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BA (Hons) Criminal Law and Criminal Justice

Start date:
Study mode:
Course duration:
3 years
Mt Pleasant
UCAS Code:

Tuition fees

Home full-time per year
International full-time per year
All figures are subject to yearly increases. Tuition fees are subject to parliamentary approval.
General enquiries:
0151 231 5090
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Want to study with LJMU this September? Visit our Clearing hub to apply now if you have your grades or register your interest and become a Clearing Insider to receive updates while you wait for your results. Your journey starts with Clearing.

Why study Criminal Law and Criminal Justice at Liverpool John Moores University?

  • A unique degree which blends criminal law and criminal justice disciplines
  • Teaching from supportive, internationally recognised legal professionals and criminal justice writers and practitioners
  • Work placements and voluntary work opportunities to enhance your CV
  • Opportunities to study in Europe as part of the University's Erasmus / Go Global programme
  • 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) Criiminal Law and Criminal Justice programme at Liverpool John Moores University is the ideal preparation for a range of fascinating careers in both the legal and the criminal justice sectors.

Many of your tutors have professional frontline experience of working in the criminal justice system or researching law and criminal justice, with international reputations for research and writing, giving you a solid grounding in both areas.

While this course prepares you for a career in the legal profession following completion of professional training programmes for solicitors and barristers, it also develops vital personal skills in teamwork, communication, writing and time management, so that you are more than ready to face the challenges of a range of careers should you decide that law isn't for you.

We encourage you to organise a placement for your final year as it will give you vital experience of how the criminal law and criminal justice system work in practice. For the same reasons, we recommend that you undertake some form of voluntary work during your time at LJMU and/or apply to take part in the University's Study Abroad programme to see how legal systems work in another country.

As the course progresses, the modules become more focused on preparing you to work in the legal or criminal justice systems, 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 BA Criminal Law and Criminal Justice programme is unique among English universities. It focuses purely on the criminal law and how that criminal law is enforced in practice, both nationally and internationally – and you’ll get the chance not only to learn about criminal law and criminal justice, but apply your learning on study trips to the Supreme Court in London, and the International Courts of Justice in the Hague, as you move through your programme. The programme also offers direct entry to solicitor training via the SQE, and entry to barrister training via a conversion course followed by the BPTC."
Dr Noel Cross

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

Additional costs

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.


Examples of careers our recent graduates have entered are:

  • solicitor
  • barrister
  • local authority legal adviser
  • media-related work
  • various legal roles in the private business sector
  • police officer
  • police community support officer
  • trainee probation officer
  • probation service assistant
  • arrest referral and bail support team worker
  • drug and alcohol support worker
  • Prison Service (including prison warden, education officer, drugs support officer)
  • social work, youth work (and working with young offenders)
  • and victim/witness support worker

Student Futures - Careers, Employability and Enterprise Service

A wide range of opportunities and support is available to you, within and beyond your course, to ensure our students experience a transformation in their career trajectory. 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.

Every student has access to Careers Zone 24/7, LJMU's suite of online Apps, resources and jobs board via the LJMU Student Futures website. There are opportunities for flexible, paid and part-time work through Unitemps, LJMU's in-house recruitment service, and we also offer fully funded Discovery Internships.

One-to-one careers and employability advice is available via our campus-based Careers Zones and we offer a year-round programme of events, including themed careers and employability workshops, employer events and recruitment fairs. 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 Start-up Services after you graduate and return for one-to-one support for life.

Go abroad

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: goabroad@ljmu.ac.uk.

A life-changing experience 

There's so much more to university than just studying for a degree.

What you will study on this degree

Please see guidance below on core and option modules for further information on what you will study.

Further guidance on modules

Modules are designated core or optional in accordance with professional body requirements, as applicable, and LJMU’s Academic Framework Regulations. Whilst you are required to study core modules, optional modules provide you with an element of choice. Their availability may vary and will be subject to meeting minimum student numbers.

Where changes to modules are necessary these will be communicated as appropriate.

Level 4

Core modules

Criminal Justice System
20 credits

The module aims to explore the criminal justice process in England and Wales. Students will learn about: police powers, including the power to stop and search; crime control and due process models of policing; sentencing and punishment.

Criminological Theory
20 credits

This module will provide students 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
20 credits

This module introduces students 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. Students will develop a fundamental understanding of the interactions and relationships that exist between the media, the public and issues of crime and justice.

English Legal System
20 credits

This module aims to introduce students to the basic structures and values which drive the English legal system in practice.

Skills for Success in Law and Criminal Justice
20 credits

This module aims to assist students in developing the knowledge and skills necessary for successful study on a programme focusing on law and criminal justice.

Human Rights, Social Justice and the Law
20 credits

This module aims to raise student awareness of concepts, values and definitions relating to both human rights and social justice. After looking at competing definitions of human rights and social justice, the module considers how both frameworks influence English criminal law and English criminal justice, and how both could be used side-by-side to use criminal law and criminal justice as tools for building a better and fairer society.

Level 5

Core modules

Professional Development in Criminal Justice
20 credits

The aim of this module is to provide students with the ability to develop self-awareness and identify skills to improve their employability in criminal justice and allied areas. Students will also gain an understanding of the relationship between theory, policy and the experience of practice in various criminal justice agencies.

Crime, Law and Criminalisation I
20 credits

This module is designed for students who are studying criminal law alongside criminal justice modules. It aims to provide a critical discussion and analysis 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.

Crime, Law and Criminalisation II
20 credits

This module builds on the knowledge gained by students in previous modules by critically examining a range of specific criminal law offences and their implementation and enforcement in English criminal justice practice.

Optional Modules

Injustices in a 'Just' System
20 credits

This module will encourage students to critically reflect on the concepts of injustice and justice, inequality, poverty, power and powerlessness. Students 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
20 credits

This module will build on students' knowledge of the decision making process in criminal justice in England and Wales.

Study Year Abroad - Criminal Justice
120 credits

This is an additional year of full-time study at an approved higher education institution. The modules to be studied must be agreed in advance, and must be appropriate for the student's programme of study

Criminal Justice Policy, Practice and the Evidence Base
10 credits

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 focus on policy making issues overlaps with course content concerning the Criminal Justice Process whilst the emphasis on reviewing research-informed articles will help advance the skills development that the research methods and dissertation modules develop.

20 credits

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. Students 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
10 credits

This module covers the range of research methodologies, both qualitative and quantitative, used within criminal justice and the researching of crime. Students 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 students to consider the practical and ethical considerations in research, and allows them to develop skills in producing a literature review and research proposal for an original project.

European Criminal Law
20 credits

This module aims to develop student knowledge of European criminal law - its foundations, its processes and its enforcement at international and national level. Students will also be encouraged to think critically about the roles and purposes of European criminal law in an era of nationalism and Brexit.

Criminal Evidence
20 credits

This module aims to raise student awareness of the principles and practice relating to criminal evidence, in both the legal and the criminal justice contexts.

An Introduction to Penology
20 credits

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.

Level 6

Core modules

Criminal Justice Futures: Employability Skills for the Workplace
20 credits

This module implements LJMU's employability strategy by delivering work-based learning to students which relates to their academic studies and their onward employability plan, thereby allowing them to develop examples of skills development and learning with a live employer-driven brief.

Optional Modules

Contemporary Issues in Prisons and Probation
20 credits

The aim of this module is to enable you to develop your learning and understanding of penology building on the Penology module 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.  Specific consideration will be given to the tensions, dilemmas and critiques which surround the delivery of interventions with those individuals who present complex needs.

20 credits

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.

Youth Justice
20 credits

This module will provide students 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 students with knowledge of the past and current policy and legislation relating to young people. Students 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
20 credits

This module aims to provide students 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.This module attempts to critically deconstruct the role and place of substance use in contemporary society. Furthermore it will provide an analysis of the legitimacy of drug policy and the efficacy of interventions with substance (mis)users.

40 credits

The dissertation module requires students 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. Students will be allocated an individual supervisor and support will be available throughout the process.

Regulation, Harm and Victimisation
20 credits

Within this module, students will be introduced to the area of governance, regulation and regulatory bodies in the context of non-conventional harm and victimisation. Students 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
20 credits

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.

International Criminal Law and State Crime
20 credits

This module develops student awareness of international criminal law: its historical development, its principles of criminal responsibility, and its direct and indirect enforcement, using the development of the International Criminal Court as a focus and case study.

Criminal Advocacy
20 credits

This module aims to build students' employability skills in relation to negotiation and mediation as an alternative to formal court processes, and in relation to arguing appeal cases in court through the processes of mooting.

Violence and Society
20 credits

This module aims to develop advanced and theoretically-informed knowledge of the range of typologies of violence that exist in society, the nature and extent of different forms of violence, and the challenges of regulating violence

Advanced Criminal Law: Theory and Practice
20 credits

This module aims to give students who are already familiar with the general and specific part of criminal law a deeper, more theoretically-informed understanding of the values and principles driving criminal law, which influence criminal law's past, present and future.

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.

Teaching is via a combination of lectures, smaller student-led tutorials, online activities, hands-on practical experience and private study.

Work-related Learning

This highly vocational course is designed to enhance your employability by incorporating hands-on practical experience and work-related modules at every level. 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.

The course contains a number of modules that focus specifically on the skill sets that employers value, not just in the legal professions but in other careers as well. Communication, writing and organisational skills are all assets that will help you stand out from the crowd.

Support and guidance

Dedicated personal tutor, plus study skills support

Our staff are committed to ensuring 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 with you one-to-one to discuss personal or course-related issues.

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 assessed, so we allow you to choose assessments tailored to your own individual strengths. Once you have completed an assessment, feedback is given within three working weeks, so you can promptly discuss your marks with your tutor and establish where you are performing well and areas for improvement.

Course tutors

Our staff are committed to the highest standards of teaching and learning


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 access to an exceptional range of materials to support your studies.

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.