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

    €3,165 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

    2017: 412

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.


Year 1 Modules:


  • CR1001 Criminology: A History and Introduction (5 credits)
  • CR1002 Criminology: Key Concepts, Studies and Issues (10 credits)
  • CR1003 Introduction to the Psychology of Crime (5 credits)
  • SC1012 Introduction to Sociology (A) (5 credits)
  • SC1013 Key Issues in Sociology (B) (10 credits);

plus one 10-credit option from the following:

Law (10 credits):

  • LW1168 Introduction to the Legal System for Criminology I
  • LW1169 Introduction to the Legal System for Criminology II


Criminology (10 credits)

  • CR1004 Introduction to Law and Social Control
  • CR1005 Law, Crime and Societies


15 credits of language options in one of French, German, Spanish, Irish or Italian or


  • PH1001 (15 credits) or 15 credits of Government modules:
  • GV1217 Introduction to Political Science (5 credits);
  • GV1204 Democracy, Ideology and Utopia (5 credits) and
  • GV1207 Politics and Government of Ireland

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, Crime and Media in Ireland;  Victims and Victimology;  Sex Offenders;  Crime, Urbanisation and Cities;  Coercive Confinement and Social Control in Ireland;  Terrorism and Political Violence;  Policing Modern Society; Comparative Perspectives on Policing;  Policing and Popular Justice in Ireland, 1803-1960; Crime, Violence, and Revolutionary Ireland, 1913-1925; Education in Prisons;  Anthropology and Social Control;  Gender and Crime;  Life-course Criminology and Desistance;  Social Statistics;  Penal Policy and Practice;  Abnormal Psychology;  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 Criminal Justice Policy (10 credits)

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

Human Trafficking;   Animals and Crime;  Online Crime;  Drugs, Crime and Society;  Corporate Crime;  Regulating the Environment;  Forensic Psychology;  Religion and Magic in Reformation Europe;  Witches, Demons, Jews and Heretics;  Censorship in Twentieth-Century Ireland;  Abnormal Psychology;  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 Health and Illness;  Social Statistics; Family, Gender, Sexualities;  Forensic Psychology;  French; Gaeilge/Irish;  German;  History;  Hispanic Studies;  Italian plus modules in Philosophy, Government and Politics.

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

See the College Calendar for additional information on the Programme and the Book of Modules for further information on 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 including Professor Colin Sumner, Dr Orla Lynch and Dr Katharina Swirak.   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

BA, Criminology

This is Ireland’s first undergraduate degree in criminology. It was developed by Professor Colin Sumner, a former Cambridge criminologist with extensive publications in the field, and is part of a growing, vibrant culture in criminology and criminal justice at UCC involving an MA, LLM and PhD, plus the online magazine Crimetalk.

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 requirement of 2*H5 and 4*O6/H7. Applicants will need to meet the following minimum entry requirements:



Other Language





FETAC Requirements.

Non-EU Candidates

Non-EU candidates are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to the Irish Leaving Certificate. In addition, where such candidates 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 for this programme please visit our qualification comparison pages.

For more detailed entry requirement information please refer to the International website.

Mature Students Requirements

Please refer to the mature student entry requirements for details. 

Fees and Costs

The State will pay the tuition fees for students who satisfy the Free Fees Criteria. In 2017/18 the Student Contribution Charge was €3,000 and the Capitation Fee was €165.

Full-time EU/EEA/Swiss State undergraduate students may be exempt from paying tuition fees.

Non-EU Fees

The 2017/2018 Undergraduate Fees Schedule is available here.

How Do I Apply

EU Applicants: Application to Year 1 of the degree programme is made directly through the Central Applications Office (CAO). Applicants should apply online at www.cao.ie. The normal closing date for receipt of completed applications is 1st February of the year of entry.

Non-EU Applicants

Mature Applicants:  Application is made through the CAO and applicants must also sit the MSAP exam.  Mature applicants are very welcome in the study of criminology on CK113.

Non-EU Applications

Applicants who are interested in applying for the programme can apply online.

For full details of the non-EU application procedure visit our how to apply pages for international students.


**All Applicants please note: modules listed in the course outline above are indicative of the current set of modules for this course, but these are subject to change from year to year. Please check the college calendar for the full academic content of any given course for the current year. 

In UCC, we use the term programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools and departments. 

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