Sociology and Criminology BA (Hons)

Course code L30C

What is special about this course?

How curious are you about crime, why it happens and what we are doing to prevent it? Are you observing the changing world around you and wondering about the impact it's having on society and human behaviour?

If you are interested in studying crime and society, then the BA (Hons) Sociology and Criminology degree will give you a solid grounding in both disciplines. The course offers students the opportunity to study a wide range of sociological and criminological themes and topics across a broad sweep of modules, emphasising the value of empirical and theoretical approaches.  This is achieved by exploring the changing nature of the social world and of crime, and addressing the social, political, historical and individual forces behind such changes. 

The context for both subjects is local, national and global perspectives, looking at their similarities and differences.  There is strong emphasis on research methods which will give you the skills necessary to carry out independent research for your future career, including your dissertation in the fourth year. 

In the first and second years, you will follow a traditional broad approach to the study of sociology and criminology. In years three and four, you will examine in-depth particular areas of sociology and criminology, allowing you to study specific topics and themes which reflect staff research specialisms (including cybercrime and the networked society). Each year, you will build on your analytical and research abilities through the core research methods modules. 

The degree also offers the opportunity to study other Humanities subjects such as history, literature, archaeology, politics, and theology. 

Please see our FAQ sheet for further information on this course.

Special features

  • You have the opportunity to combine the study of the social world with the study of crime and its control
  • You will develop your research and methodological skills, which you can take into your future career
  • You will have the opportunity to attend the annual staff/student Social Sciences conference, and in your 4th year, you will have the opportunity to present at the conference, further enhancing the graduate skills you develop as part of the course
  • You will develop and enhance your digital skills 
  • The joint nature of the degree will give you greater flexibility in employment, advanced study and research opportunities
  • Taught by highly experienced academics
  • Exciting modules, based on staff research, are offered at upper levels
  • With full-time or part-time options, you can fit your studies around your personal circumstances
  • You can study individual modules for personal or professional development


We offer modern student accommodation at a number of our locations.

Entry requirements

Entry to year one:

  • 3 Scottish Highers at grade BBC or above, or
  • 2 A levels at grade BC or above
  • At least two should be from the list of relevant academic subjects
  • Applicants with other relevant qualifications or experience will be considered on an individual basis
  • This is a Category 2 PVG course: PVG Scheme membership is required for specific optional modules/unit(s), where there is guaranteed contact with vulnerable groups in optional module/unit(s), but an alternative pathway exists to achieve target qualification. For further information visit our PVG scheme webpage

Advanced entry to year two:

  • HNC Social Sciences (12 SQA credits) with 3 additional SQA credits at level 7 which is equivalent to 120 degree credit points, and at least grade C in the Graded Unit will be considered for direct entry to year two

Access routes

SWAP Access courses
If you are eligible to undertake Scottish Wider Access Programmes (SWAP), please visit our SWAP access list for further information on grade profiles and available subjects.

Year 1 - CertHE

Core modules are:

  • Understanding the social world
  • The enquiring student
  • Introduction to criminological theory
  • Making social lives

You will also choose two option modules from our range of humanities subjects.

Year 2 - DipHE

Core modules are

  • Sociological theory (S1)
  • Qualitative research methods (S1)
  • History of crime and punishment (S1)
  • The politics of policing (S2)
  • Practical research and analysis skills (S2)
  • Belief, culture and community (S2)

You will also choose one option module from our range of humanities subjects

Year 3 - BA

Core modules may include:

  • Work and society (S1)
  • Advanced social research (S1)
  • Victimology (S1)
  • Psychology of criminal justice (S1)
  • Sociology: contemporary Scottish issues (S2)
  • Frontiers, landscapes and journeys (S2)
  • Gender, crime and justice (S2)
  • Strange cases: crime literature and the construction of crime (S2)
  • Understanding violence in sport (S2)

Year 4 - BA (Hons)

In the fourth year you will undertake a dissertation in either sociology or criminology.

You will also study one option module from your chosen dissertation subject plus three option modules from the other subject. Modules may include:


  • Networked society: mass media and the information age (S1)
  • Insiders and outsiders in society (S1)
  • Our digital future: society (S2)


  • Globalisation of crime (S1)
  • Cultural criminology (S1)
  • The darker side of the internet (S2)
  • Restorative justice (S2)

How will I study my course?

  • Full-time
  • Part-time (structured)
  • Part-time (unstructured)
  • You will learn through a combination of scheduled video conference lectures and tutorials, and online study via the university’s virtual learning environment (VLE), with support from your tutors. There is normally a weekly two-hour timetabled video conference lecture for each module.

How long will my course last?

  • Full-time: 4 years @ 40 hours per week 
  • Part-time (structured): 8 years @ 20 hours per week 
  • Part-time (unstructured): up to 10 years 

Number of hours per week indicates the total number of hours you should dedicate to the course, which includes time spent in lectures and your own time spent on individual study and research. 

Where can I study my course?

  • Argyll
  • HTC
  • Inverness
  • Moray
  • North, West and Hebrides
  • Orkney
  • Perth
  • Shetland

Start date

  • September


For students normally domiciled in Scotland, with a term-time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

This includes

  • EU nationals with settled or pre-settled status in the UK,
  • EEA/Swiss nationals with settled status in the UK
  • EEA/Swiss nationals with pre-settled status who are self-employed or migrant workers in the UK.
Full-time (120 credit modules) per year £1,820
Part-time (structured) (3 x 20 credit modules) per year £915
Part-time (unstructured per module) (per 20 credit module) £305

Rest of the UK students

For students normally domiciled in the rest of the UK (England, Wales and N. Ireland) or assessed as rest of the UK for fee status the following fees apply:

Full-time online per year (120 credit modules) £6,120
Part-time online (per 20 credit module) £1,020

International students

This course is not available to students domiciled outside of the UK or for international students (including EU/EEA and Swiss nationals without settled status in the UK) requiring Student Route visa sponsorship to study here. For students living in the UK and assessed as international for fee status, the following fees will apply:

This includes EEA/Swiss nationals with pre-settled status who are not self-employed or migrant workers in the UK.

Full-time online per year (120 credit modules) £6,540
Part-time online (per 20 credit module) £1,090

A no fee increase guarantee is available for self-funding full-time and structured part-time rest of the UK and international undergraduate students for continuous study for the same award, up to the permitted standard time limit for the relevant award.


UHI has a number of scholarships, bursaries, awards, and discretionary fund opportunities available to new and current students. Please use the A-Z of funds or use the filter to see which ones may be relevant to you. All students are welcome to apply.

Further information on funding your studies is also available, please see the attached link or contact the relevant UHI partner.

What can I do on completion of my course?

On successful completion of this degree, you will have a wide range of employment opportunities in the commercial, statutory and voluntary sectors including:

  • Community development work
  • Prisons
  • Teaching
  • Social work
  • Youth worker
  • Education (teaching)
  • Community work 
  • Social policy and management
  • Policing
  • Researcher
  • Local Authority
  • Central and local government
  • Non-profit-making organisations, including the NHS
  • Educational institutions and charities that work with vulnerable individuals

Studying here has been a great experience so far because as a mature student, I was a bit apprehensive about returning to education, but it's been really easy to get back into the way of it, and I think that must be partly due to the lecturers and the style of teaching.

I like the way the course is structured with mostly self-study, this means that I can take things at my own speed, choose my own work for the week and how much time I spend on subjects.

The campus is in a beautiful spot, so it's a nice place to study. If you’re thinking of studying here, I would recommend a visit to the campus, and Perth, to see if it’s the place for you. 

Barbara McCabe is in her fourth year of the BA (Hons) Sociology and Criminology at our Perth College UHI campus.

Apply for Sociology and Criminology BA (Hons)

  • Applications to this course are now closed for September 2023 entry. Applications for September 2024 will open in September 2023. Please revisit this page then to apply.

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at the University of the Highlands and Islands. We operate a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of gender, age, disability, ethnicity and socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.