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Bachelor of Criminal Justice

The University of Canterbury
3 years
Bachelor's degree
On campus
Contact school for start dates

Program description

The Bachelor of Criminal Justice (BCJ) is unique in 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.

Why study a Bachelor of Criminal Justice at UC?

  • First degree of its kind in the country
  • UC enjoys close links with employers in the crime and justice fields
  • Multidisciplinary teaching and innovative courses
  • Potential for study while employed in the area to increase professional competencies

How do I plan my degree?

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)
  • with the remainder of the points taken from a list of prescribed electives.

First year

In the first year you will take 120 points. All 100-level courses are compulsory.

Second year

In the second year students must take either 75 or 90 compulsory 200-level points. The remaining 200-level points, to reach a total of 120 or 135 points for the second year, will be selected from a list of prescribed electives. The remaining 100-level points may be included.

Third year

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.

Double degrees

It is possible to combine a Bachelor of Criminal Justice degree with other degrees. 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.

Career opportunities

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, Ministry of Justice and 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.

Further study
Master of Criminal Justice

Admission requirements

For more information about this program, please contact the school directly.

Does this course require proof of English proficiency?

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About this institute

The University of Canterbury is a prestigious destination that is ranked in the world’s top 250 universities, with 15 subjects ranked in the world’s top 200 (QS World University Rankings). What’s more, UC has been awarded with a 5-star ranking for...

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