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Criminology with Counselling Skills

Course overview

(BA) Bachelor of Arts
Criminology with Counselling Skills
University of Essex
University of Essex
Colchester Campus
Honours Degree
BA L333

A-levels: BBB

IB: 30 points. We are also happy to consider a combination of separate IB Diploma Programmes at both Higher and Standard Level. Exact offer levels will vary depending on the range of subjects being taken at higher and standard level, and the course applied for. Please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for more information.

Entry requirements for students studying BTEC qualifications are dependent on units studied. Advice can be provided on an individual basis. The standard required is generally at Distinction level.

English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 6.0 overall. Different requirements apply for second year entry, and specified component grades are also required for applicants who require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK.

Other English language qualifications may be acceptable so please contact us for further details. If we accept the English component of an international qualification then it will be included in the information given about the academic levels listed above. Please note that date restrictions may apply to some English language qualifications

If you are an international student requiring a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK please see our immigration webpages for the latest Home Office guidance on English language qualifications.

If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.

Additional Notes

If you’re an international student, but do not meet the English language or academic requirements for direct admission to this degree, you could prepare and gain entry through a pathway course. Find out more about opportunities available to you at the University of Essex International College here.

External Examiners provide an independent overview of our courses, offering their expertise and help towards our continual improvement of course content, teaching, learning, and assessment. External Examiners are normally academics from other higher education institutions, but may be from the industry, business or the profession as appropriate for the course. They comment on how well courses align with national standards, and on how well the teaching, learning and assessment methods allow students to develop and demonstrate the relevant knowledge and skills needed to achieve their awards. External Examiners who are responsible for awards are key members of Boards of Examiners. These boards make decisions about student progression within their course and about whether students can receive their final award.

eNROL, the module enrolment system, is now open until Monday 21 October 2019 8:59AM, for students wishing to make changes to their module options.


Core You must take this module You must pass this module. No failure can be permitted.
Core with Options You can choose which module to study
Compulsory You must take this module There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.
Compulsory with Options You can choose which module to study
Optional You can choose which module to study

Year 2 - 2020/21

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Credits
01 SC203-5-FY Researching Social Life II Compulsory 30
02 SC204-5-FY Sociology of Crime and Control Compulsory 30
03 PA236-5-SP The Counselling Relationship Compulsory 15
04 PA237-5-AU Introduction to Psychodynamic Concepts Compulsory 15
05 Option(s) from list or SC201-5-FY Optional 30

Year 3 - 2021/22

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Credits
01 SC831-6-FY Research Project: Sociology Compulsory 30
02 SC382-6-FY Crime, Policy and Social Justice Compulsory 30
03 PA210-6-AU Counselling Skills for Therapeutic Work Compulsory 30
04 SC326-6-FY or SC304-6-FY Compulsory with Options 30

Exit awards

A module is given one of the following statuses: 'core' – meaning it must be taken and passed; 'compulsory' – meaning it must be taken; or 'optional' – meaning that students can choose the module from a designated list. The rules of assessment may allow for limited condonement of fails in 'compulsory' or 'optional' modules, but 'core' modules cannot be failed. The status of the module may be different in any exit awards which are available for the course. Exam Boards will consider students' eligibility for an exit award if they fail the main award or do not complete their studies.

Programme aims

Reference to the QAA Benchmarks for Criminology are indicated by the letter B.

To provide students with an understanding of the distinctive character of criminological and criminal legal thinking (B).

To provide students with a knowledge of the main theoretical traditions of criminology and criminal law (B).

To provide students with an understanding of research methods in criminology and criminal law (B).

To provide students with basic counselling skills and an overall understanding of the helping relationship.

To provide students with an understanding of the nature and the causes of emotional and relational difficulties which influence behaviour.

To develop students’ capacity for critical enquiry, argument and analysis (B).

To develop students capacity for independent learning.

To provide students with the knowledge and skills to enable them to proceed to further study and research.

Learning outcomes and learning, teaching and assessment methods

On successful completion of the programme a graduate should demonstrate knowledge and skills as follows:

A: Knowledge and understanding

A1 A knowledge of key criminological concepts and theories
A2 A knowledge of the social, political and mediatised processes of victimisation and criminalisation (b)
A3 An understanding of the relationship of social divisions and diversity in relation to crime, deviance, victimisation and responses to crime (b)
A4 An understanding of changing and diverse policing forms, practices, structures and cultures, and the relationships between individuals, groups and public and private police (b)
A5 An understanding of the changing values, policies, practices and institutions involved in different forms of punishment, community safety, security and criminal justice (b)
A6 An understanding of the principles of research design and the main approaches to data collection in crime and social problems (b)
A7 An understanding of the value of comparative analysis (b)
A8 Knowledge of key counselling ideas and techniques
A9 An understanding of the nature and function of the counselling relationship
A10 An understanding of the relationship between theory, concepts and substantive issues in criminology (b)
A11 Understanding how key concepts and issues in criminology and counselling are understood in a different academic and national context (Year Abroad only)
A12 Applying academic learning outcomes in a work-related context (Placement Year only)
Learning Methods: A1-7 and 10 are acquired via lectures and classes in Sociology and Criminology to present material - ideas, data and arguments- in a clear and structured manner using examples, mapping the field and the contours of debates.
A8 and 9 are acquired via lectures and workshops in Counselling Skills (delivered by the Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies – see below)

In each Module the issues and arguments covered in lectures are explored further through weekly classes or workshops for which students have to prepare.

The curriculum is designed to involve clear progression between the foundational work in the first year and the subsequent compulsory Modules.

There is a strong emphasis on developing students’ theoretical understanding of criminological work through the compulsory criminology modules, especially the progressive structuring of the material in SC104, SC204, SC382, and the optional SC304..

Classes, and preparation for classes, provide the opportunity for students to develop their knowledge and understanding of the content of the Modules.

In addition student learning takes place through the work they do preparing essays and assignments.

In the first year on SC101 students are required to produce assignments based on selected empirical and methodological studies in sociology/social science.

SC104 and SC101 also specifically introduce students to examples of ongoing research in the criminology within the department.

In the second-year Module SC203 students gain knowledge of research methods through workshops and small groups, in the context of preparation for the final year project.

In the third-year Modules SC304 and SC382, there is a particular focus on comparative analysis and on criminal justice practitioners in action through international case studies and guest sessions.

In their third year all students must carry out independent work for a research project (SC831) for which they receive some individual supervision.

, Through all stages of the course, Counselling Skills modules are delivered through lectures and seminars for theoretical learning, but also include experiential learning, such as reflective groups and practice workshops.
Assessment Methods: Outcomes A1 to A7 and A10 are assessed through Module work and unseen written examinations.

Module work includes assessed oral presentations, essays, assignments, journals, and a research proposal.

A8 and A9 are assessed through essays, written observations, observation commentaries and case studies.
In addition, the assessed work for all third year students includes a research project.

B: Intellectual and cognitive skills

B1 An ability to understand, summarise and critically assess criminological work (b)
B2 An ability to compare competing theories and explanations (b)
B3 An ability to develop a reasoned argument (b)
B4 An ability to assemble, evaluate and interpret evidence (b)
B5 An understanding of the epistemological and ethical dimensions of research (b)
B6 A capacity to apply psychodynamic concepts and ideas to individuals, families and groups
B7 An ability to understand and describe the underlying factors behind manifest behaviour
Learning Methods: Students enhance the above intellectual skills primarily through the work they do for their Modules, although lectures and classes provide a means of teachers demonstrating these skills.

Preparation for classes and class presentations involve the reading, interpretation and evaluation of criminological and psychodynamic counselling/ texts and the collection and evaluation of empirical data and policy documents.

For the observation-based learning in the counselling modules , students will be observing out in the community or in a placement.
Students will receive feedback on their own ‘in the community’ or ‘placement based’ observations in observation seminars. Both tutors and students will be contributing to feedback, comment and discussion.

Class tutors provide feedback on class presentations and contributions to classes through comment and discussion.

Similarly, the preparation of essays and other assignments also develop the listed intellectual skills.

Students are provided with feedback on all assessed work and this is crucial to their intellectual development.

Their work for the first, second and third-year journals and the third year research project is also vital to the Department’s learning and teaching strategy for this degree.
Assessment Methods: Outcomes for the criminology Modules B1 to B5 are assessed by Module work and exam.

B1 and B2 are assessed through essays, assignments, journals, oral presentations and unseen written examinations for the criminology Modules.

Not all assignments require the evaluation and interpretation of empirical evidence (B4) though many do, and these skills are specifically assessed in some of the assignments for SC203.

B6 and B7 – Counselling Skills modules – are assessed through essays, written observations, observation commentaries and case studies.

On all Modules students are required to marshal material in order to expound an argument.

C: Practical skills

C1 An ability to retrieve relevant criminological, sociological and legal evidence or sources using bibliographic and web searches (b) An ability to retrieve relevant criminological, sociological and legal evidence or sources using bibliographic and web searches (b) An ability to retrieve relevant criminological, sociological and legal evidence or sources using bibliographic and web searches (b)
C2 An ability to summarise, report and evaluate arguments, texts and findings in the field of criminology (b)
C3 An ability to frame a research proposal and to identify and apply the appropriate research methods
C4 An ability to undertake scholarly work and use appropriate terminology (b)
C5 An ability to take up an observer role and observe the detail in human behaviour
C6 A capacity for self-awareness and to reflect on personal experience
C7 An ability to develop a psychodynamic stance in placement-based work
C8 An ability to conduct and present a small scale piece of research
Learning Methods: In the first year assignments cover tasks such as producing a bibliography on a criminological and/or legal topic.

Throughout the three years of the degree practical skills are developed through preparation for classes, preparing essays and other assessed assignments, giving presentations and doing written examinations.

In SC101, students carry out an observational study.

The work for SC 204 includes the detailed examination and interpretation of key criminological texts and in SC203 students frame a research proposal and select the appropriate research methods.

In addition the third year project for SC831 is particularly valuable in developing students’ practical sociological skills.

Some of these skills are further developed through the work students do for their optional courses.

In PA236 students will be studying case studies in the light of distinct theoretical approaches.

In PA123 students carry out observations in the community and in a placement, developing skills in psychodynamic observation including greater self-awareness and reflective practice.

Students receive detailed feedback on all their coursework and presentations.

Study skills advice and training is available from the Student Support Officer in the Resource Room, which is dedicated to this purpose.
Assessment Methods: Skill C1 is specifically assessed in the first year SC111 and SC104 assignments, but also forms part of the assessment of almost every piece of assessed Module work.

Skills C2 and C4 are assessed in the majority of pieces of assessed Module work and written examinations.

C3 and C4 are assessed in the Module assignments for SC203.

C3, C4 and C8 are assessed in the third year research project (SC831).

C5, C6, C7 are assessed by written observation commentaries and via the subjective and reflective elements of all Counselling Skills assignments.

D: Key skills

D1 An ability to present ideas and evidence to others in a clear and concise manner
D2 An ability to collect and present materials using information technology
D3 An ability to read, interpret and draw inferences from statistics and an ability to carry out statistical analysis.
D4 An ability to identify problems and propose solutions
D5 Become effective in interpersonal functioning
D6 An ability to plan and work together in groups.
D7 An ability to plan work and manage time, and an ability to reflect on their own work and respond constructively to the comments of others
Learning Methods: Generic skills are taught and learned throughout the degree through a range of strategies, for example, requiring students to give oral presentations, through giving them specific assignments such as carrying bibliographic and web searches, through specific assignments requiring numerical skills, and through class discussion and class and essay preparation.

Students have the opportunity to discuss essay plans with staff and are given clear deadlines for their work which they must meet.

They are given feedback on all their Module work and are encouraged to reflect and improve upon their work.

Students also have the opportunity to develop skills in working in groups through their participation in the classes for every Module.

In Counselling Skills modules students are encouraged to take up the opportunity of learning about their own communicative and interpersonal functioning within seminar discussion and reflective groups. Problem solving skills are developed by the assessment of case examples and via discussion in psychoanalytic observation seminar.
Assessment Methods: Communication and debating skills are assessed throughout the degree by continuous assessed Module work (including oral presentation) and examinations.

IT skills are a component in the evaluation of most assessed work which require bibliographic and web searches, but there is a particular focus on them in assessments such as the sociological and criminological journals and in the literature review assignment for SC203.

Numeracy skills are assessed in the assignments for SC104, which include interpretation of crime statistics, and in SC203, which includes the computer application of statistical procedures.

D1, D5, D6 and D7 are assessed in Counselling Skills modules by essay, observation commentary, case study and reflective reports. D4 - Problem solving is assessed via all assignments but particularly in case studies.

Problem solving skills are assessed in almost all assignments.

Since the curriculum is structured in a progressive manner, student skills in improving learning and performance are also assessed through the related structured progression of formal assessed work.


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