BA (Hons) Criminology and Sociology

Learn to 'think like a criminologist' alongside the theory of social science. We’re ranked 1st in Scotland for Criminology (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023) and 3rd in Scotland for Sociology (The Complete University Guide 2023).

Criminology and Sociology

Key facts

  • Award BA (Hons)
  • Start date September 2024, January 2025
  • Duration 48 months
  • Mode of study full time
  • Delivery on campus
  • UCAS Code LM39


Choose our Criminology and Sociology degree and you’ll benefit from studying two closely related disciplines; with training both in criminology and the theory and methods of sociology.

Learn how to ‘think like a criminologist’ and apply criminology to the context of modern life, social diversity and inequalities in society. Criminologists are interested in how activities are defined as criminal, explanations for crime and social reactions to crime.

You’ll explore fascinating questions surrounding the criminal justice system, the social contexts of crime, and the relationship between behaviour and punishment. Why and how do people break the law? How can the criminal justice system define this, and how do we police, prosecute and punish people?

Our Criminology and Sociology course reflects the latest developments in social research and is taught by experts in their fields. 

Top reasons to study with us

Entry requirements

Year 1 entry – Four-year honours

SQA Highers
AABB - by the end of S5
AABBB - by the end of S6

GCE A-levels

IB Diploma
30 points

BTEC (Level 3)

Widening access students
Widening access students may be eligible for an adjusted offer of entry. To find out if this applies to you go to our widening access pages.

Care-experienced applicants will be guaranteed an offer of a place if they meet the minimum entry requirements.

Year 2 entry – Three-year honours

SQA Advanced Highers

GCE A-levels

IB Diploma
35 points

Essential subjects

Other Scottish qualifications

Scottish HNC/HND
Year one minimum entry - Bs in graded units.

Access courses
University of Stirling access course - for mature students only. You must pass the course with 50% or above.

SWAP access course - for mature students only.

Email our Admissions Team for advice about other access courses.

Foundation Apprenticeships
Considered to be equivalent to 1 Higher at Grade B

Other qualifications

English, Welsh and Northern Irish HNC/HND
Merits and Distinctions

English, Welsh and Northern Irish access courses
Access to Higher Education - 60 credits, minimum 45 at QCF Level 3, pass at 60% or above.

Email our Admissions Team for advice about other access courses.

International entry requirements

Advanced entry

Year 2 and Year 3 entry
Entry into Year 2 or Year 3 may be possible depending on your HNC/HND course. To find out more go to our articulation pages.

Other qualifications
Advanced entry may be possible depending on your qualifications. For more information, contact our Admissions Team at

Other routes of entry

If you don't currently meet our academic requirements, INTO University of Stirling offers a variety of preparation programmes that can earn you the qualifications and skills you need to progress onto some of our courses. Explore INTO University of Stirling to see the Foundation and International Year 2 routes available.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:

  • IELTS Academic or UKVI 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each sub-skill.
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic) 56 overall with a minimum of 51 in each sub-skill.
  • IBT TOEFL 78 overall with a minimum of 17 in listening, 18 in reading, 20 in speaking and 17 in writing.

See our information on English language requirements for more details on the language tests we accept and options to waive these requirements.

Pre-sessional English language courses

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner INTO University of Stirling offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to this degree.

Find out more about our pre-sessional English language courses

Course details

In Semesters 1-4, you’ll take the following core modules:

  • Applying a Sociological Lens - showing the power of thinking sociologically about the social order and a range of contemporary social issues.  
  • Applying a Social Policy Lens - Introduces students to an understanding of social policy as a subject of study with a focus on contemporary Britain.
  • Understanding Social Policy - historical and theoretical perspectives on social policy analysis including crime policy.
  • The Development of Social Theory: An Introduction to Classical and Contemporary Social Theory
  • Crime and Criminal Justice - the architecture of the criminal justice system, and evidence on, and explanations for, crime and offending.

You’ll also take additional modules in any subject in semesters 1-4.

In Semesters 5-8, you’ll take two core modules:

  • The Research Process is split into two modules.
    The first is an introduction to a range of research methods and a number of issues relating to the exploration of the social world. In the second, you’ll gain a deeper practical and theoretical understanding of research methods in sociology, criminology and social policy.

You'll also choose seven advanced option modules, which could include: Sociology of Childhood; Crimes of the Powerful; Social Stratification; Punishment and Society; Social Networks and Social Connections; Crime Trends; Work and Society; Drugs Crime and Society; or Gender, Crime and Justice. When you reach your final year of the Honours degree, you'll undertake a research based dissertation.


The module information below provides an example of the types of course module you may study. The details listed are for the academic year that starts in September 2024. Modules and start dates are regularly reviewed and may be subject to change in future years.

Course details


Teaching is delivered through lectures, workshops and small discussion groups. These may be a mix of campus based and online.

Year 1 modules aim to bridge the gap between school and university study through coursework assessments. You’ll also receive tuition in both qualitative and quantitative research methods, which is invaluable for your Year 4 dissertation.

All students in our Faculty have a named personal tutor to provide general and academic support throughout the four years of their degree.


Assessment for each module is usually based on a combination of coursework and examinations, for example, one essay (30 percent) and an examination (70 percent). The final-year dissertation counts for three modules. Your dissertation gives you the opportunity to put research methods you’ve studied into practice and focus on a particular interest.

Classroom hours

Typically, each module involves of two lectures plus one workshop per week.

Study abroad

As a University of Stirling student you’ll have the opportunity to broaden your horizons and study abroad through our well-established connections with several international universities.

Find out more about studying abroad.

Fees and funding

Fees and costs

Academic year: 2023/24 2024/25
Scottish students £1,820 £1,820
Students from England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland £9,250 £9,250
International students (including EU) £16,400 £17,200

Scottish students

This fee is set by the Scottish Government and is subject to change.

Although you’re liable for annual tuition fees, if you are domiciled in Scotland you can apply to the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) to have your tuition fees paid by the Scottish Government on your behalf.

You will be charged the annual tuition fee each year when you enrol.

If you need to take additional modules or resit modules, you will be liable for an additional fee.

For more information on courses invoiced on an annual fee basis, please read our tuition fee policy.

Students from England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland

This tuition fee may be subject to change depending on guidance provided by the UK Government.

You can apply for financial assistance, including a loan to cover the full cost of your tuition fees, from your relevant funding body. Students from the Republic of Ireland are eligible for a tuition fee loan of up to £9,250 from the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS).

We also offer additional funding – such as our Honours Year Scholarship – for students from England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland. See our funding opportunities section below for more information.

You will be charged the annual fee each year when you enrol. Your fees will be held at the same level throughout your course.

If you need to take additional modules or resit modules, you will be liable for an additional fee.

For more information on courses invoiced on an annual fee basis, please read our tuition fee policy.

International students (including EU)

Eligible students will automatically receive a scholarship worth between £8,000-£30,000 over the duration of your course. See our range of generous scholarships for international undergraduate students.

You will be charged the annual fee each year when you enrol. Your fees will be held at the same level throughout your course.

If you need to take additional modules or resit modules, you will be liable for an additional fee.

For more information on courses invoiced on an annual fee basis, please read our tuition fee policy.

Additional costs

There are some instances where additional fees may apply. Depending on your chosen course, you may need to pay additional costs, for example for field trips. Learn more about additional fees.


See what funding opportunities and loans are available to help you with tuition and living costs.

Students from Scotland

Find funding opportunities for Scottish students.

Students from England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland

Eligible students will automatically receive our Undergraduate Welcome Scholarship, Undergraduate Merit Scholarship, and our Honours Year Scholarship, which are worth between £1,000 and £9,250.

International students

Eligible international students will automatically receive a scholarship worth between £8,000-£30,000 over the duration of your course. Find funding opportunities for international students.

Cost of living

If you’re domiciled in the UK, you can typically apply to your relevant funding body for help with living costs. This usually takes the form of student loans, grants or bursaries, and the amount awarded depends upon your personal circumstances and household income.

International (including EU) students won’t normally be able to claim living support through SAAS or other UK public funding bodies. You should contact the relevant authority in your country to find out if you’re eligible to receive support.

Find out about the cost of living for students at Stirling.

Payment options

We aim to be as flexible as possible, and offer a wide range of payment methods - including the option to pay fees by instalments. Learn more about how to pay.

After you graduate

What can you do with a Criminology and Sociology degree?

As a Criminology and Sociology graduate, you’ll leave with the critical thinking, analytical and communication skills that are valued by many employers throughout the private, public and voluntary sectors. Also you’ll have the perfect training required for jobs related to crime, justice and welfare, such as a probation officer, police officer, youth worker and community development worker.

  • Stirling Criminology, Sociology and Social Policy graduates have a higher-than-average employment rate in degree relevant careers (in the UK)

Our Criminology and Sociology degree provides you with excellent training if you’re considering a career in areas such as:

  • the police
  • prison service
  • probation
  • social work
  • community care
  • the law
  • human rights agencies
  • youth work
  • charitable foundations

The analytical and critical-thinking skills you’ll develop, are also ideal for going into research, data-science and policy-related roles.

Companies we work with

You’ll benefit from our strong links with other organisations situated on the University of Stirling campus. These include the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research, The Scottish Institute for Policing Research, and the Salvation Army Centre for Addiction Services and Research.

What our students said

Kate Penton-Voak
Kate Penton-Voak
BA (Hons) Criminology and Sociology
The University offered me the Careers Service Internship, which allowed me to have a paid internship for a year alongside my studies, as opposed to in the holidays.
Read Kate's story
Megan McCulloch
BA (Hons) Criminology and Sociology
My favourite part about the course has been the variety of topics covered, I have taken modules ranging from Criminal Law to Social Stratification and I've been able to get a taste of the many different career paths that can be pursued with this degree.
Read Megan's story

Flexible study

This course is not available as a combined degree.