This course is validated by: Lancaster University

Criminology & Criminal Justice Foundation Degree FdA *(Subject to Validation)

Location: University Centre at Blackburn College
UCAS Code: LM32
Code: SS2501A15
Fees: View fees and financial information
Validated by: Lancaster University
Study Mode: Full Time
Duration: Full time: 2 academic years
Part time: 4 academic years
Start Dates: september 2022
Term Dates: View term dates

Ever thought why do different people commit different crimes? Why do victims react differently? What is crime and who are the types of people that commit it?, or even wondered, 'What actually constitutes a crime?'. If so, then studying this Criminology & Criminal Justice (FdA) could be for you. 

As part of the course you will study the areas of law, forensics, psychology and sociology. This course should to appeal to you if you need to fit studying around other commitments, or if you are looking to take your first step into higher education after a gap of study. It is also ideal if you have no previous knowledge of the subject of Law. This Lancaster University validated foundation degree seeks to equip students with the skills and knowledge to assist with their employability in the Justice Sector.

The course contains five streams in criminal justice, criminal psychology, crime and punishment, reflective practice and criminological research. The teaching on the course seeks to reflect the fast-changing nature of the Justice Sector and its innovative methods for inspiring learning have been commended by the Centre for Sociology, Anthropology and Politics (C-SAP) which is the national Higher Education subject centre for the study of Criminology. 

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. The course's five streams provide a wide learning experience for seeking to understand crime and its treatment by the criminal justice system. The streams also give the opportunity for a student in modules for policing, forensics, offender management and youth offending. The modules are taught in as interactive a way as possible and the use of e-learning is actively promoted. 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 development of skills, in addition to knowledge, is an aim of the course and our experienced and approachable lecturers have a proven track record in delivering a quality learning experience. There is also the opportunity to engage in a Criminal Justice Sector work placement to gain experience of working in the sector. You can get involved in additional activities such as volunteering, guest lectures with key criminal justice representatives as well as trips to prisons, courts and youth offending organisations.

All students take a total of 120 credits per level.

Level 4 modules:

  • Principles of Criminology
  • Redefining Crime: New Approaches
  • Criminal Psychology
  • Working with Offenders
  • Understanding the Criminal Justice System
  • Principles of Criminal Justice
  • Research Skills
  • The Reflective Practitioner

Level 5 modules:

  • Modern Criminal Justice
  • Research Project
  • Work Based Learning in the Justice Sector
  • Crime Control, Prevention and Punishment
  • Challenging Behaviour
  • Assessing Risk in the Criminal Justice System

Level 5 options:

  • Race, Gender and Youth Justice;
  • Policing and the Police; and
  • Prison Regimes.

Optional Modules

If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this may not be offered.  If an optional module will not be run, we will advise you as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

Entry Requirements

You’ll need 48 UCAS points to join this programme (formerly 120 UCAS points).

All applicants must show that they have a good level of spoken or written English, and if English is not your first language you’ll need to demonstrate the ability to study in English.

Applicants who do not meet the standard entry criteria but have relevant work / life experience will be considered on an individual basis and may be invited to interview.



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, examination, open-book test, individual and group presentation, essay, observation of practice, assessment of course work e.g. portfolio, written report, reflective practice and portfolios of evidence.  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 3 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 for students in paid work 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

Work Placement

During the course you are required to spend at least 240 hours working in a relevant role in order to improve your knowledge and practice of the subject. This may be through paid employment or via a voluntary work placement in a relevant role. Your work placement is expected to have a focus on applying the knowledge from your degree programme in an employment context.

Please note: work placements are subject to availability.  You are also responsible for any costs in travelling to and from your work placements, for any accommodation costs and in some instances the cost of acquiring a satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) report.

What can I do next?

Graduates from the foundation degree can progress on to BA (Hons) Criminology (Top Up), validated by Lancaster University.

Some graduates from the programme progress directly into:

  • 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
Supplementary Information

Download the Programme Specification for FdA Criminology & Criminal Justice. 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 Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and Monday and Thursday evenings.

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

Drug And Alcohol Worker

Drug and alcohol workers help people tackle their drug, alcohol or solvent misuse problems.

If you want to help people and you have an understanding of substance misuse issues, this job could be ideal for you. In this job you would need to be calm and caring, and able to build trust with vulnerable people.

Volunteering is a great way to build skills and experience. No formal entry requirements apply but you would be expected to gain qualifications in substance misuse. You would also need a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.

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

Victim Care Officer

If you want a rewarding job that allows you to help people facing difficult circumstances then this could be the career for you.

As a victim care officer, you would give support to people who have experienced crime and also to witnesses of crime who may be involved in court proceedings.

You don’t need any specific qualifications for this career but you will need to be a good listener, and be able to deal with people in a sensitive way. You would normally get into this role by volunteering with a victim support charity or through experience gained from working with vulnerable people in related areas, such as counselling or the justice system.

Job Opportunites in Lancashire

Police Community Support Officer

If you want to work in the local community and help to help keep law and order, this job could be perfect for you.

As a police community support officer (PCSO) you would work alongside the police, patrolling the local area, dealing with minor incidents and offences. You would provide assistance to the police and a visible presence in the area to reassure the public.

In this job you would need a calm but assertive approach, good communication skills and be able to deal with people in difficult situations. You would also need to be physically fit.

Local police services set their own entry requirements so you need to check with them for exact details. You would need the right to live and work in the UK without restrictions, and you would also need to pass background security checks. 

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

Fingerprint Officer

Fingerprint officers check and compare fingerprints taken from crime scenes. This is done to identify offenders. They usually work in laboratories and are part of the police service.

To be a fingerprint officer, you will need to have a patient and calm approach. You will need good organisational skills and be able to pay close attention to detail.

You would need GCSEs or A levels to start as a trainee fingerprint officer. You would then train and qualify on the job and by attending residential courses.

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