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About us

Welcome from the Head of Department

Welcome to the Department of Criminology.  Whether you are a new, prospective or current student, a faculty member, alumnus, visitor or guest, we welcome you to join our vibrant community of criminology scholars and learners.

Although the Department of Criminology was formed in 2016, Birkbeck has a long and rich tradition of teaching and scholarship in the field of criminology and criminal justice, dating back its course offerings to the University of London's Department of Extra-Mural Studies, and later at the Faculty of Lifelong Learning.

In 2008, the Certificate of Higher Education in Criminology was re-housed in the School of Law, and Birkbeck's criminology courses expanded significantly to include undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

The successful launch of the BSc in Criminology and Criminal Justice in 2012 attracted many new students and the introduction of the MSc in Criminology in 2018 compliments our popular MSc in Global Criminology and LLM/MA in Criminal Law & Criminal Justice. The department is also home to a lively community of PhD students and a strong, social justice oriented research culture.

We are also home to the Institute for Criminal Policy Research and the International Centre for Prison studies, offering the latest in policy and practice-oriented research.

The School of Law is a top 10 research institution in the UK and top 3 in London, according to the Times Higher Education Research Intensity Rankings (2014).'

Dr Sarah Lamble, Head of the Department of Criminology.

Study with us

We offer a range of exciting courses in criminology and criminal justice that centre on critical scholarship:


In keeping with the School’s internationally renowned reputation for critical scholarship, the Department of Criminology boasts a number of recognised international and national experts who rethink pressing social, economic and political questions about crime, justice, security, order, violence and power.


Staff and members of the public can enjoy a dynamic programme of events, including the popular Birkbeck Criminology Seminar Series and the annual Law on Trial week of lectures and workshops.