Entry requirements

There are no formal entry requirements for this qualification.

At The Open University we believe education should be open to all, so we provide a high-quality university education to anyone who wishes to realise their ambitions and fulfil their potential.

Even though there are no entry requirements, there are some skills that you'll need to succeed. If you're not quite ready for OU study we can guide you to resources that prepare you, many of which are free.

Answer a few quick questions to check whether you're ready for study success

How much time do I need?

  • Most of our students study part time, completing 60 credits a year.
  • This will usually mean studying for 16–18 hours a week.
Find out if you have enough time to study with our time planner

Preparing for study with an Access module

If your study skills are a bit rusty or you want to try out Open University study before committing yourself, don’t worry! The OU offers Access modules designed to introduce the subject area, build your confidence and prepare you for further study, and you may be eligible to study an Access module for free! You'll get:

  • a personal tutor providing regular feedback with one to one telephone tutorials
  • support from a dedicated team throughout your study
  • detailed written feedback.
For this qualification we recommend:

People, work and society Access module

What you will study

This multidisciplinary module provides an excellent introduction to studying with The Open University; you'll get to cover a wide range of subject areas, including childhood and youth studies, social science, psychology, health, business and law.

View full details of People, work and society Access module

In this section:
How much will it cost?
Ways to pay for your qualification and other support

How much will it cost in England?

We believe cost shouldn’t be a barrier to achieving your potential. That’s why we work hard to keep the cost of study as low as possible and have a wide range of flexible ways to pay to help spread, or even reduce, the cost.

  • Fees are paid on a module-by-module basis – you won't have to pay for the whole of your qualification up front.
  • A qualification comprises a series of modules, each with an individual fee. Added together, they give you the total cost.
  • If, like most OU students, you study part time at a rate of 60 credits a year, you'll take six years to complete an honours degree.
  • Our current fee for 60 credits is £3,096*.
  • Our current fee for 120 credits – which is equivalent to a year's full-time study – is £6,192*.
  • At current prices, the total cost of your qualification would be £18,576*.
  • .

*The fee information provided here is valid for modules starting before 31 July 2021. Fees normally increase annually in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees.

Additional costs

Study costs

There may be extra costs on top of the tuition fee, such as a computer, travel to tutorials, set books and internet access.

If your income is not more than £25,000 or you are in receipt of a qualifying benefit, you might be eligible for help with some of these costs after you start studying.


Skills for career development

This degree will enable you to formulate and investigate sociological and criminological questions; build arguments; assess the methods used to generate evidence and research; and analyse, interpret and evaluate a wide range of information.  You'll also learn how to communicate effectively with different audiences (e.g. through reports, policy briefs, blogs, and presentations); work with others; and give and receive peer feedback. You'll have the chance to devise and conduct your own project and will develop substantial skills in time-management, self-reflection and self-motivation, and the ability to work independently.

Career relevance

A degree in criminology and sociology can lead to employment across the public, private and voluntary sectors. Businesses, public sector organisations and educational institutions increasingly have to deal with social issues, and value the skills that criminology and sociology graduates can provide. Consequently, your degree will be relevant to a wide range of professions, some of which are listed below. You can also use your degree to pursue further study in the higher education sector.

Please note, this degree does not guarantee entry to the career fields listed, which may require specialist qualifications to enter. However, it may help you gain those qualifications and enhance your prospects for progression once you are employed.

Other careers

Many graduate-level jobs are open to criminology and sociology graduates, particularly in business, the voluntary sector and the public sector.

Exploring your options

Once you register with us (and for up to three years after you finish your studies), you’ll have full access to our careers service for a wide range of information and advice. This includes online forums, website, interview simulation, vacancy service as well as the option to email or speak to a careers adviser. Some areas of the careers service website are available for you to see now, including help with looking for and applying for jobs. You can also read more general information about how OU study enhances your career.

In the meantime if you want to do some research around this qualification and where it might take you, we’ve put together a list of relevant job titles as a starting point. Some careers may require further study, training and/or work experience beyond your degree.

  • criminal justice worker – in prison, probation, police, victim and youth services 
  • voluntary or third sector work with communities, victims, vulnerable populations 
  • non-governmental organisations and aid workers
  • social researcher
  • community development worker
  • social worker
  • civil servant
  • local government officer
  • private risk and security worker
  • human rights and other advocacy NGOs 
  • legal work
  • secondary school teacher
  • journalist
  • trade union official
  • university administrator.

Want to see more jobs? Use the career explorer for job ideas from the National Careers Service, Prospects and Plan IT


Register for this course

Start dates
Credit transfer: apply by 13/08/2020
Credit transfer: apply by 17/12/2020

Request your Social Sciences prospectus

Our prospectuses help you choose your course, understand what it's like to be an OU student and register for study.

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