BA (Hons) Criminology and Law with Foundation Year

Course Overview


Are you interested in a rewarding career in criminology and law, but need some extra support before you start a full undergraduate degree course? Our BA (Hons) Criminology with Law with Foundation Year will equip you with the study skills you need to pursue your degree successfully, followed by the ins and outs of criminology and law across the UK and globally so that you gain universal skills for your future.

Taking a digital-first and practice-driven approach in line with the UK’s Ministry of Justice Digital Strategy (2025), the course will equip you with the modern tools needed to meet the current and future demands of the sector. You’ll explore the relationship between crime, society, and law, alongside the political, psychological, and social aspects of criminology. Through this, you’ll acquire far-reaching insight into the causes and legal consequences of crime at the individual, organisational, and societal levels.

The course is led by academics and practitioners with strong industry links and first-hand experience in their respective fields. You’ll also have regular webinars and guest speakers ranging from international academics, senior members of the criminal justice system, and policymakers to ex-convicts to give you genuine insight into the field. That means your learning will have a real-world basis that you can apply to a range of future career roles. 

Entry requirements

At Arden University we consider applications on a case by case basis. If you have significant work experience, have qualifications you have gained elsewhere, or a degree or qualification that isn’t a clear pathway to this degree – we are more than happy to discuss your application.

What do you need to study with us?

Our aim is to make learning as accessible as possible by ensuring that you can study your degree in a flexible and convenient way. That’s why we keep our requirements simple. All you need is a laptop or desktop PC (we recommend one running the latest version of Windows), and a good internet connection. Through ilearn, our online university campus in the cloud, you’ll be able to access your course calendar, support services, learning materials, and our online library containing almost half a million texts, as well as creating assignments, keeping notes, and collaborating with other students on your course. 


Standard entry requirements

To be eligible for our BA (Hons) Criminology with Law with Foundation Year, you should normally have:

  • At least 3 x GCSEs or 45 credits at Level 2 or equivalent. If your qualifications are older than 3 years, we will also ask to see a professional CV.

Non standard entry requirements

We’re also happy to consider an application from you if you can show us that you have relevant work experience that required critical thinking and analysis skills. We’ll ask you for a personal statement that demonstrates your motivation and ability to study this degree, along with references and evidence of your previous work experience.

Course fee

International FeeFee
fee per level:£4000
UK FeeFee
fee per level:£6,935

Please note: Fees quoted relate to the intake that you enrol on (i.e. when you start your course), NOT your application date.

English proficiency

  • IELTS 6.0 (no less than 5.5 in any element); or TOEFL iBT 80; or equivalent
  • Alternatively, evidence you have previously studied in English, such as a letter to show that the Medium of Instruction was in English, can be accepted.

We also offer an internal English test for applicants who are unable to provide the above evidence of English proficiency. 

Before you start studying

Whilst you can read your study materials on your smart phone or tablet, to make the most of your learning experience, you will need access to a laptop or computer (we recommend one running the latest version of Windows), and a good stable internet connection.

Course details and modules

Arden’s foundation year modules have been designed to give you a tailored and fully supportive introduction to university study. This first year of study will prepare you for success in higher education by introducing you to the academic skills and subject-specific knowledge required to excel in your chosen degree subject.

Your course modules will begin by reviewing key preparatory academic study skills to ensure you’re ready to complete your full undergraduate degree. You’ll then go on to cover all the latest developments and best practices in criminology and law both in the UK and internationally so you gain modern skills that are relevant across the globe. You’ll also have the chance to get your work published in Arden’s very own Criminology and Social Science Research Journal and start building your professional profile.

Authentic assessments. No exams.

No exams in sight! Our innovative assessments are based on the skills needed by employers in the real world and are therefore 100% focused on getting you ready for your career. Each assessment aims to provide you with transferable skills for your future and can include:

  • Assignments
  • Essays
  • Reports
  • Presentations
  • Case studies
  • Portfolios of work
  • Roleplay
  • Interactive decision-making
  • Research proposal


You have between 4 to 12 years to complete this course, which means you can take up to 4 years to complete each level. Most of our students, however, aim to complete their studies within 4 to 6 years.

Foundation year modules

  • Preparing for University Success
  • Exploring the Business Environment
  • Advancing your Academic Skills
  • Becoming an Effective Leader
  • Planning for Your Future Success
  • Investigation & Innovation Project 

Level 4

  • Becoming a Criminologist (20 credits)
  • English Legal System and Legal Skills (20 credits)
  • Crime 1 (20 credits)
  • Civil Liberties in Practice (20 credits) 
  • Working within the Criminal Justice System (20 credits)
  • Policing Priorities (20 credits)

Level 5

  • Researching the Field (20 credits)
  • Defending the Realm (20 credits)
  • Youth Crime and Justice (20 credits)
  • Crimes of the Powerful (20 credits)
  • The Prison (20 credits)
  • Crime 2 (20 credits)

Level 6

  • Victimology (20 credits)
  • Miscarriages of Justice (20 credits)
  • Professional Practice: A case study (20 credits)
  • Public International Law (20 credits)
  • Research Project (40 credits)

Career prospects

The interdisciplinary nature of this degree will equip you with transferable skills you can apply to a range of exciting career paths in areas linked to criminology and law, leaving your career options wide open. So whether you already have a career path in mind or are still figuring things out, we’re here to support you on your journey.

What can I do after Arden University?

Completing a criminology with law degree can open up a world of opportunity in criminal justice and related fields, as well as provide universal skills applicable to diverse industries. With that in mind, a few career options for you could include:

  • Police
  • Prison service
  • Probation
  • Paralegal
  • Community Justice
  • Voluntary sector 
  • Charities or NGOs
  • Work in the government, home office, or education and more

You can also go on to study at master’s degree level. Arden University offers a variety of master’s programmes and we are developing many more. Keep looking for further developments!

What will the BA (Hons) Criminology with Law with Foundation Year do for me?

This degree has been designed to provide you with modern knowledge of the interrelated fields of criminology and law alongside the practical skills needed to meet the current and future demands of the sector. While studying, you will:

  • Learn the causes and patterns of criminal behaviour at an individual and societal level
  • Understand key legislation applicable to criminal behaviour alongside its application
  • Develop an appreciation of the national and international contexts of criminology and law
  • Reflect on what works and what doesn’t in the justice and legal system
  • Explore governmental and non-governmental agencies involved in the prevention and response to crime and the application of the law
  • Apply your knowledge and experience to real-life scenarios

During your Foundation Year, you’ll get comprehensive support and preparation for your university journey, including:

Introduction and preparation: our Foundation Year courses introduce you to university-level teaching, learning, and assessment methods. You’ll develop essential study skills, research techniques, and critical thinking abilities, laying a strong foundation for your degree studies.

Personalised support: our academic staff will guide you throughout your Foundation Year. They’ll ensure a smooth transition into your degree programme, providing the support you need every step of the way.

Direct relevance to your future degree: your programme content is carefully designed to align with Arden’s degree courses. Studying a Foundation Year will equip you with subject-specific knowledge and interdisciplinary exploration, establishing a solid base for your chosen degree.

Improved degree outcomes: we prioritise not only your academic preparation but also your success. By boosting your confidence, academic skills, and understanding of the subjects, we empower you to achieve the best possible degree outcomes and expand your career opportunities.

Part-time online learning

How does it work? 

Studying this course online gives you the ultimate in convenience. You can enrol with Arden from anywhere in the world and study your degree from the comfort of home, without the requirement to attend classes in a physical location. 

Our online students study their degree through ilearn, Arden’s university campus in the cloud. ilearn provides everything you need to study at University. It offers an integrated virtual learning experience, including your virtual classroom, lecture theatre, and access to our Library Portal. The portal includes an extensive digital library including thousands of journal titles, eBooks, and academic and industry databases which you can use to research your assignments and projects. All of these materials are provided to you free of charge, and contain all the research information you’ll need to complete your degree with us.

ilearn is also integrated with Zoom, making it easier to chat with your course tutor during your scheduled seminar sessions. You can even integrate our study materials into your Kindle, making it possible to study wherever you have your Kindle handy. 

Studying online doesn’t mean studying alone. As well as receiving regular feedback and guidance from your course tutor, you’ll be studying with like-minded students who you can meet with through our Unitu community, and you’ll have access to community message boards to discuss your course and the topics being raised within it. We’ve even set up community boards embedded into each of the course modules so you can have discussions with your tutor and classmates on the topics you’re currently learning.

Online learning students resident in the UK can apply for a Maintenance Loan if they cannot attend their course in person because of a disability. If you’re a student from Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland you can find information on Living Cost Loans from your student finance body.

Introducing your Digital Backpack

Once you’ve enrolled on your Criminology with Law with Foundation Year degree with Arden you’ll get access to your Digital Backpack, a toolkit of digital resources we’ve put together to help you succeed during your time studying with us.

Here are some of the digital resources you’ll have available throughout your course:

  • Office 365 subscription
  • Integrated zoom video conferencing
  • Careers support available through Arden Futures, your careers platform, to help you throughout your career journey whether you are a Career Starter, Changer or Developer
  • Free online access to our Library Portal, which includes thousands of eBooks and journals, as well as industry databases which we’ve carefully hand-picked to support your studies – all yours for free while you study with us
  • Subscription to Togetherall for an abundance of mental health support