There is no ideal textbook for our course. However some are better than others for our purposes. And we are aware of student poverty.... However for the price of a good night out, one of these two very popular textbooks and the criminology dictionary below will serve you for all 3 years of our degree. You will be able to obtain them from the campus bookshop as well as online places like Amazon or, better still, because it helps with my costs, through my CrimeTalk bookshop.
Tim Newburn  Criminology [3rd ed.]. Abingdon: Routledge.
Piers Beirne & Jim Messerschmidt  Criminology. [6th ed.]. Oxford: Oxford UP.
Colin Sumner [2004 ed.] The Blackwell Companion to Criminology. Malden [Mass.], Oxford and Victoria [Aus.]: Blackwell.
Eugene McLaughlin & John Muncie  The Sage Dictionary of Criminology. [3rd ed.]. London: Sage.
The following will also be very useful for you throughout the degree:
Mike Maguire et al. [2012 ed.] The Oxford Handbook of Criminology. Oxford: Oxford UP.
Paul O’Mahony, [2002, ed.] Criminal Justice in Ireland (Dublin: Institute for Public Administration).
Colin Sumner (1994/2012) The Sociology of Deviance: an Obituary. North Somercotes: CrimeTalk Books. [Also an e-book]
Rob Reiner (2016) Crime: the Mystery of the Commonsense Concept. New York: Wiley.
And these classics remain good preliminaryreads as being top-class and important sociology/criminology:
David Robins & Phil Cohen (1978) Knuckle Sandwich: Growing Up in the Working-Class City. London: Penguin.
Stan Cohen & Laurie Taylor (1972) Psychological Survival: theExperience of Long-term Imprisonment. London: Penguin.
Erving Goffman (1968) Stigma. London: Penguin.
Howard S. Becker (1963) Outsiders. New York: Free Press.
See also the feature articles in Colin Sumner's criminology e-zine CrimeTalk at http://www.crimetalk.org.uk