BA (Hons) in Criminal Justice

Key Points

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Are you interested in crime and the functioning of the criminal justice system? Would you like to work in law enforcement, security, court administration or other civil service roles or in non-governmental organizations related to the criminal justice sector?

Students of the Bachelor of Criminal Justice have an inquisitive mind and want to develop a foundation in a number of key disciplines to fully understand the complexities of crime and justice in modern society.

The BA (Criminal Justice) is a four-year interdisciplinary degree program. In cadastre, you will study a combination of modules on Law, Sociology, Politics and Public Administration. An exposure to each of these disciplines ensures that you will develop a comprehensive understanding of the criminal justice system and how the society in which it operates reacts and regulates. To further enhance your learning during the program, you will study some Psychology modules that will help to understand human behavior and the motivations of those who commit crimes along with the behaviors of other actors in the criminal justice system, such as the police, judges and criminals. juries. The modules in administration will also provide you with future basic skills that are essential for administrative roles within the criminal justice sector.

A key learning experience within the program is the eight-month cooperative work placement that you will undertake at the end of Year 2. The cooperative will provide you with a unique and invaluable opportunity to gain practical experience working on social impact and community work. Through these placements, you will put your learning into practice and network with potential future employers. It is also possible to spend part of this internship period abroad.

In your final year of studies, you will have the option of completing a final year project under the supervision of one of the faculty members within the Law School on a criminal justice subject of your choice. This will give you the opportunity to work independently on a criminal justice topic that is of particular interest to you, under the supervision of an expert in that specific area.

Program structure

Semester 1

  • Legal system and method
  • Criminal Law 1
  • Introduction to Sociology I
  • Ideas and concepts in public administration
  • Introduction to government and politics

Semester 2

  • Criminal Law 2
  • Introduction to Sociology II
  • Civil and public service
  • Modern European political thought

Semester 3

  • Constitutional Law 1
  • Crime and criminal justice
  • Classical sociological theory
  • Paragovernmental organizations
  • Government and politics of Ireland

Semester 4

  • Constitutional Law 2
  • Administrative law
  • Contemporary sociological theory
  • Principles of organizational behavior
  • EU government and politics

Semester 5

  • Cooperative work placement

Semester 6

  • Law of Evidence
  • Human rights
  • Inequality and social exclusion
  • Sociology of deviance and social control
  • Public policy processes

Semester 7

  •  Child’s law
  • Advanced Attorney 1 (Alternative Dispute Resolution)
  • Change management
  • Psychology and everyday life


  • Media Law or European Union Law

Semester 8

  • Jurisprudence
  • Law and criminology
  • Public administration in democratic states
  • Psychology and social problems


  • Final project of the year or European Union Law 2

At the end of Year 2, BA (Criminal Justice) students will complete an eight-month period of Cooperative Education (June through January) that provides students with the opportunity to apply the knowledge they have already acquired. Typically this will take the form of a job title that is relevant to the program, such as within the Court Service, local authorities, law firms, or community and non-governmental organizations. Every year, there will also be some opportunities to complete a job abroad. Additionally, there are a limited number of academic placements available, either through an exchange program with a European law school or with one of our partner law schools around the world.

Admission requirements

  • Applicants will require a baccalaureate degree officially translated into English.
  • IELTS 6.0 or higher (or internationally recognised equivalent).
  • TOEFL 580 (paper-based) or 90 (online).
  • UL has approved the use of the Duolingo English Test (DET) as a temporary measure for 2021/2 admission (due to test center closures). The minimum requirement will be a DET score of 110. An interview may be required along with this for certain programs.

Applicants must possess at the time of enrolment the prescribed Certificate of Completion (or an approved equivalent) with a minimum of six subjects which must include: two H5 (Higher Level) grades and four O6 (Ordinary Level) grades or four H7 (Higher Level) grades. Subjects must include Mathematics, Irish or another language and English.

Note: The F6 grade in Foundation Mathematics also meets the minimum entry requirements. Foundation Maths are not considered scoring effects. For certain electives, departments may determine special grades specific to individual subjects or disciplines in accordance with Academic Council regulations.

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