Bachelor of Criminal Justice
The Bachelor of Criminal Justice (BCJ) is unique in Aotearoa New Zealand, the first degree of its kind that combines 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
Compulsory core courses
BCJ (Schedule B) elective courses
(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 BCJ Schedule B at 200-level. If CRJU 202 passed, then 60 points from BCJ Schedule B at 200-level.
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. These are made up of:
- a series of 15 compulsory courses (comprising either 255 or 270 points depending on courses chosen at second year)
- the remainder of the points taken from a list of prescribed electives.
In the first year students will take 120 points (with 15 points of 100-level courses usually taken in the second year). All 100-level courses are compulsory.
In the second year students must take either 75 or 90 compulsory 200-level points. The difference of 15 points relates to whether students take CRJU 202 Criminal Law and Procedure (15 points) or LAWS 202 Criminal Law (30 points). BCJ/LLB double degree students take LAWS 202. The remaining 200-level points, to reach a total of 120 or 135 points for the second year, will be selected from a set list of courses. The remaining 100-level points may be included.
At third year there are 45 compulsory points, with a choice of 45 points at 300-level from the list of prescribed electives, to reach a total of 90 points. The remaining 30 points at 200-level are from the list of prescribed electives.
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 (BCJ plus three-year degree) in five years and an LLB plus three-year degree in five-and-a-half years, but some combinations may take longer.
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, Linguistics, Māori and Indigenous Studies, Philosophy, Psychology, and Sociology.
Students complete compulsory courses each year of the degree, and can choose from elective courses in the second and third years. These options include topics such as international and transnational criminal law, policing, child protection, forensics, and abnormal psychology. You will also need to take one of either HSRV 302 Qualitative Social Research or HSRV 305 Quantitative Research Methods for the Human Services electives in the third year.
See Schedule B to the Bachelor of Criminal Justice for the full list of elective course options.
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 the New Zealand Police | Ngā Pirihimana o Aotearoa, Ministry of Justice | Tāhū o te Ture, and Department of Corrections | Ara Poutama Aotearoa. 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.
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.