Institute of Criminal Justice Studies

Distance learning: Undergraduate

Studying at a distance doesn’t mean studying alone and being left to fend for yourself. Rather, distance learning means studying at a time and place which suits you, with all of the resources that you need readily accessible. It also takes place within a well-supported and encouraging environment.

We offer a process for converting your prior experience into university credit; read more about recognition of prior learning, RPL.

A special prize for distance learning undergraduate students is given each year to the student who produces the most innovative and well argued dissertation and is judged by a panel of staff from ICJS. This is known as the Tom Williamson Memorial Prize.

Thinking of applying?

Our courses are not applied for through UCAS. You can find our online application form here. Find tuition fees on the course pages, in the grey box.

Watch our course videos below.

How does Distance Learning work?

How do I study?

Instead of attending lectures, you will access interactive learning materials which we have written for you and which you can read online or print out and read. These are almost like lectures but in written form. You read these in your own time and then begin to research and read other related information in preparation to writing your assignments.

Each topic that you study (we call them units) has its own site within our virtual learning environment (VLE) – Moodle. You’ll find your learning materials plus other related information such as Government publications, research reports and video or audio recordings. These materials can be accessed from anywhere in the world. On your Moodle unit sites, you’ll also find your online reading lists, assignment questions and discussion rooms. All of your assignments are submitted online. You will therefore need internet access.

How long will an undergraduate degree take me?

For most students, a full honours degree will take four and a half years. However, this can be shortened or lengthened depending on prior qualifications and experience and your study pace. If you are having difficulties along the way juggling work and life commitments, we have very flexible arrangements to assist.

How many hours a week will I need to study?

This depends on the type of person you are but very roughly, we would envisage between 12-15 hours a week.

What support is available for me?

We have been offering distance learning degrees for over 20 years and know the needs of part-time students. Support is available through live evening online seminars, discussion rooms on Moodle, e-mail and telephone contact with academic staff plus a dedicated team of administrative staff. We also have learning support tutors who work specifically with ICJS students. There is also IT support for those who are unfamiliar or unconfident with online working.

Do I have to take any exams?

There are no exams on any of our units. Most assignments are essay and report based and we will give you plenty of support before you have to submit your first essay. The first unit which you take, called Studying Criminology, is dedicated to supporting you in writing your first essay.

Do I need to visit Portsmouth?

No, you don’t. We invite you to our induction and study day events which take place in September and February but these are not compulsory. You are also most welcome to come to Portsmouth to meet staff and use the University facilities. However, you can complete all of your studies at a distance should you wish. The library has excellent online resources and you can join your local university library as there is a scheme to enable this. We can also post books to you if they are not available electronically.

Do I need any qualifications to be accepted?

We judge each application on its own merit so no formal educational qualifications are necessarily required. Your prior experience may qualify for university credit; read more about recognition of prior learning, RPL.

I’m interested, what now?

Look at the course pages for the degree that you’re interested in and get in touch with any questions: or +44 (0)23 9284 3148. 

Download the ICJS Distance Learning brochure.

If you want to apply, use our online application form here. (not the UCAS form). Find tuition fees on the course pages above.

Virtual Open Days

A virtual open day will enable you to discover our part-time distance learning courses, covering a wide range of subjects and specialised options, through interaction with one of our Course Leaders and one of our administrative staff. The day will help you to understand what it is like to be a distance-learning student with the University of Portsmouth and how this can aid both your personal and professional development within the sector of criminal justice.

Visit our distance learning virtual open day page.

Virtual Open Days 2019:

  • 15 May 3-5pm
  • 20 June 3-5pm
  • 24 July 7-9pm
  • 14 August 5-7pm
  • 4 September 7-9pm

Remind me about upcoming dates

Course Videos

Contact us

  • Sam Butcher, Senior Course Administrator
  • Karen Martin, Senior Course Administrator
  • Jo Fairwood, Course Administrator

Telephone: + 44 (0)23 9284 3148
Twitter: @icjs_dlug