BA Criminology

Welcome to the first undergraduate criminology degree in the Republic of Ireland! It is distinct, raising and confronting general, moral and cultural questions about criminalisation, and based in a Republic with a particular history of moral, political, cultural and economic concerns. We teach mostly critical and sociological criminology. But no BA can do everything and ours does little technocratic criminology, security studies or legalistic criminology. We don't do CSI or police science; we don't teach you how to catch criminals but we will discuss who are the criminals. The degree is multi-disciplinary, independent and academic. It provides a strong and interesting social science and humanities education before you go onto more vocational or technical postgraduate study or training. Here are some general things you need to know about this degree.....

NFQ Level 8, Major Award This is a three-year, full-time, interdisciplinary degree in Criminology. To be eligible for the award of the BA (Hons) degree a student will be required to have achieved 180 credits by obtaining 60 credits in each of First, Second, and Third Arts (Criminology). A student may not register for more than 60 credits in one academic year. For general information on this programme see the UCC Calendar entry. 

Based in the Department of Sociology at UCC, this programme aims to explore the causes of crime, the roots of moral censure, the fictions and myths of human deviance, the motivations for anti-social behaviour, the strange thrill of social deviance, the connections between crime and socio-economic development, the reasons for corporate and state crime, and the cultural nature of criminal justice systems.

You will see what different disciplines can offer the analysis of complex, global, issues involving huge differences in morality and ethics, and you will acquire a sophistication and flexibility of understanding, sensitivity and analysis that will prove invaluable for many people-oriented careers today. We are proud of our students' social awareness, and believe that this sensitive cultural, sociological and political understanding is a key product of the BA, along with practical research skills and analytic edge.

Apart from the core modules in sociology, criminology and social science research methods, this BA uniquely draws upon a wide range of social science, arts and humanities modules - in history, politics, applied social studies, applied psychology, philosophy,  law, modern languages - enabling students to forge their own distinct pathways, or to create their own menus, in Years 2 and 3. It captures the full interdisciplinary and international flavour of contemporary criminology. We even offer a 4-year International Pathway version of the degree, where students can study criminology abroad in their third year before returning to us fore their final year.

Year 1 is foundational, and like many undergraduate criminology degrees in the UK it provides the tools of the trade needed to take the criminology modules in Years 2 and 3. So that year involves a look at criminology's history, its big studies, and its key concepts and debates. There are also modules that introduce you to Sociology, Psychological Criminology and Law, and some that sustain your Language competence with a view to enhancing future employment prospects.

What is unique and different about the UCC BA Criminology?

  • A compulsory core in the sociology of crime and deviance running through Years 2 and 3; taught by one of the founders of the journal Theoretical Criminology, looking at classical studies, contemporary critical criminology and the meaning of evil; 
  • Research-driven teaching from a top-quality staff with experience in teaching and/or researching criminology in top universities, widely published in their own fields, regularly undertaking funded research, and an ex-Cambridge Criminology Programme Director with exceptional experience of developing criminology degrees;
  • A menu of fascinating option modules such as Policing Modern Society, Terrorism, Victimology, Women, Social Control and Coercive Confinement, Education in Prisons, Corporate Crime, Criminal Law, Penal Policy, Human Rights, Comparative Policing, Sex Offenders, Animals and Crime, Online Crime, Human Trafficking, Cities and Crime, Policing and Popular Justice in Ireland, Regulating the Environment, Sociology of Courts and Sentencing, Political Sociology, Forensic Psychology, Crime & Media in Ireland, Religion & Magic in Reformation Europe, Gender and Crime, Moral Responsibility, Crime, Violence and Revolutionary Ireland, and War, State & Society.
  • A technical language stream, optional in Year One and possible throughout, in Irish, French, German, Spanish and Italian, with accompanying cultural and literary modules relevant to criminology, such as those on Primo Levi, the Italian media and German national identity;
  • The delivery of an international knowledge in criminology with constant reference throughout to studies of Irish crime and criminal justice;
  • A commitment to small-group teaching, to continuous assessment rather than examinations, to engagement with students not mere knowledge dissemination, and to a personal tutor system to mitigate the transition from a Leaving Cert with minimal social science.
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