This course is validated by: Lancaster University

Criminology and Criminal Justice BA (Hons) (Top Up) (Subject to Validation)

Location: University Centre at Blackburn College
UCAS Code: M930
Code: SS3501A16
Fees: View fees and financial information
Validated by: Lancaster University
Study Mode: Full Time, Part Time
Start Dates: september 2022
Term Dates: View term dates

This Criminology (Top Up) BA (Hons) course enables you to turn your foundation degree in Criminology from University Centre at Blackburn College into a full BA (Hons) qualification should you wish to progress on to higher level study. The study of crime requires a multi-disciplinary approach and therefore law, forensics, psychology and sociology are all important subjects on the course. As the course leads to a BA (Hons) there is an emphasis on evaluating potential causes of crime and its subsequent treatment by the criminal justice system.

You will complete a dissertation during the course and have the option to specialise in a choice of subjects. This Lancaster University validated honours degree seeks to develop the skills and knowledge acquired from the FdA Criminology & Criminal Justice. The course is a one year programme that seeks to enhance the career prospects of people in the five strands of the Justice Sector: Policing and Law Enforcement, Community Justice, Prosecutions and Custodial Care.


What will I study?

The study of crime requires a multi-disciplinary approach and therefore law, forensics, psychology and sociology are all important subjects on the course. As the course leads to a BA (Hons) there is an emphasis on evaluating potential causes of crime and its subsequent treatment by the criminal justice system. The course seeks to develop analytical skills by providing modules that are taught interactively and use a variety of methods such as e-learning and Open Educational Resources. The use of employers and practitioners in delivering the curriculum ensures that the learning is current and relevant to a person seeking to work, or develop in their work in the justice system. The course's close relationship with a range of organisations provides numerous opportunities for action research in the community. The experienced and highly qualified lecturers have a proven track record in delivering a quality learning experience.

All students take a total of 120 credits per level.

Level 6 Modules include:

  • Youth Offending, Development and Desistence
  • Communities, Harm and Control
  • Contemporary Issues in Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • Dissertation


  • Prison, Offender Management and Reintegration; or
  • Criminal Justice on Trial: Decision Making, Discretion and Evidence
Entry Requirements

In order to join this BA (Hons) Criminology (Top Up) programme you will need to have successfully completed with at least a pass mark in FdA Criminology & Criminal Justice Foundation Degree. Additional preparation for study at the Top Up programme may be required.

Care Leavers or Young Carers

We want students from all backgrounds to have the opportunity to go to University. If you have spent three months or more in local authority care OR are a young carer, you will be eligible for a contextual offer. This is a grade reduction of 1-A Level grade below our standard entry requirements. For example, a standard offer of CCC, would become CCD. MMM at Level 3 Extended Diploma would become MMP. To apply we advise that you tick the box on your UCAS application which identifies you have spent time in care and to help identify you as eligible for our contextual offer.

See our General Entry Requirements.

How will I be assessed?

Throughout the course a full range of assessment techniques will be used. You could be assessed by examinations, including open-book examinations, practical assessments, assignments, briefs, essays, presentations (including group presentations), reports and portfolio building. 

Each module is formally assessed through, for example, examinations, open book examinations, group projects, essays, assignments or briefs, group presentations, portfolio building, self-assessments, peer assessments and manageable tasks. This formal assessment will count towards your module mark and feedback is usually given within 3 weeks following the submission of your formal submission of work.

Additionally, some lecturers will provide informal feedback, for example, following an examination they may choose to work through the exam paper in a tutorial. It should be noted that feedback is part of the ongoing learning cycle which is not limited to written feedback. Other forms of feedback include one-to-one meetings with a personal tutor, dissertation and project supervision meetings, a lecturer responding to learner questions or responses during topic or situation discussions. 

Feedback is intended to help you learn and you are encouraged to discuss it with your module tutor.

Teaching and Learning

The learning environment and facilities could include lecture theatres, classrooms, technology suites, laboratories and workshops, library and skills labs, art and photography studios, small group and quiet zones. Learning methods will vary according to the programme of study but will include lectures and group tutorials. In addition, seminars, field trips, work placements, role play or scenario activities, laboratory and workshop practical, demonstrations, guest lectures, discussions and debates all contribute to the learning experience to support the acquisition of subject specific skills and knowledge and the development of transferable and employment related skills.

You should typically expect to have around 15 contact hours per week if you are studying full time.

In addition, you will have timetabled meetings with your personal tutor.  

You will be taught by an experienced teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course.  The team could include senior academics, professional practitioners with industry experience, demonstrators and technical officers.  You can learn more about our staff by visiting our staff profiles.


On this course, students generally spend up to 2 days a week in College, if you choose to study the course full-time. As all course timetables are subject to change you should not make definite plans based on this information; this information is intended as a guide only. Please remember that you will be expected to carry out work in your own time in addition to the time you spend in College.

There is also a 2 evenings a week option reserved only for students that are currently working within the criminology and criminal justice sector.

Overall Workload

You overall workload consists of class contact hours, around 15 hours of independent learning and assessment activity and any field trips which may take place.

Academic Support

We have a dedicated Student Engagement Team who will be able to provide support in the following areas;

  • Study Skills (including reading, note-taking and presentation skills)
  • Written English
  • Academic Writing (including referencing)
  • Research Skills
What can I do next?

Upon completion of the BA (Hons) Criminology (Top Up) you will be ready enter the graduate level job market. This means you are able to apply for graduate management schemes. Typical career routes graduates of the Honours programme include:

  • Youth Justice roles
  • Restorative Justice workers
  • Community Safety Partnership roles
  • Counselling and Mediation roles
  • Housing and Homelessness organisations
  • Community Cohesion partnerships
  • Anti-social behaviour roles
  • Victims/Courts roles
  • Research
  • Teaching
  • Post-graduate studies
Supplementary Information

Download the Programme Specification for BA (Hons) Criminology (Top Up). The Programme Specification will give you further information about the course structure, learning outcomes and detailed information about the assessment you can expect during the course.

What will my timetable be like?

If you choose to study this course in September 2022, your timetable will consist of the following days of study at our University Centre.

The days that have been set for this course, for the first year intake only, are Monday and Wednesday.

You will be required to undertake work in your own time and also undertake private study. This will be in addition to your taught hours in class. You may also be required to undertake a work placement/work-based learning. This is in addition to the taught timetabled classes, please bear this in mind with your planning. 

The University Centre reserves the right to change timetables for the year ahead and this information is provided to you as a guide. The days of study in subsequent years of the course may vary.

Career Options

Probation Officer

If you want a fulfilling job that could help change people's lives for the better, this job could be ideal for you. Probation officers supervise people serving community and prison sentences. They also help with their rehabilitation after release.

To qualify, you would start out as a probation services officer, then train for a degree or postgraduate award in Community Justice and the Level 5 Diploma in Probation Practice.

To be a probation officer, you will need to be able to get on with a wide range of people and have a fair-minded approach. You will also need to stay calm under pressure and be able to handle challenging behaviour.

Job Opportunites in Lancashire

Probation Services Officer

If you would enjoy the challenge of helping people to change their lives for the better, this job could be ideal for you. Probation services officers (PSOs) supervise people serving community and prison sentences. They also help with their rehabilitation after release.

You will need a good general standard of education and some paid or voluntary experience to start this job as a trainee.

To become a probation services officer, you will also need to have excellent communication and 'people' skills. You will also need to stay calm under pressure. Sometimes you may need to handle challenging behaviour.

Job Opportunites in Lancashire

Police Officer

Police officers work with communities and the public to maintain law and order. They investigate crime, gather evidence and bring offenders to court. They also work on initiatives to raise awareness and prevent crime from happening in the first place.

If you want a varied and challenging job and like the idea of helping to make communities safer, this could be the ideal career for you.

Police officer recruitment is handled by individual police services, and their requirements can vary. In general you will need to have lived in the UK for three years, be over 18 and pass enhanced background and security checks.

Job Opportunites in Lancashire

Youth And Community Worker

Youth workers help young people reach their potential in their personal and social development. As a youth worker you will use educational activities, advice and support to help young people to learn about themselves and to become more confident.

To be a youth worker you will need to be able to relate to young people from all backgrounds. You will also need to be enthusiastic, and have good negotiation skills. If you want to help make life better for young people, this could be the job for you.

To become a qualified youth worker, you will need a professional level youth work qualification such as a BA (Hons) degree that is recognised by the National Youth Agency (NYA) .???

Job Opportunites in Lancashire

Youth Offending Team Officer

If you are keen to help young people have a better future, this job could be perfect for you. Youth offending team officers aim to prevent young people from offending and reoffending. They work with young offenders and with their families and victims.

Many youth offending services will ask for qualifications in social work or probation. If you don't have qualifications but you have plenty of relevant experience as a volunteer, you may be able to start as a support worker.

Being a youth offending team officer can sometimes be challenging. You will need to stay calm under pressure. You also need to be able to handle difficult behaviour.

Job Opportunites in Lancashire

Scenes Of Crime Officer

If you want to help solve crimes and you enjoy using your observation skills, this could be ideal for you. Scenes of crime officers (SOCOs) locate, record and recover evidence from crime scenes. They are also known as crime scene examiners and crime scene investigators (CSIs).

SOCOs work alongside uniformed and plain clothed police officers during the investigation of a crime. They may work directly for a police service or with a security services company that works with the police.

Entry requirements vary between police forces, although you're likely to need at least five GCSEs or the equivalent, preferably including English, maths and a science subject.

To do this job you will need excellent attention to detail. You’ll also need to record and report information. Sometimes you’ll need to remain calm in unpleasant and distressing situations.

Job Opportunites in Lancashire

Welfare Rights Officer

Welfare rights officers, also known as welfare benefits advisers, provide free information, support and advice to the public. They advise about welfare benefits and other areas such as housing, work and money.

If you can build trust with people and want to help them deal with their finances, this job could be for you.

In this job you will need to talk to a wide range of people and listen well. You will need to agree what to do without judging anyone. You may not need any particular qualifications to get into this type of work, although GCSE passes in English and maths may help you. Most welfare rights officers spend at least a year volunteering to get experience before getting a paid job.

Job Opportunites in Lancashire

Local Government Officer

As a local government officer, you would be responsible for putting council policies into practice. You would also make sure that local services are delivered well. If you are keen to be involved in your local area and want to work in an office, this job could be perfect for you.

To become a local government officer, you will need to be able to deal with people from a wide variety of backgrounds. You will also need good negotiating and organisational skills.

The skills and experience that are needed will vary depending on the duties and level of responsibility. Experience of working in a customer service environment and IT skills are highly valued by employers and may help to improve your chances of finding work.

Job Opportunites in Lancashire

Substance Misuse Outreach Worker

Substance misuse outreach workers encourage people to seek help from local support services and advise them how to minimise risks to their health. If you've got an understanding of substance misuse issues, and you want to help people take action to deal with their addiction problems, this job could suit you. In this job you would need to have a calm and caring approach, and be able to build trust. You would need to treat everyone fairly and not judge anyone. Volunteering is a good way to build skills and experience. You would also need to pass a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.

Job Opportunites in Lancashire