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Study Criminology abroad

An in-depth guide to studying criminology as an international student.

Criminology degrees abroad

Criminology is the study of crime, and looks at the causes, nature, control and prevention of criminal behaviour. A big part of most criminology programs is assessing the impact of crime on society, and how social problems and issues relate to criminality and victimization.

The emphasis on the social aspects of crime mean that studying criminology abroad will give you a unique opportunity to see how different societies and cultures approach criminal behavior.

Criminology program structure

The curriculum of a criminology program can vary depending on the country and university you study in, so it’s important to look closely at the structure content before you apply to make sure it covers what you expect.

Here are some of the topics you can expect to study during a criminology degree:

  • Introduction to criminology
  • Crime and society
  • Criminal justice
  • Controversies in criminology
  • Sociology of race and ethnicity
  • Criminological research
  • Policing
  • Criminology dissertation

Most criminology programs will be made up of core modules that you must take, and a number of optional modules that you choose, allowing you to tailor your degree to your interests.

Many criminology programs include the option to include a year abroad, which means you can increase your experience even further. An undergraduate degree in criminology will take between three and four years to complete, and a postgraduate program will be over one or two years.

Why study criminology abroad

Choosing to study criminology abroad not only means you’ll have a much wider choice of programs to choose from, but will also give you a unique perspective on the subject.

As criminology looks at criminal laws, and the relationship between crime and society, what you learn will be closely linked to the country you’re studying in. This means you’ll be able to broaden your understanding, and understand how different cultures approach issues related to crime.

Studying abroad is also a great way to meet new people, experience a new and exciting culture, improve your language skills and improve your CV. Find out more about the benefits of studying abroad here.

Where to study criminology abroad

There are a number of factors worth considering when you’re working out where to study criminology abroad:

  • Work out what type of location you want to live and study in. Think about things like the culture, lifestyle and climate; do you want to live in a city with year round sun, or would you prefer a small town environment with a laid back atmosphere?
  • Think about where you want to work after you graduate. Your criminology degree may focus on the criminal system and societal issues of the country you’re studying in, so you might find it easier to find a job here at the end of your program.
  • If you’re more concerned about the content and reputation of the program, you can base your decision on which universities are highly ranked for criminology and cover the areas that you’re interested in.

Read our guide on how to choose where to study abroad for more help on working out which destination is right for you.

Best countries to study criminology

There are criminology schools and university programs available all over the world, and some of the most popular destinations also boast the best ranked programs. Some of the best countries to study criminology include:

Best universities to study criminology

The best university to study criminology will be in a country you want to live in, and offer a program that matches your interests and career ambitions.

If you want to study a degree that includes a work placement or internship for example, make sure this is included and offered by the university program you choose.

You should also think about what the university offers outside of the classroom, including sports, societies and other social activities.

See all universities offering criminology programs

How to study criminology abroad

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Criminology study abroad programs

You can study criminology at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. As an undergraduate you can study a BSc or BA, depending on the university you choose. There is little difference between the two, but a BA may focus more on social subjects and the BSc could be more oriented toward forensic sciences.

As a graduate you can study a master’s degree in criminology, and after this you can choose to study for a doctorate in the form of a PhD or MPhil.

Criminology undergraduate programs

Bachelor's in criminology

  • Arizona State University Logo

    Criminology and Criminal Justice (Downtown Phoenix Campus) Arizona State University, USA

    • Tuition fees per year 29,834 USD
    • Program type Bachelor's
    • Duration 4 years
    • Start date January, May, August
    Show more details about Criminology and Criminal Justice (Downtown Phoenix Campus)
  • University of Liverpool Logo

    Criminology University of Liverpool, UK

    • Tuition fees per year 20,700 GBP
    • Program type Bachelor's
    • Duration 3 years
    • Start date September
    Show more details about Criminology
  • RMIT University Logo

    Criminology and Psychology RMIT University, Australia

    • Tuition fees per year 27,840 AUD
    • Program type Bachelor's
    • Duration 3 years
    • Start date February, July
    Show more details about Criminology and Psychology
  • University of Stirling Logo

    Criminology and Social Policy University of Stirling, UK

    • Tuition fees per year 12,450 GBP
    • Program type Bachelor's
    • Duration 3 years
    • Start date January, September
    Show more details about Criminology and Social Policy
  • University of Hull Logo

    Criminology and Sociology University of Hull, UK

    • Tuition fees per year 14,000 GBP
    • Program type Bachelor's
    • Duration 3 years
    • Start date September
    Show more details about Criminology and Sociology
See all bachelor's degrees in criminology

Pathway in criminology

  • Leeds Beckett University Logo

    Criminology & Psychology (Foundation) Leeds Beckett University, UK

    • Tuition fees per year 10,900 USD
    • Program type Undergraduate pathway
    • Duration 2 years
    • Start date January, September
    Show more details about Criminology & Psychology (Foundation)
See all undergraduate pathways in criminology

Diploma in criminology

  • North Island College Logo

    Criminology North Island College, Canada

    • Tuition fees per year 14,815 CAD
    • Program type Undergraduate diploma
    • Duration 2 years
    • Start date January, May, July, September
    Show more details about Criminology
  • Northern Lights College Logo

    Criminology Northern Lights College, Canada

    • Tuition fees per year 13,179 CAD
    • Program type Undergraduate diploma
    • Duration 2 years
    • Start date January, May, September
    Show more details about Criminology
  • Coast Mountain College Logo

    Criminology Coast Mountain College, Canada

    • Tuition fees per year 12,794 CAD
    • Program type Undergraduate diploma
    • Duration 2 years
    • Start date January, September
    Show more details about Criminology
See all undergraduate diplomas in criminology

Certificate in criminology

  • Northern Lights College Logo

    Criminology Northern Lights College, Canada

    • Tuition fees per year 13,179 CAD
    • Program type Undergraduate certificate
    • Duration 1 year
    • Start date January, May, September
    Show more details about Criminology
See all undergraduate certificates in criminology

Associate in criminology

  • Coast Mountain College Logo

    Criminology Coast Mountain College, Canada

    • Tuition fees per year 12,794 CAD
    • Program type Associate
    • Duration 2 years
    • Start date January, September
    Show more details about Criminology
See all associate degrees in criminology

Criminology graduate programs

Master's in criminology

  • Arizona State University Logo

    Criminology and Criminal Justice Arizona State University, USA

    • Tuition fees per year 24,318 USD
    • Program type Master's
    • Duration 2 years
    • Start date August
    Show more details about Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • RMIT University Logo

    Justice and Criminology - by coursework RMIT University, Australia

    • Tuition fees per year 30,720 AUD
    • Program type Master's
    • Duration 2 years
    • Start date February, July
    Show more details about Justice and Criminology - by coursework
  • University of Stirling Logo

    Criminology University of Stirling, UK

    • Tuition fees per year 14,300 GBP
    • Program type Master's
    • Duration 1 year
    • Start date September
    Show more details about Criminology
  • Keele University Logo

    Criminology and Criminal Justice Keele University, UK

    • Tuition fees per year 14,750 GBP
    • Program type Master's
    • Duration 1 year
    • Start date September
    Show more details about Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • University of Greenwich Logo

    Criminology and Criminal Psychology University of Greenwich, UK

    • Tuition fees per year 13,500 GBP
    • Program type Master's
    • Duration 1 year
    • Start date January, September
    Show more details about Criminology and Criminal Psychology
See all master's degrees in criminology

Doctorate in criminology

  • University of Nicosia Logo

    Criminology University of Nicosia, Cyprus

    • Tuition fees per year 4,500 EUR
    • Program type Doctorate
    • Duration 3 years
    • Start date September
    Show more details about Criminology
See all doctorates in criminology

Entry requirements to study criminology abroad

The entry requirements for every criminology program will depend on the university and country you’re applying to, however there are some standard requirements to be aware of:

  • Completion of secondary education in your home country, including IB Diploma
  • A personal statement that outlines your interest in criminology and your future plans
  • Satisfactory English language proficiency test scores
  • A bachelor’s degree, usually in criminology or a related field, to study at postgraduate level

Check the requirements for your chosen program carefully before you apply, to see what grades you’ll need. The application process will also be unique to the country, university and program you’re applying to, but you can see the general study abroad application requirements here.

Future criminology careers

A criminology degree opens up a number of career paths and opportunities. Popular careers for criminology graduates include:

  • Criminologist
  • Police officer
  • Corrections officer
  • Probation officer
  • Prison officer
  • Social worker
  • Criminal intelligence analyst
  • Forensic accountant

Some of these careers may require some additional training, or a master’s level degree. It’s worth considering what career you want after you’ve graduated to better understand the type of program you should study, and what other courses you might need to take.