The details
Location: Online Mode of study: Part-time Qualification: CertHE Indicative duration: 16 months
Start date: November 2019 Tuition fee: £6,167 (learn more) Funding options: Call 0800 0527 526 Taught by: Kaplan Open Learning

Why does crime occur? Who has the right to determine punishment? And fundamentally – who decides which acts are criminal, and why? Our short course in Criminology will allow you to explore these questions and many others.

Throughout the course you will explore a range of essential criminal justice topics, including:

  • the social and economic effects of criminal behaviour locally and nationally
  • the role of criminal courts and their processes
  • methodologies and theoretical perspectives used in offender profiling

You will examine these subjects independently as well as evaluating them in discussion forums with your course mates. Those already working in criminal justice will find value in the examination of criminological problems and solutions, while those looking to transfer into the field will benefit from the broad range of topics covered.

Why we’re great

  • Gain a recognised qualification in just 16 months.
  • We’re the only exclusively online provider to have received a gold rating in the Government’s Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) – the highest quality found in the UK.
  • Each student is assigned a dedicated Student Support Adviser who acts as their mentor and guide from admission through to graduation.

The CertHE Criminology and Criminal Justice is made up of the following modules and, upon completion, is equal to a total of 120 credits.

Level 4 modules:

Upon completion of your CertHE Criminology and Criminal Justice, we offer the opportunity for you to progress on to study for a full Bachelors degree (360 credits).

* These modules are core and must be passed in order to achieve the award.

Teaching Methods

Studying online gives you the freedom to study when and where it suits you – at home, during your lunch hour or anywhere else you have internet access.

Our courses are delivered through a virtual learning environment (VLE) instead of a traditional campus. This means you will have access to your study materials 24/7, including:

  • multimedia lecturecasts made up of written content, short videos, animation, audio recordings, infographics, short tests and mini-assignments
  • discussion forums for you to chat about the course content with fellow students
  • live Q&A sessions with your tutors
  • a comprehensive eLibrary of textbooks and academic journals
  • support from academic staff and your personal Student Adviser

To ensure you receive the support you need from your tutor, we cap our class sizes at 20 students.


Assessment Methods

Rather than fretting about exams, you will be assessed exclusively through assignments. This can be by engaging in discussion forums throughout your modules, completing reflective journal entries, or by submitting longer written pieces.

We are committed to providing frequent and transparent feedback through the following ways:

  • Our assessment criteria are designed to be simple and transparent.
  • You will always be aware of your current provisional grade, right from the start of the programme.
  • You will be able to view your marks clearly in your gradebook whenever you log onto the learning platform.
  • There is a 7-day turnaround for marking and feedback of assessed work.
  • You will have regular contact with your Student Adviser, with whom you can discuss any concerns as soon as they arise.


Study Duration

Our CertHE Criminology and Criminal Justice course has an indicative study duration of 16 months, which is a guide to how long your course will take to complete. The actual duration may be longer or shorter depending on your speed of study, study options chosen and module availability.

It’s possible to complete your studies faster than the indicative course duration by doubling up on modules at certain times; however, minimum study durations do apply.

Our academic year is organised into modules, typically with a one- or two-week break between modules and a structured three-week break for the Christmas period. Students will receive a course timetable during the application process.

All of our courses have regular start dates throughout the year.

On successful completion of your degree, you will be invited to attend a graduation ceremony at the University of Essex, Colchester Campus.

A range of roles within the criminal justice sector would benefit from the skills and knowledge you gain throughout this course. Positions within police, probation, prisons, custody work, youth work, substance abuse and the private and voluntary sectors are particularly suited, however the skills gained could also be used within journalism, project management and the civil service among others. 

We believe that education should be accessible for everyone. That’s why we offer an Open Entry Route – meaning you don’t need any prior academic or work experience in order to start studying with us. You will also need to meet our English Language Requirements.

You will need to pass your first assignment set within the first three weeks of the course in order to continue with your studies.


English Language Requirements

As our courses are delivered in English, a high proficiency with English is required. If English is not your first language, your English ability should be equivalent to an IELTS (Academic) score of 6.0. Don’t worry if you don’t hold an IELTS or equivalent qualification – we offer a free online English test to assess your proficiency.

You don’t need to prove your English ability if you are a national of, or have completed a qualification equivalent to a UK degree in, any of these countries.

Full tuition fee: £6,167
Monthly tuition fee: £385

  • Designated for undergraduate student loans in England.
  • Simple monthly payment plan available, enabling you to spread the cost over the duration of your studies.
  • Full payment discount of 10% of the tuition fee if you pay upfront.
  • International scholarship of 10% of the tuition fee if you are based outside the EU.

Please note that the up-front payment discount can be used in combination with the Alumni discount or international/Executive Scholarships. The Alumni discount cannot be used in combination with the international/Executive Scholarships.

Find out more information about our discounts and scholarships here.

Our course fees are fully inclusive – all teaching materials and required reading are included, and there are no hidden charges for assessments or resits. We also charge the same fee for domestic and international students.

Name: Susy Menis BA (Hons), MSc. 
Programme: BA (Hons) Criminology and Criminal Justice 

Susy Menis completed a Dottorato in Giurisprudenza (BA Hon) at the University of Bologna, Italy and a Msc in Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Surrey, and has completed a PhD at Birkbeck London University, School of Law. Susy has been teaching with Essex University Online since 2009 on the Criminology programme. She has delivered and designed a number of modules. Her teaching includes: Introduction to Criminology, Introduction to Psychology, Crime and Society, Justice and Punishment, Criminal Justice System, Custodial Care, Risk Assessment and Management, Legal System, Dealing with Offender Behaviour, and the Criminal Justice Project. Susy has been teaching as an Associated Lecturer and Visiting Lecturer on the QLD LLB and LLM programme for Birkbeck London University, the Open University and St Mary’s University, Twickenham. She also delivers the Certificate in HE in Legal Methods at Birkbeck School of Law. Susy is an external examiner on behalf of Plymouth University for the Criminology and Psychology Foundation degree in South Devon College; she has been a member of the Prison Monitoring Board since 2010. Susy’s research interests are in the area of socio-legal studies, criminal law and criminology.


Name: Ajoy Gosain BA, MSc. 
Programme: BA (Hons) Criminology and Criminal Justice 

Ajoy recently retired as a Detective Inspector in the London Metropolitan Police Service. Over his career Ajoy has gained considerable experience serving as a detective in a variety of major enquiry investigations including his work Scotland Yard’s Anti-Terrorist Branch (SO13). Alongside Ajoy’s vast professional experience he has completed an undergraduate degree and has also completed a postgraduate degree at the University of Leicester. Ajoy has also gained considerable experience teaching internationally as a visiting Faculty Fellow at the American University Washington. Ajoy is currently a corporate investigator for a major international airline, dealing with fraud and internal investigation in the UK and overseas.


Name: Carol Harris BSc (Hons), Postgraduate Diploma, BA (Hons) 
Programme: BA (Hons) Criminology and Criminal Justice 

Carol holds an undergraduate degree in Politics and a postgraduate in International Relations and Security Studies. After first researching International Relations, then a career in IT, Carol returned to academic study. She achieved an undergraduate degree in Community Justice and a Diploma in Probation Studies, qualifying as a Probation Officer in 2004. In this role, Carol has held a number of different positions, working with life-sentenced prisoners, a youth offending team, the Crown and Magistrates Court, various field probation teams and in accredited programmes. Carol later specialised in working with female offenders and this area is her main practitioner and academic interest. Carol has been working as a Freelance Tutor since January 2011 and enjoys working with students via the online education platform.

What our students say


Marie Shalloe - MSc Infection Control

I have worked in Infection Control for 22 years, and completed a BSc in Infection Control in 1998. However, I wanted a higher qualification in Infection Control to maintain an expert level of knowledge, skills and practice. I work full time and have a family, so multi-tasking, being super organised, and disciplined really helped me to fit this study programme into my life. For three years the MSc was a big part of my life. There were challenges along the way such as deadlines and statistical analysis, but the flexible nature of distance learning allowed me to complete the course.

Read more

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