• Status: Fully Approved
  • Duration:

    1-4 years part-time

  • Attendance:

    A mixture of evening classes, 6pm-9pm, and Saturday sessions, 10am-5pm

  • Location:

    Central London

Programme overview

How can we make sense of current trends and patterns in crime and criminal justice? What are the contemporary psychological approaches to understanding criminal behaviour? How does the criminal justice process work? What are the roles and responsibilities of the agencies and institutions of the criminal justice system? How do different sociological theories explain crime, criminology and deviance? On this course you will explore the range of issues and key debates raised by crime and the criminal justice system.

How to apply

This is a modular enrolment certificate, so you will need to enrol for individual modules. Please click on the Course Structure tab and then click on the title of individual modules to sign up.

Application deadlines and interviews

All modules are open-access.   You can begin the programme at various points throughout the year.

Course structure

To gain the Certificate of Higher Education, you must successfully complete the following 4 modules, worth a total of 120 credit points.

You take the 4 modules in this order, starting with Understanding Crime:

Please note that modules need a minimum number of students to run; classes that do not enrol the minimum number may be cancelled at short notice before the class starts.

Important note:  Understanding Crime is designed as the introductory module so students are advised to take this module first.

Entry requirements

None. However, all modules are taught at university level and you should be able to read, write and speak English fluently. If you need help, we offer a range of academic English and language development modules.


Fees are payable per module and vary depending on the course. Please click on the Course Structure tab and then click on the title of individual modules to see the fees for each module. The overall cost of the certificate will depend on the modules you choose.

Funding and Financial Support

With a student loan, you will pay nothing upfront. Find out about loans, cash bursaries and fee reductions and check if you are eligible.

Careers and employability

Find out more about the destinations of graduates in this subject.

Birkbeck offers a wide range of free careers support and advice for students.

Teaching and assessment


Lectures, seminars and independent study


Coursework (essays, critical reflection papers and case-study analysis) and examinations

Further study opportunities

If you are awarded the Certificate of Higher Education in Criminology you may apply for admission to Year 2 of Birkbeck's full-time BSc Criminology and Criminal Justice.

Alternatively, if you complete the first 3 modules (Understanding Crime, Criminal Justice Process and Sociology of Crime), you may apply for Year 2 of Birkbeck's part-time 4-year evening study BSc Criminology and Criminal Justice.

If you complete the Certificate of Higher Education you may also progress to the first year of our 4-year part-time evening study LLB Law or use credits towards other Birkbeck programmes, such as the 4-year part-time evening study BSc Social Sciences.