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Our cutting-edge curriculum addresses the challenges facing twenty-first-century democracies, especially the link between criminal and social justice.

Criminology at Reading is taught by academics who have excelled in their fields of expertise and who – between them – have had decades of experience influencing criminal justice policies. We also have unique partnerships with penal reform organisations.


Meet our experts

Our academics contribute to global and UK policy development, and law and criminal justice reforms through their work with governments and regulatory agencies such as the Law Commission and the United Nations.

Others have been involved with, or cited in, cases before courts, including the European Court of Justice and the UK Supreme Court.

The University of Reading has academic expertise in matters of gender and justice, and holds unique partnerships with penal reform organisations including the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies.

Meet our BSc Criminology programme director, Professor Jo Phoenix

Meet our deputy programme director, Dr Charlotte Bishop

I am proud to have been part of a team that fought for the correction of an unfair law. At the University of Reading, we strive to have a positive impact on wider society. The impact we are having proves that anything is possible.
Research by Dr Beatrice Krebs, Associate Professor at the School of Law, helped abolish the doctrine of joint enterprise in murder cases. 

Research-led teaching

You will benefit from teaching supported by applied research. You’ll have the opportunity to acquire research training by working with live and archived datasets owned and held by our academics.

99% of our research is of international standing (Research Excellence Framework 2021, combining 4*, 3* and 2* submissions – Law).

Learn more about our research

Join criminological societies

Students on the BSc Criminology course will be encouraged to join the British Society of Criminology, the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, and other penal reform groups such as Howard League for Penal Reform.

Depending on your career aspirations, you may be interested in joining the University's Law Society – depending on your career aspirations – or forming a new criminology student society.

Benefit from our partnerships

Our partnerships with external organisations will provide opportunities such as visits to courts and prisons, regular talks from professionals involved in the administration of justice, and outside talks from world-leading academics.

The University of Reading and the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies have a unique partnership, connecting researchers and students with criminal justice practitioners and policy makers. Through events, publications and creative collaborations, the partnership provides opportunities to discuss and explore a range of contemporary crime, justice and punishment challenges.

Career-boosting opportunities

We encourage you to engage with the many opportunities offered by the Careers and Professional Development Centre, including:

We have many contacts in the field of criminal justice and other relevant organisations to support you in gaining placements, work experience and other opportunities.

Learn more about careers

Gain real-world experience

During your Criminology degree, you will have opportunities to gain hands-on experience in real-world settings through voluntary placement opportunities:

Thames Valley Police

  • An immersive placement where you will gain insight and practical experience in the police by spending 8 days in 8 different settings from the control room to crime scene investigation.

Death Penalty Clinic

An opportunity for you to work with Dr Alexandra Cox and Dr Leandro Ayres França for one year on real death penalty cases across the globe. 

Elizabeth Fry Charity

  • A placement working with and supporting women involved in the criminal justice system. 

Our BSc Criminology course

Explore crime and criminal justice – including causes, controls, and consequences – with our new BSc Criminology degree.


How you'll study criminology

Our teaching is research-led and relevant. Create your own pathway to follow a particular passion or explore a broad range of socio-legal topics.


Life in the School

Learn in a friendly, inclusive law school where our practice-focused approach provides you with multiple opportunities to develop both personally and professionally.