits required
- International Baccalaureate: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
- Additional information: 112 UCAS Tariff points from IB Composite parts, or in combination with other Level 3 qualifications
- Welsh Baccalaureate: Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
- Irish Leaving Certificate: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
- Grades / subjects required: 112 UCAS points from a minimum of 5 subjects
OCR National acceptability
- National Certificate: Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
- National Diploma: Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
- National Extended Diploma: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
- Are Level 3 NVQs acceptable? Acceptable when combined with other qualifications
Alternative qualifications considered
Applications are welcomed from mature and non-standard applicants, who will be considered on an individual basis. These applicants may be required to submit an essay and/or attend an interview, and should demonstrate potential and motivation and/or have relevant experience.
International applicants will be considered in line with UK qualifications.
Reduced Offer Scheme
6.0 (minimum of 5.5 in each component) or equivalent English language proficiency test.International entry requirements
Please Note: All international qualifications are subject to a qualification equivalency check.Can this course be deferred?
YesIs a DBS check required?
Application and selection
Securing your place at LJMU
We are looking for students who are keen to learn issues of crime, criminality, criminology and criminal justice. This course is designed to relate relevant theory to practical knowledge and experience in order to provide the skills for future employment in a criminal justice related field.
The University reserves the right to withdraw or make alterations to a course and facilities if necessary; this may be because such changes are deemed to be beneficial to students, are minor in nature and unlikely to impact negatively upon students or become necessary due to circumstances beyond the control of the University. Where this does happen, the University operates a policy of consultation, advice and support to all enrolled students affected by the proposed change to their course or module.
Further information on the terms and conditions of any offer made, our admissions policy and the complaints and appeals process.
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