Criminology and Theology BA (Hons)

Course code L3CT

What is special about this course?

If you are interested in studying crime and theology, then the BA (Hons) Criminology and Theology degree will give you a solid grounding in both disciplines, and give you the opportunity to combine two subjects, which complement your interests or career goals.

The course offers you the opportunity to study a wide range of themes and topics across a broad sweep of modules, emphasising the value of empirical and theoretical approaches.  This is achieved by studying the changing nature of crime and the social, political, historical and individual forces behind these changes, with specific focus on study and influence of the main disciplines of Christian theology. 

In the first and second years, you will follow a traditional broad approach to the study of criminology and theology. In years three and four, you will examine in-depth particular areas of criminology and theology, allowing you to study specific topics and themes which reflect staff research specialisms. Each year, you will build on your analytical and research abilities.  

The degree also offers the opportunity to study other Humanities subjects such as criminology, history, literature, archaeology, and politics.

Please see our FAQ sheet for further information on this course.

Special features

  • You will develop your research and methodological skills, which you can take with you into your future career 
  • You can specialise in particular disciplines as you progress through your studies 
  • Taught by highly experienced academics 
  • Exciting modules, based on staff research, are offered at upper levels 
  • The joint nature of the degree will give you greater flexibility in employment, advanced study and research opportunities 
  • You will have the opportunity to attend the annual staff/student Social Sciences conference, and in your 4th year, you will have the opportunity to present at the conference, further enhancing the graduate skills you develop as part of the course
  • You will develop and enhance your digital skills
  • You can study full time or part time to suit your personal circumstances 


We offer modern student accommodation at a number of our locations.

Entry requirements

Entry to year one:

  • 3 Scottish Highers at grade BBC or above OR
  • 2 A levels at grade BC or above
  • At least two should be from the list of relevant academic subjects
  • Applicants with other relevant qualifications or experience will be considered on an individual basis
  • This is a Category 2 PVG course: PVG Scheme membership is required for specific optional modules/unit(s), where there is guaranteed contact with vulnerable groups in optional module/unit(s), but an alternative pathway exists to achieve target qualification. For further information visit our PVG scheme webpage

Advanced entry to year two:

  • HNC Social Science (12 SQA credits) with 3 additional SQA credits at level 7, which is equivalent to 120 degree credit points, and at least grade C in the Graded Unit will be considered for direct entry to year two

Access routes

  • Any recognised Access to HE course

Year 1 - CertHE

You will study the following core modules:

  • Understanding the social world (S1)
  • Introduction to criminological theory (S2)


  • Introduction to systematic theology OR Jesus and the Gospels (S1)
  • The Pentateuch OR Protestant reformation (S2)

You will also choose two option modules from our range of humanities subjects.


Year 2 - DipHE

The core modules are:

  • History of crime and punishment (S1)
  • Practical research and analysis skills (S2)


  • Early church history OR Old Testament prophecy (S1)
  • Person and work of Christ OR Pauline theology (S2)

You will also choose two option modules from our range of humanities subjects.


Year 3 - BA

You will study one of the following core modules:

  • Project (Theological studies) (S1) OR Advanced social research methods (S1)


  • Psychology of criminal justice (S1)
  • Victimology (S1)
  • Strange cases of crime in literature (S2)
  • Gender, crime, and justice (S2)
  • Understanding Violence in Sport (S2)


  • Hebrews OR Scottish church history (S1)
  • Wisdom literature OR Doctrine of God (S2)

You will also choose one option module from our range of humanities subjects.   

Year 4 - BA (Hons)

You will complete a dissertation in criminology or theology. You will also study one option module from your chosen dissertation subject, plus three option modules from the other subject.


Modules may include:

  • Cultural criminology (S1)
  • Globalisation of crime (S1)
  • Restorative justice (S2)
  • The darker side of the internet (S2)


Modules may include:

  • Guided Reading (S1 or S2)
  • Hermeneutics (S1)
  • Luke-Acts (S1)
  • The Holy Spirit and the word (S1)
  • Christian ethics (S2)
  • Medieval church history (S2)
  • Exploring Psalms (S2)

How will I study my course?

  • Full-time
  • Part-time (structured)
  • Part-time (unstructured)
  • You will learn through a combination of scheduled video conference lectures and tutorials, and online study via the university’s virtual learning environment (VLE), with support from your tutors. There is normally a weekly two-hour timetabled video conference lecture for each module.
  • International students requiring a Student Route visa to study in the UK should apply to HTC and must be based there during their studies.

How long will my course last?

  • Full-time: 4 years @ 40 hours per week
  • Part-time (structured): 8 years @ 20 hours per week

Number of hours per week indicates the total number of hours you should dedicate to the course, which includes time spent in lectures and your own time spent on individual study and research.

Where can I study my course?

  • Argyll
  • HTC - you may choose to study at Dingwall or Paisley, subject to availability
  • Inverness
  • Moray
  • North, West and Hebrides
  • Orkney
  • Perth
  • Shetland

Start date

  • September


Find out more about fees, fee waivers and funding options.


UHI has a number of scholarships, bursaries, awards, and discretionary fund opportunities available to new and current students. Please use the A-Z of funds or use the filter to see which ones may be relevant to you. All students are welcome to apply.

Further information on funding your studies is also available, please see the attached link or contact the relevant UHI partner.

What can I do on completion of my course?

On successful completion of this degree you may consider postgraduate study or research. You will also have a wide range of employment opportunities in the commercial, statutory and voluntary sectors including:

  • Teaching
  • Social work
  • Community work 
  • Social policy and management
  • Policing
  • Police officer
  • Prison officer
  • Churches, missionary societies, and agencies
  • Educational institutions and charities that work with young offenders or victims of crime

Is there more information available online?

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Apply for Criminology and Theology BA (Hons)

  • Applications to this course are now closed for September 2023 entry. Applications for September 2024 will open in September 2023. Please revisit this page then to apply.

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at the University of the Highlands and Islands. We operate a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of gender, age, disability, ethnicity and socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.