Bachelor of Criminal Justice
The Bachelor of Criminal Justice (BCJ) is the first degree of its kind in Aotearoa New Zealand, combining multidisciplinary academic study with a strong vocational focus.
Criminal Justice studies take a 360-degree look at the whole criminal justice system and its processes, including governance, enforcement, rehabilitation, and improvement. The degree draws together UC’s expertise in criminology, sociology, developmental and abnormal psychology, policing, criminal law and procedure, and human services.
- First degree of its kind in the country.
- UC enjoys close links with employers in the crime and justice fields.
- Multi-disciplinary teaching and innovative courses.
- Potential for study while employed in the area to increase professional competencies.
Admission to UC with University Entrance (or equivalent) is required to enrol.
Students with English as an additional language are also required to meet UC's English language requirements.
For information on the enrolment process, please see how to apply for undergraduate qualifications.
The BCJ does not require a background in any specific subject at secondary school and is open to all students with entry to the University.
Typical degree structure for Bachelor of Criminal Justice
(1) Students enrolling in the LLB/BCJ double degree will enrol in LAWS 101 instead of CRJU 150 and CRJU 160.
(3) If LAWS 202 passed, then 45 points from the 200-level electives. If CRJU 202 passed, then 60 points from the 200-level electives.
Each small block represents a 15-point course. Large blocks represent 30-point courses.
For full course requirements, see the Regulations for the Bachelor of Criminal Justice.
The Bachelor of Criminal Justice requires 360 points:
- 255 or 270 points of compulsory courses (depending on courses chosen at second year)
- at least 90 points from a prescribed list of courses
- 15 points from the Bachelor of Criminal Justice or from other degrees.
A minimum of 135 points must be from courses above 100-level, with at least 90 points at 300-level.
The degree takes 3 years of full-time study, or can be studied part-time for up to 10 years.
In the first year all courses are compulsory. Students will take 120 points (with another 15 points of 100-level compulsory courses usually taken in the second year).
In the second year students must take either 75 or 90 compulsory 200-level points. The difference in points depends on whether students take CRJU 202 Criminal Law and Procedure (15 points) or LAWS 202 Criminal Law (30 points). The remaining 15 or 30 points at 200-level will be selected from the prescribed list of courses.
At third year there are 45 points of compulsory courses, with a choice of 60 points at 200 and 300-level from the prescribed list. A final 15-point course at 200 or 300-level can also be completed from the list, or from courses in any other degree at UC.
It is possible to combine a Bachelor of Criminal Justice degree with other degrees, such as the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Laws, or Bachelor of Science. Normally you can complete a double degree in five years, but some combinations may take longer. A Bachelor of Criminal Justice and a Bachelor of Laws combination is a particularly popular option, and can be completed in five-and-a-half years.
Find out more information about Double degrees.
The BCJ is a multidisciplinary degree that includes study across subject areas, such as Criminal Justice, History, Human Services, Law, Māori and Indigenous Studies, Philosophy, Psychology, and Sociology.
See ‘How do I plan my degree?’ above for an example degree structure diagram.
All BCJ students complete the following courses throughout the three years of the degree:
- CRJU 101 Introduction to Criminal Justice
- CRJU 150 Legal Method in the Criminal Justice Context
- CRJU 160 Legal Issues in the New Zealand Criminal Justice System
- HSRV 103 Violence in Society
- HSRV 104 Youth Realities
- PSYC 105 Introductory Psychology – Brain, Behaviour and Cognition
- PSYC 106 Introductory Psychology – Social, Personality and Developmental
- MAOR 108 Aotearoa: Introduction to New Zealand Treaty Society or MAOR 165 He Tīmatanga: Engaging with Māori
If enrolled in the double degree BCJ and Bachelor of Laws, LAWS 101 Legal System: Legal Method and Institutions is taken instead of CRJU 150 and CRJU 160.
- HSRV 210 Gender, Crime and Social Theory
- MAOR 219 Te Tiriti: The Treaty of Waitangi
- SOCI 293 The History of Gangs in New Zealand
- PHIL 139 Ethics, Politics and Justice
- CRJU 201 Crime and Justice or SOCI 218 Crime and Justice
- CRJU 202 Criminal Law and Procedure (15 points) or if enrolled in the double degree BCJ and Bachelor of Laws and admitted to second year Law, LAW 202 Criminal Law (30 points)
Students complete at least 90 points from the prescribed list of course options. At least 45 points must be at 300-level.
One other 15-point course at 200-level or 300-level can also be chosen from the list, or can be chosen from courses from any other UC degree.
These courses are completed during the second and third years of study.
UC offers a Master of Criminal Justice, as well as other qualifications in similar subjects, such as Law and Psychology.
Graduates of UC's Bachelor of Criminal Justice degree will have an edge over others in the crime and justice job markets in an area of national need and growing international specialisation.
The BCJ will prepare you for a career in all aspects of criminal justice, in particular roles within Ngā Pirihimana o Aotearoa | New Zealand Police, Tāhū o te Ture | Ministry of Justice, and Ara Poutama Aotearoa | Department of Corrections. The degree is also relevant to work in many other government departments including prisons, probation and parole; criminal justice policy; forensics; public and private investigation and security; and social work.
Find out more about what you can do with a degree from UC.
See Tuition Fee Structure for more information
|2020||360||Banded Fee - total tuition fee dependent on course selection||$6,213 per 120 points|
|2020||360||This is an indicative fee - total tuition fee will be dependent on your course selection (banded)||$30,000 (first 120 points)|
|2021||360||This is an indicative fee - total tuition fee will be dependent on your course selection (banded)||$31,275 (first 120 points)|
For the full degree requirements, see the Regulations for the Bachelor of Criminal Justice.
For more information on facilities, resources, and staff, see the College of Business and Law | Te Rāngai Umanga me te Ture.