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Criminology at Bangor University, Wales

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      20.03.2008 21:10
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      Definately the place for Criminal Justice/Criminology

      I am a current student in the Social Science department at Bangor University (previously University of Wales, Bangor). The Social Science school is located in Neuadd Alun, on College Road. The average points offer for single honours criminology is 240 UCAS points, GNVQ distinction, or certain access courses. However if you are not going with UCAS points from AS/A levels, you should contact the department, as mature student offers are made on merit.

      You will find that most single honours degrees say "Criminal Justice/Criminology". This is because it is broken down into theories and practical applications. Criminal Justice looks at legislation, the English and Welsh legal system (all Criminology or Law courses include England and Wales only, as Scotland and Ireland have different Legal Systems), crime prevention, agencies that make up the Criminal Justice System (i.e. police, Crown prosecution service etc), imprisionment. Also issues surrounding these areas for example overcrowding in prisons, females in prison etc. Whereas Criminology looks at theories of crime and is quite sociology based: moral panics, deviance amplification, circles of deprivation, due process etc.

      Bangor allows a Criminal Justice/Criminology student to either specialise (i.e. make up extra credits - 120 required per academic year) from similar areas for example Sociology, law etc or take a broad range of courses for example french, computing etc.

      Also it is possible to combine a Criminal Justice/Criminology with other subjects such as accounting, economics, languages, creative writing, english, english literature, history and lots more!

      This course gives plenty of opportunity for career development for example, graduate training in the police, further academic development for example Common Professional Examination/Graduate Diploma in Law (2 names for the same course).

      Year 1:
      Introduction to Criminology
      Introduction to Criminal Justice
      Social Analysis
      Each of these are 20 credits, out of a necessary 120 for an honours degree. Assessment in year 1 for each both Introductory Criminology and Criminal Justice are 25% essay work due at the end of semester 1; and 75% exam (2 hours, end of semester 2)

      Year 2:
      Theories of Crime and Control
      Crime and Justice in Modern Britain
      Current Issues in Criminology
      Dissertation Preparation
      Each of these are also 20 credits, however for a joint honours student as the weighting of the 2 subjects has to be equal, Current Issues in Criminology is taken away to fit in Dissertation Preparation (if you want to write a dissertation - it's not a necessary component of a joint degree).

      Optional year 2 modules:
      Methods of Social Research
      Criminal Law
      Poverty and Social Exclusion
      Identity and Diversity
      Family, Gender and Society

      Again, making up 120 credits for the year, but the core modules are Theories of Crime and Control, Crime and Justice in Modern Britain, Current Issues in Criminology (OR Dissertation Preparation for joint students, BOTH for single honours students)

      Year 3:
      Criminal Law
      Regulating Society
      Crime and the Politics of Power
      Methods of Social Research
      Auditing Social Needs
      Crime and Law in Film
      Understanding Deviance
      All of these are 20 credits, however in year 3 you can choose modules, although you will still have core modules to take.

      Teaching over this department are a mix of formal lectures, seminars, workshops, library research, preparation for presentations, and meetings with dissertation tutors for years 2 and 3 students.

      I have found this department has a high level of support with smaller seminar groups which is beneficial because you have more contact with lecturers and seminar tutors. This allows questions, queries, clarifications etc rather than larger groups (for example, Psychology at Bangor has seminars of around 300 people in year 1 - hardly a lot of contact between lecturers and students). The lecturers have a lot of experience and their own fields of interests etc, for example some are magistrates and have experience within the field of Criminal Justice and Law.

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