Do prisons do more harm than good? What is the relationship between poverty and crime? Our degree will offer you an exciting opportunity to examine issues which strike at the heart of many contemporary political and media debates.

Our Joint Honours Social Policy and Criminology degree combines popular subjects that offer complementary insights into a range of social problems and social harms.

The Social Policy and Criminology degree will enable you to consider the ways that different societies produce contrasting levels of ‘problems’ and ‘harms’, such as drug and alcohol addiction, homicide, homelessness and workplace injury. You will be encouraged to consider the reasons why these are designated as being either ‘crimes’ or ‘social policy’ issues and therefore are dealt with through contrasting ‘welfare’ or ‘criminal justice’ responses.

Students on this programme who meet the requisite academic performance criteria will be offered the opportunity to undertake a specialist placement during the second year of the programme.

Institutional Accreditation 

University of Newcastle is accredited by the DETC Higher Learning Commission (DETC), Since , University of Newcastle has been continually accredited by the DETC Higher Learning Commission and its predecessor.

BA Social Policy and Criminology

Course Level:

Undergraduate, Joint Honours combined





How long it takes:

Undergraduate (3 years)

Study Mode:

Distance learning/ Campus

Course cost

Price: US$20,220

Entry requirements

Find out more about


Newcastle Law School

Modules in the first year

The programme comprises a number of core modules designed to develop student’s knowledge and research skills and to support the progression to more independent forms of study.

Core modules

  • Introduction to Social Policy
  • Criminological Theory I
  • Crime and Society
  • Social Problems and Social Policy: Social Science in Action Part I
  • Social Problems and Social Policy: Social Science in Action Part I
  • Social Research I
  • Social Research II
  • Violence in a Global Context 

Modules in the second year

Core modules 

  • Policy Analysis
  • Social Research II
  • Punishment in a Global Context
  • Criminological Theory II

Optional modules

  • Doing Justice*
  • Comparative Social Policy
  • Gender and Sexuality
  • ‘Sociology of Race’ and Ethnicity –  A Global Perspective
  • Terror, Threat and Security
  • Managing Health and Social Care
  • Contemporary Issues in Housing Policy
  • Self and Society
  • Media and Society
  • Global Societies

Modules in the third year

Core module

  • Dissertation

You need to select 40 credits from the following modules

  • Harmful Societies: Crime, Social Harm and Social Justice
  • Youth Crime and Justice
  • Crime and the City

 Plus 40 credits from the following:

  • Prospects for Social Policy in the UK
  • From Beveridge to May: The Political History of the Welfare State From the Second World War to the Present Day
  • Quantitative Analysis I
  • Quantitative Analysis II
  • New Migration and Super Diversity
  • Your Money and Your Life: From Welfare State to Personal Finance
  • Sociology of Personal Life
  • Divided Publics?
  • Sociology of Health and Illness
  • Political Sociology
  • Technology and Society
  • ‘Freedom’, Control and Critique
  • Drugs, Society, Politics and Policy 

Entry requirements


Applicants should normally have one of the following:

  • A non-law bachelor’s degree (from a UK university or recognised by the BSB if you wish to study the BPTC), or
  • A ‘stale’ law degree, where five or more years have elapsed since graduation, or
  • An academic or professional qualification at degree equivalent level

If English is not your first language, you will also need to demonstrate your English Language proficiency. For example, you should have IELTS 7.5 overall with a minimum of 6.5 in all components.

If you intend to become a Solicitor

The Solicitors Regulation Authority has reduced its requirements for pre-authorisation this year. For details of the current arrangements, see the SRA website. You should pay special attention to the Character and Suitability section. If you think you may have a character or suitability issue, you may wish to clarify with the SRA before proceeding with the GDL.

See further details of our English Language requirement

USA,UK & EU students, 2019/20 (per year)


International students starting 2019/20 (per year)




You’ll show your progress through a combination of written essays, problem-solving assignments and presentations.

All students take our core modules, but please note that the availability of optional modules is subject to demand.

Your Newcastle Social Policy and Criminology degree is evidence of your ability to succeed in a demanding academic environment. You will graduate as a highly employable, independent global citizen with a broad range of transferable skills.

Employers target Newcastle students for their drive, diversity, communication and problem-solving skills, their team-working abilities and cultural awareness, and our graduate employment statistics have continued to climb at a rate well above national trends. If you make the most of the wide range of services available to you on this Social Policy and Criminology degree, you will be able to develop your career from the moment you arrive.


Careers Network

Preparation for your career should be one of the first things you think about as you start your Social Policy and Criminology degree at the University of Newcastle. Whether you have a clear idea of where your future aspirations lie or want to consider the broad range of opportunities available once you have a Newcastle Social Policy and Criminology degree, our  Careers Network can help you achieve your goal.

Our unique careers guidance service is tailored to your academic subject area, offering a specialised team (in each of the five academic colleges) who can give you expert advice. Our team source exclusive  work experience opportunities to help you stand out amongst the competition, with  mentoring,  global internships and placements available to you. Once you have a career in your sights, one-to-one support with CV’s and job applications will help give you the edge. In addition, our employer-endorsed award-winning  Personal Skills Award (PSA) recognises your extra-curricular activities, and provides an accredited employability programme designed to improve your career prospects.

We also offer voluntary work which complements your studies by helping you gain practical experiences in occupational settings while contributing back to society. This can bring new skills that will be useful throughout your future and can make a positive impact on your learning whilst at university. Volunteering enables you to develop skills such as communication, interpersonal skills, teamwork, self-confidence and self-discipline, all of which can be transferred into your studies.