UCC Undergraduate courses


About This Course

Fact File

  • Title


  • Code


  • College

    Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences

  • Duration

    3 or 4 years for the International Pathway

  • Teaching Mode


  • Qualifications

    BA (Hons)

  • Fees

    €3,138 Student Contribution + Capitation See Fees and Costs for full details.

  • Entry Requirements

    2 x H5, 4 x O6/H7; O6/H7 in another language See Requirements for full details.

  • CAO Points

    2023: 431

Course Outline

The Criminology BA is a window on the world, giving insight into human diversity in complex societies and a textured view of our propensity to err, conflict, blame and punish. 

This contemporary course combines key topics in the social sciences and law – such as crime, deviance, morality, conflict, censure and justice – with philosophy, history, cultural studies and a language. The result is an exceptional breadth and depth of perspective and context. 

This is a research-driven, interdisciplinary programme that delivers an international body of knowledge, as well as research skills and critical thinking. The programme provides a strong intellectual background for anyone thinking of working in culturally sensitive areas such as policing, prisons, social work, journalism, politics, research, care, health and justice agencies, support groups, charities, film or television.


All modules 5 credits unless otherwise stated.

Year 1 Modules

  • CR1001 Criminology: A History and Introduction 
  • CR1002 Criminology: Key Concepts, Studies and Issues (10 credits)
  • CR1003 Introduction to the Psychology of Crime 
  • CR1004 Introduction to Law and Social Control  
  • SC1013 Key Issues in Sociology (Part A) (10 credits)
  • SC1012 Introduction to Sociology (Part A)
  • LW1169 Introduction to the Legal System for Criminology

Plus students choose one 15-credit option from the following:

  • French, German, Italian, Spanish, or Irish (15 credits)


  • PH1001 Introduction to Philosophy (15 credits)

Government and Politics ( GV1217, GV1204, GV1207 - 15 credits)

  • GV1217 Introduction to Political Science
  • GV1204 Democracy, Ideology and Utopia 
  • GV1207 Politics and Government of Ireland

Please go to the individual subject pages for a list of first-year modules to find out more information.

Year 2 Modules

  • SC2021 Sociology of Crime and Deviance (5 credits)
  • CR2001 Contemporary Criminological Theory
  • SC2002 Introduction to Social Research


Forensic Sociology;  Official Criminal Statistics, Victims and Victimology; Crime, Urbanisation and Cities; Coercive Confinement and Social Control in Ireland;  Terrorism and Political Violence;  Policing Modern Society; Education in Prisons; Digital Deviance; Young People and Crime; Life-course Criminology and Desistance; Inside-Out Criminal Justice and Social Justice; Political Sociology; Sociology of Education; Race, Ethnicity and Nationalism; Social Theory; Social Statistics;  Penal Policy and Practice; Criminal Law; Criminal Evidence; International Human Rights Law;  French;  Gaeilge/Irish; German;  Hispanic Studies;  Italian plus modules in Philosophy, Government and Politics.

Year 3* Modules

  • CR3001 Dissertation on Criminology: research design (5 credits);
  • CR3002 Dissertation on Criminology (10 credits);
  • CR3010 Punishment, Rehabilitation and Radical Alternatives in Comparative Contexts (10 credits)

Electives (include many modules on offer from Year 2 as well as modules on):

Digital Deviance; Drugs, Crime, and Society;  Corporate Crime; Sociology of the Environment; Religion and Magic in Reformation Europe;  Witches, Demons, Jews and Heretics;  Censorship in Twentieth-Century Ireland; Political Philosophy; Professional Ethics; Social Theory;  Sociology of Development and Globalization: Introduction to Planning and Sustainable Development; Sociology of Media;  Sociology of Law;  Sociology of Memory, Trauma and Collective Denial; Sociology of the City; The Walking Classroom: Walking the Anthropocene as Critical Pedagogy; Social Statistics; French; Gaeilge/Irish;  German;  History;  Hispanic Studies; Italian plus modules in Philosophy, Government and Politics.

*Students may opt to spend the third year studying at a partner institution abroad if they are registered on the BA Criminology (International Pathway).

Academic Programme Catalogue

See the Academic Programme Catalogue for the complete and up-to-date content for this course. Note that the modules for all courses are subject to change from year-to-year. For complete descriptions of individual modules, see the Book of Modules.

Course Practicalities

Written exams will take place before Christmas and in May.  Not all modules will have formal examinations.  Most modules use other types of assessment, such as essays.

In the final year, students must write a dissertation, which will normally be a literature review, on a topic of their choosing, and thus have the opportunity to undertake a substantial research.

Who teaches this course?

Core modules of this degree will be taught by UCC academic staff members.   Several electives will be taught by outside experts, including practitioners from the criminal justice system, and there will be seminars led by doctoral students and local scholars.

Why Choose This Course

You will study elements of sociology, law, and psychology as you explore what crime is, who criminals are, and why it happens...

Michael Devine, Graduate

Criminology gives the student the opportunity to take modules on sociology, psychology, anthropology, law as well as social policy. Connecting the dots in later years [...] was amazing...

Ute Krenzer

Find Out More
If you have any interest in the areas of crime, what it is, what it means, or why some people commit crimes and others don’t, I would definitely suggest looking into studying BA Criminology...

Rebecca Parker

Find Out More

Choose this course if you later want to work in your society to confront its social problems on the basis of a sophisticated analysis of crime, moral regulation and social deviance and if you want to develop a professional approach to bad behaviour, discipline and justice.

Placement or Study Abroad Information

You will have the option of adding a year to this three-year degree by studying abroad in Year 3.

We currently have links with universities in the following countries: Canada, Denmark, Italy, Poland, Sweden, USA and the UK

You will return to UCC to complete your final year.

Skills and Careers Information

Students on this course will develop skills in critical thinking, comparative and cultural analysis, research methods and statistics. They will also strengthen their grasp of the role of history and examine the basis of moral justifications.

This skill set is invaluable for sensitive occupations such as:

  • policing
  • prisons
  • probation
  • social work
  • social administration
  • security work
  • charities
  • journalism
  • television and film
  • politics
  • community development


Leaving Certificate entry requirements:

At Least six subjects must be presented. Minimum grade H5 in two subjects and minimum grade O6/H7 in four other subjects. English and Irish are requirements for all programmes unless the applicant is exempt from Irish. Applicants will need to meet the following minimum entry requirements:

EnglishIrishOther Language
O6/H7 O6/H7 O6/H7

Mature Student: Find out about the mature entry requirements here.

Other qualifications: EU/EFTA/UK students presenting an alternative school-leaving qualification (e.g. A-levels or International Baccalaureate) or QQI/FE course should visit our EU/EFTA/UK Applicants pages for further information. 

Non-EU Applicants

Non-EU applicants are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to the Irish Leaving Certificate. In addition, where such applicants are non-native speakers of the English language they must satisfy the university of their competency in the English language.

To verify if you meet the minimum academic and language requirements visit our qualification comparison page and refer to our International Office page for more information.

Fees and Costs

  • Whether you are an EU or Non-EU student will affect the course fees applicable to you. See more information on EU Fees, Non-EU Fees, or Free Fees Status.
  • The State will pay the tuition fees for EU students who are eligible under the Free Fees Scheme. The annual student contribution and capitation fees are payable by the student.
  • See the Fee Schedule to find out the course fee.
  • Check out scholarships that may be available to you.
  • Explore our Nurturing Bright Futures free online course (Module 5) to learn about managing your money as a student and budgeting for university life.

How Do I Apply

Irish and European (EU/EFTA/UK) Applicants

Apply via the CAO. See the CAO Handbook for useful information on applying through the CAO. 

Mature Applicants 

Apply via the CAO by 1 February. To apply for a place as a mature student, you must be 23 years of age on or before 1 January of the year of entry.

QQI/FET Applicants 

Apply via the CAOSee our QQI/FET Applicants page for information on the Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) Further Education and Training (FET) application process. 

Non-EU Applicants 

If you are from outside the EU/EFTA/UK, apply online via the UCC Apply portal. See our International Office page for more information. 

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact