Criminology with Counselling Skills

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Academic Year of Entry: 2024/25
Course overview
(BA) Bachelor of Arts
Criminology with Counselling Skills
University of Essex
University of Essex
Sociology and Criminology
Colchester Campus
Honours Degree
BA L333


Professional accreditation


Admission criteria

  • A-levels: BBB - BBC or 120 - 112 UCAS tariff points from a minimum of 2 full A-levels.
  • BTEC: DDM - DMM or 120 - 112 UCAS tariff points from a minimum of the equivalent of 2 full A-levels. The acceptability of BTECs is dependent on subject studied and optional units taken - email for advice.
  • Combined qualifications on the UCAS tariff: 120 - 112 UCAS tariff points from a minimum of 2 full A levels or equivalent. Tariff point offers may be made if you are taking a qualification, or mixture of qualifications, from the list on our undergraduate application information page.
  • IB: 30 - 29 points or three Higher Level certificates with 555-554.
  • IB Career-related Programme: We consider combinations of IB Diploma Programme courses with BTECs or other qualifications. Advice on acceptability can be provided, email Undergraduate Admissions.
  • QAA-approved Access to HE Diploma: 6 level 3 credits at Distinction and 39 level 3 credits at Merit, depending on subject studied - advice on acceptability can be provided, email Undergraduate Admissions.
  • T-levels: We consider T-levels on a case-by-case basis, depending on subject studied. The offer for most courses is Distinction overall. Depending on the course applied for there may be additional requirements, which may include a specific grade in the Core.

Contextual Offers:

We are committed to ensuring that all students with the merit and potential to benefit from an Essex education are supported to do so. For October 2024 entry, if you are a home fee paying student residing in the UK you may be eligible for a Contextual Offer of up to two A-level grades, or equivalent, below our standard conditional offer.
Factors we consider:

  • Applicants from underrepresented groups
  • Applicants progressing from University of Essex Schools Membership schools/colleges
  • Applicants who attend a compulsory admissions interview
  • Applicants who attend an Offer Holder Day at our Colchester or Southend campus

Our contextual offers policy outlines additional circumstances and eligibility criteria.

For further information about what a contextual offer may look like for your specific qualification profile, email

If you haven't got the grades you hoped for, have a non-traditional academic background, are a mature student, or have any questions about eligibility for your course, more information can be found on our undergraduate application information page or get in touch with our Undergraduate Admissions Team.

IELTS (International English Language Testing System) code

English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 6.0 overall, or specified score in another equivalent test that we accept.

Details of English language requirements, including component scores, and the tests we accept for applicants who require a Student visa (excluding Nationals of Majority English Speaking Countries) can be found here

If we accept the English component of an international qualification it will be included in the academic levels listed above for the relevant countries.

English language shelf-life

Most English language qualifications have a validity period of 5 years. The validity period of Pearson Test of English, TOEFL and CBSE or CISCE English is 2 years.

If you require a Student visa to study in the UK please see our immigration webpages for the latest Home Office guidance on English language qualifications.

Pre-sessional English courses

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.

Pending English language qualifications

You don’t need to achieve the required level before making your application, but it will be one of the conditions of your offer.

If you cannot find the qualification that you have achieved or are pending, then please email .

Requirements for second and final year entry

Different requirements apply for second and final year entry, and specified component grades are also required for applicants who require a visa to study in the UK. Details of English language requirements, including UK Visas and Immigration minimum component scores, and the tests we accept for applicants who require a Student visa (excluding Nationals of Majority English Speaking Countries) can be found here

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

Course qualifiers

A course qualifier is a bracketed addition to your course title to denote a specialisation or pathway that you have achieved via the completion of specific modules during your course. The specific module requirements for each qualifier title are noted below. Eligibility for any selected qualifier will be determined by the department and confirmed by the final year Board of Examiners. If the required modules are not successfully completed, your course title will remain as described above without any bracketed addition. Selection of a course qualifier is optional and student can register preferences or opt-out via Online Module Enrolment (eNROL).

  • Applied Data Science: In order to be eligible for the qualifier, you must successfully complete the following modules: Year Two: SC202 (15 credits) Researching the Real World: Quantitative Approaches to Studying Crime and Society and SC208 (15 credits) Quantitative Research: Crime and Inequality Across the Life Course. Final Year: SC385 (30 credits) Modelling Crime and Society and SC830 (30 credits) Quantitative Research Project For details of further recommended modules please web search “Essex Q-Step”.

Rules of assessment

Rules of assessment are the rules, principles and frameworks which the University uses to calculate your course progression and final results.

Additional notes


External examiners

Staff photo
Dr Emily Gray

Assistant Professor of Criminology

University of Warwick

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 2024 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.
You must pass this module. No failure can be permitted.
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.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.
Optional You can choose which module to study.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.

Year 1 - 2024/25

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01  SC104-4-FY-CO  Introduction to Crime, Law and Society  Core  30  30 
02  SC101-4-SP-CO  Researching Social Life  Core  15  15 
03  PA123-4-AU-CO  Understanding Individuals Groups and Organisations : An Introduction to Psychodynamic Concepts  Core  15  15 
04  SC111-4-FY-CO  The Sociological Imagination  Compulsory  30  30 
05  PA125-4-SP-CO  Child, Adolescent and Adult Development: Loss, Conflict and Growth  Compulsory  15  15 
06  SC099-4-AU-CO  Unlocking Your Academic Potential: How to Study at University  Compulsory  15  15 

Year 2 - 2025/26

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01  SC204-5-FY-CO  Sociology of Crime and Control  Compulsory  30  30 
02  PA408-5-SP-CO  Therapeutic Practice  Compulsory  15  15 
03  PA132-5-AU-CO  Observation Skills for Counselling  Compulsory  15  15 
04    Sociology methods option from list  Compulsory with Options  15  15 
05    Option(s) from list or SC201-5-FY  Optional  30  30 
06    Sociology spring term option from list  Optional  15  15 
07  SC199-5-FY-CO  Career Development and Making a Difference  Compulsory 

Year 3 - 2026/27

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01    Capstone option from list  Compulsory with Options  30  30 
02  PA210-6-AU-CO  Counselling Skills and Therapeutic Work  Compulsory  30  30 
03  SC382-6-AU-CO  Crime, Policy and Social Justice  Compulsory  15  15 
04  SC326-6-AU-CO  Psychiatry and Mental Illness  Compulsory  15  15 
05  SC304-6-SP-CO  Globalisation and Crime  Compulsory  15  15 
06    Sociology spring term option(s) from list  Optional  15  15 
07  SC199-6-FY-CO  Career Development and Making a Difference  Compulsory 

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

  • 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.

NB. Some modules may require a DBS check to be carried out.
Reference to the QAA Benchmarks for Criminology are indicated by the letter B.

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: An understanding of the relationship between theory, concepts and substantive issues in criminology (b)

A3: Understanding how key concepts and issues in criminology and counselling are understood in a different academic and national context (Year Abroad only)

A4: Applying academic learning outcomes in a work-related context (Placement Year only)

A5: A knowledge of the social, political and mediatised processes of victimisation and criminalisation (b)

A6: An understanding of the relationship of social divisions and diversity in relation to crime, deviance, victimisation and responses to crime (b)

A7: An understanding of changing and diverse policing forms, practices, structures and cultures, and the relationships between individuals, groups and public and private police (b)

A8: An understanding of the changing values, policies, practices and institutions involved in different forms of punishment, community safety, security and criminal justice (b)

A9: An understanding of the principles of research design and the main approaches to data collection in crime and social problems (b)

A10: An understanding of the value of comparative analysis (b)

A11: Knowledge of key counselling ideas and techniques

A12: An understanding of the nature and function of the counselling relationship

Learning methods

A1-7 and A10 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.

Modules 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, part of 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)

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.


The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

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